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Affenpinscher

Affenpinscher

Small and mischievous with a monkey-like expression, the Affenpinscher is a lively toy breed with a short muzzle, round, dark and sparkling eyes and a rough coat. Despite their small size this compact little dog is not at all delicate and is described in the breed standard as having self confidence and carrying itself with a comic seriousness. 

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
  • Basic training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys gentle walks
  • Needs under an hour of walking a day
  • Small dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Quiet dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Generally friendly with other dogs
  • Gets along with other pets with training
  • Great family dog
  • Can live without a garden
  • Can happily live in the city
  • Can be left occasionally with training
Generally healthy breed

The Affenpinscher dog breed is classed as brachycephalic; problems associated with the condition include;
Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome: a condition in brachycephalic breeds (those with a short nose and squashed face) where breathing is obstructed and can lead to reduced ability to exercise, or even severe respiratory distress.
Skin inflammation/infection: brachycephalic breeds have a short nose and a normal amount of facial tissue. This means there is often excess skin around their face which leads to skin folds. The skin inside these folds can become sore and infections are prone to develop. 
Eye ulcers: ulcers are painful erosions on the surface of the eye. They are more common in brachycephalic breeds due to their conformation, as their eyes tend to be more bulbous.  

The breed can also sometimes suffer from: 
- Patellar luxation 
- Legg-Perthes disease 
- Hip dysplasia 
- Tracheal collapse¹ 
- Syringomyelia² which is a condition where fluid-filled areas develop around the spinal cord causing pain.
 
Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
None but there are several recommended schemes that the Kennel Club recommends which can be found here.

¹A. Hopkins et al, 'Brachycephalic Breeds and Anesthesia', 2001, Breed Predispositions to Dental and Oral Disease in Dogs
² S. Sanchis‐Mora et al, 'Dogs attending primary‐care practice in England with clinical signs suggestive of Chiari‐like malformation/syringomyelia', 2016, Vet Record

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12 – 14 years
Weight:  3 – 4kg 
Height:  24 – 28cm 
Colours:  Black, with or without some degree of grey shading 
Size:  Small
UK Kennel Club Groups: Toy

Ratings

Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 3/5
Easy to train: 2/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 4/5
Grooming needs: 2/5
Shedding: 1/5
two black Affenpinschers looking at the camera.

Personality

Lively, self-confident, strong willed and fearless, yet charming and comical, it is easy to see why instead of vanishing into the melting pot of working breeds, the Affenpinscher was promoted to cherished pet! Their sparkling eyes and monkey-whiskered face are irresistible and they are very affectionate with their owners, though often a little wary of strangers.

Despite their diminutive stature, the Affenpinscher still believes he is a working terrier at times, so does require some training!

Affenpinscher in the forest

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Germany

The Affenpinscher started out as a ratting, vermin-control dog dating back to the 17th century. Their appealing round eyes, rough coat and monkey-like expression and endearing personality quickly earned them something of an upgrade from working dog to companion breed, which in turn led to their refinement, introduction to the show ring and their survival today. 

While the origins of the breed are not certain, it has been suggested that they sprung from crossing German Pinschers with imported flat-faced oriental breeds. When the breed nearly died out are the second world war, the remaining few dogs were crossed with the Griffon Bruxellois to re-establish the breed and give us the appealing and enchanting breed we know today.

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • In France the breed is described as the ‘diablotin moustachu’, which translates to ‘moustached devil’ which should give you some idea of the Affenpinschers character as well as their appearance!
  • In Germany the first examples of the breed were known as ‘Zwergaffenpinscher’ which literally translates to ‘little-monkey-dog’, again, a hint towards their character as well as their looks!

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