The Affenpinscher commonly referred to as the Monkey Dog originated in Germany. Affenpinscher in German means “monkey like terrier” and in France, it is known as the “Diablotin Moustachu” translated to mean the mustached little devil.

The Affenpinscher was orginally bred to help keep rodents out of granaries, stables, of course kitchens throughout Germany. Today, they are seen more often as indoor pets than as mouse catchers.

This dog may be confused with terrier type breeds however, in actuality it is in a pinscher-schnauzer subgroup, which helps this adorable tiny dog get along well with other pets you may have in your home. If you happen to be searching for a good family dog then the Affenpinshcer could be the one you desire as long as you are ready for a slightly hyper little dog. They tend to be energetic, curious, adventurous, and at times quite stubborn, however, they enjoy being part of the family and are proud to be loyal members. The only draw back is the Affenpinscher is a territorial type dog and do not wish to share their toys or foods, because of this families with young children should think twice as toddlers tend to grab everything in sight.


The Affenpinscher on average weighs around 10 pounds and is only 11 inches tall from the withers. Now, for the reason they have the nickname of Monkey Dog, which is from their expression that tends to resemble that of a monkey. Along with the monkey like expression, the eyes are round, dazzling, and a medium size, which are not bulging. The ears are high on the head, which come to a point. Their ears can stand erect, semi-erect, or even dropped. Their muzzle is short which narrows just a bit to end up at their blunt nose.

Their fur or coat is a rough coat with a harsh and wiry feel that is similar to that of a terrier, thus the reason for confusion with the terrier. The unkempt mane, which helps to frame their face thus highlighting the monkey expression, tends to be longer than the hair around the hindquarters and back. The hair on the head, chest, stomach, and neck is not has wiry as the rest of their coat.

The AKC standards for the Affenpinscher specifications for the color of the coat include black, gray, silver, red, black and tan, and belge. Belge is a combination of black, red, and white hair. The FCI and UK breed specification is that the coat has to be black, no other colors are accepted. Other dog clubs have a variety of specifications for the color of the coat, which can include various colors with black being the most prominent accepted color throughout the clubs.


The Affenpinscher is a very loyal dog with a strong protective nature for their family. He has a wonderful mix of charisma along with courage that blend together quite nicely to create a delightful addition to the family. They are known to be energetic, alert, and possess enormous bravery to the extent of going up against much larger dogs to protect their family or their own belongings. Even with this strong brave attitude they are very loving and can tell when their owners needs a bit of loving attention, which will transform the Affenpinscher into a compassionate and tender dog.

The Affenpinscher is an intelligent dog and does not mind change, which makes them great traveling companions. Some of the unique stunts the Affenpinscher likes to perform include tossing his toys in the air for hours on end, walking on their hind legs, and sitting on their spine with their legs extended such as a human.


When you first get your Affenpinscher puppy, you will need to take him to visit your veterinarian. He will need to give him a series of vaccinations to ensure he stays in good health. Your puppy should receive shots for infectious hepatitis, leptospirosis paraintiuenza, distemper, and parvovirus. In many cases, if you plan to have your dog in shows, the vet may recommend vaccines for bordatella and corona. However, recently, veterinarians have ceased to give the bordatella vaccine as it has been discovered to be harmful to your pet’s health.

The Affenpinscher is prone to hip dysplasia, which is the ball and socket joint. This condition can occur when the ligaments that help to hold these together are loose. Hip dysplasia is a progressive condition that becomes worse over time. The other health condition that many Affenpinschers tend to have is cataracts. Cataracts affect the vision of the dog and in some cases, a complete cataract can affect both eyes resulting in blindness. The best way to ensure early detection is with regular checkups with your veterinarian.

As for grooming, in order to keep the shaggy 1 inch coat mainly for show dogs your Affenpinscher needs to be groomed two or three times per week.


The Affenpinscher can be traced back to around 1600 even though at this time the dogs were mainly used for to keep rodents out of stables and granaries. At this time, the dogs were a bit larger being around 12 to 13 inches tall and varying in colors of black, gray, fawn, gray and tan, black and tan, and red.

This breed of dog has the title of the most ancient of all the toy dogs. The smaller breed was not only found in the stables, but also in the boudoirs of mistresses to keep the mice away.

The Affenpinscher is believed to be the breed that brought about the development of the various smaller wire coated breeds throughout Europe such as the Brussels Griffon and the Miniature Schnauzer.

The record shows the most prominent and first person to breed the Affenpinscher was in Lubeck, Germany. Not long after this time, smaller breeds began to appear which were mainly used for keeping mice out of homes. The Affenpinscher was known around this time to be in a group of ratting terriers, which were normally salt and pepper in color to reddish black or solid black. Other breeders crossbred these small type terriers until they perfected the size intended for house pets. Some of these include the Pug and the German Pinscher. Because of this cross breeding, this is more than likely the result of the variety in the coat colors of the Affenpinscher’s we see today.

In 1750, Herr Hans-Jochen Kossman was a breeder working to develop a small house pet, using the mini schnauzer and the German Pinscher. Many other breeders were also working with the same concept but adding other differences from certain other breeds such as the Pug. It is believed these dogs are the direct ancestors of the Affenpinscher’s.

The first Affenpinscher Club of America was held in the fall of 1965 in New York State.

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