All Toy dog owners know that great things do come in small packages. Take the Affenpinscher for example… They are “faster than a speeding bullet” (ask any agility competitor). They are “able to leap tall buildings in a single bound” (especially when you are eating something that they want). They are “more powerful than a locomotive” (watch them at the Barn Hunts). And, all of this drive and determination is wrapped in a loyal, but determined 10 pound package.

GCH. Xela’s Party Hat “Hatti” Photo by: Rhonda Cassidy

Affenpinschers were relatively obscure until Banana Joe’s fabulous BIS win at the 2013 Westminster Kennel Club show. They are almost on the bottom of the AKC list of breed and litter registrations. The Affenpinscher is a very old breed with strong roots back to Germany for a motherland and survived near extinction through two World Wars, finally finding their way to the United States and American Kennel Club.

GCH. Xela’s Party Hat. Breeder Owner Handled by Stephanie Hill
Photo credit: Rhonda Cassidy

So, what does it take to make a “good one?” An outstanding example of the breed? One that will consistently win in the strong competitive Toy Group?

The Affenpinscher must have “monkey like expression” – that is the No 1 priority on the Priorities of Type in the Affenpinscher breed Standard. He should be between 9 1/2 and 11 1/2 inches at the withers. Next, the “Affenpinscher should be a sturdy toy dog, not delicate in any way”. He is the “Diablotin Moustachu” (so called in France) with a temperament that is “comical and inquisitive”.

An Affenpinscher with “unsound gait is to be heavily penalized”. And, for grooming the Affenpinscher, has taken many fanciers to their knees. The head, the cape, the jacket and the legs are all “one” but “separate” to achieve the proper “Affen look”.

GCH. Xela’s Party Hat
Photo Credit: Rhonda Cassidy

There have been many firsts in the last few years for the Affenpinscher and the Affenpinscher Club of America. The first supported entry for the breed will be at the Palm Springs cluster on Jan 2, 3, 4,and 5 at the Polo Grounds in Indio, CA. There will be a Lunch and Learn Breed Seminar (open to all) guided by Pam Peat, AKC Judge and Affenpinscher breeder, and a grooming seminar guided by Carrie Beaver. Lisa Carpenter, co-chairman, reports an entry of 23 will be attending.

For anyone interested in the breed, either to own an Affen or judge the Affen, this will be an excellent venue.

Breeder, owner, handler Sandra Jones is part of the Team of Xela Show Dogs along with Stephanie Hill and Alex Romero. All are well-known for Their quality Xela Affenpincshers and Their dedication to the breed. For information on Sandra and the Xela Show Dogs please visit