Just like any other dog, the Affenpinscher is a loyal and friendly creature. Specially bred over time to be a companion animal. He has a playful and affectionate temperament.

Bred by German nobility in the 16th century, the dog possessed all the good qualities of its smaller ancestors, but was also easy to manage in cramped spaces such as homes and shops. They were trained to chase after rats and mice in kitchens and stables.


It’s hard to say exactly when the Affenpinscher came to be. Some claim it goes back to ancient times — perhaps even as far back as B.C. It is thought that this breed may have originated in Germany and was known as the “Monkey Terrier.”

Others believe that around 1620, there was a similar breed of dog known as the German Pinscher that resembled the Affenpinscher. Whatever it is, it wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that the little guy was given his category in dog shows.

Physical Characteristics


  • The Affenpinscher’s wiry coat needs regular brushing and combing to remove dead hair.
  • These dogs should also be taken to a professional groomer every six weeks or so for trimming and shaping.


Training this breed may be a challenge because they are intelligent enough to learn quickly but stubborn enough to decide on their own when they will obey a command.

They have a tendency to act like “little kings” and may become snappish or overly assertive if allowed to take over the household. However, this behavior can be corrected at an early age.

affenpincher dog


Affenpinschers are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they’re prone to certain health conditions. Not all Affenpinschers will get any diseases, but it’s important to be aware of them if you’re considering this breed.

The breed suffers from some serious hereditary defects of the heart and kidneys (amyloidosis in particular), and health problems with the knees and hips. Be sure to get a copy of the puppy’s pedigree and study it carefully before making your final purchase.


  • Affenpinschers are small dogs, but they’re not the tiniest of toy dogs.
  • Male Affens usually stand about 11 inches at the shoulder and weigh about 8 to 10 pounds. Females can be a bit smaller.
  • They are considered that Toy sized dogs.
  • As puppies, they can be quite fragile; care should be taken to protect them from injury.


The Affenpinscher’s personality is a combination of several adjectives that might seem contradictory at first blush: confident, playful, curious and stubborn. He’s also highly energetic and active.

They are very intelligent and agile. They are a strong-willed breed that can be very independent, but they love to please their owners. Likewise, they are not a breed that is easily trained.


The affenpinscher does not require much grooming. An occasional bath, brushing to eliminate dead hair, and frequent nail clipping is about all the care its coat needs. The affenpinscher is an indoor dog, so it has no need for excessive bathing.

Affenpinschers enjoy plenty of exercise, but when it’s time to relax, an affenpin will gladly find a lap to sit on and be petted by his or her owner.


The Affenpinscher has a terrier-like temperament; it is feisty, energetic, and courageous to the point of rashness. It is bold enough to challenge dogs much larger than itself, and will defend its home against other animals or people with great vigor.

The Affenpinscher is friendly towards its owner and family, but tends towards suspicion of strangers. Some specimens may be somewhat snappish when handled roughly by strangers, but this is not common in the breed.

They dislike being ignored or left alone. They are excellent with children, especially if they have been raised with them, but must be supervised since they are minimal. Early socialization with other pets is recommended to ensure that they will get along with them. They are very protective of their owners and make great watchdogs.


As a companion and lapdog, the Affenpinscher makes a perfectly lovely and entertaining pet with a never-ending zest for life. However, they are not recommended for families with very young kids as they are strong-willed and a bit nippy.

Their coats shed moderate amounts of fur, which means grooming will be needed every week to keep them tangle free. This breed is highly intelligent, eager to please, and playful, but still somewhat independent.

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