Affenpinscher: Miniature Pinscher

The Affenpinscher is a dwarf member of the Pinscher group with coarse fur on the body and long shaggy vegetation on the muzzle.

Short Information

  • Breed name: Affenpinscher
  • Country of origin: Germany
  • Weight: 4-6 kg
  • Height (height at the withers): 25-30 cm

Basic Moments

  • From the German language, the name of the breed is translated as “monkey pinscher” – the miniature faces of dogs really bear similarities with the features of small primates.
  • Despite the compact size, the territorial instinct of Affenpinschers is developed no worse than that of guard breeds, so they always promptly inform about the arrival of both invited and uninvited guests.
  • The main phobia of Affenpinschers is loneliness, so it is undesirable for busy and non-family people to have a dog.
  • Having acquired an Affenpinscher, you will have to give up the dream of setting up a mini-zoo at home.
  • Representatives of this family do not favor any four-legged creatures and fight them by swooping, growling, and biting.
  • The breed is considered rare, so if you are looking for a pet with an original image with which you can stand out from the crowd of familiar dog lovers, the Affenpinscher will fulfill your cherished desire.
  • With a lively temperament, dogs are undemanding to space, so they feel comfortable even in small apartments.
  • Not to complicate your life with training and educational moments with them will not work. A dog that has not learned the elementary norms of behavior in human society in a timely manner gives a lot of problems.
  • In their homeland, Germany, Affenpinschers continue to be considered an exclusive breed, and the number of purebred puppies born annually from registered sires does not exceed thirty.

History of the Breed

The homeland of Affenpinschers in the southern regions of Germany, where monkey-faced dogs were bred as rat catchers. The inhabitants of Lübeck were especially successful in this, inhabiting grain barns and stables with mini-dogs, where they were engaged in the destruction of rodents. It is worth noting that the first Affenpinschers were larger than their modern descendants and had a wider palette of colors, which did not prevent them from transforming into a decorative breed and enchanting the European nobility. Moreover, by the 19th century, Affenpinschers had become an expensive and sought-after commodity, which helped German merchants sell them to ignorant foreigners at an incredible price of 1 thaler for that time.
The first intelligible descriptions of the appearance of the breed are found in the 17th century, but images of Affenpinschers appeared even earlier. For example, funny dogs can be seen on the canvases of the German engraver Albrecht Durer and other artists of the Middle Ages. Since no documents declassifying information about animal genes have survived, the affenpinscher’s relationship with other breeds remains unclear. And although the official version says that ape-like pinschers appeared by crossing common pinschers with Asian dogs similar to pugs, the possibility of an admixture of other blood in their phenotype is still not excluded.
In 1902, Affenpinschers passed preliminary standardization, and in 1913 they were officially registered in Germany. English cynological associations entered the breed into herdbooks only in 1936, since its representatives were not popular among British breeders. But in the United States, Affenpinschers were accepted almost immediately after the presentation – in 1935, a “party” of shaggy dogs crossed the Atlantic, and a year later received recognition from the American Kennel Club.
The Second World War caused significant damage to the breed’s livestock, so in the 50s the number of dogs in Germany had to be restored practically from scratch. The first Affenpinscher arrived in Russia with the cortege of the future Empress Catherine II. According to legend, the shaggy creature was taken to guard the wardrobe of the crowned person, which mice began to attempt on the way. As for breeding individuals, they began to be imported from the late 90s, however, for almost ten years, mini-pinschers in Russia remained a living exotic.

Breed Standard

Affenpinscher is a shaggy cutie with smart button eyes and a charming shaggy face, adorned with a lush mustache and disheveled beard. The square body and small height – only 25-28 cm with an average body weight of 4-6 kg – enhance the general “toy” appearance of the animal. The Affenpinscher carries himself with dignity and seriousness, which only adds to the charm of his already amusing image.

Defects and Disqualifying Vices

The show rating of Affenpinscher is influenced by such defects of the exterior as an upturned griffon-like muzzle, light bones, pincer bite, or undershot with pronounced retreat. It is forbidden to exhibit in the ring of individuals:

  • growth higher or lower than the specified standard by more than 2 cm;
  • suffering from any deformities in appearance;
  • having a skewed jaw and a scissor bite;
  • having defects in color, coat structure, and general structure;
  • showing cowardly or aggressive behavior.


