Affenpinscher - Dog Breed Info, Temperament & Facts

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As Affenpinscher means “monkey dog” in German, the breed was originally called the monkey dog due to its apish appearance. They were also known as ratters because they were specifically bred to hunt rats. The breed originated in Germany, where various types of little terriers contributed to its development in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Affenpinschers were selectively bred to be smaller and more suitable as companion dogs, as their small size and soft appearance made them popular lapdogs among ladies. These little canines typically stand between 9 and 11 inches tall and weigh around 9 pounds. They have wiry, medium-length fur that comes in various colors such as beige, brown, red, silver, gray, or black.

Although Affenpinschers are not very common, they are considered unique. They are not recommended for households with young children, as they do not appreciate being pinched or chased.

Below, we look at Affenpinscher dog breed, its history, personality, pros and cons of owning an Affenpinscher, characteristics, and must-see facts. We will also examine how to care for this breed and more. Prepare for a tail-wagging adventure into the world of Affenpinschers!

Dog Breed Affenpinscher
Size Small
Weight 7-10 lbs (average)
Height 9-11″ (average)
Location Germany
Ancestry Brussels Griffon, Miniature Schnauzer
Date of Origin 1600s
Group Hunting Rodents, Companion Dog
Life Expectancy 12-14 years
Price $800 – $1200
Family Canidae
Scientific Name Canis Lupus Familiaris

📖 Breed History

The Affenpinscher is a unique breed of dog that is still quite rare in the United States. Originally bred in the 1600s, these dogs were larger in size (12 to 13 inches tall) and were used to keep stables free of rats and mice. Early breeders crossed the Affenpinscher with a different type of Schnauzer ratting dog, and later with Silky Pinschers, smooth-haired German Pinschers, and Pugs, in order to create a smaller lap dog. This also led to the Affenpinscher being the ancestor of other terriers such as the Miniature Schnauzer and Brussels Griffon.

The first Affenpinschers were brought to the United States by Mrs. Bessie Mally, who resided in Cicero, Illinois. The American Kennel Club registered the first Affenpinscher from Mrs. Mally’s dogs in 1936. This dog, named Nolli v Anwander, played a significant role in establishing the breed in the country. However, the breed faced near extinction after World War II, with the last litter being born in June 1940. It wasn’t until 10 years later that efforts were made to rebuild the breed by importing dogs from Germany that were descendants of the same litter as Mrs. Mally’s dogs.

According to the American Kennel Club, the Affenpinscher is not as popular as many other breeds. However, their confident and spunky personality tends to captivate the hearts of their owners right from the start.

🐕 Affenpinscher Appearance

The Affenpinscher is a little bundle of fur, about 1 to 2 inches long, with a lengthy mane around its head that blends in with the rest of the fur. The longer hair, along with the mustache, eyebrows, and beard, gives them the look of a monkey. They have a square body, short legs, a medium bone structure, and are petite and strong, at just 9 to 11 inches tall. The ears are upright, set high, and clipped to make them pointy. If docked, the curled tail is roughly one to two inches long and is set high. The snout is blunt, the muzzle is short and narrow, and the bite is somewhat undershot. The tiny, rounded feet of the Affenpinscher have black nails and paw pads. Their eyes are flawlessly round and medium-shaped, beautifully dark with black rims. Tan, red, silver, gray, and black are some of the hues available. Brown or orange undertones are possible in the red. A black coat may contain rusty undertones or white and silver hairs scattered together.

👀 Eye Color Brown
🐽 Nose Color Black
🐕 Coat Color Black, Brown, Red, Fawn, Silver, Brindle

Fun Fact: Affenpinscher dogs need a lot of social interaction. They desire to always be with someone or around people. This breed hates being left alone.


🐶 Traits & Temperament of Affenpinscher

These dogs are often calm and amiable, but because they dislike being teased, they would not get along well in a home with young children. When someone tries to follow them or squeeze them, they often become irritable. Affenpinschers should not be left alone with tiny creatures like hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, ferrets, rabbits, or even cats since they are hunters at heart. They actually overestimate their size, and if provoked, they could even attack larger canines. They are a good watchdog as a result, and they are devoted to their family. Because of their independence and tenacious nature, this breed can be challenging to teach. It’s not that they lack intelligence; in fact, they are quite clever yet obstinate. Affens are mostly peaceful dogs, but occasionally they become anxious, and it takes some time to settle them down. They are also amusing dogs who will keep you and your family entertained for hours.

🤝 Are Affenpinschers Friendly or Aggressive?

Affenpinscher dogs usually get along well with other pets and are moderately friendly towards strangers. However, they are not particularly fond of children, making them unsuitable for families with kids.

Their average friendliness extends to cats and other dogs as well. Despite these traits, Affenpinschers are not recommended for senior citizens.

