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Raising An Affenpinscheer Dog

Updated on June 3, 2015

Your Affenpinscher and You


A breed of dog that is classified as a 'toy dog' and is somewhat terrier-like is called the Affenpinscher.

Historically from Germany, Affenpinschers date back to the 17th century. Their names are derived from the German word for monkey or ape, which is 'Affe.'

The breed is ancestral and predates the Miniature Schnauzer and the Brussels Griffon or the Griffon Bruxellois.

Affenpinscher type dogs have been around since the sixteen hundreds but their ascendants were generally bigger in size, about twelve to thirteen inches larger and were available in colors of red, tan and gray, tan and black, fawn or gray.

It was common for this breed to have a white chest and feet. In essence, this breed was made for rats, working to remove rodents from stables, granaries and kitchens.

Generally, Affenpinschers weight between six and a half to a little over thirteen pounds and at the withers and stand between nine to twelve inches tall. They have expressions that are monkey-like and have harsh rough coats as well.

Their coats are more shaggy over their shoulders and their head which forms a mane coupled with a coat which is shorter over their hind quarters and back.

With a texture that is wiry and harsh, the KC and the FCI standards for this breed specifically say that their coat needs to be black. The AKC also allows belge, black and tan, red, silver and gray. Belge is a mix of white, black, brown and red hair.

Often, Affenpinschers appear on dog lists that reportedly do not molt or shed. However, each dog coat hair shaft grows from a follicle of hair.

Every shaft has a growing cycle, and being replaced by another shaft upon its death. Depending on the age of the breed, the length of time for the cycle of shedding and growing varies. Another factor is whether the dog stays mostly outside or mostly inside of the home.

As for its gait, it needs to be confident, balanced, sound, free and light-footed. This breed tends to carry itself with a seriousness that is almost comic. Their legs move in a manner which is parallel to each other when viewed from behind. As they trot, their feet converge towards a midline as they increase in speed. There is a big penalty for a gait that is not sound.

This breed has an appearance that is distinctly associated with terriers for most people.

However, Affenpinschers are different from terriers since they are part of group 2 of the schnauzer-pinscher breed in the classification of the FCI, thus getting along with other pets. Affine are adventurous, active, stubborn and curious but they are also playful and fun loving.

This breed is protective and affectionate towards members of the family, lively and confident. Although not easy to housebreak, with firm, consistent training, you will be able to successfully potty train your Affenpinscher. Not recommended for toddler-age children, this breed is territorial when it comes to food and toys.

With a tendency to be quiet, this dog can get quite excited when threatened or attacked and reveals no fearfulness towards aggressors.

Essentially, this is the best dog for families with a sense of humor and who like a show. Always ready to protect their families, this dog seems to believe that his or her size is bigger than it actually is.

Affenpinscher parents need to watch out that their puppies do not pick fights with much larger dogs. Quite active inside the home, indoor play can actually meet his exercise needs, if a walk outdoors is not possible due to weather conditions.

Some dogs of this breed like walking on their hind legs for no reason at all. This breed also has the tendency to chew on various objects including dead bugs, candy wrappers and cosmetics.

Do not be surprised if your Affenpinscher will want to be with you majority of the time as they love companionship, crave attention and will love sitting on your lap.

When caring for your Affenpinscher, their coat should never be cut short since this causes it to become ruined for a few years. A weekly combing or brushing and occasional plucking is all your dog needs.

You can learn how to do this yourself although there are specialist dog trimmers who can do the job for you. Dogs for shows will need to undergo a procedure called 'stripping' and take care to deal with hair the grows in their eye corners, as this can irritate the eyes.

In terms of health, Affenpinschers have a tendency to get hip dysplasia. Just like other toy dogs, they sometimes also get a trachea that is collapsed. At times, this breed also suffers from cataracts.

This breed has a span of life of eleven point four years, which is the lifespan typical for a dog that is purebred, but a bit less than breed selections of this size.

Common causes of Affenpinscher mortality is old age and urologic reasons. Some are prone to respiratory problems in hot weather, open fontanel, PDA, slipped stifle and fractures.

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