Affenpinscher Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits

A charming little dog, the affenpinscher is generally quiet but can exhibit terrier spark and fire when excited.

Affenpinscher at a glance
The Affenpinscher Dog Breed

The French describe the affenpinscher as the "diablotin moustachu", or "mustached little devil."


Weight Range:

Male: 7-9 lbs.
Female: 7-9 lbs.

Height at Withers:

Male: 10 in.
Female: 10 in.


Floppy ears (naturally), upright ears (naturally)


Exercise Requirements: 20-40 minutes/day
Energy Level: Very energetic
Longevity Range: 12-14 yrs
Tendency to Drool: Low
Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: High
Tendency to Dig: Low
Social/Attention Needs: High

Bred For:

Small rodent hunting, lapdog


Length: Medium
Characteristics: Hard coat, dense
Colors: Black, gray, silver, black and tan
Tendency to Shed: Low
Coat Less Allergenic: Yes
Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate

Club Recognition:

AKC Classification: Toy
UKC Classification: Dog
Prevalence: So-so

The affenpinscher, or monkey terrier, was so named for its unusual facial appearance, particularly its large, dark eyes and protruding lower jaw and lip. The affenpinscher has a domed skull, short muzzle and ears that are cropped to a point or naturally either drop or stand erect or semi-erect.

This is a sturdy, broad-chested, compact dog that stands between nine and 12 inches high at the withers and weighs eight to 10 pounds (three to four kilograms). The tail can be either docked to one to three inches or left in its natural state, which is longer with a slight dorsal curve.

The dense, coarse and shaggy coat may be black, gray, silver, black-and-tan or ruddy brown.


Described by the French as the "diablotin moustachu," or mustached little devil, the affenpinscher is a charming little dog, alert and inquisitive, loyal and affectionate. Generally a quiet dog, the affenpinscher may exhibit terrier spark and fire when excited. Affenpinschers are generally fearless toward any threat.

The breed possesses impressive forepaw dexterity and has a penchant for grappling and tossing toys.

Living With:

The Affenpinscher is a generally delightful household companion. Affenpinschers often do well with children, although some individuals have lower tolerance for the high energy of kids. Owing to its heritage as a rodent hunter, affenpinschers typically are not compatible with small pets, particularly rodents.

Although they are in the hypoallergenic category of dog breeds, affenpinschers do indeed shed. While Affenpinschers require little grooming, it is advised that their coats be stripped on a regular basis. A simple technique, stripping involves pulling the dead, dull hair out, leaving the shiny new hair behind. Diligent stripping dramatically reduces shedding.


The affenpinscher originated in Germany. Although these small wiry dogs are depicted as ratters and companions in artwork dating back to the 1500s, the breed did not appear in the written record until the 19th century. At that time, there were two varieties: a larger, long-muzzled type, and a smaller, round-headed, shorter-muzzled dog with a prominent jaw. The former is believed to have eventually become known as the miniature schnauzer, and the latter as the affenpinscher.

In the 1900s, most affenpinscher breeding took place in Bavaria and Saxony. The breed achieved popularity just before World War I, but its numbers decreased during the war. They again became popular from the mid-1920s until World War II. The American Kennel Club admitted the affenpinscher in 1936.

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