In Memory of Schico
We do actually have a new Schipperke Duco

In Memory of Magisters Schico

Fotos von seinem kurtzen Leben.

Berliner Kurier Artikel über Sonntag
Kurier Artikel über den Cane Corso
Interestingly someone has decided that the Cane Corso is recoverable. This article from the Berlin Kurier suggests that this dog will live, and will be put into a rehabilitation facility near the Baltic, and that he will not go back to his owners.

Final Day: Sun Apr 11 11:00 CEST 2004

This is an alternative letter I wrote for the Schipperke mailing list. It is the same story just in another form.

Schico is no more. He was killed today around 11:00 CEST. He lived with us for 2.5 months. Almost half his very short life. He was a good little dog, very well trained for a Schipperke. He was friends with all the world. He loved people and dogs. He cheered up peoples lives every day with his cheerful and friendly manners. He made sad lost people happy. He helped children lose their fear of dogs, he helped scared dogs learn to play and be less afraid. He was always cheery and friendly.

It was Easter morning, Taska and I were looking for Brunch, many restaurants were open with outdoor seating, and we were taking a nice walk around Kollwitz Platz.

There is nothing we could have done better, there are no lessons to be learned. Schico was walking with us on leash with a halter. I was talking with my girlfriend, and Schico began to pull, because he saw another dog and wanted to great him. I looked at the owner of the other dog and she was telling her dog no and to come back to her, but he was not on leash. The dog was an 80-100 lbs black Cane Corso. The dog came over to Schico and began to eat him, no growling, no barking, he just put his head down and began chewing on Schico's little neck. Cane Corso eyes really do become red when hunting instinct comes, they become bloodshot and take on this terrifying red color. There was no chase, Schico walk right up with his tail wagging happily to him and wanted to sniff him. My friend started screaming at him and telling him to go away, the owner of the other dog begged anyone to make him stop, she couldn't do anything. Schico began to cry then he began to shit in terror. The other dog finally got off of him briefly with my friend pulling on the Cane Corso's mouth (and me screaming at my girlfriend to stop because I didn't want her to get injured as well as Schico dying on the same day). The other dogs owner got it away and we tried to catch our breath and decide how broken Schico was and if he was a dead.

The other dog came back and would not let go. I heard Schico's head crack. There was blood splattered everywhere as the other dog shook Schico's body sent blood over us and the sidewalk, the Schico was finally pulled away by pulling his leash The owner of the other dog screamed to get our dog away. I pulled by the leash and put his corpse on the other side of a fence seeing his lower jaw at a right angle to his top jaw and the tongue hanging out. His stomach was ripped open and his intestines were spilling out.

A man came and tried to help and tried to get the owner of the other dog to take control of her dog and had the sense to scream if anyone had called the Police. A waitress at a near by restaurant had, and several peoples with cell phones had also called the Police. One man took pictures with his digital camera.

My girlfriends hands were covered in blood, mostly Shico's and a little bit of her own. Her jacket and and shirt were spotted as well. The Police told the woman and her dog that they needed to get into the police car, and if she didn't do it quickly the policeman said he would kill the dog right there.

The Police took us to a Hospital, they asked if we wanted to take the body of Schico. we had no idea what to do with the body so we asked the police to dispose of it, they asked for our names ages telephone number. The doctor said that my girlfriend must find out if the Cane Corso had its Rabies vaccine, if she cannot find out she needs to go through rabies treatment here in Berlin.

Wed Apr 14 06:58:40 CEST 2004

The breed of dog Schipperke. In the USA the AKC thinks that an American Schipperke should not have a tail. I think that is pretty sad. Dogs like to use tails to communicate with the rest of the world. Here in Europe dogs cannot be docked, so Schipperkes must have tails.

Schico was born in Denmark at Kennel Magister. The breeders at Kennel Magister are very nice people. They run an excellent kennel. It is part of their home and the dogs are all very happy, well socialized and adjusted. He had to wait 1 month there, he needs to wait for Taska and I to get back from our trip to the USA before he can come home.

Schico was born Sun 26 October 2003. He was the first of a litter of three. He weighed 148grams. His mother is Magisters Isabella and his father is Raahøjs Chap. His section of the Magisters webpage is

Schico's Photos


So this is a list of stories that never made it onto the list. They are positive things that I didn't get to writing until after his death.

