A small Affenpinscher
Affenpinscher Quick Summary
Also Known AsAffen, Monkey Dog
Height (at withers)9-15in (24-28cm)
Weight7-9lbs (3-4kg)
Hair Colour(s)Black, dark grey, red, tan
Lifespan10-12 years
Energy LevelVery high
Litter size2
Barking TendencyHigh
Exercise requirementsLow
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsMedium
Distress if leftMedium

The Affenpinscher is a small but sturdy terrier-like dog sporting an intelligent and alert expression. It has a squarish frame and face, prominent round eyes, a short nose, and an undershot jaw that gives rise to its nickname of monkey dog. It has a short coat with longer wisps over the face and a curly undercoat. The harsh and wiry coat comes in a variety of colours including black and tan, black, grey, silver and red. The ears are normally docked, as is the tail by a third of its length, but of course these can be left natural.


Affenpinschers are curious and often mischievous dogs, and they can be very playful and entertaining. They are intelligent and strong-willed too and can bore quickly, which can make it difficult when trying to teach them complex commands, and some can even be hard to housebreak. Affenpinschers should get along fine with other pets and older children, but they are not recommended for families with younger kids as they can be very aggressive. Firm and consistent discipline is required with these dogs to prevent them from becoming demanding and bossy, and despite their sturdy appearance, they are fine boned and care may be required regarding some of their more energetic tendencies, such as leaping off items of furniture.

History & Skills

Affenpinschers originate from Germany, and their name translates literally as Monkey Terrier (due to their monkey-like facial expression). The breed can be traced back to the seventeenth century, where originally they were farm dogs, housed in farm buildings to control rat populations, before being bred to a smaller size and used to control household mice. Due to their protective and aggressive nature, Affenpinschers make good watch dogs, especially for situations where larger dogs cannot be kept. They can be afraid of heights, so be understanding if they panic and try to jump down when picked up.

Breed Specific Ailments

Affenpinschers tend to live between 10-12 years and are generally a healthy and robust breed with no known serious genetic problems. Some of the most common problems that have been noted include heart murmurs, Legg Perthes, luxating patella, and kidney problems. They may also be susceptible to respiratory problems in hot weather, but this can be common amongst many short-nosed dogs.


Affenpinschers are low shedders, when groomed properly, and so are suitable for those suffering with allergies. Their grooming requirements are low too, and the coat should be brushed at least once a week and stripped every few months for show dogs. The hair around the eyes can be trimmed to avoid irritation, and any hair growing into the corners of the eyes should be removed. The coat generally should not be clipped to avoid ruining the shape.

Exercise & Environment

Affenpinschers tend to live indoors, where playing should provide most of the required levels of excercise this dog needs. The occasional walk outdoors will be good for morale and should satisfy their natural curiosity and desire to explore.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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