Animal Spotlights:- Affenpinscher

affenpinscher in snow

Breed Overview

The Affenpinscher, affectionately known as the “Monkey Dog,” is a small, compact breed that originated in Germany. With its distinctive whiskered face and intelligent, curious eyes, this breed has a unique and charming appearance. Affenpinschers typically stand between 23 to 30 centimetres tall and weigh around 3 to 4 kilograms. Their shaggy, wiry coat comes in various colours, including black, silver, red, and grey.

Affenpinschers were originally bred to be ratters, tasked with catching rodents in homes and stables. However, their endearing looks and amusing antics quickly endeared them to families, who began keeping them as companion animals. This adaptable breed is suitable for both urban and rural living, making it a popular choice for dog enthusiasts across the UK. Affenpinschers are known for their spirited and inquisitive nature, making them entertaining pets that bring joy and laughter to their families.

Average Sizes and Life Expectancy Of The Breed

Below is a summary of the average sizes and life expectancy for the Affenpinscher breed. These values provide a general guideline to help you understand the breed’s typical physical characteristics and longevity.

Height23-30 cm
Weight3-4 kg
Life Expectancy12-15 years

Breed Traits and Characteristics

Family Life

The table below outlines key traits and characteristics that are relevant to Affenpinschers in a family setting. These aspects can help potential owners understand how well the breed may integrate into their household and the level of interaction they can expect from their pet.

Trait / CharacteristicDescription
Dogs Level Of AffectionQuite affectionate overall
Good With Children?Better with older children; supervision advised with younger children
Good With Other Dogs?Quite good with other dogs
Suitable For Novice OwnersYes, but patience and consistency required

The below table describes the physical traits of Affenpinschers, providing insight into their appearance, grooming needs, and general health. Understanding these attributes can help potential owners determine if they can accommodate the breed’s requirements and if the Affenpinscher is a good fit for their lifestyle.

Physical Traits

Trait / CharacteristicDescription
Coat TypeWiry
Shedding LevelLower levels of shedding
Drooling LevelDoes not drool much
Coat Grooming RequirementsEvery few days to avoid coat matting
Coat LengthMedium
General HealthGenerally healthy, with some breed-specific concerns
Potential To Gain WeightModerate risk of weight gain
Exercise NeedsModerate

The table below highlights the social traits of Affenpinschers, including their playfulness, attitude towards strangers, and adaptability. By reviewing this information, potential owners can gain a better understanding of the breed’s behaviour in social settings and whether they will be a good fit for their specific environment and lifestyle.


Trait / CharacteristicDescription
PlayfulnessNot overactive but quite happy to play
Attitude Towards StrangersMay be reserved with strangers; socialisation is important
Protective NatureModerate; can be protective of their family
AdaptabilityQuite adaptable to new surroundings, routines, and general changes compared to other breeds
Ability to leave alonePrefers companionship but can tolerate short periods alone

The below table outlines the personality traits of Affenpinschers, including their trainability, barking tendencies, energy levels, mental stimulation needs, and intelligence. This information can help potential owners assess whether they can meet the breed’s needs and if an Affenpinscher’s personality aligns with their preferences and expectations.

Dog Personality

Trait / CharacteristicDescription
TrainabilityNot the easiest dog to train but not the hardest; requires patience and consistency
BarkingModerate barking; may bark when anxious, scared, or overstimulated
Energy LevelsModerate
Mental Stimulation NeedsModerate
IntelligenceAbove average

Scientific Name

The scientific name for the Affenpinscher breed is Canis lupus familiaris, which is the same for all domestic dogs. This name reflects the fact that the Affenpinscher, along with other dog breeds, is a subspecies of the wolf (Canis lupus). While the Affenpinscher does not have a unique scientific name, its distinctive features, temperament, and history set it apart from other breeds within the Canis lupus familiaris classification.


The Affenpinscher has earned several nicknames due to its distinctive appearance and personality. Some of the most common nicknames for this charming breed include:

  1. Monkey Dog: This nickname is derived from the Affenpinscher’s monkey-like facial features and expressions, which give them a unique and endearing appearance.
  2. Affen: A shortened version of the breed’s name, “Affen” is a simple and affectionate nickname used by many owners and enthusiasts.
  3. Little Devil: This playful moniker acknowledges the Affenpinscher’s mischievous and spirited nature, as well as their boundless energy and curiosity.

