The Affenpinscher is one of the oldest 'toy' breeds. It was developed in Germany, and the name comes from the words Affen and Pinscher, translating as 'Monkey Terrier'. The breed is called the Diablotin Moustachu in France, meaning 'Moustached Devil'! It was developed to catch mice and rats around the home, farm and stables, but soon became a popular lap dog - and one that still doubled up as a mouse exterminator! The breed made it's way to America in the late 19th century, but declined in popularity after the Second World War. Today it is uncommon, even in ts native Germany.
The Affenpinscher is a typical Terrier, fesity, bold, inquisitive and busy. They make good family dogs as long as the children of the household respect the dog's personal space and don't tease it. They are affectionate and very entertaining little bundles of energy.
Affenpinschers don't like being left alone for long periods and can get into trouble if bored, attacking furnishings and suchlike. Their most un-Terrier-like trait is their patience with other family pets, and they will usually tolerate your other furry friends, even cats. Caution is still advised on that issue though, and is all about training and familiarization. If properly trained and socialized, these dogs are friendly with strangers and other dogs.
These dogs will always let you know when someone is at the door or in the vicinity, exploding like small furry alarm clocks. They have a tendency to be territorial and can be a bit 'off' with strangers at first, so making sure they have contact with different people when they are still puppies will help.
The Affie, as it is affectionately known, is a lot of fun. They are great attention-seekers. They are also bold, and great fun to watch when playing. They love to please their owners, but training them isn't a straightforward job. This is the case with many Terriers. Affies are stubborn little dogs, and training them takes time and patience, and you'll need a sense of humor during the training process. The training needs to be firm and consistent. The dogs are easily bored.
This breed can be aggressive when defending food or toys, unless taught at an early age that this is not acceptable behavior. The upside of this pugilistic side of their personalities is that they are fearless and will leap to your defence if they think you are in danger. This too can have its downside of course, as you don't want your Affie biting anyone. But if you get them used to as many different places, people, sounds, and situations as possible, this will prevent them getting into too much trouble later on. But wen it comes to defending their patch from other dogs, they will take on much larger individuals and rarely back down.
Although they are a barrel of energy at home, they don't have the stamina or appetite for long walks. A couple of turn around the block each day do just fine, along with games of fetch in the home, garden or local park. After these burst of energy they love being close to you and curling up in your lap.
Their coats are wiry and need brushing once or twice a week to remove old hair and prevent it from clumping and tangling. They also need clipping twice a year, and show dogs require hand-stripping to keep them up to show standard.
Like most Terriers, the Affie is a hardy dog and suffers no major issues as a breed. They can sometimes develop Patellar Luxation and cataracts.
Affenpinschers are restless, busy, and playful. They love investigating every corner of their home and will always try to jump, push, or climb out of any space that confines them. They are very vigilant watchdogs and will quickly alert you to any visitor or stranger. They are also highly affectionate companions. If well-trained they can get on perfectly well with new dogs and people, but require early socialization for this to become a reliable personality trait.
Health problems that may afflict Affenpinschers include luxating patella (dislocation of the kneecap), Legg Calvé Perthes disease (degeneration of the femoral head which can cause lameness and joint swelling), canine hip dysplasia (CHD), skin problems and blood clotting disease.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 11 - 14 years
- Weight: 6 - 13.5 lb
- Height: 9.5 - 11.5"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Medium - Hypoallergenic
- Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
- Town or Country: Either
- Minimum Home Size: Flat
- Minimum Garden Size: No Garden
- Breed Type: Toy Dog
- Size: Small
- Energy Level: High