The Affenpinscher originated in 17th century Germany but its exact history is obscure. It is believed to have been developed from small German pinschers and Asian pug-like dogs and it may be related to the Miniature Schnauzer and the Griffon Bruxellois. The German name can be translated as ‘monkey terrier’ which is an apt descriptor considering this captivating little dog’s monkey-like expression and impish humour. Now primarily a companion dog the Affenpinscher was, and given the chance still is, an excellent vermin hunter and enthusiastic rabbiter. This breed is not well known and is not numerous even in its homeland.
Despite his small size the Affenpinscher is big both in heart and personality. He is a loyal companion, very affectionate towards his owners and sensitive and responsive to mood and atmosphere. He also has a great deal of self-confidence and can be rather egocentric and demanding, therefore firm kindly leadership must be practised from the start in order that he should learn his place in the household and the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. If he is pandered to and indulged he can become a dictator and can quite easily end up ruling the roost before his owners realize what has happened. Normal consideration must be given in the matter of size - he can be seriously hurt if stepped on, squashed, or dropped - but he is not made of fine china, he is a sturdy fellow who is extremely bold and courageous. He is generally good with other dogs but if provoked he will fearlessly take on any challenge, giving and asking no quarter even if his challenger is ten times his size. Care must be taken lest his bold attitude should get him into a scrap with larger, stronger dogs. Always inquisitive and alert he is a zealous watchdog and can be quite protective of his people and property. Despite being a lively, playful and mischievous dog the Affenpinscher is not considered a suitable playmate for young children as he may have a short fuse when it comes to clumsy handling or teasing. For families with older, considerate children, or for individuals, the Affenpinscher is an endearing and spirited companion.
Being a very busy fellow the Affenpinscher would probably get almost as much exercise as he needs to keep fit simply by bustling around his house and garden and playing games. However a daily walk is recommended as he loves to get out and about and interesting excursions will provide mental stimulation for this always-curious-about-anything-and-everything fellow. He will actually enjoy quite long walks if they are offered but care must be taken with off-lead exercise as he will not be averse to going off rabbiting or ratting should the opportunity arise. The Affenpinscher’s quick wits, fast reactions and abundant energy make him well suited to the canine sport of agility.
Obedience training to at least basic level is necessary to ensure that the Affenpinscher is a pleasant companion and acceptable to society. He is an intelligent dog and is quick to learn commands but may be reluctant to carry them out if he does not feel like doing so. It is important therefore that patience, firmness and consistency are employed as these will help him to learn that you mean what you say and thus engender his respect. Affenpinschers can do well at high-level competitive obedience. Training should always be based on positive methods which reward wanted behaviour with treats and praise. Harsh physical and/or verbal discipline is never warranted and, if used, may have negative results. Socialization should be commenced early in the pup’s life and should be extensive and on-going. Accustoming him to various people, other dogs, novel sights and sounds will help prevent any over-wariness of strangers or negative reactions to unfamiliar situations and, if adequately socialized and trained, he will mature into a well-adjusted, well-mannered adult.
- Patella luxation
- hip dysplasia
- Legg-Calve Perthes disease (LCPD)
- cardiac problems
Some photographs of the Affenpinscher...
Gozo & Enzo, owned by Julie in London, UK
Gozo is 5 and Enzo 4 they both come from the fabulous Orlock kennel, I did get them to show but for various reasons that didn't happen, they've both done a bit of agility, Gozo wasn't keen but Enzo actually got as far as a competition :) Their main role in life is as beloved family members, lap and bed warmers. They live with their big sister, Pepper, a black Mini Schnauzer. For more info and photos, see Gozo & Enzo's thread in our forum.