Affenpinscher is almost 4 kilograms of self-confidence, alertness, and dedication, packed in a tough shaggy coat. Usually, the breed is fixated on its own relationship with the owner and tries to prevent third parties from it. This is expressed in each individual in different ways. Some Affenpinschers do not like children and arrange military battles with babies over toys. Others aggressively bark at strangers who have invaded the apartment, not disdaining to try to make a hole in the sock of an unknown civilian who has occupied the owner’s territory.
For pets, Affenpinscher is also capable of undermining the nervous system. If, in addition to the dog, you also keep a cat at home, try to put it in those rare moments when the Affenpinscher does not see. A mustachioed jealous man will not forgive such a “betrayal” and therefore will certainly develop and put into effect an act of revenge, in which the cat will be assigned an extremely unenviable role. With hamsters and chinchillas, too, everything is not easy. Do not forget that the ancestors of Affenpinschers made their careers just on catching and killing rodents, so either keep furry friends in cages under strict supervision or attach the animals in safe hands until the moment when sharp dog teeth get to them.
In communication with the owner, Affenpinscher puts on the mask of a fine-looking gamer who is ready to do anything to please an older friend. At the same time, the breed does not know how to impose and toady. For example, if you let your pet understand that you are not ready to participate in his projects, the Affenpinscher will not beg for attention, but will quietly and peacefully step aside and come up with new entertainment. In addition, Affenpinschers are avid travelers, ready to accompany a person both in the back seat of a car and in a bicycle basket. The breeder’s joke that with the breed you can save on buying car alarms – the Affenpinscher will not miss a single living soul who has approached the car even a meter.
Watching the active games of Affenpinscher and the manic tenacity with which he gets other pets, it begins to seem that the animal is a small “ghost with a motor”, whose energy cannot be tamed. In fact, the dog’s activity is easily adjusted. Moreover, for the company with the owner Affenpinscher is not averse to lying down or being distracted by watching the series. The main thing is that passive rest does not dominate active pastime – the Affenpinscher will never subscribe to aimless laziness.

Education and Training

Affenpinscher is an incredibly charming creature, and almost as stubborn and disorganized. It is difficult to imagine, but if you do not engage in raising a pet, then an affenpinscher is able to thoroughly spoil the life of the owner, and for the company and others. As soon as the tiny dog ​​shows up in the house, start socializing him and accustom him to the fact that in the world, in addition to treats, affection, and games, there are also requirements and prohibitions.
Among the first habits that an Affenpinscher puppy should develop is following a daily routine. Immediately after moving out of the kennel, train your dog to come up for food at a certain time, showing the baby how to take the bowl and how to prepare the meal for him. The ability to take food politely is also not formed immediately. Be sure to teach your puppy not to jump on you when carrying lunch.
Experienced breeders recommend not to be impressed by the “toy” breed and to treat the Affenpinscher as if in front of you is an average dog. There should not be any lisps and tears of affection either, otherwise, the dog will quickly figure out how to use this. It is best to practice useful skills in a playful way. Affenpinscher quickly gets carried away with new activities and just as rapidly loses interest in it, so divide the lesson into short five-minutes, between which there are long pauses.
It is recommended to select a place for training with a minimum of distractions. For example, it is more convenient to conduct the first lessons in a room, access to which will be closed for other animals and family members. Attempts to train a young Affenpinscher in the open air, as a rule, fail. Concentrating on the requirements of a person when there are so many seductive smells and sounds around is a task that is impossible for a puppy. It is better to stimulate the animal for further academic success by using positive reinforcement. What exactly will act in this role – a delicacy or a weasel – each owner decides for himself.
It is more difficult to form an affenpinscher’s system of prohibitions. Instead of treats, you will have to connect light negativity so that the dog learns to pick up the connection between your discontent and his own actions. At the same time, sudden attacks of the puppy should be corrected by intonation or by depriving him of communication, but not by shouting and physical influence. In particular, a properly brought up Affenpinscher should not grab the guests’ legs, tear balls from a person’s hands with his teeth, bite his fingers, or wage war with a vacuum cleaner in attempts to break a hose.
You will also have to work hard to develop the skill of using the tray. In order for the puppy to learn the difference between living space and indoor toilets, it is recommended to put the baby in a cage several times during the day. The pet perceives the space limiter as a resting place, so it will not leave puddles in it. After sitting in the enclosure (no more than half an hour), it is recommended to accompany the dog to the litter box.


