Affenpinscher- What you should know about the Monkey dog

The Affenpinscher is one of the spunkiest toy dog breeds.

He is a comical dog who is nicknamed the ‘mustachioed devil’ and he lives up to this nickname.

This dog has become a favorite for dog lovers that are looking for small pooches that have that big boy attitude.

You may have heard about this four-legged ball of fluff and are just interested in learning more about what he entails.

Well, you have come to the right place.

In this article, we are going to cover all the important details that you need to know about this happy and a bit mischievous doggo, from how he looks and behaves and how to take good care of him.

Let us get right into it. 
Affen dog

About the Affenpinscher

He is also known as the ‘Monkey Dog’ where Affen stands for Monkey in German and Pinscher means Terrier. Monkey Dogs are members of the Terrier family.

If you are a star Wars fan you might think that this ball of fluff looks more like Ewoks or Wookies.

Getting this dog means that you are going to be smiling all the time as that is what they are known to do best, amuse people.

And if you thought that was their only good quality you are wrong. These dogs are also very loving and loyal and make up for what they lack in their size using their enormous personalities.

Affenpinschers may have pretty faces but there is more to them than that because they are bold doggies that are not afraid of anything.

You may also be excited by the fact that he can make an excellent watchdog even if he can protect you from much because of his size. But at least he tries.

However, you may find this dog to be stubborn, and especially during training, you will need to have a lot of patience with him. The good this is that he is intelligent and always ready to learn new tricks and commands.


The American Kennel Club officially recognized this dog in 1936 as a toy dog breed.

You can also find more information on the Affen dog in the Affenpinscher Club of America.

General Characteristics and appearance of the Monkey Dog

Affenpinscher summary table
Height  9 to 11 inches tall at the shoulders
Weight Males could weigh anywhere from 7 to 10 pounds while Females weigh anywhere from 7to 9 pounds
Lifespan 12 – 14 years depending on how healthy he is
Breed Type toy breed
Purpose companion and family dog
Suitable For Experienced dog owners
Grooming requirements high grooming
Color Variations Black, silver, black, and tan, beige, gray and red
Health concerns Patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, heart problems, and eye problems
Temperament friendly, loving, intelligent, Playful, loyal and sometimes stubborn
Other Names Monkey dog, Moustachioed little devil


The Affenpinscher is a small dog breed.

Generally, these dogs could reach a height of up to 12 inches at the shoulders and could weigh up to 9 pounds.

You should note that females may be slightly longer than males.


The most notable thing that you will notice about this dog is his wiry coat and mustache.

He is a dog that has a shaggy but neat appearance that is compact and well-proportioned.

They have a monkey-like look with a long beard and long eyebrows.

The head is proportional to the body and has a narrow and short muzzle with a black nose.

These doggos have adorable round, brilliant and dark eyes that do not bulge or protrude. They also have erect ears that are high-set and may be cropped at a point.

Monkey dog

Coat appearance and shedding

The Affenpinscher is a dog that as earlier mentioned has a neat and somewhat shaggy coat.

Ideal, he is a pooch with a rough coat that is thick. This coat is about one inch tall on the body and longer in the neck, head, and legs. It may be shorter in the tails and the rear.

This coat form a cape around the shoulders and the neck.

The good news is that the wiry coat of the Affen coat is hypoallergenic.

But you should not confuse this with non-shedding because all dogs shed and the Affen dog sheds seasonally.

There are several colors that you can find on this dog:

  • Silver
  • Black- This may also come as a mixture of white and some silver hairs.
  • Red- Some of the red Affens may have some white, black and silver hairs on them.
  • Black and tan
  • Beige that is a mixture of several colors

Affen Personality and temperament

Generally, these dogs are bold, busy, curious, inquisitive, loyal and may be considered to be a bit stubborn. They are also playful but can be mischievous.

Affens are devoted dogs that will show love to you even more than you can imagine with lots of hugs and cuddles. He makes up for the lack of a large body in his big personality.

They are also extremely affectionate and always ready to entertain.

The Affen is also a curious dog that is always alert and loyal to the family and will do all his power to make sure that you are protected. This means that you can depend on him as a guard dog.

Affenpinscher might be a funny dog but if you do not take time to make sure that he gets the proper socialization you may end up having problems with him when he grows up. He may keep his suspicious nature and not welcoming to guests and socialization will come in handy to make sure that he is kept under control.

A good way to socialize this dog is by enrolling him in pup classes and introducing him to the outside world.

They may tend to climb on things and bark. This dog has even been known to get on top of fences to get a better view and you should train him on the right steps to get off furniture and high beds.

