Affenpinscher is one of the oldest toy breeds. In the 1600s in Germany, the Affenpinscher was used as a mouser and ratter on farms or in food businesses. Their name means monkey dog in German.
An alert, sturdy little terrier standing 9.5 to 11.5 inches tall and weighing 8 to 10 pounds, the Affenpinscher is known by his cute, monkeylike face. With a round head, short muzzle, round and dark expressive eyes, and erect ears (natural or cropped), the Affenpinscher has a distinct look. The rough coat is about an inch long. There is slightly longer hair on the face to emphasize his features. The coat can be black, gray, silver, red, or black and tan. The tail may be docked or natural.
Grooming the Affenpinscher takes some skill. Show dogs must be hand-stripped. If you would like to do this, talk to your dog’s breeder for guidance. Most pet dogs are groomed with scissors and clippers by a professional groomer. This breed is playful and full of energy – very terrierlike. A brisk walk morning and evening plus a playtime (or two or three) in between will keep most Affenpinschers happy. They also enjoy games and canine sports; trick training is always fun, as the breed is a natural showoff! Housetraining these dogs can be a challenge, but with patience and consistency it can be accomplished.
The training should be structured yet fun; keep in mind that Affenpinschers may cooperate with training or they may not. They do have a quirky sense of humor! Affenpinschers are funny little dogs and do best with active people. The breed is fine with children as long as they treat him with respect. The breed is also good with other pets, although most Affenpinschers need to learn not to chase the family cat. Health concerns include hip and knee problems, and they can have breathing problems during hot, humid weather.