Affenpinscher may look a lot like a little monkey, but looks can be deceiving.  Behind that sweet funny face is a fearless little giant of a dog.


This dog breed comes from Germany and dates back to the seventeenth century.  Affenpinscher is German for “monkey dog” or “ape terrier.” The French call them “diablotin moustachu”(mustached little devil).  You may even think they look a bit like characters from the Star Wars movies, Wookies or Ewoks than they look like actual dogs.


Are Affenpinschers Good Family Pets?


The Affenpinscher is an entertaining family member that everyone will love.  Like many small dogs, it may be wary of very small children.  Affens do not like being squeezed or chased.  It was bred to be a ratter, so it might not be a good companion for rodent-type pets such as gerbils, hamsters, and mice. 


How Big Are Affenpinschers?


The Affenpinscher is a very small dog, usually weighing less than 10 pounds.  When it stands on its tiptoes, it may reach 12 inches tall on a bad hair day. Despite its small size, it has great confidence and one story exists of its having chased away a grizzly bear.  There are no videos of this event, however.


These small but sturdy terrier look-a-likes are included in the AKC’s toy dog group.   They have a dense, unruly coat best described as “having a bad hair day.”  Affenpinschers are usually black, but they also come in several other colors, including red and beige.





Black and Silver


Affens can be stubborn and determined, but most Affenpinschers are loyal, affectionate, and always the life of the party.  Affenpinscher owners say they love being “owned” by their little monkey dogs.


Are Affenpinschers Terriers?


Affenpinschers are not terriers but were originally trained to catch mice and other rodents, much like other terriers such as the Miniature Schnauzer.  The Affen was fortunate, though, because it got to chase mice in the house rather than in a cold, nasty barn.


Most, if not all Affens, no longer have to chase rats for a living.  They now have the job of being the beloved family clown.


Are Affenpinschers Hypoallergenic?


Affenpinschers do shed a little but are hypoallergenic dogs.   They don’t require a lot of grooming.  Their hair grows rather slowly so only need trimming every few months.  They should be brushed twice a week to keep mats from forming in their wiry coat.


Are Affenpinschers Healthy?


Affenpinschers are sturdy dogs.  Affens have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years that is typical of most purebred toy dogs.  Affenpinschers do not have any known inherited illness, deformity, or genetic malfunction specific to the breed.  They may experience breathing problems as do other dogs with pug noses.


The Affenpinscher was recognized as a distinct breed by the AKC in 1936 and won the  Westminster Kennel Club’s best in show prize in 2013.  It should be more popular than its 148 of 196 AKC popularity ranking.


If you want a loyal, brave, and entertaining companion, you should consider an Affenpinscher, the little monkey dog.  However, it is a relatively rare breed, so you may have to put some effort into finding one to adopt.


Dogs Similar to Affenpinscher


BreedHeight (Inches)Country of Origin
Affenpinscher - The Little Monkey Dog
Height (Inches): 9-11.5
Weight (Pounds): 7-10
Life Expectancy (Years): 12-15
Popularity (AKC): 148
Group (AKC): Toy
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Height (Inches): 12-13
Weight (Pounds): 13-18
Life Expectancy (Years): 12-15
Popularity (AKC): 18
Group (AKC): Toy
United Kingdom
Pekingnese the Lion Dog
Height (Inches): 6-9
Weight (Pounds): up to 14
Life Expectancy (Years): 12-14
Popularity (AKC): 92
Group (AKC): Toy
Toy Poodles
Toy Poodle
Height (Inches): up to 10
Weight (Pounds): 10-18
Life Expectancy (Years): 10-18
Popularity (AKC): 7
Group (AKC): Toy
Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier
Height (Inches): 7
Weight (Pounds): 11-15
Life Expectancy (Years): 11-15
Popularity (AKC): 10
Group (AKC): Toy
Yorkshire, England


For More Affenpinscher Information


American Kennel Club
The Affenpinscher Club of America