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Affenpinscher - Breed Profile:

Origin: Germany / France
Colors: Black, dark grey, tan, red
Size: Small
Type of Owner: Novice
Exercise: Very little
Grooming: Regular
Trainability: Slightly difficult to train
Combativeness: Can be dog-aggressive
Dominance: Moderate
Noise: Likes to bark

Physical characteristics

Affenpinschers are small dogs of square proportion with a monkey-like expression. They have a shaggy coat with longer hair all over the face and shoulders, which forms a kind of mane. The head is round with a well-defined stop. The eyes are black, prominent, and round, but they should not protrude too much. The ears can be docked (and then they are erect) or left natural (which means they will be either erect, half-erect, or dropping).
Affenpinschers weigh 3 to 8 pounds, and their height is about 11 inches. Truly toy dogs.


Affenpinschers have a pure terrier like personality: confident, fiery, and brave. Along with that, these dogs are quite amusing, affectionate and loyal. They love to play, so make sure you don't neglect this need. Affenpinschers enjoy being with their family. However, they need firm and consistent training to avoid excessive wilfulness and undesired behaviour such as guarding food and toys too vehemently. Some individuals are difficult to housebreak. Affenpinschers get along better with older children. Most dogs of this breed are fine with other pets in the house, especially if raised with them from puppyhood. May challenge larger dogs, just like the Chihuahua or Yorkshire Terrier. Be sure to socialize the dog well and to remain a pack leader at all times to prevent the "small dog syndrome".
Affenpinschers have a monkey-like expression. Photo by Orlock Affenpinschers

Coat and grooming

Affenpinschers have a harsh coat that has to be groomed on a regular basis. The hair on the face and shoulders is slightly longer than on the rest of the body. Shedding is very light in this breed.
Affenpinschers are usually black, though you can come across dark grey, tan or red individuals.


Like other dogs with a short muzzle, Affenpinschers are prone to respiratory problems and sensitive to temperature extremes. The best temperature for this breed is below 20 degrees C. Other health issues include fractures, hip dysplasia, and collapsed trachea.
The lifespan of Affenpinschers is 10 to 12 years.