The Affenpinscher is fearless, lively, affectionate, loyal and comical with a terrier-like personality. They are busy, confidant, playful, mischievous and independent like most terriers, but unlike most terriers, they seem to get along fairly well with other household pets and dogs. This friendly and amusing dog loves its family and does well with older children. However Affens are not suitable for young children because they are toy dogs and also because they become quite possessive of their toys and food. The breed is quite intelligent and can learn fairly easily but Affens get bored easily unless training is made into a game. Like most toy dog breeds, the Affenpinscher may be difficult to housebreak. The breed is high strung and can be obstinate and demanding if spoiled. Early socialization and obedience training is necessary to try and control its barking and aggression toward other dogs and its reactions to strangers. Affens make good watch dogs and do fine with first time dog owners.
The Affenpinscher is a sturdy toy dog with a rough shaggy coat and hairy face. The Affen’s body is almost square with a short back that slopes down slightly to a high-set tail which is usually docked where permitted. The Affenpinscher’s head is round with an undershot jaw that protrudes below the short muzzle. The Affen has round and black eyes with V-shaped hairy ears that can be dropped or cropped and carried erect. The bushy black face and facial expression may remind you of a monkey. The Affen has a thick, harsh and rough coat with long spiky hair on its head. The coat is usually plain black but black with gray, brown or red tones is also common. Affens stand 9.5 to 11.5 inches tall at the withers and can weigh from 7 to 8 pounds. Affenpinschers are members of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Toy Dog Group.
The Affenpinscher probably originated in Germany but little is known of its early history. Dogs similar to the Affen but somewhat bigger were used as farm dogs and ratters in the early 17th century and they were probably miniaturized during the 18th and 19th century. The affen was named “Monkey Dog” because of its monkey-like facial expression and curious temperament which certainly seems to have some terrier in its breeding. The breed was registered by the AKC in 1936. Today the Affen is primarily a companion dog. The Affen was ranked 125th in 2005 AKC registrations.
Affenpinschers get lots of exercise running around the apartment or the house and yard while they are busy investigating everything that is going on. The breed adapts well to apartment life but loves to play games and be taken for a walk or drive. The Affen makes a good traveling companion. This toy breed does not like cold or rainy weather and should wear a sweater in these conditions. Use a harness when taking the Affen for a walk as the trachea can be damaged.
The Affenpinscher only needs a weekly brushing and regular combing of its beard and mustache. The Affen is a low-shed breed and its coat will need to be plucked several times per year. The Affen’s coat should not be clipped short as it will take a long time to grow back in. Affens can live from 11 to 14 years and are generally pretty healthy. Some bloodlines can suffer from luxating patella and cataracts. Affens, like most short nosed breeds, can have respiratory problems