We went to a Welpen Thema Abend (Puppy theme night) with HSV Tempelhof covering the topics of house training and staying alone. For me it was funny they asked us what problems dogs had and we were the only people to really say we had problems. Schico had 8 days with no accidents in the house, but then we had house guests for the first time and he came up to the Kitchen and pee'd right in the middle of the Kitchen. The next day he did the same thing but this time pooped. Both times he got serious 'NO's and was scared. He never had a problem in the rest of his life (14 days). Even though the guests came back. Other people in the Welpen group said no accidents in the house but they took there dog outside every 90 minutes. Another person said their dog had no problem being alone, but was never alone. I think it was a mistake in retrospect to attempt to paper train him in our house. He was paper trained by the breeder, but I think it would have been easier for him just to never have used the paper and to keep a list of when he needed to go. We live on the 5th and 6th floor of a building, and taking a little puppy to the ground is pretty involved. We put paper out on the terrace and I think that was a good idea. He can understand that the terrace is not inside.

Training has been going pretty well. Schico understands "aus" and will spit a peice of meat out of his mouth if I give hime the command. Of course sometimes I give him treats when he does this, so it helped him learn what it was suppose to mean. I got him to the point that he understands he needs to sit when we go into the dog park, he really wants to run and play, but he will listen to my sit and wait for me to release him from the leash. His come is pretty strong, clapping hands, crouching and calling come and he will come from chasing other dogs, or squirrels (once you get his attention). I have realized that I have to wait to give him his treat until after I can hold his collar, otherwise he will run to me, and then run away if I reach for him, but now he knows that me holding his colar is part of coming. He can walk in the park without a line and understand that sometimes he has to stay on the path when we give him "weg da" in a rough voice when he leaves the path without our permission. I have been able to train him to walk without a leash somewhat, but that is not as important as walking with a leash to me. Most of the world is only safe with a leash and he must walk well. I don't use flexi-lines as he is more sensitive then the spring pull on the leash and I like him being that sensitive, so I just use a leather or nylon line. I pull a little bit and he moves in that direction. For pulling when he wants to go to the park, chase after Taska, go to the pet store, or other such things. I stand, let him pull breifly, make him come back to me sit down, praise him, and then we can only move foward when I say "OK". I generally have to repeat this 3 times. He sneases his complaint at me, but gets the idea that he has to wait for me and that if you starts pulling he has to come back to me. It works pretty well but requires more practice. Shico has "halt" down pat, on leash or off leash, if I say it he stays put. Of course we practice this on every street corner in Berlin, so he gets lots of pratice with it. I really believe that he learns 4-8 times faster with positive re-enforcement than negative. And I believe that a dog must do something 70 times before he really learns it. Sure Schico acts like he learned a new command in 3 tries but he is always keying on something goofy, like where we are, what I am doing with my feet or some other random thing.

Schico had become quite the therapy dog. He learned from going to the Park almost every day that he was not the biggest dog around, he learned that some dogs would play with him only if he went into submissive position. One time at the Sunday Puppy play group, he met a little frightened Yorkie. The Yorkie would just run beneath its owners legs. Schico decided he wanted to play with this dog. First he ran over to it and tried to jump on him, but the other dog barked and ran away. Schico backed up and went into play position and tried wagged his tail. The other dog looked at him. Schico then started barking and the other dog ran away. Schico stopped barking and walked up to the other dog and tried to sniff him from below. The other dog barked and was nervous. Then he rolled on his back and tried to sniff from below. Then the Yorkie started sniffing back. Eventually Schico and the Yorkie were wrestling and jumping back and forth, Schico (who was larger if you can imagine that) would let the Yorkie be on top. When other dogs came to play with the Yorkie it would run between its owners legs and Schico would stand between the other dogs and Yorkie and bark at them and breifly jump on them and then go back to playinig with the yorkie. I have seen this before, when Schico chose one dog to play with he often will stick to that one dog even if the other dog doesn't really want to play with him, but he has learned to be nice in demanding to play with the other dog.

