The Affenpinscher originated in the farmlands of Germany. Surviving on rats and mice, the breed actively protected the farms’ supply of winter food. The Affenpinscher once existed in two sizes of which the smaller survives today. While the breed does have some Terrier characteristics, the Affenpinscher is classified as a Toy breed.
Although small, the Affenpinscher is not a delicate breed. A quaint, social dog, the Affenpinscher carries itself with a comic seriousness. Eager to please its owner, the breed is placid and usually quiet, only barking when faced with something unusual.
The Affenpinscher is intelligent and easy to house train. Like other Terriers, the breed is alert and fearless, to the point of having little sense of size with other larger dogs. Devoted to its owner, the breed has little interest in strangers, however, it loves to mix with fellow dogs.
Rough coated and sturdy, the Affenpinscher has a mischievous monkey-like expression. A small breed with a square, compact body, the Affenpinscher is between 22-27cm with a short, straight back. The teeth fit closely together and the breed may experience undershot jaws.
The Affenpinscher is bred in a range of colours including black, black and tan, and red and grey. Black is preferred but grey shading is permitted. The breed has a shaggy but neat coat with medium-sized eyes.
An Affenpinscher’s life expectancy ranges from 10 to 14 years. A generally healthy breed, the Affenpinscher has been known to suffer from Patella Luxation, a condition where the knee cap moves in and out of the joint, and Hip Dysplasia.
Due to the active and bold nature of the Affenpinscher, broken bones can be a potential problem, however, supervised exercise and a safe environment will help prevent this.
Unlike other brachycephalic breeds, the Affenpinscher does not suffer from any breathing difficulties, however, the breed’s eyes may be prone to irritations if exposed to too many dry, windy days.
Preferring the scruffy, monkey-like look, the Affenpinscher needs little grooming. A brush once a week, along with a regular bath is sufficient. The breed’s coat may be trimmed every couple of months, only around the feet and eyes, to keep it tidy.
The Affenpinscher is a very active breed and requires a reasonable amount of supervised exercise.
An ideal companion for all ages, the Affenpinscher can be carried anywhere and is happy in small areas, however, the breed is generally not happy in a kennel, but will adapt if necessary. It is excellent indoors, as it is only a little breed and sheds a very small amount of hair.
The Affenpinscher is great for families with older children, as the breed is small and therefore not really suited to living with very young children. The Affenpinscher is also a great companion for active elderly people.
Words: Gish Lesh
Now you know a little about the Affenpinscher, you may think that this is the dog for you. Before you make a decision, please make contact with the breed club or your State controlling body for purebred dogs. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows, where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way, you will gain perspective of the Affenpinscher and its needs and whether this breed would indeed suit your lifestyle.