Affenpinscher Dog Breed

Affenpinscher Dog Breed

The etymology of the term Affenpinscher is German in origin and dates back to the 17th century. It came from the 2 German words Affe (meaning ape or monkey) and Pinscher (terrier). 

This particular breed is ancestral to the Griffon Bruxellois (Brussels Griffon) and Belgian Griffon. Unlike today, Affenpinschers that were found during the early centuries were somewhat larger, about 30 to 33 cm.  

They came in several colors including gray, light yellowish-brown, mixed black-tan, mixed grey-tan, and red. Also, white-colored feet and chest were commonly noted during those times.

Affenpinschers are rarely found in this country. Before this era, with their strong jaws, they were trained as ratters, patrolling the kitchens, warehouses and stables to get rid of rodents.

Interestingly, experts used to classify both Affenpinscher and Miniature Pinscher as a single breed, until 1896.  

At a dog show in Berlin, they finally decided to differentiate the two by attributing the longer fur characteristic to Affenpinscher.

Traits and Behavior

Affenpinschers have a look that gives them a close resemblance to terriers, but both breeds are different from each other. Affenpinschers are stubborn at times yet they are generally active, adventurous and curious. Consequently, they like to have fun and play games. This loyal little dog maintains strong family ties to its pack and always try to protect them whenever it senses danger.

Based on several observations, this type of dog is very cautious towards newly encountered dogs and unfamiliar people.

Moreover, Affenpinschers are highly territorial and could become so aggressive in guarding things they perceived as their possession, such as toys, food, bowl and whatnot.

They are chiefly calm but can become hostile if attacked or threatened by anyone. Therefore, this breed is not recommended for very young children.

A small young black Affenpinscher dog with a short shaggy wire coat walking on the grass

They have no particular desire to roam on long trips and wander far away from their family. Given their small size, they are very suitable in small apartments.

It is solely being kept as a companion dog. Through time, it managed to retain many of its hunting instincts. Since Affenpinschers are very intelligent, they should always be kept activated to nurture their potentials.

Consistent rigid training should be part of their lifestyle. The training must be varied, otherwise, these dogs will easily get bored. They require minimum exercise since being active is typical.

Its character offers a charming mix of fearlessness, tenacity, loyalty and devotion. They can show alternating moods ranging from odd seriousness to strong passion.

Pet Care and Diseases

Even though this breed is a hypoallergenic pet, it can still potentially cause allergic reactions to people with hypersensitivity and severe asthma. It is proven that hypoallergenic pets still produce allergens (although lesser in amount) that can be found in their saliva, urine, mucus and shed hair.

Affenpinschers does not shed much but just like other furry pets, they require regular basic maintenance. They need some plucking and trimming to retain a shaggy but neat appearance.

Affenpinscher Dog Breed

Make sure the Appenpinscher gets a walk or any other activity regularly to maintain its optimum health. You can ask a veterinarian or a dog’s breeder to give you lessons on how to take good care of this particular dog.

It is one of the healthiest dog breeds that have few medical concerns. However, diseases mentioned below have been reported:

  • Hyperadrenocorticism
  • Cataracts
  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca(KCS)
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Corneal Ulcers
  • Brachycephalic Syndrome


It normally weighs 3-4 kg and has a shoulder height of 26-27 cm. The Affenpinscher has bushy eyebrows, shaggy hair, and ape-like facial features. The breed’s rough coat is approximately an inch long. The color is usually pure black, but on several occasions, puppies are born having distinct silver, tan, or beige-colored coat.

General Information

The breed is expected to live for 14-15 years. A litter may consist of 1 to 3 puppies. Monkey Dog, Zwergattenpinscher and Moustached Devil are among Affenpinscher’s few other names.

Breed Club

Visit this dog club website dedicated to Affenpinschers. 

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