The other day a group of five little kids (6-9) saw Schico on the street, two of them really wanted to play with him, one of them was afraid of him and asked if he bit. I told them he was very nice, but held on to him tight, the two kids that wanted to play with him asked if they could pet him and I let them. One of them knew to let a dog smell him, but he was rather clumsy and just pushed his hand in Schico's nose, Schico tolerated it, he tolerated the clumsy pets and looked at me with this look of "Of course I am cute, but how much of this do I have to tolerat." He put up with it nicely, one of the girls who was afraid of him put her hand towards him touched him and pulled her hand away quickly, Schico just looked at her. She came back and tried petting him again and he just looked at her. She smiled and laughed. They asked me if they could pick him up, and I picked him up and handed him to one little boy, he was a bit rough but Schico took it in stride, the girl who was a little bit afraid of him also held him and thought his fur was wonderfully soft. I continued on my way and let Schico walk.

One night Taska and I were coming home from a restraunt, but I wanted to take Schico out on a bit more of a walk so I was sure he went to the bathroom before bed. She took the train home and I walked down the a dark little street. I passed a slow moving woman in a Red jacket. She was sad, but looked at Schico and smiled. We passed her, got to a corner and met a well dressed woman taking her Parson Russell Terrier for a walk, he was about the same age as Schico and looked a bit more like a Dachsund than a standard Jack Russell. Schico and the other dog played happily a little bit. I attempted to talk to the woman, I let Schico off his leash to play with the other dog and then tried to get him to walk away from the other dog with me but that required quite a bit of treat tempting to get him to do it, but he eventually did it, though he ran towards the owner of the Jack Russell and the Jack Russell ran towards me a couple of times. The woman in the red coat came up to me in tears. I tried to understand her, I eventually figured out that she was not asking for money (used to beggers in SF) and that she was lost. She was about 1 block from where she wanted to be and pointed her in the right direction, and continued the task of trying to get schico to walk next to me without a leash. We eventualy made it to the other end of the park and found the woman in the red jacket. I asked her how she was doing and if she was still lost. She said she was doing terrible and if she could pet Schico. I told her sure, Schico just sat there and looked at her, she pet him and her sobs moved to sighs, her sighs to smiles. That is one of the reasons people need pets is to get that type of relaxation. Eventually she asked me where i was form, I told her San Francisco and she started speaking to me in English and told me that she lived in San Francisco for a year and it was one of the best times in her life. I learned her first name was Susi I didn't press her to find out what was her problem, I had some idea it had to do with love, but perhaps that was my own fantasy. She told me stories about her good times in SF. Once she stopped petting Schico he started wondering around the park, I called him back put him on his leash and let him nap under the park bench. Eventually she recognized where she was and left at least somewhat happy to have found a friendly person to talk to and a little dog to pet.

Sun Mar 7 20:49:50 CET 2004

I guess today begins week 19 of Schico's life. He went to his first Welpengruppe today. It is a long U-Bahn ride down to the park, but the people there are very nice. For those of you wondering, yes all the instructions are in German. Schico actually does pretty well. He gets a bit distracted by the other dogs, but what he really gets distracted by are the other dog owners treats. He has learned that lots of other dog owners are willing to give him treats for just jumping up as opposed to doing complicated things like I make him do. I still need to find a good "treat" toy, to use as a reward. His chew toys I don't want to use, because they are too valuable for taking out his chewing energy. We worked on coming when called with an unfamiliar person holding him. He of course started barking when he couldn't see us anymore, and came as called. He also did the walk around with us and try to not play with the other dogs, which he was a little bit less successful at. He found one dog that was an excellent wrestling companion for him (even thought he other dog was of course larger). He is actually pretty good at the basic commands, but he needs work practising them with other dogs around and I think it is good for him to play with dogs his own age. It makes him better at playing with different sorts of dogs.

This last week Taska overheard someone talking in the Hundewiese in Mauerpark, saying that Schico a "Süsser" but notorious for playing with all the big dogs and only going into submissive position once. I remember that and was relieved to see that he actually know how to do it, since I had not seen him go into it since he left Denmark.

Other funny stories. I gave him a stick at home to play with, that I had shaved off all the bark and made smooth. Schico was convinced that the stick was alive because it made loud noises on the floor. He tried barking at it, jumping at it, going into play position, but then he would touch it and it would rattle and he would run away. Eventually he came up with a new strategy. He would use his stuffed animal (Harley the Hedgehog) to play with the stick. He would place Harley next to the stick and the push Harley into the stick. Doing this convinced him that the stick was safe and that he could chew on it in peace since the stick clearly didn't attack Harley.

