Affenpinscher – The Monkey Terrier, SLC, UT – Rocky Mountain Pooper Scoopers


Commonly called the “Affen” the Affenpinscher is often described several different ways including “The Monkey Terrier,” or “Ape Terrier.” The French also refer to them as “diablotin moustachu” or “mustached little devil.” Fans of Star Wars even say that the “Affen” looks like an Ewok or a Wookie. What or who do you think the “Affen” looks like?

The “Affen” is a terrier breed that is small but sturdy, standing less than a foot tall in height. They were originally bred in Germany to kill rats, mice and other vermin from kitchens and stables. In fact, that’s where one of their nicknames comes from. “Affen” in German, just so happens to mean ‘monkey.’

In the 1600’s a dog similar to the “Affen” was quite well known but the “Affen” itself came to be in the 17th Century. They are an ancestor to both the Brussels Griffon and the Miniature Schnauzer. Original colors included grey, fawn, black and tan, and even red.

The “Affen” of today comes in several colors, including black, grey, silver, black and tan, beige or red while others might be white with grey mixed in to their coats. Some “Affen” dogs may even have a patch of white on their neck mixed in with their solid color coat.

Speaking of their coat, it’s short and wiry and described as “shaggy, but neat.” It’s thick and rough and approximately one inch thick on the “Affen” body. Their tails are almost always docked, especially if they are shown in the ring. While they might be small in size, they are rather large on confidence.

The typical size of an “Affen” is between 9 to 11 1⁄2 inches, standing at the shoulder. They weigh between 7 and 9 pounds when fully grown which is great if you live in a small space. There also easy to transport when traveling because they don’t take up a lot of space. They are one of the most energetic toy breeds but they don’t require a lot of exercise which is good if you don’t have much of a yard for them to play in. One or two short walks a day should do the trick to keep your “Affen” in shape.

If they are properly cared for, the average lifespan of the “Affen” is somewhere between twelve and fourteen years of age. Owning one,

however, is not without risk. Consider the following factors before bringing an “Affen” home to join your family:


Toy breeds are often fragile and this is something many dog owners don’t take into consideration before they bring home an “Affen.” They can easily be injured or even killed if stepped on or they can injure themselves if they happen to jump off a sofa or a chair. Larger dogs also pose a threat to the “Affen” because they can easily grab them and injure or even kill them. If you want to own an “Affen” realize they need constant supervision. They are also nosy dogs who are better off kept inside due to their high risk of injury.


While the “Affen” might appear to be friendly to other humans or other animals they are still suspicious of anyone they might consider to be “theirs.” Without careful training and socialization, the “Affen” will be suspicious of anyone and everything.

House Training

Anyone who owns a toy breed knows how difficult they are to house train. It only takes a minute for an “Affen” to sneak under a table or behind the couch to do his or her business. If you don’t catch an “Affen” in the moment and correct them, then the behavior can escalate rather quickly. You’ll need to be consistent and firm when bringing home an “Affen” to join your family. It’s also important to remember that they shouldn’t be left alone unsupervised until able to control their bodily functions.

Stubborn Dogs

The “Affen” can be quite stubborn and will be certain to let you know that it doesn’t do what you want it to do. They are often quick to bark which means it’s important teach them when, and when they should not bark.


The “Affen” needs regular brushing in order to keep their coat free of mats and tangles. They should also be clipped and trimmed regularly, as well.

Health Issues

While most “Affen” dogs live a long, full life, as mentioned above, their lives are not without health concerns. They are susceptible to a neurological disorder called Syringomyelia which can be devastating. They also tend to suffer from allergies, itchy skin and knee joint problems. The surgery to correct the knee joint problems can often be quite expensive which is something to consider.

If you wish to avoid the negative behavior that often comes with owning an “Affen,” it might be best to seek out an adult dog.  Adopting an adult dog means you can easily see what type of behavior is present in the dog you are considering. Adult dogs can often be found at your local animal shelter or through a rescue group.

When adopting an “Affen” puppy, you can avoid the negative traits by choosing the right puppy. When approaching a breeder, be sure to ask questions about the bloodline of your potential puppy. Ask for records that discuss the health history of both the mother and the father. If the breeder you are speaking with doesn’t have proper records or they don’t want to answer any of your questions, it’s once again, best to seek out another breeder.

After taking into consideration the health history of your new puppy, you’ll need to find the right dog trainer. If possible, attend a class and see how the trainer works before signing up your new “Affen.”

Waiting List

Finding an “Affen” in the United States is often difficult because only around 100 are registered each year. With so few in number, it means that the gene pool is small. This results in inbreeding between dogs which leads to the likelihood that many “Affen” dogs will develop health problems at some point during their lifetime.

Before adopting please remember, however, that the “Affen” is a breed of dog that is often hard to maintain but if properly cared for, your Affenpinscher will be loyal to you for life. He’ll make a great watchdog who won’t hesitate to jump into action in order to protect his family.

Today we would like to thank www.akc.org, www.britannica.com and www.yourpurebredpuppy.com for helping us with this post. Be sure to visit all three sites to learn more about dogs, as well as the history of your favorite breed of dog.

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