Affenpinscher: Temperament

The Affenpinscher is considered to be very balanced, sensitive, and affectionate and can be trained very well. They are open to strangers and get along well with other dogs. However, they are very vigilant about their owners and their belongings.

Affenpinscher’s Character, Upbringing, and Attitude

Special breeds of small breeds have always existed. It is therefore not easy to determine when the first Affenpinscher appeared. Pictures from the 13th century already show small, shaggy dogs in the company of their owners. There is the well-known painting by the famous Jan van Eyk, who immortalized the wealthy Arnolfini couple on canvas in 1434.

A small, unkempt dog is also clearly depicted in the artwork. Affenpinschers are also said to be depicted in paintings by Albrecht Dürer. However, there are no records from this period, so it is difficult to determine the breed. However, it is safe to say that this little dog could well be an “ancestor” of the modern Affenpinscher, Miniature Schnauzer, or Griffon.


The Affenpinscher was first mentioned in writing in 1876. The treatise by L. J. Fitzinger “The Dog and Its Breeds” was published in Tübingen in the same year. The Affenpinscher is believed to be a result of crossing various pinscher breeds with pug-like breeds that came here from Asia at the time. In Germany, the Affenpinscher is one of the oldest dog breeds. It was his job to hunt rats and mice.

That’s why there used to be Affenpinschers in many households. At that time they were also available in many more colored shades:

  • Gray
  • blue-grey
  • light yellow
  • the fur of these lovable little dogs was even reddish and black with some white markings.

Affenpinscher Beings

The Affenpinscher has always been considered a happy and lively companion in the family, very related to its owners but also useful and courageous as a guard dog. At least that’s how he was described in “Brehm’s Tierleben”.

Today’s owners will be happy to confirm this. The Affenpinscher is indeed a versatile dog, both suited to taking part in long outings or even participating in agility competitions, but also enjoying a slow, leisurely walk.

They are just as suitable for families with children as for a single elderly person – both will enjoy the lovely little guy. As already mentioned, these dogs are very easy to train. They are very intelligent, but this can certainly lead to a challenge.

Very often this breed is confused with the Griffon. For those who want to know exactly how to tell the difference between these two breeds: the Griffon has an upward curved muzzle, while the Affenpinscher has a downward curved muzzle. The mnemonic: Griffon has an o – as above, so it’s easy to remember.


The Affenpinscher is a small dog. Its shoulder height is between 25 cm and 30 cm, its weight is between 4 kg and 6 kg.

It is small, compact, and of remarkable appearance. His hair is coarse and close-lying with a prominent facial beard. The slightly protruding lower lip in connection with the protruding head hair ensures his striking appearance. Everyone who sees this dog knows immediately that this is a very special breed.


The little dog is easy to hold. They are very hardy and rarely get sick, their coat is easy to care for and hardly sheds if it is trimmed regularly. Usually twice a year trimming is enough – unless you want to show him at dog shows. In this case, more frequent trimming is necessary.

It is often claimed that the cute little dog in the movie As Good As It Gets starring Jack Nicholson is an Affenpinscher. In fact, the dog “Verdell” was born by six! various Brussels Griffons.

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