For many good reasons the Affenpinscher is often nick-named the “Monkey dog.” For starters, the word “affen” stands for monkey in the German language, and secondly, by nature this breed is known to be full of spunk and energy just like a monkey! Not to mention, this mustached and beaded breed resembles a monkey too! There are also good reasons why this breed was also often affectionately nicknamed as the “little devil with a moustache” We will see why in the personality section.
As the name implies, this breed originates from Germany. It descends from the many small terriers that were quite popular in the 17th and 18th century. Dutch painters often depicted them in their works of art. Renoir represented this breed in his famous painting “Luncheon at the Boating Party”.Their primary role back then was hunting rodents away from factories, stables, shops and homes. Because of their helpful duties, they were spread throughout Central Europe. As many other terriers, they were soon cherished by the the ladies. so they were bred down in size (initially the first specimens were about 12 to 13 inches tall) and soon were destined to become cherished companions more than ratters. This breed contributed to the development of the Brussels Griffon and the Miniature Schnauzer breed.
The first Affenpinschers to set paw in the United States in 1935 were imported by Mrs. Bessie Mally of Cicero, Illinois, the founder of Zwergteufel (Dwarf Devil) kennel. These dogs made it abroad through a steamship to New York and then used the railroads to Chicago. The breed had a nice array of popular supporters boasting Evalyn Walsh McLean who photographed her pooches wearing expensive jewels and Henrietta Proctor Donnell Reilly,an internationally recognized authority on Toy breeds. The breed was gaining popularity, until WWII prevented additional importation from Germany.This breed was AKC recognized in 1936 and today is categorized under the toy group,
As other terriers, the affenpinscher is feisty, spunky and mischievous. And as with other of the smaller terriers, don’t be fooled by their size; their attitudes are big dogs stuck in small bodies. When it comes to their gait, the American Kennel Club depicts them as carrying themselves with “comic seriousness.” They are surely smart and quick to adjust to changes and like to travel. The affenpinscher can be easily aroused and may take some time to calm down. Because of their alertness, affenpinschers make optimal watchdogs who look forward to guarding their homes and family. .Because of this suspicious tendency, it’s good practice to heavily socialize them from an early age.
When it comes to training, this breed is fast to learn and quite intelligent. They do though have a stubborn streak.Positive reinforcement training along with his natural tendency to want to please his owners using will keep him motivated. These dogs excel in trick training courtesy of their clownish demeanor. You’ll see him toss his toys in the air, sit pretty and even walk on his back legs as a good organ grinder monkey wannabe. As with other small, toy dogs, this breed may be challenging to house train. A crate may be helpful until this dog attains better bladder and bowel control.
The Ideal Household
Are they good with kids? With a clownish demeanor you would expect this breed to do wonderfully with children, and they may if dealing with older children who respect them. They may not be very patient with very young kids. This breed is sensitive and doesn’t take well to teasing. Also, consider their small size, they can easily be injured by a well-meaning child if stumbled on, sat on or dropped. Always supervise any interaction involving dogs and kids.
Are they good with other pets? Well, you definitively can’t keep them near hamsters, ferrets, gerbils, rats and guinea pigs, as their past as ratters may resurface at the sight of these critters. They may though do well with other dogs and occasionally cats when raised with them from a young age. However, be careful with his interaction with large dogs you aren’t sure of… this breed may try to attack other dogs that are 10 times his size and a large dog can easily break this dog’s neck with one quick shake.
Living quarters: while originally this breed did well on farms, stables and factories, it’s small size makes him suitable for apartment living. His occasional barking should be kept in consideration though. While he’s not as yappy as other small dogs, you’ll still hear him voice his opinion every now and then and he may throw a fit when strangers or animals approach his turf. Despite doing well in a small yard, this breed will still need exercise and walks.
This breed is blessed with a wiry coat. You may hear that this breed has an hypoallergenic coat, but consider that there’s really no such thing a a totally hypoallergenic dog. Because of its wiry texture, you may see less hair on the floor, but this dog may be prone to mats. This breed requires regular brushing and trimming. Plan on giving a good combing and brushing twice a week and a trimming twice a year.
Finding an Affenpinsher
Finding an affenpinsher. This breed isn’t easy to comeby, indeed, it’s quite rare. Expect to pay a premium because of that. Look for a responsible breeder who health tests the breed for othopedic and eye problems. Alternatively, look for one in need of a loving home from the Affenpinscher Rescue.
This is a small breed dog weighing anywhere between 7 to 9 pounds and standing about 9 to 12 inches at the withers . The coat is rough with a wiry texture, but can be soften when clipped. The coat is slightly longer by the head and shoulders forming a mane. The face boasts a short muzzle and a beardedappearance. The bite is slightly overshot. Coat colors may vary with several different colors available ranging between grey, silver, red, black and tan, and belge, a coat color composed by a mixture of red, brown, black and white hairs. Black however remains the preferred color, especially in in Europe and England were only black and a light frosting of gray is permissible.
Health: This breed may be prone to luxating patellas, hip dysplasia, Legg-Calves-Perthes, collapsed trachea, cataracts and heart murmers. Their small mouth makes them prone to dental problems. They are also susceptible to a progressive neurological condition known as syringomyelia. Lifespans in this breed range between 11 and 14 years.