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All You Have to Know About This Small yet Highly Intelligent Dog


Affenpinscher – A Brief Introduction

Best known for their outstanding intelligence and cheerful personality, the dogs in the Affenpinscher breed are loving and reliable furry little friends. They are likely to have an urge to socialize from a young age, with both people and dogs, and that's convenient as they belong indoors anyway, where exciting things happen all the time.

But don’t be fooled by their small stature or goofy looks. Canines in the Affenpinscher dog breed don’t scare easily and make great watchdogs.

Due to their rich personality, they can sometimes be stubborn, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing—it’s just what makes them great pets.

What Does An Affenpinscher Dog Look Like?

The Affenpinscher is a small breed dog, with signature traits like:

  • height: from 9 to 11 inches (24-29 cm)
  • weight: 7 to 9 pounds (3-5 kg)
  • square-shaped figure
  • wide head with long whiskers
  • small, rounded, dark eyes
  • naturally floppy ears
  • long, curly tail
  • wiry fur that falls longer in the front
  • fur color: mostly black, but it can also be brown or silver with a white chest patch

Is the Affenpinscher Fit for You?

If you’re questioning whether adopting an Affie is a good decision, we have answers. If you’re an active person and looking to foster an apartment dog, but also have some time on your hands to provide him with proper care and training, then we have some good news: the Affenpinscher dogs are a great option for you. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a dog that thrives outside while you spend most of the day away from home, lacking time to care for his high maintenance fur coat, Affenpinscher may not be ideal for you. Plus, they require plenty of physical exercises and a lot of attention.

Affenpinschers’ Personality Traits

There’s one certain thing—Affies are adorable companion dogs. They treasure the time spent with friends and family and center their entire existence on offering and receiving love. 

Moreover, Affenpinschers are loyal, caring family members who are always looking for ways to entertain the crowd, so you’ll never get bored around them.

Alert and curious, dogs in this breed can sometimes be self-absorbed, which makes them rather stubborn, mischievous and sometimes even disobedient. However, they are uncommonly wise for their size, and can easily be trained, as long as they receive affection as a reward for good behavior.

Sharp, Courageous, and Highly Adaptable

Historically speaking, the Affenpinscher dog was first used for hunting small rodents that were causing damage to homes and farms. Later on, due to his cute and loving character, the small dog has been welcomed indoors and become an excellent pet dog that easily adapts to any environment.

It is often said that this breed, although very small, acts as a large one. Since the Affenpinscher dog is energetic and daring, the quadruped is also praised as a reliable watchdog, looking to keep his family safe at all times. As expected, this makes him skeptical about outsiders and unfamiliar faces. 

How smart is an Affenpinscher?

The intelligence of the Affenpinscher is not up for discussion. It’s constantly reaffirmed by the dog's outstanding bravery and alertness, but also by the way he’s able to tell exactly when it’s time to turn tails and be a good boy.

Possibly Your New Favorite Family Member

The Affenpinscher dog is particularly considerate and devoted to the adoptive family, loves all its members and takes full responsibility for always protecting them. From their urge to catch everyone’s attention, the Affies are oftentimes fooling around, doing tricks and flips just for the sake of keeping their loved ones entertained. 

Affenpinschers are a good fit for numerous families and get along very well with children. It’s important to note that, due to their small size, they are prone to get injured during playdates. This is why we strongly recommend monitoring their interaction with small kids.

When adopting an Affenpinscher puppy, the entire family must spend time socializing with the new furry family member, especially children. This will help them get closer and will make the dog more tolerant of others and their different ways of interaction.

Getting Along With Other Animals

As a fresh Affenpinscher owner, you have to be vigilant with the interaction with other dogs, especially with larger ones. He sometimes takes pleasure in annoying or even following them.

For a better relationship with other dogs, make sure that your Affenpinscher socializes often and is taken to regular walks through parks and other crowded places, where he can get accustomed to the presence of other animals.

