Top Notch Toys - October 2021

AFFENPINSCHER Priorities of Type • Monkey-Like Expression • Preferred Height 9 ½ Inches- 11 ½ Inches • Square Appearance, Bitches May Be Longer • Hindlegs Set Under the Body • Substance - Must Be Sturdy • Temperament is Comical, Inquisitive • Gait is Sound, Tracking 4-Square, Converging with Speed • Coat is Harsh, Neat but Shaggy

hocks so over-angulated they look as if sickled. When this ex- aggerated rear angulation is coupled with a moderate front, the rear must swing around to avoid interference with the front legs when the dog is in motion. Remember, movement is to be light and free, sometimes de- scribed as jaunty. Neither excessive reach and drive nor hack- neyed gaits are called for in the Standard. Assessingmovement matters. Affens can and should be SOUND. When they are bred to the Standard they will have “light, free, sound, bal- anced, confident [movement]… legs move parallel to each other [and]…converge toward amidline as speed increases. Unsound gait is to be heavily penalized.” A fast, ground-covering gait is not compatible with breed type, and should not be rewarded. Connecting the dots from the Standard thus far, we have a “squarish” appearing, sturdy, compact Toy dog with medium bone, withMODERATION asked for seven times. Not once is an attribute described as exaggerated. Now, onto coat and presentation. Yes, style is style and may well be just a current fad, BUT when is enough enough? NOW! We know the hair should be dense, rough, and harsh on the body and shoulders, about an inch long, and somewhat shorter on the tail and rear, with furnishings longer and less harsh. According to the Standard, which sets the breed type, in the mature adult a cape or mane of strong hair is to blend into the back coat at theWITHERS. This is where the current problem with breed type in grooming begins. Where does the Standard speak to building up a long-arched neck starting at the middle of the back; backcombing, spraying up much like a Poodle all the way to the back of the skull? I have looked and looked and can’t find it anywhere. So, back to my point about Back to Basics—the Affen itself (and in its appearance) should be MODERATE in every way. I agree that this presentation is somewhat attractive, but what it creates in the overall view and outline is in direct conflict with the Standard. It may give the appearance of a short back, but also promotes a ski sloped topline, a long neck, and great exaggeration. On a positive note, coat color, tails, and ears have improved. It’s so nice to have the essence of themonkey-like expression pres- ent and rewarded very often. The distance between the eyes is to be approximately the length of the muzzle; a well-defined stop, finishing-off to a blunt nose, with open nares set straight and tipping neither up nor down. The nose and eye rims must be BLACK. To achieve the monkey-like expres,,sion, the eyes themselves must be medium in size, round, dark, and bril- liant, and set in the middle of the skull without corners or set obliquely. A prominent lower lip line is the icing on the cake. Color is a near non-issue now. Breeders are more interested in color and accept that color continues to change on the “dogs of color” over their lifetime. Most judges have accepted color, as well they should, since the Standard does not discriminate against it. The grooming of heads on most is really improving; there is less backcombing, hair spray, and product used. Leaving the hair more natural rather than so “done up” does help get to the oxymoron in the Standard that says they should have a “neat but shaggy appearance.”

Illustration by Anne M. Hier

Proper profile as shown in the Affenpinscher Club of America, Inc. Illustrated Standard. Illustration by Anne M. Hier

Prepared and published by the Affenpinscher Club of America, Inc. copyright 2011 For a copy of this publication, please contact the Affenpinscher Club of America, Inc. Corresponding Secretary

T op N otch T oys , O ctober 2021 • 45

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