Home > Dog Breeds > Affenpinscher


Life span

14 Years


6 Kg


Toy Dogs

Affenpinscher Overview

Affenpinscher actually means Monkey Dog in German, and the Affenpinscher is definitely as active and playful as his German name suggests. This breed is quite busy, fun-loving, mischievous, and sometimes tricky breed. They are a small breed of dog but their attitude makes up for it and sometimes they are too intelligent for their own good. They naturally have a naughty streak which can make obedience training a bit tricky so their owners will need to make sure to have a firm attitude to let them know who's boss.

The Affenpinscher is a sturdy built, compact dog with rough, harsh coating. The average weight ranges between 7 to 8 pounds (3 – 4 kg) and do not exceed 11 inches (24-28 cm) in height at the withers. It has a short, straight back and its height at withers is about equal to its body length from shoulder to buttock. It has long shaggy hairs on its head and shoulders with shorter coating on the back and hind quarters. Eyebrows, and a beard gives the breed a monkey-like expression, hence its name (affe means “monkey” in German). In Europe, United Kingdom and the United States, the preferred coat colour is black. However grey, red, black and tan colours are also acceptable in the US.

Thinking of buying or adopting a Affenpinscher?

Affenpinscher Characteristics

Size InformationIntelligence
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Size InformationExercise Needs
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Size InformationDogs Health
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Size InformationChild Friendly
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Size InformationApartment
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Size InformationShedding
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Size InformationGrooming Needs
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Size InformationBarking
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Size InformationAlone
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Size InformationTrainability
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Size InformationEnergy Levels
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Size InformationDog friendly
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Affenpinscher Facts - Did you know?

The Affenpinscher is a small, charming dog breed with a unique appearance and personality. Here are some interesting facts about this breed that you may not have known before:

  1. Monkey-like Appearance: The Affenpinscher is often referred to as the "monkey dog" due to their shaggy coat and expressive, monkey-like face.

  2. Origins: The Affenpinscher originated in Germany and was originally bred to hunt rats and other small pests.

  3. Famous Owners: Many celebrities have owned Affenpinschers, including Pablo Picasso, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Yoko Ono.

  4. Versatility: Although they are a small breed, Affenpinschers are surprisingly versatile and can excel in a variety of activities, including obedience training, agility, and even therapy work.

  5. Rare Breed: Affenpinschers are a relatively rare breed, with only a few thousand being registered with the Kennel Club each year.

  6. Protective Instincts: Despite their small size, Affenpinschers have a strong protective instinct and will not hesitate to bark and alert their owners of any potential threats.

  7. Historical Depictions: The Affenpinscher has been depicted in art and literature throughout history, including in the works of Albrecht Dürer and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

  8. Military Service: Affenpinschers have served in various military roles throughout history, including as messenger dogs and even as mascots for certain military units.

  9. Distinguished Pedigrees: Some Affenpinschers have achieved great success in the show ring, including Ch. Yarrow's Super Nova, who won the Best in Show title at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2013.


  1. Adorable Appearance: The Affenpinscher's monkey-like appearance with their shaggy, wiry coat and expressive eyes is undeniably cute, making them a popular choice for those who love small, quirky-looking dogs.

  2. Loyal Companionship: Affenpinschers are known for their loyalty and devotion to their owners, making them great companions for those looking for a loving and affectionate dog.

  3. Low Shedding: Affenpinschers have a wiry coat that sheds very little, making them an excellent choice for those with allergies or who don't want to deal with excessive grooming.

  4. Intelligence: Affenpinschers are intelligent dogs that can be trained to do a variety of tasks, including obedience training, agility, and even therapy work.


  1. Stubbornness: Affenpinschers are known for being stubborn and strong-willed, which can make them challenging to train at times.

  2. Potential for Separation Anxiety: Affenpinschers thrive on human companionship and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods.

  3. Health Issues: Like all breeds, Affenpinschers are prone to certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia, respiratory issues, and dental problems.

  4. High Energy: Affenpinschers are energetic dogs that require regular exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behaviour.

History & Origin

The Affenpinscher breeds originated in Germany and were known to have existed as early as the 1600’s, but were somewhat larger, around 12 to 13 inches in height. The breed’s name is derived from the German word affe, meaning “ape” or “monkey”. They were originally bred to be used in the home as mousers, working to remove mice from kitchens, granaries, and stables. Most of these breeds came in colours of solid black, grey, fawn, black and tan, and reddish black.

