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Dogs of the Affenpinscher breed were originally created to act as mice in houses, stables and shops. Bred in small size, they moved up in the world, becoming companions of the ladies. Today, they are cheerful and mischievous companion dogs. Although they are purebred dogs, you can still find them in shelters and rescues. Remember to adopt. Don’t buy if you want to take a dog home. Affenpinschers love their humans, but prefer the company of adults. They don’t take well to rough-and-tumble play, chasing, or being held in your lap without the freedom to jump when they want to. However, adult parents will find these dogs to be affectionate, loyal and protective despite their small size.
Like many toy dog breeds, the Affenpinscher can be difficult to housebreak. Crate training is recommended. Although an Affenpinscher’s coat is supple and often considered hypoallergenic, this should not be confused with “no shedding”. “All dogs shed or produce dander. Due to their heritage as mousers, Affenpinschers tend not to get along well with rodent pets such as hamsters, ferrets, gerbils, etc. However, they tend to get along well with other dogs in the household and can learn to get along with cats, especially if they have been raised with them. Affenpinschers are not generally recommended for homes with small children, as they are not a breed that is naturally inclined towards children. The Affenpinscher is loyal to its adult family members and can be a great companion for a family with older children. The Affenpinscher is a rare breed. Be prepared to spend time on a waiting list if you are interested in getting one. To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill or pet shop. Look for a reputable breeder who tests their breeding dogs to make sure they have no genetic diseases that can be passed on to the puppies and that they have a healthy temperament.
The Affenpinscher’s ancestors date back to at least the 17th century, although the most reliable documentation of the breed dates back to the late 19th century. Paintings by Dutch artists dating back to the 15th century show small, rough-coated, bearded dogs, and it is possible that these are some of the ancestors of the Affenpinscher. Originating in Germany and widely used throughout Central Europe for their rat-catching ability, these terrier-like dogs were welcome employees in stables, shops, farms and homes. Some of these intelligent, tousle-haired dogs must have attracted the attention of women, as they were eventually bred to be smaller for companion dogs. Some sources credit a breeder in Lubeck, Germany, with being the first to miniaturise the mice, but as with so many breeds, the story of how the Affenpinscher was created has been lost. They may have been crossed with Pugs, smooth-haired German Pinschers and a dog known as the German Silky Pinscher. Affenpinscher-type dogs also contributed to the development of other breeds, such as the Griffon Bruxellois and the Miniature Schnauzer. It is easy to see their relationship when you look at their rough coats and bearded faces. The city of Munich was the heart of the Affenpinscher’s early development, but the breed was also popular elsewhere in Germany. The Berlin Coat Dog Club began formulating a breed standard for the Affenpinscher in 1902, but the actual breed standard was not finalised until 1913. This standard, translated into English, was adopted by the American Kennel Club and the Affenpinscher was officially entered in the AKC Stud Book in 1936. The first Affen registered with the AKC was named Nollie v. Anwander, one of four German imports owned by Bessie Mally of Cicero, Illinois. World War II interrupted Affenpinscher breeding in the United States. It was not until the 1950s that interest in the breed was revived. Today it remains rare, although it gained some celebrity in 2002 when Ch Yarrow’s Super Nova won the 2002 Toy Group at the nationally televised Westminster Kennel Club show. The Affenpinscher ranks 125th among breeds and varieties recognised by the American Kennel Club.
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