Affen Spaniel: Breed Profile

| Updated: August 10, 2023

History of the Affen Spaniel:

The Affen Spaniel is a relatively new breed, but both of its parent breeds have long and intriguing histories. The Cocker Spaniel is believed to have originated in the United Kingdom in the 19th century as a hunting dog. They quickly became popular for their loyalty and intelligence, and in 1878, they were one of the first ten breeds to be officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. Today, they are mostly beloved as family pets, but their usefulness and dependability as hunting dogs remains.

On the other hand, Affenpinschers have been around since at least the 17th century, though reliable documentation of the breed only dates back to the late 19th century. They were bred in Germany and other parts of Central Europe to be skilled ratters, and were often seen in stables, shops, farms, and homes. Over time, they were miniaturized to become companion dogs and are believed to have been crossed with Pugs, smoothcoated German Pinschers, and a dog known as the German Silky Pinscher. They also contributed to the development of other breeds, such as the Brussels Griffon and the Miniature Schnauzer.

The Affen Spaniel is a combination of both the Cocker Spaniel and the Affenpinscher, and the breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1936. The first Affen registered with the AKC was named Nollie v. Anwander, one of four German imports belonging to Bessie Mally of Cicero, Illinois. After World War II, interest in the breed was renewed and in 2002, Ch Yarrow’s Super Nova even won the Toy Group in the nationally televised Westminster Kennel Club Show. The Affen Spaniel is still a rare breed, ranking 125th among the breeds and varieties recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Affen Spaniel Appearance:

The Affen Spaniel is a small, compact dog with a spunky personality and a mischievous attitude. With its thick, often curly, fur and stubby legs, the Affen Spaniel is sure to turn heads. The breed typically stands between 8-11 inches tall and can weigh anywhere between 10-18 pounds.

The Affen Spaniel is characterized by its long, rounded head with wide-set eyes and large ears that often flop over. The muzzle is typically short and tucked, while the jaw is strong and the teeth meet in a scissors bite. The coat of the Affen Spaniel is usually an attractive mix of wiry and curly hair that is thicker and longer around the head, neck and chest. The fur can come in a variety of colors, including black, tan, white, and red.

The Affen Spaniel has a distinctive gait, often described as a “stiff-legged” shuffle that is both adorable and amusing. The breed is also known for its bold and inquisitive nature, making them great watchdogs and excellent companions.

Diet and Nutrition:

When it comes to the diet and nutrition needs of the Affen Spaniel, it is important to keep in mind that these dogs are small but have a moderate energy level. It is important to feed them a balanced diet that meets their needs, but also to be mindful of avoiding overfeeding or providing too many treats. This breed is prone to weight gain, so be sure to stick to a regular feeding schedule and not leave food out during the day.

When choosing food for the Affen Spaniel, look for one that is designed specifically for small breeds as this will provide them with the proper balance of nutrients they need. If your pup is especially food motivated, opt for low calorie treats such as sweet potato or carrot rather than fattier treats. To help with any potential skin issues, consider adding omega-3 fatty acids to their diet.

Finally, it is important to remember that the Affen Spaniel’s dietary needs will change as they age, from puppyhood to adulthood and into their senior years. It is best to consult with your veterinarian to determine the best food to feed your pup, as their individual needs may vary. By doing this, you can ensure that your Affen Spaniel is getting the best nutrition possible.

Common Health Issues:

The Affen Spaniel is a relatively healthy breed of dog, but there are some health problems that are more common than others. Some of the more common health issues that the Affen Spaniel may face include:

Ear infections: The Affen Spaniel, like many breeds with pendulous ears, are prone to ear infections. The ears tend to retain moisture, and this can become a breeding ground for bacteria. It is important to keep the ears clean and dry to prevent this from occurring.

Eye problems: The Affen Spaniel is more prone to eye problems than some other breeds. Common eye issues include glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, and cataracts. Regular eye exams by a veterinarian can help detect these conditions early and increase the chances of successful treatment.

Hip dysplasia: Hip dysplasia occurs when the hip joint does not form properly, resulting in an unstable joint. This can cause pain and difficulty walking. Regular checkups with the veterinarian can help detect any signs of hip dysplasia early, and treatment may include surgery.

Gastrointestinal problems: Gastrointestinal problems are fairly common in the Affen Spaniel. Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. A veterinarian can help diagnose and treat any underlying problems.

Although the Affen Spaniel may be prone to some health issues, these can be managed with proper care. Regular checkups with the veterinarian and keeping up with vaccinations can help ensure that any health issues are addressed early.

Interesting Facts about Affen Spaniels:

The Affen Spaniel is an intriguing and unique dog breed, with a few interesting facts that may surprise you! Here are a few fun facts about this spunky pup:

  1. The Affen Spaniel is a relatively new breed, having been first bred in the 1930s, with the purpose of being a small companion dog.
  2. This breed is related to the Affenpinscher, having been developed by crossing the Affenpinscher with the Poodle, Schnauzer, and other small breeds.
  3. Affen Spaniels have a unique facial feature that sets them apart from other breeds – their “monkey-like” face. This is due to their fur growing in a distinct pattern, which gives the breed its recognizable look.
  4. Despite their small size, Affen Spaniels are quite active and need plenty of exercise and stimulation. They also have an independent streak and can be quite stubborn, so patience and consistency are important when training one of these pups.
  5. Affen Spaniels are considered to be hypoallergenic, which means that they may be a good choice for people with allergies. This is due to their low shedding coat and reduced dander production.
  6. Due to their intelligence, Affen Spaniels can be great at learning tricks and even basic commands. Because of this, they may do well in agility competitions and other dog sports.
  7. While they may be small in size, Affen Spaniels are quite fearless and confident, which makes them great watchdogs. They may become very attached to their owners, so they may be wary of strangers in the home.

Overall, Affen Spaniels are a unique breed that can bring a lot of joy and entertainment to their owners. With the right training and socialization, they can be a great addition to the family.


In conclusion, the Affen Spaniel is an affectionate, fun-loving dog that is sure to bring joy to any family. With their spunky personality and seemingly endless energy, they can bring lively fun and adventure to any home. Although they may seem like a handful at times, with the right training and socialization, the Affen Spaniel can be a wonderful addition to your family. They are a loyal breed that thrives on cuddles and attention, and their hardy nature makes them great companion for outdoor activities. As long as the Affen Spaniel is given regular exercise and mental stimulation, they will be content to snuggle up and cuddle with their family at the end of the day. All in all, the Affen Spaniel is an excellent choice for any family who wants a loyal, loving companion.


How much exercise does an Affen Spaniel need?

An Affen Spaniel typically needs between 20 and 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. This can include walks, playtime, and training sessions. The breed is known for its high energy levels and loves to play, so it’s important to give them ample opportunity to work off some of their energy.

How much grooming is required for an Affen Spaniel?

The Affen Spaniel has a thick, medium-to-long coat that can be curly or wiry. This means that the breed typically does best with grooming at least every few days. Regular brushings and semi-frequent bathing will help keep this dog in tip-top shape. Additionally, like with all other breeds, be sure to routinely check the Affen Spaniel for nail maintenance.

Are Affen Spaniels easy to train?

Affen Spaniels are typically eager to learn new tricks and excel in basic obedience. They are known for being eager to please and loyal to a fault, so they often take well to training. However, they may struggle with vocalizing in unwanted situations, as they have parent breed history for use as watchdogs. It’s important to be patient and consistent with training.

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