Black-and-tan-affen dog

Compatibility with the family

Affenpinscher is a family doggo that adores being around the people that he loves.

He is one to make sure that the whole family has a good laugh.

And despite being this good he may not be the ideal dog for you if you have children in the house.

Children may not understand his needs and may try chasing him around when he is not in the mood for it.

These dogs do not love aggressive behaviors such as hitting or chasing and cornering them at a corner for a hug. They may end up wanting to defend themselves which may not end up well especially for kids.

This does not mean that the furry friend cannot play with your kids. You just have to make sure that you are there to supervise any play and interactions that he may have.

Children should also be taught how to behave around a dog to prevent any incidences such as nipping and biting.

He gets along well with other pets and dogs especially if he has been brought up together with them.

Affens may be aloof towards strangers.

Of course, you should expect every dog to have different traits even if they are from the same litter. This means that the dog should learn to interact with other animals and people from a young age for you to have a pooch with the best possible behavior.

Doggo’s behaviors and traits are usually influenced by the experiences that he has.


History of the Affenpinscher

Affenpinschers were originally bred to be working dogs though they are not classified as Terriers.

These pooches date back to the 15th century and are believed to be the dogs depicted one of Albrecht Durer woodcut and even seen in paintings of the old masters.

They were bred mainly to keep mice and rats away from German stables in the 1600s. That is why the name Affenpinscher has a German origin to mean ‘Monkey dog’ or the ‘Ape Terrier.’

As time went by people took these dogs indoors so that they could deal with mice and when night came they would act as companions to their owners.

Somewhere in the 18th or the 19th century someone came up with an idea to reduce the size of this dog through breeding. By doing this, these doggos would become companions to women.

This canine beauty is thought to have been involved in the breeding of the Miniature Schnauzer and the Brussels Griffon.

It is in the late 1800s that clubs devoted to this breed were formed in Germany and France and later got recognized by the American Kennel Club in  1936.

You should know that these dogs are rare. This was because during the second world war their breeding was interrupted in the US.

It was in the 1950s that people renewed their interest in the breeding of the Affen but he is still rare to this date.

In France, dog lovers know this doggie as the mustached little devil or rather “diablotin moustachu” which describes him aptly.


These dogs have litters of around 3 pups.

Getting in your hands on one of these puppies may be a bit difficult considering how rare these pups are.

However, if you are willing to get one of them you should be prepared to part ways with anywhere from $1000-$2000. This is pretty expensive, right?

The cost of the puppy might differ depending on;

  • Where you get him and the breeder.
  • Whether the puppy you are getting is female or male.
  • What the main purpose of the dog is. Show dogs or conformation dogs may be way expensive compared to companions.

You may have a cheaper adoption option which is around $300 which to me is a bargain.

What you need to do when buying a pup is making sure that he comes from a responsible and credible breeder.


So, how you find an Affenpinscher breeder?

Finding a breeder that will do the job right is very important when you are looking for the right pup for you.

First of all the breeder, you choose should be registered and should abide by the ACA’s code of ethics.

Your area vet and some Affen owner may be able to point you in the right direction if you are not yet sure of where you should start with your search for the perfect pup.

You need to put in an effort such as you would when looking for a new house or car.

He/she will be able to match you with a puppy that matches with you and one that you can live with well.

A good and responsible breeder’s main intention is to make sure that the pup will also get a home that is best suited for him.

But you should first know what question to ask the Affenpinscher breeder and he or she should also be able to ask some questions too.

He or she should tell you about the potential health issues that may arise and some ways that you can go around avoiding some of those issues.


You should steer away from breeders that only seem to be interested in your money or the ones that sell puppies through pet stores.

If you spot any of these red flags you should stay away from the purchase;

  • The premise of the breeder having many litters of pups.
  • A breeder that has any choice of puppy that you ask for.
  • Breeders that do not have the option for you to use your credit card for payments or one that does not have any kind of payment system where it can be tracked.

All in all, there is no guarantee that you will get a pup that is perfect but you should always put in the research when you are about to make such decisions.

Grooming requirements

You should see grooming sessions as a time for you and your pooch to bond.

It is also important as it leaves your dog looking the best he can and still stays healthy.

The Affen’s coat should be brush twice every week, with the first round being done using a brush and the second time with a metal comb.

During the shedding seasons, you should brush the coat daily to remove any dead hair and fur from the coat of the dog.

You should use your fingers to remove any mats or tangles and avoid hurting your dog. A detangling solution may come in handy when your pooch has too many mats and tangles.

