The word "Affenpinscher" is an adjective used to describe a German wirehaired ratter dog that lived around the kitchens, barns, stables, and granaries in Germany and Central Europe.
"Affen" = to mock. Later referred to as "monkeyish"
"Pinscher" = dog
The Early Beginnings
In 1889 the word first applied to a class of dogs at a German dog show.
Little dogs with round heads and shorter muzzles and undershot mouths in a litter were called "Affenpinschers," the larger ones were called "Schnauzers."
The Pinscher-Schnauzer Klub began registering the breed in Vol. II of their registration book in 1903-1907.
There were 14 entries ranging in color from yellow, red, gray, black, black and tan, and black and gray.
In the 16th and 17 th Century, Affenpinscher type dogs were seen in many of the artwork of that time. Auguste Renoir depicted an Affenpinscher type dog in his 1881 painting, "Luncheon at the Boating Party." Another, "Woman with a Black Dog" was painted in 1874.
Affenpinschers at the turn of the 20th Century found their way into books about dogs.
In 1905, Richard Strebel included them in his depictions of German dogs in his book called, "Die Deutschen Hunde."
The Modern Affenpinscher
In the 1920s and 30s the breed appeared in cabaret and circus acts in Europe.
The breed is known for its "comic seriousness" and its unique and thoughtful expression. At times they look like a little old man and at others like a mustached little devil.
The Early 1900s
Evalyn Walsh McLean, pictured here with her affens, was an American mining heiress and socialite who was famous for being the last private owner of the Hope Diamond.
The Affenpinscher Breed in America
In America, the breed never achieved the popularity it deserved, but this may have been a blessing.
Even though the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1936, it remains among the rarest of the accepted breeds.
Fifteen years ago, the first US "natural" (undocked tail and uncropped ears) Affenpinscher completed its AKC championship.
The breed seems to be more popular in England than in any other country.
"All natural" or "cropped and docked," the Affenpinscher is a delightful breed that is happy romping the fields or dressed in doll clothes riding in a baby carriage.
The breed is appropriate for both young and old, in apartments or mansions. Under the seat in an airplane or staying at home with a devoted owner, this fearless companion has its loyal supporters from famous celebrities to the local garbage collector!
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