Affenpinscher – Dog Breeds Characteristics & Facts


The Affenpinscher Dog Breeds was developed initially as ratters for homes, stables, and stores. They became smaller through breeding and advanced socially, becoming women’s companions. They are now joyful, playful companion dogs.

Despite being purebred, you might still be able to find these dogs in shelters and rescues. Don’t forget to adopt! If you want to bring a dog home, avoid shopping.

Although they adore their owners, affenpinschers prefer to be with other adults. They don’t tolerate rough play, chasing, or being kept on a lap without the option to exit at their own convenience very well. However, despite their small size, these dogs are loving, loyal, and protective, as experienced pet parents will discover.

For a complete list of Affenpinscher characteristics and information, see below!

Affenpinscher Dog Breed Pictures

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Breed Characteristics:

Adapts Well To Apartment Living*****
Good For Novice Owners****
Sensitivity Level***
Tolerates Being Alone*
Tolerates Cold Weather***
Tolerates Hot Weather***
All Around Friendliness***
Affectionate With Family*****
Dog Friendly****
Friendly Toward Strangers***
Health And Grooming Needs**
Amount Of Shedding*
Drooling Potential*
Easy To Groom***
General Health****
Potential For Weight Gain***
Easy To Train**
Potential For Mouthiness****
Prey Drive***
Tendency To Bark Or Howl**
Wanderlust Potential**
Physical Needs****
Energy Level****
Exercise Needs***
Potential For Playfulness****

Vital Stats:

Dog Breed Group:

Companion Dogs

Height:9 to 11 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight:7 to 9 pounds
Life Span:12 to 14 years

More information for Affenpinscher Dog Breeds

The German word “affen” (which means “ape/monkey” and “pinscher” (terrier) means “dog”), also known as the “Monkey Dog,” is small but feisty, full of spunk and energy. This mustachioed little devil is a descendant of the numerous small terriers that inhabited stables and stores in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries to exterminate rats and mice.

Some of the witty-haired, intelligent dogs must have caught the attention of ladies because over time, they were bred to become smaller, making them better companion animals. Although the Affen is now a rare breed, in 2002 Ch Yarrow’s Super Nova won the Toy Group at the nationally broadcast Westminster Kennel Club Show, bringing attention to the breed.

This breed’s bold nature and clownish charm combine, and his people are constantly amazed and entertained by his inventive thinking. He is a good traveler who is constantly looking for new adventures because he picks things up quickly and is adaptable to change. Affens are revered for their gentleness and sensitivity by those who live with them, but they are cautioned that they are the prototypical big dog in a small body.

The Affenpinscher is a powerful, perceptive, and vigilant watchdog who has no fear. He is excitable but not typically loud. He takes a while to calm down once he’s on alert. He will not be hesitant to warn the entire neighborhood that someone is approaching the front door because he takes seriously his responsibility to protect home, family, and territory. The Affenpinscher needs regular interaction with both people and animals to develop into a well-rounded adult. Without it, he won’t ever achieve his full potential.

The Affenpinscher is frequently described as being stubborn and having a mind of his own. He requires early and regular training. Fortunately, when taught using positive reinforcement strategies like praise, play, and food rewards, he is eager to learn and to please his people. He can compete in agility and obedience, and his capacity for amusement makes him an excellent therapy dog. Who wouldn’t chuckle if they saw him stand on his hind legs or move his eyebrows like Groucho Marx?

Despite their antics, Affenpinschers are not the best breed for a home with young children even though they are known for making their owners laugh. They are not known to particularly enjoy children, and if provoked, they have been known to bite.

Part of the appeal of the Affen is that he is a character. If you’re looking for a small dog who enjoys sightseeing, makes a great watchdog, and always makes you laugh, take a look at him.


  • The Affenpinscher, like many toy dog breeds, can be challenging to housebreak. Training in crates is advised.
  • Although an Affenpinscher’s fur is wiry and frequently referred to as hypoallergenic, it should not be confused with “non-shedding.” All dogs dandruff or shed.
  • Affenpinschers typically do poorly with rodent pets like hamsters, ferrets, gerbils, etc. because of their heritage as rats. They can learn to get along with cats, especially if they are raised with them, and they do tend to get along with other dogs in the home.
  • Due to the breed’s natural aversion to young children, Affenpinschers are typically not recommended for homes with toddlers or small children. The Affenpinscher can make a wonderful companion for a family with older children because he is devoted to his adult family members.
  • Affenpinschers are an uncommon breed. If you’re interested in getting one, be prepared to wait on a waiting list.
  • Never purchase a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, a puppy mill, or a pet shop if you want a healthy dog. Find a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to ensure that they are healthy and free of genetic diseases that they could pass on to the puppies.


Although more trustworthy records of this breed are only available from the late 19th century, the Affenpinscher’s ancestors can be traced at least as far back as the 17th century. Small, rough-coated, bearded dogs are depicted in paintings by Dutch artists dating back to the 15th century; these dogs may very well be some of the ancestors of the Affenpinscher.

