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.

  • Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
  • Basic training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking half an hour a day
  • Small dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Not a guard dog
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids


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.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.


Is this the right breed for you?

All dogs have their own, unique personality, but there are some instincts and behaviours hat they’re born with. Try our Dog Breed Selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle.

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What to consider next


It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption. Click here for more information.

Finding a good breeder

If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed. Click here for more information.

Welcoming your dog home

Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information.