Affenpinscher – Cute monkey dog?

Featured image by © / katamount

What is an Affenpinscher?

The breed is German in origin. Affen means monkey, hence “Monkey Terrier” Affenpinschers have a distinct appearance that some associate with terriers.  They are actually part of the pinscher-schnauzer / toy group. The Affen’s shaggy, wiry face hair is longer than the rest of the body giving it a distinct look.  

The breed was created as a ratter, working to remove rodents from kitchens, granaries, and stables. You wont have any rodents with this little fella is around. The Affenpinscher was miniaturized and became a house pet during the 18th and 19th centuries, though still a ruthless hunter of rodents, and an outstanding watchdog.




Affection LevelHigh
Barking TendencyLow
Exercise RequirementsModerate
Friendliness – AdultsModerate
Friendliness – KidsLow
Friendliness – PetsModerate


Pros and Cons

Appearance and Size

Group:  Toy Dog (AKC)
Height:  9 – 12 inches
Weight:  7 to 10 pounds

This breed has a medium length, dense, wiry, harsh coat and a monkey-like expression. The Affen’s shaggy coat comes in several colors, usually black, but can also be gray, silver, red and tan, and belge, which is a mixture of red, black and white hair.

Cute affenpinscher © / DejaVuDesigns
Cute affenpinscher © / DejaVuDesigns


Affenpinschers is loyal, curious, and amusing with his antics, and fearless. Affens usually get along with other dogs and pets. They are active, adventurous and stubborn, but they are also fun-loving and playful. Despite their size, the breed is quite confident and lively. They are quite affectionate towards family members, and very protective of them.  Affenpinschers are independent minded and can be stubborn, and as such a little harder to train. The training should be varied as the Affen gets easily bored. Try treats and shorter sessions with a person they have bonded with for better results.



This breed sheds little hair and thus needs to be groomed quite often. Once per week minimum. Other sources site Two to Three times a week! The Affen’s coat does not grow quickly, so a clipping every 3 – 4 months should suffice. As with all dogs, check their nails every 2 weeks and trim with a high quality nail clipping tool.


Affenpinschers are generally healthy dogs, but are surprisingly prone to hip dysplasia. Other issues are collapsed trachea, luxating patella, heart anomalies, and occasional cataracts. Good health starts with high quality dog food

Affenpinscher © / katamount
Affenpinscher © / katamount

Life Expectancy

Affenpinschers have a life expectancy of 12 – 15 years.



5 Fun Facts About Affenpinschers


Affenpinschers, like most toy breeds, are great for apartment living.  They require moderate exercise and enjoy playing and going for walks outside. On rainy days, they will usually get enough exercise indoors, but fair best with a brisk daily walk outdoors. Affens are good for families, but generally not recommended for very young children.  Affenpinschers are feisty and can be somewhat territorial when it comes to their toys and food.