Did you know the Affenpinscher is not part of the Terrier Group? These small dogs certainly look like terriers, but they’re not. Instead, they’re ancestors of the Brussels Griffon and Miniature Schnauzer, two popular dog breeds today. To learn more about the Affenpinscher, keep reading.

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History Of The Affenpinscher

Affenpinschers are delightful purebred dogs. They use several nicknames, such as the African Terrier, Ape Terrier, Monkey Dog, and Affen.

But remember – this breed is not a terrier. However, they were bred to work like a terrier. 

This doggo was initially bred to hunt rats, also known as ratters. This job is typical of terrier breeds.

Affenpinschers came from Germany. The term “Affenpinscher” means Monkey Dog in German. Thus, that’s where one of their nicknames came from.

Also, this small dog breed is known to have an ape-like face.

In 17th and 18th century Germany, women enjoyed the look of Affenpischers due to their small size. So, they wanted the breed to be a lap dog.

Over time, Affenpinschers were no longer bred to be ratters, but to be small, companion dogs. 

The American Kennel Club (AKC) first recognized this breed in 1936. Today, these small pups are known to be confident, fearless, and comical.

What Does The Affenpinscher Look Like?

As part of the toy group, Affenpinschers are a small dog breed.

For instance, these pups may grow to be about nine to 11.5 inches tall and weigh between seven and ten pounds.

Males and females are generally around the same size.

According to the AKC’s breed standard, Affenpinschers are well-balanced and have an intelligent look.

Their head is carried well with monkey-like facial features. The eyes are round, dark, and medium-sized. In addition, their eyes are only typically brown. Their ears are cropped to a point, and their muzzle narrows into a blunt nose.

This doggo has a broad chest with a level topline. Finally, the tail may be docked one to two inches long, or their natural tail should stand high and curled slightly at the top. 

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What Coat Colors Do Affenpinschers Have?

They have a short to medium wiry coat. In addition, they can have a variety of coat colors and patterns.

For example, their coat colors may be one of the following:

  • Belge
  • Black
  • Black & Silver
  • Black & Tan
  • Red
  • Black Mask

Most Affenpinscher dogs are mostly, if not all, black.

Caring For The Affenpinscher Dog Breed

Affenpinschers are a delight to have in the home. But how can you care for them properly?


Luckily, Affenpinschers are low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. As a result, their short to medium wiry hair doesn’t shed too much.

Between little shedding and little to no drooling, Affenpinschers are considered hypoallergenic. So, if you suffer from allergies, this breed is a good option.

Their coat grows slowly. Trimming will only be needed once every three to four months. However, the hair on their face may get in the way of their eyes. So, you can keep this trimmed.

Even though their low-maintenance coat, you’ll still want to brush them regularly. Brushing them will help keep tangles and mats out of their fur. Also, it’ll keep their hair feeling smooth and looking shiny.

You can bathe them on occasion if your Affenpinscher gets visibly dirty. Bathing can be done at home for bonding time, or you can bring them to a professional dog grooming salon.

It’ll be a good idea to bring them to the groomer’s once in a while for a good cleaning, anyway.

Otherwise, you’ll only need to keep up with trimming their nails regularly, cleaning their ears, and brushing their teeth.

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Small dog breeds don’t require much food. Affenpinschers will do well on one-half of a cup of high-quality dog food.

You can provide them with dry dog food or canned wet food. Talk to your vet about which might be the best option for your pup.

You should never feed your dog table scraps or other human food without your vet’s consent. 

In addition, only feed your pup the amount according to your vet or the food label. Smaller dogs are prone to overeating, thus getting obese.

For puppies, we recommend this kibble for healthy growth.

For adults, this dry dog food is a good option.

Finally, senior dogs may do well on this dry food specialized for aging.


Affenpinschers have moderate to high energy levels. They’re playful and enjoy being outside with you.

They’ll enjoy playing fetch or running around in a fenced-in yard to get some energy out.

They should have at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day. This physical activity can include walks, playing in the backyard, or going to the dark park.

Since this doggo is small, they should not be outside unsupervised, even if the yard is fenced-in. It may be easy for them to escape, or other animals might come into the yard. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Finally, if you’re going to be out for most of the day, you can bring your doggo to doggy daycare for the day. Alternatively, you can hire a professional dog walker to check in on them once or twice daily.

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This dog breed is intelligent, but they’re also pretty independent. So some days training may be easy and other days, not so much. It’ll depend on when your dog wants to be receptive to training.

Affenpinschers are somewhat easy to train, but it’s best to have a training session after playing. That way, they’ll be tired and more willing to listen.

In addition, they thrive on positive reinforcement. So, a good training session will always be a positive one.


Affenpinschers are relatively healthy dogs. However, they are prone to some health issues.

For example, some common health problems they may get could include the following:

  • Anasarca
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Cataracts
  • Cleft Palate
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Elongated Soft Palate
  • Heart anomalies
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Legg-Calves-Perthes Disease
  • Lick Granuloma
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus
  • Skin problems
  • Tracheal Collapse
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease

You’ll want to bring your doggo to the vet yearly for their regular check-up. As a puppy, during their first year, you can bring them more often. The vet will help ensure that your puppy is growing and developing well.

With regular vet visits and proper care, Affenpinschers have an average lifespan of about 12 to 15 years.

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Temperament Of Affenpinscher Dogs

There’s a lot to love about the Affenpinscher. First, they’re affectionate and loyal to their family members. Also, they are good with other dogs and children.

However, this dog breed prefers older children or adults. Young kids are too energetic for this doggo. Affenpinschers don’t care to be picked up and squeezed. So, if young kids don’t know boundaries, then your Affenpinscher may nip at them.

