Affenpinscher

7-10 lbs
9-11"
Germany
African Terriers, Ape Terriers, Affens, Monkey Dogs

A rare and tiny treat, the Affenpinscher is an adorable little dog who originates from Germany. As you’ll see in this breed profile, Affenpinschers make fabulous pets for anyone who’s happy to lavish them with love. The French may call them ‘mustached little devils’ but they’re natural comedians, innocently cheering up anyone in their company.

On this page we’ll talk you through the wonderful ins and outs of the Affenpinscher, including these interesting nuggets:

  • Affenpinschers started out being employed to sniff out rats
  • Their main health complaints are lick granuloma, patellar luxation, and hip dysplasia
  • This breed is at greater risk of overheating because its nose is so small
  • These little dogs can sometimes be confrontational with bigger breeds

Affenpinscher breed overview

If you’ve ever wondered ‘What are those dogs that look like Ewoks?’ then this is the guide for you. The answer to that question is Affenpinschers  — the adorable little dogs originally from Germany. And yes, they do look very much like Ewoks, those cute and fluffy characters from some of the Star Wars movies.

Also known as the dog with a monkey face, the Affenpinscher isn’t a breed you see all that often. This is a small and cuddly dog that knows its own mind and is bursting with personality. Though it may not be the greatest pet for those with children, this is a dog whose cheeky character really will keep you happy and entertained for years and years.



Are you the pet parent of an Affenpinscher? Make sure your pup is covered for any health scares by comparing top-rated pet insurance plans in seconds.



purpose Purpose
Hunting Rodents, Companion Dog
history Date of Origin
1600s
ancestry Ancestry
Brussels Griffon, Miniature Schnauzer

Affenpinscher Health

Sketch of Affenpinscher
Average Size
Male Affenpinscher size stats
Height: 9-11 inches Weight: 7-10 lbs
Female Affenpinscher size stats
Height: 9-11 inches Weight: 7-10 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 dog is from Germany originally, where it had a definite role that began as early as perhaps the 17th century: it hunted down rats, helping European shop owners be free of the pesky rodents. Though the breed developed first of all in the city of Munich, the rest of the country was also fond of the Affenpinscher and its rat-catching skills. It may once have been crossed with German Pinschers and Pugs but we don’t know for certain.

Starting out larger in size than it is now, the dog was then bred to be smaller, becoming popular as a lapdog. In 1913 the true breed standard was finalized and, although the breed recovered after World War II from almost going extinct, it remains a comparatively rare breed. So — if you’re a pet parent of an Affenpinscher, count yourself among the lucky few!

Affenpinscher Breed Appearance

No one would call the Affenpinscher a large dog. Though they were once a little larger, this is a small pup (around 10 inches off the ground) with a short nose, short legs, and a square body. Striking facial features are its beard, mustache and eyebrows, which give the breed its distinctive ‘monkey like’ appearance.

It has a gorgeous shaggy mane but its main coat is wiry and short. Ears are cropped and pointed. Its feet are petite and round and its eyes are dark. The Affenpinscher’s tail is curved, set high and docked.

This pup can come in a range of colors including gray, red, tan, black, and silver.

Appearance of Affenpinscher
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Affenpinscher eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Affenpinscher nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
black Affenpinscher coat
Black
brown Affenpinscher coat
Brown
red Affenpinscher coat
Red
fawn Affenpinscher coat
Fawn
silver Affenpinscher coat
Silver
brindle Affenpinscher coat
Brindle
Coat Length
coat
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
pin
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Affenpinscher straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Affenpinscher Breed Maintenance

The Affenpinscher is a flexible breed: it doesn’t matter if you live in a palace or a small apartment, your pup should be happy on account of it not needing a vast amount of space. 

Although it loves to exercise — like all dogs — its small stature means that its exercise requirements aren’t on the Olympian end of the scale. 30 minutes a day, or around six miles a week, should suffice. Be mindful when you walk it, however, that it tends to think it stands a good chance in confrontations with larger dogs. Don’t let it get into fights; it may not be as strong as it thinks. (For this reason, while it’s not impossible to have a cat and an Affenpinscher, leaving them alone isn’t a great idea because of the latter’s ratting DNA).

Your Affenpinscher will need regular, but not daily, grooming. Brush it weekly, breaking up any tangling you observe. Its teeth should be brushed a few times a week so that it has a good chance of fighting off tartar and decay. Like most dogs, this breed will only need its nails trimmed about once a month.

