August 27, 2020 // 7 minute read

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Affenpinschers, or “monkey dogs,” are small-sized dogs known for their unusual facial appearance. The Affenpinscher stands at a height of 11.5 inches, and its small body is covered with a shaggy coat that comes in black, gray, silver, black-and-tan, or red-brown colors.

The French often call them “mustache little devils” because of their terrier-like attitude. Training may come as a challenge, and even professional handlers say that it’s better to befriend the Affen.

In other words, they are not dogs for everyone, and you would need to find time to take care of them. They are perfect for those looking for affectionate, loving dogs, who will always make you laugh.

Affenpinscher Dog

Affenpinscher Statistics

Dog Breed GroupToy
Breed SizeSmall
Height9-11.5 inches
Weight7-10 pounds
Lifespan12-15 years

Affenpinscher Ratings

Energy level
Exercise needs
Requires attention
Friendly with family
Friendly with kids
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other dogs
Prey Drive

Affenpinscher History

Affenpinschers originated from Germany way back in the 17th century. However, the first records of the breed only started in the late 19th century.

These dogs were bred like terriers, although they are not one. They were ratters, developed to exterminate pests from German stables in the 1600s. Soon, the dogs were also brought indoors to work as ratters in the kitchens of Germany and Central Europe.

As years passed, Affenpinschers became dual-purpose dogs – ratters by day and devoted companions for the landladies at night. And since they were more popular with the ladies, the breed was slowly reduced in size to become better companion dogs.

Given the dog’s temperament, skills, and unique appearance, breeders took an interest in the Affens and made them play roles in developing other small dog breeds. Many believed that they are one of the breeds used to create the Brussels Griffon and the Miniature Schnauzer.

Around the 1800s, many more people from France and Germany showed up. The Berlin Lapdog Club formulated a breed standard in 1902 but was only finalized by 1913.

In 1936, the American Kennel Club finally recognized the dog breed. The dogs immediately rose to popularity, and from being hidden in kitchens and stables, they were finally shown in show rings.

When the second world war came, breeding of the dogs in the US was halted. The interest in the breed was back in the 1950s, but today, the dogs are still considered rare. They currently rank 148th as the most popular dog breed in the US, and who knows if his ranking will still go up.

Affenpinscher Temperament

The French describe the Affenpinschers as “diablotin moustachu” or mustached little devils for a reason. These are confident and fearless dogs, and most people will agree that they are spunkier than most toy dog breeds.

They are always on alert. If he notices a strange person or pet coming to your territory, he will immediately try to intimidate them. This may look charming, considering their size. However, it’s vital to socialize them at an early age, so they won’t remain suspicious of a person even when indoors.

Affenpinschers love their family. They are often described as affectionate, devoted, and protective dogs.

They are also usually fine with other pets that grew up with them. The only problem is that they are not very pleased with rough handling, so keep toddlers away. In fact, they are happiest in children-free homes.

These dogs are proud and sensitive, so you must be very careful about how you act towards them. Training might also become difficult, so remember to have lots of patience.

Be gentle with them and use positive reinforcements instead of a rough hand. And you must also be careful of spoiling them too much.

Monkey Terrier

Affenpinscher Care Requirements

  • Nutrition: Affenpinschers can live in any type of diet, given that it’s high-quality and well-balanced. However, what you need to be very careful about this breed is the number of calories you feed them. Like any other small dog breeds, Affenpinschers are easy to overfeed. So, it’s best to always ask your vet for a proper feeding guide for your dog. The number of calories you feed them in a day should depend on their age, metabolism, and activity level, so it’s not the same for each dog. The type of food you give them should always be of high quality, whether it be the food ingredients, dog food, or dog treats. For commercial foods, remember always to check the label and see if it contains any fillers or additives that can be harmful to your dog. And if your dog has any allergies, you should stay away from those ingredients.
  • Grooming: Affenpinschers are adorably cute dogs with medium-length wiry coats. These coats shed seasonally and must be brushed 2-3 times a week to prevent mats and tangles from forming. This will help remove any debris stuck on the hair and keep shedding to a minimum when shedding season comes. Trimming should also be needed, particularly the hair on the eye area and the bridge of their nose. You might also need to trim the body coat once every few months just to keep it neat. If you need to take them to a professional groomer, then do so. Baths can also be given once every few months, depending on how much your dog needs it. However, ears should be cleaned regularly to avoid ear infection. Don’t forget to trim their nails once every two weeks, so they don’t experience any pain or discomfort.
  • Exercise: Affenpinschers are ideal apartment dogs, given their small size. However, they are also classified to be a moderately active breed that needs their exercise. Your dog will enjoy both indoor and outdoor play sessions; just be sure that they are in a securely fenced yard when they’re outdoors. You can also take them out for a brisk walk on a leash, so their joints are also exercised. These dogs enjoy spending time with their owners the most. So, as long as you do activities together, they’ll be very pleased.
  • Health: Affenpinschers are generally healthy dogs with a long lifespan. However, like many dog breeds, they might acquire some health conditions common to their breed. As dog owners, you should be aware of what these are. For these dogs, bone diseases are most common. This includes patellar luxation, Legg-Perthes disease, and hip dysplasia; this is why it’s essential to give them just enough exercise for their growing bones. These dogs may also get heart murmurs, which would need close attention. We highly recommend meeting at least one of your dog’s parents to be aware of any hereditary disease your dog may acquire. You should also closely monitor your dog’s behavior, and if you notice any changes, take them immediately to the vet.
  • Lifespan: The life expectancy of Affenpinschers is 12-15 years.

Famous Affenpinschers

  • Banana Joe: The first Affenpinscher to win Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show
  • Nollie v. Anwander: The first Affenpinscher registered by American Kennel Club
  • Super Nova: The Affenpinscher who won the Toy Group in the 2002 Westminster Kennel Club Show

Affenpinscher Facts

Fun Facts About Affenpinschers

  • Affenpinschers originated from Germany around the 17th century.
  • These dogs didn’t appear in any records for two centuries; the first record of Affenpinscher was found in the 19th century.
  • Affenpinscher means “monkey-like dog” in German; this was named because of the dog’s monkey-like face.
  • They are described by the French as “diablotin moustachu” which translated to “mustached little devils.”
  • These dogs are often confused with Terriers.
  • These dogs were used as ratters in Germany and Central Europe.
  • The most common coat color is black.
  • They are believed to have played ancestral roles for the development of other small breeds, including the Brussels Griffon and the Mini Schnauzer.
  • They were first registered by the American Kennel Club in 1936.

Check Out Other Toy Dog Breeds:
Brussels Griffon, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chihuahua, Chinese Crested, English Toy Spaniel, Havanese, Italian Greyhound, Japanese Chin, Maltese, Miniature Pinscher, Papillon, Pekingese, Pomeranian, Pug, Shih Tzu, Silky Terrier, Toy Fox Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier

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