Other names: Monkey Dog


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The Affenpinscher is a quirky looking dog who is bold and curious, yet affectionate and loving. The Affenpinscher is loyal and protective of its owner and will bark loudly at strangers, making them a fantastic companion & guard dog. The Affenpinscher is highly adaptable and suitable for living in flats or apartments, requiring minimal exercise in comparison to other dog breeds.

Key facts about the Affenpinscher

Life expectancy :





Temperament :

Playful Hunter

Size :

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Origins and history

The Affenpinscher is an ancient breed which originates from 1600s Central Europe. They were originally much bigger, bred to catch rats and other vermin - before being bred down in size to become ‘ladies companions’. The breed has always been popular in Germany and has slowly gained momentum in the UK and USA. However, the Affenpinscher is still relatively rare in comparison to other breeds.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 2 - Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs


Section 1 : Pinscher and Schnauzer type

Physical characteristics of the Affenpinscher

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    Adult size

    Female : Between 10 and 12 in

    Male : Between 10 and 12 in


    Female : Between 9 and 13 lb

    Male : Between 9 and 13 lb

    Coat colour

    Type of coat

    Eye colour



    You can’t get anything quite like an Affenpinscher! Their bold, expressive eyes, dominant muscle and long facial hair give it the well-deserved nickname of the ‘monkey dog’. This is a miniature/toy breed and is particularly light and tiny, adding to its sweet, quirky appearance.

    Their head is prominently round with an obvious nose, long, fluffy eyebrows and small, triangular ears which are often cropped. Despite its small size, the Affenpinscher is actually rather strong and sturdy and walks with great confidence.

    Good to know

    The name Affenpinscher comes from ‘Affe’, the German word for monkey - purely because they look a little like monkeys! Super cute, right?


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      The Affenpinscher is loving and affectionate, but only towards their family. They’re likely to be lively, confident and cuddly in the home and with people they trust. However, their terrier streak makes them sassy and bold when they want to be, which is especially prominent around strangers.

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      This lively little dog is playful and often mischievous in a comical sense. They’re happy monkeying around, getting involved in family games and playing with their toys.

      Although they don’t need as much exercise as many other dog breeds, they are quite smart and need mental stimulation to keep them occupied - plenty of play time will keep them happy!

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      The Affenpinscher is a terrier at heart - so they can be pretty sassy when it suits them. Although they’re generally friendly and adaptable, they can be rather snappy and stubborn when it comes to strangers, other animals and being protective over their food and toys. The Affenpinscher is often called ‘a big dog in a small dog’s body’ - they’ll take on anything!

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      There’s a lot of brain in this tiny pup’s little body! The Affenpinscher is extremely observant, smart and vigilant which is why they’re so protective over their human family. They need a lot of mental stimulation to keep their brains occupied.

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      We all know how feisty terriers can be - and with terrier in their blood, Affenpinschers are no exception! Having originally been bred to hunt vermin and small animals, it’s likely that an Affenpinscher will chase cats or rodents should they come across them.

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      Fearful / wary of strangers

      The Affenpinscher has a tendency to be rather suspicious, territorial and wary of new people. Bringing lots of people into the home and into the dog’s space as a puppy and throughout their life can make a huge difference. Make socialisation a priority for this breed.

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      This breed is independent and soft at the same time - yes, really! The Affenpinscher will happily cuddle up with its owner but also has a fearless, stubborn and independent side which may rear its head during training sessions or around new people.

      Behaviour of the Affenpinscher

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        Tolerates solitude

        Affenpinschers get extremely close to their owners and families. Though this is lovely, they struggle to be left on their own for long periods of time. Instead of relaxing, they’re likely to stare out the window until you return. They are also known to become destructive if they become bored whilst left at home alone.

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        Easy to train / obedience

        The Affenpinscher isn’t the easiest dog to train, but at the same time, it’s definitely not the worst! This is a very intelligent and stubborn breed who’ll easily become bored during training sessions. However, they do pick things up quite quickly - so if you’re consistent and make sessions short, fun, reward-based and interesting, training should be straightforward.

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        Generally, the Affenpinscher is a ‘yappy’ dog who barks at anything and everything. With careful training, you can teach them to stop barking when you instruct them to.

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        Tendency to run away

        The Affenpinscher can be let off the lead in a safe, secure area. They are rather curious dogs and may wander off if given the chance - so keep a close eye on them at all times.