Luckily, this pup isn’t aggressive. They’ll warn others with a growl or light nip. However, it’s best to prevent this through proper training and early socialization. Also, teach your kids to respect the dog and be gentle. 

When it comes to strangers, Affenpinschers love them. They believe everyone is their best friend. Of course, you’ll still need to socialize your pup well, but you won’t need to worry about your Affenpinscher yelling at company coming into your home.

On the other hand, they are territorial and will make a great watchdog. Affenpinschers aren’t aggressive, but they’ll bark to alert you of something. 

As with most small dogs, this breed isn’t afraid of anything and believes itself to be ten feet tall.

In addition, this doggo can get along well with other pets in the home. For example, they’re good around other dogs (with proper socialization) and can be good around cats.

If you have small animals in your house, such as hamsters or guinea pigs, then your Affenpinscher’s prey drive may kick into gear.

Common traits will appear when they’re comfortable with you, such as being playful and silly. There will never be a dull moment with this pup around. 

Overall, Affenpinschers are friendly and loyal. However, they are independent and can be stubborn.

Are There Any Differences Between Males And Females?

When choosing a male or female Affenpinscher, there aren’t many gender differences.

Both males and females are loyal and territorial. However, it’s been said that males are generally more laid-back than females. On the other hand, females tend to be more independent.

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Who Should Own The Affenpinscher?

This dog breed will enjoy being part of an active family. They love to be around their humans and are playful.

In addition, they’re good to live in an apartment and for novice dog owners.

Affenpinschers can get used to children, but they prefer to be in a household of adults or families with older children.

Where Can You Get An Affenpinscher?

You should be able to find this dog breed where ever you can adopt dogs. Your local animal shelter or a breed rescue organization is a good place to start.

These places save dogs’ lives and find them forever loving homes. So, you can provide that for a dog in need.

Purebred Affenpinschers are rare, so it might be challenging to find this doggo at these places.

In addition, these places will cost less and will have Affenpinscher puppies, adults, seniors, or mixed breeds available.

However, if you have your heart set on getting an Affenpinscher puppy, you can go through a reputable breeder.

Always research breeders before deciding to work with one. Remember, a good breeder will do the following:

  • Want to meet with you in person (to get to know each other and ensure you’re fit to be a pet parent)
  • Socialize and train the puppies as early as possible
  • Spay and neuter the puppies when of age
  • Treat the mother, father, and litter as part of the family (no kennels)
  • Be able to answer all of your questions about the dogs, themselves as a breeder, and the breed as a whole

In addition, they’ll help you through the adoption process and be available to you for any problems that may arise.

They’ll also check the parents’ health before breeding to ensure it’s safe and healthy for them. Then, they’ll get the puppies checked out for any health conditions. 

Always beware of puppy mills and backyard breeders. These places are in it for the money. Also, they don’t breed the dogs in healthy or safe conditions.

To search for a good breeder, you can check out AKC-registered breeders.

On the other hand, you can check out the Affenpinscher Rescue to find a pup already needing a home.

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Question Corner: FAQs About The Affenpinscher Dog Breed

Have you fallen in love with the Affenpinscher yet? To learn more about this doggo, read the frequently asked questions answered below.

What’s The Average Cost Of The Affenpinscher?

Through a reputable breeder, the average Affenpinscher price is around $500 to $1,000. Affenpinscher puppies may cost more than older dogs. The cost will be lower if you go through a rescue or shelter.

What’s The Average Litter Size Of Affenpinschers?

Since this doggo is small, their litter size is also small. For instance, a mother Affenpinscher will give birth to about one to three puppies per litter.

Do Affenpinschers Bark A Lot?

This dog breed does bark occasionally. For example, if they need to alert you of something or they want to play and need your attention. But, overall, they’re relatively quiet pups.

Do Affenpinschers Shed?

This doggo sheds a little bit, but not much. Their wiry hair often stays in place and isn’t prone to get tangled or matted, which is nice. 

Are Affenpinschers Hypoallergenic?

Yes, this breed is hypoallergenic. So if you have allergies, this breed will be safe in your home. However, hypoallergenic means it’ll lessen the allergies, not eliminate them. 

Do Affenpinschers Smell?

Sometimes, yes. This dog breed is prone to getting a bad odor due to skin folds, bad teeth, ear issues, and gas.

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Can Affenpinschers Be Left Alone?

For short amounts of time, yes. However, this breed is prone to separation anxiety. So, you shouldn’t leave them home alone for too long. Crate training is ideal for this dog to ensure they feel comfortable and safe when you’re gone. 

Are Affenpinschers Good Dogs?

Absolutely. This pup is loyal to its family and friendly to everyone, including strangers. They’re excellent watchdogs but not aggressive. 

Are Affenpinschers Kid Friendly?

If you have older kids in the home, Affenpinschers should be okay with them. However, this doggo doesn’t do well with toddlers or young kids. Affenpinschers can’t keep up with them and prefer to have their own space.

Are Affenpinscher Dogs Easy To Train?

Affenpinschers can be easy to train with the right tools and positive reinforcement. On the other hand, they can be stubborn, making training sessions difficult. But overall, they enjoy spending time with you and learning new tricks. 

Are Affenpinschers Smart?

This doggo is intelligent, yes. They’re quick learners and enjoy learning new things. Also, they’re independent, so they might have a mind of their own.

Is This A Banned Breed?

Luckily, Affenpinschers are not banned anywhere. However, if you plan on flying on an airplane with them, check with the airline first. Due to their size and the way their face is, Affenpinschers may be banned on certain airlines.

Is The Affenpinscher Right For You?

If you enjoy being outside with your pup and don’t have kids in the home, then yes. This doggo is a good option. They can adapt to apartment living and are loyal, friendly, and silly companions.

Meet The Silly Affenpinscher: Is This Dog Right For You? | PetSimplified.com
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