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rec.pets.dogs: Affenpinschers Breed-FAQ
Posting-frequency: 30 days
Last-modified: 10 Nov 1997
There are nearly 100 FAQ's available for this group. For a complete
listing of these, get the "Complete List of RPD FAQs". This article
is posted bimonthly in rec.pets.dogs, and is available via anonymous ftp
to rtfm.mit.edu under pub/usenet/news.answers/dogs-faq/faq-list, via
the Web at http://www.zmall.com/pet_talk/dog-fa.../faq-list.html, or
via email by sending your message to with
in the body of the message.
This article is Copyright 1997 by the Author(s) listed below.
It may be freely distributed on the Internet in its entirety without
alteration provided that this copyright notice is not removed.
It may NOT reside at another website (use links, please) other
than the URL listed above without the permission of the Author(s).
This article may not be sold for profit nor incorporated in other
documents without he Author(s)'s permission and is provided "as is"
without express or implied warranty.
I am _not_ an expert in this breed, nor do I claim to be. I have not
yet bred a litter; I, along with my husband, am showing my first two
dogs in this breed. This FAQ is being written based on my limited
experience, along with information I have learned along the way. If
you have any suggestions or corrections, please e-mail me.
Copyright 1996 by Kimberly Andresen; all rights reserved. This FAQ may
be reproduced for educational and not-for-profit activities. You may
not copy this text in whole or part to another web site. Feel free to
link this FAQ to your web site, in order to foster education in an
Table of Contents
* History of the Affenpinscher
* Characteristics & Temperament
* Frequently Asked Aquestions
History of the Affenpinscher
Dogs which we might categorize as Affenpinschers today, have appeared
in German artwork dating back to the 16th century: depicting them as
ratters and companions. However, as is true of many breeds, there are
no reliable written records of the breed until the late 19th century.
At this time, it seems there were two sizes of wire-haired pet
terriers. A larger, longer muzzled type and a smaller, round-headed,
shorter muzzled and prominent jaw type. It is fairly certain that the
larger type later became the Miniature Schnauzer, and the smaller
became the Affenpinscher.
In 1902, an attempt was made to write the very first "Affenpinscher
Breed Standard", by the Berlin Lapdog Club. As a result of the
standard's vague nature, the Affenpinscher was merely described as
anything that did not resemble a Miniature Schnauzer. However, by
1913, the obvious breed differentiation was established, and it was
generally accepted that the Affenpinscher's jaw should be under-shot.
The heaviest concentration of Affenpinscher breeding in Germany took
place in Bavaria, Munich, and Saxony. There was an observed spike in
Affenpinscher registrations just before World War I, but numbers
decreased during the War. Affenpinschers enjoyed prosperity in Germany
from the mid-1920's to the second World War.
The Affenpinscher was admitted to the American Kennel Club's Stud Book
in 1936, and a Standard based on the then current German standard was
adopted. The first Affenpinschers entered in the Stud Book, three
bitches and one dog, were all German imports owned by Mrs. Bessie
Mally of Cicero, Illinois. However, it appears that none of the
pre-World War II Affens contributed to the breed as it exists in the
Today's Affenpinscher can trace its origins back to dogs imported from
Germany by Mrs. Evelyn Brody, around 1950. One of Mrs. Brody's
imports, Bub V. Anwander, was the first American Champion of the
breed. The current AKC standard is maintained by the Affenpinscher
Club of America.
Characteristics & Temperament
The Affenpinscher, or "Monkey Terrier", got his name from his unusual
facial appearance. With large, dark eyes, protruding jaw and lower
lip, and whiskers sticking out from the face; all enhance the
However, the Affenpinscher does more than just resemble a monkey. This
unique breed exhibits calculated dexterity with his forepaws; often
grappling and tossing toys (or prey).
The Affenpinscher is a breed of the Toy Group. They range in size from
9 to 12 inches at the withers, and should weigh approximately 8 to 10
pounds. The body length should approximately equal the height, giving
the dog a "box-like" body type. The coat is a wirey, terrier-type
which requires "stripping".
The temperament of the Affenpinscher is often described as "comically
serious". It is said they are "little ruffians with a swagger", also.