General Temperament

Affenpinschers are known for their lively and spirited temperament. They are typically affectionate and loyal companions, often forming strong bonds with their families. Although small in size, they possess a confident and bold attitude, making them fearless in the face of new experiences or potential threats.

These little dogs are curious and intelligent, always eager to explore their surroundings and engage with their environment. Their playful nature makes them entertaining pets, often amusing their owners with their antics and unique expressions. Affenpinschers can be stubborn at times, which may present some challenges during training, but with patience and consistency, they can learn to follow commands.

While generally friendly with other dogs, they can be reserved around strangers, so early socialisation is important to help them become well-rounded and confident pets. Overall, the Affenpinscher’s temperament is a delightful blend of affection, curiosity, and energy, making them a captivating and lovable companion.


Affenpinschers have a moderate barking tendency. Their bark is often described as sharp and high-pitched, reflecting their small size. They may bark in response to various stimuli, such as strangers approaching their territory, unfamiliar sounds, or when they feel anxious or overstimulated. While they are not excessive barkers, it is essential to provide them with proper training and socialisation to manage and reduce their barking habits.

Colours & Markings

Affenpinschers display a variety of colours and markings, which contribute to their unique and charming appearance. The breed standard recognises the following colours for Affenpinschers:

  1. Black: A solid black coat is the most common and widely recognised colour for this breed.
  2. Grey: Shades of grey can range from light silver to dark charcoal, sometimes with a hint of black.
  3. Silver: A lighter shade of grey, with a shiny, almost metallic appearance.
  4. Red: This colour can vary from a deep, rich red to a lighter, more golden hue.
  5. Black and Tan: A combination of a black coat with tan markings, typically seen on the eyebrows, cheeks, and legs.

In addition to these colours, Affenpinschers may also have white or silver hair mixed into their coats, giving them a more textured and unique appearance. Their wiry coats are typically medium in length, with longer hair around the face, creating a distinctive beard and moustache. This facial hair, along with their expressive eyes and eyebrows, contributes to the breed’s characteristic “monkey-like” appearance.

Breeding Advice

If you are considering breeding Affenpinschers, it is essential to approach the process with responsibility and care. The following advice can help ensure the health and well-being of both the parent dogs and their offspring:

  1. Health Testing: Before breeding, ensure that both the sire and dam have undergone thorough health screenings for breed-specific conditions, such as hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and heart issues. This will help reduce the risk of passing on genetic health problems to the puppies.
  2. Responsible Breeding Practices: Familiarise yourself with responsible breeding practices, such as avoiding inbreeding or breeding dogs that are too young or too old. Ensure that you have the necessary knowledge and resources to support a healthy pregnancy and whelping process for the dam.
  3. Selecting Mates: Choose mates with good temperaments and physical characteristics that adhere to the breed standard. This will help maintain the integrity of the breed and produce healthy, well-adjusted puppies.
  4. Socialisation and Care: Once the puppies are born, provide them with a safe and clean environment. Begin socialising them with people, other animals, and various situations at an early age to encourage well-rounded, confident temperaments.
  5. Finding Responsible Homes: Screen potential buyers to ensure they are knowledgeable about the breed and capable of providing a loving and responsible home. Provide new owners with information on caring for their Affenpinscher, including grooming, exercise, and training requirements.

Breeding Affenpinschers can be a rewarding experience, but it is crucial to prioritise the well-being of the dogs involved. By following these guidelines and working with experienced breeders or veterinary professionals, you can contribute positively to the breed’s future and the lives of the puppies you produce.

Care Advice

Diet Recommendations

A well-balanced diet is essential for the overall health and well-being of your Affenpinscher. Consider the following recommendations when choosing the right food for your pet:

  1. High-quality dog food: Choose a high-quality commercial dog food that is appropriate for your Affenpinscher’s age, size, and activity level. Look for food containing a good balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, as well as essential vitamins and minerals.
  2. Portion control: Monitor portion sizes to prevent overfeeding and weight gain. Consult your veterinarian for specific recommendations on the appropriate amount of food for your dog.
  3. Regular feeding schedule: Establish a consistent feeding routine with two or three meals per day.
  4. Treats: Use treats sparingly and opt for healthy options, such as dog-safe fruits and vegetables.
  5. Consult your veterinarian: Always consult your vet before making significant changes to your dog’s diet, especially if they have specific dietary requirements due to health conditions.

