From a 1907 book on toy dogs published by "Dogdom Publishing Company," here is a vivid sketch of a Schipperke's character.
* * *
The following, which appeared in "Chasse et Peche" in 1885 is so interesting and so truly characteristic of the Schip that I think it is well worth reproduction.
"The Schipperke or bargee's little dog. A little devil, black all over but without the cloven foot and minus a tail; such is the bargee's dog. A veritable demon after rats mice moles and anything he comes across. A tireless guard, he takes rest neither day nor night, and is always on the alert. Alive to all that is going on inside or outside the house, he allows nothing to escape his attention from the cellar to the garret, and should he remark anything amiss he acquaints his master of the fact in piercing barks. He knows the way of the house, interferes in everything going, and finishes by persuading himself that it is he who directs the whole. His fidelity to his master is unalterable, his kindness to the children more than tried, but ill luck to the stranger who has the rashness to lay his hand on anything or anybody. The Schipperke has teeth and knows how to use them.
One often meets him on the barges of the canals and rivers of Flanders. He does not make the deck dirty, or upset the things upon it with his tail - for the very good reason that he hasn't one.
A good stable dog, he is the great chum of the horses and has an excellent seat. His joy is to mount the towing-horse; it is then that he struts and barks at the passer-by; he would like to make them believe that it is he alone who gets the boat along.
- from Toy dogs: the history, points and standards of English toy spaniels, Japanese spaniels, pomeranians, toy terriers, pugs, pekinese, griffon bruxellois, maltese and Italian greyhounds, with instructive chapters on breeding, rearing, feeding, training and showing ; and valuable information and treatment in sickness, Lillian C. Raymond-Mallock (Battle Creek, Michigan: Dogdom Publishing Company), page 53.