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Your Pet, Our Passion.


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. 

  • 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

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


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.


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 quicklyearned 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 thesecond 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.

Health and Common Issues

The Affenpinscher dog breed is generally healthy. However, like many small dog breeds, they can suffer from kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place (luxating patellas), a hip condition and a windpipe problem. Check the breed club for the most up to date health information. 

Exercise Needs

Around half an hour of dog exercise will be ample, but the Affenpinscher is an active dog. If fit and healthy, will take long walks and runs, but is small enough to be carried easily if an outing proves too much. Easily entertained at home or within a small garden should the need arise, it is important to keep the Affens brain well exercised with training, puzzles and games.  

Space Requirements

Due to their tiny size the Affenpinscher can live in any size of home. A secure garden is vital as this little breed can fit through the smallest of gaps or determinedly dig under to get to wherever they want to be. As long they are well socialised and taught to ignore noise, the Affenpinscher can live in town, city or countryside.

Nutrition and Feeding

Toy dogs such as the Affenpinscher 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. Discover more about how to offer your dog a balanced diet with our easy-to-follow guide. 

Grooming Affenpinscher

The rough, harsh coat of the Affenpinscher is shaggy in places and naturally looks rather untidy, so dog grooming is undemanding: a weekly brush through will suffice. Daily attention should be paid to ears, eyes and the fur around the mouth as these will gather food quite easily. Check paws after each walk to ensure there is no debris, matting or foreign bodies between the pads. 

Training Affenpinscher

The Affenpinscher is clever and will enjoy dog training – and a chance to work with their owner. They are fun and easy to train and this is a breed who can easily turn their paw to trick training, mini agility and can generally have a go at most doggy sports and activities. 

Best Family Dog Breeds

Suitable for older children and teenagers, the Affenpinscher is a little too small and easily underfoot to be safe around very young children. Excellent for the quiet family, child-free homes, but caution is required around cats as the Affen does love a chase and a slap from a claw-filled paw is a high risk to those large eyes! 
While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children, all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with 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. 

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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