All About the Breed Affenpinscher

Have you recently fallen for the Affenpinscher or do you simply love rare breeds? Learn all about the breed here, including: Breed History, Personality Traits, Train-ability, Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed, and Common Health Concerns.

Also known as the Monkey Dog, the Affenpinscher is an outgoing and adventurous breed.

But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you?

This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


The origin of the Affenpinscher can be traced back to 17th century Germany, where the breed was developed and commonly used for ridding stables and properties of rats and other small rodents.

Enthusiasts believe the Affenpinscher to have made great contributions to the development of such breeds as the Brussels Griffon and the Miniature Schnauzer, though this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise.

While the breed's introduction to the United States in unknown, the Affenpinscher was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1936 and categorized into the Toy Group.

Today, although the Affenpinscher has attained an underground popularity as a companion dog, the breed remains rather rare outside of Europe and the United States.

Personality Traits

Best known for its fearless, adventurous, and outgoing nature, the Affenpinscher is full of character. These dogs are very territorial and protective of their owners and property. As a pet, the Affenpinscher is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate. This breed is very active and enjoys spending time outdoors and playing games such as fetch and frisbee. The Affenpinscher is known to be somewhat stubborn, moody, and independent at times, creating difficulty in training.


Due to its stubborn, independent, and overly confident attitude, the Affenpinscher can prove somewhat challenging to train, and is known to be very slow to pick up basic tasks such as housebreaking.

Establishing immediate dominance, trust, and respect is key to successfully training the Affenpinscher. This breed quickly becomes bored and annoyed with repetitive tasks and requires an experienced, confident, and strong handler.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning an Affenpinscher. These active and imaginative dogs are always on the go and often quite entertaining to watch while at play. When properly socialized from a young age, the Affenpinscher generally gets along well with older children and other pets. This breed is very territorial and protective of its owner and property, making an excellent watch dog and deterrent to would-be intruders.

These dogs enjoy hunting and killing small rodents such as rats, mice, and snakes. The Affenpinscher is loyal, obedient, loving, and affectionate, making an amazing family pet and companion alike.

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning an Affenpinscher. These energetic and active dogs require large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so.

An Affenpinscher not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.

This breed has a strong instinct to hunt and will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, the Affenpinscher is surprisingly quick, and may pose a threat to other animals, neighborhood pets, and small woodland creatures. The Affenpinscher must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.

The Affenpinscher has a thick and unique coat which requires almost constant attention, brushing, and grooming to avoid tangles and maintain its attractive appearance.

As previously mentioned, the Affenpinscher remains rather rare outside of Europe and the United States and can prove difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.

Common Health Concerns

While the Affenpinscher is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: hip dysplasia, patellar luxation - dislocation of the knee, urological problems such as chronic kidney infection, collapsed trachea, cataracts, various joint problems such as arthritis, and bloat.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own an Affenpinscher?

Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.