These terrier-type dogs, which had their origins in Germany and were widely used throughout Central Europe for their propensity to catch rats, were welcomed employees in stables, shops, farms, and residences.

Some of the witty-haired, intelligent dogs must have caught the attention of ladies because over time, they were bred to become smaller, making them better companion animals. According to some sources, a breeder in Lubeck, Germany, was the first to miniatureize rats, but as with many other breeds, the Affenpinscher’s origin story has been lost to time.

They might have bred with German Silky Pinschers, German Pinschers with smooth coats, and Pugs. Dogs that are similar to affenpinschers have also influenced the creation of other breeds, such as the Brussels Griffon and the Miniature Schnauzer. With their coarse coats and beards, it’s simple to see how they are related.

Early Affenpinscher development was centered in Munich, but the breed was also well-liked in other parts of Germany. The Berlin Lapdog Club started developing an Affenpinscher breed standard in 1902, but the official standard wasn’t completed until 1913.

The American Kennel Club adopted this standard in English, and the Affenpinscher was formally added to the AKC Stud Book in 1936. Nollie v. Anwander, one of four German imports owned by Bessie Mally of Cicero, Illinois, was the first Affen registered with the AKC.

The Affenpinscher was not bred in the United States after World War II. The 1950s saw a resurgence of interest in the breed. Even though he became somewhat famous in 2002 when Ch Yarrow’s Super Nova won the Toy Group at the nationally broadcast Westminster Kennel Club Show, he is still uncommon today. Among the breeds and varieties recognized by the American Kennel Club, the Affenpinscher comes in at number 125.


Affenpinschers range in size from 7 to 9 pounds and stand 9.5 to 11.5 inches tall.


The Affen is friendly, inquisitive, and on guard at all times. He will do everything in his power to keep his family safe because he loves them dearly. It’s crucial to keep him from fighting dogs that are ten times his size. In the face of anything he perceives as a threat, he can become agitated and take some time to calm down.

Affenpinschers, like all dogs, require early socialization, or exposure to a wide variety of people, sights, sounds, and experiences, when they are young. Your Affen puppy’s development into a well-rounded, gregarious, and friendly adult dog is aided by socialization. He should start by enrolling in a kindergarten class for puppies. Regularly hosting guests, taking him to crowded parks, dog-friendly shops, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will all help him hone his social skills.


Although Affenpinschers are generally healthy, they are susceptible to some health issues like all breeds. It’s important to be aware of these diseases if you’re thinking about getting an Affen, even though not all of them will affect this breed.

  • Patellar Luxation, also referred to as “slipped stifles,” is a problem that frequently affects small dogs. It is brought on by the patella, which is made up of the femur (the thigh bone), the patella (the knee cap), and the tibia (the calf). This results in a skip or a hop in the gait or lameness in the affected leg. Although the actual misalignment or luxation does not always happen until much later, the condition is present at birth. Arthritis is a degenerative joint disease that can be brought on by the rubbing that patellar luxation causes. There are four levels of patellar luxation, from grade I, a rare luxation that only temporarily impairs the joint, to grade IV, where the tibia is severely turned and the patella cannot be manually realigned. The dog appears to have bowlegged legs as a result. Surgery may be necessary to correct severe grades of patellar luxation.
  • Legg-Perthes disease, which typically affects small breeds, is characterized by a deformity of the hip joint’s ball that typically manifests between the ages of 6 and 9 months and can be mistaken for hip dysplasia. Wearing and arthritis are the results. It is treatable surgically, and the prognosis is good with the aid of postoperative physical therapy.
  • Hip dysplasia, a heritable condition in which the thighbone doesn’t fit snugly into the hip joint, is one such instance. Some dogs exhibit pain and lameness in one or both of their hind legs, but a dog with hip dysplasia may not exhibit any signs of discomfort. Arthritis may appear as the dog ages. The University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program or the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals perform X-ray screening for hip dysplasia (PennHIP). Hip dysplasia in dogs should prevent breeding. Ask the breeder for documentation that the parents have undergone hip dysplasia testing and have been found to be healthy if you are purchasing a puppy. Although hip dysplasia is inherited, it can also be brought on by certain environmental factors, such as rapid growth brought on by a diet high in calories or wounds received from falling or jumping on slick surfaces.
  • Heart murmurs: A disturbance in the blood flow through the heart’s chambers is what causes heart murmurs. They serve as a warning sign for potential heart diseases or conditions that require monitoring and care.

Find a reputable breeder who will provide you with the health clearances for both of your puppy’s parents if you are purchasing a puppy. Health certifications attest to a dog’s having undergone testing and being declared free of a specific ailment. You can expect to find health certificates for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand’s disease from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), thrombopathia from Auburn University, and normal eyes from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) in Affens. You can check the OFA website to confirm health clearances (


When living in an apartment, the Affenpinscher is a great dog, especially if your neighbors don’t mind hearing the occasional bark. For this sturdy but only moderately active dog, short, brisk walks or a suitable amount of time in the backyard are sufficient amounts of exercise.