This breed is known for being:

  • Active
  • Curious
  • Playful
  • Adventurous
  • Funny
  • Loving
  • Stubborn

🐩 Affenpinscher Care & Maintenance

To maintain a smooth coat, the Affen should be brushed a few times a week using a soft bristle brush and metal comb. Brush the fur in a downward manner beginning at the sides, moving up the sides to the back, down the legs, and finally the tail. Pay close attention to the beard and whiskers, and use the metal comb to delicately comb the cheeks. Brush the hair on top of the head towards the direction of the nose. If you notice any mats, separate them with your fingertips rather than a comb. They just need to be pruned twice a year; more often is not necessary. The bangs should be cut as soon as they get too long and need to be pulled up with a clip or barrette to keep them out of the eyes. Their nails must be regularly clipped to avoid splitting and overgrowth. You should also examine their ears at this time for wax or debris, and clean them as directed. Additionally, cleaning your teeth should be done often. Since they are a petite breed, they can live in an apartment and receive all of the activity they require indoors. They do, however, occasionally like going on walks. You must feed your Affenpinscher premium dog food that is suitable for their size and age.

Affenpinscher dogs have a very low shedding rate. This means that if you own a puppy of this breed, you don’t have to worry about finding dog hair all over your furniture or car. If you have a low tolerance for dog hair, an Affenpinscher dog would be an excellent choice for you. It is worth noting that these dogs can start having baths at around 8 to 12 weeks of age.

🍖 Food: We recommend 1 cups daily, costing you about $0.75 – $1.00 daily, or roughly $25.00 – $30.00 a month.

🐾 Exercise: Affenpinscher dogs have an average exercise need. This breed is satisfied with short walks every weekday and a long ones on weekends.

This dog breed requires to be walked for roughly 6 miles per week, which equates to about 30 minutes of physical activity daily. This consistent moderate exercise regimen will help maintain their physical wellness and significantly contribute to their mental stimulation. Consciously setting aside this time for your furry friend can dramatically enhance their life quality, helping them stay energetic, healthy, and mentally alert.

Did you know: Affenpinscher dogs have a higher energy level than other dog breeds. If you want a dog for snuggling on the couch, this breed isn’t the perfect choice for you.


❤️‍🩹 Affenpinscher Health & Issues

Some of the major concerns for Affenpinscher Dog Breed can be:

  • Patellar Luxation
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Lick Granuloma

While minor concerns include:

  • Cataracts
  • Tracheal Collapse
  • Heart Problems

🤧 Important: Is Affenpinscher hypoallergenic? Yes.

Bonus: Check out cool, creative, and funny names for Affenpinscher.


⚡ Affenpinscher Dog Breed Facts

What makes the Affenpinscher a great choice for families with young children?
The Affenpinscher is not a great choice for families with young children because they do not like to be teased, chased, or squeezed.

Is the Affenpinscher breed considered a suitable breed for apartment living?
Yes, the Affenpinscher breed is considered a suitable breed for apartment living because they are small in size and do not require a large amount of exercise.

How much exercise does a Affenpinscher require compared to other breeds?
The Affenpinscher requires moderate exercise compared to other breeds. Daily walks and playtime should be sufficient to meet their exercise needs.

Is the Affenpinscher breed known for being good with other pets?
The Affenpinscher breed is not known for being good with other pets, especially small animals like hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, and rabbits. They have a hunting instinct and may go after smaller animals.

What are other low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Affenpinscher?
Some low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Affenpinscher include the Brussels Griffon and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

What are the common health issues that Affenpinschers are prone to?
Common health issues that Affenpinschers are prone to include patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, and heart disease.

Are Affenpinschers known to be easy to train compared to other breeds?
Affenpinschers are intelligent but stubborn, so they may require more time and patience to train compared to other breeds.

Are Affenpinschers more prone to separation anxiety compared to other breeds?
Affenpinschers can be prone to separation anxiety, especially if left alone for long periods. Proper training and socialization from an early age can help prevent or manage this.

Are there any dog breeds similar to the Affenpinscher that are suitable for people with allergies?
Some dog breeds similar to the Affenpinscher that are suitable for people with allergies include the Bichon Frise and the Portuguese Water Dog, as they have hypoallergenic coats.

What sizes of dogs similar to the Affenpinscher are best for individuals or families with limited space?
For individuals or families with limited space, smaller dog breeds similar to the Affenpinscher, such as the Brussels Griffon or the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, would be a good choice.

Is the Affenpinscher breed known to be good with children with special needs?
The Affenpinscher breed can be good with children, but they may not be the best choice for children with special needs due to their sensitivity to teasing and chasing.

How does the grooming and shedding needs of the Affenpinscher?
The Affenpinscher has a medium-length and wiry coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting. They do shed, but not excessively compared to some other breeds.


We use reliable and publicly available data and resources such as AKC and American Canine Registry to ensure that Affenpinscher dog breed information is accurate and up to date. If you spot an error, please don’t hesitate to bring it to our attention.

Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy is a seasoned writer and an enthusiast of dog breed expertise. Having dedicated over 5 years to studying the intricacies of different dog breeds and their unique characteristics. His profound insights and love for our four-legged friends have made him an invaluable part of our DogsInsights.com team.

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