Affenpinscher Dog: Characteristics, Origin & Lifespan

Affenpinscher dog is a terrier-like toy Pinscher breed of dog. It is also known by some other names such as Monkey Terrier, Monkey dog, Affen or Affie. It is a charming little dog which is generally quiet, but can exhibit terrier spark and fire when excited.

The Affenpinscher dog breed was originated from Germany, and dates back to the seventeenth Century. The name of the breed derived from the German Affe (ape, monkey). It predates and is ancestral to the Griffon Bruxellois (Brussels Griffon) and Miniature Schnauzer.[1]

Dogs of the Affenpinscher type have been known since about 1600, but these were somewhat larger (about 12 to 13 inches), and came in fawn, gray, black, tan and also red colors. White feet and chest were also common. The breed was actually created to be a ratter, working to remove rodents from kitchens, granaries and stables.

Banana Joe V Tani Kazari (also known as Joe), a five-year-old Affenpinscher, was named Best in Show at the 2013 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City. This win is notable since it is the first time this breed has won Best in Show at Westminster. However, read some more information about this breed below.

Affenpinscher Dog Characteristics

The Affenpinscher is a very beautiful dog with with a harsh rough coat when it is not clippered, and if clippered it can be softer and fluffier. The breed has a notable monkey-like expression (Affe means monkey in German).

Coat of the Affenpinscher dog is shaggier over the head and shoulders from a mane, with a shorter coat over the back and hind quarters. The coat is harsh and wiry in texture when properly maintained.

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The FCi and KC breed standards specifies that the coat must be black in coloration, but the AKC also allows silver, red, black, grey, belge and tan color. Other clubs have their own list of acceptable colors, with black being the preference.

The Affenpinscher dogs are sturdy, yet compact dogs. They have a medium frame and their height and length are about the same, with the females slightly longer than the males. They generally stands 9 to 12 inches tall at the withers, and weighs 2.9 to 6.0 kg.

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Temperament

The Affenpinscher dogs are active, adventurous, curious and stubborn. But they are also fun-loving and playful. They are confident, lively, affectionate towards family members and are also very protective of them. They generally enjoy being with their family.

The Affenpinscher dog needs consistent, firm training since some can be quite difficult to housebreak. These type of dog generally becomes bored easily. So, training should be varied. They have a terrier-like personality.

The Affenpinschers are somewhat territorial when it comes to their toys and food. So, they are not recommended for homes with very small children. They are mostly quiet, but can become very excited if attacked or threatened, and shows no fear toward any aggressor.

Lifespan

A small sample of Affenpinscher in a UK survey had a median lifespan of 11.4 years, which is a typical lifespan for a purebred dog. But bit lower than most dog breeds of their size.

Feeding

How much a mature dog eats depends on it’s size, age, build, metabolism and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food. 1/4 to 1/2 cup of high quality dry food a day is recommended for a mature dog, divided into two meals.

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Caring

Like many other domestic animals, dogs also require lots of care to stay healthy and happy. The Affenpinscher dog is ideal for apartment living, especially if you have neighbors who don’t mind occasional barking.

Because of the smaller size of Affenpinscher, it should be a full time house dog, with access only to a fully fenced backyard when not supervised. They won’t hesitate to confront animals much longer than themselves, and encounter that could result in tragedy.

Although, the Affenpinscher can be difficult to housetrain. Be patient and consistent. Crate training is recommended, and use lots of praise and motivation.

Health

The Affenpinscher dog is generally a healthy breed. Although some breeders can face some problems. These may include luxating patella, heart and vision problems and hip dysplasia.

Like some other dog breeds with short faces, the Affenpinscher may have trouble breathing in hot weather. So, it’s important to prevent them from getting overheated.

The Affenpinscher dogs also may be prone to weight gain. So regular exercise and monitoring their caloric intake is also important.

Breed NameAffenpinscher
Other NamesMonkey Terrier, Monkey Dog, Affen, Affie
Breed SizeSmall
Height9 to 12 inches tall at the withers
Weight2.9 to 6.0 kg
Good as petsYes
Climate ToleranceAll climates, but may have trouble breathing in hot weather
ColorMainly black
Lifespan12 to 15 years
Good for childrenNo
RarityCommon
Country of OriginGermany