Affenpinscher Dogs


Affenpinscher Dogs: Everything About This Toy Breed

Last Updated on March 20, 2024 by Denise Leo. Post first published on June 1, 2021.

Do you want a small dog but you live in an area full of rodents and you are scared that they may harm your compact fur-baby? Worry No More!! And get an Affenpinscher as soon as possible.

The small and stout toy Affenpinscher dog breed will not only keep you on your toes due to its high energy level but will also be your crime partner in hunting rodents. The cherry on top is their desire to please their owner so they may kill your kitchen mice and surprise you often. Their cute appearance has earned them the name of monkey dogs.

If you are wondering how Affenpinscher dogs can wipe out rodents with their cramped bodies and teensy paws? Well, keep scrolling and you will know everything about the origin, characteristics, traits, and full profile of these monkey terriers aka the Affenpinscher dogs.

The Affenpinscher History

The Affenpinscher dog breed history and origin date back to the 17th century. They are said to have originated in Germany where they were named after German Affe (ape, monkeys) due to their monkey-like facial expressions and features to some extent.  They are often called monkey dogs. Their body is also covered with a rough and thick coat similar to that of monkeys.

The Affenpinscher is among the oldest toy dogs, first appearing in France, Germany, and Munich where they gained the nickname “little dog with a mustache or the mustached little devil.” In the 17th century, these dogs were often kept on farms, in stables, or in shops where they were trained to seek out rats and mice. They were also great companions in people’s homes.

Affenpinscher dogs
Affenpinscher dogs

Affenpinscher dogs were bred mainly to kill rodents from houses, stables, and shops but their hunting and chasing ability made them great partners for warriors during World War I, and they were then named Monkey-terriers.

Over time people also bred them because of their companionship and affectionate personality. They are super protective around their owners which is why they make a very good pets for older people. In 2013, an Affenpinscher dog named Joe bagged the title of Best in the Show at Westminster Kennel Club in New York City after which the Affenpinscher breed got popular worldwide.

Most Affenpinschers tend to be super jumpy, active, and high-spirited, they do not really appreciate rough play and small children. Affenpinscher dogs are believed to like adult company and make very loyal partners.

Let’s Have a Look At Some Vital Stats of the Affenpinscher Dog Breed:



Dog Breed Group

Toy Group 


148 out of 197 dog breeds


Loyal, curious and amusing toy dog

Average Height

9 to 11.5 inches

Weight Range

7 to 10  pounds 

Grooming Needs


Exercise Requirements


Other Names

Monkey Dog

Life Expectancy

12-15 years

Affenpinscher Dog
Affenpinscher Dog

Affenpinscher Dog Breed Information Profile

The Affenpinscher has a cheeky, fun-loving personality and is quite intelligent. They’re great as pets as long as children know how to best handle them. Because they’re small, they can be kept in a flat or small house just as easily as a big one.

They can get most of their exercise from playing indoors but they also do enjoy going for an outside walk. You must comb and brush their wiry coat twice a week and give them a trim twice each year. This dog will vary between 9 and 11.5 inches high from the shoulder point.

You may love to get an Affenpinscher if you want a fur-ball who would roam around you without hurting your privacy because Affenpinscher dogs are known for their ability to understand their owner’s personality and reflect in the best possible way, provided you also respect their personal space.

Affenpinscher Temperament:

These dogs are a little bit reserved and require freedom when it comes to snuggling and playing. Once the trust establishes, Affenpinscher dogs become the most friendly, compassionate, and bouncy partners. So if you plan to buy an Affenpinscher, the trick for great rapport building is to let it be the boss and decide when to play or cuddle initially.

Their overall energy level is slightly on the higher extreme but their attention span is relatively shorter and they easily get bored therefore Affenpinscher dogs need a consistent change in stimulus and you may have to arrange an array of indoor activities as well as outdoor strolls.

Your Affenpinscher would want you to take it for daily walks religiously for they are very social and like to mingle around. Sitting at home is just not their thing so if you are an introvert, getting an Affenpinscher might be an ideal solution for you. Your Affey will force you to take walks which will increase your social circle as well. Win-win.

Affenpinscher Type:

Most Affenpinscher dogs are purebred therefore they are a rare breed and you will have to locate an American Kennel Club reputable breeder for a pup. Sometimes Affenpinscher is available at adoption centers as well so if you want this tiny but muscular monkey-terrier toy dog at a lesser price then you may check nearby adoption centers first.

