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Breed Priorities – Affenpinscher

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182 – September, 2020

By Nikki Riggsbee

The name “Affenpinscher” means “monkey-like terrier” in its native Germany, and the breed has a characteristic monkey-like facial expression. A rough coated, ap-proximately square dog, the Affenpinscher’s longer head hair framing the face, with the eyebrows and beard, contribute to the expression.

This type of dog has been around for centuries and used to kill rats – one of the original pest control dogs. The earlier dogs were a bit bigger; later a smaller size was brought into the house to dispense with mice. The breed is reported to have contributed to the development of some other breeds, including the Brussels Griffon and Miniature Schnauzer.

Affenpinschers are a rare breed, ranked 150th in 2019 based on AKC’s dog registrations. We were concerned with finding sufficient experts to take a survey on their breed’s priorities to be the basis of this article. Most of the suggestions of breeder-judges and mentors came from the parent club, but we were able to find more as well. In the end, we invited thirty-nine people to participate, and twenty-three agreed to do so. By deadline, twelve surveys arrived. The group averaged almost eighteen years in the breed. Those who are breeder-judges have been approved to judge them for nearly sixteen years on average.

Affenpinscher Virtues

The experts prioritized a list of Affenpinscher characteristics taken from their breed standard. The list of virtues below is in sequence by the average ranks, with number one being the most important.

1. Monkey-like facial expression

2. Square appearance

3. Eyes round, dark, brilliant, medium-sized

4. Prominent lower lip

5. Length of muzzle approximately same as distance between eyes

6. Gait light, free, sound, balanced, confident with comic seriousness

7. Back short, level with strong loin

8. General demeanor game, alert, inquisitive

9. Front and rear angulation moderate

10. Neck short and straight

11. Sturdy, compact

12. Tail set high, carried erect (cropped) or curved gently up over back when moving (natural)

13. Dense hair, rough, harsh, about 1” length on shoulders and body

13. Height at withers 9½ to 11½ inches

15. Neat but shaggy appearance

16. Wiry-haired terrier-like toy dog

Click here to read the complete article
182 – September, 2020

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