• By: Mick Whitefield
  • Time to read: 6 min.

What is an Affenpinscher? Affenpinschers are one of the oldest Toy Breeds around recognised by the KC. Originating from Germany originally known as a mock terrier this changed due their facial features and they became known as the Monkey Mutt. Originally bred to chase rats, they became favourites of the upper class. Thereafter, cross breeding led to the origination of the Miniature Schnauzer and the Brussels Griffon. They are a loyal and loving breed with good health and high intelligence. They make good companion dogs for both the elderly and children.

Affenpinscher Facts

The Affenpinscher breed is also known by the name Monkey Dog or Monkey Mutt.

Lifespan of an Affenpinscher

They live for 11 – 14 years

Height of an Affenpinscher at the Withers

Males 23 – 30 cm or 9 to 12 inches
Females 23 – 30 cm

Weight of an Affenpinscher

Males 2.9 – 6.0 kg
Females 2.9 – 6.0 kg

What Breed group is the Affenpinscher?

KC Recognised as a Toy Size

Is an Affenpinscher Hypoallergenic?

Yes, this dog is ideal for those who suffer from allergies as it is Low-Shedding, dander-retaining and doesn’t drool.

Average price of an Affenpinscher

Prices vary enormously so look carefully at the breeding line if you want a quality dog otherwise these dogs can be relatively cheap.

In the USA they vary from just $500 to $2500
In the UK this dog fetches £400 to just £1000

What Does The Affenpinscher Look Like?

The Affenpinscher is a small dog usually just under 12 inches high at the shoulder, has a proud stance with a light gay walk. A straight back sloping down to the tail which can stand high or bend down. Slim but long legs for its height. The front legs stand wide apart on a flat chest to a strong neck.

The head is slightly round with eyes forward, spread apart, small floppy ears a short stubby jaw with a bold square nose.

The hair is a soft shaggy coat usually an inch to 2 inches long. The most common is black to brown/black but there are some variations brown, red and tan. They often look scruffy but can be dashing when their coats are carefully groomed.

This dog could easily have made it as Tramp from Disney.

Affenpinscher 3
A scruffy Charmer
Affenpinscher 5
A happy scruff

History of the Affenpinscher

These dogs roots trace back to the 17th Century in Germany and France, they are some of the oldest toy breeds and were commonly used to control rodents in homes, mills and farms and barns.

Affenpinscher 1

The Affenpinscher, ( nicknamed “Monkey dog” ) is loving, curious and constantly on alert. They’re loyal to their owners and their homes and will do their best to protect them from danger.

They are an excitable breed and will sometimes square up to dogs ten times their size and can take a while to calm down in the face of anything viewed as a threat. The breed is part terrier, so they tend to exhibit some bold and brash behavior.

Standing just under 12 inches tall, these sturdy terrier-like dogs live life with great confidence. It’s their appearance of seriousness that makes their antics all the more comical.

Affenpinschers need early socialization and plenty of it. To give them confidence they need  exposure to many different people, sights, smells, and activities whilst they’re young. This ensures that Affenpinscher puppies grow up to be a well behaved, outgoing and friendly dog.

They are a compact dog that likes to travel with its owner but will also happily sit quietly on your lap at home.

Caring for your Affenpinschers Coat

Although considered to be hypo-allergenic this breed does require regular grooming or their coat can get knotted and matted if ignored. Owners who have their dogs in a clipped trim condition, should schedule a weekly brush to keep the undercoat knot free and to remove any loose coat keeping their fur from getting tangled.

The dense, harsh coat is described as “neat but shaggy” and comes in several colors the gait is light and confident. The Affenpinscher loves his family and is fine with other family pets, especially when raised with them.


Affenpincher’s love homemade cooked or raw meat and veggies, bone or bone meal. If you want your little pal to eat raw, but don’t have time to prepare the food yourself, you can buy a pre-made raw diet.

They are available online, or you can find bags of freeze-dried raw food on a shelf at your pet store, you just add water and serve. They are just as happy eating kibble or canned meat, mixing in some frozen or freeze-dried foods will give them a treat.

Fats are important and necessary nutrients for your Affenpinscher as it encourages  hormone production, insulation, and protection for their internal organs. Not enough fat may cause  growth and skin problems, not enough vitamins plays a role in normal metabolic functioning. Excessive feeding of a vitamin is also not good as it will lead to joint pain, dry skin, kidney failure and many more.

Kibble will actually help their teeth grow stronger. The kibble your furry friend eats should have high-quality ingredients that are suitable for a smaller dogs.

An adult Affenpinscher should be provided with roughly 2 cups of food and should be fed twice a day with a little treat in between. Provide them with the best quality of food and do not overfeed them.

Exercise Requirements

Affenpinscher 2

These terriers are full of vigour, the Affenpinscher will need a solid walk every day to burn off pent up energy. Afffenpinchers need to be kept on a lead or in a fenced-in area so it remains safe. Due to their pocket size, this toy breed can live comfortably in apartments. However their barking could spark complaints.

Affenpinschers make wonderful family dogs. This breed happily plays with older children and will cuddle up on your lap at the end of the day. Remember though, these dogs can be territorial, so take extra care if you have younger children around them.

Affenpinscher traits

Affenpinscher’s are often highly intelligent. They understand and remember new commands in about 15-25 repetitions making them are fairly easy to train. Their attitude can be challenging, but consistency is key in teaching new commands which they will obey.

Affenpinschers possess a medium emotional level and aren’t the most sensitive of breeds. A change in the daily routine is okay, as well as having guests and listening to loud music. Many dogs handle moderate punishment rather well, this breed is not affected emotionally for moderate punishment.

Affenpinschers are very loyal and protective guard dogs. This breed doesn’t shy away from protecting their territory so the Affenpinscher can be a good choice if you want an excellent guard dog. Keep calm and the Affenpinscher will take care of unwanted people or animals. They can be willful and domineering, but mostly Affenpinscher are loyal, affectionate, and always entertaining.

Pros of Affenpinscher

  •     Travel size and lightweight, makes them easy to carry, and doesn’t take up much room
  •     Resembles a wiry-coated terrier appearance
  •     Is more energetic than most toys
  •     Take themselves very seriously, which cause amusement
  •     Makes a dependable watchdog
  •     Don’t require a lot of exercise

Cons of Affenpinscher

  •     The fragility of toy breeds makes them susceptible to injury
  •     Wariness toward strangers and other dogs
  •     Stubbornness where they do their own thing
  •     Continuous brushing and trimming of the rough wiry coat can be time consuming
  •     Difficulties housebreaking them
  •     A tendency for barking and yapping
  •     Waiting lists are long as they are a popular breed

Health Problems of the Affenpinscher

Given the Affenpinscher tiny stature, extra care must be taken attaching collars and leashes, as they can easily suffer from tracheal damage. A solution to this problem is to use a harness rather than a collar.

In older age they can also suffer from heart issues, hip dysplasia, cataracts, hernias, Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, Luxation, hypothyroidism, Patellar, oligodontia and Von Willebrand Disease. For more information on any of these problems see our Health Concern Page

Despite the above the Affenpinscher will normally live healthily to about 12 or 14 years.

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