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.

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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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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 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.


Affenpinschers are loyal companions, but need constant training because they can be obstinate at times and can be a little difficult to housebreak.


An Affenpinscher requires a moderate amount of grooming. Usually a weekly light brushing and hair mat removal. It is well-suited to a variety of living environments, be it in an apartment or house with a garden.


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.


Since it is a small breed, it can have adequate exercise indoors. However, it is also important to take the Affenpinscher for plenty of walks so that it can enjoy the fresh air and at the same time get some added exercise. Do not expose the dog to extremely hot weather as it can damage the coat.

Children and other pets

An Affenpinscher is a very sociable breed and gets along very well with other animals. This breed is active, alert, inquisitive, and stubborn with great loyalty and affection towards its owner, to the point of being very protective of them.

But be warned they are not always friendly with kids but as they are such a small breed they pose no threat at all. We must remember this breed is a toy breed which can be easily injured by kids who mean no harm. Affenpinscher's can also bite if angered, so children must be aware to show respect.

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