Affenpinscher: Color, Lifespan, Characteristics & Facts

Curious, loyal, a great comedian, and famously amusing, anyone looking for an almost-human toy pooch, will find a companion in an Affenpinscher.

Originally bred to be ratters in homes, shops, and stales. Even though they were bred down in such, they have since moved up to become ladies’ companions.

These naughty, happy companion pups approach life with tremendous confidence despite standing less than a foot tall. Affens are a perfect fit for dog lovers looking for an affectionate, yet always entertaining canine companion.

This breed takes his role seriously to guard his home, territory, and family. If someone is approaching your door, he won’t hesitate to let you and the neighbors know.

However, they may not be the best breed for a home with kids. For even though they are known for their comic personality, they won’t hesitate to bite a kid if provoked.

Breed Overview

Other Name: Affen, Affie, Monkey Dog

Origin: Germany

Height: 10 Inches

Weight: Male 7-9lbs, Female 7-9lbs

Life Span: 12-14 years

Colors: Black, gray, silver, black, and tan

1. Personality & Temperament

Affenpinscher - 1

Described as the mustached little devil or “diablotin moustachu” by the French, the monkey dog is a charming little pup, curious and alert, affectionate, and very loyal.

The Affie is generally a quiet dog, but with a tendency to exhibit a terrier spark when excited. If he faces a threat, it can take you some time to calm him down.

Like most little dogs, this breed will benefit from early socialization. He should be exposed to different experiences, people, sounds, and sights from an early age. Socialization will help your Affen puppy to grow up a friendly, well-rounded, outgoing dog.

A great start would be to enroll him in a puppy kindergarten class. If you have a new Affen pup in your house, consider inviting visitors regularly, taking him to busy parks, and on leisurely strolls, this will help polish his social skills. It helps to learn how to care for an Affenpinscher before owning one.

2. How to Care For An Affenpinscher


Affenpinscher puppies will do well with 1/4-1/2 of high-quality dog food, divided into two meals, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared. Check out this article to learn more about the high-quality dog food in the current market that could be suitable for your Affie .

With your vet’s supervision and approval, you will find the right diet suitable for your pup’s age, size, metabolism, build, and activity level. Since Affens have sensitive stomachs, make sure to feed your pup high-quality dog food for small dogs for better nourishing and growth.

Rather than leaving out his food all the time, measure his food and feed him twice a day to keep him trim. An Affie can be prone to getting overweight if you don’t watch his calorie consumption and weight level.


The Affie has a medium-length thick, wiry, rough coat with a harsh texture that appears shaggy and neat at the same time.

The fur on his body is approximately one inch long, shaggier and longer on his head (giving him a monkey-like appearance), neck, chest, stomach, as well as legs, and shorter on his rump and tail. Hence why he’s also referred to as a monkey face dog or monkey dog.

Even though these dogs don’t shed much, you must strip and trim their rough coats to maintain the characteristic texture and achieve his distinctive appearance each time you groom.

To achieve the best results, you need to be patient and persistent while grooming your pooch. Also, use dog nail clippers to clip his nails regularly and keep them short and clean.


Their small size makes them perfect companions for people with close quarters or apartment. They are classified as “moderately active,” and so they can do well indoor games with his owners or toys. Toys will make up a large part of his exercise regimen.

Once or twice in a day, make a point of taking your Affie for a brisk walk. In addition to the exercise, these walks will give him a chance to socialize with other dogs and people. Even a short walk for a few minutes in your backyard will be enough exercise for your mutt.


Like most toy breeds, they can be tricky to house train. In which case, crate training is highly recommended. The key to efficiently train an Affen is always to keep the training process fun. You can do this with lots of motivation, praise, and treats.

Considering their old, courageous, and often feisty personality, basic obedience training is also recommended. Because they are very independent-minded, they can be very hard and stubborn to train.

When an Affen pooch is bored, he tends to lose interest fast in long training sessions. Make the sessions shorter and frequent to be successful. Keep him engaged as much as you can to prevent destructive behaviors such as chewing.

