Affenpinscher Breed Card

Affenpinscher Breed Overview


Toy Dog


9-11.5 inches tall

Breed Recognition



7-10 pounds

Country of Origin



Confident, Famously funny, Fearless


12-15 years



Affenpinscher History

The Affenpinscher dates back to the 1600s when it was bred from the Brussels Griffon to hunt and kill rats, mice, and other small vermin. They originated in Germany and have since been distributed across the world and bred with various others breeds, like pugs and German pinschers, to create loads of designer breeds.

The original purpose of the dog when it was originally bred in the 17th century was to rat on and around the farm. Although they made for excellent ratters, over time, they were bred to be smaller and smaller until this once medium-sized dog was turned into a toy breed dog capable of hunting mice in the house. From there, they were bred to be companion animals that bond closely with their humans and make for great lap dogs.

By the late 1800s, numerous breed clubs had been founded to celebrate the dog, and the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed in the 1930s after the first American-born litter was whelped in a suburb south of Chicago, IL. In the 1940s, due to the efforts of World War II, the breeding of the Affen was halted for almost a decade. In the 1950s, breeding in America resumed with the original 1935 American litter.

Cost ✅


Low End: $800

High End: $2000

Affenpinscher Physical Traits

General Appearance💡

The Affenpinscher is a tiny dog, only weighing up to 10 lbs on average. Standing just under one foot tall, this tiny boxy canine is short and stout. The most prominent breed trait is the flat face with large eyes and a complimentary mustache.

The overall appearance of the Afenpisncehr is that of a sturdy, wiry-furred, and box-shaped dog. Its flat face is adorned with stern eyes and an expressive mouth that hides under the flat button nose.

Their tail is stout and of medium length with an upward trajectory that wags over the top of the dog’s hips, which often sit level with its shoulders. The ears are small and often hidden by fur, which is medium length, dense, and wiry.

The wiry coat is dense and tough with a coarse texture. They can come in a variety of colors, including beige, black, black & silver, black & tan, and red. The only physical marking noted by the AKC is a black mask.

Size & Weight ❤️

Height: 9-11.5 inches
Weight: 7-10 pounds

Height: 9-11.5 inches
Weight: 7-10 pounds

Coat & Color

Eye Color


Coat Color

Red, Black, Black & Silver, Beige, Black & Tan, Red

Coat Length

Short to medium

Coat Texture

Coarse, wiry

Affenpinscher Temperament and Personality

The Affengriffon is a playful, comical, feisty, and strong-willed dog. They tend to want to do their own thing since they were bred to be farm dogs, and they can be quite independent when it comes to entertaining themselves.

When it comes to training the Affen dog, it is best to do it in short and sweet bursts. This is because the dog’s strong will and stubborn nature can make it tricky to teach. They are highly instinct-driven and do their best when distracted and rewarded by food during training. You may also have to use food to redirect their attention if they exhibit destructive behavior.

This little pinscher dog is also a great watchdog. They are alert but not aggressive. This makes them excellent at alerting their people to possible danger while not putting themselves in harm’s way. This behavior, though, will likely require some training to get under control and not cause problems for you or your neighbors.

When around small pets and animals, however, unless the dog has been exposed to early and often socialization, it may be best not to allow the Affenpinscher near them. Their high prey drive can encourage them to chase and potentially harm small animals.

Kid Friendly?


Bad Idea

Excellent Nanny

Yes, the Affenpinscher is kid-friendly.

They are known to bond closely with their family. However, they can be easily excited. This can lead to them playing rougher with small children than they or you would like, so supervision is always recommended when young children are around an Affengriffon.

Good with Other Pets?


Bad Idea

Friendly Socialite

Yes, the Affenpinscher is good with other pets.

Caution should be used when introducing an Affen dog to a small animal. In some cases, having your Affenpinscher around small animals is not recommended due to their high prey drive and urge to chase things smaller than them.

Barks a Lot?


When Neccessary

Noise Maker

Yes, the Affenpinscher can bark a lot.

They do this to alert their family members to potential threats or out of excitement. This can be handled appropriately with thorough and consistent training.

Can Be Left Alone?


