Affenpinscher dog
9 to 11.5 inches
7 to 10 pounds
Conformation, Obedience, Agility, Barn Hunt
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This ancient toy breed is fun-loving, loyal and fearless. The Affenpinscher dog breed is considered a hypoallergenic breed, so he could be a perfect companion for both people with and without allergies.


What the Affenpinscher dog lacks in size, he makes up for with his big personality. He’s curious and funny, bold and outgoing. His intelligence and courage make him a great watchdog, but socialization with people and other animals is crucial. As a moderately active dog, the Affen needs plenty of playtime and interaction indoors, plus outdoor walks and activities. He gets along well with other dogs, but may not do well in homes where rodents like hamsters and gerbils are kept as pets. Although playful and entertaining, the Affenpinscher does not enjoy being hugged, squeezed or chased. As such, he’s not the best dog breed for families with young children. 

Key Characteristics of the Breed

Affenpinschers are sturdy, yet compact dogs. They have a medium frame and their height and length are about the same, with females slightly longer than males. This creates a square appearance.

How Long Does an Affenpinscher Dog Live?

12 to 15 years


Affenpinschers sport a variety of different coat colours, including black, gray, silver, red, black and tan, and beige.

Does the Affenpinscher Dog Shed?

As with most breeds, Affens shed seasonally. They have a dense, wiry, medium-length coat. Brush the coat two to three times per week to prevent mats and tangles. The wiry coat is considered hypoallergenic, so the Affenpinscher may be a good dog for people with allergies.

Common Health Issues

Affenpinschers are a generally healthy breed. Responsible breeders screen for certain health conditions, however. These may include luxating patella, heart and vision problems and hip dysplasia.

Like other breeds with short faces, Affens may have trouble breathing in hot weather. It’s important to prevent them from getting overheated.

Although their small size makes them a great companion for small apartments, Affens may be prone to weight gain. This makes regular exercise and monitoring their caloric intake important.

Best Dog Food for Affenpinscher Dogs & Puppies

Because the Affenpinscher is a toy breed, we recommend choosing a dog food specifically formulated for small dogs. If you have an Affen puppy, choose a puppy-specific formula with essential nutrients for growth and development. For information on how much or when to feed your Affenpinscher dog or puppy, explore our feeding articles here.

History Of the Affenpinscher Dog

The Affen’s origins date back to the 1600s in Munich and elsewhere in Germany. The breed started by working in stables, ridding them of pests. Later, they were brought indoors to chase mice out of kitchens.

As the breed further developed, the Affenpinscher’s size was decreased to transform him into a companion dog. The breed may have influenced the development of other European breeds, including the Brussels Griffon and Miniature Schnauzer.

The Berlin Lapdog Club began formulating breed standards for the Affenpinscher in 1902, but the standards weren’t finalized until 1913. Affens were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1936, although clubs dedicated to the breed formed in France and Germany in the late 1800s.

As with many breeds, World War II halted further breeding. Interest in the breed returned in the 1950s, but the Affen didn’t gain widespread attention until 2002. That year, Super Nova won the Toy Group at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. In 2013, Banana Joe won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. 

Facts About the Affenpinscher Dog Breed

  • In German, Affenpinscher means “monkey dog” or “ape terrier.” Presumably, their name is thanks to their ape-like faces.
  • Although Affens don’t fall under the Terrier Group, they were bred to expel rats and other pets as a terrier would.
  • The Affenpinscher is considered a rare breed.


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