by Doris Donnerman
(last updated August 17, 2009)
The Affenpinscher is a charming little dog which, in appearance, rather lives up to his other name, the Monkey Pinscher, or simply the Monkey Dog. He has surprising intelligence, and is a game, durable little fellow weighing, on an average, about seven pounds. He is thickly padded and covered with short, hard hair. The hind feet are smaller and thickly padded. Cowhocks detract from the general appearance. Straight or weak hocks, both kinds, are undesirable, and should be guarded against.
He gets his nickname of "Monkey Dog" from his prominent chin hair tuft and mustache. He has bushy eyebrows and cropper ears which are partially covered by wiry hair.
Some German writers state that the breed is an old one, being well known as early as the seventeenth century. While there is little available evidence to support this, the breed had reached its present point of perfection by 1900. This indicates that the breed had been well established for some time.
While his origins are not clear, it has been suggested that the Affenpinscher is a close relative of the Miniature Pinscher. The wire coat is thought to have come from crosses with other German wirehaired breeds, or from the Skye Terrier.
As with so many other continental European dogs, the Affenpinscher did not make his appearance in the United States until the decade of 1930 to 1940. The start of World War II then interfered with further importation of bloodstock.
The Affenpinscher is generally considered to have been one of the progenitors of the much better known Brussells Griffon. As in most toys, general appearance is one of the most important single points. Details are of secondary importance, and anatomical variations are of small concern.
As in general appearance they are small, but rather sturdy in build and not delicate in any way. He carries himself with comical seriousness and he is generally quiet and a very devoted pal. He can get vehemently excited, however, when attacked and is fearless toward any aggressor. The smaller the dog is more valuable and the shoulder height should not exceed 10-1/4 inches.
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