Exercise Recommendations

Affenpinschers are moderately active dogs that require regular exercise to maintain their health and happiness. Consider the following exercise recommendations for your Affenpinscher:

  1. Daily walks: Provide your dog with at least one or two daily walks to help them burn off energy and stay fit.
  2. Playtime: Engage in regular play sessions, both indoors and outdoors, using toys and games that stimulate their minds and bodies.
  3. Mental stimulation: Offer puzzle toys and interactive games to challenge your dog mentally and prevent boredom.
  4. Socialisation: Take your Affenpinscher to dog parks or arrange playdates with other dogs to encourage social interaction and improve their social skills.
  5. Consistency: Maintain a consistent exercise routine to help your dog stay healthy and well-adjusted.

Common Illnesses

Illness / DiseaseDescription
Hip DysplasiaA genetic condition where the hip joint does not develop properly, leading to arthritis and pain
Patellar LuxationDislocation of the kneecap, which can cause pain and mobility issues
Heart IssuesCongenital heart defects or acquired heart diseases, such as Mitral Valve Disease
Legg-Calvé-Perthes DiseaseA condition affecting the hip joint, causing the bone to degenerate and collapse
Dental ProblemsAffenpinschers may be prone to dental issues due to their small mouths and crowded teeth; regular dental care is essential
CataractsClouding of the lens in the eye, which can lead to vision loss or blindness
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)A group of genetic eye disorders causing gradual vision loss and eventual blindness
AllergiesAffenpinschers may be prone to skin, food, or environmental allergies, resulting in itching, discomfort, and skin infections

What To Expect When Caring For An Affenpinscher


Affenpinschers are generally healthy dogs but, like any breed, they can be prone to certain health issues. Some of the common health problems include hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, heart issues, dental problems, cataracts, and allergies. Regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations are essential to maintaining your dog’s health. It is recommended that Affenpinschers undergo routine tests for hip dysplasia and patellar luxation, as well as eye exams to check for cataracts and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA).


Affenpinschers have a wiry coat that requires regular grooming to keep it clean and prevent matting. It’s recommended to brush their coat every few days, paying special attention to the longer hair around the face. The coat should be hand-stripped or clipped every few months to maintain its texture and appearance. Additionally, regular nail trimming, ear cleaning, and dental care are essential for maintaining your dog’s overall health and well-being.


Affenpinschers are moderately active dogs that require daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. Provide your dog with one or two daily walks, as well as play sessions indoors or outdoors. Engaging your Affenpinscher in interactive games and offering puzzle toys can also help to keep them mentally stimulated and prevent boredom.


While Affenpinschers are intelligent dogs, they can be a bit stubborn when it comes to training. Consistent, positive reinforcement methods are the most effective for training this breed. Be patient and persistent, and use treats or praise as rewards for good behaviour. Early socialisation and obedience training are essential to ensure your Affenpinscher develops into a well-mannered and confident dog.


Affenpinschers should be fed a high-quality dog food appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. Look for a dog food containing a good balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, as well as essential vitamins and minerals. Two well-known brands that provide quality dog food for small breeds like the Affenpinscher are Purina and Royal Canin. You can purchase food for your Affenpinscher from various online retailers, such as:


Royal Canin

How To Buy / Adopt

There are a few places you can buy or adopt an Affenpinscher in the UK. You can search for Affenpinscher puppies or adult dogs available for sale or adoption on the following websites:


The Kennel Club Find a Puppy

The Affenpinscher club

It’s important to research the breeder or rescue organisation and ask questions about the dog’s health, temperament, and living conditions before making any commitments. Additionally, it’s recommended to visit the puppy or dog in person before purchasing or adopting to ensure a good fit for your family and lifestyle.

Origin and History

The Affenpinscher is a small breed of dog that originated in Germany, where it was originally bred to hunt rodents. Its name, Affenpinscher, translates to “monkey-like terrier,” reflecting its unique appearance and playful personality. The breed dates back to the 17th century, with early records indicating that Affenpinschers were commonly used in stables and shops to control rats and other small vermin.

