Breed Highlight: Affenpinschers


A charming little dog, the Affenpinscher is typically quiet. However, this dog can exhibit terrier spark and fire when excited. We will discuss this breed to help you determine if it is ideal for you and your family.

The Affenpinscher

Vital Stats of Affenpinschers

Vital stats of this breed include the following:

  • Dog breed group: Toy
  • Height: 9 to 11.5 inches at the shoulder
  • Weight: 6 to 13 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years

Physical Characteristics of Affenpinschers

The facial expression of the Affenpinscher, with a bear and long eyebrows, makes him look like a monkey and even comically serious. The rough coat is an inch long throughout the body and little longer on the chest, head, neck, legs and stomach.

This breed has a medium bone, sturdy, compact and square-proportioned body. He is a smaller variety of a working terrier, but is not as delicate as he appears. Affenpinschers are very tough, active and nimble enough to chase and catch rats and mice. The dog’s gate, meanwhile, is confident and light.

Care for Affenpinschers

The Affenpinscher is an ideal dog for apartment living, particularly if you have neighbors who don’t mind occasional barking. Short, brisk walks or a suitable length of time in the backyard is ideal for exercise.

This breed is small, so he needs to be a full-time housedog, with access only to a fully fenced backyard when not supervised. Affenpinschers won’t hesitate to confront animals much larger than themselves, an encounter that could result in tragedy.

Similar to many toy breeds, the Affenpinscher can be difficult to housetrain. Be patient and consistent. We recommend crate training as well.

Health of Affenpinschers

Similar to any other breed, the Affenpinscher is prone to specific health problems. While generally a pretty healthy breed, individual dogs can develop orthopedic problems such as luxating patellas, a common knee condition in small dogs.

Additionally, Affenpinschers are also prone to skin conditions that may lead to hair loss on the flanks.

History of Affenpinschers

The Affenpinscher’s ancestors were small terriers that kept stables free of mice and rats. Based on the depiction of a similar looking dog in an Albrecht Durer woodcut, this breed may date to the 15th century. The appearance later showed in the paintings of old masters of small, rough-coated, bearded dogs.

At some point, probably in the 18th or 19th century, this dog was bred down in size, allowing them to move up in the world by becoming companions to ladies. However, they retained their ratting ability, and used it to keep milady’s parlor safe from mice.

This breed played a role in the development of the Brussels Griffon and the Miniature Schnauzer. They also become popular in other parts of Europe, including Great Britain.

The Pinscher Klub was founded in Cologne in 1895, and the American Kennel Club recognized the Affenpinscher in 1936.

For more information on the Affenpinscher or other dog breeds, don’t hesitate to contact us here at All Pets Veterinary Medical Center with the link below!

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