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Known for its rat-catching and watchdog abilities, the Schipperke is a stout creature that's even more tough than it appears. And that's saying a lot; with its thick body and serious face, it already appears tough. While more laid back, this companion-bred canine still exudes the cleverness and confidence found in the first European breeds. The Schipperke is equal parts work and play, but here are six reasons it excels at its original lookout duties.

1. These dogs know how to focus. When something catches their eye, their gaze will let up only after threat has gone.

 

A photo posted by Hilary & Suki (@schipalong) on Feb 23, 2016 at 6:56am PST

 

2. And not only do they wear solid expressions, but they have a solid build, as well. Their dense coat, compact frame and strong jaw make them ideal chasers.

 

A photo posted by Natalia (@saya_fleur) on Feb 21, 2016 at 4:55am PST

 

3. With a cat-like hunting style, these guys autopilot on grace and accuracy.

 

A photo posted by Schipperke (@ruschipperke) on Feb 12, 2016 at 10:11pm PST

 

4. They know how to prioritize, too; even with play as a distraction, they know that safety is more important than a game of fetch.

 

A photo posted by Kozue kobayashi (@cabyna333) on Feb 12, 2016 at 2:19pm PST

 

5. Because of their curious, alert personalities, Schipperkes are on patrol regardless of day, time, or weather.

 

A photo posted by gregory (@dr_chaos_md2020) on Feb 22, 2016 at 12:00pm PST

 

6. And really, they just love you too much to not be.

 

A photo posted by Fröken Snår (@betterthanbullets) on Jan 10, 2016 at 5:43am PST

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