Affenpinschers are much loved for their entertaining personalities, but like many of the toy breeds, they can be difficult to housebreak. Finding the right balance of showing these little dogs what is expected of them and what is not allowed can be a difficult task for first time dog owners. Because housebreaking and interacting with other people and animals are the two things that are most challenging for Affenpinschers, we're going to take a look at a few tips for helping these little monkey dogs get settled in your home.
The Affenpinscher Club of American strongly recommends using crate training in housebreaking your dog. At first, the thought of confining your dog in a small space might sound cruel, but unless a dog is sent to his crate as a punishment, this can be a highly effective and safe way for your dog to adjust to living in his new home. The fact is, Affenpinschers are naturally den animals, and like to have a small, dark place that they can relax in. You can think of the crate as his own bedroom!
Crate training can help your dog adjust not only to housebreaking but help him overcome separation anxiety. First, Affenpinschers will not want to relieve themselves where they sleep, so owners should take dogs directly from their crate to wherever they're allowed to relieve themselves, either outside or on some newspapers, whichever you've decided is best. Soon, they will begin to understand that these are the only places that they are allowed to relieve themselves, which will hopefully cut down on accidents in the home.
Affenpinschers also tend to suffer from separation anxiety, which may result in their showing their displeasure if they've been left on their own for long periods by destroying objects in their reach. Crate training will help cut down on this behavior by giving the dog a safe haven to wait in while their family is gone.
The crate used can be a travel kennel, with soft bedding and water if the dog will be left in the crate for extended periods. The dog should be put in the crate when left alone and some owners even prefer to put their dogs in their crate overnight. The added advantage to this training is that the dog won't put up a fight going into his crate when it's time to travel.
Affenpinschers have the tendency to be suspicious of strangers, so introducing your dog to outside influences can help him adjust to noise and people, especially if you're considering showing your Affenpinscher in competition. Socialization can be as simple as taking your dog on errands with you, riding in the car, even walking on a leash in the park or around a shopping center. Letting strangers pet him will help your dog understand the signs people give when they are friendly, which will help the dog differentiate between good and bad strangers. Another option is to bring your Affen to a handling class or a "puppy kindergarten" class, which will help him get used to not only other people, but animals as well.
Your Affenpinscher will be a much happier creature when he understands what is expected of him, and you'll be relieved to know that your dog can handle new experiences and people wherever you take him. Start your training early to get the maximum benefits of housebreaking and socialization, and you and your dog will get the maximum enjoyment from each other.