Top Notch Toys - October 2021

BACK TO BASICS… IT’S TIME by Jacqueline L. Stacy

T ime? Yes, it’s time to step back and take a good, long, hard look at the Affenpinschers that are being shown in the ring today. What is being bred, shown, promoted, and rewarded today will influence the direc- tion the breed takes tomorrow.Wemust, as breed preservationists, ob- jectively evaluate that direction. All breeders, exhibitors (handlers includ- ed), and judges must have the strength and courage to maintain BREED TYPE and reverse the direction the breed is currently taking. We aremov- ing away frommoderation and forward toward exaggeration. We must en- sure that “Affens” stay looking like Affens, not caricatures of Affens. MODERATION is repeatedly stated—seven times, actually—in the AKC breed Standard, approved June 12, 2000, and the descriptions provided in the Standard set the breed type. References made include forequarters, hindquarters, chest, and front/rear angulation. The tuck-up is described as “slight.” Exaggeration is now seen frequently in these areas and is, un- fortunately, being rewarded. It is erroneous and detrimental to this breed to promote exaggeration as this corrupts breed type. Here are just a few examples to illustrate this point regarding moderation as referenced in the Standard: Chest: Is moderately broad and deep; ribs are moderately sprung. Forequarters: Front angulation is moderate. Shoulders—with moderate layback. Hindquarters: Rear angulation is moderate tomatch the front. Hind legs straight when viewed from behind. From the side, hind legs are set under the body tomaintain a square appearance. Hocks—moderately angulated. From this, one should deduce that this makes for a short LEVEL back, which can still have a barely perceptible curve at the croup. In an over-angulated front (more thanmoderate layback of shoulders), the whole front assembly moves away fromAffen type. Choosing exaggerated angles and layback for the breed allows for a longer neck while bringing the humerus further back under the body. This puts the elbows in conflict with the rib cage, and can lead to a wider front and elbows that must move out to avoid the ribs, making for unsound gate. The longer neck, coupled with exaggerated shoulder angles, prevents the presence of the “short ver- tical neck” as described in the Standard. When hindquarters are exaggerated, the dog will have a sloping topline, standing with the hindlegs stretched out behind the rear. Or they may ap- pear to be standing on their hocks rather than on their feet, moving with

Near perfection for head and expression; eye shape, color, set, nose, lower lip line. Neat but shaggy appearance.

Eyes round, full, medium size, not prominent.

44 • T op N otch T oys , O ctober 2021

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