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This is one of the oldest breeds of toy dogs and is related to the terrier as well as the Brussels Griffon and it is believed to have originated in Germany. The Affenpinscher is also known as the Monkey Dog because its expression and facial structure resembles that of a monkey. The name Affenpinscher means monkey terrier in German it is is believed that the breed was actually much larger and worked as a farm dog catching rats. The breed was miniaturised in the 18th and 19th centuries to serve as a household pet and is mainly a companion dog these days, although it has still retained its nature as a ruthless hunter and can serve as an excellent watchdog. The American Kennel Club entered the Affenpinscher into its studbook in 1936.

Body Type

This small dog features a wiry and shaggy coat, while the hair on its face is significantly longer than the hair on the rest of its body, which gives the Affenpinscher its distinct look. This is not a delicate dog and has a moderately broad, square body with deep chest. The round head features a pronounced stop, while the lower jaw is undershot, causing the teeth to protrude slightly below the breed’s short nose. The eyes are prominent and black, while the well-boned limbs are straight. Although the coat is commonly black or dark gray, it can also be lighter grey as well as silver, black, tan or red.


The personality of the Affenpinscher is similar to that of a terrier and this breed is extremely playful and friendly. The breed is very sociable and can get along well with other dogs and pets as long as it is introduced to other animals from an early age. The Affenpinscher is very quick witted and bold and enjoys problem solving games. The breed does well with active families as it likes to play as much as possible and can become sullen and withdrawn if left alone or ignored for too long. This makes the Affenpinscher the perfect dog for children to play with, although it important to establish dominance quickly so that the dog does not try to become to pack leader, as it will become difficult to manage if this is allowed to happen.

Associated Health Problems

Some Affenpinschers are prone to fractures as well as slipped stifle and patent ductus arteriosus. The breed can experience respiratory problems in hot weather and should be kept cool as much as possible.

Living Conditions

This breed takes well to apartment life and is very active indoors. Because the breed is sensitive to temperature extremes it should be monitored closely and note that its coat will become damaged if it overheats.

Exercise and Care

The Affenpinscher needs to be taken on a daily walk and care should be taken to make sure that the breed walks to heel when on a lead. Behavioural problems can be seen in dogs that are not walked daily, while they also enjoy playing ball games. It is important to remember not to clip the coat of this breed short, as it will become ruined. Weekly combing and brushing is necessary, while ear that grows in the corners of the eyes should be plucked immediately to avoid irritation.

Breed Stats

Height: 25-38cms
Weight: 3-3.36kg
Litter Size: 1-3 puppies
Life expectancy: 10-12 years
Group: Terrier, AKC Toy