Pawstray

Mexican Hairless

Admit it: You’ve always wanted your own personal Ewok. Well, the Affenpinscher is a dog in Ewok clothing. Dubbed “monkey terriers” and “mustachioed little devils,” Affenpinschers are curious, have the confidence of a dog ten times their size and are hilarious. Up for equal parts side-splitting laughter and exasperation? Grab a front-row seat to this breed’s proud comedic antics and sneaky escape artist tendencies. Of course, raising an Affenpinscher offers more than entertainment. Affenpinscher dogs are trusty, loving sidekicks as long as you return the favor with attentive companionship. Whether you’re working from home or heading into a dog-friendly co-working space, your Affenpinscher wants nothing more than to be with you every step of the way.

Best For

Affenpinschers are best for homes without small children. They thrive on attention in homes big or small and do best when their pet parent is around for most of the day.

Affenpinscher Traits

Breed Characteristics

Here are the qualities you can expect when raising an Affenpinscher on a scale of 1 paw (low) to 5 paws (high). These attributes were rated by several pet experts, including a dog trainer, veterinarian and behaviorist. Remember that dogs are individuals, and not all dogs, even of the same breed, will fit the mold.

Friendliness

4/5
Exercise Needs
 
3/5
Health Issues
 
3/5
Barking Tendencies
 
2/5
Grooming Needs
 
3/5
Shedding Level
 
2/5
Training Needs
 
4/5
Good With Kids
 
2/5
Good With Cats
 
3/5
Good As A Service Dog
 
2/5
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
 
5/5
Biting Tendencies
2/5
Energy Level
 
3/5
Good With Other Dogs
 
3/5
Playfulness
 
4/5
Sensitive to Cold Weather
 
3/5
Sensitive to Warm Weather
3/5
Good For First Time Pet Parents
3/5

Breed Characteristics

Your Affenpinscher dog may be small in size (maybe you can relate), but they make up for it in confidence (again, relatable). With their bright eyes, smooshy faces, alert gaze and a wiry, bristling coat, these brachycephalic dogs may make “Star Wars” fans do a double-take, as these small pups really do resemble Ewoks. Their wiry coats range from black to beige, but they also come in ruddy browns and salt-and-pepper blends.

1. Ears
An Affenpinscher’s small, pointed ears can be perky, relaxed or dropped slightly to each side.
2. Eyes
They have dark, black-rimmed eyes.
3. Nose
Affenpinschers typically have a short, blunt muzzle with a black nose.
4. Height
Male: 9-11.5 inches
Female: 9-11.5 inches
5. Coat Length
Affenpinschers have longer hair on the head and neck and shorter hair that is more rough coated along the back and legs. When groomed properly, the hair on their ears should be very short.
6. Coat Color
Their coat colors include black, gray, silver, red, beige or black and tan.
7. Tail
The Affenpinscher tail may be docked (less than two inches long) and upright or natural and gently curved.
8. Weight
Male: 7-10 pounds
Female: 7-10 pounds

Affenpinscher Temperament

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.

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 fairly moderate grooming needs. Their wiry coats and long hair around their face and neck need a brushing twice a week to prevent mats. But here’s the good news: Keep up with brushing, and your Affenpinscher’s shedding will be minimal.

To create that furry Ewok look, an Affenpinscher’s face and beard should be combed daily away from their eyes. Twice a week, brush out their coat with a bristle brush, slicker brush or pin brush. Their nails should be trimmed about once a month to prevent gradual injury to their paws and legs. You’ll know it’s time for a trim when you hear them tapping on hard surfaces.

Affenpinschers need a good scrub in the bath once a month—more if your Ewok doppleganger is prone to taking their adventures off the moon of Endor and into the dirt. A haircut every two to four months will keep your Affenpinscher’s coat healthy, and keep the hair out of their eyes so they can continue to gaze adoringly at you.

Many vets recommend brushing your dog’s teeth at least a few times a week, building up to daily. Your vet can teach you how to do it, and it’s best to start when your Affenpinscher is a puppy, so they’ll get used to it. Dental disease can not only cause problems with their teeth and gums but can lead to other health issues, like periodontal, heart or kidney diseases. An annual professional cleaning with your vet is also key to keeping your Affenpinscher’s teeth healthy.

This might sound like a lot, but remember: Keeping up with a regular grooming schedule will help your pup stay healthy and happy. It will keep your house cleaner, too!

Your clever little monkey-terrier needs training to ensure they learn manners and to understand that they aren’t the ones in charge (though, similar to small terriers like the Silky Terrier, they would really, really like to be). Affenpinschers are smart cookies, and they quickly pick up commands like sit, stay, shake or speak. Building obedience skills also builds confidence, and and means a happier pup and pet parent alike.

