The Affenpinscher


The Affenpinscher, which translated from German is Monkey Terrier, originated in Central Europe during the 17th century; he's one of the most ancient dogs in the toy breed category. Affenpinschers were kept around stables and on farms to rid them of mice and rats. It didn’t take long before they became companions in the home where many women were impressed by their ability to keep mice out of the kitchens, pantries, and closets.

The Affenpinscher was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1936.

Sizing up

  • Weight: 6 to 13 lbs.
  • Height: 9 to 11.5 inches
  • Coat: Wiry, rough, or smooth
  • Color: Black, grey, silver, red, black and tan
  • Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years

What’s the Affenpinscher like?

The Affenpinscher loves being with his family and is also very protective of them, he will alert you of strangers, but don’t rely on him to incapacitate a burglar. 

He can be extremely territorial of things that he considers to be his: food and toys; therefore, he might not be suitable for a home with small children. The Affen is a dog of many traits; He’s happy to go hike the tallest mountain with you or sit back and relax on the couch.

The Affenpinscher can be very stubborn when he wants to be. You’ll need to start training and socializing early. He can also be very curious and tends to follow his nose so you’ll want to look after him when he’s outside and off his leash.

When grooming your Affen there are a few tools you’ll need: a slicker brush, a stainless steel Greyhound comb, a stripping knife, blunt-tipped scissors, and thinning shears. To remove dead hairs from his coat you have to pluck them out; this is called “stripping” the coat. You should comb him several times per week just so his hair doesn’t get matted or tangled.


The Affenpinscher is generally a healthy breed but watch for any of the following:

Takeaway Points

  • The Affenpinscher is a better fit for a family with older children.
  • The Affenpinscher needs to be looked after when he’s outside because he is very curious.
  • The Affenpinscher is very adaptive to your level of activity.
  • The Affenpinscher is well suited to be a travel companion.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.