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The Affenpinscher Breed
The Affenpinscher is a happy combination of charm and pluck. A small dog with stamina, agility, and great courage, yet upon occasion displays sensitivity and gentleness. Unusually intelligent an quick to learn, the Affen possesses a thinking process one can only observe with disbelief. It is fair to warn a prospective Affen owner that this breed often possesses a "big dog in a small body" mentality. This boldness makes it necessary to be cautious that your little "Rottweiler wannabe" does not inadvertently provoke an attack by a large dog. It is this same bold attitude, however, that also make them such a joy to own.
Affenpinscher - Clean and Intelligent
The Affen is a model dog with which to travel. They adjust readily to changing circumstances. They are clean and require a minimum of grooming. These little dogs are alert and ready at all times to protect their owner, his home and possessions. The Affen takes himself very seriously, which, together with his high rate of intelligence and desire to please, accounts for his being such a tractable and obedient little fellow. The Affen has a great many endearing little traits that you seldom find in other breeds. He will toss his toys in the air for long periods of time, walk on his back legs, looking like an organ grinder's monkey, tucking his tail beneath him and sitting on his spine with back legs extended. Covering all of the Affen's charming characteristics would take too long, but talk to Affen owners and you soon will discover why they say "Bet you can't own just one!"
As is true of many breeds, there are no reliable written records of this breed until the late nineteenth century. The Affenpinscher breed does appear in German artwork, dating back to the 16th century, being depicted as both ratters and companions.
The Affenpinscher is a German breed, whose name means "Monkey Terrier". With large dark eyes, protruding jaw and lower lip, and whiskers sticking out from the face; all these contribute to the "comically serious" look, and temperment, of the Affenpinscher.
The breed is known for its fearlessness, and despite being small (9 to 12 inches at the withers, and weighing 8 to 10 pounds) are "little ruffians with a swagger".
The Affenpinscher is said to have been the progenitor of the breed Brussels Griffon; and, when bred to the Standard Schnauzer, produced the Miniature Schnauzer.
The root lines, which are the real breed basis of the toy Griffons, were due to the breeding of the Affenpinscher to the common Belgian street dogs. This latter breed was the peasant's dog, shaggy, tough, unlovely but intelligent. These Griffons D'Ecurie (Stable Griffons) paid for their keep by keeping the stables clear of vermin.
The Affenpinscher was admitted to the American Kennel Club's Stud Book in 1936. The then current German Standard was adopted as a basis for the AKC Standard.
It appears that none of the pre-World War II Affenpinschers contributed to the breed as it is in the U.S. today.
Today's Affenpinschers can trace their origins to dogs, imported by Mrs. Evelyn Brody, from Germany around 1950. One of Mrs. Brody's imports, Bub V. Anwander, was the first American Champion of the breed.
The AKC Standard is maintained by the Affenpinscher Club of America.