Canis Lupus

Last updated: February 4, 2023
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
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The German name Affenpinscher translates to monkey dog. This pup’s face is similar to a monkey’s!


Affenpinscher Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis Lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Affenpinscher Conservation Status

Affenpinscher Locations

Affenpinscher Locations

Affenpinscher Facts

Fun Fact
The German name Affenpinscher translates to monkey dog. This pup’s face is similar to a monkey’s!
Distinctive Feature
Dark wiry-haired body and dark eyes
Alert and inquisitive
Average Litter Size
Common Name
First bred in 17th century Germany!

Affenpinscher Physical Characteristics

  • Grey
  • Black
Skin Type

Affenpinscher as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Separation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Dog group
Male weight
7-9 lbs
Female weight
7-9 lbs

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Key Points

  • Affenpinschers were first bred as rat catchers in 17th century Germany.
  • Puppies of this breed cost about $1,000 although their bloodlines may also determine their price.
  • Affenpinscher puppies are rather small and require special attention to ensure they are kept safe while they indulge their natural curiosity.

In Germany, Affenpinscher’s were used to hunt down rats and mice in stables.

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An Affenpinscher is a fearless dog brimming with confidence. This may seem funny seeing that it’s a member of the Toy group and only weighs around 10 pounds fully grown. But, in its mind, this dog is a Great Dane!

The history of the Affenpinscher, sometimes called a monkey terrier due to its appearance, goes back to the 17th century.

In Germany, they were used to hunt down rats and mice in stables. They could easily get into small spaces to capture these rodents. Eventually, they were brought into people’s homes to serve the same purpose. From there, they became loyal companions for members of the family.

This breed is affectionate and good with older kids and adults. They are serious about protecting their family but are also known to clown around giving everyone a laugh.

3 Pros and Cons of Owning an Affenpinscher

Needs minimal exercise. This small pooch only requires 20 to 30 minutes of exercise per day.Sometimes this breed can be difficult to housebreak due to its independent nature.
Families who want an alert canine that barks when a stranger comes to the door will be pleased with an Affenpinscher.Though considered hypoallergenic, it’s best to groom this pooch twice a week. This can be time-consuming for an owner.
This breed doesn’t need much space, so it’s a good option for a family who lives in an apartment.Affenpinschers were bred to chase down rats and mice. Unfortunately, they aren’t able to distinguish between a pet hamster or gerbil and a field mouse they are supposed to capture.
Affenpinscher standing in the grass

Affenpinscher’s are friendly dogs, but they can be yappy!


Evolution and Origins

Affenpinschers were first bred in the 1600s in Germany to get rid of vermin such as mice and rats some of which were bold enough to scuttle up homeowners’ legs. However, their friendly devoted nature soon saw them become beloved domestic companions, in addition to being natural forms of pest control.

Their name comes from the German word “affen” which means monkey or ape, and fully translates to “monkey dog”.

In France, however, they are called  “mustached little devils” (diablotin moustachu).

Health and Entertainment for your Affenpinscher

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Size and Weight

Affenpinschers are small pooches that can grow to be 11.5 inches at the withers. They weigh 10 pounds fully grown. At 7 weeks old, Affenpinschers weigh around 2 pounds. They are considered fully grown at one year old.

Height (Male)11.5 inches tall
Height (Female)11.5 inches tall
Weight (Male)10 pounds, fully grown
Weight (Female)10 pounds, fully grown

Common Health Issues

Affenpinschers have some common health issues that their owner should be aware of. The first one is called patellar luxation. This is a medical term for a dislocated knee.

Knee dislocation happens when the pup’s kneecap moves out of place as it’s running or trotting along. Sometimes an Affenpinscher is able to pop it back into place with a certain movement. In other situations, surgery may be needed.

Another common health issue is called corneal dystrophy. It’s a genetic condition that occurs when crystals form on the dog’s cornea. These crystals can affect the Affenpinscher’s vision and sometimes surgery is necessary.

Hip dysplasia is another common health issue of this breed. This condition occurs when the hip joint moves out of alignment. Hip dysplasia can lead to arthritis in later years. Limping and limited movement are signs of this condition.
The most common health issues include:

  • Patellar luxation
  • Corneal dystrophy
  • Hip dysplasia


Affenpinschers are small dogs known for their fearless behavior. They sometimes bark at and try to intimidate big dogs while forgetting about their size disadvantage!

This courageous quality makes them great watchdogs for a household. In addition, they have a loyal, affectionate personality. These traits have earned them a good reputation as a family dog.