Housebreaking an Affenpinscher can be challenging depending on their personality traits, but consistency and patience go a long way. Start potty training immediately. If an accident happens, remember your puppy is energetic and a little bit stubborn—not malicious. Your dog is smart, so trust they will learn in good time.

Just like any other dog, start socializing your Affen while they’re puppies to get them used to many new people, dogs and situations. Puppy preschool is a great place to start. Your pup gets to meet other puppies and learn how to play nicely with other dogs, and they get to interact with other adults.

Finally, set yourself up for success by prepping your space before you bring an Affenpinscher home. What tiny spaces might they escape into? Which items should you place on a shelf instead of the floor so your pup isn’t tempted to investigate where they shouldn’t? (Remember, the Affenpinscher breed is nosy—er, we mean, curious.) Plan to use positive reinforcement and a few treats to teach your Affenpinscher which spaces and furniture are allowed versus off-limits.

Affenpinschers typically do well on a high-quality commercial dog food diet. Your veterinarian can help you nail down how much, how often and what to feed your dog. As your dog ages, you might also need to adjust to a dog food formula that fits their stage in life (puppy, adult, or senior).

Because Affenpinschers are so small, one extra pound can adversely affect your pup’s health. This is why it’s so important to keep your pup healthy. As you’re portioning out meals, don’t forget to include the snacks you give during training and just because you love your pup. (Those calories count, too!) If you see your pup gaining weight, consult your vet. They can help you put together a mealtime and exercise plan to help your pup shed the extra weight and maintain the nutrition your Affen needs to stay healthy.

“Jeopardy!” whizzes and “Wheel of Fortune” aficionados, come on down! If mental activity really gets your heart—and your brain—pumping, you have something in common with the Affenpinscher. These dogs require more mental than physical activity, but they do still need brisk walks and romps in the park. (Aim for 30 minutes every day.) Pet parents should plan to exercise their Affenpinscher once or twice a day, whether it’s a walk, a playful tussle or a fun chase around the house.

Don’t forget to exercise their minds as well. When Affenpinschers don’t have the opportunity to use their smarts and their social skills, they may get into destructive behaviors or sink into depression. A game of fetch, a chase around the apartment or an opportunity to learn new tricks can help them burn off energy. Keep in mind that Affenpinschers’ exercise needs and speed will change as your dog ages.

Thinking about welcoming an Affenpinscher into your home? The good news is that size doesn’t matter! These dogs need lots of affection, but they don’t need much space as long as their exercise needs are met. An ideal environment for Affenpinschers is one where they have plenty of companionship from humans who offer consistent, positive reinforcement and guidance.

Because they’re so active, Affenpinschers aren’t ideal for families with young children. Not only could your Affen’s sudden movements scare toddlers, but a tiny tot’s sudden movements or rough play may frighten your pup. They also have a stubborn streak, so they need an experienced pet parent who has time to train them, nurture their curiosity and stay steady and calm when they try to make their presence known as the head of the house.

Because the Affenpinscher is the nosy type, be sure to look at your home from their POV before bringing your new friend home. What curious things are at their level that you may need to place out of reach, like a child’s toy that looks a lot like your Affen’s toy? Or, are there small spaces they can escape to for an impromptu game of hide-and-seek you didn’t know you were playing?

Affenpinscher Health

Affenpinschers have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years, and 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 knee cap 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, talk to your vet about surgery to correct the problem.
  • Heart Disease: Affens are susceptible to a few heart diseases, like patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) and mitral valve disease. PDA 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 or a low-salt diet. Responsible breeders should screen for heart issues before passing a puppy along to a new pet parent. If you’re concerned about possible heart anomalies, talk to your veterinarian.
  • Vision Problems: Affenpinschers can develop eye problems like 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.

Affenpinscher History

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 and $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.

FAQs

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.

Affenpinscher is pronounced aaf-ihn-PIHN-sher.

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-Schnauzer mix (Schnauffen)

Affenpinscher means “monkey-like terrier” or “monkey dog” in German.

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 stubborn. With patience and positive reinforcement, these smart, independent dogs respond well to training.

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.

Top Takeaways

Affenpinschers are clever, entertaining pets who make great companion dogs. They are trusty, spunky little sidekicks for families without young kids, and these lionhearted dogs are eager to stick by your side, offer snuggles and make you laugh morning, noon and night.

Top Affenpinscher Names

These are the top Affenpinscher  names as chosen by Pawstray pet parents!

Female Names

Luna

Ginger Adam

Dog

Bella

Lucy

Violet

Bella

Ruby

Coco

Lulu

Male Names

Max

Louie

Chewy

Puppy

Macguyver

Blue

Murphy

Duplicate

Teddy

Chance

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