Affenpinscher - General Features, Temperament, Health problems

Affenpinscher face

FCI # 186, Origin: Germany, Group 2.1 Pinscher and Schnauzer type.

Height: 10-15 in, Weight: 7-8 pounds

Grooming: Low, Shedding: Low, Coat: shaggy and wiry.

Color: black, grey, red.

Ease of training: Medium, Energy level: High, Span of life: 10-12 years.

Breed: Our hero - the Affenpinscher relates to the wire-haired Pinschers. Smooth and wire-haired Pinschers were known in Germany as well as in the neighboring countries - Czech Republic, Austria and Switzerland - since the Middle Ages. At that time there was an opinion that Pinschers are the descendants of Terriers, but now it is believed that Pincher is a very old breed, originating from Central Europe. By the end of XIX century some certain types of a Pinscher family were quite formed. The wire-haired Pnscher was especially popular in southern Germany: W??rttemberg, Swabia and Bavaria.

In 1876 the wire-haired Pinscher was presented at the dog show in Hamburg. And then there was no consensus on how they should look. In 1884 German cynologist R. Von Shmideberg in his article about Pinschers wrote: "... Until now the German wire-haired Pinschers are presented in such a variety of types, that for the observer it is difficult to identify what is really characteristic to this breed." The author definitely is insisting that Pinscher is a typical German breed. Analyzing the ancestors of this breed, he concluded that it is impossible to determine when Pinschers separated in two varieties - smooth-haired and wire-haired.

As an independent breed the Affenpinscher is known from the 1890s. In 1895 in Germany appeared the Pinscher-Schnauzer Club. It is successfully working until now and is considered the main club in the world to work with the breeds Pinscher and Schnauzer, including the Affenpinscher. This club separated the small wirehaired Pinschers to the Miniature Schnauzers and Affenpinschers. Since 1900, the miniature wire-haired Pinschers were exhibited in two classes: dogs with a short upturned muzzles (the Affenpinscher) and small Pinschers with the dense coats (miniature copies of the wire-haired Pinschers or Schnauzers).

Later, in 1903, in the stud books the Affenpinschers and the miniature wire-haired Pinschers (future Miniature Schnauzer) were recorded separately. But still for quite some time the Miniature Pinschers and Schnauzers were crossed with the Affenpinschers even after the separation of the breeds (until 1939). In order to improve a number of qualities in the Affenpinschers there was also poured the blood of Pugs and Griffons.

Although the Affenpinscher was identified as a separated breed earlier than the others, the specification of his type and the exterior happened a lot later. The main requirement for the breed at that time was a head with the protruding lower jaw and round dark eyes, which gave the monkey-like expression to the dog's face.

Affenpinscher dog breeds

Although the Affenpinschers were mostly the rural dogs, yet it happened that the smallest of them brightened the moments of leisure of some wealthy people, so we can see the ancestors of a modern Affenpinscher in many old paintings. Thus, the portrait of Jan Arnolfini and his wife, written by the painter Jan van Eyck  in 1434 in a suburb of Brussels, shows a small shaggy dog, very similar to the modern Affenpinscher and the Belgian Griffon. Muzzle of this little dog is rather short, but still not as much as in the modern Belgian Griffons and Affenpinschers. Very similar dogs (they are considered the prototype of the German Affenpinscher) are found in the paintings of a later period, made by the German artist Albrecht Durer (1471-1528).

Despite the popularity of the Affenpinschers, the amount of dogs of this breed was initially very small: in 1902 there were registered in total only fourteen representatives of this breed, which became the ancestors of all modern Affenpinschers.

In the early XX century, the Affenpinscher have become a quite popular lap dog in Europe. As for America and Great Britain, there the Affenpinscher was very well known since the end of the XIX century and the breed until now has it's own faithful fanciers and enthusiasts. Currently, this old German breed is rare even in it's homeland - Germany.

General Features: Playful, energetic, intelligent and powerfully built little fellow of Terriers - the Affenpinscher has a funny monkey-like muzzle, because of his protruding chin with the beard and mustache. This feeling is reinforced by the bushy eyebrows, covering eyelids and large, attentive eyes. Coat of the Affenpinscher is dense, wiry, ears and tail are cropped. Despite his small size, the Affenpinscher is a "real dog".

Affenpincher is a sturdy, compact little dog with a strong, but fine bone structure, with no sign of tenderness and lightness.

The head of an Affenpinscher is proportional to the body, the dog is carrying it high and confident, with a mischievous expression, like in a monkey. The eyes are round, dark, shiny, of medium size, but not protruding. Eyelids are black. Ears can be cropped and pointed, set high, they may be also naturally erect or hanging, or half hanging. Any type is allowed, if both ears are set the same way and if the dog remains monkey-like expression. The skull is rounded and convex, but not coarse, and not domed.

The transition from forehead to the muzzle is well defined. The muzzle is short and tapers slightly to a blunt nose. Length of the muzzle is approximately equal to the distance between the eyes. The nose is not raised and not lowered, black. Lips are black, the lower lip protrudes slightly forward. The straight bite is allowed if the dog remains monkey-like expression. When the mouth is closed tongue and teeth are not visible. The lower jaw is wide enough for the lower incisors to stay on the same line.

Colors of coat: black, gray, silver or black and tan with the symmetrical markings, also red, ranging from brownish-red to orange-yellow-brown.

With all colors the decorative hair can be a little lighter and the Affenpinscher can sometimes have a black mask. A small white patch or stripe on the chest is not penalized.

Movements of the Affenpinscher are light, loose, well-balanced. This little dog moves with the comical seriousness.

Temperament: Affenpinscher is a charming little dog, that is looking very much like a monkey. That's why this breed has it's name - the prefix "affen" in German means "monkey."

At home he is often called "the dwarf Affenpinscher". French are calling this dog - "the whiskered imp."

Affenpinscher breed photo

But no matter how you would like to call the Affenpinscher, he will always be the same - funny, charming, small dog, it is the smallest dog in the family of Schnauzers and Pinschers, very alert, very loving and very loyal, always ready to protect the owner.

Breed name translates as "terrier-monkey" and incredibly accurately describes this little Pinscher with his funny little pretty short muzzle and extremely shaggy eyebrows.
Originally the life mission of this breed was catching rodents on the farms of their masters and the preservation of the winter stocks of their owners. First and Second World Wars had a very negative impact on the breed.

Only thanks to a few fanciers of the Affenpinschers, these little hunters were able to continue their existence.

Affenpinscher differs with his comical character and his endless desire to be always in the spotlight. Friendly, obedient and clever, these little dogs in the normal circumstances do not create too much noise.

However, if within their territory there is happening any suspicious activity, the Affenpinschers are able to raise an incredible barking. If the Affenpinscher has an opportunity to protect his owner, he does not hesitate to throw himself into any battle, whithout paying any attention to the size of the enemy.

These dogs love to be with "their" people, to go with them to all their trips (no matter if it will be a trip to the Moon or to the closest supermarket) and participate in all their adventures. Funny detail: the Affenpinscher is a climber by nature. They always love to climb anywhere.

Tiny Affenpinscher will probably feel the most comfortable in the apartment. This dog can not live outside of the house.

Affenpinscher is quite easy to get along well with the other pets in the house, but he loves to argue and insist on his own opinion.

This dog does not require any special or very frequent care - it would be quite enough to comb the Affenpinscher weekly and sometimes to give him a bath with the special shampoo for dogs. It would be good if you can trim fur around the Affenpinscher's paws, keeping in mind that this little dwarfs prefer the "ragged" style.

Most of the Affenpinschers are very active energetic dogs, so they require at least a relatively frequent walks. And it would be just great if you can offer your Affenpinscher some mental and physical exercises or a job to do. This little hunter is too smart to be just a "coach potato".
Friendliness, obedience, courage and intelligence of the Affenpinschers has earned for these little pooches a special place in the hearts of people long time ago. Especially touching is their willingness to defend the owner: they rush into a battle against any opponent, even if he exceeds several times the size of the Affenpinscher.

Sometimes it is not easy for the Affenpinschers to get used to the new house, so the owner should be patient and give this dog enough time to accept the new circumstances of his life.

Remember - this little "Bravehearts" are always ready to attack anyone, even the very large enemy, so during the walks it is probably better to keep your Affenpinscher on the leash.

Health problems: The Affenpinschers are generally very healthy dogs. The owners of this dogs should not allow their pets to jump from a high places, because of the fragile bones (which is typical for all small breeds of dogs).

Do You Want to Get This Dog Breed for Free ?