Affenpinscher Size:

Affenpinscher dogs are popular one of toy breeds, smaller in size ranging from 9-12 inches in height, and weighing between 6.5-9 pounds (3-4 kg), similar to the size of a two or three months old baby. Out of all compact dogs, the Affenpinschers are the most stubborn and strong breed. They may look sturdy but they are not delicate at all, rather known to be well-built and powerful dogs.

Affenpinscher Color:

Their heavy coats usually have a rough look with a wiry texture and they can be found in different colors like black, beige, black & tan, grey, and red out of which a black & tan coat is the most popular, and red or beige is rare.

Average Affenpinscher Litter Size:

The average litter size of American Kennel Club Affenpinscher puppies ranges from 1 – 3 puppies. Very up to 5 puppies can be born because they are smaller dogs.

Affenpinscher Care:

Affenpinschers though have a very thick medium to short coat but they are not heavy shedders, provided you take good care of their coat. You may need to daily comb their hair with a metal comb in order to avoid lice, fleas, and ticks. Overall they are not very uptight when it comes to grooming and require minimal effort.

Their ears and nose tend to hair buildup so you may need to do some plucking here and there a couple of times a week and you are good to go.

These fun-loving witty creatures are hypoallergenic which is a plus, but you may need proper vet checkups at least twice a year for vaccination and medical profile maintenance.


The sweet little fur-balls are highly trainable and intelligent dogs. You may need to properly train them if you have children in the house or have other pets because Affenpinschers are very fearless and prone to attack cats or other dogs, even larger dogs. They do not attack children but may act snappy around them.

Affenpinscher Cost:

An average Affenpinscher puppy costs between 1800 to 2500 USD, depending upon the quality of the pup and the reputation of the breeder. It is recommended to always buy from authentic breeders to demolish the backyard breeding culture.

You may also add shipping charges to the total cost in case you buy the puppy from a breeder who does not live in the same city. You may think if the high cost is worth it at all. Well, it definitely is.

You will instantly fall in love with the cutest little monkey-faced rare breed, the Affenpinscher dog and later the personality and intelligence combination packed in its teeny tiny body will make you praise your decision to get one, forever.

Affenpinscher Dogs
Affenpinscher Dogs

Affenpinscher Health Issues

It is a popular belief that Affenpinscher’s health problems are very common and they may not be a good choice as a pet which is only a myth and not at all true. Affenpinschers are overall generally healthy dogs requiring minimal support and maintenance for optimal growth.

They do have a genetic predisposition towards certain ailments which does not mean that your dog will likely have health issues rather it is susceptible to those health problems and may develop them only due to lack of care.

You may want to know those Affenpinscher’s health issues beforehand so give these problems a thorough read to be watchful of the enemies.


Weight gain and obesity are serious problems in Affenpinscher dogs. If you decide to get one or already have one, you need to be very careful regarding their diet and what goes inside your Affenpinscher’s food bowl.

Like every other dog, Affenpinschers also love meaty feasts, be it chicken, lamb, or beef; however, you cannot always serve them meat bowls due to high calories and the kibble needs to be a mixture of meat with vegetables, fresh fruits, and fibers. Their metabolism rate tends to be slower which is why more fiber and fewer carbs are ideal for them. Otherwise, your dog may suffer from digestive ailments along with obesity.

Treats should also be given in moderation and you may look for organic substitutes or homemade baked goodies for making treats for your precious Affenpinscher baby.

Periodontal diseases:

The accumulation of tartar on teeth in Affenpinschers is another major problem that leads to multiple health issues such as kidney failure, tooth loss, pyorrhea, gingivitis, poor hygiene, and heart issues. Periodontal diseases decrease the lifespan of a dog and are a serious threat to the overall dog’s health.

Proper care should be provided for your Affenpinscher’s oral health and you are supposed to brush its teeth regularly without skipping even a single day. It may sound exhausting but will save your pup from future ailments that can prove to be fatal.

Orthopedic complaints:

Bone and joint issues are one of the most common Affenpinscher health problems. They are inherently prone to develop hip dysplasia in which hip joints are formed improperly, further leading to arthritis and stiff bones.

Affenpinscher puppies are also susceptible to patellar luxation (kneecap slips out) and a degenerative disease called Legg-Calve-Perthes which causes issues with the hip joint. You need to immediately call your pup’s vet in case your pup has difficulty moving its hind legs. Their bones are also prone to fracture especially during six to nine months of age therefore be watchful of their activities.