A pro tip is that the Affenpinscher can overheat because its nose is so small; so always be on high alert when your dog has been in the sun or exercised for a long time. Make sure it has access to water and that its body doesn’t seem abnormally hot — there’s great advice on how to prevent your dog from overheating here. If you’re seriously worried, always contact a vet for expert advice.



Affenpinscher health risks

You should have around 13 years, hopefully more, with your Affenpinscher dog. But along the way there’s bound to be the odd health complication to manage. While we obviously hope you never have anything serious to worry about, with Affenpinschers, the following conditions are a little more likely to occur than others. Keep a particular eye out for:

Lick granuloma

Also known as acral lick dermatitis, lick granuloma is a condition that’s caused by a dog excessively licking their limbs, usually the front of their legs. A range of factors might be causing your Affenpinscher  pup to lick their legs (allergy or stress, for example) but the licking itself is likely to irritate the skin, maybe thickening it and even causing alopecia. 

Trying to identify the root cause of obsessive licking is important. It may be a result of a psychological issue like stress, boredom, or separation anxiety; it might be that your dog has an allergy and is licking to soothe the inflammation; or it might be that there is some pain in the leg and the dog may want to relieve this pain with licking.

Whatever the cause, generally diet changes or medication will be the advice of a vet. Diet will be the likely course of action if the vet suspects that a food allergy is the underlying cause; and if the cause is deemed to be stress, the vet may prescribe clomipramine hydrochloride. For the reduction of pain, a vet is likely to give non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Patellar luxation

If you notice that your Affenpinscher is limping, or perhaps refusing to exercise or experiencing swelling in the leg, it may have patellar luxation. This is a commonplace disorder that sees the dog’s kneecap dislocated from the knee joint. Normally hereditary, the condition can also be caused by trauma sustained to the knee instead.

You may not know right away if your young pup has patellar luxation because before around six weeks old the little one could just be interpreted as being a bit clumsy. At approximately this age, however, a vet will be able to diagnose it. 

Once a diagnosis has been confirmed (and graded from between 1-4 according to severity), your vet may prescribe medication like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs but it’s more likely that they will recommend surgery (if they don’t want to try solutions like leg braces or bandages). The surgeon may want to insert pins into the tibia, shape the bone to add depth to the femur’s groove, or make fascial release incisions on the side of the affected knee. 

Hip dysplasia

Although the genetic disease hip dysplasia is an issue that’s diagnosed a little more commonly in larger dogs, the Affenpinscher could easily fall victim to it because it’s a pervasive condition in dogs in general. 

‘Hip dysplasia’ is a term that means the ball and socket of both hip joints are malformed in some way, causing the head of the dog’s femur to grind in the socket of the joint rather than gliding smoothly. 

It can be caused by malnutrition, injury or weight gain (though you should also be careful not to over-feed your pup, as this may exacerbate it as well) and will be noticeable as a result of your dog not moving smoothly, not jumping, or experiencing lameness in the hind legs. 

You should be aware, however, that the signs of hip dysplasia often don’t rear their head until dogs are a little older, so it’s less obvious to identify in an Affenpinscher puppy.



Feeding a Affenpinscher — what’s the best diet?

The Affenpinscher is a small dog and doesn’t need a massive amount of food every day. It should be fed roughly one cup of food every 24 hours. But what kind of food? 

As with all other dogs, it’s important that you give your Affenpinscher plenty of high-quality, nutrient-rich food full of animal proteins to keep it healthy and full of energy. Do your research and avoid harmful ingredients and things like fillers. If you can afford it, favor dog food brands that are transparent about how they source their ingredients and what goes into each packet. 

Try if possible to avoid giving it scraps from your plates — food specially formulated for dogs will always be preferable. You can read a great guide on whether you should feed your pup wet or dry food here.

And, if you want comprehensive information about the best dog foods out there, check out our friends at Dog Food Advisor. They have in-depth brand reviews that include ingredient analysis, so you know exactly what you’re feeding your pet.


Brushes for Affenpinscher
Pin Brush
Pin Brush
Comb
Comb
Deshedder
Deshedder
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Affenpinscher requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Affenpinscher Temperament

You’re in for a real treat if you get yourself an Affenpinscher. This is a fun-loving dog; an Affenpinscher’s personality is mischievous and cheeky, and will always make you laugh.

As well as being unafraid to stand up to bigger dogs, Affenpinschers are stubborn and independent, which can make them a bit tricky to train. (As always, our advice would be to start when your Affenpinscher is a puppy). 

