The little, lively Affenpinscher dog is a toy dog with a very distinctive and rather comical face. While they are undoubtedly small and do fall into the toy dog category, they have something of a reputation for being rather more robust and outgoing than most other small dog breeds, and have very inquisitive natures!
The breed has German origins, and a known history going back to at least the 17th century, longer even than other well-known German breeds such as the Miniature Schnauzer and the Brussels Griffon, which both have Affenpinscher ancestry. The name originates from the German word for “ape” or monkey, and is thought to have been chosen due to the dog’s rather humanistic facial features!
While the breed has been popular across the world for a great many years, interest in the Affenpinscher as a pet dog has risen exponentially since the breed took the coveted Best in Show title at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York in 2013.
If you are considering owning an Affenpinscher, or have become interested in the breed, this article will highlight some of the main traits of this lively little dog, and look at the pros and cons of ownership of an Affenpinscher. Read on to learn more!
The little Affenpinscher can weight anything from 2.9-6kg, and stands up to 12” tall at the shoulder.
Their coats are rough and very wiry when full length, but rather fluffy when clipped off. The most common coat colour of the Affenpinscher is all black, and in some Kennel Clubs and breed registries, this is the only permitted colour. However, other permutations are also possible, including red, black and tan, grey, silver, or a mixture.
Their appearance, particularly their facial features, is very distinctive, and once you have seen one, you will easily be able to spot another! They are often classed as and associated with the terrier grouping, but in fact, they are part of the Pinscher-Schnauzer breed grouping, and do not display many of the typical terrier traits.
The average measured longevity of the Affenpinscher breed is 11.4 years, which is right in the middle of the age range for purebred dogs, but slightly lower than representatives of other breeds of a similar size and build.
The breed does have a genetic predisposition to some inherited health conditions, including hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, respiratory problems and fractures, due to their small, delicate bones.
The breed is renowned for being very active and lively, as well as curious, into everything and keen to go adventuring! They can be prone to stubbornness, but are mainly simply playful, fun-loving and friendly little dogs. They are known for being very protective of their families and sometimes suspicious of strangers, and very affectionate towards the people that they love. They need plenty of stimulation and entertainment, and may easily become bored. Generally speaking, they will get on well with other pets including cats and dogs, providing that they are properly introduced and well socialised. They will hold their own against even much larger dogs with confidence, and will often be the dominant dog within a group.
They need firm, clear and consistent training, as they can be rather stubborn and single minded, and can be rather territorial with their food and other resources. Despite being fairly excitable, they are generally quiet, and not prone to barking all of the time for no reason.