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The little ‘black devil’ dog is mischievous and curious

The name Affenpinscher is German for ‘monkey dog’ or ‘ape terrier’.This little ‘black devil’ dog of German origin was developed as a vermin killer. It is thought that the German Pinscher lies in the background of the breed with an input of flat faced breeds. After World War II, when the population was very low, there was an input of Griffon Bruxellois. The black, ragged street urchin look is matched by a mischievous curiosity and fearlessness and a great character which is winning them popularity. Though not classified as a terrier, the Affenpinscher was originally bred to work like one. Their job was to exterminate rats and other pests in German stables of the 1600’s. Eventually, Affenpinschers were brought indoors to rid the kitchen of mice. In time, they became dual-purpose dogs: ratters by day, and by night devoted bed-warming companions for the lady of the house.

These dogs are usually docile and friendly but they do not like to be teased so they would not fare well in a house with small children. They tend to be snappy with those who chase them or squeeze them. In addition, because they are hunters at heart, Affenpinschers should not be left alone with small animals like hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, ferrets, rabbits, and even cats. They actually believe they are bigger than they are and may even go after larger dogs if provoked. This makes them a good watchdog and they are protective of their family members. This breed is independent and has a strong will, so they may take a lot of time and patience to train. It is not because they are not smart; they are very intelligent, but stubborn. Affenpinschers are usually a quiet dog but they sometimes get excited and it takes a little while to calm them down. In addition, they are funny dogs that will spend hours entertaining you and your family. They make lovely pets for many people, especially those who like little dogs with big personalities.

Read more about the history of this breed – HERE


Most of these stats are from the The Kennel Club UK. You can view stats from kennel clubs around the world at the links below, which may have different standards and classifications.

Group – UKToy
Bred ForVermin Hunting, Companion
Rare BreedYes
Country of OriginGermany
TemperamentLoyal, Loving, Fearless
Exercise NeededUp to 1 hour a day
Size of Home NeededSmall
Height at Withers – Females24 – 28 cm / 9½ – 11 in
Height at Withers – Males24 – 28 cm / 9½ – 11 in
GroomingSeveral times a week
Life Expectancy12 – 15 years
  • This breed should always be monitored when outside; they love to hunt and may formulate an escape plan if they see an opportunity for a chase on the other side of the fence.
  • Sometimes this breed can be difficult to housebreak due to its independent nature.
  • The Affenpinscher is likely to have black hair or can have silver, grey, red, or brown-black.
  • They are known to be possessive of their toys, treats, and sometimes, their space. For this reason, there is a hesitation in recommending them for families with small children.
  • This breed sometimes has their tail docked, but thankfully now in a lot of countries this is banned.


Breed standards vary throughout the world, these links will inform you of those standards and give further information about Affenpinschers.


Click on any picture below to view it larger and in a slideshow, it’s worth it! 😃


Enjoy this video about Affenpinschers, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed on our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:


Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to the Affenpinscher breed, click to view them. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer sites listed here.

Thanks for reading!

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