The Schipperke's Origins and History Source: Wikipedia. Country/Region of Origin: Belgium Original purpose: all-around working dog Name: English school of thought holds that it means "little captain" while a Belgian version has it that it means "little shepherd" (from Flemish "Scheperke" or "Schapocke"). Once colloquially known as Spitzke, the name was changed to differentiate it from the German Spitz. Historical notes: Schipperke dogs originated as far back as the early 16th century. They were first formed as a breed in the early 19th century. Much of what is known about them is derived from Chasse et Peche magazine articles.