And for you to make sure that your Affenpinscher stays looking good you should make sure that the coat is trimmed when it gets long.

Only give the pooch a bath when it is necessary or when they get messy using the right shampoo formulated for small dogs. You should not overdo it as it could strip the coat of important oils and cause the skin to dry out.

You should not be afraid to visit your groomer or vet in case you have a grooming process that you are not comfortable doing yourself.


More on grooming

Apart from taking care of the coat, you will also need to make sure that you carry out other grooming processes.

Do not forget to trim the dog’s nails when they get long which can become a problem for your pooch.

The teeth should be brushed and ears checked for any infections and cleaned.

Brushing the teeth should start when he is still young to make sure that he gets used to the process and not cause any problem later on.

Grooming should be a positive experience for your dog.

Feeding requirements

You should always make sure that the food you are giving to your Affen is high quality and meeting his calorie requirements.

Several factors can affect how much your dog eats;

  • The weight of the dog.
  • Level of activity.
  • Metabolism.
  • Age

A general thumb of rule is to feed him using his weight. Here you take the doggo’s weight in pounds and multiply it by 30 calories.

Taking the average weight of the Affenpinscher which is about 7 pounds this will be 210 calories every day.

To make it simpler for you to understand this is about one cup of high-quality kibble daily. You should divide this into two meals a day, one in the morning and another in the evening to prevent him from suffering from bloat.

Quality always makes a difference and the higher the quality the better.

Your vet can help you choose a diet that is suitable for your dog and give you recommendations on what to buy depending on your dog.

You should also watch how you feed your ball of fluff and avoid overfeeding him to prevent him from getting obese.

Visit your vet in case you have any concerns about your dog’s weight.


Affenpinscher exercise

This is the ideal dog for you if you are living in an apartment. However, he may bark fro time to time which can be a nuisance to your neighbors.

Although this doggie is ideal for apartment living you should always make sure that he gets enough exercise.

He is not considered to be a hyperactive dog and has a moderate exercise requirement.

About 45 minutes of exercise will be enough to make sure he stays healthy and physically stimulated.

You can do this by playing indoor games or by even taking him for walks in the park.

When you take your Affen for walks make sure you carry a leash and harness. This is to make sure that he does not run off chasing other animals or even objects.

Walks are important because they provide your pooch with the exposure that he needs.

Having a fenced yard would be a bonus as you would have a place where the two of you can play fetch and a place that he can explore freely.

You should avoid over-exercising the dog as he could overheat which can lead to breathing problems.

Training and housebreaking

Small and toy dog breeds are the most difficult to housebreak. This is even though they are intelligent and may be eager to please.

There are so many places that he can easily go running off like behind the chair if under it. He can do this when he is not in the mood for you or what you want him to do.

The Affen’s stubborn streak does not also help with this but only makes it more difficult.

And considering how important housebreaking is this is a mandatory thing that you need to do. Being patient and consistent is key if you are looking to achieve the best possible results.

Obedience training is also recommended and the best way that you can go around this is through positive reinforcement.

You should try to keep the training sessions short to prevent your pooch from losing interest and getting bored.

Overall, this dog is moderately easy to train.


Some of the health concerns

These doggos are generally healthy as long as you make sure that your dog is from a responsible breeder.

However, he may still suffer from some health issues such as;

Patellar luxation– This is a common condition that occurs in small dogs where the bones are not properly lined up. It is a condition that can later lead to arthritis if left untreated due to the rubbing of the bones. The good news is that it can be treated in the early stages through therapy and medication and in severe conditions through surgery.

He may be prone to obesity if you give him too much food and too little exercise.

Hip Dysplasia– This is a genetic condition where the thigh bone fails to fit snuggly into the hip joint. Your dog may show signs of lameness or pain and just like in patellar luxation arthritis can develop in the later stages of the disease. If you notice that your pooch is showing any signs of pain take him to the vet immediately for an x-ray and treatment.

Affenpinscher Breed summary

We have seen that the Affenpinscher can be a wonderful companion dog and family pet. Ensure that you provide him with the right socialization, mental, and physical stimulation this should be a great companion dog for you if that is what you are looking for.

He may a bit difficult to train but with patience and consistency, you should be able to pull it through.

A responsible breeder is the best bet for you if you are looking for a dog that will not have too many health issues later on.

You should stay away from breeders that try to sell you this pooch in the context that he is rare.

What do you think about this dog? Is he the right dog for you?

Give us your comment and feedback in the comment section below. 

There you go WOOF!!