Many owners of Affenpinschers are entertained by the antics of this pet. They have a silly streak meaning they like to frolic, jump around, throw toys in the air, and act goofy. This is one of their most endearing traits.

How to Take Care of an Affenpinscher

Giving the best level of care to an Affenpinscher is easier when an owner knows the unique diet, exercise and healthcare needs of this breed. Whether someone has a puppy or an adult Affenpinscher, making a daily care plan can help to keep this pet healthy and happy.

The Best Dog Food for Affenpinschers

Affenpinscher puppies and adult dogs have different dietary, exercise and healthcare needs. Look at some of the required nutrients in their daily diets.

Affenpinscher puppy food: Protein is the main ingredient in any high-quality puppy food for Affenpinschers. The amino acids in protein build strong muscles and tissue. Protein may help to prevent the development of hip dysplasia.

A limited amount of fat gives a puppy energy and helps them absorb the vitamins in their food. Calcium and vitamin D support the growth of strong bones which is especially valuable to this breed due to its potential to develop patellar luxation. Vitamin A contributes to this puppy’s eye health. Fiber helps with its proper digestion.

Affenpinscher adult dog food: Protein is just as important for adult varieties as it is for puppies. Protein in the form of meat, rice, and potatoes maintains strong muscles and tissue.

Vitamin E contributes to skin health and Vitamin A supports a dog’s eye health. This is important in preventing corneal dystrophy in this breed. A limited amount of fat provides energy to this little dog while not adding unnecessary weight.

At A-Z Animals, we think one of the best dog foods for full-grown Affenpinschers is Hill’s Science Diet Dry Adult Dog Food.

This food has vitamins E, C, D3, and B12, with vitamin A and taurine that Affenpinschers need to maintain healthy eyes, since they tend to develop corneal dystrophy.

Find Hill’s Science Diet Dry Adult Dog Food on Chewy or Amazon here.

Best for Adult Dogs
Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin
  • Designed specifically for dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Chicken and rice base is appetizing and tasty
  • Grains like barley, rice and sorghum help bind bowel movements
  • Contains prebiotic fiber to help for solid stools
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Giving Affenpinscher puppies and adults access to water at all times keeps them hydrated and helps digestion.

Maintenance and Grooming

How much does an Affenpinscher shed? Though this canine is considered to be hypoallergenic, it does shed a little more than average with the change of seasons. Grooming twice a week keeps its medium-long, wire-haired coat in good condition.

A sample grooming routine would include brushing the dog with a slicker brush. This removes loose and dead hair. Next, groom with a metal comb featuring both fine and medium teeth, so it reaches into the dog’s coat. Using these two grooming tools on an Affenpinscher’s hair keeps the tangles away and maintains a healthy coat. It’s best to start at the pup’s head and brush toward its tail.


Affenpinschers are relatively easy to train. An owner should keep in mind that these dogs do best with short obedience training sessions. When a training session is short, an Affenpinscher has less opportunity to become bored and distracted.

Words of praise and favored treats are very helpful tools when putting this pup through obedience training. It’s a good idea to save a certain kind of favored treat to use only during obedience training sessions. That way, the Affenpinscher knows it’s training time when the treats are given.

The Cairn terrier is another smart dog similar to the Affenpinscher that learns better with short obedience training sessions.


These cute canines need a moderate amount of exercise each day to maintain good health. This means about 20 to 30 minutes of activity. Taking a walk around the neighborhood, walking in the woods, or playing fetch are all good options. These little canines have a short stride, so taking them on a long jog is not a good idea. The dog will be exhausted!

As far as apartment living goes, an Affenpinscher is an excellent option. This pet doesn’t need a lot of space to move around in, so an apartment would be a good living environment. This breed is ideal for people who like to take their pooch along everywhere they go! Learn more about the best dogs for apartment living here.


Since this is a Toy breed, Affenpinscher puppies are especially small. So, owners of these puppies must take extra care to keep them safe while allowing them to explore their environment.

Affenpinscher puppy standing in the grass

Affenpinschers make great family pets. They are good with kids and are quite playful.

©Didkovska Ilona/


Affenpinschers are a good option for families with older children. Some younger children and toddlers have a tendency to treat small dogs as toys.
An Affenpinscher that’s treated in a rough way by a young child can become nervous and jumpy. Though the child may not mean any harm, an Affenpinscher can become frightened for its own safety and lash out.

