black, gray, black and tan, red, silver and belge (mix of red, black and white hairs). Some white hairs and small white patches on the chest are acceptable.
10-15 inches (25-38 cm)
7-8 pounds (3-3.36 kg)
10-15 inches (25-38 cm)
7-8 pounds (3-3.36 kg)
Indoors with a small yard. Will do well in apartments with regular exercise.
The Affenpinscher is a small breed of dog that has a unique personality and a stout and hardy physical appearance. The breed is known for its terrier-like hunting ability and athletic qualities, as well as its almost monkey-like face and amazing array of expressions. Although a small breed, the Affenpinscher is not fragile or frail, rather they are strong, agile and very good hunters.
The head of the Affenpinscher is round in shape, with a very pronounced stop between the eyes and the muzzle. The muzzle is relatively short, and the lower jaw extends slightly beyond the nose. The nose is very noticeable, and the longer hair grows away from the nose in a beard around the mouth. The eyes are round and somewhat prominent - but not protruding - and are always black, very alert and serious looking. Long eyebrows that are very mobile contribute to the facial expressions that this breed is known for. The ears have traditionally been cropped, but many countries now prohibit this practice so dogs may be shown with their ears natural. The natural ears will be small and triangular in shape, folded over and held relatively close to the head. The long hairs of the forehead and eyebrows will often partially cover the ears. The overall appearance of the face should be very monkey-like, with all features symmetrical.
The neck is well proportioned and slightly arched, blending into well-set shoulders. The top line is very straight and level, and the height at the withers or shoulders should be approximately the same as the length of the body, providing a square and sturdy appearance to the breed. The legs are well boned and not delicate looking, rather they are sturdy and developed. The feet are small and round, with thick pads and strong nails. The hindquarters are muscled, and slightly bent at the stifle. The tail is often docked at about one to two inches, and will be carried high. A natural tail is also acceptable and it will also be carried high, often curving up slightly over the back, especially while the dog is moving or at attention.
The coat of the Affenpinscher is dense and rather rough to the touch, and is between one and one and a half inches in length over the body. The hair on the face, chest and legs and stomach may be slightly longer with various lengths blending from one to the other. Overall the coat looks shaggy but neat, and there is little clipping or trimming required to keep these dogs looking tiptop. The coat may be a variety of colors including black, black and tan, silver, red or gray or belge (a mix of red, black and white hairs). Some variations in color including single white hairs are acceptable, as is a small white patch on the chest. Large white patches are not acceptable within the breed. Darker masks on the face and lighter hair color on the furnishings are acceptable.
A shaggy yet neat outer coat over a thicker, slightly wavy undercoat is the best way to describe the coat of the Affenpinscher. Somewhat rough to the touch, the coat of the Affenpinscher closely resembles that of most of the terrier breeds, although it is denser and slightly longer. The coat is longest on the chest, belly and legs as well as on the face and beard area.
The breed may also have a slightly darker mask on the face, and lighter coloration on the furnishings.
The Affenpinscher originated in Germany in the 1600's. It was used traditionally as a vermin hunting dog on farms and even in houses in cities and towns. The exact origins and breed development of the Affenpinscher is largely unknown, but there is no doubt that it is part of the foundation stock of many other breeds, such as the Schnauzer and the Brussels Griffon. The original Affenpinscher was probably a slightly larger dog, and may have measured as much as 12-14 inches at the withers. It is likely that the demand for miniature or smaller breeds for vermin hunting and companion dogs in cities and towns led to the smaller dogs being favored over the larger members of the breed.
The Affenpinscher is affectionately known as the "mustached little devil" or "diablotin moustachu" in France. The actual name Affenpinscher comes from the German word "Affen" - which means monkey - and "Pinscher" which translates to terrier. Today the Affenpinscher is a relatively rare breed in most countries, but breeders are actively promoting this breed and it continues to have a loyal group of fanciers worldwide.
The Affenpinscher is a true people dog, and loves to be actively involved in what is going on in the family. Unlike many of the terrier breeds, the Affenpinscher is not as prone to independence, although they are excellent at problem solving and figuring things out. The Affenpinscher is playful at heart, and loves to find mischievous things to do to both amuse the family and keep themselves occupied.
They are highly intelligent dogs, that require firm and positive training methods to ensure that they don't become dominant or too assertive. Although a small dog, the Affenpinscher is a loyal and protective dog that will bark very loudly when he or she feels threatened or thinks that the family or property needs protecting. They can be very fierce, even in the face of much larger dogs trying to come into their yard or territory. The Affenpinscher, like many of the terriers, is rather protective of food and possessions such as toys, bedding and even bones. They are a good family dog but do best with older children that understand the nature of the dog. Younger children can also be taught to interact well with the Affenpinscher, as long as they don't start teasing the dog, and they understand the dog's natural instinct to guard possessions.
