History & Overview
Affenpinscher, commonly known as “monkey terrier,” is a small size dog belonging to the American Kennel Club – Toy Group of dogs. Originally bred in Germany, the breed was developed to hunt small vermin, but nowadays is used mainly as a companion dog, although if you have a rodent problem, you won’t have it for long. Despite many theories regarding the exact origin of the breed, one thing certain is that a small rough-coated household dog similar to the Affenpinscher existed and was admired for many centuries.
Affenpinscher takes himself very seriously, which, together with his intelligence and desire to please, accounts for his being such a charming and obedient little fellow. However, his protective nature, even of his own toys, makes him unsuitable for families with very young children.
Affenpinschers can get snappy with other dogs and are suspicious of human strangers who invade their personal space. Quiet and very devoted to his owner, he makes an excellent pet suitable for country and apartment living. Exercise may consist of walks once or twice per day or free exercise in a secure area.
In early years the breed came in a variety of colors, then a decision was made that the black coat suited most the personality of the breed. Now, no other color is encouraged or allowed to be exhibited. Little coat care is required, but Affenpinschers should be brushed regularly to keep the coat in good condition.
At A Glance
Country of Origin:
Group 2 – Pinscher and Schnauzer type
House and Companion Dog
- American Kennel Club
- United Kennel Club – Companion Breeds
- Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) – Toys
- The Kennel Club (UK)- Toy Dogs
- Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) – Toys
Playful, affectionate, excellent watchdog. Affens are usually wary of strangers and do not make friends with visitors to your home easily. They must be well socialized early before it becomes a problem.
Color requirements vary from one standard to another. While AKC, UKC, CKC and NZKC standards allow black, gray, silver, red, black and tan colors with color not being a major consideration, the Australian and UK standards only permit black with or without gray shadings.
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The Affenpinscher gets along well with other dogs and lives in harmony with other pets with proper socialization at an early age.
Suitability for Children:
Not the best choice for toddlers. Good with older children.
Low. Affenpinscher needs only a short walk around the neighbourhood.
For a toy breed dog, Affenpinscher is very obedient.
Health & Behavioral Issues:
There aren’t a lot of orthopedic diseases specific to Toy breeds. Toys seldom seem to have hip dysplasia, although it does occur in some toy breeds, including Affenpinscher. Responsible breeders will screen their dogs for:
- Hip Dysplasia (OFA certification of hips after 2 years of age. Preliminary x-rays may be done at an earlier age.)
- Patellar Luxation (slipping stifles) (Veterinary certification)
- Cataracts (CERF certification)
- An additional problem which cannot be tested for is Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, a condition that occurs at approximately 6 – 9 months of age.