The Affenpinscher is an interesting and rare dog breed that originated in Germany. The name Affenpinscher means “monkey-like terrier” and although this breed is not classified as a terrier, the Affenpinscher was originally bred to work like one. This dog had a job to exterminate rats and other rodents in German stables, granaries, and kitchens of the 1600s.

The rare Affenpinscher became more known in 2002 when Ch Yarrow's Super Nova won the Toy Group in 2002 at the nationally televised Westminster Kennel Club Show.

FUN FACT: In France, this breed is described as the “Diablotin Moustachu” which means “moustached little devil”.

Affenpinscher Height


9-12 in (23-30 cm)

Affenpinscher Weight


7-9 lb (3 - 4 kg)

Affenpinscher Origin



Affenpinscher Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy:

12-15 years

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health

The Affenpinscher is a toy breed, usually 9-12 inches (23-30 cm) tall and weighs 7 to 9 pounds (3-4 kg). The dog has a small body, short muzzle, small ears, bushy eyebrows, black, rounded eyes, and protruding lower lip. The tail is short and erected.

Does an Affenpinscher shed?

The Affenpinscher is covered with wiry, thick, and rough coat with a harsh texture that can be black, gray, silver, tan or red in color. The dog’s coat should be brushed at least twice a week. Brushing should first be done with a brush and then with a metal comb. If after there are still some mats or tangles, break them up with fingers. This dog needs some stripping and trimming to achieve and maintain his “shaggy but neat” appearance, but it is easy to learn. The Affenpinscher's do not shed a lot and is perfect for apartment living. The Affenpinscher’s coat is considered to be hypoallergenic because it causes fewer allergic reactions than some other breed’s hair. The rest is basic care.

Affenpinscher does not need a lot of exercises. Regular walks around the block will be enough.

affenpinscher dog in stance

The Affenpinscher is a curious, playful, fun, loving, affectionate, and loyal companion. This dog is born to make everyone around him laugh. He is very devoted to his family, but children are not his favorite. The Affenpinscher is the happiest in a family without any children because, like most terrier-type dogs, he does not like aggressive behavior such as hitting, unwanted squeezing or hugging, chasing to catch them and similar. When cornered, the Affenpinscher might nip a child to warn him.

FUN FACT: When provoked, the Affenpinscher breed has a higher than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. 


The Affenpinscher love spending time with his family and hates being left alone. He’s not afraid of anything or anyone, and his alert nature makes him an excellent watchdog. The Affenpinscher can be territorial toward other dogs and it is not unusual for this small dog to go after a dog three times his size. This is why it is important to socialize your Affenpinscher with other people and animals. Otherwise, you will have to protect him from himself. Early training is also a must. On one hand, this breed’s intelligence is above average so they learn quickly, but on the other hand, the Affenpinscher can be very stubborn in his desire to have his own way, so the training sometimes can be challenging. Persistence, consistency, and patience are the key. The Affenpinscher is a toy breed, and they are usually difficult to housebreak. Crate training is recommended.

affenpinscher dog

Health problems

The Affenpinscher is generally healthy dog breed with a life expectancy of 12-15 years, but they are prone to certain health conditions, such as patellar luxation, Legg-Perthes disease, heart anomalies, vision problems, and hip dysplasia. Patellar luxation is a condition caused when the patella, which has three parts-the femur (thigh bone), patella (knee cap), and tibia (calf)-is not properly lined up, which causes lameness in the leg or an abnormal gait, sort of like a skip or a hop. This condition can lead to arthritis. There are four grades of patellar luxation, and different grades may require different surgical repair. Legg-Perthes disease is a deformity of the ball of the hip joint. It causes wearing and arthritis and can be repaired surgically.  The Affenpinscher, because of his short muzzle, can also experience respiratory difficulties during the hot weather.

Affenpinscher breeders

Getting an Affenpinscher might be a challenge since these dogs are a rare breed. Be prepared to spend time on a waiting list if you're interested in acquiring one. The Affenpinscher can give birth to 1-3 puppies per year. Small litters plus their rarity increases inbreeding, which increases the risk of many health problems. This is why you should be extra careful when getting an Affenpinscher puppy. Never buy it from a shady breeder.  Ask the breeder as many questions as you can about the dog, his family, their health and ask him to show puppy’s litter mates and/or parents. 


World Dog Finder team

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Updated at25.12.2020.