Affenpinscher: Breed Profile

| Updated: August 10, 2023
This Affenpinscher is a little moustached and charming little puppy, alert and inquisitive, loyal and affectionate.

Origin History of the Affenpinscher:

The Affenpinscher is a breed of toy dogs that have been around for centuries, though its exact origins are unclear. Believed to have originated in Germany, this breed was used as a ratting dog and is thought to be related to the Brussels Griffon and the Miniature Schnauzer. The earliest documented evidence of the Affenpinscher dates back to the late 19th century, though paintings by Dutch artists as far back as the 15th century depict small, rough-coated, bearded dogs that appear to be related to the breed.

In 1902, the Berlin Lapdog Club began to formulate a breed standard for the Affenpinscher, and the true breed standard was not finalized until 1913. This standard was translated to English and adopted by the American Kennel Club, and the Affenpinscher was officially entered into the AKC Stud Book 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.

World War II interrupted the breeding of the Affenpinscher in the United States, but the breed began to revive in the 1950s and has become more popular since then. In 2002, Ch Yarrow’s Super Nova won the Toy Group at the Westminster Kennel Club Show, bringing the Affenpinscher into the spotlight. Despite its long history, the Affenpinscher still only ranks 125th among the breeds and varieties recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Affenpinscher Appearance:

The Affenpinscher is a small but mighty breed with a one-of-a-kind look. He has a thick, rough coat that ranges in color from black to gray, silver, black and tan, and red. The red color can range from brownish to an orangey tan, and some Affens have black, brown, or white hairs mixed in with the red. The coat is approximately one inch in length on the body, with slightly longer and shaggier fur around the head, neck, chest, stomach, and legs which gives him a monkey-like appearance. His longer fur around the head and shoulders resembles a cape, and he has long eyebrows and a striking beard.

To keep the Affenpinscher looking his best, he should be brushed weekly with a small slicker brush and then combed with a metal greyhound comb. This will help to maintain the shaggy but neat look that is desired. The coat should also be stripped every few months to maintain its desired texture. In addition to coat care, Affenpinschers need regular dental hygiene, nail care, and general grooming to look and feel their best. To prevent periodontal disease, brush the dog’s teeth several times a week, and trim nails once or twice a month if they don’t get worn down naturally. As you groom your Affen, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection on the body, in the ears, nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet.

Diet and Nutrition:

When it comes to the diet and nutrition needs of an Affenpinscher, it is important to remember that these dogs are small, and have low energy levels. It is important to provide them with a diet that is tailored to meet their specific needs.

When choosing a food for an Affenpinscher, it is important to look for one that is specifically designed for small breeds. This will ensure that the food contains the proper balance of nutrients for their size and energy level. Also, look for food that is low in fat and high in protein, as these dogs are prone to weight gain. Additionally, adding supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids can be beneficial for skin and coat health.

It is also important to be mindful of how much you are feeding your Affenpinscher. These dogs are prone to overfeeding, so be sure to provide only the recommended amount and avoid giving too many treats. Additionally, try to provide healthy treats such as sweet potatoes or carrots instead of fattier treats.

The best option to provide your individual Affenpinscher with the right diet and nutrition is to consult with your veterinarian and find a food that is specifically designed for small breeds. Additionally, be mindful of how much you are feeding and provide healthy treats when possible. With the right diet and nutrition, your Affenpinscher can live a happy and healthy life.

Common Health Issues Affecting Affenpinschers:

The Affenpinscher is generally a healthy breed, but like any other breed, they can suffer from certain health conditions. Some of the most common health problems for Affenpinschers include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, von Willebrand’s disease, and thrombopathia.

Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the hip joint does not form correctly, resulting in pain, lameness, and arthritis. Fortunately, this condition can be tested for and managed through proper diet, exercise, and medication.

Elbow dysplasia is a condition that affects the elbow joint and can cause pain, lameness, and arthritis. This condition can also be tested for and managed with proper diet, exercise, and medication.

Hypothyroidism is an endocrine disorder caused by an underactive thyroid gland. Common symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, hair loss, lethargy, and skin problems. This condition can be managed through medication and dietary changes.

Von Willebrand’s disease is a condition in which the blood does not clot properly, leading to excessive bleeding. This condition can be tested for and managed with medication and dietary changes.

