The Affenpinscher

Narrated from: Dog Breeds

One picture of an Affenpinscher will explain why they are so affectionately called the Monkey Dog. They are small dogs and they come from terrier blood lines. In keeping with the terrier tradition you will find the sturdy frame, and the tenacious terrier attitude as well as the attitude that is seen in most terrier breeds. Terriers have a reputation of being hard-headed little dogs in general. The Affenpinscher has a typical terrier coat in that it is thick and wiry. They almost always have longer wisps of hair around the face, but they are unique in that they have a slightly curly undercoat. They have an adorable little round face with big round eyes and a short nose. Most have an undershot jaw which makes them look even more like a monkey. Traditionally you will find the ears cropped and the tails docked. 

Long ago they were used for keeping rats away from barns and stables and they were known as ratting terriers. Over the years the Affenpinscher has been bred down in size but they still have the instinct to chase small furry animals. They are very agile little dogs and do well in competitions that involve agility courses. You will find that this is a very active dog that will need plenty of exercise. They are filled to the brim with curiosity and tend to get themselves into trouble when left alone for long periods. They can surely find something mischievous to do when they get bored. They are very intelligent little dogs but they get bored easily so it may be difficult to hold their attention during training sessions. Even becoming housebroken can be a challenge for this breed. 

Affenpinschers are naturally protective and they tend to be on the aggressive side so they are not usually recommended for families with small children. They do make good watch dogs for apartment dwellers. The Affenpinscher is not often recommended as a first dog due to their natural curiosity and their tendency towards aggression. They are much better suited to owners with training experience who can be firm and can provide consistent discipline. In an effort to keep their aggression at bay it is a good idea to socialize them from as early as 6 or 7 weeks of age. The more you socialize them the more likely it is that they will be able to get along with other dogs and will be able to associate with a pack other than the one you form with him. 

The Monkey Dog’s ideal home can be relatively small and even apartment living is suitable as long as you provide him with proper exercise. They do tend to prefer cooler climates and do not do well with temperatures above 75 degrees. Health problems are few and far between with the Affenpinscher. They are not known to have any genetic predisposition to major health problems. If they are in a climate that is too warm you may have trouble with respiratory issues. Most short nosed dogs have respiratory problems and can be prone to get “colds” or “kennel cough” that requires a veterinarian’s attention. The other most important thing that is required for the Affenpinscher is their grooming needs. They must be brushed at least once each week. Any hair around their eyes to the point of irritating their eyes must be trimmed. It is never recommended that you shave these dogs down and they are not known for shedding. 

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