Historical accounts state that a man from Lubeck, Germany was the first to breed them intensely, and soon they were bred to an even smaller size. Around 1750, Hans-Jochen Kossman was able to breed a cross between the Mini Schnauzer and the German Pinscher. At the same time, many dog lovers were also successfully breeding crosses using different variations but have eventually preserved much of the original basic prototype in a slightly smaller dog. These were known to be the precursors of the modern Affenpinscher we have today.

Affenpinscher Appearance

The Affenpinscher is a small, sturdy breed known for their distinctive appearance. They have a dense, shaggy coat that comes in a variety of colors, including black, silver, gray, and tan.

Here are some key physical characteristics of the Affenpinscher breed:

  1. Size: Affenpinschers are small dogs, typically weighing between 7 and 10 pounds and standing 9 to 11 inches tall at the shoulder.

  2. Coat: The Affenpinscher's coat is wiry and dense, with a rough texture that gives them their shaggy appearance. Their coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangles.

  3. Head: Affenpinschers have a distinctive round head with a short muzzle and bushy eyebrows and beard. Their ears are cropped or left natural, giving them a cute and alert expression.

  4. Body: Despite their small size, Affenpinschers have a sturdy and well-proportioned body. They have a short, straight back and a deep chest.

  5. Tail: The Affenpinscher's tail is typically docked, although it can be left natural in some countries. It is set high and carried over the back, giving them a lively and alert appearance.

Affenpinscher Temperament

In general, this dog breed is mostly quiet and watchful of strangers, but can become agitated when threatened or attacked and will show no fear towards any aggressor. This breed is rather territorial in nature, especially when it comes to their toys and food, so they are not typically recommended for very small children.

Affenpinscher's are a very loyal, devoted and affectionate breed toward their owners. Small in size but these little monkeys are always prepared to protect their owner, family and home if required. They can be good watchdogs and fearless toward any aggressors but tend to be a little reserved when approached by strangers. They actually think they are larger then they are, their owners must keep an eye on them so they don't pick a fight with larger dogs and risk injury. They are also quite active indoors so majority of their exercise needs can be achieved with indoors activity and stimulation but as for any dog you cant beat messing around outdoors or in the park.

They are definitely charming little comedians and they can entertain you by randomly walking around on their back legs or throwing around their toys just to entertain you. Normally this breed tends to be quiet, but can behave erratically within stressful situations. As with any type of dog breed it is very important to socialise them to help eliminate their need to misbehave.

Affenpinscher Training

Training an Affenpinscher can be a challenging but rewarding experience. This lively breed is known for its intelligence, independence, and strong-willed nature, which can make training a bit of a challenge. However, with the right approach and consistency, you can successfully train your Affenpinscher to be a well-behaved and obedient companion.

Here are some tips and suggestions for training your Affenpinscher:

  1. Start early: It's best to start training your Affenpinscher as early as possible. Puppies have a shorter attention span, but they are also more receptive to learning new things. So, begin with basic obedience commands like "sit," "stay," "come," and "heel." Use positive reinforcement techniques like treats, praise, and play to encourage good behavior.

  2. Be consistent: Affenpinschers are known for their stubbornness, so consistency is key. Use the same commands, tone of voice, and rewards every time you train your dog. This will help your Affenpinscher understand what is expected of them and will make the training process more effective.

  3. Socialize your Affenpinscher: Affenpinschers can be wary of strangers and other dogs, so socializing your dog from a young age is essential. Introduce your Affenpinscher to different people, dogs, and environments to help them develop confidence and good social skills.

  4. Use positive reinforcement: Affenpinschers respond well to positive reinforcement. Praise and reward good behavior with treats, toys, and playtime. This will help your Affenpinscher associate good behavior with positive experiences, making them more likely to repeat that behavior in the future.

  5. Use training aids: There are many training aids available that can help make training your Affenpinscher easier. For example, a training collar or harness can help you control your dog's movements and behavior, while a clicker can help you mark and reinforce good behavior.

  6. Be patient: Affenpinschers can be slow to learn, so patience is essential. Don't get frustrated or give up if your dog doesn't learn a command right away. Keep training sessions short and fun, and always end on a positive note.


The Affenpinscher is a breed known for their unique and shaggy coat, which requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and looking its best. Here are some grooming recommendations to keep your Affenpinscher's coat in top condition:

  1. Brushing: Affenpinschers have a wiry coat that can become matted and tangled if not properly cared for. Regular brushing is essential to prevent these issues and keep their coat looking smooth and shiny. Use a slicker brush or comb to gently remove any tangles and mats.