According to the English Kennel Club standard, the Affenpinscher has a coarse, 2.5 cm long coat that does not need trimming. However, in practice, dogs have to be pinched, because the rare Affenpinscher has the perfect coat by nature. Once every few months, it is supposed to remove the “overripe” wool, and this can be done manually or with the help of a stripping knife. It is not recommended to get too carried away with the process and pluck out all the loose hair. The trick of the breed lies precisely in its shagginess, and too careful trimming will only worsen the situation.
The hair on the face of the Affenpinscher is lightly trimmed with scissors, giving the head the shape of a ball. The beard of pets is also shortened for hygiene purposes. Lowering its head into a bowl, the dog will not stain the hair on the lower jaw, respectively, the owner will not have to constantly wipe the pet’s chin. However, this method will not work with show specimens, as well as stripping – Affenpinschers, who clearly have traces of recent trimming or haircuts, are fine in the rings.
It is better to shorten the hair on the inside of the dog’s ear, as well as in the anal area. If the doggie is overgrown, it is useful to remove excess vegetation in the eye area that obstructs the animal’s view. It is recommended to comb the Affenpinscher three times a week with a medium-toothed comb, which will remove dead hairs, and then massage with a brush.
Frequent bathing, especially on the eve of the exhibition, is contraindicated for Affenpinschers, but once every 3-4 months the pet can be washed with shampoo and conditioner for wire-haired breeds. Dogs’ claws are trimmed every 4-6 weeks, teeth are brushed every 7 days. The eyes of the doggie must be examined daily, and once a week they should be wiped with a textile napkin moistened with a chilled tea infusion.
An examination of the ears is also mandatory. If a decent amount of sulfur deposit has accumulated inside the funnel, it should be carefully removed with a cloth moistened with disinfectant lotion. However, go to extremes and clean your ear “to shine” is not worth it. A small amount of sulfur is necessary for the animal since it prevents the penetration of sand, debris, and other microscopic foreign bodies into the interior of the organ.


Affenpinscher loves walks, and it is cruel to deprive him of this pleasure. It is best to take your pet out to breathe in the morning and evening, combining promenades with elements of games and honing sports skills. If you are walking in places where there is a high probability of meeting other dogs, keep your finger on the pulse and do not let your pet off the leash. In dealing with fellow tribesmen, Affenpinschers behave arrogantly and defiantly, possessing a real talent for unleashing conflicts, so that a leash will help to retire from the battlefield in time and extinguish an impending quarrel.
Owners who let Affenpinschers out for a walk in the courtyard of a private house and rely on the prudence of their pets will have to be a little disappointed – noticing the slightest hole in the fence, the Affenpinscher will certainly seep through it. So either supervise the dog yourself or take care of a reliable frequent fence. Remember that on hot days the breed suffers from overheating, which is facilitated by a thick coat of rich dark color. In summer, take Affenpinscher outside early in the morning or late in the evening, or try to stay in the shade if the heat hits you in the midst of a city walk.


The main diet of Affenpinschers from nurseries is a dry and wet industrial feed of at least super-premium class. Natural nutrition for the breed is also not contraindicated, but it will have to be “strengthened” with purchased vitamins and mineral complexes. Affenpinscher’s menu consists of products that are useful for all dogs, namely: any lean meat, sea fish fillets, kefir, and low-fat cottage cheese, quail eggs (once a week). Sometimes you can diversify the diet with cereal cereals – rice and buckwheat, but they should be cooked with the addition of meat.
Food from the master’s table, including semi-finished meat products, pastries, and sweets, are not given to Affenpinschers. But since in the process of training a pet it is necessary to stimulate with treats, sometimes you have to deviate from this rule. In this case, a piece of cheese, dried fruits (not candied fruits), rye croutons can become a positive reinforcement. Vegetables are not useful for all dogs, so if you decide to add vitamins to your pet’s diet, let pumpkin crops, as well as carrots, cucumbers, and beets, be their source. It is helpful to add a drop of linseed oil or olive oil to your dog’s meal once a week, as well as chopped kelp.

Health and Disease

With careful handling, Affenpinschers can live to be 12-14 years old. The list of hereditary diseases that can be found in dogs is small. In addition, with a correct diagnosis, the majority of breed ailments are curable. Most often, Affenpinschers suffer from an overabundance of their own activity. Dislocations, fractures, sprains are what most breed owners have to deal with.
Found in Affenpinschers and heart disease, hypothyroidism, as well as infections of the genitourinary system. The eyes of representatives of this family are also susceptible to various pathologies that threaten complete blindness in the absence of treatment. It is also important to carry out oral hygiene in a timely manner – the teeth of the breed are problematic, requiring regular cleaning and preventive examinations by a specialist.

How to Choose a Puppy

  • Affenpinschers have small litters containing up to 4 puppies, so ask the breeder to show all pups before purchasing. If the animals are about the same size and body condition, this is a good sign. Moreover, it is permissible to have one puppy slightly behind in growth from the others.
  • If you choose the future “star” of the rings, carefully study its pedigree and show the diplomas of the parents – the reference exterior, albeit to one degree or another, is inherited.
  • Pay attention to the behavior of the little ones. Affenpinscher puppies should not be afraid of a stranger, but sniff at it with curiosity, and ideally bark.
  • Be sure to look into the mouth of the animal to make sure that the bite is correct and the teeth are intact.
  • Find out if the seller agrees to “lead” the puppy during the first year of life. Providing this “option” means that you are dealing with a passionate professional, not a commercial divorcee.
  • Check out the quality of affen wool. She should not have bald spots and exude a foreign smell, indicating neglect of the dog.

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