Fri Feb 27 09:40:05 CET 2004

Yesterday was Schico's 4 month birthday. He is doing pretty well, he is beginning to look less like a puppy and more like and adolescent. He weighs 3.5kg. He went to the Vet (Tierartz) for the first time with us yesterday. The Vet said he didn't need more vaccines, unless he was going to travel to England, Norway, or Sweden. I also registered him with online, so his micro-chip should be available to animal shelters and they should know how to contact me. He already shows up in the PAN European database at, but only with the breeder's information. The Vet said he was fine, that we needed to watch out for dominance traits in his next 2-3 months of adolescence. I cannot remember Bente told me he was dewormed or not yet, so he is getting his deworming treatment. I got flea and tick poison to put on him, he got a new chew toy that he likes. His first adult teeth are coming in. He growled and then squeaked when the Vet looked in his ear, even though that doesn't hurt. He has a nice scissors bite. He liked to run around the vets floor, and followed the Vet around jumping on her leg.

He is doing well. He has had three consecutive days without potty accidents in the house. He does not chew or play with things he is not suppose to: cables, furniture, electronics. He can "sitz", "platz"(only in the house), "bleib" (2 minutes is his best). He doesn't beg at the dinner table (he does beg form other people at the dog park). He walks pretty well on leash, both with a flexi-leash or his short leather leash. The big problem right now is he cannot handle being alone, and will bark for over and hour with very few pauses when left isolated in the bathroom. I uses the bathroom because it is the easiest to cleanup and the quietest room in the house (for neighbours). He gets fed, and has nap time in a little basket with a small cage surrounding him in the bathroom. That is the big one to work on. He plays well now with most dogs, can greet most dogs. He is not a big barker when with me, he wants to bark when other dogs bark, but I have been getting him to build up resistance. He does very well with children. I am trying to teach him not to jump up on children, but most everyone he meets thinks he is cute when he stands up on his hind legs, so it is difficult. He has the most trouble playing with other puppies his same age, but physically bigger. Not sure why. He hasn't met that many of them. His favourite play companions are Jack Russell Terriers, right now they can tire him out, but he doesn't know how to stop playing and gets grumpy.

Favourite Toys:

  • Harley The Hedgehog
  • Dental Nylabone Regular
  • Nylabone Flexible Regular
  • Tue Feb 3 22:47:49 CET 2004

    Well Schico had a busy day of firsts today. First nail clipping (his back nails were more sensitive than his front) but he let me continue anyway. He had his first shower, currently he thinks the sprayer is a bit hard for his belly. He got a new leash, a lighter doubled up one, at his first visit to the local petshop. He went to a restaurant (a little Indian restaurant in Prenzlauer Berg, here in Berlin Dogs are generally allowed in restaurant) for the first time and was fine just sitting under table, quietly staring and sniffing all over the place.

    He is surprisingly gentle on the leash, for a 12 week old dog that is rather surprising I need to thank Bente for that. He is doing OK with potty training. He is paper trained, but he isn't sure what paper is OK and what paper is not, and he is unwilling to go outside.

    Mon Feb 2 22:47:49 CET 2004

    Went and got him today, got up at 03:45, picked up the rental car by 04:45, was in Rostock at 07:00 for the 08:00 ferry to Gedser. I made it to the breeder by 12:45. Bente kindly gave some coffee and bread, along with paperwork and food for the first week. I played with the puppies that are still left, Schico cuddled up, waited for me when I went to the car even though all of his sibblings had chased Bente back to the living room. We made the 17:00 ferry back to Rostock, after a couple of walks. Stopped by the house around 20:00, was back from dropping off the auto arround 23:00 and introduced him to his new house.

    The trip in the car went well. Schico go sick to his stomach at one point, but was generally pretty happy. He was leashed to the passenger seat, so he could move arround. He really prefers a traditional collar to a chest harness. I will leave him with the collar, though I was a little bit concerned for his safty with such a configuration. It was a good bonding experience for the two of us. I gave him toys which he mostly ignored. Once we were on the ferry, the nylabone became his favourite toy.

    Schico & Robin Schico & Taska

    Robin and Taska with Schico, January 4, 2004
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