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There are some unusual breeds around and none more so than the Affenpinscher and the Griffon Bruxellois, both of which boast having monkey-like faces. They are similar in size and both are pretty high maintenance because not only do they need lots of exercise, but the Affenpinscher and the Griffon Bruxellois also need to be kept busy mentally because they are quick witted, intelligent dogs and they can quickly get bored if not given enough to do.
The Affenpinscher is an ancient German breed with images of them being depicted in many early paintings that date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. As such, they are thought to be one of the oldest toy breeds around. At one time, there were two sizes of Affenpinscher and both were highly skilled ratters, but today only one remains.
The Griffon Bruxellois is native to Belgium where they have always been high prized stable dogs. They too are an ancient breed with dogs that look very much like the Griffon seen in paintings that date back to the 15th century. The breed was created by crossing Pugs, Affenpinschers and local stable dogs.
The Affenpinscher is known to be a fun-loving little dog. In fact, they have the reputation for being the clowns of the dog world. Mischievous, courageous, loyal and loving, they are just as happy playing the part of lap dog as they are running around keeping their owners entertained. They adore being the centre of attention and being so smart, an Affenpinscher soon learns what their owners like best. They also have quite a high prey drive and although totally devoted to their families, they can be a little wary around people they have never met before often showing more of a "fiery" side to their personalities.
Affens are also known to like the sound of their own voices with some dogs becoming quite "yappy" if this trait is not gently curbed when they are still young. They are better suited to people who either work from home or in households where one person stays at home because Affens really don't like being left on their own and if they are, Affens are prone to developing separation anxiety.
Griffons love being in a family environment and form extremely strong ties with their families which means they are another breed that really does not like being left to their own devices for any length of time. As such, much like their Affen counterparts, Griffons are best suited to households where one person stays at home when everyone else is out. Highly intelligent, bold, outgoing, loving and loyal, Griffons are also known to be quite sensitive by nature. In short, they don't respond well to any sort of harsh correction on heavy handed training methods.
Griffons can be a little stubborn and wilful at times, but in the right hands and with the correct guidance, they excel at all sort of canine activities which they really do enjoy, loving the one to one attention they are given when being trained and when competing.
Affens have distinctly scruffy coats which adds to their endearing looks. They shed steadily throughout the year and much like other breeds, this tends to be more in the spring and autumn. They do, however, shed slightly less their Griffon counterparts. With this said, it's best to have an Affen's coat hand-stripped several times a year which can add to the cost of their upkeep.
Griffons have short, scruffy coats too, but are less maintenance on the grooming front although these little dogs also benefit from being hand-stripped several times a year. As previously mentioned, Griffons shed a little less hair than their Affen counterparts although they do shed steadily throughout the year only more so during the spring and then again in the autumn.
Being highly intelligent, the Affen is very amenable and as scuh they learn new things really fast. The downside to this being that they learn bad behaviours just as quickly. An Affens training and socialisation must start early and it has to be consistent throughout their lives so dogs understand what you want from them.
Griffons tend to be a little more sensitive by nature than the Affen, but they too are very intelligent little dogs. They respond well to gentle, firm handling and their training and socialisation must begin early when dogs are still young so they grow up to be well-balance, confident mature dogs.
Affens like to be kept busy both mentally and physically or they could develop some unwanted behavioural issues. As such these little dogs need to be given around 40 minutes exercise a day with as much off the lead time as possible, but only in a safe and secure place.
Griffons are energetic by nature and need a little more in the way of daily exercise to be truly happy, well-rounded dogs. As such a good 30 to 60 minutes a day with a shorter walk in the morning but a longer one later in the day being the ideal. They too love to be able to run free off their leads, but again this should only be done in a secure place because the terrier in a Griffon might get the better of them should they see something interest in the distance.
Affens make great companions and family pets because they adore being in a home environment. With this said, they are better suited to families where the kids are slightly older. Care should always be taken when they are around smaller animals and pets, but if they have grown up with a family cat, they usually tolerate having them around.
Griffons are a good choice for families where the children are slightly older too because they can be a little fiery if not handled gently. They are usually good around other dogs providing they are well socialised from a young enough age. It would be a mistake to leave a Griffon alone with a small animal or pet, but if they have grown up with a cat in the home, they usually get on well together.
Affens have short, rough, dense coats with some areas of their bodies being shaggier looking than others which gives these little dogs their raggamuffin looks. The accepted breed colour is black although some dogs have a bit of grey in their coats which is allowed under the KC breed standard.
Griffons have rough, short, harsh and wiry outer coats and an undercoat. With this said, some dogs have smooth coats with no undercoat at all. Their breed colours are red, black as well as black and tan.
Affens are known to robust little dogs, but they are prone to certain health issues which are as follows:
Griffons too are robust dogs although they too are known to be prone to certain congenital and hereditary health concerns which includes the following:
The average life span of an Affenpinscher is between 11 and 14 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
The average life span of a Griffon Bruxellois is between 9 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
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