Dog Breed Info Center(R) DBIC


Information and Pictures

Affenpinscher laying down on a patio table

Augie the Affenpinscher at 1 year old

Other Names



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

Affenpinscher laying on a couch

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

Affenpinscher laying on brick faced patio table near umbrella

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

Two Affenpinscher Puppies 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.”

Affenpinscher standing in front of a carpet

Ashley the Affenpinscher

Affenpinscher headshot in grass

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

Affenpinscher sitting down in a car with big yellow dog tag

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!"

Affenpinscher puppy wearing a big yellow dog tag sitting with a window in the background

Peter the Affenpinscher at 1 and a half years old

Affenpinscher sitting in the driver seat of car

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

Affenpinscher sitting on a fluffy dog bed which is on a hardwood floor

"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!!"

Affenpinscher with heart dog tag sitting against a white wall

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

Affenpinscher standing on couch with teddy bear

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