Affenpinscher (Toy Group)
The Affenpinscher, whose name literally means “monkey”, certainly lives up to that name because it loves to monkey around, so to speak. With its bold and independent personality, this dog is always clowning and having fun. They love to stay busy, and unlike most members of the Toy Group, Affenpinschers tend to get along well with other dogs.
The breed is certainly a favorite among families that love to have an entertaining pet that can make everyone laugh. But don’t get the idea that the Affenpinscher is only good for smiles – they are also excellent watchdogs!
Brief History of The Affenpinscher
With its spunky attitude and lively personality, the Affenpinscher certainly acts in accordance with its name. The word “Affen” means monkey and “Pinscher” means terrier. The French refer to the dog as the diablotin moustachu, which means “mustached little devil”.
Although we know that the area of origin of the breed is in Germany, its exact specific origins are still obscure. One of the oldest toy breeds, its history has been traced back to the 1600s in paintings from the old Dutch Masters who displayed dogs that resembled the breed.
By the 17th century, the Europeans used small terriers to help catch rats. The Germans also used the little dogs to keep rodents away from kitchens and other areas where food was stored. There were even smaller versions of the dogs that were bred as lap dogs and mice killers. It was these smaller versions that became the Affenpinscher.
As time passed, the dogs were refined through crosses with the German Silky Pinscher, Standard German Pinscher, and the Pug. The Germans claimed the breed as its creation due to the high popularity it had with the people at that time. The AKC recognized the dog in 1936. After World War II the breed’s numbers declined, making them one of the rarer toy breeds seen today.
Upkeep Requirements for The Affenpinscher
Although this dog can be a bit boisterous and seem to have an endless amount of energy, the exercise requirements for the Affenpinscher can be met with daily playtime and a few brisk walks on the leash. They love playing outside but these little guys should not stay outdoors, but rather sleep inside at night.
Affenpinscher dogs need lots of love and attention. They thrive off of human contact and absolutely love to be the center of the action. They make great watchdogs because of their need to bark at any unknown sound, but should not be counted on for protection ability. Grooming requirements consist of a thorough combing, three times per week (due to the harsh coat). Clipping should be done about four times yearly.
The average life span of the Affenpinscher is between twelve and fourteen years. They are a healthy breed with absolutely no major Health Concerns. Minor issues may include corneal ulcers and patellar luxation. Rarely seen are respiratory problems, open fontanel, and PDA. Veterinarians suggest that Affenpinscher dogs get tested for potential cardiac and knee problems.