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Curious and confident little dogs, Affenpinschers are best for pet parents who can offer consistent training, positive reinforcement and guidance. These clever, small dogs thrive on attention in homes big or small and do best when their pet parent is around for most of the day.
Has your curious personality ever led people to think you’re nosy? Affenpinschers know how you feel. The Affenpinscher is an incredibly curious and clever breed. Pair that with their playfulness and you’ve got a seriously entertaining dog on your hands. From walking on their back legs to dexterously grappling with toys and balls, your Affenpinscher’s antics will bring energy and joy to your home.
But Affenpinschers also have something of a Napoleon complex: a classic “big dog in a small body.” While they’re fearless and deeply loyal, pet parents would be wise to think carefully before pairing an Affenpinscher with little kids. The dog’s quick, explosive movements might scare little ones, and toddlers’ rough play might irritate or frighten the dog, triggering a barking spree. So, it’s important to not only supervise play with children but also socialize and train dogs and teach children how to properly interact with dogs.
Less bouncy than Pomeranians but more energetic than lap dogs, Affenpinschers could be trained to excel as a therapy dog, an office dog or a loyal sidekick for teens and adults.
How to Care for a Affenpinscher
The Affenpinscher breed may be small, but their maintenance needs are not. Like human toddlers, Affenpinschers need pet parents to provide frequent physical care, positive reinforcement (aka rewards like treats, toys and praise for good behavior) and stimulation for their busy minds. The good news is that the Affenpinscher’s size means they can thrive even in the tiniest of homes!
Affenpinschers have a lifespan of 12-15 years. They are generally hardy dogs, but they do have a few health issues to watch out for. Knowing the health problems this breed is at risk for can help you keep your Affenpinscher healthy for a long time.
- Patellar Luxation: This common issue in toy breeds occurs when the dog’s kneecap pops out of place, resulting in a limp. Your vet can screen for this issue with a standard patella evaluation. If patellar luxation occurs in your Affenpinscher, ask your vet if your dog needs surgery to correct the problem.
- Heart Disease: Affens are susceptible to a few heart diseases such as patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) and mitral valve disease. PDA is a congenital heart defect that occurs when an arterial shunt doesn’t close after birth and may be treated with surgery. Mitral valve disease occurs when the mitral valve weakens and doesn’t close properly. Treatments may include prescription medications and potentially a prescription diet, like Hill’s or Royal Canin. Make sure your breed has your puppy examined by a vet and, better yet, has a health certificate to screen for murmurs or other congenital abnormalities. If you’re concerned about possible heart anomalies, talk to your vet.
- Vision Problems: Affenpinschers can develop eye problems such as glaucoma (pressure that eventually damages the optic nerve) and cataracts (gradual clouding of vision). Affenpinschers are also more likely than other dogs to have progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), a genetic eye disease. Breeders should screen Affenpinscher puppies for PRA. If you think your puppy or adult dog has developed a new eye issue, talk to a veterinary ophthalmologist about treatment options, which could include medicine or surgery.
- Breathing Troubles: Affenpinschers are brachycephalic and can overheat and have trouble breathing when temperatures soar. (Brachycephalic pups have shortened airways that give them their distinctive squishy faces.) This is easily prevented by carefully monitoring your dog on summer days. Stick to the shade, keep water handy, and stop activity immediately if the dog seems to be struggling to pant.
The Affenpinscher origin story begins in 17th century Germany, when these tiny working dogs were bred to kill mice and rats. But whether by Affenpinscher intelligence or pure cuteness overload, they made their way indoors and into the hearts and homes of their parents.
As Affenpinschers joined the ranks of European house pets, various Affenpinscher clubs formed in France and Germany. The American Kennel Club welcomed them as an official breed in 1936, shortly before World War II. The war detracted from the breed’s popularity for some time, but Affenpinschers’ qualities of cuteness, playfulness and loyalty helped them make a comeback in recent years.
Here’s a fun Affenpinscher fact: In 2013, an Affenpinscher named Banana Joe made breed history by snagging the Best in Show award at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Since then, Affenpinscher popularity has skyrocketed.
Thinking of adding an Affenpinscher to your home? Generally, you can expect an Affenpinscher puppy to cost between $650-$2,000 for a pup who’s been screened for health and temperament issues. Check out the AKC’s website to find a reputable breeder. If you plan to buy an Affenpinscher puppy from a breeder, prepare a list of questions about the dog’s health, personality traits and any training (housebreaking, for instance) that has been provided. You can also seek out local Affenpinscher rescues to find a loving dog to adopt or keep an eye out for the breed at your local animal shelter. You can also search Chewy’s database of adoptable dogs in your area.
Do Affenpinschers shed?
Yes, Affenpinschers shed but not excessively. Their wiry coat tends to shed less than breeds with softer or longer fur, making this breed ideal for pet parents who don’t want to vacuum up hair every day.
How do you pronounce Affenpinscher?
Affenpinscher is pronounced aaf-ihn-PIHN-sher.
What are the most common Affenpinscher mixes?
The most common Affenpinscher mixes are:
- Affenpinscher-Brussels Griffon mix (Affengriffon)
- Affenpinscher-Chihuahua mix (Affenhuahua)
- Affenpinscher-Yorkshire Terrier mix (Affenpinscher Yorkie)
- Afenpinscher-Poodle mix (Affenpoo)
- Affenpinscher-Miniature Schnauzer mix (Schnauffen)
Note: These are not purebred dogs but mixed breeds.
What does Affenpinscher mean?
Affenpinscher means “monkey-like terrier” or “monkey dog” in German.
Are Affenpinschers smart dogs?
Yes, Affenpinschers are known to be smart dogs. They sometimes have a bad reputation as being untrainable, but that’s because many Affenpinscher puppies are a bit strong-willed. With patience and positive reinforcement, these smart, independent dogs respond well to training.
Do Affenpinschers bark a lot?
No, Affenpinschers do not typically bark a lot, but they can get yappy when anxious, scared or overstimulated. Like any dog, they can learn to quiet down on command or “talk” or bark when encouraged.
Affenpinschers are clever, entertaining pets who make great companion dogs. They are trusty, spunky little sidekicks for active families, and these lionhearted dogs are eager to stick by your side, offer snuggles and make you laugh morning, noon and night.
Expert input provided by Dr. Amanda Williams, DVM, a veterinarian at Furry Friends Adoption, Clinic & Ranch in Jupiter, Florida; and Emilea Byrum, KPA-CTP, RVT, owner and head trainer at Maggie’s Foundation: Pet Training in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Breed characteristic ratings provided by veterinarian Dr. Sarah J. Wooten, DVM, CVJ, a veterinarian at Sheep Draw Veterinary Hospital in Greeley, Colorado; dog trainer and behavior consultant Irith Bloom, CPDT-KSA, CBCC-KA, CDBC, owner of The Sophisticated Dog, LLC, in Los Angeles; and certified animal behavior consultant Amy Shojai, CABC, in Sherman, Texas.
The health content was medically reviewed by Chewy vets.
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Top Affenpinscher Names
These are the top Affenpinscher names as chosen by Chewy's pet parents!
- Ginger Adam