Affenpinscher, one of the least common dog breeds of small size, has a big personality. They are also known as the monkey terrier and a single look at their mischievous eyes would tell you why. However, Affe in German is monkey or ape. The breed was initially raised by shop owners and households as vermin hunters.
The charming and cute looks of the dog made it a favorite as a household pet and they enjoyed every bit of affection they earned. Even today, they can be seen ravishing in affection from humans. Let’s find out more about this interesting monkey dog and sort them out according to their fitness as household pets.
- Used to hunt vermin in German Stables
- Hunters and cuddlers at the same time
- Born out of crossbreeding between different breeds
The origin of an Affenpinscher is quite vague. One of the few records however is found in the works of Dutch artists of the 15th century who wrote about a bearded terrier who shows some similarities with today’s Affenpinscher. Substantial evidence however emerged not before the 19th century.
These dogs are not properly classified as terriers but their breeding was done to work like them only. They worked in German stables and shops to hunt vermin like rats in the 1600s. They were famous for taking mice out of the kitchen. In time, they developed to become all-purpose dogs. Hunters in the day and cuddlers at night.
The ancestry of this dog is still unsolved but it is widely believed that they are a result of cross-breeding between Pugs, smooth-coated German Pinscher, and the German Silky Pinscher. The breed got clubs devoted to them specifically in the 1800s. They were welcomed into the ranks of the American Kennel Club in the 1930s.
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Breeds That Developed Because of Them
Affenpinscher contributed to the development of breeds like the Brussels Griffon and the Miniature Schnauzer. This breed’s rough coats and bearded faces are visible in all the breeds they contributed to the development of.
- Facial features like a monkey.
- Dark eyes and drooping ears.
- Short tails.
You can’t help but smile when you look at an Affenpinscher. The face of an Affenpinscher resembles a monkey with a small hairy head along with a domed skull and a flat face with a short muzzle.
They have dark lively eyes and drooping ears. The jaws on their faces are what gives them the most monkey-like look. Their jaws are slightly undershot.
They have short upright tails that are slightly curved towards the back.
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Physical Appearance of Affenpinschers
Affenpinschers are small, toy category dogs. They stand at 9-11.5 inches in height and weigh around 7-10 pounds. These playful apes live an amusing life of around 12-15 years.
With hair that is 2-3 cm long, the coat of an Affenpinscher is rough and long. Their hair is slightly longer at the back, abdomen, and face. Even with such rich fur, these dogs are negligible shedders. They shed very little and are rather hypoallergenic.
Mostly seen in the color black, Affenpinschers come in other colors as well like Black, Tan, Grey, Silver, Red, and Belge. Though the most common color is black.
- Known as a devil with a mustache.
- Mischievous in personality.
Though they got the name Affenpinscher from the Germans, the French gave the true name to this mischievous monkey – Diablotin Mustache translated as the devil with a mustache. These are really amusing and mischievous dogs not only in their appearance but in their personality as well.
These small pooches showcase a tough-guy attitude with a confident personality. They are full of mischief and trouble and they know how to stand up for themselves. If you think you can treat them roughly, they are going to retaliate.
Though very affectionate and cuddling dogs, they are stubborn little canines who can create a nuisance when their minds are left to themselves. With charm and intelligence combined with a bold nature, they always impress people around them and make themselves attractive canines.
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Are Affenpinschers Good Guarding Dogs?
Great Guarding Dogs
Having a smart and alert demeanor, Affenpinschers make great watchdogs. Their bold nature makes them fearless. They know how to guard their territory and are rather suspicious and fearless of strangers.
They are very serious with their capabilities and take duty seriously. If they see someone suspicious approaching, they are bound to alert the whole neighborhood. Though once they get angry and alert, it takes some time for them to calm down.
Contrary to their affectionate and playful nature around humans, Affenpinschers do not like little children. Their humorous nature disappears around kids.
They do not take well to rough behavior including tugging, hugging, squeezing, or pushing. If they find themselves in such an uncomfortable situation, they will respond by barking, growling, and even biting.
Even though the child is being friendly and playful with them, they don’t take well to rough play. So, in a family with older children, they can be very affectionate and settle well. But for a family with small children, they are not the best companions.
- Pretty bold and Overestimate themselves.
- Funny and humorous.
- They have an attitude that they own the world.
This big dog in a small body is so bold as to overestimate itself most of the time. This lands them in trouble with other big dogs in front of whom, nobody can make them back down from a fight.
