Grooming the affenpinscher

The coat of an Affenpinscher is harsh and rough-textured. His category is short-haired breed. His hair is about one inch in length on the shoulder and body, may be shorter on the rear and tail. The head, neck, chest, stomach and legs have longer, less harsh coat. The mature Affenpinshcer has a mane or cape of strong hair which blends into the back coat at the withers area. The monkey-like expression of the Affenpinscher is created by the longer hair on the head, eyebrows and beard, which stands off and frames the face.

The Affenpinscher with a correct coat needs little attention and no trimming. He should be combed on a regular basis to keep the coat in good condition. You will need a medium- or fine-toothed comb. Brush your Affenpinscher with a nylon or bristle cushion hairbrush to remove loose hairs. One of the best kinds of brushes to use for Affenpinscher brushing is a small good-quality bristle nylon ladies hairbrush. Brushing also helps to keep the coat looking tidy. You want your Affenpinsher to have a “shaggy,” but neat and smart look. Don’t attempt to make an Affenpinscher too neat and tidy.

The face is scissored to give a round shape when looking at him from the front. The beard is left long for the show dogs. Pet owners, however, sometimes prefer the beard cut shorter. Use a small, fine comb for the air on the face, particularly around the eyes.

Your Affenpinscher needs little bathing. In particular, do not bath your Affenpinscher before being shown because it softens the coat. You want his coat to be rough and harsh in texture, shaggy but neat.

Affenpinscher natural coats will vary as any of the breeds. The differences can be from too short or too long, from very harsh to quite soft, and from straight to varying degrees of wavy. While grooming your Affenpinscher always keep in mind the end result is to enhance the monkeylike look. Coats that show evidence of trimming other than ears and tail are penalized as “incorrect” in the show ring.

As with all breeds you need to introduce grooming to your Affenpinscher puppy from a young age. You want to teach your Affenpinscher that grooming is a pleasant experience. As part of your grooming routine, check his teeth, nails and ears. Pull out any hair that grows down inside the ears. This will help keep the ears clean and free of infection.

Affenpinscher grooming tips:

* First brush the coat with a slicker rush to remove dead hair. * Comb thoroughly. * You can us a finger and thumb to pluck out dead and loose hair. The back half of the body should be smoothed out. * Shoulders should have longer hair to form the mane. The longer hair should blend in to the smoother rump. * Brush frequently using your nylon or bristle cushion brush to keep your Affenpinscher looking perfect all the time. * Try bathing your Affenpinscher in a natural shampoo and be sure to rinse thoroughly. * Use a general coat-care conditioner for a glossy shine. * Towel-dry and blow dry or cage dry. * Use small, straight scissors or thinning scissors to trim the hair outside the ear leathers, from the base of the ear to the tip. * The face is left natural. * Hair on the ears should be smooth and trimmed close to the edges. * Keep your Affenpinscher’s feet looking neat. If the feet get too hair, they can look to big and flat. Neatly trim the excess hair from around the outside of the foot.

As for the tail of an Affenpinscher, if left natural, it resembles a Christmas tree. For the show ring, the tail should resemble a cigar. To achieve the cigar look:

* Hold the tail up and comb the hair backwards before shaping. * The tip should be slightly rounded and all the straggly ends cut off the tail hair with the scissors pointing downward.

The monkey face of the Affenpinscher is one of its most endearing characteristics. It can be enhanced by a wreath-like of loose, shaggy hair standing away from the skull and framing the eyes, nose and chin. If you prefer a slightly less shaggy look you can comb the hair forward all around the head from behind the ears, and then trim into a circle before brushing back.

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