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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Affenpinscher Facts

  • Group
  • Toys
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 9.5" - 11.5" (24 - 29cm)
  • Weight
  • 7 - 9 lbs (3.1 - 4kg)
  • Lifespan
  • 14 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Moderate - This breed enjoys typical daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Average Training Time
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Easy
  • Colors
    • Silver / Grey
    • Red
    • Black
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Can be trained as a watch dog or guard dog
    • Hunting heritage
    • Should sleep indoors
    • Tendency to bite

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

The Affenpinscher is also known as Monkey Dog (the German translation of Affenpinscher) or Affen.


The Affenpinscher is one of the most ancient of the toy breeds and originated in central Europe in the 1600s. The Affenpinscher now has its largest numbers in North America.

Date Of Origin

The Affenpincher originated in 1600's Germany.


A larger version of the Affenpinscher, standing between 12 and 15" (30-38cm), became extinct at the beginning of the century. These dogs were known as "ratters" and were used to control rodents (rats) in stables, businesses, and homes.

From all history reports, a man from Lubeck, Germany was the first to breed Affenpinscher in earnest. Soon after, they were bred smaller in size to be used in the home as "mousers". This smaller version of the Affenpinscher is most similar to the breed found today.

The anatomy of the Affenpinscher suggests that it was developed from crossing similar size breeds such as the Pug (giving the start of the Brussels Griffon), the smooth haired German Pinscher, as well as a German breed of Silky Pinscher (giving some of the soft silver coat to some of our dogs of today). It is likely the parent of the Belgian Griffons, and a relative of the Miniature Schnauzer.


The Affenpinscher is a small, well-balanced, compact, sturdy dog. It is square in proportion and has a distinctive monkey-like expression. It has a wide round head; a strong, short muzzle; an accentuated stop, and a convex skull covered with ruffled hair. The eyes are dark, round, and prominent. The ears may be cropped erect or natural, standing erect, semi-erect or dropped. It has a short neck, compact body with wide chest and a tail that is carried high either natural or docked. The coat is coarse and dry to the touch with a sightly curly undercoat.


The Affenpinscher is an alert and inquisitive dog, who can be stubborn and resistant to training - including (and especially) house training, The Affenpinscher is also an aggressive, intense natural show-off with a quirky sense of humor. Socialization and obedience training is highly recommended. The Affenpinscher will live well with children that have learned to properly handle the breed.


This is an Uses for the Affenpinscher include ratting (the hunting of mice and rats), quail and rabbit tracking, an outstanding watchdog, and family companion.

Health Concerns

Common health concerns for the Affenpinscher include possible eye problems, hip dysplasia, Legg-Perthes disease, luxating patella, patent ductus arteriosus.

Additional Information

The Affenpinscher will benefit from a firm owner and adapts well to city life. Their wiry coat should be brushed and combed twice a week and trimmed twice a year. Show dogs must be hand-stripped which requires the skill of a professional groomer. Most pet dogs are groomed with shears and clippers.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The All Breed Dog Grooming Guide

Publisher: Aaronco, 2002

Website: http://www.aaroncopet.com

Author: Sam Kohl

The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Dogs, Dog Breeds and Dog Care

Publisher: Anness Publishing Limited, 1999

Website: http://www.southwaterbooks.com

Authors: Dr. Peter Larkin, Mike Stockman

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

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