“BREEDING AFFENS IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART— IT TAKES DEEP COMMITMENT (EMOTIONAL AND FINANCIAL).” affenpinscher Q&A WITH PAM PEAT & KATHIE TIMKO
not taking, resorbed or premature litters, as well as high neonatal death rates, despite close monitoring and top notch veterinary care. 4. Advice to a new breeder? Advice to a new judge of your breed? PP: Advice to a new breeder: listen to many different opin- ions and advise. Advice to a new judge of your breed? Find good mentors, read and get your hands on as many Affenpinschers as you are able to. Ask questions, listen to mentors and apply basic dog knowledge and anatomy, but remember the distinct qualities that make an Affenpin- scher so unique from other dogs and Toys. KT: 1) Breeding Affenpinschers is not for the faint of heart— it takes deep commitment (emotional and financial). 2) Go to the Affen National or supported entry shows to see the dogs and meet the breeders. 3) Ask questions, develop a vision and then start with the best quality dogs possible to put you on the right path. 4) Find a reputable breeder(s)/mentor(s) to help you. 5) Join the National Breed Club to get connected and continue learning. This is a lifelong journey. Advice to new judges: 1) Attend the Affenpinscher National to see the variety of size, color, coat type, grooming styles and attend the judges education seminar. 2) Talk to the breeders/exhibitors and put your hands on as many dogs as possible. 3) Look past the grooming, as the most professionally groomed dog may not be the best structurally. Conformation judging is not a grooming contest. Feel for the prosternum, the breadth and length of ribcage (no herring gut, please) and loin, as well as tailset (slight drop of the croup). Dogs with harder coats will have less furnishings—this is not a fault, rather a sign of a correct coat. This is a square breed that is natural, not overdone. 5. Anything else you’d like to share—something you’ve learned as a breeder, exhibitor or judge or a par- ticular point you’d like to make? PP: Please help us maintain the unique characteristics listed in our Illustrated Standard. As a breeder, exhibitor and
judge, this is my, and should be your gold standard for evaluation. KT: As a breeder and as an exhibitor, I’ve learned to ask questions, listen, internalize, observe and be open-mind- ed. I ring steward when I can and, in doing so, I have learned so much from the judges that I support that I really encourage exhibitors to volunteer their time in this manner. I’d like for judges to know the standard— Affenpinschers are not Terriers. I know from personal experience that many judges do not know the allowed colors, that the coat has different textures depending on the part of the dog’s body (i.e. the coat on the head, furnishings and the cape is softer than the jacket), that gait is moderate without excessive drive and that appropriate temperament is important. Don’t reward dogs that slink around the ring—this is not correct tem- perament and, therefore, is incorrect type. While Affenpinschers will drop their tails on the table and while baiting, the tail should be up when they are moving. Not all Affenpinschers welcome strangers, but there is a difference between being standoffish and being timid. 6. And for a bit of humor, what’s the funniest thing that you ever experienced at a dog show? PP: I was judging Ibizan Hounds and had a wire-haired one to examine. When I said I loved whiskers and, in fact, raised Affenpinschers and my husband has a beard, the handler said with a straight face, “Do you strip ‘em?” I burst out laughing and she slapped her hand over her mouth and said, “Oh that wasn’t a good thing to say.” My answer was, “The Affenpinschers, yes.” KT: Years ago, just as I completed my down and back and presented my Akita to the judge, my then five-year-old son, who was sitting ringside with my three-year-old daughter, shouted in a very loud and very clear voice, “Hey mom, did you win yet? We want to go home.” Needless to say, everyone within hearing distance, including the judge, laughed as I turned, red faced, and said, “Not yet honey.” I recall that I did go Winners that day.
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