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Affenpinscher

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A devilish character with cute looks, the affenpinscher commands your attention. Delivering a bundle of laughs, these entertaining pooches are incredible fun. However, they don’t tend to like children and they boast a stubborn streak. You won’t forget affenpinschers in a hurry, if only because of their monkey-like looks. They are amazing watchdogs with fearless natures but can be too hot to handle for novice owners.

Which breed group is the affenpinscher in?

Breed group: none – Toy

Affenpinscher breed history

While similar dogs were seen as early as the 15th century, affenpinschers can only be reliably traced back to the 19th century. They originated in Germany and were probably the result of crossing several breeds of small dog. They became popular throughout Europe as they were efficient rat-catchers. Smaller examples were later bred as companion dogs for ladies. The Berlin Lapdog Club began to formulate a breed standard for the affenpinscher in 1902, but this was not finalized until 1913.

Affenpinschers are the ancestors of the Griffon Belge and the Griffon Bruxellois. They remain comparatively rare but their distinctive appearances and cheeky attitudes ensure that they are memorable.

Affenpinscher breed characteristics

With its shaggy coat which is wiry in texture, the affenpinscher is instantly recognisable. The coat is longer around the head and shoulders and is normally black. Diminutive in size, affenpinschers tend to be big on character and somewhat feisty.

These dogs are active, adventurous, curious, and a little stubborn. They form strong bonds with people and can become very protective. Easily bored and territorial, they require constant stimulation and a firm hand during training.

  • Lifespan: 11-12 years
  • Height: up to 30cm
  • Weight: up to 6kg
  • Shaggy black coats
  • Coasts are wiry
  • Characterful
  • Active
  • Adventurous
  • Easily bored
  • Territorial

Health issues with affenpinschers

Feisty and fearless, affenpinschers believe themselves to be indestructible. Nonetheless, they have relatively short lifespans for small dogs and are prone to a number of conditions:

Patellar Luxation

Legg-Perthes Disease

Hip Dysplasia

Heart Murmurs

Syringomyelia

Respiratory issues

What is the affenpinscher bred for?

Affenpincschers were bred for vermin control but later became popular as companions for wealthy ladies.

What sort of owners does the affenpinscher suit?

There’s a certain charm to these little dogs which endears them to all who meet them, but they are the perfect example of a big dog in a small body. As such, they are bold, entertaining and adventurous. They make for fearless watchdogs and have tendency to bark when excited. Affenpinschers are not the best choice for apartment living due to the amount of noise they can generate. Their stubbornness and sense of independence can make them tricky for inexperienced owners to handle but in experienced hands, they can be very successful agility dogs.

Affenpinchers will inspire much laughter with their antics. The downside is that they often dislike children and can bite when provoked. They are not well-suited to families and will fare best when living with adults who can devote plenty of time to them. They will get on with other dogs and even cats if socialised early. They don’t need a huge home to live in but however large their home is, they will fill it with their personalities.

It is important to note that owners must be prepared to groom these dogs regularly. They don’t shed but their coats must be brushed in order to preserve the right texture. Owners don’t need to be fitness fanatics as affenpinschers require only a moderate amount of exercise and so they are well-suited to urban life.


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