Obesity adds to the bone ailments of Affenpinscher so never skip routine walks and take good care of your dog’s food intake for maximum health benefits.

Eye Problems:

Affenpinschers are also vulnerable to a degree of eye ailments. The genetic predisposition includes diseases like;

  • Distichiasis (extra hair growth inside the eyelid)
  • Persistent Pupillary Membrane disorder (extra tissue growth on iris)
  • Corneal dystrophy (extra layer of crystal deposits on the cornea)
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (genetical blindness)
  • Cataract (abnormal opaqueness of eye lenses)
  • Others (glaucoma, corneal ulcers, tear duct, dry eye)

Proper visits to vets and ophthalmologists are highly recommended to curb eye problems as soon as the symptoms may appear and for the prevention of inherent disorders.

Allergies and infections:

Skin allergy in dogs is called atopy and causes serious discomfort. Swimming in an unhygienic pool, exposure to the moldy environment, pollen, and dust particles in some cases make the Affenpinscher’s skin itch badly and they vigorously rub their skin.

Proper bathing and combing their hair may prevent skin allergies and infections. The earwax build-up also leads to serious infections and ear-drum damage so be careful and clean your dog’s ear often.

To further avoid diseases like rabies, parvo, and tick fever, keep your Affey’s vaccinations up to the mark.


Often in male Affenpinschers, the testicles do not descend into the scrotum which increases the risk of cancer. If you find any such problem in your pup, immediately contact a vet and get his testicles removed before it turns into a life-threatening disease.

Affenpinscher Dogs
Affenpinscher Dogs

How to Prevent Affenpinscher Health Problems

The importance of routine exercise, proper care, and regular veterinary checkups cannot be emphasized enough for the sake of a happier, healthier, and super-fit Affenpinscher dog.

Follow these guidelines and your Affey may not encounter health issues ever;

  • Brush your dog’s coat every week. Use a metal comb and hand-pick the fleas. In the case of ticks, use a medicated spray as per the instruction of the vet.
  • Regularly brush your dog’s teeth to avoid periodontal diseases. Oral health is very crucial for Affenpinscher’s optimal growth and development.
  • Ear cleaning is also recommended on a weekly basis. You can hire professional help for this purpose.
  • Affenpinscher is a highly energetic and fun-loving dog so you may need to incorporate lots of indoor activities. In case of boredom, they start exploring around which causes accidents like bone fractures or hip slips.
  • Control your dog’s portion size and serve a balanced diet to avoid obesity
  • Seek help from professional nutritionists and ask them to give you a customized diet plan for your dog according to its age, size, and daily activity
  • Routine walks and indoor exercises are a must. You may also invest in a dog’s treadmill to combine play and workouts for maximum results.
  • Save your dog from discomfort and invest in vaccinations.
  • Immediately report to the vet if you notice abnormal discharges from eyes and ears, excessive scratching of the skin, bone stiffness, difficulty in lying down, behavioral changes, change in appetite, or aggression.
Affenpinscher Dog
Affenpinscher Dog

Final Verdict on Affenpinscher Dogs:

One of the cutest toy breeds, is a small dog with a life expectancy of 12-14 years. Affenpinscher dogs are generally healthy dogs. Tiny but witty creatures filled with love and loyalty. They make great companions for adults and are full of personality which adds to their beauty. An Affenpinscher’s monkey-like face possesses a unique expression and comic-like seriousness that instantly catches everyone’s attention and it is hard to resist one, the mustached little devil.

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References and Further Reading:

[1] American Kennel Club, Affenpinscher Information.


  • Denise Leo

    My name is Denise Leo, and I hail from Australia. My journey with dogs, especially with the delightful Pomeranian breed, has been a lifelong passion extending over 50 years. I have had the honor of breeding and exhibiting close to 100 Pomeranian Champions, dedicating many years to the intricate art of dog training across various disciplines. Beyond the show ring, my experience stretches to the pastoral fields as both a Dairy Farmer and Beef Cattle Breeder, where working with dogs of all breeds has been an integral part of my daily life. This diverse exposure has deepened my understanding and appreciation for these incredible animals. I firmly believe that dogs are the most extraordinary beings in our universe, capable of offering us unconditional love that surpasses even their own self-interest. The countless wonderful dogs that have shared my life over the years have not only brought immense joy and companionship but have also profoundly enriched my existence in ways I could never have imagined. About us page

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