The Affenpinscher



Origins and History
Portraits of the Affenpinscher appear in German paintings as far back as the seventeenth century, when it is thought to have been a working dog, with its excellent hunting ability for rodents and rats. It would have been put to work in kitchens, stables, farms and granaries.It is thought that during the 18th and 19th centuries it was miniaturised as a family pet and companion dog, although breed history is scarce. 

Character and Abilities 

Although the name “Monkey Terrier” comes from the appearance of his nose (its name means exactly this in German, ‘affen’ = monkey, and ‘pinscher’ = terrier), it is also indicative of his attitudes too, for example, it is very dexterous with its forelegs in catching their natural prey rats (but also any small toy).The Americans nicknamed the Affen “little punk”; he can be gentle and loving, but also very stubborn. As a good Terrier, he is brave and not afraid of anything, hence making him a good small watchdog. 


They are fiercely loyal, and prefer a family that can give them a firm training hand, as they are intelligent and get bored easily. They will respond well to consistency with their training, and the more they respect you, the better the relationship will be. As with any dog, they are pack animals, and will be looking to their pack leader for guidance. If this guidance is not coming from their humans, they will act out with biting, barking, destruction, and general ‘misbehavior’. Teach your dog to walk behind or next to you (pack leader goes first), rather than pulling ahead. Teach them to enter and exit after you, or on your bidding, rather than coming and going as they please.All of these rules seem strict, but dogs are more relaxed when they know their boundaries. They know that the pack leader has everything under control, so they don’t need to fret. Signs of fretting, destruction, ‘boredom’ are often signs that their humans aren’t giving them strict guidelines and rules to follow, or inconsistent rules. Sometimes they are allowed on the couch, other times they get told off. This causes confusion and anxiety in dogs. Consistency is the key to training; consistency of commands, rules, and directions from the various humans in the dogs life. 


They are an energetic dog, and will benefit greatly from a daily walk or play time. Access to a fenced garden, or nearby off-leash small dog park would be ideal. 


The Affenpinscher has predispositions to certain diseases, so it is recommended to find one through a regulated breeder where you can meet the parents and see its pedigree.

Average life expectancy: 12 – 15 years 

Living conditions and adaptability

Its small size allows it to fit perfectly in to apartment life. However, as it is a lively and rustic dog, they will be happiest to be able to run in a garden that is well secured and safe.The Affenpinscher is not suited to a family with small children. They can be quite territorial of their food and toys, and can sometimes not handle the roughness of children so well.

Physical characteristics

The Affenpinscher is a small dog; strong and sturdy. The head is round, strongly curved upwardly. The muzzle is short. Nose and lips are black. Closing of the jaws is undershot. The ears are set high, inverted V-shaped, forming a fold, or very small, and symmetrically erect. The eyes are dark, round and very open. The tail is set high. On the body, the coat is thick and rough. Head feature, with bushy eyebrows, circle around the eyes, impressive beard and moustache, and the simian aspect of his head gives its name to the race.

Hypoallergenic: Yes
Coat: thick and rough. When it is kept brushed combed it can be quite soft, but left to its own it is quite rough. It does not shed noticeably.
Color: spots or brown or black stripes are allowed, but the black uniform is the most common and sought after.
Size: 10 to 12 inches for males and 10 to 12 inches for females.
Weight: 9-13 pounds for males and 9-13 pounds for females.




Energy Level


Good with kids