Published on 10 May 2021
With an endearing expression and personality to match, the Affenpinscher is a spritely character suited to a household without small children.
Affenpinschers were bred in Germany and they are a very old breed that existed as far back as the 1700’s. They were bred for hunting rats and mice. Affenpinschers are famous for their monkey like face, which is how they got their name as “Affen” means “monkey” in German.
They are a “toy” sized breed with heights of 23 to 30 cm, and weights around 3 to 6kgs. Females tend to be a bit smaller than males. Affenpinschers come in a variety of colours including Black, grey, silver, red, black and tan, beige. Their life expectancy is around 11 to 14 years. They are a brachycephalic breed and are susceptible to Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS).
Dog Breed Facts & Characteristics
|Germany, 17th century|
Also known as
|Hunting rats, companionship|
|Toy, 23 to 30 cm, 3 to 6kgs|
|3 to 6kgs|
|Black, grey, silver, red, black and tan, beige|
|11 to 14 years|
|Scruffy, dense rough coat that benefits from regular clipping, minimal shedding|
|Feisty, confident, affectionate|
Best suited for
|Experienced dog people, better suited to households without with small children|
|Can adapt to apartment living but needs exercise and entertainment and may become destructive if bored|
The Affenpinscher is spritely, alert, and intelligent. On the flip side, they can be mischievous and stubborn. To their family, they are typically very loving and loyal, but can be defensive with strangers.
Due to their small size and big personalities, they may be a better choice for families with older or no children. Daily exercise is important to keep them happy and healthy.
Early socialisation and training with other dogs, people and animals is important to ensure good manners later in life. Show caution when introducing an Affenpinscher to other small animals, as they may still retain a strong prey drive and can be aggressive towards small animals.
Affenpinschers can adapt to apartment living if they are given plenty of exercise, entertainment, and attention as boredom and loneliness can result in destructive behaviour.
They have a thick, shaggy coat that requires daily grooming. Frequent clipping at the groomers helps to keep them looking their best. Ear cleaning should also be a part of the regular grooming schedule to help keep the ears clean and free from debris to help prevent ear infections.
Teeth cleaning should also be a part of the maintenance routine. Prevent parasites by ensuring your Affenpinscher is on flea control all year round and tick prevention if you are in a paralysis tick area.
When choosing a food for your Affenpinscher, select a premium food appropriate to your dog’s age and life stage.
Make sure your pup always has a supply of fresh, clean water available.
Common health concerns
According to PetSure data from 2013 to 2018, brachycephalic breeds have a higher prevalence for many major health problems including patella luxation, skin conditions, eye conditions, anal gland problems, digestive diseases, and ear infections.
Brachycephalic airway syndrome is caused by changes in the airways which can result in lifelong breathing problems. Read more about brachycephalic dogs here.
From 2016 to 2020, Affenpinschers most commonly visited the vet for cancer including meningioma and mast cell tumours , skin conditions such as allergies, and patella luxation (dislocating kneecap).
Table: The five most common reasons for an Affenpinscher to visit the vet from 2016- 2020. Source: PetSure claims data.
|Rank||Condition||Average cost for single treatment|
(average pet insurance claim amount)
|Highest cost for single treatment (highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)|
|1||Cancer, including meningioma and mast cell tumour||$598||$3,074|
|2||Skin conditions, including allergic skin disease||$161||$704|
|5||Traumatic accidents, including bite wounds and bone fractures||$822||$6,557|
Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider.
Most popular Affenpinscher names
Most Popular names (PetSure data, 2010-2020)
Most popular female names
Most popular male names
Did you know?
In France, the Affenpinscher is described as the diablotin moustachu which means “moustached demon”.
Where can I get an Affenpinscher?
Affenpinscher are not very common in Australia. It may be possible to find one via a breed specific rescue organisation. You may also find a perfect small dog for you and your family at your local rescue organisation or shelter who needs a loving home.
- American Kennel Club, Affenpinscher, accessed on 15/03/21
- The Kennel Club, toy Affenpinscher, accessed on 15/03/21
- Wikipedia, Affenpinscher, accessed on 15/03/21
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