Their name comes from the word Affe, which means monkey in German, where they are originally from. Of the pinscher family, the Affenpinscher inhabited homes, stables and shops, more like to scare away mice than to hunt them. But his small size, his cheerfulness and docility soon made him a companion animal for ladies of the high nobility and the Central European bourgeoisie, being frequent his appearance in paintings of the Flemish school.

Affenpinscher Features

The Affenpinscher is small but full of energy. It is a descendant of the terriers that populated the stables and shops of the 17th and 18th centuries throughout Europe, to free them from rats and mice. Originally, they were larger and had fine hair, attracting the attention of the ladies who raised them looking for a smaller size that would allow their use as a companion dog. He combines intelligence, audacity and a high degree of joy that joins his creative thinking that surprises and entertains alike. Its high intelligence allows it to learn and adapt to changes quickly. In addition, he loves adventure, so it is the ideal companion to take him on a trip.

While Affenpinschers are known to make their owners laugh, they are not a fit breed for a household full of children. They should not be hard on them while they are calm, but they will not hesitate to bite children if they provoke them . On the other hand, due to his character and his capacity for entertainment, and provided they have had a good education, he becomes a wonderful therapy dog. 

Basic Information

  • Height at the withers: 24 to 28 cm.
  • Weight: between 3 and 4 kg.
  • Layer: black, gray, silver, red, beige, and black and tan.
  • Average life span: 12 to 14 years.
  • Character: intelligent and brave.
  • Relationship with children: Good, if they are not provoked.
  • Relationship with other dogs: They can cause altercations.
  • Skills: Companion dog, guard dog.
  • Space requirements: reduced.
  • Food: according to weight and height.
  • Fix: daily hairstyle.
  • Maintenance cost: reduced.

Breed History

It originally existed as a house dog in southern Germany, used as buzzards in stables, shops and homes. Their ancestors were immortalized in the woodcuts of Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528). But the first Affenpinscher inscriptions will be given in the year 1879. Those little dwarfs so appreciated at the beginning of the century were developed from the Wire-haired Pinschers. Affenpinscher’s ancestors, as we know him, date back to at least the 17th century. They may have been crossed with Pugs: they have a soft coat and are known as the  German Silky Pinscher. Affenpinscher-type dogs also contributed to the development of other breeds, such as the Brussels Griffon and the Miniature Schnauzer. It’s easy to see their relationship when you look at their rough coats and bearded faces.

They soon caught the attention of the great European ladies. They were transformed into a dog of the aristocracy and they began to be raised to be smaller. They had been converted into a companion dog. Some sources credit a breeder in Lübeck, Germany, who was the first to miniaturize these buzzards, but as with so many breeds, the story of how the Affenpinscher was created is lost to history.

Official Recognition

The city of Munich was the heart of Affenpinscher’s early development, but the breed was popular elsewhere in Germany as well. At the beginning of the 20th century, he moved to the United States. World War II interrupted the breeding of the Affenpinscher in the United States and it was not until the 1950s that interest in the breed revived. It’s still rare today, although it did win a celebrity award in 2002 – the Toy Group in 2002 at the Westminster Kennel Club Show .

In 1955 it was officially recognized as a breed by the  Fédération Cynologique Internationale.


  • FCI Classification:  Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer Molossian-type Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs. Section 1 Pinscher and Schnauzer.

Education and Training

As we have already said, the socialization of the dog is necessary to achieve a balanced and healthy adult . Remember that the Affenpinscher has a mind of its own and is often labeled as stubborn. This is why you need early and consistent training. Fortunately, he is eager to learn and to please his people when they teach him positive reinforcement techniques with praise, games, and food rewards.

Like many miniature dog breeds, the Affenpinscher can be difficult to train. Be patient and consistent. The key to training an Affenpinscher is to always keep training fun. Use lots of praise and motivation!


