Affenpinscher Characteristics and what to expect when choosing an Affenpinscher

Affenpinschers are small, stubborn, and cute. If you're thinking about adding one of these little cuties to your family, there are some things you should know before making the decision. Affenpinschers have a history dating back to the 16th century in Germany where they were bred for their sense of smell. They are still used as working dogs today! This breed is known for being friendly with strangers, affectionate towards its family and fearless towards intruders. The following post will give you a good idea if this breed is right for you.

Puppy Affenpinscher
A puppy Affenpinscher is hard to say no to

Affenpinscher history

Affenpinschers were bred in Germany as a working dog. They were hunting dogs that flushed out small game. They were also used as ratters in stables and barns. Because of their size they quickly became popular among female aristocrats.

Affenpinschers typically live between 12-15 years. But there is some to be known to live up tp 20 years. Male Affenpinschers weigh between 7 and 11 pounds, while female Affenpinschers typically weigh 6 to 9 pounds on average.

Affenpinschers have a coarse, shaggy coat that should be brushed from time to time to keep it from matting. They are a truly hairy specimen. They don’t shed too much and have a slow growing coat. Despite the harsh look, grooming is not overly demanding. Diligently stripping out dead, full hair reduces shedding. Affenpinschers usually come in black and black-gray but there is also red and tan coated individuals.

What is it like to live with an Affenpinscher?

If you're thinking about adding an Affenpinscher to your family, here are some things you should know.

They are cheerful, bright little dogs that make excellent companions for families with older children who can be respectful towards them. They do not like to be left alone for long periods of time and can become destructive if bored. That is also down to their intelligence which requires permanent stimulation.

Affenpinschers are clever and have a lot of energy, so they require a fair amount of exercise and plenty of jobs to do. 45 mins a day of exercises is considered the minimum. They're self-confident dogs that are full of life, enjoy playing and will not hesitate to confront intruders and larger dogs. That said, if socialized from an early age, they can live together with other breeds or even cats. As they were bred to flush out rats and other vermin, we wouldn't recommend a hamster or rabbit in the house...

There is always a bit of mischief in the air if one or two Affenpinschers are around. They can have a mind of their own sometimes. An owner who knows how to display strong leadership skills will be best paired with this breed. Once they have found their Alpha, they can be taught the coolest tricks!

Black Affenpinscher
Affenpinschers can come in a variety of colours but black being the standard one

Affenpinschers characteristics in a nutshell

  • Affectionate and loyal

  • Shaggy coat doesn't shed as much as one would think

  • Love playing

  • Can be quite strong-willed and stubborn, so need early training and an alpha person

  • Young children should be taught how to approach the Affenpinscher

Potential diseases in the Affenpinscher breed

Health conditions that can become a problem in the Affenpinscher breed are mostly orthopedic diseases like hip dysplasia or patellar luxation/slipping kneecap. Always be mindful and buy your puppy from a registered breeder to avoid inherited health problems.

All dogs require regular veterinary care and vaccinations for optimal health so calculate for these costs when buying or adopting a pup.

Many dog owners are unaware of the danger in some pet toys and accessories that can worsen health issues, when they innocently buy cheap products from the Far East. Avoid synthetic rubber play things like chew bones or tug o' war ropes from polyester; polyester collars could cause skin irritation while nylon leads absorb into your pup's skin over time! It's just the way micro plastics behave. Swap out those harmful materials with our eco friendly pet products from hemp here at Hooman’s Friend.

Only buy new accessories once your old ones have reached the end of their lifecycle. From an environmental perspective, its always better to reach the end lifecycle of the product before purchasing a new one. Hemp is one of the strongest natural fibers, so a great replacement material for longevity. If you want to learn more about hemp, check our blog article here.

What else?

They have so much affection for their family that they sometimes can become overprotective of their owners. Affenpinschers can sometimes act territorial so smaller children should be taught to leave the pup alone while eating.

Other facts Being one of the oldest toy dog breeds in the world, they also contributed to many others European small breeds, like the Brussels Griffon, the Miniature Schnauzer or the Smooth-Haired German Pinscher. After the Second World War, the Affenpinscher was near extinction, so the Brussels Griffon was there to return the favour.

Only 88 Affenpinschers were registered with the UK Kennel Club in 2020. The Affenpinscher Club was founded in 1992 to promote, preserve and maintain a standard in the breed.

If you want to learn more about other dog breeds, check related articles or sign up to our newsletter here. This will also trigger a code for 15% off your first order on our eco friendly pet products. We are working hard to add all dog breeds as soon as possible to have a whole extensive library!

Owners voices

"This breed is so happy and full of joy . I wake up to smiling mischiefs ready to seize the day. Blessed are those of us who are loved by these monkeys."
"This is a very considerable breed, at the same time very cheerful and not intrusive, it is an excellent faithful partner, sometimes a little bit stubborn, but a brave friend in love with the owner. Sometimes I feel like they're from another planet"

Breed box



Dog Size


Dog Weight


Bitch Size


Bitch Weight




Feeding Need


Tendency to drool


Energy level

Very energetic

Tendency to bark


Tendency to dig


Attention need