The Affenpinscher – A Tiny Dog
The Affenpinscher Terrier is a remarkably sparkly breed that will bring a smile to the face of anyone who witnesses its humour, seriousness and intensity. This feisty little dog was bred in Europe throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, primarily to catch mice and rats. Its appearance can be deceiving when it first appears docile it can easily jump life when it picks up the smell of either mice or rats.
It is known to be stubborn, and smug, and will not respond that well to any sort of obedience training owners will need to start early if they want to have this little dog. Please be aware that this breed does have a tendency to snap when annoyed. Although this breed originated in Western Europe, and Germany in particular, it is now an extremely rare breed in Germany and the largest population can now be found in North America.
The Affenpinscher Terrier has its origins in Germany, where is was bred specifically for use in killing mice and rats in kitchens, granaries, and stables.
- Colour – The predominant colour the Affenpinscher Terrier comes in is black, but it sometimes can be grey, silver, red, or beige. Its coat has a distinctive harsh, wiry texture if properly maintained.
- Weight – They weigh between 2.9 to 6 Kgs (6.5 to 13lbs).
- Height – They will be 25-30cms (9 to 12 inches) at the withers.
- Life Expectancy – 11-15 years
- Other Names – Monkey Dog
- First Use – Vermin Hunting
- Use Today – A Companion Dog
Affenpinscher Training and Temperament
Knowing that this breed can be rather stubborn sometimes, it is essential that you start obedience training early on to guide to become a social and loving pet.
As a terrier, this dog exudes a number of characteristics that all terriers have – and that is they tend to be active dogs, curious, adventurous. It will need consistent and firm training to make sure it becomes housebroken.
Affenpinscher Terriers are well known for being territorial with their toys and food, so they are not recommended to be housed with small or young children. It is better suited for a household with older children or adults looking for a companion.
For those wanting to know more about this breed, here is a video describing its history and breed today:
Affenpinscher Heath Issues
Small dogs on average suffer from fewer health issues than compared to larger dogs, however, there are a few common diseases when considering to buy this breed:
Hip Dysplasia: This is a genetic condition that causes there to be an incorrect development of the hip joint socket when it is developing and can lead to lameness, or and painful arthritis of the joints. If you are considering purchasing an Affenpinscher puppy, please ask about the hip scores of each parent, before buying the puppy.
Luxating Patella:Small dogs do suffer from this common issue and is caused when the patella, femur, and tibia are not correctly lined up. The result is that the dogs walk with an abnormal gait, perhaps a skip or hop. The issue can be found at a young age, but in general, the dog will show more signs as it ages, which in turn leads to arthritis and a degenerative joint disease.
Collapsed Trachea: In dogs this is where they suffer from a trachea that hasn’t formed correctly or there has been a weakening in the cartilaginous rings of the trachea. This collapse of the trachea is common in smaller breeds and treatment can lead to surgery.
For all ailments, health issues or medical conditions there are both herbal and medicinal options available for the caring dog owners.
NB – When buying your puppy Affenpinscher, please ask for the puppy’s parents, health records to give you a better understanding of the possible health problems that your Affenpinscher Terrier might have in the future. For Affenpinschers, aim to obtain health clearance from the following bodies:
- Orthopaedic Foundation For Animals (OFA) for Hip Dysplasia (scores of fair or better), hypothyroidism, Von Willebrand’s disease, and elbow dysplasia.
- To certify the condition of the eyes, visit the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF).
- Please read details on the OFA website – www.offa.org
Affenpinscher Food Requirements
Being a small breed, it is common sense that the amount of food that an Affenpinscher Terrier will consume is a small amount daily. There are obviously various qualities of food available on the marketplace these days and I’ve gone through and provided details of the best foods for smaller breeds and the healthiest foods for dogs overall.
For more information on feeding the right foods for your Affenpinscher, see the following page:
Please note that all individual dogs diets depend on the dog itself, are they active, are they growing, are they large or their breed? There are a number of different factors that determine the amount of food that you feed your dog. What I really don’t like seeing are fat, overweight dogs that clearly haven’t been exercised sufficiently and being fed too much.
A simple method to find out if your Affenpinscher is overweight is to, run your hands down the chest of your dog and you should be able to feel their rib cage without having to press too firmly. If you are unable to feel his ribs, then he is being fed too much and isn’t getting the required exercise necessary.
Affenpinscher Grooming And Care
Brushing Their Coats
Affenpinscher Terriers are small dogs, therefore, you should be able to groom them relatively quickly on a table that is about waist height. Try to brush out all the knots that are in your Affenpinscher’s coat and remove any mud that you find there. You will need a suitable brush for you Affenpinscher;
Not only will your Affenpinscher need to be groomed regularly, but I would suggest that you aim to brush their teeth a few times a week to establish good levels of dental hygiene. This will allow your dog to become accustomed to allowing you to actively open their mouths and invade their personal space peacefully.
Washing and Clipping Your Affenpinscher
On a monthly basis, or even every two weeks you should consider washing your Affenpinscher to clean out any dirt that you are unable to get out manually by brushing. After cleaning, they will need to be dried and have their nails clipped if they are long. As this is a small dog, you will probably find that your own hair dryer will be sufficient to dry your dog and there is no need to purchase a dog only hairdryer.
For all my recommended products and equipment that are suitable to keep your Affenpinscher both healthy and cared for, please visit the Equipment and Products pages for reviews and suggestions.
Please note, whenever introducing cleaning, grooming or clipping to your Affenpinscher they will initially be unaware of the procedure and consequently be nervous around the brush, toothbrush, and hairdryer. The easiest way to make sure they soon become used to this is to simply apply constant praise to them and reward them every time you have completed one of the tasks in maintaining your dog – a simple dog treat is a good idea.
Lastly, as part of grooming, you will want to apply monthly flea prevention once they are clean. I personally use Advantage as this has kept fleas away from Leo.
Insurance Rates for An Affenpinscher
Remember, an Affenpinscher is a purebred and will likely suffer from genetic health issues as they got older. Although I listed the main health issues this breed is likely to suffer during their lifetime, there are additional potential health issues that can give your dog an unpleasant trip to the vets and at the same time giving your wallet a potential shock to treat those health issues.
You easily find that a trip to the vets for a number of their common conditions can range from $200 to over $20,000 (£150 to £15,000 in the UK), it would, therefore, be prudent to make sure your Affenpinscher has the right insurance coverage. When you take out insurance for your Affenpinscher make sure that the insurance covers the following:
- Accident Coverage
- Illness Coverage
- Orthopaedic Conditions
- Hereditary Conditions
- Prescription Medications
Cost of Insurance For An Affenpinscher
Throughout the US, expect to pay between $400 to $500 annually to provide sufficient insurance coverage for your Affenpinscher. You can find deals in the UK for anywhere between £200 and £350, with similar coverage.
All Dog Insurance details and recommendations can be found on my Dog Insurance Page. As this website has been created for all English speaking people, there are different rules and insurance policies available for each of the following countries:
Affenpinscher References and Resources
For further information about the Affenpinscher and if you think this breed of dog is suitable for you, please visit the official UK and the USA kennel club sites:
To return to the Toy Dog Breed Section.