Ease of Training7/10
Good with Kids10/10
Life Expectancy11-14 years
Litter Size1-3 puppies
GroupTerrier, AKC Toy
ColorBlack, gray, silver, red, black and tan, or belge are all acceptable. Blacks may have a rusty cast or a few white or silver hairs mixed with the black. Reds may vary from a brownish red to an orangey tan. Belge has black, brown, and/or white hairs mixed with the red. With various colors, the furnishings may be a bit lighter. Some dogs may have black masks. A small white spot on the chest is not penalized, but large white patches are undesirable. Color is not a major consideration.
SizeToy/Small: Male Height: 10-15 inches (25-38 cm) Male Weight: 7-8 pounds (3-3.36 kg) Female Height: 10-15 inches (25-38 cm) Female Weight: 7-8 pounds (3-3.36 kg)
Required Living AreaIndoors with a small yard. Will do well in apartments with regular exercise.
OverviewThe 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.
HistoryThe 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.
CharacterAffenpinschers are highly inquisitive and quick-witted. They are mischievous and playful, affectionate and amusing. They get along well with other pets they have been raised with. They are not recommended for young children as this breed has a tendency to guard and protect their food and toys. They will become aggressive and fearless toward anything or anyone they perceive as a threat. They love to entertain and expect to be entertained. The Affenpinscher enjoys being with their family.
Health CareThe Affenpinscher requires minimal grooming. Their harsh coat must never be clipped short as this will ruin it for many years. Brushing and combing weekly is a must, plucking done when necessary. They will occasionally have stray hairs that grow in the corners of the eyes that cause irritation; they should be removed immediately. The Affenpinscher is prone to slipped stifle, open fontanel, and respiratory problems.
GroomingThe Affenpinscher has a coat of dense shaggy hair, which is rough and harsh. It is 1" in length on the shoulders and body. The head, neck, chest, stomach, and legs have a longer and less harsh coat. Once they reach maturity this breed has a mane of hair at the neck area, longer hair on the head, eyebrows, and a beard. Their coat serves as protection in extreme weather conditions. They are low shedding. The coat comes in various colors such as black, gray, silver, and red.
TrainingAffenpinschers may be difficult to housetrain. The crate training method is recommended. They display an authoritarian attitude, so they require firmness and consistency. They are quick to learn, but do not respond to repetition. The Affenpinscher does best with a variety of tasks so they do not become bored.
Activity and ExerciseThe Affenpinscher is active and energetic. Their exercise needs can be met with indoor play sessions on a regular basis. They do well as apartment or condominium dwellers provided they are taken for daily leashed walks. They also enjoy a chance to run, so a small fenced yard is ideal. The Affenpinscher tends to climb and bark so supervision is required in the outdoor setting.
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