Most of the time, their parents need to keep them from getting into conflict with dogs double their size. Their personality is so funny and makes people laugh all the time. Affenpinschers are frequently seen walking on their hind legs with eyebrows raised, acting like they own the world. That is sure to make you laugh so hard when this palm-sized pup acts like that.
Their monkey-like beard grants them an expression of seriousness. Though they are monkey-like in behavior as well. Even though they are trying to act serious, they love making people laugh and love occasional cuddles from people they love.
They are best around families who have a sense of humor as they have a great sense of humor themselves.
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Is Affenpinscher easy to train?
- Quite difficult to train.
- Prefer to be your friend rather than your pet.
- Do not prefer long training sessions.
- Early socialization makes them friendly.
The less than a foot tall Affenpinscher is a confident dog. These are stubborn dogs who can be quite difficult to train and made to obey. However, these intelligent pooches have a people-pleasing nature and if they bond with you really well, they can listen to what you say.
They do not like to be trained. They would rather prefer to be your friend than your pet. The best way to train an Affenpinscher is by befriending them. They like fun activities in order to cooperate. Keep giving them rewards and treats as positive reinforcements for every good deed done.
Long training sessions are not a good thing for them. They easily get bored and lose interest. Sessions divided into shorter periods in a day can be helpful with them. The early age socialization training can make them friendly around children and suppress the negative traits of their nature.
These small dogs are only moderately active. They do not need intense exercise in a day. Small brisk walks and some playtime are enough for them. These playful monkeys like jumping and playing all the time. So, make sure to have a backyard if you decide to get an Affenpinscher home.
Give them 30 minutes of exercise each day to keep them healthy. Avoid getting them too tired as they have very small noses and they run out of breath very quickly.
Caring for an Affenpinscher
Affenpinschers are good time barkers. So, if you are living in an apartment with a close set of neighbors, your neighbors might complain. They also need a backyard to play in as they are very playful.
These dogs get into conflict with larger animals quite frequently. That necessitates a leash every time you take them out walking. Also, take care not to leave them alone at home for a long time. These tiny pups are used to human company and are prone to anxiety in its absence.
Do Affenpinschers need grooming?
- Requires weekly brushing.
- The coat requires stripping once or twice a year.
- Require daily toothbrushing.
If you are thinking those long hair are going to give you a tough time grooming, you are wrong. Affenpinschers are not very difficult to groom. The main task is just to keep their coat from matting. Their shaggy coats require weekly brushing to remove tangles and mud.
Their coat requires stripping only once or twice a year to remove dead and tangled locks. For this, you can take the help of a professional groomer or you can do it by yourself.
Their undershot jaw makes them prone to dental diseases. This is why they require daily toothbrushing. The mischief of their behavior makes their claws wear down naturally. However, you can also resort to their nail-cutting once or twice a month. Keep their ears clean to prevent ear infections.
Health of Affpinschers
- Generally healthy.
- Prone to diseases like Anasarca, Patellar Luxation.
- Regular vet visits can prevent mostly everything.
Affenpinschers are generally healthy with just a few significant health concerns. They are prone to Anasarca, a disease where fluids accumulate under the skin or in vital organs, especially in newborn pups. There are no specific reasons for it but birth trauma might be a reason.
Patellar Luxation is also common in these dogs. It is also called slipped stifles in which Patellar bone slips out of place. This leads to abnormal gait and difficulty in walking in these dogs. Also, due to a small nose, they may suffer from breathing problems and overheating.
The best way to avoid that is to get a full health checkup before you get the dog home. Check them for hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and the normal eye certification from a recognized orthopedic foundation. Regular vet visits and a focus on a healthy diet and nutrition can prevent most of the health issues in your dog.
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Food and Nutrition
Affenpinschers stand in the small dog category. That is how their diet is to be decided also. It is best to divide their food into two parts each day. Due to their small cuteness, you might be inspired to over-feed them. Don’t make that mistake. Gaining weight might expose them to a pandora of disease.
Go for regular vet visits and recommendations to decide your dog’s diet and nutrition and feed them accordingly.
Price of Affenpinscher
Affenpinschers are not very common. They might be a little difficult to find. However, rarity and all, an Affenpinscher puppy won’t cost you excessively.
If you are planning to get home an Affenpinscher from a professional breeder, expect to pay USD 800 – USD 2000. Costs may vary according to the source of adoption. Make sure to get all the health data and check the reliability of the breeder before getting a pup home.
Considering all the traits of their nature, an Affenpinscher might be a suitable companion for you if you want a dog with an opinion.
You would love the confidence and boldness with which they face life. You would be delighted that a dog like that returns your affection and loves you just as much as you love them.