The Affenpinscher is a miniature shaggy dog whose hair coat is wiry. Looking at the face, the hair seems to be longer than that of the body. Its body looks somewhat square in shape and there is a broad and deep chest. One thing that is important to note is that this dog does not need any special care as it is not a delicate one. The looks the Affenpinscher has are quite close to those of a working terrier. The head of the dog is round and with a pronounced stop. The jaws can however open wide, in as much as the dog has a short muzzle; as all the teeth in the lower jaw are straight. The eyes of the Affenpinscher are predominantly black and quite characteristic.
All the bones of the dog seem to be short, thus the overall look of this dog being classified as a toy dog. The coat of the Affenpinscher varies, ranging from Black, gray, silver red or even tan. When it comes to the undercoat, curliness is predominant as opposed to the wiry hair coat on other parts. When it comes to the tail, it seems to be carried high most of the times and it is docked two thirds of the length. The hairy ears are also normally docked to ensure the dog maintains good hygiene.
As indicated earlier, the Affenpinscher is a short doge who has a striking resemblance to toy terriers. The height of this dog varies, with 10 – 14 inches being the standard height range. When it comes to the weight that the dog shows, the most common weight range for the Affenpinscher is between 7 to 8 pounds.
The terrier resemblance of the Affenpinscher is quite strong, even when it comes to temperament. Their personality is shown to be very gentle, being able to get along well with other dogs and pets. In as much as they may be stubborn in training, it is good to note that they love to play like most toy dogs do. It is quite mischievous if given the space to monkey around, thus it is important to have a close eye on the dog.
One thing to note is that lack of proper training of this dog makes the Affenpinscher quite authoritarian, making it the pack leader which is a habit that will be very difficult to break. This is a god family dog as the affection and love it adds is quite moving. It takes in commands very quickly, though housetraining is a big challenge to most of them.
Common health problems
The most common health problems for the Affenpinscher include bone fractures which occur very easily, respiratory difficulty in hot weather and Patent Ductus Arteriosis (PDA).
Clipping the hair coat of the Affenpinscher is not recommended as it grows very slowly and may not come back to its original size for years. Brushing the hair once a week is recommended as this dog has minimal hair loss. Stripping is important once in a while as well as clipping of any hair that might grow too close to the eye
Mortality is low, as the dogs enjoy a relatively full life, living an average of 10 – 13 years.
The origin of the Affenpinscher is not well known, though it is believed to have come from Germany and is a relative of the Brussels Griffon.