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Affenpinscher Dog Breed




affenpinscher dog breed

The Affenpinscher dog breed was recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club) in 1936 and is classified under the toy dog group.

Records date the breed back to the 17th century. In its early days it was used by farmers to rid their property of rats and mice, though it was a larger dog at that time.

The Affen, as he is affectionately called, is a terrier-type small dog with a similar hunting abilities. No doubt his terrier disposition and fearless demeanor made him a good candidate for his rodent-eradicating job.

Ancestors of Affenpinscher dogs are believed to include the Schnauzer and smooth Miniature Pinscher. It is also strongly thought that the Affen was the main breed involved in the development of the Brussels Griffon.

Its name, translated from the German, means Monkey Terrier which may explain its somewhat comical expression.

Today, the Affenpinscher is primarily a companion breed though it has done well in competition havind won the Best in Show award at the Westminster Dog Show in 2013.




Appearance and Grooming

The Affenpinscher dog breed has a shaggy appearance, a mischievous expression and large alert eyes. The maximum ideal height of Affens is 10-1/4 inches and their weight averages 7-8 pounds. Coat colors can be seen in one of the following: black, black/tan, red and dary gray.

Affenpinscher dogs have a harsh wiry-haired coat that is a mixture of short and dense. An abundance of hair frames the face and looks rather unruly and spiky. There's no denying that this shaggy look is very appealing and contributes to their overall charm.

While they are generally considered to be light shedders, the coat will blow hair that is dead and has grown beyond it's natural length. Frequent grooming will remove the loose hair and keep it from piling up around the house.

The standard coat cut is unique and while owners can learn how to trim it, some may choose to have it groomed by a professional.

That being said, a brushing and combing two to three times a week with a high quality soft bristle brush and a comb will keep the Affie's coat maintained in between visits to the groomer. Combing is also very helpful in picking apart any mats that may be forming.


One thing to keep in mind about this type of coat is not to purchase cheap tools that may damage it.

Personality and Traits

The Affenpinscher dog breed is an affectionate, though a bit mischievous, loyal companion and a very popular family pet.

This toy dog is extremely intelligent - learns quickly, is bold and playful, normally of even disposition but he can be a tad stubborn and short-tempered at times.

He will delight you with his entertaining little tricks.


affenpinscher dog guide book for owners


Make no mistake, this outgoing little dog is very self-confident, quite fearless and makes an excellent watchdog.

With the intelligence that this dog has, he absolutely needs training on a regular basis. Without it, he can become dominating and unruly.


Affenpinscher Dog Breed Health

The Affenpinscher has an average lifespan of 11+ years.

Among the health problems that may affect the breed, luxating patella seems to be the most common followed closely by heart disease and hip dysplasia.

Other concerns to be aware of that may affect the breed include various skin problems caused by allergies, eye diseases - especially cataracts, von Willebrand's a blood clotting disease, and dental problems.

In addition, like many delicate small dog breeds, collapsed trachea can be more of a risk. However, use of a harness for walks instead of a collar can help reduce pressure on the trachea.


Affenpinscher Dog Breed Activity Level

Though not a sedentary type dog in the home, a daily walk is necessary and provides a good opportunity to reinforce training and instill your leadership.

Walking also provides chances for socialization with other dogs and their guardians.

Space Needs:

The Affenpinscher adapts well to house or apartment providing he is allowed, and has enough room, to run around inside.

A yard is always a nice extra as every dog needs to have a change of scenery and some fresh air.

Is the Affen Suitable For Children?

The Affenpinscher dog breed is very playful and energetic, but because they are quite territorial and guarding of their toys, they are not the best match for families that have toddlers or rather young children.

That being said, the Affen is otherwise a very affectionate family pet and would be fine around mature children who have the ability to provide leadership.

Companion For Sedentary Families?

This is an excellent breed for the elderly or more sedentary families.

In addition to being great companions, the Affenpinscher does not have heavy exercise demands, is entertaining, loving and alert to potential intruders. They have also done well in therapy situations.




Find more information on the breed here


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