In the late 1800s, the breed was refined and standardised in Germany, with the first breed standard established in 1902. It was recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1936, and has since become a popular companion dog worldwide. While the breed’s original purpose was to hunt rodents, Affenpinschers are now mostly kept as loyal and affectionate pets, prized for their distinctive look, lively personality, and adaptability to various living environments.

Affenpinscher Groups / Clubs / Breed Organisations

If you’re an Affenpinscher owner or enthusiast in the UK, there are some breed-specific groups and organisations you can join to connect with other owners and learn more about the breed. Some of the notable Affenpinscher clubs and organisations in the UK include:

The Affenpinscher Club – Established in 1983, the Affenpinscher Club is the UK’s only club dedicated to promoting and preserving the Affenpinscher breed. The club hosts annual breed shows, social events, and educational seminars for members, and maintains a breeder referral list and puppy waiting list.

In addition to these breed-specific clubs, there are several other canine clubs and organisations in the UK that Affenpinscher owners and enthusiasts may find useful, such as:

The Kennel Club – The UK’s largest canine organisation, The Kennel Club is responsible for registering and regulating pedigree dogs and hosting various shows and events throughout the year.

The British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) – BSAVA is a professional organisation for veterinary surgeons and nurses, offering educational resources and networking opportunities for those in the small animal field. They also provide information on pet health and welfare to the public.

Joining one of these organisations or clubs can be a great way to connect with other Affenpinscher owners and enthusiasts, learn more about the breed, and stay up-to-date on shows, events, and health information.


In conclusion, the Affenpinscher is a small and lively breed of dog that makes a great companion for the right owner. Known for their distinctive appearance and playful personality, Affenpinschers are intelligent, affectionate, and adaptable to various living environments. While they can be stubborn when it comes to training, with patience and positive reinforcement, they can make well-behaved and obedient pets.

As with any breed of dog, Affenpinschers require regular exercise, grooming, and veterinary care to maintain their health and well-being. It’s important to research the breed and connect with reputable breeders or rescue organisations before bringing an Affenpinscher into your home, to ensure a good fit for your family and lifestyle.

By joining one of the breed-specific clubs or organisations, you can connect with other Affenpinscher owners and enthusiasts, learn more about the breed, and stay up-to-date on shows, events, and health information. With proper care and attention, the Affenpinscher can make a loyal and loving addition to any family.

FAQs About Affenpinschers

Where Can You Get Affenpinscher Puppies?

Affenpinscher puppies can be purchased from reputable breeders or adopted from rescue organizations. Websites such as Pets4Homes and The Kennel Club’s Find a Puppy can be used to search for available puppies in the UK.

Do Affenpinschers Bark A Lot?

Affenpinschers are not excessive barkers, but they may bark when they feel anxious, scared, or overstimulated.

Do Affenpinschers Shed?

Affenpinschers have a wiry coat that sheds minimally, making them a good choice for those with allergies or who prefer a low-shedding dog.

What Is An Affenpinscher?

An Affenpinscher is a small breed of dog that originated in Germany and is known for its distinctive monkey-like appearance and lively personality.

Are Affenpinschers Hypoallergenic?

While no dog is completely hypoallergenic, Affenpinschers are a good choice for those with allergies due to their low-shedding coat.

Are Affenpinschers Easy To Train?

Affenpinschers can be stubborn and independent, making them a somewhat challenging breed to train. However, with positive reinforcement and consistency, they can learn obedience commands and tricks.

Are Affenpinschers Good Dogs?

Affenpinschers can make great pets for the right owner. They are loyal, affectionate, and playful, but they also require a lot of attention and care.

Are Affenpinschers Kid Friendly?

Affenpinschers can be good with children, but they should be supervised when around young children and may not be the best choice for families with very young children.

How Often Should You Bathe An Affenpinscher?

Affenpinschers should be bathed every few months, or as needed. Over-bathing can strip their coat of natural oils and cause skin irritation.

How Often Should You Groom An Affenpinscher?

Affenpinschers require regular grooming to prevent their wiry coat from matting. Grooming every few days is recommended, and they should be professionally groomed every few months.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top