Affenpinscher Photo

Affenpinscher Dog Breed Info & Pictures

The Affenpinscher is a cheeky monkey wrapped in a dog’s body. In fact, the name of this little bundle of gleeful mischief comes from “Affen,” the German word for monkey. The French gave them the esteemed title “diablotin moustachu,” or mustachioed little devil. The Affenpinscher dog is prone to funny and bizarre behavior. In fact, this firecracker of a pup packs a lot of energy and entertainment into a compact size.

Their eyes are round and dark, featuring the telltale gleam of a playful troublemaker. Their coat is thick, rough, and a bit long, considering the dog is toy-sized. The coloring is varied and can be black, silver, gray, tan, red, or beige. Even if the coat is lighter in color, they may have a black mask — a suitable marking, given their roguish nature.

Despite their amusing antics, Affenpinschers can come off as very serious when they are walking about due to their confident stride. (The distinguished mustache probably helps.)

Affenpinscher Fast Facts

12 - 14 years
17th century
7 - 9 lb
7 - 9 lb
9.5 - 11.5"
9.5 - 11.5"
Affenpincher, Affenpincer, or Afenpinscher.


Small of frame and stout of heart, Affenpinschers are spunky, scrappy, and curious comedians....

Affenpinscher dogs are brave and tenacious, and they would pair well with someone who shares their joy of mischief. They love to play, and their wiggly energy will make you want to drop what you are doing and play, too.

But be ready, because they share something in common with the monkeys they were named after a joy of climbing. Double-check whats on the countertop: Affenpinschers can get into all kinds of places a less determined dog wouldnt dare to try.

Affenpinschers are quite sociable. They take well to children and even other pets, which is a rare quality in a terrier. Even if your home is a bit busy, it doesnt take a lot of space to fit an Affenpinscher dog into your life. These dogs are incredibly brave, especially given their small size. If a scrap does break out, over a chew toy for example, there is absolutely no way they are backing down. It doesnt matter if the opposition is a Saint Bernard or if they are outnumbered.Sociable, funny, and energetic, these dogs are well suited to happy, energetic homes where everyone loves to laugh.

Caring For a Affenpinscher

Dont let the tiny package trick you these dogs are pretty active....

They need quite a bit of exercise compared to other toy-sized breeds, although the activity doesnt have to be overly intense. Playing tug-of-war with a sock indoors, a backyard game of running to and fro, or short, brisk walks are enough for them. But they can get bored easily, so while they dont need a membership to the local gym, exercise is best done daily so that comedy doesnt degrade into calamity.

Affenpinschers are OK with moderate temperatures, but they are prone to overheating quickly due to their thick coat, which needs to be brushed twice a week. Their fur also needs a good shaping now and then, preferably every three to four months, to keep it from getting unruly. They are happier indoors in a comfortable home, so keep them close to you. After all, you dont want to miss whatever crazy plot they will think up next!

Affenpinscher History

Breed History

With a name like Affenpinscher (monkey-terrier), you know theres some colorful history....

There are paintings dating back to the 15th century that show dogs who bear a striking resemblance to the modern Affenpinscher, who are probably the breeds ancestors. (But how anyone got them to sit still long enough to draft a painting is lost in the sands of time.)

However, these dogs were definitely around in 17th century Germany. At that stage, the Affenpinscher was a bit larger, and they busied themselves hunting rats and other pests in stables and kitchens. Given the breed's propensity for climbing and mischief-making, its a definite possibility that more than one Affenpinscher helped themselves to a reward from the kitchen counter for a job well done when the cooks back was turned.

Time went on, and the breed became a star choice as a noblewomans lap dog, dodging the hard life of a working dog and plying their trade as entertainers instead. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1936, they are a rare dog, both in the US and abroad. Affenpinscher puppies are the perfect choice for mischievous people who dare to be different. Learn more about your local Affenpinscher rescue and Affenpinscher breeders in our breeder directory!