Affenpinscher dog sit in the grass

Breed: Affenpinscher | Size: Small | Average lifespan: 12+ years | Character: Joyful and affectionate | Coat: Long | Origin: Germany.

The Affenpinscher is an affectionate, fearless, and curious dog breed of German origin. These dogs have the ability to amuse their owners with their silly facial expressions!

The origins of the Affenpinscher

Affenpinschers are easily recognizable thanks to their shaggy coat, joyfulness, and clownish expressions.

A companion of yore

The Affenpinscher has lived among us for centuries. In fact, this dog can be found as early as the 14th century in the work of Flemish painter Jan Van Eyck: The Arnolfini Portrait, and later in the engravings of the Germanic artist, Albrecht Dürer. Unlike herding dogs, Affenpinschers were known for their talents as guard dogs and rat hunters in farms and stables. These miniature dogs progressively made their place in the households of German aristocrats, in particular in rich houses in Munich.

In the beginning of the 20th century, Affenpinschers continued their rise to fame as a favorite of American high society. This companion dog is mischievous, playful, and loyal. They are also particularly protective, despite their size.

The famous cousins of the Affenpinscher

It is likely that the Affenpinscher was crossed with other dog breeds like the Pug and the smooth-haired German Pinscher. In addition, do not be surprised to find similarities with the Brussels Griffon and Miniature Schnauzer. The Affenpinscher has effectively contributed to the development of these breeds, they have in common a rough coat and prominent whiskers and beard.

Affenpinscher dog walk outside
The Affenpinscher is often nicknamed “mustached little devil” in France.

The character of the Affenpinscher

Bred for centuries to hunt pests, the Affenpinscher can sometimes have behavior that is difficult to deal with. Despite being nicknamed the “mustached little devil” in France, they have several qualities that make them lovable companions and excellent guardians.

An affectionate, cheerful, and curious dog

The Affenpinscher is an affectionate companion dog that also like its independence. They are also rather intelligent dogs, ready to show off their puppy eyes to get what they want. In addition, as they are always on the lookout for rodents, they can eliminate mice with ease.

This dog is also a very good guard dog because they are intuitive and always on the lookout to detect intruders. Furthermore, the Affenpinscher is a voyager. They like discovery and would love accompanying you on your adventures. Their joie de vivre and infectious good mood will bring you a good dose of laughs on the daily. This is a small dog with a big heart.

A dog with character

The Affenpinscher is wary around people that they do not know and cannot be coaxed easily. This small dog appreciates having moments alone, which can be an advantage if you need to be gone for a few hours. This dog can lead their life independently.

This is a dog that can be a bit stubborn. For this reason, you need to be firm to train them and make them obedient and sociable dogs. It is also important to know that this dog breed tends to bark easily, as soon as they feel the presence of an intruder on their territory. In addition, their hunting instincts leads them to sometimes pursue their prey, making them prone to running away.

The Affenpinscher is a real character that needs activities to entertain themselves. Without this, they can turn into a real tornado! Tip: this dog is a real foody, so a few treats here and there will help you channel your dog’s energy effortlessly.

Affenpinscher dog stare ahead
The Affenpinscher is a breed that is easily recognizable thanks to its unique appearance.

The physical characteristics of the Affenpinscher

The Affenpinscher is a small but resistant dog. Their face has an expression that is reminiscent of the face of a monkey.


Their small head is easily recognizable. It is rounded and their muzzle is flat. In addition, they have a cute nose that is the same color as their black coat. Their ears are held proudly on the top of their head and are sometimes folded, forming an inverted V. This breed has eyes that are like little black marbles with bushy eyebrows.


Contrary to their round head, the Affenpinscher has a robust body shaped a bit like a square. Their back is muscular, short, and compact and their stomach is moderately raised. When it comes to their tail, it is held high, in the form of a hook. Lastly, their chest is flat on the sides. This dog breed is known for being particularly solid.

Affenpinscher look up
The Affenpinscher is a real prankster!

Coat, color, and grooming

The Affenpinscher is easily recognizable thanks to their unique appearance.

Coat and colors

This is a dog breed with a thick and coarse coat. In addition, the texture is rough to the touch. Their coat is long and shaggy, especially around the head, which reinforces their simian appearance. Their coat is longer at the front of the body, notably on their shoulders, which can sometimes give the impression that they are wearing a cape. In general, the Affenpinscher has a black coat.

Grooming the Affenpinscher

This dog needs to be frequently groomed. The coat of the Affenpinscher needs to be brushed rather frequently to avoid the forming of knots. Contrary to a short-haired dog, they need to be brushed regularly with a small brush then carefully combed. Sometimes, it is necessary to untangle the knots with your fingers. It is also necessary to trim their excess hair to give them a look that matches their charisma.

Brushing their teeth several times a week, even daily, is recommended in order to get rid of the plaque and oral bacteria. Once a month, it can be necessary to trim their claws if they are not worn down naturally from walking.

Did you know?

The Affenpinscher is known for its facial expressions and sense of humor. This is what gave them the nickname Monkey Terrier in German. They are also pranksters and do not hesitate to attract attention to make their owners laugh. This is a particularly pleasant family dog. Known for their lively character, they also know how to be an efficient guard against rodents.

The Affenpinscher at a glance

Size: 25 to 30 cm.

Weight: 4 to 6 kg (≈ 8.8 to 13.2 lb).

Health: Affenpinschers are considered to be healthy dogs. Nevertheless, the most frequent problems are: dislocation of the kneecap, heart failure, vision problems or hip dysplasia. In addition, because of their short muzzle, these dogs do not handle hot temperatures and heat waves very well. Therefore, they need to be sheltered from the heat.

Average lifespan: around 15 years.

Is this breed good with children? If you have children or intend on having them, know that the Affenpinscher is not very suitable for families with young children. In fact, despite their good looks and their humorous talents, they can sometimes feel threatened when they are bothered and abrupt gestures. They do not really appreciate being held or followed to play. The Affenpinscher likes their freedom and does not want to feel like they are forced or held hostage to play.

Is the Affenpinscher easy to train? Breeders recommend starting to train your dog from a young age in order to socialize them. Affenpinscher puppies need to learn all the rules to respect and obey their owners was well as other dogs, as early as possible.