The ‘Monkey Dog’ Affenpinscher Dog Breed

Also known as the monkey terrier, monkey dog, and “the dog that looks like Ewoks” from Star Wars, these playful breeds are known for being excellent companions to adults. The affenpinscher breed originated in 17th century Germany, where they were used to hunt rats and other small pests. Today, they are loving companions for adults without children or other small animals.

Do Affenpinscher Dogs Bark a Lot?

Affenpinschers are moderate barkers. The affenpinscher is a rodent hunter at heart, meaning they have an aggressive tendency toward other small animals. It’s also a smaller breed, which will bark whenever it has excess energy, or it feels particularly threatened or anxious.

To reduce barking, burning off an affenpinscher’s excess energy is important. Exercising smaller dogs is simple enough: Try to go on a 30- to 60-minute walk every day. While at home, puzzle chew toys and other fun playtime activities can also be beneficial to give your dog something to do in between exercises.

Barking can also be a result of anxieties that your dog has. If a dog is left alone for too long during the day, it may develop separation anxiety and unwanted barking habits. We cover this topic in this article on separation anxiety in dogs.

It’s important to socialize dogs from a young age. If they feel more comfortable around other dogs and humans, they will be less likely to perceive strangers as threats. For more on training your affenpinscher, check out our article on teaching your dog to recognize strangers versus intruders versus visitors!

Facts About Affenpinschers

The affenpinscher name originates from the German “affe,” which translates to monkey/ape. They were first “employed” in German stables, where they hunted down rats and other pests. Eventually, they were brought indoors to deal with kitchen mice. Affenpinscher breeding clubs grew in popularity in Germany and France in the 19th century and played a role in developing the miniature schnauzer breed. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1963, and it’s been known ever since for it’s fun, stubborn and playful temperament.

  • Affenpinscher size: Female and male affenpinschers weigh from 7 to 9 pounds. The average height for both sexes is 10 inches.
  • Affenpinschers lifespan: 12 to 14 years
  • Affenpinscher coat: Medium length, hard, dense and wiry coat with a low tendency to shed. Colors include black, gray, silver, and tan.
  • Affenpinscher’s AKC group: Toy

Are Affenpinscher Dogs Easy to Train?

The affenpinscher breed has a notorious reputation for being difficult to train due to their natural stubbornness and independence. However, the breed is known for being very intelligent and eager to please, so reward-based training methods with their owners work very well. Start consistent training at a young age for the best results. With the affenpinscher, shorter and frequent training exercises are far more effective than longer sessions, as their curiosity will get the better of them, and they will lose interest in the lesson.

As with many smaller dog breeds, house training can be difficult. Therefore, it is recommended to look into crate training to establish routine into their lives, so they know when is the right time to do their business.

Do affenpinschers make good pets?

Affenpinschers thrive in homes with adults and no other pets. With their highly territorial nature, they won’t like to share food or toys with others. Therefore, small children, in particular, don’t do well with affenpinschers. However, to their owners they are loyal, affectionate and entertaining. An affenpinscher is an ideal apartment dog, as they only need short walks throughout the day.

Is this affenpinscher a good watch dog or guard dog?

The affenpinscher is an excellent watchdog, as the breed is often both smart and alert. Be aware that your affenpinscher will take its job very seriously and guard its territory fiercely against strangers it perceives as a threat. If it can tell the difference between friendly and unfriendly strangers, you’ll have one of the best watchdogs available.

What Are Grooming Needs of Affenpinschers?

Their thick, wiry coat should be groomed with a brush and metal comb at least twice a week. With their hair having the tendency to grow over their eyes, it’s important these areas are kept clear so that they can see. Try to brush and trim the hair around their nose into a fan shape to keep their vision as clear as possible. However, their coat does not grow quickly, and they will only need a trim every couple months or so.

Check your affenpinscher’s ears for irritation or build up and their nails monthly to see if they’ve grown too long. Standard guillotine nail clippers work well for affenpinschers with lighter nail colors. However, a nail grinder can also be beneficial if your dog has darker nails, as the quick can be difficult to see. It’s also good for the fussier, independent affenpinscher that may not enjoy having its nails cut.

Smaller dog breeds are also prone to gum disease, so brushing their teeth weekly is highly recommended.

Affenpinscher Mixes

The affenpinscher can be a rare dog to find. However, it’s possible to find an affen mix with ideal traits from two breeds, or crossbreeds. You’ll find its headstrong, loyal, and affectionate traits in any of these popular mixes. In fact, some of the affenpinscher breed mixes perfectly blend the affen’s cuteness and personality with the other breed’s gentle nature to create crossbreeds that do very well with children and smaller animals.

Here are some popular affenpinscher breed mixes:

Resource Links for More Affenpinscher Info



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