|Photo: Fred R. Conrad, New York Times|
|Winners of Westminster get a|
humongous silver dog dish!
Photo: Denver Post
|Affenpinscher circa 1915|
By the 1600s, there were lots of terriers in central Europe because people liked having them around to keep rodents out of their barns and kitchens. The original Affenpinschers were bigger than the ones today, but smaller versions of the breed made good lap dogs for ladies, besides being good ratters. So the Germans started breeding smaller dogs, and sometimes mixed in pugs, German pinschers, and German silky pinschers.
Later on, the Affenpinscher became the basis for some other wire-coated breeds such as the Brussels griffon. Affenpinschers were most popular in Germany, but there were enough of them in the U.S. for the AKC to recognize the breed in 1936. Then World War II came along and gave people other things to think about besides breeding dogs, so Affenpinschers got sort of neglected. Which is why they are still pretty rare even today.
|Photo: Mary Bloom|
Possible health problems include a tendency to fractures, luxating patellas, hip dysplasia, and cataracts. Like other small dogs with short faces, Affenpinschers might also have respiratory problems in hot weather and collapsed tracheas.
Affenpinschers look sort of like terriers, but they are not really terriers. They are part of Group 2 in the FCI classification, which includes pinscher-schnauzer types of dogs. Affenpinschers get along better with other dogs and pets than some terriers do. They are very playful, active, and adventurous. They are affectionate with their humans, and also protective. Sometimes they can be territorial about toys and food, so they might not be the best choice for families with very small children. The best family for an Affenpinscher is one that likes to be entertained and that has a good sense of humor.