They don’t love being on their pet parent’s lap for too long but, like the vast majority of breeds, are playful and affectionate towards their pet parents. Because they don’t love being crowded and teased, they aren’t the best pet option for a family with very young children, unfortunately. Socialization is useful but you should be aware, if you have small kids, that you may have a little bit of a struggle on your hands if you want your Affenpinscher to be fully comfortable around them.

Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
6 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
30 minutes
activity minutes

Affenpinscher Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
1 cups
cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$0.75 - $1.00
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$25.00 - $30.00
food bag monthly cost

Affenpinscher Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Affenpinscher at six months
Male Affenpinscher size stats at six months
Height: 7.5 inches Weight: 4.0 lbs
Female Affenpinscher size stats at six months
Height: 8.0 inches Weight: 4.0 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Affenpinscher at 12 months
Male Affenpinscher size stats at 12 months
Height: 8.5 inches Weight: 6.0 lbs
Female Affenpinscher size stats at 12 months
Height: 9.0 inches Weight: 6.0 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Affenpinscher at 18 months
Male Affenpinscher size stats at 18 months
Height: 10.0 inches Weight: 8.0 lbs
Female Affenpinscher size stats at 18 months
Height: 10.5 inches Weight: 8.0 lbs

Top Affenpinscher Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Affenpinscher breeders of 2024.
Top Affenpinscher breeder Bauhaus Kennels
Bauhaus Kennels
Tempe, Arizona
Top Affenpinscher breeder Xela Show Dogs
Xela Show Dogs
Kansas City, Missouri
Top Affenpinscher breeder Pramada Kennels
Pramada Kennels
San Francisco, California
Top Affenpinscher breeder Crisanda Papillons & Affenpinschers
Crisanda Papillons & Affenpinschers
Billings, Montana
Top Affenpinscher breeder Mary's Precious Puppies
Mary's Precious Puppies
Uniontown, Kansas

Affenpinscher Owner Experiences

Ngakau (Now deceased)
5 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Sleeping
Sitting on or next to one of his humans
watching people
I was given Ngakau by a local breeder. He was such a lovely boy. So gentle and funny. He loved licking peoples noses, would think he was a rottie and bark at people passing by and enjoy sitting on his humans laps just watching the world go by. Ngakau didn't seem himself last year, so we took him to the vet. The vet knew straight away something wasn't right and sent him for a x-ray and performed tests. He was diagnosed with ?intestinal cancer and there was nothing they could do. They let us take Ngakau home to say goodbye to the other dogs and to all his humans who loved him before we took him back to the vet to have him be put to sleep. The pain of losing him is still fresh and we miss him still everyday. We have had a lot of dogs in our life and this was the most painful loss.
1 year, 7 months ago
Toby now deceased
14 Years
1 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
none
2008 left in my yard. Indominable, funny, loveable, and a great guard, he lived a life of luxury until he developed sores all over his body and lost the function of his back legs in September 2022, He would rally and fade and finally after bloody diarrhea and failure to eat was euthanized while I held him. Loved this dog. So loved this dog!
1 year, 7 months ago
Half Pint
6 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Amazing! Very loyal and loving, super intelligent, gets along with our shtzu and five cats
2 years, 1 month ago
Deanza
1 Year
5 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Dog Parks
Mushing
Hide & Seek
Dog-friendly events
Hunt
Groom
Walk
Go to Park
Playful and is extremely affectionate to their owner and is loyal to the owner family members
2 years, 8 months ago
5 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walk
Play
In my experience, Affenpinshers can be quite stubborn. They like to keep watch of the house and tend to bark quite a bit. However, they are very protective and a more "serious" breed.
6 years, 5 months ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Chase
Play
Catch treats
Walk
Dog Parks
I walked an affenpinscher duo, one a little less than a year old and another that was upwards of 8 years old. Their personalities are absolutely fantastic though they are a noisy bunch. Without any sort of obvious cause, the duo would, on occasion, start howling together. This behavior seemed to be some sort of bonding ritual between the two of them, but was striking and quite unusual. In the presence of any larger dog or particular stranger both dogs, and particularly the young one, would bark incessantly (he would stop if he was picked up). They're unconditionally friendly to strangers and quite good on the leash. They'd gleefully trot down the street and would say hello to anyone who was interested in doing so. I really adore these guys.
6 years, 5 months ago
10 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Scenting
Walk
Marking
These little guys are very friendly, but can be opinionated and stubborn. They decide where they want to walk, and when the walk stops. They tend to bark when one is approaching or leaving their home.
6 years, 5 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd