The Affenpinscher is one of the oldest and most original dog breeds in Germany. With a size of approx. 30 cm is very small, but you should not underestimate the little guy. His lively temperament, passionate courage and mischief make him a great personality.
Which dogs the Affenpinscher descends from can hardly be traced because small shaggy dogs used to be found in many countries. The most likely thesis is that the Affenpinscher is a cross between Pinschers and Asian Pug-type dogs.
The small dog type that is depicted in a painting from 1934 by the painter Jan van Eyk could also be an ancestor of the Griffon, the Miniature Schnauzer or the Affenpinscher. It is certain that the Affenpinscher as it looks today has been around for a long time.
In Germany, which is now seen as the breed’s country of origin, Affenpinschers are among the oldest and least modified dog breeds. Even Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) has already made dogs from woodcuts that are very similar to the current Affenpinscher.
The Affenpinschers are first mentioned in sources in 1879 in the reference book ‘The life of animals’ by Brehms from 1890. The breed has already been described in detail.
This is reflected in the popularity of these little brave dogs. While originally bred and bred as rat catchers, they now value their loyal family ties, which, combined with their courage and vigilance, make them reliable watchdogs.
This purebred dog owes its not particularly snappy name “Affenpinscher” to its beard and its typical tousled hair around the eyes, cheeks, and chin. As a result, the dog has something of a monkey in terms of facial expression.
This is enhanced by its fairly flat nose, round eyes and overbite, which sets it apart from other Pinschers. However, it is not only the overbite that sets him apart from other representatives of his breed family.
The short mouth and his rough coat also make him a very special Pinscher. He is occasionally confused with a Griffon, but unlike this breed, his snout is less wide and long. When the mouth is closed, its teeth should not be visible.
While the Affenpinscher used to come in different colors and gradations – from yellow to red, from gray to blue – nowadays it is bred only in black according to the breed standard.
The black hair has a hard texture and decorates the head. The dogs have bushy eyebrows, a full beard, and spiky head hair and sideburns. He also has a lot of hair around his round eyes.
The character of an Affenpinscher
For this little fellow, boredom is the worst thing there is. The lively Affenpinscher is happy with any kind of variety. He goes along enthusiastically and can’t get enough.
He gets along well with other dogs and likes to frolic with other dogs. The little dwarf also gets along well with children, who are just as playful. However, he can also show you clearly if he doesn’t like something.
The Affenpinscher has a mind of his own and can be cheeky or stubborn from time to time if something doesn’t go as he wants. But because of his friendly nature, he is forgiven very quickly for these stubborn showers.
He does not linger in this mood for too long and is easily distracted with a small game. Thanks to his high intelligence, he is quick to understand and understands what is expected of him. Despite his stubbornness, he is an uncomplicated dog that adapts easily.
He assists his owner at all times and is a very affectionate partner who loves to cuddle. He takes his task as “protector of the family” very seriously. Strangers then get to know him as a little “devil”. It is not without reason that the breed has the French name “Diabletin Mustache” which is loosely translated “little devil with a beard”.
Compared to many other dog breeds, the price of an Affenpinscher puppy is a good investment because the dogs have an average life expectancy of 15 years. This has to do with the fact that the variety has hardly changed since its inception and the original robust condition has been preserved.
The breed, unlike other breeds, has never gone the way of fashion dog. There are virtually no breed-typical diseases. Therefore, the little guy has excellent health.
The Affenpinscher generally does not suffer from intolerances, allergies, the tendency to be overweight or predisposed to diseases that require special food. That makes feeding this breed dog very easy.
They do not need special dog food and tolerate both dry and wet food and also homemade or raw food. It is therefore no easier to answer the question of which food to put in your dog ‘s food bowl. The range of dog food is enormous and there are various nutritional options.
Which food is best for your dog depends on his individual needs. A dog’s diet must be adapted to his lifestyle and living conditions. Because which nutrients your darling needs in what proportions varies from dog to dog and can change over time.
When choosing the right food, you should rely less on promises made by producers in advertising. A feeding table that is tailored to age, weight, activity level and health status can give you an overview of what your dog needs for a healthy and active life.
A lot of high-quality meat, little vegetables, and important facts are part of any good dog food. Too much grain and other fillers such as sweeteners or chemical preservatives have nothing to look for in your four-legged friend’s food bowl.
The Affenpinscher places higher demands on his care than on his food. The breed is often described as easy to care for. You would think that the care, therefore, takes less time.
However, that is not the case with the Affenpinscher because the black long hair must be regularly treated with a brush or comb to stay clean and not to get tangled. In addition, it should be trimmed at least twice a year. You should only wash your dog’s coat if it is absolutely necessary.
So that the care of your Affenpinscher does not become a “fight” despite everything, you should get your dog used to grooming rituals as early as possible. Set regular dog grooming times, then focus on his coat, teeth, ears, and eyes.
Make sure your pet is brushed and controlled with something fun – pet your dog, give it attention, and teach it to sit still for a wellness moment. Cutting the nails can quickly become unpleasant due to the dense black coat if too much is accidentally cut. It is, therefore, best to leave the necessary and regular cutting to a vet.
At the beginning of industrialization and the breeding of new dog breeds, in which, besides the character, more and more value was attached to the appearance of the animal, the demand for the little ratcatcher with the monkey-like expression became less.
Today, only 20 to 30 puppies a year are born in Germany, the country of origin. Another reason for the low number of puppies is that Affenpinschers usually only get two to three puppies per litter. Nevertheless, there are also breeders in other countries who have focused on this special breed.
In addition to the official FCI standard, which was adopted by the German “Pinscher-Schnauzer-Klub 1895”, there are two other standards within the British Kennel Club (KC) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) that differ from the FCI.
The puppies generally have a black coat with an even black undercoat. Sometimes gray or brown variants also occur. Since the Affenpinscher only produces two or three puppies per litter, it is one of the rarest dog breeds in the world.
Anyone interested in an Affenpinscher today may have to wait very long for a puppy. Only the search for a suitable breeder can take a lot of time and patience due to long distances and few puppies.
Anyone who has found a breeder after a lot of effort naturally has a tendency to “strike quickly”. But as with all dogs, you should not support bad breeders with the purchase of a Pinscher.
Make sure that the breeder has the necessary papers with the FCI logo so that you can be sure that it is a healthy puppy. A pure breed dog with papers often costs 1,000 to 1,500 euros. If it is not important to you whether it is a pure breed dog, it is definitely worth a visit to the shelter.
Before the Affenpinscher moves in with you, you need to get the basics home. Think of food and water bowls, leash with harness or collar, a dog bed, and dog toys. Because the Affenpinscher coat care is absolutely necessary, you should have a mild dog shampoo and brush at home.
To be on the safe side, it is also advisable to purchase a flea comb and ticks. For the transport of an Affenpinscher, a small transport box is ideal because it is a small breed of dog.
Attitude and education
To be satisfied Affenpinschers don’t need much more than proximity to their owner. The affectionate human-centered dwarfs need a lot of dedication. Furthermore, they do not place high demands on their environment. They feel just as at home in a small townhouse as they do in a large house with a garden.
Affenpinschers are generally dogs that can be easily raised. This is due to their friendly nature and affectionate nature. In addition, dogs are very people-oriented. It is true that Affenpinschers learn quickly and are willing to follow their owner.
However, the breed is also known to be persistent. The dogs are often stubborn and this can cause problems during education. The consequence is therefore of great importance. Failure to do so can have major consequences for this dog. The little sweet guy can then become a real tyrant.
How much exercise does the Affenpinscher need?
It is important that the spirited and lively Affenpinscher have plenty to do. They enjoy long, varied walks and enjoy playing and frolicking in nature – with their family or other dogs. Regardless of their size, you should give them enough challenge and don’t underestimate their need for exercise.
Fortunately, Affenpinschers are open to any game. The search for activities should therefore not be too difficult with these breeds. Because the Affenpinschers are playful and quick to understand, they are grateful and uncomplicated dogs that quickly become enthusiastic about new assignments and activities.
One of the best
Despite its small size and the fact that it is known as a “beginner dog”, you should take the education of your Affenpinscher seriously. Especially for beginners, visiting a dog school can be useful to learn the basics.
Those who know the right rules and who educate their dog lovingly and consistently will quickly have fun with their Affenpinscher. Finally, Alfred Edmund Brehm already wrote in his 1890 reference work “Brehms Tierleben”:
“The dog must be considered one of the best. It is a lively and entertaining animal, it is highly affectionate to man, flexible and affectionate towards its friends and very good at fighting other dogs ”.