Affenpinschers are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they are prone to certain diseases . Although they will not always suffer from them, it is important to keep them in mind if you are considering this breed.

Patella Luxation

Also known as “slippery slips,” this is a common problem in small dogs. It occurs when the patella, which has three parts, the femur (thigh bone), the patella (knee cap), and the tibia (calf), is not properly aligned. This causes a limp in the leg or an abnormal gait, such as jumping or jumping. It is a condition present at birth, although actual misalignment or dislocation does not always occur until much later.

The friction caused by patellar luxation can lead to arthritis, a degenerative disease of the joint. There are four degrees of patella luxation, ranging from grade I, an occasional dislocation that causes temporary lameness in the joint, to grade IV, in which the turning of the tibia is severe and the patella cannot be realigned manually. . This gives the dog an arched appearance. Severe degrees of patella luxation may require surgical repair.

Legg-Perthes Disease

Generally a small breed disease, this condition, a deformity of the ball of the hip joint, usually appears between 6 and 9 months of age and can be confused with hip dysplasia. It causes wear and tear and arthritis. It can be repaired surgically, and the prognosis is good with the help of subsequent rehabilitation therapy.

Hip Dysplasia

This is an inherited condition in which the thigh bone does not fit comfortably in the hip joint. Some dogs show pain and a limp in one or both hind legs, but you may not notice any signs of discomfort in a dog with hip dysplasia. As the dog ages, arthritis can develop. Dogs with hip dysplasia should not be bred.

Murmurs of The Heart

Heart murmurs are caused by a disturbance in the flow of blood through the chambers of the heart. They are an indicator that there may be a heart disease or condition that will need to be monitored and treated.

Daily Care

The Affenpinscher is an ideal dog to live in a small apartment or flat, especially if you have neighbors who do not mind that he barks from time to time. You need short but brisk walks. But it can also be worth adequate time on a patio, as it is moderately active.

Dead hair needs to be removed with daily hairstyles . And during the molt, their diet should be reinforced with vitamins. Care must also be taken with the eyes as hair can cause irritation and infection.

Because he is so small and mischievous, the Affenpinscher must be supervised full time. Also, remember that they will not hesitate to face animals much larger than themselves, which could cause injury and even death.

How To Acquire It?

Before buying an Affenpinscher you should bear in mind that even being domestic dogs and used to the home, they do not usually maintain good relationships with young children. If you have children and you want a dog of this breed, you must explain to them that they have to respect their spaces and moments. Otherwise, they could end up being bitten by their regular playmate.

If you are buying a puppy, look for the certification of the parents they have been tested for hip dysplasia and are free of problems . Remember that hip dysplasia is hereditary. You should also expect to see the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) health permits for hip dysplasia (with a fair score or better), elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand disease. You can confirm health authorizations by consulting the OFA website .

If you are looking for a puppy with a pedigree, you can find various Spanish breeders who meet the requirements of the  Royal Spanish Canine Society (RSCE) . If in doubt, the best option is to ask the RSCE for information on the best places to buy a pedigree or purebred animal.

Remember that it is not advisable to separate a puppy from its mother before two months. By avoiding the purchase of animals that are too small, you also ensure the reliability of the breeder.

Other dogs similar to our Affenpinscher

  • Dobermann : well carried and educated can be a great companion, although its use by unscrupulous people have loaded it with myths and falsehoods.
  • Miniature Pinscher – comes from ancient rat catchers. Despite its size, it has a strong temperament.
  • Austrian Pinscher : it is a curious and cheerful dog.
  • Schnauzer : they exist in various sizes, (normal, giant and miniature) although they are all cheerful, playful and good companions.
  • Dutch Smous dog: it is an intelligent, affectionate, cheerful and small dog.
  • Black Russian Terrier : Used as a guard and police dog , it is very rare outside of Russia.
  • German Pinscher: small in size, it is an ideal dog if you are an athlete.

Divyesh Patel