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 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 for 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 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.

Affenpinscher at K9 Research Lab


2 replies on “Affenpinscher”

This inquisitive toy terrier is often described as comically serious. Certainly he is spunkier and more spirited than most toys.
The Affenpinscher is a busybody who dashes around checking out new sights and sounds. His playful antics are delightfully entertaining as he clutches toys with his agile paws.
An extremely keen watchdog, the Affenpinscher may maintain his suspicious attitude even after a guest has been welcomed in.
Most are fine with other family pets, especially when raised with them, but Affenpinschers are somewhat high-strung, tend to tremble when excited, and if they perceive an invasion of their space by an approaching stranger or strange dog, they can become raucous and blustery.
Affenpinschers have a mind of their own and without a firm hand can be obstinate and demanding, tossing tantrums or sulking when they don’t get their own way.
Spoiling is not recommended for this breed, especially since he is so bright and does respond well to calm, patient training.
Like most terrier types, the Affenpinscher is proud and sensitive and does not take kindly to being teased.

The affenpinscher, or monkey terrier, was so named for its unusual facial appearance, particularly its large, dark eyes and protruding lower jaw and lip. The affenpinscher has a domed skull, short muzzle and ears that are cropped to a point or naturally either drop or stand erect or semi-erect.

This is a sturdy, broad-chested, compact dog that stands between nine and 12 inches high at the withers and weighs eight to 10 pounds (three to four kilograms). The tail can be either docked to one to three inches or left in its natural state, which is longer with a slight dorsal curve.

The dense, coarse and shaggy coat may be black, gray, silver, black-and-tan or ruddy brown.

Described by the French as the “diablotin moustachu,” or mustached little devil, the affenpinscher is a charming little ruffian, alert and inquisitive, loyal and affectionate. Generally a quiet dog, the affenpinscher may exhibit terrier spark and fire when excited. Affenpinschers are generally fearless toward any threat.

The breed possesses impressive forepaw dexterity and has a penchant for grappling and tossing toys.
Living With:

The Affenpinscher is a generally delightful household companion. Affenpinschers often do well with children, although some individuals have lower tolerance for the high energy of kids. Owing to its heritage as a rodent hunter, affenpinschers typically are not compatible with small pets, particularly rodents.

Although they are in the hypoallergenic category of dog breeds, affenpinschers do indeed shed. While Affenpinschers require little grooming, it is advised that their coats be stripped on a regular basis. A simple technique, stripping involves pulling the dead, dull hair out, leaving the shiny new hair behind. Diligent stripping dramatically reduces shedding.

The affenpinscher originated in Germany. Although these small wiry dogs are depicted as ratters and companions in artwork dating back to the 1500s, the breed did not appear in the written record until the 19th century. At that time, there were two varieties: a larger, long-muzzled type, and a smaller, round-headed, shorter-muzzled dog with a prominent jaw. The former is believed to have eventually become known as the miniature schnauzer, and the latter as the affenpinscher.

In the 1900s, most affenpinscher breeding took place in Bavaria and Saxony. The breed achieved popularity just before World War I, but its numbers decreased during the war. They again became popular from the mid-1920s until World War II. The American Kennel Club admitted the affenpinscher in 1936.

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