The Affenpinscher will typically be a good companion dog for both other dogs and non-canine pets. Early socialization with other pets, including cats, is important in any breed and the Affenpinscher is no different. The more socialization that occurs with the breed as a puppy, the greater their acceptance of new people, animals and environments will be.
The Affenpinscher is very easy to train, but does require constant change in their routine to prevent boredom and non-compliance. The breed is very quick at learning complex tricks and routines, and they really love a challenge. The Affenpinscher does not do well when left alone for long periods of time, and should always be around people more than left alone.
The Affenpinscher is always ready to head out on a walk or an adventure. They are naturally good travelers, and usually do very well in vehicles. As with any dog, care needs to be taken in either extremely hot or cold temperatures, and they are recommended for indoor living.
The Affenpinscher is a very hardy and healthy breed of dog, with few major Health Problems or genetic concerns. As with most small breeds of dogs there is a possibility of patellar luxation, or slipped kneecap, that can occur as dogs age, but this can be treated by a veterinarian. Legg Perthes disease, a hip degeneration that happens in young dogs, can also occur but can usually be treated with surgical procedures. Obtaining a puppy from a reputable breeder that has screened the male and female for this condition will ensure the condition will not be present. Very infrequently, a heart condition called PDA ( Patent ductus arteriosis )and open fontanel, improper closing of the bones of the skull, can be found in the breed.
The Affenpinscher's naturally wiry type coat requires regular grooming to keep tangles from developing. A wire brush or good quality pin brush, as well as a wide tooth metal comb are usually all the supplies that are required. It is important to brush the Affenpinscher at least every other day to keep the shaggy coat free from tangles. The outer coat as well as the slightly wavy inner coat will need grooming. The furnishings or feathering on the legs and belly can be combed first to remove large tangles, then brushed to remove the debris and dead hairs.
Affenpinschers that will be used in the show ring need to be stripped, which is a process of removing the long hairs by plucking. This can be done by a professional groomer or the owner, and is the best way to keep the coat looking its best. Clipping the coat of the Affenpinscher will result in a poor coat for several years, and is typically not recommended. Avoid bathing this breed unless necessary, to prevent the removal of the natural protective oils in the outer coat. Dry powder can be used for grooming between baths if necessary.
Watch for any signs of irritation of the eyes in the form of tearing. Small hairs can sometimes grow on the side of the eyes, or longer hairs may curl into the eyes causing irritation. Plucking or removing these hairs is all that is usually required to prevent the tearing.
The Affenpinscher is a moderately active dog that does require regular exercise. They can be exercised in relatively small areas, and will play indoors just as well as outdoors. In general, Affenpinschers love to get outdoors and run and play. They are natural climbers, and seem to want to explore all of the area they are allowed to run in. A fenced yard is ideal for an Affenpinscher to explore, while staying safe from larger dogs. They will sometimes chase wildlife and even other cats or pets, so a fence is important for this breed.
The Affenpinscher should have regular, daily walks and exercise. Without routine outings the dogs may become somewhat rambunctious in the house, and will be more prone to getting into things and even engaging in undesirable behavior such as problem barking or chewing. Regular exercise, in conjunction with positive training, will prevent these issues from occurring.
The Affenpinscher should never be left outdoors in cold climates or strenuously exercised in very hot or cold conditions. Many Affenpinschers love to fetch and play with the family, and often a romp in the yard with the kids is the best possible exercise for this breed.
The Affenpinscher is a very intelligent dog that does best when challenged mentally. They quickly become bored with the same requests, and do not do well with a highly repetitive training program. Since they are so intelligent, they will quickly learn both correct and incorrect behaviors so early, firm, loving and consistent training is essential.
The breed is naturally playful and mischievous, so should not be expected to be a completely serious dog. They love to be in the middle of action and activities, and often can become quickly distracted by things going on in the environment. Training sessions should be short and in a distraction-free environment until the puppy or dog understands the basic commands. Once they know what you are expecting, they will quickly learn to follow commands even when something is going on around them.
The Affenpinscher, like many small dogs, can be difficult to house train simply because of their physical size. Crate training is an ideal solution to this problem, and is very effective when done correctly and with the success and comfort of the puppy in mind. Since the Affenpinscher loves to be outdoors, getting them to go outside is not typically a problem.
As with any breed, it is important to socialize this breed as part of a well-rounded training program. The more contact that puppies and adult dogs have with other people, animals and places, the more accepting and less anxious they will be. Affenpinschers are naturally rather protective and possessive of their food and toys, so training them early to "give" without snapping or guarding is important, especially if there are children in the house.
Training sessions should always begin and end with some fun time for the owner and the dog. Playing, throwing or rolling a ball or just romping with the dog or puppy helps in getting rid of excess energy, and to assist with bonding.