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March 16, 2012 at 10:21 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0


By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Purebred Star Blog Series

Busybody, outgoing, and loyal to their family, could this adorable "Monkey" be your next dog?

The Affenpinscher traces its lineage to 17th century Germany, which makes them one of the oldest known breeds! However, they're relatively new to America, as they didn't begin arriving in the United States en masse until the 1930's.

Keep in mind that this breed is the progenitor of two well-known descendents: the Brussels Griffon and the Miniature Schnauzer.

Protective Nature

Originally, Affenpinschers were bred to protect barns and stables, making sure that no rats or other rodents overstayed their welcome. Their guardian nature also extended to businesses and even homes to ward off any unwanted creatures. Nowadays, the Affe is bred as a companion dog for families.

Monkey Mugs

The Affe has a face that one can easily fall in love with! The word Affe means "monkey"; in German, so it comes as no surprise that the Affe is also known as the"Monkey Dog." They have longer hair on their head, eyebrows and beard, giving them that monkey-like appearance. (And a cute one at that!)

The Affenpinscher is a small breed, yet hardy little breed! Their height ranges from 9 to 11.5", and they tip the scales between 7 and 10 lbs.

Their most common fur color is black, but they can also be gray, black/tan, or even red. One other part to their appearance, which I find endearing, is that the hair on their chest can have little streaks of white. Their coats are either shaggy and wiry or soft and fluffy, depending on how often this little breed gets a brushing. Their ears can be erect, semi-erect, or dropped, and their tail is long and curves over their back.

Goofballs of Energy

Affes tend to be busybodies - inquisitive, adventurous, and stubborn - and they love causing trouble with their curiosity, so be sure to keep a sense of humor with these little guys. They're a fun-loving dog that is also known for their undying loyalty.

While the Affe is a lot of fun, they need their owner to set boundaries so that their curiosity doesn't get the best of them! They like to control their environment, so owners: Don’t give in to that cute little face! Make sure to discipline them when they act up.

As for socialization, in order to do well with children and strangers later in life, they need to be exposed to a wide range of people. Still, despite socialization, Affes are occasionally known to struggle with small children and other dogs, as they tend to be very protective of their toys and food. If you do have small children and are considering an Affe, bear in mind that they sometimes have issues with kids and should be trained and socialized from an early age.

One last thing: Affenpinschers can be difficult to potty train, which again brings in the notion of discipline. Firmly establishing a routine and holding your Affe to it will always produce positive results.

Looking for Adventure?

Affes are explorers at heart, but their activity level is moderate. They love discovery and enjoy adventuring into their environment. Proper mental and physical stimulation will help keep the Affe from getting into trouble, try and give them two 30-minute walks per day.

They enjoy spending time with their family, so tagging along on errands and other small trips with you are high on their list of things to do each day beside eating, playing, getting into trouble, and napping.

Health Concerns

Their health issues include eye problems, hip dysplasia, Legg-Perthes disease (degenerative disease of the hip joint), luxating patellas, and patent ductus arteriosus (a heart problem where an artery does not close). As with any breed, avoiding some of the nasty dog food out there and selecting a high-quality food instead, should extend their life and decrease their chances of developing these problems. The typical life span of an Affenpinscher ranges from 11 to 14 years.

Adopt First

Consider looking for an Affenpinscher through rescue organizations first. Every year, there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!

At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.

On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!      

Photo Credits:


Dog Bible, Edited by Kristin Mehus-Roe, 2005

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