Skeptical About Outsiders and Unfamiliar Faces

Because they feel a strong urge to defend and protect their family, Affenpinschers will not be very friendly to outsiders and unfamiliar faces, at least not before a proper introduction. 

Nevermind the latest security system you’ve been planning to install in your apartment – your Affie is up for the task. As a reliable guardian, he will immediately alert you when he senses danger. He will also bark if left alone for a long time in limited spaces. 

Affenpinscher – Care and Feeding

Like any other breed, the Affenpinscher dog requires a strict feeding schedule, which must be carefully researched and respected by the future owner. Experts say that the diet of an Affie should be a mix of proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, amino acids, and vitamins.

Here's what an Affie diet should look like:

  • up to 6 months: 6 meals per day consisting of small portions
  • 6-10 months: 3 meals per day, with slightly more generous portions 
  • 10 months and up: 2 meals per day 

It is known about this breed manifests fattening tendencies, so it’s imperative that you measure and control portion sizes.

A High-Maintenance Fur Coat

Pay great attention to the Affenpinscher’s fur and brush it weekly, as it has a coarse consistency that tends to get tangled quite often. Also, mind his eyes, as the fur tends to get in the way, so it is best to give your Affie constant trims. During the shedding period, the dog may lose a lot of hair, so it is good to help the process by supplementing his vitamin intake.

Affenpinscher Health Concerns

Despite his small size, the Affie can develop severe ophthalmological, arterial or bone system disorders. Make sure to always take your pet to the vet when you sense that something is wrong. 

The most common affections of the Affenpinscher breed are:

  • canine Hip Dysplasia
  • legg-Calve-Perthes disease
  • elbow dysplasia
  • heart diseases
  • corneal ulcer
  • respiratory problems
  • patent Ductus Arteriosus

Environment and adaptability

The dogs in the Affenpinscher breed get the perks of living in the countryside and are also willing to embrace the big city life. Because of their size, Affies don’t take much space, and that’s pretty convenient as they belong indoors, away from harsh weather conditions.

Indoor vs. Outdoor

Affenpinschers are built for apartment life and don’t require pretentious facilities like a huge backyard or a lot of space. They do, however, need daily walks and plenty of physical exercises.

Please keep in mind that the Affenpinscher breed does not tolerate extreme temperatures and that we recommend to keep him indoors. We also recommend equipping your Affie with cold-weather gear when taken out for walks during winter.

Home Alone

With an Affenpinscher, there’s a slight chance of you returning home to a disaster, but since he is needy and can’t do without his favorite human beings it is critical for the dog's mood and morale not to be left alone for too long.

How to Train an Affenpinscher

As previously mentioned, Affenpinschers tend to be stubborn at times, so his training sessions have to start early for results to show. Since he is a smart dog, he is less likely to respond to repetitive exercises and moves. Plus, Affies are very playful and loony at times, so make sure to take a firm stand during his training sessions.

We recommend opting for short sessions that are held in distractions-free environments. Focus on teaching him how to socialize and execute simple, short orders. And of course, don’t forget about his snack rewards.

Energy Levels and Recommended Level of Exercise

The Monkey Dog, as it is also called, scores an energy level of 4 out of 5. 

Daily walks are a must, and so is offering him the attention and special care that he needs. It’s not mandatory to walk him in the leash, as he’ll blindly follow his owner. 

Instincts and Hunting Behaviour

Affenpinscher has an exceptional hunting and prey pursuit instinct due to his past main job around the house: to catch the rodents around stables and feed stores.

Affenpinscher Breed History

The Affenpinscher breed dates back to the 18th century, originating in southern Germany, specifically in the Munich area, where many dog breeds have been created and crossed.

The small stature demonstrates the intended use of Monkey Dogs: hunting small rodents. Over time, Affenpinscher dogs have become excellent pets and reliable watchdogs, as a result of the terrier breed heritage.

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