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Adopt an Affenpinscher

Affenpinscher Dog Breed

Picture: Yann Arthus-Bertrand/Corbis


terrier, pinscher

Area of origin:


Original function:

small vermin hunting, lapdog

Average size of male:

Ht: 9-11.5, Wt: 7-9

Average size of female:

Ht: 9-11.5, Wt: 7-9

Other names:


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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

Affenpinscher Dogs Available on Petfinder Right Now

See more adoptable Affenpinscher dogs available on Petfinder

Affenpinscher Dog Temperament

The affenpinscher lives up to his name,"monkey terrier", in both looks and actions. A terrier at heart, he is busy, inquisitive, bold and stubborn, but he also loves to monkey around, being playful and mischievous. He tends to bark and even climb. He is fairly good with other dogs and pets. This little dog is best with a family that likes entertainment and has a very good sense of humor.

Affenpinscher Dog Care

Although an energetic and active dog, the exercise needs of the affenpinscher can be met with vigorous indoor games or romps in the yard, or with short walks on leash. He enjoys playing outside, but cannot live outdoors. His harsh coat needs combing two or three times weekly, plus shaping every three months. Shaping for pets is by clipping or stripping.

Affenpinscher Dog Health

Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: patellar luxation, Legg - Perthes
Occasionally seen: PDA, open fontanel
Suggested tests: knee, (cardiac)
Life span: 12-14 years

Interested in the history of the Affenpinscher dog breed?

The affenpinscher's name describes him well: affen, meaning "monkey," and pinscher, meaning "terrier." In France the affenpinscher is known as the diablotin moustachu, "moustached little devil", which also aptly describes him! As one of the oldest toy breeds, the affenpinscher's origins are obscure. Paintings by the old Dutch masters from the 15th century often included dogs resembling affenpinschers, but more definite evidence of the breed is absent. Small terriers adept at dispatching rats were abundant in central Europe by the 17th century. In Germany, they were used to rid stables and kitchens of rodents. Even smaller versions of these dogs were preferred for ladies, lap dogs, as they were able to kill mice in the home, warm their mistress' laps and amuse entire households with their antics. This small version eventually became the affenpinscher, which was later refined by occasional crosses with the pug, German pinscher and German silky pinscher. The affenpinscher in turn became the progenitor of other wire-coated toys, most notably the Brussels griffon. The breed was most popular in Germany, which can lay claim as his homeland. In 1936 the AKC recognized the affenpinscher, but World War II slowed any momentum in popularity the breed had gained. Since then, the breed has remained extremely rare even in America and Germany, his comparative strongholds.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

Shelters with Affenpinscher Dogs

Some animal welfare organizations with Affenpinschers ready for adoption:

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