Showsight Presents The Affenpinscher

by BARRY LEECE & CAMERON RIEGEL Enchante’ Affens & Bouvier des Flanders MONKEY DOGS IN AMERICA

O riginally from Germany, Affenpinschers are a sturdy, comical Toy Breed histori- cally believed to have been used in the home and farmsteads as a ratter. Woodcuts and paintings depict- ing small Terrier-like dogs that are prob- able precursors of the Affenpinscher place this little dog in Europe in the late 1400s-1700s, although official records and formal breeding programs for this breed did not exist until the late 1800s. In the United States, the Affenpinscher was first listed in the American Kennel Club (AKC) Stud Book in 1936. From Jerome Cushman’s authorita- tive book on the Affenpinscher, he notes that, “in German the word affenmartig means ‘monkey-like’ and the word pin- scher means ‘Terrier’” In France, they are often referred to as ‘Diablotin Mous- tachu’, or ‘mustached little devil’, pos- sibly referring to not only their looks, but also to their often times goofy and mischievous behavior. ABOUT THE AKC STANDARD The American standard for the Affen- pinscher was adopted from an abbrevi- ated translation of the German standard in November, 1936. The Affenpinscher standard is specific for size, eye color, structure and a number of phenotypical traits, but broader and open to inter- pretation in describing other aspects of the breed. For example, ears may be cropped or not, upright (prick ear)

or bent, but must always be symmetri- cal. The American standard allows for a broader coat color spectrum span- ning silver, reds, beige and black. This color variation is in marked contrast to European standards where black is preferred and no other color is encour- aged or allowed to be exhibited. From the Breed Standard, “The total over- all appearance of the Affenpinscher is more important than any individual characteristic. He is described as hav- ing a neat but shaggy appearance.” However, In the AKC Club standard, the description of a monkey-like expres- sion is included no less than four times, emphasizing the relative importance of the distinctive facial traits. The breed’s temperament is described as, “game, alert and inquisi- tive with great loyalty and affection toward its master and friends. The breed is generally quiet, but can become vehemently excited when threatened or attacked and is fearless toward any aggressor.” Having lived with Affens for many years, for a small dog, Affenpin- schers have more than their share of attitude. A favorite description of the monkey dog refers to their ‘over-inflat- ed sense of their own self-importance’. It may be a Toy, but they don’t know it! ENCHANTE’ KENNELS Affenpinschers in New Mexico, “The Land of Enchantment”! What place could be more fitting for such

an enchanting little breed? After retir- ing from a twetny-five year career with Johnson & Johnson and Cameron’s suc- cessful real estate management busi- ness, we left California and decided to return to New Mexico as our base of operations for a burgeoning travel and dog-showing lifestyle. As AKC Breeders of Merit, we have bred and shown Bou- vier des Flanders for nearly thirty years, but wanted to expand our canine hori- zons into something different. Affens fit the bill perfectly because of their comic temperament, easy-going nature, small size, portability and minimal shedding. They are accommodating to active lifestyles, wonderful at agility or content to be couch potatoes. We abso- lutely love our Bouvs, but come bed- time it is much easier to fit six Affens on the bed!

282 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , S EPTEMBER 2017

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