Affenpinscher - Information and NZ Breed Standards

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General Information - Affenpinscher



12-14 years




Watchdog Ability:

Protection Ability:

Area of Origin:

Date of Origin:

Other Names:

Original Function:
Small vermin


The Affenpinscher is considered by many to be the oldest toy breed but the breed's true history is shrouded in mystery. What is known is that the breed has been around since the 1600s and was developed in Germany to hunt vermin. Its name in German means Monkey Dog. It has been suggested that the Affenpinscher was developed from crossing the small local German Pinschers with pug-like dogs from Asia. Eventually, the Affenpinscher was used in the development of the Brussels Griffon, Miniature Schnauzer and several other toy breed dogs.

In Germany, the Affenpinscher was developed to rid the kitchens and stables of mice. Their expertise in this field was famous and the little dogs soon found their way into the homes of people throughout Europe. In France, the dog was called the moustached little devil, which describes the breed's appearance as well as its personality. From the 17th century, the Affenpinscher has been kept around small stables, on farms, and in stores for the purpose of keeping the rodent population down.


The Affenpinscher is a sturdy little terrier, characterised by its monkeyish expression. This breed is comical, intelligent and sometimes smug and stubborn. Although a member of the toy group, it has a personality more like some of those of the terrier group. Affenpinschers are lively and self-confident dogs, full of mischief, but are loyal companion to their owners. Affenpinschers are curious dogs with fierce loyalty and affection towards their owners. They have an amicable nature and a deep devotion that makes them an excellent companion and a supreme watch dog. They can do well in the city or in the country. They do need to be watched around larger dogs since these diminutive dogs don't seem to understand that their size is a disadvantage when picking a fight with someone bigger.


Although an energetic and active dog, the exercise needs of the Affenpinscher can be met with indoor games or romps in the yard, or with short walks on leash. It enjoys playing outside, but it cannot live outdoors. Its harsh coat needs combing two or three times weekly, show dogs require stripping. Their coat does not moult it sheds which is minimal with regular grooming.

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