Activities For Affenpinschers

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Introduction

Affenpinschers are a small, fairly uncommon breed of dog that is believed to have been developed to eradicate vermin on farms in Germany in the 1600s. They are characterized by large eyes and round, somewhat flat faces with long, wiry fur that is arranged to resemble eyebrows and a beard. They are sometimes referred to as Monkey Dogs as well, partially due to their appearance and partially due to the entertaining antics that they are known for. While they are small dogs they are also energetic and intelligent and giving them entertaining activities to occupy their time will help to keep them healthy and balanced. 

Treasure Hunt

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Any Day
Free
Easy
5 - 45 min
Items needed
Treats or toys
Hiding places
Activity description

While these dogs may be known as Monkey Dogs due to their comical and playful demeanor, they were not bred to be companion animals, but rather as an efficient and effective means of pest control. The Affenpinscher breed was designed to hunt down and eliminate rodents, and other vermin and part of this job entailed locating the tiny invaders, in barns, near silos, and in homes. Searching for prey is a natural instinct for most Affenpinschers and creating a fun treasure hunt for your canine companion will use their own natural instincts in order to work their minds as well as their bodies

Step
1
Choose a target
Treats and snacks are an obvious and effective lure for many dogs, but too many snacks can lead to dangerous canine disorders such as obesity and pancreatitis. Other options can include hiding your dog's favorite toys for them to find or turning this into a suppertime activity and encouraging their natural desire to forage by getting them to search for their supper.
Step
2
Hide the target
Initially, hiding spots should be fairly simple and easy to locate in order to build your dog’s confidence, but as your dog improves the hiding spots should get gradually more difficult. It is also important not to sabotage your dog by hiding the target on or in things your dog is not supposed to normally be, like countertops and cupboards. Along with increasing the difficulty of locating the objects you can also increase the number of objects to be found, hiding several toys, or separating the meal into several small servings hidden throughout the house.
Step
3
Engage your dog
Most Affenpinschers will need very little coaxing to start searching, generally just showing them the item and hiding it, and they are off. Some may require a little more instruction or encouragement, either because they just have difficulty with the concept or because they have been taught not to look under or on things previously. If your pooch is the latter, you can initiate the game by hiding the object under a simple towel or washcloth, then rewarding your dog a great deal of praise when your dog removes the cover to find the treasure.
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Photo Shoot

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
15 - 60 min
Items needed
Camera
Props (optional)
Activity description

Affenpinschers have been given the nickname of Monkey Dog both because they look a little like a monkey due to their round, slightly flattened faces, large eyes, and distinctive facial furnishings as well as for their entertaining and comical behavior. The combination can make for a very photogenic canine with a tendency to thrive in the spotlight. One way to take advantage of this little dog’s desire to be the center of attention is to let them get their desire by staging a photo shoot centered around your pup. While there are many fantastic professional pet photographers available, you can also choose to do a more casual shoot on your own and still have a great time.

Step
1
Choose your location
If you choose to go with a professional photographer, they are likely to have an indoor studio, and they may even have a few favorite outdoor locations. If you are staging the photos yourself, then you can choose to do it in your home, in your backyard, or even in a nearby park as long as your dog doesn’t get too distracted by all the extra excitement.
Step
2
Choose a time
It is generally best to choose a time when your dog is usually somewhat energetic and alert but not overwound in order to avoid frustration on the part of both yourself and your canine companion. If you are taking the pictures outside, you may want to take environmental factors into account as well, such as the temperature outside and the quality of light at differing times of day and in different locations.
Step
3
Have fun!
While many Affenpinschers will fairly happily tolerate being dressed up a little or interacting with props, some are quite reluctant. If this is the case with your dog, it may improve the experience to ditch the unfamiliar props and get some more authentic shots of you and your pet simply having fun together.
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Competitive Obedience

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
30 - 120 min
Items needed
Doggy waste bags
Leash
Treats
Activity description

Affenpinschers are very clever little canines and although they can be a touch difficult when it comes to housetraining and willfulness is not uncommon, they are usually quite talented at learning new commands quickly and retaining the information. Affenpinschers, like many other small, protective dogs, are somewhat prone to becoming anxious and bossy if not given enough direction and some form of obedience training is essential not only for your peace of mind, but for theirs as well. Competitive obedience training will not only improve your bond with your dog, but will also help your dog to put their intelligence and energy to good use.

Step
1
Pick a technique
There are several effective methods that can be utilized in order to help teach your dog how to follow obedience commands and choosing the best one for your situation will depend a great deal on both you and your dog. Some of the possible methods of training can include positive reinforcement, clicker training, model or mirror training, and relationship training.
Step
2
Train the basics
To participate in obedience competitions at the novice level in order to earn the Companion Dog title, your dog must know several initial commands. Commands and tricks that you will need to teach your dog for their first competition include heeling on and off-leash, come when called, and stand for exam, as well as a long sit (one minute) and a long stay (two minutes). Higher levels of competition will require that increasingly challenging or complicated routines, commands, and tricks be mastered.
Step
3
Find a competition
Once you have mastered the training that is required for your level, it’s time to find somewhere to showcase that talent. There are many training clubs that have their own local obedience competitions, and some breed clubs will also participate in obedience trials. The AKC also hosts several formal obedience shows for both purebred and mixed breed dogs to compete in. Paperwork and registration for these events are often required well in advance of the competition itself, and certain rules and regulations can change depending on the venue so it is important to be familiar with the rules and regulations of each competition.
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More Fun Ideas...

Agility Training

Affenpinscher breed dogs tend to be especially energetic and sprightly making them excellent candidates for agility training and competition.

Earthdog Trials

Affenpinschers are not classified as terriers, but they were originally developed with the intent to hunt and kill rodents and vermin, some of which went to ground. Earthdog trials are courses that are set up specifically to test a canine’s ability to track and pursue smaller animals that go to ground.

Puzzle Toys

One of the services that these canines originally provided was that of pest control, a job that required a great deal of energy and problem-solving ability, as a result, Affenpinscher's are very energetic little dogs with very active minds. They also frequently utilize their paws to manipulate objects, giving them an advantage when attempting to solve more complicated canine puzzles.

Conclusion

An Affenpinscher breed dog doesn’t generally take up a lot of room, but they do require a great deal of affection and activity each day in order to remain balanced and healthy. While these dogs are typically outgoing and comical, they are also capable of being clever or fierce when the situation calls for it.