The Affenpinscher should live indoors exclusively and have access to the backyard only when supervised because he is so small. These dogs won’t be afraid to approach animals that are much larger than themselves, which could lead to a tragic encounter.

The Affenpinscher, like many toy breeds, can be challenging to housetrain. Be persistent and patient. Training in crates is advised.

Maintaining fun during training is essential for training an Affenpinscher. Use a lot of encouragement and praising!


The recommended daily intake is 1/4 to 1/2 cup of premium dry food split into two meals.

NOTE: The amount of food your adult dog consumes is influenced by his size, age, build, metabolism, and level of activity. Like people, each dog is unique, so they don’t all require the same amount of food. A highly active dog will require more than a couch potato dog, which should almost go without saying. The kind of dog food you purchase also matters; the better the food, the more effectively it will nourish your dog and the less you will need to shake into the bowl.

Instead of leaving food out all the time, keep your Affenpinscher trim by measuring his food and feeding him twice a day. Give him the hands-on and eye tests if you’re not sure if he’s obese. Look down at him first. There should be a waist visible. After that, lay your hands on his back with your thumbs along his spine and your fingers spread outward. Without exerting much pressure, you should be able to feel his ribs but not see them. He needs less food and more exercise if you can’t.

See our recommendations for selecting the best food, feeding your puppy, and feeding your adult dog for more information on feeding your Affen.

Coat Color And Grooming

The ideal appearance of the Affenpinscher is shaggy but neat. His coat is about an inch long overall, shorter on the rump and tail, longer and shaggier on the head (where it contributes to the expression resembling a monkey), neck, chest, stomach, and legs. The head and shoulders have longer fur that resembles a cape. Affens don’t shed much, but to preserve the distinctive texture of their coarse coat, it must be stripped.

The Affenpinscher typically wears one of the following colors: black, gray, silver, black and tan, or red, which can range from brownish to orangey tan. Some black Affenpinschers have a few white or silver hairs mixed in, and some red Affenpinschers have some black, brown, or white hair mixed in with the red, along with tan furnishings. The longer hair, which serves as the furnishings, may be a little lighter than the rest of the body. Affenpinschers are only available in black in Europe, occasionally with a thin layer of gray.

Brush your Affen once a week with a small slicker brush, then comb him with a metal “greyhound” comb to maintain the shaggy but tidy appearance. Any mats or tangles you encounter can be gently broken up using your fingers. Spraying them with a detangler solution beforehand may be helpful. Trimming and stripping the Affen’s coat involves a lot more steps, but it’s simple to learn how to do it. The Affenpinscher Club of America website has instructions, or your dog’s breeder can demonstrate how to do it. You’ll both be pleased with the results if you are patient and persistent when grooming your Affen.

Other grooming requirements include nail care and dental hygiene. Affens are susceptible to periodontal disease, like the majority of small breeds. They regularly brush their teeth to help get rid of bacteria and tartar. Best is daily.

If your dog doesn’t naturally wear down his nails, you should trim them once or twice a month. They are too long if you can hear them clicking on the floor. The feet are kept in good condition by having short, neatly trimmed nails, which also protect your legs from being scratched when your Affenpinscher jumps up to greet you.

When your Affenpinscher is a puppy, start preparing him to accept being brushed and examined. Dogs are sensitive when it comes to their feet, so handle his paws frequently and examine his mouth and ears. Lay the groundwork for simple veterinary exams and other handling when he’s an adult by making grooming a rewarding experience filled with praise and rewards.

While grooming, keep an eye out for sores, rashes, or infection-related symptoms like redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the ears, nose, mouth, or eyes, as well as on the feet. Eyes should be clear, without redness or discharge, and ears should have a pleasant scent and not have too much wax or other debris inside. You can identify potential health issues early on thanks to your thorough weekly exam.

Children And Other Pets

The aggressive treatment of affenpinschers, such as hitting, unwanted hugging or squeezing, chasing after them to catch them, or cornering them to hold them in a lap, is not tolerated. They will growl or snap in self-defense if they are unable to flee. They are poor options for homes with young children due to these factors. Young children frequently fail to comprehend the possibility that a cute little Affenpinscher might not desire “love and kisses.”

Even if he won’t be living with them, it’s a good idea to socialize any puppy to young children; however, you should always watch how they get along. Never allow young children to pick up a small dog or puppy. Make them sit on the floor with the dog in their lap as an alternative. Pay attention to the dog’s body language, and if he shows signs of discomfort or annoyance with the child’s attention, put him safely in his crate.

Always supervise any interactions between young children and dogs to prevent biting or ear or tail pulling on either party’s part, and always teach kids how to approach and pet dogs. Teach your child to never try to steal a dog’s food or approach a dog while he or she is eating or sleeping. With a child present, no dog should ever be left unattended.

Although, like most toy breeds, Affenpinschers are completely unaware of their size and will take on dogs much larger than themselves, they typically get along well with other dogs and cats in the family. Be ready to defend them against themselves.

Rescue Teams

Sometimes people purchase Affenpinschers without fully comprehending what it takes to own one. These dogs might end up needing to be adopted or fostered.

Creator: PetsCareTip


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