Dogs Similar to Affenpinschers

Dogs similar to the Affenpinscher include the Cairn terrier, Norfolk terrier, and the Border terrier.

Cairn terrier– Cairn terriers and Affenpinschers are about the same height, but Cairn terriers weigh a little more. They are both alert, energetic dogs that are considered hypoallergenic.

Norfolk terrier– Norfolk terriers have a temperament both feisty and sweet like Affenpinschers. They are approximately the same size, but Norfolk terriers are in the Terrier group, not the toy group.

Border terrier– Border terriers are taller and heavier than Affenpinschers. Both Affenpinschers and Border terriers are intelligent and energetic with a loyal temperament.

Famous Affenpinschers

One of the most famous Affenpinschers goes by the name of Banana Joe. At 4 years old, Banana Joe was the first Affenpinscher to win Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show in 2013.

Some popular names for Affenpinschers include:

  • Duke
  • Harley
  • Oliver
  • Cooper
  • Zeus
  • Stella
  • Lulu
  • Molly
  • Coco

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What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?


If you have kids or existing dogs select:

Other Dogs

Should they be Hypoallergenic?

How important is health?
Which dog groups do you like?
How much exercise should your dog require?
What climate?
How much seperation anxiety?
How much yappiness/barking?

How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.
I want a cuddle buddy!
About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
How much should they shed?
How trainable/obedient does the dog need to be?
How intelligent does the dog need to be?
How much chewing will allow?
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Affenpinscher FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are Affenpinschers herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

Affenpinschers are Omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and other animals.

What Kingdom do Affenpinschers belong to?

Affenpinschers belong to the Kingdom Animalia.

What class do Affenpinschers belong to?

Affenpinschers belong to the class Mammalia.

What phylum to Affenpinschers belong to?

Affenpinschers belong to the phylum Chordata.

What family do Affenpinschers belong to?

Affenpinschers belong to the family Canidae.

What order do Affenpinschers belong to?

Affenpinschers belong to the order Carnivora.

What type of covering do Affenpinschers have?

Affenpinschers are covered in Hair.

What genus do Affenpinschers belong to?

Affenpinschers belong to the genus Canis.

What are some distinguishing features of Affenpinschers?

Affenpinschers have dark, wiry-haired bodies and dark eyes.

How many babies do Affenpinschers have?

The average number of babies an Affenpinscher has is 3.

What is an interesting fact about Affenpinschers?

Affenpinschers were first bred in 17th century Germany!

What is the scientific name for the Affenpinscher?

The scientific name for the Affenpinscher is Canis Lupus.

What is an Affenpinscher?

Affenpinschers belong to the Toy group. The German name Affenpinscher translates to monkey (Affen), dog (terrier) (Pinscher). This little dog’s face and scruffy hair make it similar in appearance to a monkey.
Though they are small, these dogs have a big personality. They are quick to defend their owners even from strangers or other perceived threats. Let’s just say they have a, ‘never give up’ attitude. They are smart, playful, and affectionate.

How much does an Affenpinscher cost to own?

Many breeders have Affenpinscher puppies costing around $1000. This price can be higher or lower depending on the specific bloodlines of the Affenpinschers. They can also be found at Affenpinscher rescue organizations.
Veterinary costs range from $200 to $300 a year depending on the type of services a dog receives.
The price of food for this dog goes from $20 to $50 a month. The brand and amount of food an owner buys are going to affect the final price.

Are Affenpinschers good with kids?

Yes, these pups are good with older kids. They are not as suitable for families with small children. This is because the loud voices and quick movements of very young kids can sometimes frighten these small pups.

How long do Affenpinschers live?

These canines can live up to 15 years.

Where can I buy an Affenpinscher?

Some breeders specialize in offering toy breeds such as the Affenpinscher. Also, they can be adopted from Affenpinscher rescue organizations. Adopting an Affenpinscher from a rescue organization is likely to involve a small fee, but these organizations aren’t trying to make a sale like official breeders.

How big is an Affenpinscher?

An Affenpinscher belongs to the toy group of dogs. This means fully grown adult dogs are still very small. Affenpinschers can grow to be 11.5 inches tall at the withers and weigh as much as 10 pounds.

Is an Affenpinscher a good family dog?

Yes. They are loyal and affectionate making them good family dogs.

What's the difference between an Affenpinscher and a Brussels Griffon?

The Brussels Griffon is a mix between an Affenpinscher and a few other small dog breeds. Additionally, the Brussels Griffon is found in more colors compared to the black and gray Affenpinscher.

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