Personality:Loyal, curious, famously funny; fearless out of all proportion to their size
Coat & Grooming:Regular brushing and occasional trips to the groomer keep the dense, harsh coat looking its best
Energy Level:Somewhat Active; Brisk walks, making new friends, and plenty of play will satisfy exercise needs
Nicknames: Affen; Monkey Dog
Meet the Affenpinscher
The Affen’s apish look has been described many ways. They’ve been called “monkey dogs” and “ape terriers.” The French say “diablotin moustachu” (mustached little devil), and "Star Wars" fans argue whether they look more like Wookies or Ewoks. But Affens are more than just a pretty face. Though standing less than a foot tall, these sturdy terrier-like dogs approach life with great confidence. As with all great comedians, it’s their apparent seriousness of purpose that makes Affen antics all the more amusing.
What's Their Story?
Originally bred to kill rats and other pests in German stables of the 1600s, Affens were eventually brought indoors to rid the kitchen of mice. In time they became dual-purpose dogs: exterminators by day, and by night devoted bed-warming companions for the lady of the house. The immense charm that propelled them from stable to kitchen to boudoir has made Affens a force in the show ring. In 2013, an Affen named Banana Joe delighted America by winning Westminster’s Best in Show.
“This isn’t a breed you train,” Banana Joe’s handler says, “He’s like a human. You befriend him.” This is a great insight into the breed’s complex character—but basic training and socialization are required for all dogs, even these little humanoids. Well-trained Affens have succeeded in agility, obedience, and therapy work. They can be willful and domineering, but mostly Affens are deeply loyal, affectionate, and always entertaining. Affen people tell us they love being owned by their monkey dogs.