The Affenpinscher originates from Germany and is one of the oldest 'toy' breeds. It's name comes from the German Affen and Pinscher which translates as 'Monkey Terrier'. In French it is called the Diablotin Moustachu which means 'Moustached Devil'! It was developed as a small dog to catch vermin around the home, kitchen and stables, but soon became a favourite as a lap dog for ladies that would also dispatch any mice seen in the house. The breed made it's way to America, but after the Second World War the numbers declined. Even in Germany it is still quite rare.
The Affenpinscher is a Terrier at heart, bold, inquisitive and busy. They do well within a family and with respectful children and like to entertain people and be around them. They don't do well being left alone for long periods and can get up to mischief if bored. Unlike most Terriers, the Affenpinscher is ok with other family pets as a rule and more accepting of small furry friends and cats, but caution is still advised. They are friendly with strangers and other dogs if properly socialised from an early age. They are always on alert for the front door and will bark loudly when someone approaches. They can sometimes be territorial and funny with strangers, if not used to them, so inviting as many different people into your home when they are puppys will help.
The Affie, as it is sometimes known, is fun to have around. They know how to get attention and can sometimes play on this. They are bold, amusing and a joy to watch when they play. They like to please people and training should, in theory, be straight forward. It isn't. These are stubborn little dogs, and like other Terriers, will take time, patience and a sense of humour to train. They need firm, consistent training at all times and are easily bored, so different training techniques should be used. They can sometimes be food/toy aggressive if not taught this is wrong from a young age. Affies can be fearless and will muscle in on any situation where they see you are in danger. It's important to get them used to as many different places, people, sounds and situations as possible to prevent them getting themselves into trouble later in life. They will try and take on much larger dogs and rarely back down.
Although they are a lively, energetic breed, they do not have a huge appetite for very long walks. They are happy with a couple of walks a day , plus a vigorous game of fetch in the garden or house. They just want to be close to you and sleep on your lap on the sofa.
Their wiry coat needs brushing a couple of times a week to remove old hair, plus clipping twice a year for pets and hand stripping more often for show dogs.
Like most Terriers, the Affie is a hardy dog and suffers no major issues as a breed. They can sometimes develop Patellar Luxation and cataracts.
Affenpinschers have a busy and playful temperament. They enjoy scoping out every corner of every room and looking for ways to climb out of whatever is confining them. Affenpnschers make good watchdogs as they are quick to alert you to any visitor but they are also highly affectionate companions. They get on well enough with new dogs and strangers but as with all dogs early socialisation will go a long way.
Health problems that may affect Affenpinschers include luxating patella (dislocation of the kneecap), Legg Calvé Perthes disease (degeneration of the femoral head which can cause lameness and joint swelling), canine hip dysplasia (CHD), skin problems and blood clotting disease.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 11 - 14 years
- Weight: 2.9 - 6 kg
- Height: 9.5 - 11.5"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Medium - Hypoallergenic
- Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
- Town or Country: Either
- Minimum Home Size: Flat
- Minimum Garden Size: No Garden
- Breed Type: Toy Dog
- Size: Small
- Energy Level: High