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        If this breed is allowed to get away with bad behaviour, they’ll certainly do it - making puppy obedience training even more important! The Affenpinscher has a natural desire to hunt, chew and dig, especially if they feel bored. Getting this energy out through daily exercise and toys should prevent this from happening.

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        Greedy / Gluttony

        The older an Affenpinscher gets, the greedier they become! You’ll need to keep a close eye on a fully-grown Affenpinscher’s weight and control their portion sizes accordingly.

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        Guard dog

        Despite their small size, the Affenpinscher is feisty, territorial and fearless. Unless they’re particularly calm and sociable, they make excellent watchdogs and will bark excessively at anyone unfamiliar in an attempt to protect their pack.

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        First dog

        Ideally, the Affenpinscher requires an experienced owner who knows how to train dogs. Inexperienced owners may struggle to get an Affenpinscher under control - and they can easily become a little bit of a nightmare! If you’re new to dogs but think this breed is the perfect match, we’d recommend heading to obedience and socialization classes with your pooch.

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          Affenpinscher in a flat

          This breed is perfect for apartment or flat living as they generally need less exercise than other breeds. Though they can live without it, they’ll still appreciate a fenced off garden or outside area. They are barkers, which could cause problems with the neighbours.

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          Need for exercise / Sporty

          In terms of exercise, the Affenpinscher is low maintenance. However, all dogs have energy to burn. You still need to be willing to get out and about with this breed, especially if you live in a flat. The Affenpinscher will enjoy multiple short, brisk walks per day paired with plenty of playtime in the house or garden.

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          Travelling / easy to transport

          This breed is probably one of the best out there when it comes to travelling! Their small size combined with their natural curiosity and bravery make them fantastic travel companions when trained and socialised well.


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            Affenpinscher and cats

            This breed is likely to get on with cats if they’ve been raised together - so if you’re a cat and dog person, start when your Affenpinscher is a puppy! Otherwise, they may struggle to settle with a kitty and may chase.

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            Affenpinscher and dogs

            Providing they’ve been well socialized from a young age, the Affenpinscher will have no problem getting along with other dogs.

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            Affenpinscher and children

            Families with young children shouldn’t adopt an Affenpinscher. They have a short temper and won’t tolerate being hit, squeezed or hugged if they’re not in the mood, and may growl or snap at children. It’s still important to socialise this breed with children, though - but make sure you keep a very close eye on them.

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            Affenpinscher and the elderly

            With their low exercise needs, protective and territorial instincts and their constant need to be around people, the Affenpinscher is an ideal companion dog for the elderly.



            You can expect to pay around £690 to £1250 for a pedigree Affenpinscher. Always choose a reliable, well-known, reputable breeder.

            On average it would cost you £50 to £80 to care for an Affenpinscher. This budget includes food costs, insurance, grooming, etc.


            By the look of this breed, you’d probably think it requires an insane amount of grooming - but the Affenpinscher is actually relatively low maintenance! Their coats are hard and don’t easily become matted or tangled. They may get things stuck in their coat, though, so a weekly brush with a medium-toothed comb is essential. Some coat clipping may be needed, though that’s totally down to personal choice.


            This breed loses a lot of hair during moulting period, during which a diet rich in salts is recommended.

            Nutrition of the Affenpinscher

            Smaller dog breeds have a higher metabolism and burn energy at a much faster rate. They’ve got small stomachs, however, so can’t eat much in one sitting. For this reason, the Affenpinscher should be fed small-breed foods which are specifically designed to contain more nutrients and energy per serving.

            Health of the Affenpinscher

            Life expectancy

            12-14 years.

            Strong / robust

            The Affenpinscher is a tiny dog, though for its size, it’s quite muscular. While the Affenpinscher is by no means a powerful dog, what it lacks in size is certainly made up for in attitude!

            Withstand heat

            The Affenpinscher is sensitive to extremes in both hot and cold weather and is best kept indoors when temperatures are extreme.

            Withstand cold

            The Affenpinscher is sensitive to extremes in both hot and cold weather and is best kept indoors when temperatures are extreme.

            Tendency to put on weight

            The Affenpinscher is a greedy pooch, especially when they’re elderly. This makes them prone to putting on weight - in fact, obesity is a common health problem in this breed. It’s important to keep an eye on food portions and keep treats to a minimum.

            Common illnesses

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