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Old 04.07.2017, 04:47
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Affenpincher dogs

I wonder if my grandmother's small dog, Wil, Switzerland, 1890-1912, was an affenpincher. Was this breed around at the time?
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Old 04.07.2017, 05:25
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Re: Affenpincher dogs

Welcome to EF.

As even a cursory google search quickly points out, the Affenpinscher has been around for many centuries, first entry into the FCI was 1879.
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Old 04.07.2017, 08:54
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Re: Affenpinscher dogs

Thank you. I had already done a google search. I guess my question should have been more exact. While the breed is mentioned as existing in Germany and Switzerland from early times, would it have been rare, like the Lhasa Apso of China, or the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel of England, or would it have been more like the American coonhound or the English Border Collie?
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Old 04.07.2017, 12:18
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Re: Affenpincher dogs

So, this has got to be the strangest group of questions that I have woken up to here on EF in a while. Fried eggs and dogs.

You are writing a book about Swiss granny and you know she had a small dog but you have no idea what kind of dog so you are using the people here to help you guess what kind of dog might have been the most popular breed in Wil in 1912. Is that what you are asking?

I am confused yet dying to know what you are going to ask next. Also curious as to why you think a bunch of ex-pats know a ton about 1912 Switzerland. We are all still trying to memorize the cantons.
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Old 04.07.2017, 12:36
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Re: Affenpincher dogs

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Also curious as to why you think a bunch of ex-pats know a ton about 1912 Switzerland. We are all still trying to memorize the cantons.
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Old 04.07.2017, 14:55
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Re: Affenpinscher dogs

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Thank you. I had already done a google search. I guess my question should have been more exact. While the breed is mentioned as existing in Germany and Switzerland from early times, would it have been rare, like the Lhasa Apso of China, or the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel of England, or would it have been more like the American coonhound or the English Border Collie?
The most obvious step in your research would be to contact the SCSP with your questions.

http://www.schnauzer-pinscherclub.ch...ltsichvor.html
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Old 04.07.2017, 17:54
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Re: Affenpincher dogs

Do you have a picture of your grandmother with the dog?
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Old 04.07.2017, 20:19
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Re: Affenpincher dogs

The affenpincher is comparatively rare now, but that is only as a consequence of the Great Cull of 1932.

After many centuries of being kept as a guard dog to protect against wolves and bandits, the affenpincher attained unprecedented popularity after the Sonderbundskrieg of 1847, during which the famed General Froschlecker of St Gallen was saved in the midst of a heated battle by his loyal hound Pogo who dragged him to safety through a hail of grapeshot and arrows without a thought for his own comfort or safety.

The little dog immediately became a national hero, with a portrait painted and exhibited in the Bundeshaus, and several musical theatre productions put on in his name.

As a result of Pogo's courage and resilience, the breed became incredibly popular throughout the country, so that by the turn of the century, affenpinchers outnumbered the human population of Switzerland by 6 to 1.

Unfortunately, as with terrapins after the Ninja Turtle craze and elephants after the Chengelele of the Serengeti fad, unscrupulous breeders and careless owners let the dogs run wild all over the countryside, leading to vicious packs of affenpinchers savaging sheep and terrifying old ladies from Geneva to Scuol, from Chiasso to Basel.

By the late 1920s, the situation had become so desperate that most Swiss people didn't dare leave their homes, leaving fields untilled and factories unmanned for months at a time. Finally, in order to avoid national bankruptcy, the federal government ordered a massive cull of the breed, exempting only a few hundred belonging to respected civil servants, but sparing not a single one of the other twenty million dogs which were terrorising the nation.

It was ugly, but necessary. It is said that the Limmat and Reuss rivers ran red for weeks afterwards, and Lake Geneva was closed for swimmers for the entire summer of 1932 due to the horrible obstacles that floated, bloated and flyblown, from Geneva to Montreux. Swiss people rarely talk of those days, and it is better not to ask about them.

So, sure, since 1890 - 1912 was about the peak of popularity for the breed, your grandmother almost certainly would have had one, along with every single one of her neighbours. The nearest equivalent in terms of popularity in modern America would be the bedbug or cockroach. They were just furrier.

I hope this helps with your research.
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Old 04.07.2017, 22:35
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Re: Affenpincher dogs

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The affenpincher is comparatively rare now, but that is only as a consequence of the Great Cull of 1932.
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Old 05.07.2017, 05:33
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Re: Affenpincher dogs

Thank you! I had no idea.
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Old 05.07.2017, 05:53
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Re: Affenpincher dogs

What's your source for the Pogo/Cull information?
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Old 05.07.2017, 08:21
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Re: Affenpincher dogs

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What's your source for the Pogo/Cull information?
Source? The HP Archives in Birmingham. They've moved to the Netherlands now, though.
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Old 05.07.2017, 11:17
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Re: Affenpincher dogs

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Source? The HP Archives in Birmingham. They've moved to the Netherlands now, though.
You're forgetting the Henderson Institute of Sheffield.
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Old 05.07.2017, 18:42
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Re: Affenpincher dogs

I have a number of questions about Swiss law 1903-1912, in the area of women's right of ownership and inheritance. I know that in large part, the Napoleonic Code was adopted by Switzerland but that France was more liberal in allowing women to own their bridal gifts and will them to whomever they chose. A woman could give a gift without her husband's approval if it was less than a certain percentage of their overall wealth. The University of Texas with its extensive collection of historical legal tomes, has nothing on this. Goal: create fiction in a way that is believable. I don't mind stretching the truth a bit, especially if its so obfuscated by time, google doesn't readily disprove what I write.
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Old 05.07.2017, 18:47
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Re: Affenpincher dogs

Um... this isn't a question, it's a statement of intent. And I'll refer you to my comment on your Zither thread.
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Old 05.07.2017, 20:43
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Re: Affenpincher dogs

I guess the question is where do I go to research Swiss laws of women's property rights, 1905.
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Old 05.07.2017, 20:52
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Re: Affenpincher dogs

My reasons for asking ex-pats:
1. You are smart, resourceful people who, on varying levels, empathize with a young woman leaving the country of her birth.
2. You have a realistic view of Switzerland, deeper than my readers' are expected to have but not as pedantic as a scholar's. I want to write a believable story, not a textbook, so if it passes muster with you, it should be fine.
3. I was an ex-pat for many years and appreciate the spirit of the community.
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Old 05.07.2017, 21:17
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Re: Affenpincher dogs

All well and good, Idali, but you really should to do your own primary research if you care about accuracy in your writing.

If you cannot come to Switzerland to do your own research, or if you lack the language fluency or the local knowledge necessary to consult primary sources, perhaps consider hiring a researcher here to do the leg work for you.

Depending on anonymous sources over t'internet is... well... rather risky.
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Old 05.07.2017, 21:23
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Re: Affenpincher dogs

Hush, Meloncollie. I want to see DB's story about the Great Cull of 1932 in a novel. I would buy it just to see that.
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Old 05.07.2017, 21:26
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Re: Affenpincher dogs

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2. You have a realistic view of Switzerland..not as pedantic as a scholar's.
Ehmm...I think you should hang out here a bit more to maybe correct your first impressions.

Theoretically, you might be right. Practically, if you want the story to be believable, do not rely on a group of mostly bored (albeit sweet) strangers. Same way people naievely portray CH to be the bucolic heaven of simple joy, same way they might imagine these "expats". We aren't, really.

And - giving out all your plot away, names, structure - probably better to be discrete.
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