Affenpinscher

Affenpinscher

A small but well-built shaggy dog with a hairy face and long beard. It has a mischievous expression and the name means ‘monkey-like terrier’ in German. This is a very old breed dating from the 1600s. Lively, bold, affectionate and energetic. A fun small dog with a big personality. Click on the left hand side headings (will turn orange when clicked) to see more details. You can also download the breed profile to save for later.

Minimum Exercise: 1 Hour

Exercise/Activity Level: About 1 hr a day. The Affen needs a good daily walk plus playtime with its owner. However, it is a rugged little dog that can easily do more. They love to play and be entertained.

Size: Today the Affen is somewhere between extra small and small at roughly 9-11 inches in height

Weight: Usually between 7-10lbs but can be from 6.5 up to 13lbs

Colour: In the UK The coat is usually black but some grey is permitted. In the USA a wider range of colours is seen, including lighter gray, silver, red, or black and tan and ‘belge’ (a mixture of a mixture of red, brown, black and white hairs). Other kennel clubs might have different rules.

Town or Country: Both, but does well in towns because of its lower exercise needs and can be suitable for apartments.

Low Allergy: The Affen is classed as less moulting than some breeds but is not on the list of non-shedding dogs taken from various national Kennel Clubs. Potentially lower allergy.

Best Suited for: Households entirely of adults, or adults and older children (12+ years) that know how to respect dogs, where there is someone around a lot of the time. A household which likes to play and train their dog, and will do interesting activities with it. Households with a firm pack leader and where they don’t mind a dog which is active indoors as well as outside.

Group: Utility (UK)

Originally From: Believed to be first bred in earnest in Lubeck, Germany

Original Purpose: Dogs of the Affenpinscher type have been known since about 1600, but these were somewhat larger, about 12 to 13 inches. The breed was created to be a ratter, working to remove rodents from kitchens, granaries, and stables, and stockier and more robust than today. It was later bred to be a house ‘mouser’ so still retaining some of the original hunting purpose, but also being a companion for ladies too.

Living Space: Low due to their size, although they are said to be active indoors as well as outside. They might not be a good choice from someone who likes their dog to be practically invisible when indoors.

Coat: Wiry, shaggy, longer and bushier on the face and shoulders, and shorter over the ribs and rear.

Grooming: Medium – it’s recommended to have a once a week brush at least. To keep their wiry coat free of mats they regular bathing brushing & combing, as well as some scissoring and nail trimming. There is some dispute over whether clipping the coat is acceptable, as clipping makes the coat less wiry and more fluffy. The Affen is classed as less moulting than some breeds but is not on the list of non-shedding dogs.

Children: Medium. The Affen loves its family and is protective towards them. However this breed is not recommended for small children for two reasons. It is too small for rough handling and can react badly to hugging, kissing, grabbing to be put on laps etc. It is also protective over food and toys. It goes best with older children who have been educated in how to respect dogs.

Sociability with strangers: Medium to low – this breed retains its working alertness and can be reserved with strangers. Early socialisation with strangers will help overcome this.

Sociability with animals or other dogs: Medium to high – the Affen is generally good with other dogs if properly trained and socialised, but will stand its ground if challenged and is not afraid. Affens without a firm pack leader can become territorial and protective, which can lead to confrontations with other dogs. Other pets - medium to high – the same applies above. Affens are generally good if trained well by a firm human pack leader. They are not recommended with gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs etc. They can be trained to leave them alone but it will take effort because of their heritage.

Trainability: Medium. Affens are highly intelligent but can be obstinate and bold. Affens need a firm pack leader and will take over if not set boundaries. Puppy classes are recommended. They love to please and like training which is fun, varied and rewarding. They can make good agility dogs. Can be difficult to housetrain. Crate training might be useful.

Noise Level: Potentially high. Affens can be barky, especially if not given enough exercise and play/stimulation or left alone for long periods. They can make good guard ('watch') dogs.

Known Health Issues: There are various problems in the breed. The most common are • Slipped kneecap (luxating patella) • PDA (patent ductus arteriosus), a heart condition • Von Perthes (Legg-Calves-Perthes) Disease, a hip bone disintegration • Trachea (windpipe) collapse These are all described in more detail in the extended breed profile.

Lifespan: 10-12 years on average, which is a bit less than some breeds of the same size

Special Needs: Affens bond closely with owners and need owners who are around a lot of the time. They can suffer from breathing problems in hot weather, and some can have breathing problems from the breeding.

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