Thrombopathia is a condition in which the blood vessels become narrowed and blocked, leading to stroke-like symptoms. This condition can be managed with proper diet and exercise.

It’s important to be aware of these conditions if you’re considering an Affenpinscher, and to find a good breeder who can provide health clearances for both of your puppy’s parents. Regular veterinary checkups can also help to ensure your Affenpinscher is healthy, and to catch any health issues early.

Interesting Facts About Affenpinschers:

The Affenpinscher is a truly unique breed of dog with a bold, spunky personality that can make them seem much larger than their small size. Here are some interesting facts about the Affenpinscher that you may not know about this lovable, entertaining breed.

First and foremost, the Affenpinscher is often referred to as the “Monkey Dog” because its name is derived from the German words “affen” (ape/monkey) and “pinscher” (terrier). This small but feisty breed descends from the numerous small terriers that populated 17th and 18th century stables and shops throughout Europe. In 2002, the Affenpinscher got its moment in the spotlight when Ch Yarrow’s Super Nova won the Toy Group at the nationally televised Westminster Kennel Club Show.

The Affenpinscher has a mind of its own and is often labeled as stubborn, but it is also incredibly smart and eager to please. This breed is incredibly sensitive to the moods of its owners, and it is known to take on the personality of its family. Early and consistent training is essential for the Affenpinscher to grow into a balanced adult.

The Affenpinscher is an excellent watchdog and has a bold, fearless nature that can surprise onlookers. Despite its small size, the Affenpinscher will not hesitate to alert the entire neighborhood if someone is approaching the front door. This breed also combines clownlike charm with its bold nature, and it is always entertaining and can even learn tricks.

The Affenpinscher is an excellent travel companion and loves to explore new places. While this breed is not known for being particularly fond of children, frequent socialization with other people and animals is essential to ensure the Affenpinscher grows up to be a balanced adult.

Where to Adopt or Buy:

If you’re looking to bring an Affenpinscher into your life, there are a few places to look. Many breeders specialize in the breed, and a good place to start is by contacting the American Affenpinscher Club or the American Kennel Club. You can also check out local dog shows or the classifieds section of the newspaper.

You may also be able to find an Affenpinscher in need of adoption or fostering. Check out your local animal shelters or rescues and inquire if they have any Affenpinschers available. You can also search online for rescue organizations that specialize in the breed. Additionally, there are Facebook groups dedicated to the Affenpinscher, where you may be able to find someone looking to rehome a dog.

When looking for an Affenpinscher, make sure to do your research. Ask for references and do background checks on any breeders you may be considering. It’s also important to ask the right questions when visiting a breeder. Make sure their animals are healthy and well cared for, and that the puppies are socialized and properly vaccinated. Additionally, find out if the breeder has a return policy or any guarantees for their puppies. This will help ensure you bring home a healthy, happy pup that is a good fit for your family.


In conclusion, the Affenpinscher is an excellent choice for those who live in apartments or smaller living spaces. They are loyal, alert, and full of energy, making them great companions. Their size also makes them easy to take with you on the go, making them great travel companions. However, they can be difficult to housetrain and may need patience and consistency. They also have a high prey drive, so they should be supervised around small children or animals. With the right training, the Affenpinscher can be a loyal and loving companion.


Q: What is an Affenpinscher?

A: An Affenpinscher is a small, sturdy breed of dog that originated in Germany. They are sometimes referred to as “monkey terriers” due to their playful, mischievous personalities and long, wiry coats. They make excellent family dogs due to their intelligence, loyalty, and alertness.

Q: How big do Affenpinschers get?

A: Affenpinschers typically weigh between 7-10 pounds and stand 9-11 inches tall. They are compact, but sturdy dogs that can easily fit into small homes or apartments.

Q: Are Affenpinschers good with children?

A: Affenpinschers are generally good with children, but as with all breeds, it’s important to supervise any interactions between children and dogs. Affenpinschers can be cautious around small children and may require a slow introduction to new people and situations. With proper training and socialization, Affenpinschers can make wonderful family companions.

Q: How much exercise does an Affenpinscher need?

A: Affenpinschers are active dogs and enjoy regular exercise. They need at least 30 minutes of daily exercise, including a combination of walks, playtime, and mental stimulation. Affenpinschers are also known for their love of agility and can make excellent competitors in these events.

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