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Affenpinscher Dogs: History and Temperment

Updated on February 27, 2014

Affenpinscher in Hat

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In Public Domain | Source

Affenpinscher Information

Affenpinscher Dog History

The Affenpinscher is a jaunty dog in the toy group. It originated in France and Germany according to the AKC. These dogs are part of a time-honored toy breed. It acquired the appellation mustached little devil early on and its name means Monkey-Terrier. These two handles tell a lot about the breed's personality.

Veracious records of the Affenpinscher are found starting in 1800's. But there is a 16th century painting by Hans Hoffman of an Affenpinscher, aptly entitled "An Affenpinscher" that is done with watercolors and goauche. In this painting, the dog stands in profile with head looking out towards the viewer; it is part of the Herbert Kasper collection. Other paintings depict the breed as companion dogs and as ratters: dog's that killed rats in stables, kitchens, and granaries..

They say that the progenitor to today's Affenpinscher was a bit larger, but was bred to a smaller size to be lap dogs for noblewomen. To get the smaller dogs they were bred with the Silky Pinscher, German Pinscher, and the Pug.

Today's American Affenpinscher originated from the stock of Mrs. Evelyn Brody that she introduced from Germany in 1950. Bub V. Anwander was one of these dogs, and he was the first American champion of his breed.

It was included in the American Kennel Club's Stud Book in 1936. It is recognized by many kennel clubs such as the New Zealand Kennel Club and Kennel Club Great Britain.


This toy dog breed is playful, curious, loyal, adventuresome, energetic, and stubborn. It is a brave and fearless dog. Going along with its bravery comes a cockiness that will assert itself as the pack leader, if the owner doesn't show he is the leader. This breed gets on well with other animals, though they are possessive about their toys and food.

They are apt to bite if their anger is aroused. Thus, this breed isn't a good match for small children, as they might tease the dog and get bitten. It is okay with older kids.

It is smart and learns commands with ease. The Affenpinscher becomes bored unless the training is diverse in method.


They are airy and light on their paws. Their carriage is decidedly self-confident and well balanced.


The breed's colors are red, silver, gray, and black and a combination of tan and black. The coat needs brushing three or four times during the week with a brush and comb. It has to be stripped a few times per year, which means removing the dead hair with your hands.


It gets enough exercise by going for a walk a couple of times a day or running and playing in a fenced area. Some experts say it only needs a walk once each day.

This is a quiet dog that is faithful to its owner. It does okay living in a house or an apartment. In conclusion, it is a fun, perky little dog with intelligence that is on your side, will defend you, but it will vie for leadership between it and you.

Organizations That Recognize Affenpincher

This breed is recognized by organizations in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the World Canine Organization (Fédération Cynologique Internationale).


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