Saturday, February 16, 2013


Photo: Fred R. Conrad, New York Times
If you watched the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show this year, you might have noticed that the dog who won Best in Show was an Affenpinscher.  His name is Banana Joe V Tani Kazari, but mostly he is just called "Joey" for short.  This was the first time ever in the history of Westminster that an Affenpinscher has won.

Winners of Westminster get a
humongous silver dog dish!
Photo:  Denver Post
Joey, who is about to turn six, was born in the Netherlands.  Now that he has won Westminster plus a whole bunch of other dog shows before that, he is going to move back to his home country and retire.  The news stories did not say this, but I think that Joey will probably be pretty busy making Affenpinscher puppies, because that's what retired famous show dogs do.

Affenpinscher circa 1915
The Affenpinscher breed started out in Germany, and it has been around at least since the 17th century. In German, Affe means "monkey," and Pinscher means "terrier."  Affenpinschers got their name because the scruff of hair around their faces makes them look like monkeys.  The French called the breed diablotin moustachu, which means "moustached little devil."

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
An Affenpinscher weighs between 6.5 and 13.2 pounds and is 9 to 12 inches tall.  The coat is harsh and rough if not groomed, but softer and fluffier if it is.  The European standard says the coat has to be black, but the AKC also allows gray, silver, red, black-and-tan, and belge (a mix of several colors).

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.


  1. I love AFFENPINSCHERS breed pet. Actually own one. They are so cute. I love him. In your last pic, he is looking cute. :)

  2. Me too, but i can t choose which is my favorite species. I am own a mini Pom and a Hungarian Vizsla. May be Affenpinsher will be next. :D No i just get a free ebook how train the dogs , this book is absolutly amizing.

  3. I like pet dog very much. It is sad that there are so many people that don’t realize that, that cute puppy in the window came from a sad, sick, never been loved, tired mother behind bars! Both of my boys were adopted and I have taken in a few stray kittens. Looking for large dog breeds for families Wondering what large dog breeds are good with kids or would be good for apartments Find out here A complete list of large dog breeds

  4. This is the most beautiful post ever. Thank you for sharing this .In our city there is a man with a beautiful website advertising home raised designer breed puppies. He lives in a beautiful neighborhood and lives in an expensive home. He gets the pups from a puppy mill and resells them to the locals, splitting the profits with the mill owners. He only incriminated himself when he bragged to coworkers how it played for his yearly vacations. Looking for large dog breeds for families Wondering what large dog breeds are good with kids or would be good for apartments Find out here A complete list of large dog breeds