Affenpinscher is German for monkey pinscher and ranks high among the weirdest category breeds in the canine world version of toddlers and tiaras. The affenpinscher breed got a big boost of awareness this week at New York City’s annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, where their leading specimen, Banana Joe, took best in show with a comic seriousness that is best imagined right next to a mental image of “dog show parents.” This affenpinscher is no small player amongst pooches, as an already 3-peat winner amongst fellow toy breeds and a six-year career of dog show wins to his name. Judge Michael Dougherty frothed, “He’s a fantastic affenpinscher, with a fantastic face, a great body. I’ve never had my hands on a better affenpinscher. Ever.” We can all recognize that this is no small feat.
Jokes aside, Banana Joe is actually a really adorable little affenpinscher, with a smushed in monkey-looking face, fluffy black hair, and the demeanor of a dignified country lord with absolute authority to relieve himself on his neighbor’s lawn should such a barbaric thought ever even enter his primped thoughts. In a dog-beat-dog world where demeanor and attitude are the absolute game makers, Banana Joe delivers. According to co-owner and breeder Mieke Cooimans, the little guy speaks German, Dutch, Spanish and English, and this last win was his 86th career best-in-show. After his victory lap, he will return to his native home in the Netherlands to live out the rest of his days in retired celebrity glory.
Despite his comic, cute looks, the affenpinscher is undoubtedly sage and savvy, never losing his cool or cracking a smile even after the hard part was over. During his post-win press conference, Joey chilled hard and let his handler Ernesto Lara do the talking, stickin his tongue out and even looking ready for a round two if need be. The affenpinscher won over six other dogs, including Matisse, the Portuguese water dog; Honor, a bichon frisé; Jewel, an American foxhound; Swagger, an Old English sheepdog who got most of the crowd’s cheers; Oakley, a German wirehaired pointer; and Adam, a smooth fox terrier.