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Quick facts

Affenpinscher AKC Group: Toy
Height: 9.5 - 11.5 inches
Weight: 7 - 9 pounds,
Colors: black, tan, gray, silver, red
AKC recognized in: 1936

A stunning petite in the canine world, the Affenpinscher is often seen more as an accessory rather than a pet to be loved and cherished. This is of course discouraged as it puts to waste this breeds affectionate and adorable nature.

But seeing it as something to showoff is not so hard to adapt. A simple look at its whimsical and yet adorable monkey-face appearance is really quite a thrill. This makes this dog very popular among ladies and young children. As such, it is placed in the category of ‘toy dogs’.

If you are wondering why it is difficultly named in German, it is because the word ‘Affen’ in German translates to ‘monkey’ in English, which pretty much befits its facial features.

Adding to the attractiveness of its petite form is its unique coat which is wiry in appearance and rough in texture. And although the UK breed standards and the FCI accepts black as the only official color for this breed, the AKC also acknowledges gray, silver, tan and red.

Also, the fur coat of the Affenpinscher tends to be more pronounced and grow a lot thicker and shaggier around the neck and chest area. This effectively creates a thick mane. Also, the hair grows longer in the facial area, creating what looks like a beard and bangs.


Affenpinscher Summary
Affection four paws
Cold Tolerance two paws
Ease of Training three paws
Energy level four paws
Exercise Requirements three paws
Friendliness : Children three paws
Friendliness: Other Animals three paws
Friendliness: Other Pets three paws
Grooming Requirements four paws
Heat Tolerance two paws
Playfulness four paws
Protection Ability one paw
Watchdog Ability five paws

If you have heard of the term ‘feisty midget’, the description will probably befit the Affenpinscher. You just cannot let its adorable and bubbly cute appearance fool you into thinking that it is meek or shy. This toy dog is quite a pack of surprises!

Small in frame, adorable in appearance and fragile in stature, the Affenpinscher is decidedly very active despite its small size. It will be very playful, it will monkey around, and it will play mischievous tricks. Coupled with its wittiness and high-spirited curiosity, you just got yourself someone to supervise.

To place the Affenpinscher’s naturally active and energetic demeanor into order, a firm and consistent obedience training is necessary. Just stay patient because this breed will often test you.

Once it is apparent that you are the one in command and that you are in alpha position, your Affenpinscher will gladly submit and its authoritarian tendency and alpha-complex will subside.


The average lifespan of the Affenpinscher is 12 to 14 years.

While the Affenpinscher is generally a healthy dog, it is susceptable to certain health problems. These problems include:

  • Legg-Perthes Disease - This disease involves the degeneration of the head of the femur bone due to interruption of the blood supply to the femur. This condition can lead to arthritis or inflammation of the hip joint. Because this is an inherited condition, if a dog is diagnosed with this disease, she should not be bred.
  • Hip Dysplasia - Where the thigh bone does not fit snugly into the hip joint. This can lead to severe lameness or arthritis. A dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia should never be bred, as this is an inherited condition.
  • Patellar Luxation - Sometimes called a trick knee, this condition causes the kneecap to pop out of place. This can be caused by obesity, but is typically a congenital defect that can be inherited.
  • Tracheal Collapse - Either the incomplete formation of or the weakening of the cartilage rings in the trachea, causing the trachea to flatten. This can cause excessive coughing, respiratory distress, or gagging while eating or drinking. Depending on the severity, this condition can be treated using bronchodilators or cortico steroids if mild enough, but requires surgical procedures for moderate to severe cases.
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) - A birth defect where the ductus arteriosus (a blood vessel normally only used prior to birth to bypass the lungs) fails to close following birth. This results in some of the blood leaving the left side of the heart to return to the lungs instead of to the rest of the body. This causes the heart to work harder to provide necessary blood to the body, and can lead to congestive heart failure.


Despite its quite hairy appearance, owners and would-be owners would be glad to know that the Affenpinscher is not a shedder. In fact, you might just forget that dogs shed because this breed will shed very little or not at all.

But just because you are now free from excessively dealing with fur shedding does not mean its hair will not give you some trouble. As with most show dogs, grooming will need a lot of attention.

For example, the hair can grow too long around the eye area causing some visual problems and even eye infections. Therefore, it is important that your Affenpinscher get its coat trimmed regularly by a professional if you are not trained to do so yourself.

Also, owners need take note that Affenpinschers are susceptible to extreme temperature conditions. If they are subjected to too much warmth for extended periods of time, their respiratory health could be affected.

Visitor Comments

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