'Affenpinscher' translates to 'monkey terrier' in German. (Probably because of their simian-like features.) And in France, they're known as diablotin moustachu, or 'mustachioed little devils.' Whatever you call them, these 'ruff'-n- tumble funny-faced pups make for fearless and quick companions who often have a penchant for catching pests.
Originally from Germany, this rare, high-energy breed can grow to between 7 to 9 pounds and live 12 to 14 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the toy breed group — in fact, Affenpinschers are some of the world's oldest toy breeds.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Pest Control
Breed Group: Toy
Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Bark Factor: Moderate
AKC RANKING 117
FAMILY terrier, pinscher
AREA OF ORIGIN Germany
DATE OF ORIGIN 1600s
ORIGINAL FUNCTION small vermin hunting, lapdog
TODAY'S FUNCTION companion
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 9-11.5 Weight: 7-9
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 9-11.5 Weight: 7-9
OTHER NAME none
Energy level High energy
Exercise needs Medium
Playfullness Very playful
Affection level Very affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Friendly
Friendliness toward strangers Friendly
Ease of training Easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs High maintenance
Cold tolerance Low tolerance
Heat tolerance Medium tolerance
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS AN AFFENPINSCHER'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Affectionate Affenpinschers are very playful and fairly intelligent dogs. This dog is busy, curious, and brave. An Affenpinscher definitely knows its own mind but also has a wicked sense of humor.
Affenpinschers are family-friendly, but do best in supervised play with children.
WHAT IS AFFENPINSCHER BEHAVIOR LIKE?
Though they may display 'terrier tenacity' on occasion, Affenpinschers usually get along fine with dogs, other pets, and small animals. Strangers are often friends an Affenpinscher just hasn't met yet. They're highly aware of their surroundings, so they'll probably let you know when someone's at the door, but their small stature and friendliness makes it hard for them to effectively protect you and your home.
Their high energy level means an Affenpinscher is happiest and healthiest with regular exercise, but indoor romps and games in the back yard will usually meet that need. Short leash-walks will also do nicely.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN AN AFFENPINSCHER?
Affenpinschers are somewhat prone to barking and have been known to climb, meaning these people-pleasers are fairly good candidates for both agility and obedience training. They'll benefit from early crate-training. Start 'em young and stay consistent — these smarties will respond to positive reinforcement.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO AFFENPINSCHERS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Shaggy-chic, Affenpinschers have wiry, terrier-like coats, short (about one inch) on the body and shaggier on their heads, bellies, chests, and legs.
Affenpinschers are seasonal shedders, but they don't shed much compared to other dog breeds. Use your fingers to pull any mats apart, a metal-toothed comb and a soft-bristle brush will work on their coats otherwise.
Beards and bushy eyebrows give Affenpinschers their monkey-like appearance; their funny faces and rough coats require weekly tending to to keep this breed looking their best. Comb your harsh-coated friend a few times a week, and schedule a shaping once a season.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO AFFENPINSCHERS HAVE?
Affenpinschers can be prone to leg ailments, including hip dysplasia and slipping kneecaps). In some cases, they may also suffer heart defects and eye problems. If you notice your little buddy slowing down, limping, or having vision problems, consult your vet immediately. Keep an eye out for lost hair on your Affenpinscher's flanks — this might indicate a skin condition.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE AFFENPINSCHERS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
Some sources list this breed as hypoallergenic, but the American Kennel Club doesn't list Affenpinschers among its breeds recommended for folks with allergies.
Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT IS AN AFFENPINSCHER'S BEST DAY?
A day in your backyard with you, romping, fetching and trying to climb that fence when you turn your back is as good as it gets for an Affenpinscher. Follow that with cuddling on a cozy couch with you, and your pup will be extra pleased.
SHOULD I ADOPT AN AFFENPINSCHER?
If you're looking for a dog to accompany you on long walks or mountain climbing expeditions, the Affenpinscher is with you in spirit but might have a hard time keeping up. (And frankly, they're not crazy about the cold.)
These extremely affectionate, playful, and high-energy pups do best in moderately warm climates, with folks who will keep them engaged and on the go. They're small and their exercise needs can be met without long hikes, so they're well suited for apartment living. (They won't say no to daily walks, though!) If you're looking for a cuddly lapdog who will make you laugh and keep your house or apartment free of mice, you don't mind weekly trips to the groomers or keeping up with their high-maintenance hair, and you're looking for a dog that will keep you moving but won't walk you 'til you drop, the Affenpinscher might be your perfect match.
Have you decided that an Affenpinscher is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.