Showsight Presents The Affenpinscher

JUDGES’ EDUCATION FOR THE Affenpinscher

BY PAMELA PEAT

L earning to evaluate the Affenpinscher can be dif- ficult for several reasons. As a rare breed, with no dogs exhibited in many areas of the US, peo- ple need to travel in order to be exposed to any good specimens of the breed. Addition- ally, there are few long-term breeders to use as mentors or large kennels with many dogs to observe. “Affens” have only one specialty week- end per year, with entries of 30 to 50 dogs. For these reasons it is imperative to make an effort to find, observe, and examine Affens when the opportunity presents itself. Judges’ Education for the Affenpinscher Club of America tries to participate in seminars put on throughout the year in various parts of the country. We also have an excel- lent Illustrated Standard available. Addressing the major characteristics that make the breed so endearing to its owners and so special to judge: “This is a small, sturdy, harsh coated, shaggy looking little dog who is comical, inquisitive and alert.” Taken from the ACA Illustrated Standard introduction, this describes what you need to see as they enter the ring. We do not want heavy, coarse or big dogs. Affens are square and up on leg, not long in body or low on leg, which are “drags on the breed.” Shape, proportions, and angles are specifically different from other Toy dogs. They have a “short vertical neck” and moderate angulation front and rear. This creates correct move- ment, described as being jaunty and light, but without excessive reach and drive. The Affen needs to pounce, jump, and twist to capture a rodent, not chase it down. When in the ring, they should not be raced, but rather be moved at a speed to show off agility and lightness. Affens are very determined and alert, but also comical. They will walk and dance on their hind legs to attract attention. When moving, they may remind you of Charlie Chaplin as the “Little Tramp” in the movies; comic in appearance, but serious in purpose. Their gait should be sound on four legs, but with

SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JANUARY 2021 | 187

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