They exhibit a great loyalty to their family and friends, and are
fearless towards any threat.
They are typically a quiet breed, but are known for their "terrier
spark and fire".
As with any breed, Affenpinschers are all individuals. They all have
their own personalities and quirks. The traits to be listed below are
based on _my_ experiences, and should not necessarily be attributed to
the entire breed. However, they do bear mentioning.
* Affenpinschers, by virtue of their stubborn terrier attitude, can
be difficult to housebreak.
* While it seems they are in the "hypo-allergenic" category, they do
indeed shed...sometimes profusely.
* _Some_ Affens do not do well with children.
* _Some_ Affens will not be compatible with other pets; particularly
rodents. (Hamsters, gerbils, ferrets, rats, mice, etc...) Affens
were bred as ratters, and their heritage still burns strong in
* Affens have a tendency to leap or "fly" from high places.
Frequently Asked Aquestions
_Do they come in colors other than black?_
Yes. Affens can be black, silver, greay, black and tan, or red.
_Do they require alot of grooming?_
Ideally, no. The coat is a wirey, terrier-type that does not
require frequent brushing or bathing. However, they do need to be
"stripped" to maintain a healthy coat. This is an easy skill to
master. It involves pulling the dead, dull hair out...leaving shiny
new hair behind. The more dilligent you are about keeping your
Affen stripped, the less shedding you'll have to deal with.
_How are they with children?_
Depends. I have an Affen who loves children, and another who is
less than fond of them. I think it depends on what they were raised
with, and possibly if they've had a bad experience. (i.e. being
dropped by a child)
_C'mon, they're a Toy dog. How sturdy could they be?_
Very. Affens are a medium boned breed, and very sturdy. Not to say
you should encourage heavy rough-housing, but a few tumbles never
stopped a determined Affen.
The Affenpinscher Club of America's breed rescue contact is Bernadine
Hills (608)455-1611, Wisconsin.
_Affenpinscher Friends Foundation_, Breed Rescue Coordinator: Nancy E.
Holmes, . All rescues neutered before placement;
adoption fee to aid with rescue costs.
Publications & Media
Gibbs, D.V. and Jackson, Tobin, 1969, How to Raise and Train an
Affenpinscher, TFH Publishing, Inc.,245 Cornelison Ave.,Jersey City,
American Kennel Club, 1985, The Complete Dog Book, 17th Ed.,Howell
Book House, Inc., 230 Park Ave., N.Y.,N.Y.,22030
Darling, Tara and Kathy, 1995, In Praise of Dogs, Dogs, Inc.,
Breed Pamphlet, offered by the Affenpinscher Club of America.
AKC Affenpinscher Breed Video
Affenpinscher E-Mail list:
To subscribe, send a message to:
In the subject line, type: no subject
In the body, type: SUBSCRIBE AFFEN-L First name Last name
Make sure there is no other text in the body.
WWW Select-A-Dog offers pictures and breed descriptions. This is the
Affenpinscher page for this web-site:
This is some Affen artwort which can be ordered:
This is a listing located at Cyber-Pet:
This is page is in German, but it's got a nice clip-art of an Affen:
This video company offers tapes from national Specialties in the years
'93 thru '95:
Affenpinscher Club of America
Membership is open, but certain requirements must be met. Two club
members, in good standing, must sponsor you and write letters of
recommendation on your behalf. You also need to submit a letter,
detailing your activities in dogs. For more information, and to
receive an application, contact:
Affenpinscher Club of America
c/o Sharon Strempski, Secretary
2 Tucktaway Lane, Danbury, CT 06810
Affenpinscher Club of Canada
Membership is open to anyone owning or interested in affenpinschers,
their promotion, showing, breeding, love, etc. Right now the fees are
$15 single $25.00 family membership. If you would like a membership
application, please contact:
C/O Sherry Galagan, Secretary
592 Greene Ave., Winnipeg, Mb, R2K 0M3
Affenpinscher Friends Foundation, Inc
This is a national Affenpinscher group dedicated to doing breed
rescue, genetic research, etc. The official address is:
Affenpinscher Friends Foundation, Inc
AFF, Inc, P.O. Box 2123, Southeastern, PA 19399-2123
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