Although terrier-like in appearance, with a mischievous, monkey-like expression, the Affen dog breed is classified as a toy dog, measuring between 24 and 28cm at the withers (from the foot to the top of the shoulder blades) when fully grown and weighing between 3 and 4kg. The rough coat is commonly black, with or without some grey shading.
The mischievous, comical Affenpinscher dog breed is one of the oldest breeds, dating back to the 17th century. In Germany, where it originated, the word 'affen' means to mock and 'pinscher' means terrier. The Affen is the ancestor of two other breeds, the Griffon Belge and the Griffon Bruxellois, who also have a face described to be similar to that of a monkey. Although Affen dogs may show all the pluck of terriers, they are too small to be working dogs and are kept chiefly as companions.
The Affen dog breed is lively and self-confident though on occasion, strong-willed and fearless, though very affectionate with his owners. They tend to be mindful of strangers making socialising as a puppy essential.
The Affenpinscher dog breed is generally healthy. However, like many small breeds, they can suffer from kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place (luxating patellas), a hip condition and a windpipe problem.
Although small, he is an active dog and requires a reasonable amount of exercise (20-40 minutes a day). He enjoys games that exercise his mind as well as his body, but these should not be too boisterous.
Toy dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.
The rough, harsh coat is shaggy in places and naturally looks rather untidy, so grooming is undemanding: a weekly brush through will suffice.