Affenpinschers are small, stubborn, and cute. But there is so much more to this breed than just a pretty face. So if you're thinking about adding one of these little toy breed dogs to your family, there are some things you should know before making the decision.
Affenpinschers have a long history dating back to the 16th century in Germany, where they were bred for their sense of smell, size and watchfulness. In addition, this breed is known for having a creative temperament, being affectionate towards its family and fearless when confronting intruders.
The Affenpinschers' imaginative minds will surprise you and keep you on your toes. The following post will give you a good idea if this breed is right for you.
Affenpinschers were bred in Germany as working dogs and are among the oldest dog breeds. First references can be found in the 15th century in Germany. They found their way into german kitchens and farms to keep away mice and rats. Affenpinschers were highly effective in their job as ratters.
Because of their handy size and cute looks, they quickly became popular among female aristocrats while still fulfilling their duties. Postcards depicted some in the late 18th century underlining their way to fame.
Affenpinschers are also believed to have paved the way for the Brussels Griffon and the Miniature Schnauzer. Their true breed origin is still shrouded in mystery.
Affenpinschers typically live between 12-15 years. Male Affen weigh between 7 and 11 pounds, while female Affen typically average 6 to 9 pounds.
The first registration of an Affenpinscher in the UK with the Kennel Club was in 1897. It's been a long way to establish the breed in the UK with a lot of effort from breeders.
In Germany, most of the breeding was focused in Munich. Although back then, many colours were allowed in the Affenpinscher breed, the biggest Club favoured black. In that time, the ratio of black Affenpinscher increased from 40% to 90%.
WWII was almost the nail in the coffin for this little breed. Only crossbreeding with the Miniature Schnauzer and Brussels Griffon could save them. One could say that this breed was saved by true Affenpinscher enthusiasts. In the UK, the Affenpinscher Club was established in 1982. This Club promotes the interest in the Affenpinscher and educates people on the breed.
Affenpinschers have a coarse, shaggy coat that should be brushed weekly to keep it from matting. They are hairy specimens, and the coat shouldn't be too short. They don't shed too much and have a slow-growing coat. Despite the rugged look, grooming is not overly demanding. Affenpinschers usually come in black and black-grey, but there is also red and tan-coated individuals in the US.
Affenpinschers are a quite rare breed. They also don't bear many puppies. In Q2 2022, only 18 Affenpinscher puppies have been registered with the UK Kennel Club. But there is always loyal devotees keeping the breed going.
Source: https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/media/2406/quarterly-breed-stats-toys.pdf October 2021
What is it like to live with an Affenpinscher?
If you're thinking about adding an Affenpinscher to your family, there are some things you should know. First, living with an Affen in your household will never be boring.
They have a cheerful, bright temperament that makes for excellent companions for families with older children who can be respectful towards them. They do not like to be alone for long periods but can be taught to be alone for a few hours if you need to work.
It is not recommended to have very small children around an Affenpinscher. They don't tend to react well when they feel smothered. The interactions with children should always be supervised, as is the case with all dog breeds.
They have so much affection for their family that they sometimes can become overprotective of their owners. In addition, Affenpinschers can sometimes act territorial, so smaller children should be taught to leave the pup alone while eating.
Affenpinschers are clever and have a lot of energy, so they require a fair amount of exercise and plenty of jobs. 1 hour a day of walks and play is considered the minimum. They're self-confident dogs full of life, enjoy playing and will not hesitate to confront intruders and larger dogs if they feel there is a threat.
If socialised 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 are instances when rabbit and puppy Affenpinscher have been introduced to one another from a very early stage. In those cases, the Affenpinscher reacted kindly to the rabbit.
The Affenpinscher is very sensitive to changes in the ordinary, making them excellent watchdogs. Their determined temperament is not making them shy toward strangers and other dogs.
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 with clownish attitudes. You can never really expect what their little, creative minds come up with, and they will keep you on your toes with their bold ideas. If you're looking for a dog who is up for constant adventures, this breed is for you.
Their favourite place to be is with you. Affenpinschers are happy to be with you at all times, but it doesn't mean they need constant attention. As long as they can see you, they will be fully content. In general, an Affen will be good off lead as they don't like leaving your side.
Training an Affenpinscher can be challenging as they have an independent mind and selective hearing. Perseverance and patience are crucial to success. Affenpinscher are very food-orientated. They will sell their soul for a piece of chicken. Find the right balance with positive reinforcement, so you don't end up with an obese dog.
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 most remarkable tricks!
Last but not least: This dog will be fiercely loyal and love you more than anything. Affenpinschers are sensitive dogs and people-orientated; They will sense if you've had a tough day and you can rely on them to make you smile.
Affenpinscher's temperament in a nutshell
Affectionate and loyal
The coarse coat doesn't shed as much as one would think
Love playing and with a positive and happy outlook on life
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 orthopaedic 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. Most breeders in the UK should test for patellar luxation. Be aware to ask for the certificate from both parents.
All dogs require regular veterinary care and vaccinations for optimal health so calculate 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. There is no legislation in place that tests dog products when they're being imported. That's why relying on natural plant-based fibres for dog products made in Europe will be the way forward in the future.
Swap out harmful materials with eco-friendly pet products from hemp here at Hooman's Friend. You will not ask yourself, "Is this toy toxic?" or if your pooch has just swallowed this half-chewed-up tennis ball.
Only buy new accessories once your old ones have reached the end of their lifecycle. From an environmental perspective, it's always better to reach the end lifecycle of the product before purchasing a new one. Hemp is one of the strongest plant-based fibres, so an excellent replacement material for longevity. To learn more about hemp, check our blog article here.
Being one of the oldest toy dog breeds in the world, they also contributed to many other European small breeds, like the Brussels Griffon, the Miniature Schnauzer or the Smooth-Haired German Pinscher. The Affenpinscher was near extinction after the Second World War, so the Brussels Griffon was there to return the favour.
Only 88 Affenpinschers were registered with the UK Kennel Club in 2020. In 2021, it's been 101. The Affenpinscher Club in the UK was founded to promote, preserve and maintain a standard in the breed.
If you want to learn more about the Affen, we recommend reaching out to the Club. Follow this link.
To learn more about other dog breeds, check related articles or sign up for our newsletter here. This will also trigger a code for 15% off your first order of our eco-friendly pet products. We are working hard to add all dog breeds as soon as possible.
We hope you liked our little blog post about the Affenpinscher and it gave you a good overview of the breed. It is always a good idea to reach out to breeders or breed-related Clubs to gain more insight into the breed and determine fully if this dog is right for you.
"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"
Tendency to drool
Tendency to bark
Tendency to dig