Likes Being Alone

Sepration Anxiety

Yes, the Affenpinscher can be left alone.

They are highly social breeds that bond deeply with their family, which can make them prone to separation anxiety. For this reason, it is best to kennel train the Affenpinscher early.

Affenpinscher Training

When training any dog, especially one like the Affenpinscher, you will want to start with basic commands. Recall, leash walking, sit, down, and stay are all commands your dog should be very familiar with soon after bringing them home, although many good breeders will actually be training the dog on these commands before you pick them up.

Once your dog has managed those basic commands, it is time to work with them further on the heel and recall commands, as well as quiet commands and kennel training. This is an alert and vocal dog, but it is not unmanageable. 

Training your Affenpinscher to be quiet when given a quiet command will make your life much easier and make this a great apartment dog. Training them to go to their crate when told will also help to ease their separation anxiety and keep them from causing trouble while you’re away. 

This little dog has been nicknamed the “mustachioed devil” due to its mischievous nature, so the more commands it knows, the more well-adjusted it will be. They are strong-willed and known to be a bit stubborn. You will want to keep training sessions short and to the point, as the dog will lose interest if you harp on a given command for too long.

Affenpinscher Needs

The Affenpinscher has many of the same needs as small dogs. Taking care of their joints and eyes should be your first priority if your dog’s lineage has suffered from joint and eye health issues. This little dog will also need high-quality kibble to support its active lifestyle and strong muscles.

Stimulation is another requirement of the Affenpinscher. This can be mental stimulation with puzzle toys, hide-and-seek games, or nosing. They prefer, however, to chase things.

Training is an absolute must with these dogs as well. They are bred for hunting and chasing, and this can make them a bit unruly if they are not well trained. Training in heel and recall commands will be in your and your dog’s best interest to keep them safe.

Basic obedience commands should also be learned, although the heel and recall commands may be the command you retrain most often to keep your dog engaged with the command.

Nutritional Requirements


Picky Eater

Voracious Eater

The Affenpinscher, like most small dogs, do best with joint and eye supplements. These help to keep the more vulnerable body parts healthy and strong, but the best thing you can do for your little dog is to give them high-quality dog food formulated specifically for small dogs.

This will help to address the unique nutritional needs of small dogs and aid them in living long, healthy, and happy life.

This is an easily trainable small dog that enjoys receiving treats for a job well done. This does make them highly food motivated and makes things like puzzle toys all the more likely to work effectively.

Exercise & Activity Levels


Couch Potato

Go-All-Day Stamina

The Affenpinscher dog breed is a relatively high-energy working dog. They do well with a good amount of exercise on a daily basis, a brisk walk lasting around one hour should be enough, but they can be content with toys on rainy days.

Puzzle toys and snuffle mats are great options for more laid-back days to keep the Affen a happy and healthy dog. They are bred to hunt small rodents, however, and this means they have a high prey drive and are prone to chasing if they have not been able to release enough energy or are not well trained.

Grooming Needs


No Shedding

Shedding Machine

The Affenpinscher is a low-shedding dog that requires little grooming and is considered to be hypoallergenic. It does, however, do best when it is brushed regularly. Their medium-length, wiry and rough coat is prone to tangles and matting, which can be very uncomfortable.

Affenpinscher Average Lifespan

The average lifespan of the Affenpinscher dog is 12-14 years. Certain health conditions can affect this range, though. While the Affen dog is an overall healthy breed, they are susceptible to some health conditions that can severely or negatively affect its quality of life.

Commom Health Problems

  • Hip Dysplasia: This occurs during the growth stage of a dog’s life. This is a degeneration of the hip socket, and this can lead to limited mobility, arthritis, and muscle atrophy, as well as pain and discomfort.
  • Retinal Atrophy: This is a medical term for a group of degenerative diseases that affect the photoreceptor cells within the eye. The cells deteriorate over time and eventually will lead to blindness.
  • Patellar Luxation: Simply put, this is when the kneecap “pops out” of place. The patella may slide outside the femoral groove it is supposed to sit in, and when the knee is bent or flexed, the kneecap moves to one side of the joint.
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: Also known as avascular or aseptic necrosis of the femoral head. This is a condition in which the head of the femur bone begins to degenerate, leading to limping, hip collapse, and arthritis.
  • Heart Disease: Affenpinschers are prone to heart issues, such as patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) and mitral valve disease.

