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7-9 lbs
African Terriers, Ape Terriers, Affens, Monkey Dogs

Originally, the Affenpinscher was commonly known as monkey dog because that is what Affenpinscher means in German. Presumably, the breed was named this because of their apish looking face. They were bred to hunt rats so they were also known as ratters. The breed originated in Germany from different types of small terriers in the 17th and 18th century. They were so small and cuddly, women decided they would make good lapdogs and the Affenpinscher was soon bred to be smaller to make them a better size to be companion dogs. They are small dogs, only about 9 to 11 inches tall and they weigh about 9 pounds. Their fur is medium length and wiry, usually belge, tan, red, silver, gray, or black. It is not a very common dog now and is even considered to be rare. It is best not to have these dogs in a home with small children because they do not like to be squeezed or chased.

hunting rodents, companion dog
Date of Origin
brussels griffon, miniature schnauzer

Affenpinscher Health

Average Size
Height: 9-11 inches Weight: 7-9 lbs
Height: 9-12 inches Weight: 7-9 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Lick Granuloma
Minor Concerns
  • Cataracts
  • Tracheal Collapse
  • Heart Problems
Occasional Tests
  • Knee
  • Hip X-Rays
  • Eyes
  • Skeletal

Affenpinscher Breed History

The Affenpinscher is a very unique breed of dog and they are still quite rare in the United States. When they originated in the 1600s, these dogs were bigger (12 to 13 inches) and were used to keep the rats and mice out of the stables. Early breeders crossed a different type of Schnauzer Ratting dog with the Affenpinscher for ratting but they were later crossed with Silky Pinschers, smooth haired German Pinschers, and Pugs in hopes of producing a smaller lap dog. This led to the Affenpinscher being the forebearer of other terriers such as the Miniature Schnauzer and Brussels Griffon. The first Affenpinschers were brought to the United States by Mrs. Bessie Mally who lived in Cicero, Illinois. The first of this breed to be registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) was from the first litter of Mrs. Mally’s dogs. This dog’s name was Nolli v Anwander and she was accepted into the (AKC) in 1936. The breed almost died out as World War II came to an end and the last litter was whelped in June of 1940. It was not until 10 years later that the Affenpinscher breed started to be built back up by importing dogs from Germany that were descendants from the same litter as Mrs. Mally’s dogs. According to the AKC, this breed is not as popular as most breeds. In fact, they rank 149th in breed popularity but with their confident and spunky personality, they seem to capture the heart of their owners right away.

Affenpinscher Breed Appearance

The Affenpinscher is a small bundle of fur with a long-haired mane around their head that blends into the rest of the fur, which is only about 1 to 2 inches long. It is this longer hair with the beard, mustache, and eyebrows that give it the appearance of a monkey. They are small and sturdy, only about 9 to 11 inches tall, with a square body, short legs, and a medium bone structure. The ears are cropped to make them pointed, they are erect and set high. The curved tail is set high and if docked, it is about 1 to 2 inches long. The muzzle is short and narrow with a blunt nose and a slightly undershot bite. The Affenpinscher has small round feet with black nails and paw pads. Their eyes are brilliantly dark with black rims, perfectly round and medium-shaped. The colors range from tan, red, silver, gray, and black. The red can have tints of brown or orange. A black coat can have white and silver hairs mixed into it or a rusty cast to it.

Eye Color Possibilities
Nose Color Possibilities
Coat Color Possibilities
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Affenpinscher Breed Maintenance

The Affenpinscher needs to be brushed a couple of times per week with a soft bristle brush and metal comb to keep her coat smooth. Starting at the sides, brush in a downward motion and work up the sides to the back, down the legs, and then the tail. Pay special attention to the beard and whiskers and carefully comb the cheeks with the metal comb. The hair on top of the head should be brushed forward towards the nose. Use your fingers rather than the comb to separate the mats if you find any. They do not need to be trimmed often; twice a year is sufficient. However, it is best to trim the bangs as soon as they get long and need to either be trimmed or held up with a barrette or clip to keep it out of the eyes. Their nails need to be trimmed often to prevent cracking and overgrowth. At this time, you should also check their ears for wax or dirt and clean them as recommended. Tooth brushing should also be done on a regular basis. As a small breed, they can be kept in an apartment and get all their exercise needs taken care of indoors. But, they do like to take walks once in awhile. Your Affenpinscher needs a high-quality dog food appropriate for her size and age.

Brushes for Affenpinscher
Pin Brush
Flea Comb
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Affenpinscher Temperament

These dogs are usually docile and friendly but they do not like to be teased so they would not do good in a house with small children. They tend to be snappy with those who chase them or squeeze them. In addition, because they are hunters at heart, Affenpinschers should not be left alone with small animals like hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, ferrets, rabbits, and even cats. They actually believe they are bigger than they are and may even go after larger dogs if provoked. This makes them a good watch dog and they are protective of their family members. This breed is independent and has a strong will so they may take a lot of time and patience to train. It is not because they are not smart; they are very intelligent but stubborn. The Affenpinscher is usually a quiet dog but they sometimes get excited and it takes a little while to calm them down. In addition, they are funny dogs that will spend hours entertaining you and your family.

Affenpinscher Activity Requirements

Curious and eager to have fun, the Affenpinscher is always ready for a walk. She will enjoy a leisurely stroll or a game of fetch and also will be content to romp in a fenced yard. This breed should always be monitored when outside; she loves to hunt don't forget and may formulate an escape plan if she sees an opportunity for a chase on the other side of the fence.
Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
6 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Affenpinscher Popularity

Popularity ranking
Popular Hybrids
Affen Spaniel
Cocker Spaniel
Affen Spaniel
Japanese Chin

Affenpinscher Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
1 cups
Daily Cost
$0.8 - $1
Monthly Cost
$25 - $30

Affenpinscher Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 7 inches Weight: 4 lbs
Height: 8 inches Weight: 4 lbs
12 Months
Height: 8 inches Weight: 6 lbs
Height: 9 inches Weight: 6 lbs
18 Months
Height: 10 inches Weight: 8 lbs
Height: 10 inches Weight: 8 lbs

Top Affenpinscher Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Affenpinscher breeders of 2017.
Bauhaus Kennels
Tempe, Arizona
Xela Show Dogs
Kansas City, Missouri
Pramada Kennels
San Francisco, California
Crisanda Papillons & Affenpinschers
Billings, Montana
Mary's Precious Puppies
Uniontown, Kansas

Affenpinscher Owner Experiences