  2. Bathing: While Affenpinschers don't require frequent bathing, occasional baths can help keep their coat clean and smelling fresh. Use a gentle dog shampoo and be sure to rinse thoroughly to avoid any skin irritation.

  3. Trimming: The Affenpinscher's coat can be trimmed or clipped to keep it at a manageable length. A professional groomer can help you determine the best length and style for your dog's coat.

  4. Ear cleaning: The Affenpinscher's ears can be prone to wax buildup and infections. Check their ears regularly and clean them with a gentle ear cleaning solution as needed.

  5. Nail trimming: Regular nail trimming is important to prevent overgrowth and potential injury. Use a sharp nail clipper and be sure to avoid cutting the quick (the pink part of the nail that contains blood vessels).

  6. Dental care: Affenpinschers can be prone to dental issues, so it's important to brush their teeth regularly with a dog-friendly toothpaste and provide them with dental chews or toys.


Diet and nutrition should be a combination of high quality canned food and quality dried food or kibble to maintain a good digestion and oral hygiene. Ensure that the dog gets plenty of fresh water to drink.                    

The Affenpinscher is generally healthy, although some of the known health problems to affect the breed are:

  • Luxating patella – otherwise known as trick knee, is a condition wherein the kneecap (patella) moves out of its normal position. It can be caused by physical trauma or genetically related.
  • Legg-Calvé-Perthes syndrome – is a form of degenerative disease which affects the hip joint caused by a loos of bone mass.
  • Patent ductus arteriosus – a congenital defect that affects the cardiovascular system.
  • Canine hip dysplasia – a condition affecting the hip joint and hereditary in nature. The severe form can cause crippling, lameness, and joint arthritis.
  • Collapsed trachea – a condition common with small breeds of dog which is characterized by incomplete formation or weakening of the rings of the trachea which are made up of cartilages.

Typically, the Affenpinscher is a breed that tends to live for around 10 to 12 years.


Caring for an Affenpinscher involves meeting their physical, social, and emotional needs. This breed is known for being affectionate, intelligent, and lively, so it's important to provide them with plenty of attention, exercise, and mental stimulation.

Here are some tips and suggestions for caring for your Affenpinscher:

  1. Exercise: Affenpinschers have high energy levels and require regular exercise to keep them healthy and happy. This can include daily walks, playtime in the yard, and interactive games like fetch or tug-of-war.

  2. Grooming: As mentioned earlier, Affenpinschers have a wiry, shaggy coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangles. This can include brushing several times a week and occasional trips to a professional groomer for trimming.

  3. Socialization: Affenpinschers are social dogs and benefit from early socialization to help them develop good manners and behavior. This can include introducing them to new people, animals, and environments in a positive and controlled manner.

  4. Training: Affenpinschers are intelligent dogs and respond well to positive reinforcement training. This can include basic obedience training and tricks like agility or nose work.

  5. Health care: Affenpinschers require regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and preventative care like flea and tick treatments. It's important to keep up with their health care needs to help prevent and treat any potential health issues.

  6. Mental stimulation: Affenpinschers are curious dogs and enjoy mental stimulation like puzzle toys or interactive games. This can help keep their minds engaged and prevent boredom or destructive behavior.

Affenpinscher Exercise Needs

Affenpinschers are a high-energy breed that require regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. While they may be small in size, these dogs are active and playful, and enjoy a variety of activities that can help them burn off excess energy.

Here are some tips and suggestions for exercising your Affenpinscher:

  1. Daily walks: Regular walks are important for Affenpinschers to help keep them physically fit and mentally stimulated. Aim for at least two 20-30 minute walks per day, and try to vary the route to keep things interesting.

  2. Playtime: Affenpinschers enjoy playtime and can benefit from interactive games like fetch, tug-of-war, or hide-and-seek. Toys like puzzle feeders or chew toys can also help keep them entertained and mentally stimulated.

  3. Agility training: Affenpinschers are intelligent and athletic, and can excel at agility training. This can include jumping over hurdles, navigating tunnels, and weaving through poles.

  4. Swimming: If you have access to a pool or other safe body of water, swimming can be a great low-impact exercise for Affenpinschers. This can help keep them cool in hot weather and provide a fun and refreshing way to exercise.

  5. Dog parks: Affenpinschers enjoy socializing with other dogs and can benefit from trips to the dog park. This can provide them with a chance to play and run off-leash in a safe and controlled environment.


Feeding your Affenpinscher a well-balanced diet is essential for their health and wellbeing. This breed is known for having a high metabolism and a small stomach, which means they require a nutrient-dense diet that is tailored to their needs.