Recommended Health Tests

  • Patella evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist evaluation

Tips for New Affenpinscher Owners

Here are tips for new Affenpinscher dog owners.

Tip 1

Find a Reputable Breeder: If you are seeking an Affenpinscher puppy, you will want to do your homework on the breeder. A good breeder will have documentation of any genetic malformities in the lineage. This will help you to assess whether or not your dog will have certain health issues as they age. This will also help you to determine the dog’s temperament, overall health, and potential for a certain disease.

Tip 2

Get Puppy/Dog Products in Advance: Preparing your house for your dog’s arrival before your dog gets there is going to make the home introduction process much smoother. Toy, treats, beds, and food that has already been set in place and are ready to use will excite your new puppy and immediately make them feel good about being in its new home.

Tip 3

Regular Vet Visits: Due to their tendency to develop joint problems, regular physicals are strongly encouraged. This will help dog owners to keep up with their dog’s health in real time and give them a chance to tackle the problem before it poses a real threat to the dog’s health.

Tip 4

Early Socialization: The Affenpinscher is a small but bold dog with a big, confident personality. On the farm, these traits helped them to have the confidence to hunt rats. They also have a high prey drive and are not the best pets to be around small animals, particularly if they have not been socialized early and socialized often.

Affenpinscher Similar Breeds

– Affengriffon
– Brussels Griffon
– Miniature Schnauzer

Affenpinscher Supplies You Need

Due to their propensity for arthritis and other joint issues, an orthopedic bed will help your dog immensely, especially in their later years. These help to evenly distribute the force of your dog laying on the bed, so no one joint is taking all of the force.

Joint supplements and eye supplements are strongly encouraged as well. These will help to keep their joints healthy and strong, while the eye supplements will help to prolong the life of your dog’s vision.

Other things worth noting are dog treats for training and motivation, dog toys for enrichment and stress reduction, and a sturdy dog harness and leash. This will help to control their ability to chase things on walks and keep them safely at your side.

Best Dog Beds for Affenpinschers

FurHaven Cuddler Dog Bed

FurHaven Cuddler Dog Bed

$22.99 Get it on Amazon
Best Friends by Sheri The Original Calming Donut Cat and Dog Bed

Best Friends by Sheri The Original Calming Donut Cat and Dog Bed

$24.99 Get it on Amazon

Best Dog Food for Affenpinschers

The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Clusters for Small Breeds

The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Clusters for Small Breeds

$44.99 Get 30% Off The Honest Kitchen
Rachael Ray Nutrish Little Bites Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Rachael Ray Nutrish Little Bites Small Breed Dry Dog Food

$21.68 Get it on Amazon

Best Dog Supplements for Affenpinschers

Honest Paws Probiotics

Honest Paws Pre+ Probiotic

$24.95 Get it on Amazon
Petlab Co. Prebiotics Dental Sticks for Dogs

PetLab Co. Prebiotic Dental Sticks

$11.95 Get it on Amazon

Affenpinscher Fun Facts

Here are some interesting facts about the Affenpinscher:

Fun Fact 1

The first American-born Affenpinscher litter was whelped on June 12, 1935, in Cicero, IL.

Fun Fact 2

The word “Affenpinscher” roughly translates to “monkey-like dog” in German.

Fun Fact 3

The Affenpinscher was originally bred as a medium-sized working dog but was bred to be smaller and smaller until they could hunt mice indoors.

Fun Fact 4

The Affenpinscher has several nicknames, including monkey terrier, monkey dog, and a little devil.

Why Trust Us?

This article was written by pet parents, for pet parents, and reviewed by our expert veterinary panel. We understand you want to ensure you are only using the best products to support your pet’s health and happiness. At our mission is to provide you with the most up-to-date information and resources you need on the products you buy for your pet.

Our specialized content team of writers, reviewers, and veterinarians analyzes all of the information for you and presents it in an easy-to-understand format. We independently research and test the best products so you can make an informed decision since your pet only deserves the best.