The Affenpinscher originates from Germany and was bred originally for hunting small vermin and as a lapdog. Its origins can be dated back to the 1600's. In France the Affenpinscher is known as the 'diablotin moustachu' meaning the “moustached little devil” or the “Monkey Dog" because it has a monkey-like face. Affenpinscher is comes from the meaning of two words: 'affen' meaning monkey and 'pinscher' meaning terrier. This dog is classified as one of the Toy Dog Group because of its size.
In the past used for small vermin hunting in the grand houses, castles and palaces of the rich where he lived as a lapdog to warm his owners and their beds in their draftee cold dwellings, and a status symbol and companion. He would probably have been carried around or placed in the sleeve of his rich master/mistresses gown.
Now days he makes a good family pet and companion although because of his size he is not as robust as larger breeds and therefore would be better suited to a small less demanding family, a couple or single person.
The Affenpinscher is very much like a terrier in personality. They can get along with other dogs and pets, more so when they are raised with them. They are full of activity, courageous, inquisitive and stubborn, but they also love to monkey around, being playful and mischievous. A lively sharp-witted, little dog that is courageous and confident. A fearless defender, the Affenpinscher will quickly become an authoritarian, if owners do not give the proper rules, boundaries, limitations and reinforce who is pack leader.
The Affenpinscher is a real little character who likes to make his owners laugh with his tricks and is also very affectionate. This friendly little dog loves being with its family who, like all dogs, it considers its pack. Like all dog breeds it needs consistent, firm training to affirm who is pack leader, namely not him. Owners need to make sure there is variety and breaks in the training routine so the dog does not become bored. These toy dogs learn commands very quickly. Like most terriers some can be difficult to house train.
Height: Toy Dog Group. Small 24-28cms
Weight: 3-4 kgs
Patellar Luxation (kneecap can become displaced)
They are not recommended for a family with very young children as because of their size they can be treated as toys which can be dangerous and end up causing behavioural problems to develop as the dog will believe it is the Alfa pack leader. Children should be old enough to be taught how to properly handle and command a dog. Owners need to consistently be the dog's pack leader to avoid the dog becoming defensive over their food and toys.
Affenpinschers can tolerate long walks and therefore can be taken hiking and camping. Without leadership, it may unwisely challenge large dogs and other large animals. They tend to bark and even climb. This little dog does best with a family who likes entertainment and has a very good sense of humour. Any dog who displays growling, snapping or biting, is lacking in pack leadership. These issues can be corrected by taking control back from the dog. The Affenpinscher is Resilient and uncomplicated, trustworthy, loyal and affectionate. He is intelligent and easy to handle and train.
The Affenpinscher needs a daily exercise routine. Generally one walk a day is sufficient although two is always best for any dog breed. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside the walker so that he is always made aware that he is not pack leader but the walker is. Playing with these small dogs can fulfil much of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds they require a walk to fulfil their role as a dog, have their sniffs and scent mark their territory. Dogs that do not get a daily walk are more likely to become aggressive and display behavioural problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe open area off the lead, such as a park or the open country. They should be made to sit before entering and exiting door and gateways always after humans, again reinforcing that the person is the pack leader.
11.5 – 14 years
The Affenpinscher's thick wiry coat should never be clipped because this can ruin the coat and can take many years to grow back properly. It should be brushed and combed weekly and it may be necessary to strip it. Stripping is a method whereby small amounts of the longer coat are grasped and pulled out. This is continued all over the coat until an even result is obtained and the coat is to the desired length. A dog groomer can be paid to do this although after a little practise it is not difficult, just time consuming. All show dogs require stripping.