Many breeds have a
detailed history of their breed’s arrival in America.
The Affenpinscher is not so fortunate. All we have is a
tantalizing article published in the April 1950 issue of
the AKC GAZETTE that says the breed was imported in the
mid-thirties and wide coverage was given to the event in
the rotogravure sections of the newspapers and in the
newsreels of the day.
We do know that Mrs.
Bessie Mally of Cicero, Illinois imported at least a
pair of Affenpinschers in 1935. One bitch was bred in
Germany and whelped her litter in the USA on June 12,
1935, which would mean she had brought the dogs in after
the second week of April and before the June whelping
date. The dam of the litter, Nolli v Anwander, had the
honor of being the first Affenpinscher registered with
Any “new” breed brought
into this country today must undergo quite an ordeal
before AKC recognition is granted. This was not the
case in 1936 when the Affenpinscher was first
recognized. According to AKC records, there was no
breed club. The breed was recognized through some very
persistent efforts by Bessie Mally. It must be
remembered that in 1936 the AKC only registered a total
of 84,475 dogs in 100 breeds.
While little is know
about Mrs. Mally, there are a few things that we can
deduce about her from that period. Judging from the
registration statistics, purebred dog ownership was not
common. There was a 20.7% unemployment rate at that
time. One did not go to Europe on an airplane tourist
class like we do now. The only way to travel was by
ocean liners. Our Mrs. Mally had to be a woman of wealth
and influence to accomplish what she did.
Of course, she was not
the only individual to bring in dogs. Mrs. Honore Palmer
and Carle T. Parsons each brought in a dog. Mrs. Mally
was the only one to do any breeding with the exception
of one litter produced by Evalyn Walsh McLean out of
Mrs. Mally’s stock. All the dogs bred by Mrs. Mally were
sired by Osko v. d. Franziskusklause. The McLean puppies
were double Osko grandchildren.
With the onset of WWII,
breeding came to an end. The last litter registered was
whelped June 24, 1940. Absolutely nothing was bred for
the next nine years. The breed’s progress in America
came to a screeching halt, though it is not clear why.
Mrs. Mally was the driving force behind the breed.
Perhaps something happened to her or she lost interest
in the breed because the war prevented further
importations which were necessary to expand her
After the war, Mrs.
Evelyn Brody began importing Affenpinschers again. The
AKC records show that none of the dogs from the 1930’s
were ever bred to these new imports. Mrs. Mally’s
Zwergteufel line simply died out. This was a great loss
for the Affenpinscher in America. The early 1950’s
turned out to be a period of rebuilding the breed from
the ground up. The breeders here turned to Germany and
imported dogs from some of the same breeders that had
bred Mrs. Mally’s dogs of the 30’s. The dogs that
restarted the breed in the 1950’s came from Maria
Anwander (von Anwander), Anna Katzbichler (Franziskusklause),
Ilsa Kospinger (von Regental), Josi Greimel (von
Waldteufel), Joseph Geiger (von Illertal) and Willibald
Aumuller (Aumuhle). The dogs that started the breed in
the United States in 1935 came from Josi Greimel, Sixtus
Anwander, and Anna Katzbichler. Even though the
original stock from the 30’s died out, the breeders of
the early 50’s were able to bring back some blood from
those lines. In a search through the German stud book,
it can be seen that the breeders of the dogs that came
to America in the 50’s, often bred to each others dogs.
In a number of the early pedigrees, it’s not surprising
to find the names of Geri v Fechenheim or Burschel v
Waldteufel. The first postwar litter was bred under Mrs.
Brody’s Cedarlawn prefix in 1949. For several years she
continued to import dogs and breed her own stock.
Interest in the breed
grew slowly during those early years. Other individuals
who became active in the breed included Mrs. J. Coleman
Scal and Mrs. Walter Kauffmann. Both were actively
importing and breeding.
Ch. Bub v Anwander,
owned by Evelyn Brody and bred by Maria Anwander, became
the breed’s first American champion. He made additional
breed history by placing in the Toy Group at Rockford,
Illinois in 1949. It would be twenty-nine years before
an Affenpinscher would be named Best in Show.
In the early 50’s,
Evelyn Brody (Cedarlawn) and Mrs. Walter Kauffmann (Walhof)
were the dominant breeders. As the 50’s progressed,
several other breeders came on the scene. Arthur and
Mary Harrington (Aff-Airn) took over where Mrs. Brody
left off. Mrs. Kauffmann, assisted by her daughters
Helga and Louisa, continued to be an important breeder
and exhibitor. Mrs. Kauffmann helped maintain a gene
pool of Affenpinschers of colors other than black. Ch.
Walhof Ivy might have possibly been the first black and
tan Affenpinscher to have group placings.
for the breed during those years are particularly
frightening. From 1954 to 1959 the registrations varied
from 45 to 64 in a good year. From 1960 to 1964 the
registrations hovered around 35. However, at that same
time, more and more people started to notice the
Affenpinscher. A number of people got started in the
breed during that low registration period and by 1965
the registrations were up again. The appearance of an
Affenpinscher puppy on the cover of THIS WEEK magazine
newspaper supplement on June 25, 1966 gave the breed a
much needed boost. The little cover dog went on to
become Ch. Aff-Airn A Go Go Kins.
started in obedience in the mid Fifties. Unfortunately,
there were only a few people with any interest in the
obedience aspect of showing Affenpinschers. The first
CD Affenpinscher was Walhof Quita CD, owned and bred by
Mrs. Walter Kauffmann, who acquired her title in
November 1954. It was a long dry spell until Clyzett’s
Tausch gained a CDX in 1968. Twelve years later, in
September 1980, an Affenpinscher gained the coveted UD.
Vicki Hart Schlierer trained and showed Ch. Me Own TG’s
Smoke Signal U.D. He was her first obedience dog.