Showsight Presents The Affenpinscher

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 rings today. What is being bred, shown, promoted, and rewarded today will influ- ence the direction the breed takes tomorrow. We must, as breed preservationists, objectively evaluate that direction. All breeders, exhibitors (handlers included), and judges must have the strength and courage to main- tain BREED TYPE and reverse the direction the breed is currently taking. We are moving away from moderation and forward to exaggeration. We must ensure 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 sets 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, unfor- tunately, 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 to match the front. Hind legs straight when viewed from behind. From the side, hind legs are set under the body to maintain 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 than moderate layback of shoulders), the whole front assembly moves away from Affen type. Choosing exagger- ated 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 vertical neck” as described in the Standard.

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.

180 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JANUARY 2021

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