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Affenpinscher Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

If you’re considering purchasing or adopting an Affenpincher, you’ll find the following article interesting.  Interesting because in this article, we’re going to discuss some of the PROS and CONS of owning such a cute little dog as well as try and shed some light on the origins of the breed as well.

Affehpinscher Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  Germany

Original Purpose:  Hunting vermin, lapdog

Size: 6-13 pounds

Height: 1 foot tall

Talkative: barks a lot!

Lifespan: Up to 15 years

Dog breed Classification:  Toy Group

Nickname: Monkey Dog

Origin of the Breed

The first thing you’ll likely notice about the Affenpinscher is how cute these little guys are. But don’t let their cuteness fool you; these little dogs were initially bred for a different purpose.

Affenpinschers were initially bred to help control the rodent population widespread in many homes and stables across central Europe during the 1700s.

However, over time…

The irresistible charm of Affenpinschers led to them being bred as companion animals and lap dogs for the wealthy elite. Their cuteness proved too powerful to resist, and they transitioned from their original role as rodent hunters to become beloved pets.

Later In 1936…

The American Kennel Club (AKC) eventually recognized the breed and outlined what unique features of the Affenpinscher breed which would be used to differentiate it from many other species within the toy dog category.  Other species include the Brussels Griffon (aka griffon bruxellois).

It should also be noted that when researching the Affenpinscher breed, you may find that they will also be referred to as:

  • Affen,
  • Affie,
  • African Terrier,
  • Or our personal favorite, the Monkey Dog and  Monkey Terrier.

It would be best if you also were careful not to allow the pronunciation of Affenpinscher to lead you to believe that this dog breed is related to a German Pinscher or a Miniature Pinscher.

The personality of an Affenpinscher

This little pup’s personality is just as adorable as its looks. You see, the Affenpinscher dog, or an Affenpinscher puppy, is known for behaving like a little goofball.  Moreover, they’re pretty creative and adventurous for dogs. In addition to their appearance, their playful antics and sensitivity often capture the hearts of their devoted owners.


If you’re seeking a small dog with a great personality, an Affenpinscher might be precisely what you’re looking for! However, it’s important to remember that just because an Affenpinscher is a good fit doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a good fit for them.

That’s why here at IndulgeYourPet always recommend reaching out to experts specializing in this breed, such as the folks at the Affenpinscher Club of America. They can provide valuable insights and even help you meet and socialize with current Affenpinscher owners in your area.

That being said, we can answer a few questions here to give you a general idea of whether having an Affenpinscher in your life would be a good fit. So, without further ado, let’s address some of the most common questions we receive.

I work all day, is it “ok” to Leave my Affenpinschers alone?

If you work full-time outside your home, one important question arises when considering any dog breed: how long can you leave an Affenpinscher alone? Well, let’s put it this way: if you were to install a doggy cam and go to work, chances are you would see a moping Affenpinscher, feeling lonely and eagerly waiting by the window or the door for your return.

Affenpinschers are very social animals that love to be around others.  Now we all know that it’s impossible to take your dog everywhere, but if you know that you’re a person who will generally be out of the house without your dog for 10, 12, or even 14 hours a day, deciding to purchase or adopt an Affenpinscher may not be the best bet for you or them.


If you work at home or don’t need to leave your little guy alone for extended periods, adding an Affenpinscher to your life could be a great idea!  Because chances are, the two of you will get along like two peas in a pod.  So, when you need a quick stretch from the desk, your Affenpinscher will be there to entertain you, and when he needs some human love and play, you’ll be there for him.

Affenpinschers are one of IndulgeYourPet’s top “Toy Dog” choices for people who work at home.

Exercise for Affenpinschers

Affenpinschers are high-energy doggies and are ready to rumble! After all, since their main job was working the stables, they still had the energy to put in a full day. Now this doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily going to have to walk around the neighborhood all day long because, let’s face it, Affehpinschers are pretty small dogs, and if you’ve ever been in a room with one, you’ll know that Affenpinschers don’t need a ton of space to get a lot of exercise….

“These dogs bounce around the room like electrified ping-pong balls!”


Be ready to play with your Affenpinscher a lot!

This dog is not a lounger and isn’t going to want to sit around the house all day dog. And if you don’t let them play and discover, they will likely get a bit moody and depressed.

Grooming an Affenpinscher

One good thing is that despite their “manicured appearance” (insert sarcasm here), when grooming an Affenpinscher, there isn’t much you need to know or do.  Particularly when compared to other dog breeds.

Now their bushy little coats will need to be brushed occasionally. Still, when considering some of the alternatives within the Toy Group family (think Pekingese), Affenpinschers are pretty easy to deal with!

Affenpinschers and Kids

One question a lot of people will have is how kid-friendly are Affenpinschers? The good news is that Effies are very playful and fun dogs that will make you laugh, but that being said, they wouldn’t necessarily be our “first choice” for many parents because Affenpinschers can get really riled up around rambunctious kids, and perhaps even get a bit “jealous.”

They may even…

Snap at a child, which would be bad for the dog and the child. This is why we always recommend that folks who have small children or think they may have children in the future think twice before buying an Affenpinscher.

Can an Affenpinscher live in an apartment?

Despite their need to be active, Affenpinschers can live in apartments quite easily so long as they can still play around and get their walks. They may bark occasionally, and your neighbors might not be too happy about that, but it’s not constant and will not be excessively loud.

Or in other words, Affehpinscherss don’t need – and don’t prefer – being in the backyard the whole day, so an apartment will work great!

General Health of Affenpinschers

Like all bred dogs, Affenpinscher has a set of common health concerns that can plague the breed. Luckily, the Affenpinscher dog breed is comparably healthy compared to other Toy breeds out there; think Italian Greyhound.

That said, however…

Affenpinschers do have a few health concerns that we want to bring to your attention so that you can be on the lookout for them when you reach out to a responsible Affenpinscher breeder or considering adopting an adult Affenpinscher from a kennel

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease.

Affenpinschers are prone to Legg calve-perthes disease, a problem with the hip joint. This is often detected before the dog is one year. Surgery for leg calves per these diseases in Affenpinschers costs around $1000-3500.

Patellar Luxation.

The patella, femur, and tibia all come together. But sometimes in Affenpinschers with Patellar luxation, these three bones don’t quite line up, causing problems in the leg or arthritis. Serious patellar luxation might require surgery. The cost of patellar luxation in Affenpinschers is roughly $1200-3500.

Hip Dysplasia

Another problem of the hip, Affenpinschers are prone to hip dysplasia (though Legg Calve Perthes Disease is more common). Before buying a puppy, inquire about the parents’ health because this is a hereditary problem. To limit risk factors, don’t feed Affenpinschers a high-calorie diet – seek advice from your vet. The cost for hip dysplasia surgery in Affehpinschers is $1200-6500.

We here at IndulgeYourPet have also spent considerable time researching many of the “top” dog food brands out there and have comprised our own Top 10 Dog Food Choices you may be interested in reading.

Now you may be thinking…

Wow!  Affenpinschers have some severe health risks I must be aware of.  And some of those health risks are expensive!  And to this, we say…

“Yep,” welcome to the joys of pet ownership, but one thing you might want to consider looking at while searching for your new companion is…

“How much would it cost to purchase a pet insurance policy on an Affenpinscher puppy?”

If the insurance is affordable, deciding to move forward and get an Affenpinscher may seem manageable.

For more information about how pet insurance policies work and if purchasing one is correct, we strongly encourage you to check out our article: Best Pet Insurance Companies.

You may also be interested in visiting our complete list of dog breeds, where you can learn more about other “types” of dogs that may interest you.

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