Interview with Kathie Timko, Breeder of Gizmo Affenpinschers
Kathie Timko: I own Gizmo Affenpinschers and am an AKC Breeder of Merit. I live in Centennial, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. I enjoy living in “colorful” Colorado and all it has to offer— hiking, camping, skiing, Broncos football (but I’m a diehard Steelers fan), family activities and painting—as well as traveling to new places.
Your opinion of the current quality of purebred dogs in general and your breed in particular?
Kathie Timko: I’ve been involved in showing dogs in AKC events since 1985. Over the past 32 years, I’ve seen tremendous improvement in most breeds, but am concerned about the overdoing of certain aspects of some breeds that, in my opinion, has really hurt them structurally. In my 14 years in Affenpinschers, I have seen tremendous improvement in the overall quality of type and temperament.
The biggest concern you have about your breed, be it medical, structural or temperament-wise?
Kathie Timko: I would like to see continued emphasis on OFA certifications, as coming from the Working Group (Akitas), I believe that a dog should be sound inside and out. Good hips and patellae are of importance, regardless of breed. Affenpinschers were bred to hunt rodents and they can’t pounce, twist and turn without good hips and knees.
The biggest problem facing you as a breeder?
Kathie Timko: I am very concerned about reproduction issues, as myself and other breeders are challenged by breedings not taking, resorbed or premature litters, as well as high neonatal death rates, despite close monitoring and top notch veterinary care.
Advice to a new breeder? Advice to a new judge of your breed?
Kathie Timko: Breeding Affenpinschers is not for the faint of heart— it takes deep commitment (emotional and financial).
- Go to the Affenpinscher National or supported entry shows to see the dogs and meet the
- Ask questions, develop a vision and then start with the best quality dogs possible to put you on the right
- Find a reputable breeder(s)/mentor(s) to help
- Join the National Breed Club to get connected and continue This is a lifelong journey.
Advice to new judges:
- Attend the Affenpinscher National to see the variety of size, color, coat type, grooming styles and attend the judges education
- Talk to the breeders/exhibitors and put your hands on as many dogs as
- Look past the grooming, as the most professionally groomed dog may not be the best structurally. Conformation judging is not a grooming contest. Feel for the prosternum, the breadth and length of ribcage (no herring gut, please) and loin, as well as tailset (slight drop of the croup). Dogs with harder coats will have less furnishings—this is not a fault, rather a sign of a correct coat. This is a square breed that is natural, not overdone.
Anything else you’d like to share—something you’ve learned as a breeder, exhibitor or judge or a particular point you’d like to make?
Kathie Timko: As a breeder and as an exhibitor, I’ve learned to ask questions, listen, internalize, observe and be open-minded. I ring steward when I can and, in doing so, I have learned so much from the judges that I support that I really encourage exhibitors to volunteer their time in this manner.
I’d like for judges to know the standard— Affenpinschers are not Terriers. I know from personal experience that many judges do not know the allowed colors, that the coat has different textures depending on the part of the dog’s body (i.e. the coat on the head, furnishings and the cape is softer than the jacket), that gait is moderate without excessive drive and that appropriate temperament is important.
Don’t reward dogs that slink around the ring—this is not correct temperament and, therefore, is incorrect type. While Affenpinschers will drop their tails on the table and while baiting, the tail should be up when they are moving. Not all Affenpinschers welcome strangers, but there is a difference between being standoffish and being timid.
And for a bit of humor, what’s the funniest thing that you ever experienced at a dog show?
Kathie Timko: Years ago, just as I completed my down and back and presented my Akita to the judge, my then five-year-old son, who was sitting ringside with my three-year-old daughter, shouted in a very loud and very clear voice, “Hey mom, did you win yet? We want to go home.” Needless to say, everyone within hearing distance, including the judge, laughed as I turned, red faced, and said, “Not yet honey.” I recall that I did go Winners that day.
Are you looking for an Affenpinscher puppy?
The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin finding a breeder? Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral person, which you can find on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.
Want to help rescue and re-home an Affenpinscher dog?
Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing.
Affenpinscher Dog Breed Magazine
Read and learn more about the powerful Affenpinscher dog breed with articles and information in our Affenpinscher Dog Breed Magazine.
Affenpinscher Breed Magazine - Showsight