The Affenpinscher is a toy dog that can be both fearless and playful at the same time. These dogs have been known by various names including the “monkey dog” or the “moustachioed little devil”.

Due to their small size they are perfect for those living in apartments or other areas where space is at a premium. However, as we will outline further below this breed is not just a quiet lapdog and can require some level of training and proper socialization.


The Affenpinscher is a breed that originated in Germany. It was bred in the 17th century as a pest control agent to eliminate small vermin. This breed has facial features resembling a monkey, hence the reason why it is called “affen” meaning monkey in German.

The ancestors of this dog were relatively bigger and were known to exist sometime in the 15th century. As a breed, they are also closely linked with the Brussels Griffon and the miniature Schnauzer.

The breed was fully established in the late 1800s in the south of Germany and were once the choice of only the upper class. After the second world war, Affenpinschers were brought to the USA and interestingly enough, the USA now hosts more of this breed than any other place in the world.

Even though this is the case, this breed is still classified as a rare breed and therefore can be difficult to obtain.


The Affenpinscher is usually less than a foot tall and weighs about 3 to 4 kgs only. Mostly black in color, they can also be red, silver, gray, beige, or tan.

They have a thick, wiry coat which is longer on areas such as the neck, head and legs. Affens generally do not shed a lot and some even consider them to be a hypoallergenic breed.

It should be noted here however, that strictly speaking there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog breed as allergens are still contained in the dog’s saliva and dander.

As mentioned before, Affenpinscher means monkey terrier in German and is so named due to the protruding lower jaw and beady, black eyes. They can indeed be quite a sight!

Affenpinscher Temperament 

Affenpinschers might look like terriers but they are different in nature. As a result, they are not only small, intelligent, and loyal but can also easily befriend other dogs and pets.

Furthermore, Affenpinschers are fun-loving, active, and curious. Being generally quiet, this breed of dog can also be very protective of whoever they consider to be their family members and are known to be fearless.

Consequently, care must be taken to ensure that your pet Affen does not try to challenge the neighborhood mastiff which, by the way, he will do if left unchecked. Affens can also be stubborn and very possessive about their food and toys.

Therefore, they are not recommended in a household that has small children in it. Additionally, they will not work well in a household with pets such as hamsters and gerbils as their hunting instinct can quite quickly kick in.


Keeping your doggo happy and healthy is of course of paramount importance. You have to watch his diet, don’t compromise on exercise, brush his teeth, keep him clean, and consult a veterinary physician if something unusual happens.

Also, make sure you strictly follow a vaccination and routine checkup schedule. You can also sign up for pet health insurance which will cover all the medical tests and treatments.  

You can make your little friend live healthier, happier, and longer by keeping a close eye on his diet and routine. Moreover, you may do the following:

  • Brush his fur weekly. 
  • Brush his teeth a minimum three times every week or he may get serious tooth problems. 
  • Clean his ear and take care of his hygiene.  
  • Keep a close eye on what he eats and don’t give him anything else than his own food. 
  • A high-quality diet can increase his life span. Affens on average can live between twelve and fourteen years. 
  • Take your dog with you on regular walks. Affens are not considered to be a high energy breed but still will need a moderate amount of exercise.

Health issues 

Just like any other domestic pet, there are many health-related problems that can happen to an Affenpinscher. Because of their active and inquisitive nature, there is the possibility of bumps, cuts and even broken bones. 

Affenpinschers can have orthopedic diseases like hip dysplasia, Legg-Vale-Perthes, and luxating patella. Certain heart diseases can also be a possibility with Affenpinschers.

Moreover, this breed can have their vision affected by cataracts. Several other eye diseases include corneal ulcers, dry eye, glaucoma, and tear duct disorders. 

Hormonal diseases in Affenpinschers include Cushing and hypothyroidism. Furthermore, these pets can also carry several skin problems including allergies like pyoderma, non-tumorous growths, and itchy skin. Blood-clotting can be another big health issue in Affenpinschers.

Affenpinscher Rescue

Outlined below are reputable organizations that this breed can be obtained from. As mentioned previously, due to the fact that this is a rare breed, you might end up on a waiting list for some time.

If you are looking to adopt an Affen then please note that there is an Adoption fee as well as a home visit that will be scheduled.

Also, as with many other rescues, these dogs may come with some extra baggage in terms of their emotional and physical wellbeing.

Of course, extra patience and love on your part will bring great rewards in terms of a loyal and loving pet.

Final Thoughts 

Affenpinschers never fail to entertain due to their sharp and surprisingly creative minds. Furthermore, they are very quick learners, but training must be started at an early age otherwise there can be the issue of stubbornness.

Affens love adventure and are very good travelers who are always in the mood for something new and exciting. Are you an Affenpinscher owner or thinking of getting one? Let us know in the comments below! 

Khufrah Lessey
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