Here are some tips and suggestions for feeding your Affenpinscher:

  1. Choose high-quality dog food: Affenpinschers require a high-quality dog food that is rich in protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients. Look for dog foods that list real meat as the first ingredient and avoid dog foods that contain fillers, by-products, or artificial preservatives.

  2. Feed your Affenpinscher small, frequent meals: Affenpinschers have small stomachs, so it's best to feed them small, frequent meals throughout the day. This will help prevent digestive issues and ensure that your dog is getting enough nutrition.

  3. Watch your dog's weight: Affenpinschers are prone to obesity, so it's important to monitor your dog's weight and adjust their diet as needed. If your dog is overweight, consider reducing their calorie intake and increasing their exercise.

  4. Avoid overfeeding: Overfeeding your Affenpinscher can lead to health problems like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Follow the recommended feeding guidelines on the dog food packaging and adjust the amount based on your dog's age, weight, and activity level.

  5. Provide fresh water: Make sure your Affenpinscher has access to fresh, clean water at all times. This is important for their overall health and helps prevent dehydration.

  6. Consider supplements: Some Affenpinschers may benefit from dietary supplements like omega-3 fatty acids or probiotics. Talk to your veterinarian to determine if your dog would benefit from these supplements.

Affenpinscher Price

If you're considering adding an Affenpinscher to your family, it's important to be aware of the cost associated with this breed. Affenpinschers are a relatively rare breed, which means they can be quite expensive to purchase.

The cost of an Affenpinscher can vary depending on a number of factors, including the breeder, the dog's age, and the dog's pedigree. On average, an Affenpinscher puppy can cost anywhere from £1,000 to £2,500.

In addition to the initial purchase price, there are also ongoing costs associated with owning an Affenpinscher. These include:

  1. Veterinary care: Affenpinschers require regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and preventative care like flea and tick treatments. The cost of veterinary care can vary depending on your location and the type of care your dog needs.

  2. Food and treats: As mentioned earlier, Affenpinschers require a nutrient-dense diet that is tailored to their needs. This can include high-quality dog food, as well as treats and supplements.

  3. Grooming: Affenpinschers have a wiry, shaggy coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangles. This can include regular brushing, trimming, and bathing.

  4. Training and socialization: Affenpinschers require early training and socialization to help them develop good manners and behavior. This may include obedience classes or working with a professional dog trainer.

  5. Supplies: You will also need to purchase supplies like a leash, collar, bed, and toys for your Affenpinscher.

Children and other pets

Affenpinschers can make great companions for families with children and other pets, but it's important to take their personality and temperament into consideration. Proper training, socialisation, and supervision can help ensure that Affenpinschers behave appropriately around children and other animals.

When it comes to children, Affenpinschers tend to have a playful and affectionate nature. They can be great playmates for older children who understand how to interact with dogs and respect their boundaries. However, it's important to supervise interactions between children and Affenpinschers to ensure that the dog is not accidentally injured or frightened.

With other pets in the household, Affenpinschers can generally get along well, but may be prone to assert their dominance over other dogs. Early socialization and training can help prevent any potential conflicts between Affenpinschers and other pets in the household.

Training and socialization are essential for Affenpinschers to be well-behaved around children and other pets. Positive reinforcement training methods can help teach Affenpinschers appropriate behavior and ensure that they understand what is expected of them. Consistency and patience are key when training Affenpinschers, as they can be stubborn and independent at times.

Affenpinscher Buying Advice

If you're considering adding an Affenpinscher to your family, there are several factors to keep in mind to ensure that you make an informed and responsible decision. Here are some buying advice tips for the Affenpinscher dog breed:

  1. Research: Take the time to research the Affenpinscher breed and learn about their personality, temperament, and needs. This will help you determine whether the breed is a good fit for your lifestyle and household.

  2. Breeder: It's important to find a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and welfare of their dogs. Look for a breeder who performs health checks on their breeding stock and is transparent about any potential health issues.

  3. Price: The cost of an Affenpinscher can vary depending on the breeder and location. Be prepared to spend a significant amount of money to purchase an Affenpinscher from a reputable breeder.

  4. Adoption: Consider adopting an Affenpinscher from a rescue or shelter. This can be a more affordable option and can also provide a loving home to a dog in need.

  5. Environment: Affenpinschers do well in homes with a secure and enclosed outdoor space, as they enjoy spending time outside. They can also adapt to apartment living as long as they get enough exercise and mental stimulation.

  6. Training: Affenpinschers are intelligent and independent dogs that require consistent training and socialization to ensure that they behave appropriately around children and other pets.