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Country/Date of Origin: Germany/1600s

The Affenpinscher is an ancient breed, although its origins are not recorded. It was known in Germany in the seventeenth century and is thought to be the foundation breed for the more familiar Brussels Griffon and perhaps the Miniature Schnauzer as well. The American Kennel Club classifies the breed as a toy, but elsewhere it is considered a terrier. The original job of the little bristle faced imp was a traditional terrier task as stable rat catcher.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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Monkey Terrier

AKC Group: Toy

Breed Club: Affenpinscher Club of America

Rescue Club: Affenpinscher Rescue

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Body Type:

  • Height: 10 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 7-8 pounds
  • Ears are erect and usually cropped to a point
  • Tail is docked and carried high


  • A loyal and devoted pal, the Affenpinscher tends to be a one-person dog
  • A mark of its terrier blood is the tendency for the Affenpinscher to become hyper excited
  • The breed is headstrong and quite fearless against any size aggressor, carrying itself with a comical seriousness
  • Intelligent but not particularly trainable, the Affenpinscher has a mind of its own


  • Harsh wiry coat is short on the body, longer on head and legs
  • A definite mustache and beard give the dog a monkey-face expression
  • Black is the preferred color but black with tan markings, red or gray mixtures are allowed
  • Moderate upkeep; should not be bathed too often as this destroys the crisp, wirehaired feel of the coat

Health Concerns:

  • The tiny size and fearless nature can lead to broken bones
  • Teeth require special care
  • Slipped stifle (subluxated patella) can cause the dog to have a "hitch" in its movement
  • Prominent eyes are subject to scratches and ulcers
  • Fungal infections in wrinkle between nose and eyes
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • Affe means ape or monkey in German
  • An excellent companion for those whose physical activities are limited
  • For its size, the Affenpinscher is a good watchdog
  • This breed is quite rare and finding a puppy may be difficult

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