Dog Breed Info Center(R) DBIC


Information and Pictures

The front right side of a black Affenpinscher that is laying on brick faced patio table. Its mouth is open and its tongue is sticking out.

Augie the Affenpinscher at 1 year old

Other Names
  • Affen
  • Affie
  • African Terrier
  • Monkey Dog
  • Monkey Terrier



The Affenpinscher is a small dog with a shaggy, wiry-type coat. The hair on the face is longer than the rest of the body giving it a distinct look. It is a smaller version of a working terrier and is not a delicate dog. It has a square body, with a moderately broad, deep chest. The head is round with a pronounced stop, which is the transition area from the backskull to the muzzle. The lower jaw is undershot, and broad enough for the lower teeth to be straight and even, protruding below the dog's short nose. The prominent, round eyes are black. The neck is short and arched and the limbs are straight and well boned. The tail is carried high and docked to two-thirds its length. The hairy ears are customarily docked, pointed and erect, however some countries have banned docking of animal's tails and ears. The coat is usually black or dark gray, but can also come in lighter gray, silver, red, or black and tan. The undercoat is slightly curly.


The Affenpinscher has a terrier-like personality. They tend to get along with other dogs and pets, especially when they are raised with them. They are busy, bold, inquisitive and stubborn, but they also love to monkey around, being playful and mischievous. A lively, sharp-witted little dog that is courageous and confident. A fearless defender, the Affenpinscher will quickly become an authoritarian if owners do not give the proper rules, boundaries, limitations and constantly be this dog’s pack leader. It is very affectionate and amusing. This friendly little dog enjoys being with its family. It needs consistent, firm training. Make sure there is some variety in the training so the dog does not become bored. They learn commands very quickly. Some may be difficult to housebreak. They are not recommended for very young children, simply because most people who own the breed treat them like small dogs, lacking the proper pack leadership, causing negative behaviors to come out in the dog. Children should be taught how to properly handle a dog. Owners need to consistently be the dog's pack leader to avoid the tendency to guard their food and toys. They like to hike and go camping. Without leadership, it may unwisely challenge large dogs and other large animals. They tend to bark and even climb. This little dog does best with a family who likes entertainment and has a very good sense of humor. Any dog that displays growling, snapping or biting is lacking in pack leadership. These issues can be corrected as soon as the humans take control back from the dog.

Height, Weight

Height: 10 - 15 inches (25 - 38 cm)
Weight: 7 - 8 pounds (3 - 3.36 kg)

Health Problems

Some are prone to fractures, slipped stifle, PDA (patent ductus arteriosus), open fontanel and respiratory problems in hot weather.

Living Conditions

The Affenpinscher is good for apartment life. They are very active indoors and will do okay without a yard. These dogs are sensitive to temperature extremes. Overly warm living conditions are damaging to the coat.


The Affenpinscher needs a daily walk. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as in a dog's mind the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, play will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk. Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe open area off lead, such as a large fenced-in yard. Teach them to enter and exit door and gateways after the humans.

Life Expectancy

About 10-14 years

Litter Size

1 - 3 puppies, average 2


The Affenpinscher's harsh coat should never be clipped short because this ruins the coat for many years. It should be brushed and combed weekly and it may be necessary to pluck it. A dog-trimming specialist usually does this but it is possible to learn how to do it yourself. Show dogs require stripping. Hair sometimes grows in the corners of the eyes, causing irritation; they should be dealt with promptly. This breed sheds little to no hair.


No exact data about the Affenpinscher's origin exists, but it is one of the most ancient of the toy breeds. It is certainly related to the Brussels Griffon and probably to the terrier. It's named "Monkey Dog" because of its monkey-like facial structure and expression. It is believed that the Affenpinscher originated in Germany, and the name Affenpinscher translated from German is "Monkey Terrier." It is believed that the first Affenpinschers were larger in size as they were farm dogs that worked as ratters. The Affenpinscher was miniaturized and became a house pet during the 18th and 19th centuries. It is still a ruthless hunter of mice and an outstanding watchdog. Today the Affenpinscher is primarily a companion dog. The Affenpinscher was admitted to the American Kennel Club's studbook in 1936.


Terrier, AKC Toy

  • ACA = American Canine Association Inc.
  • ACR = American Canine Registry
  • AKC = American Kennel Club
  • ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club
  • APRI = America's Pet Registry, Inc.
  • CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
  • CKC = Continental Kennel Club
  • DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • FCI = Federation Cynologique Internationale
  • KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain
  • NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
  • NKC = National Kennel Club
  • NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club
The left side of a black Affenpinscher that is laying across a couch

"This is my Affen baby Abner, shortly after a hair cut."

Front side view of a small thick, long coated dog with a round head and small ears with a lot of hair coming off of them so they blend in with the head. The dog has almond shaped brown eyes and is wearing a blue harness.

"This is a photo of our 4-year-old Affen, Tuffy. He is just like a wind up toy, and makes us laugh all the time.."

The front right side of a tan Affenpinscher is laying on brick faced patio table near umbrella

This is Rose at 1 year old. Her coat color is called "red".

Two black Affenpinscher Puppies are standing in front of a white backdrop with flowers in front of them

"Avantgarde Affenpinschers is a top UK Affenpinscher breeder affix; there are 9 UK champions, 2 US, and 3 Swedish champions. We had won Best of Breed at Crufts and Best Opposite Sex both at once with Jezebel and Byron. Ch Avantgarde La Belle Dame Sans Merci and Ch Avantgarde Bad Mad and Dangerous to Know are shown in the picture.”

Topdown view of a black Affenpinscher that is standing in front of a carpet and it is looking up.

Ashley the Affenpinscher

Close up - The left side of a black Affenpinscher that is standing in grass

Bert is a 6-year-old Affenpinscher male trimmed in a non-traditional style.

The right side of a black Affenpinscher that is sitting down in a car with big yellow dog tag. It is looking forward.

Peter the Affenpinscher at 1 and a half years old—"He is a rescue and a mama's boy and very loveable, he has the funniest personality!"

Close up - A black Affenpinscher puppy is wearing a big yellow dog tag sitting with a window in the background

Peter the Affenpinscher at 1 and a half years old

Close up - The right side of a black Affenpinscher that is sitting in the driver seat of car and it is looking forward.

Peter the Affenpinscher at 1 and a half years old in the car.

Topdown view of a black Affenhuahua with bone shaped dog tag is sitting on a beanbag.

"This is our Affen Ally. AKC registered as 'Miss Kelly's Ally Girl'. We have so many pictures of her it was hard to choose which to send! She is every bit the Affen persona!!"

The right side of a black Affenpinscher that is wearing a heart dog tag and it is sitting against a white wall

Affen Ally, AKC registered as 'Miss Kelly's Ally Girl

A black Affenpinscher is standing up against a couch with teddy bear

Affen Ally, AKC registered as 'Miss Kelly's Ally Girl