During his teething phase, consider buying a high-quality cheap dog bed because a lot of chewing happens during this phase.

Affenpinscher - 2

3. Common Health Issues of Affenpinschers

Even though this breed is generally healthy, like all breeds, they are prone to common health conditions. Keep in mind that not all Affens get all or any of these diseases, but it helps to be aware of them if you are considering to buy an Affie.

Heart Murmurs

Caused by the disruption of blood flow through the Affen’s heart chambers, this condition should be an indication that a heart condition or disease may need to be monitored and treated.

Legg-Perthes Disease

Generally affecting small dog breeds, this disease usually appears at 6-9 months of age. Commonly confused with hip dysplasia but this condition is a deformity of the hip joint’s ball.

If left untreated it can cause bone wearing and arthritis. Surgery may be recommended, followed by a good rehabilitation regimen.

Patellar Luxation

Also, a common condition in small breeds, this condition is called “slipped stifles.” It is a condition present since birth that occurs when the patella is improperly lined up. The patella has three parts – the patella (knee cap), femur (thigh bone), and tibia (calf).

It causes the pup lameness on his leg, a skip or hop-like abnormal gait. Patellar luxation cause rubbing that can lead to arthritis. Patellar luxation occurs in four grades.

However, in grade IV, the turning of his tibia becomes severe such that the pallet becomes impossible to realign manually and he may appear bow-legged.

Hip Dysplasia

Affens with hip dysplasia should not be bred. If you intend to buy an Affie companion, ask the Affenpinscher breeders to provide proof that his or her parents were tested for hip dysplasia.

Because walking becomes uncomfortable for him if diagnosed with hip dysplasia, consider having him in a comfy orthopedic dog bed while in recovery.

Affenpinscher - 3

4. Children and Other Pets

Even though they are generally delightful household companions, they may not do well around high energy kids with aggressive behavior such as unwanted squeezing, hitting, cornering them in a lap, hugging, or chasing to catch them.

If a kid manages to catch an Affie and they can’t escape, the mutt might defend himself by snapping or growling. Hence, they may not be the best pets for homes with young kids.

However, it may help to have your pooch socialized to kids and other pets and always supervise any interactions with young children and other pets. Also teach your kids not to approach the Affen pooch when he’s sleeping, eating, or even trying to keep his food away.

5. The History of the Affenpinscher

Originally bred in Germany. Until the 19th century, these small, wiry breed never appeared in any written record even though they were depicted as companions and ratters in artwork since the 1500s.

Paintings by Dutch artists depicted small, hairy, rough-coated dogs that appeared like this breed. However, with so many breeds, the history of how the Affen pup was created is lost.

They may have been bred with smooth-coated German Pinschers, pugs, and the German Silky Pinscher. They have also largely contributed to the breeding of Miniature Schnauzer and Brussels Griffons.

The pure breed standard of Affens was finalized in 1913 which then translated to English, and eventually adopted and officially entered into the American Kennel Club Stud Book back in1936. With Nollie v. Anwander as the first Affen to be registered with AKC.

6. The Regular Expenses of Owning an Affenpinscher

If you are looking to adopt an Affenpinscher dog, it will cost you around $300-$400. If you are looking to buy one, the price ranges anywhere from $800-$2000 depending on the breeding.

2 thoughts on “Affenpinscher: Color, Lifespan, Characteristics & Facts”

  1. A small dog appeared on an apartment complex grounds one summer. He lived outside on his own for more than 2 months. I put food and water down every morning next to the same tree. He would not allow anyone near him. Finally I caught him in a cage trap. I took him to a vet on the same day. Now, he lives with my wife and I and fits right in. He is a joy. More than a year later, we learned that he was indeed an Affenpinscher. I can tell you that he really lives up to his breeds reputation! I could write a book about this little devil! He is great.

  2. We just adopted an Affenpincher and they did not know her breade was, but now we do. She is a wonderful little dog and very loving. We are very lucky she is house trained but is learning leash commands. We where so lucky to find one like her.

Leave a Comment