The Affenpinscher: In Toy Group

The Affenpincher originated in Germany during the 1600's. They were breed for the function of hunting small vermin and as lapdogs. In Germany they worked in the kitchens and stables dispatching rats and mice. These days they are chosen as companions. They are part of the family of terriers and pinchers. The males and females stand from 9 to 11.5-inches high and weigh 7 to 9-pounds on average.

It is among the oldest of toy breeds and paintings by Dutch masters of the 15 century many times in- clude an Affenpincher or at least dogs closely resembling them. The smallest of this type of dog were popular as lap dogs for ladies to warm their laps, kill mice, and be entertaining.

These little dogs quite like the modern Affenpincher were breed with the pug, German silky pincher, and the German Pincher. This breed was refined in Germany and more in vogue there, but gained some popularity in the United States, thus in 1936 the Affenpincher was recognized by the AKC. They also gained popularity in France and got the nickname "little devil with a mustache." The name Affenpincher actually means "monkey-like terrier."

The color of an Affenpincher isn't a big consideration. They can be black, tan, red, silver or gray. A black mask or little white area on the chest is okay, but large patches of white aren't acceptable for the breed.

The gait of the Affenpincher is considered very important. It is fancy-free, shows confidence, and the dog's legs walk in parallel fashion. When this dog trots its paws draw to a mid-line at increased speed.

This little dog is wiry-haired, very smart, and has a good personality. It is medium boned but a sturdy toy dog. It is a shaggy canine, but with a kept appearance. It has bright, round eyes and its expressions remind one of a monkey. Its ears may be cropped and pointed, standing up or dropping down, as all three positions are considered okay for the breed's appearance, though the ears are required to be symmetrical and with the caveat that the monkey expression is intact. A dome-shaped round skull and lengthy eyebrows and beard complete the appearance of this little dog.

This spunky dog has an inquisitive nature, it is alert, loyal, affectionate, and generally quiet, though if it suspects a threat it becomes aggressive and fierce making a good watchdog. The Affenpincher gets along well with other animals. It is an active dog, but playing with indoors or outdoors in a zealous manner will give the dog enough exercise. It isn't an outdoor dog. It has a rough coat that requires a good brushing about several times weekly and the fur needs to be trimmed and shaped four times a year. If the animal is a show dog that means stripping; pets need shaping by clipping.

The Affenpincher's lifespan is abut 12 to 14 years. There are any outstanding health concerns. Patellar luxation is a minor problem. Sometimes dogs have open fontanel.


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