Showsight Presents The Affenpinscher

AN AFFENPINSCHER IN YOUR HOME?

BY LINDA POLLACK, COLUMNIST, AFFENPINSCHER CLUB OF AMERICA get ready!

I nviting an Affenpinscher into your home is akin to inviting a willful, intelligent being from another planet to take up permanent residence within your walls, and within your heart. The “Affen” makes his or her needs known from the very beginning of your relationship. You’d better catch on quickly that the Affen is more humanoid, with more personality, than one would imagine possible from a monkey-like creature that weighs less than ten pounds. Having had the good fortune to own wonderful dogs of all sizes and breeds, I learned within a few days of getting my Chloe that you don’t own an Affen, he or she owns you. You either relinquish your alpha posi- tion for the joy of seeing the pleasure it gives the Affen to feel in charge, or you resign yourself to a lifetime of power struggles. Regardless of your decision, the Affen will take complete control. Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs from Psych 101, the motivational theory that is diagrammed like a pyramid with needs (physiological, safety, love/belong- ing, esteem, and self-actualization) positioned like rungs on a ladder? The theory was meant to address human needs, but since Affens are the most human dog you’ll ever meet, the pyramid is useful in understand- ing what matters to them. Almost 12 years of relatively constant contact has taught me a lot about having an Affen in your home, but Chloe still teaches me every day. And she has taught me that for Affens, the Hierar- chy of Needs pyramid is completely upside down. SELF-ACTUALIZATION Knowing that its adorableness will ensure that all basic needs are always met, the Affen is most concerned with self-actualization. The Affen wants to achieve full potential in everything. This dog doesn’t just want to be the best version of his or herself, but the best dog possible. Such desire doesn’t come across as a wish to please so much as a desire to outshine all other dog rela- tionships you have—or will ever have had.

SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JANUARY 2021 | 185

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