Getting to Know You - Affenpinscher
Like many small breeds, the Affenpinscher’s mentality is that of a large dog. This rare breed, whose name means “monkey-like terrier,” originated in Germany and was developed to rid areas of rodents. The name was derived from the fact that their facial expression, beard, and long eyebrows, remind one of a monkey. The Affie is a toy breed that may be too bold for its own good, so care must be taken that it doesn’t get itself into trouble by provoking the neighbor’s 100 lb. Bullmastiff. A less than 15-pound dog provoking a Bullmastiff? That would be bad. On a scale of one to ten, I’d give it a ten, at best.
Affenpinschers have been described as confident, alert and inquisitive. Unlike most toy breeds, they are generally quiet. That said, they do make good watch dogs and will alert you to any danger - ANY danger. Despite their desire to protect their loved ones, their size renders them practically incapable of doing so, unless ankle biting will somehow protect you. They can be territorial and, thus, require training to keep them in check. Affies tend to bore easily, so training sessions must be kept short and sweet.
Their dense, harsh coat requires minimal, yet regular, grooming to keep them looking neat and clean. The preferred color of an Affenpinscher is black, but they do come in a mix of other colors such as tan, red or gray. Though they are considered non-shedding, the hair will fall out once the normal hair growth cycle is complete. The amount of shedding will vary depending on the dog’s age and whether they spend a lot of time outdoors or not.
An Affie’s adaptable nature makes them well suited for apartment living, as long as you provide them with mental stimulation so as to avoid the above-mentioned boredom. A bored dog of any size can get into all sorts of trouble, believe you me. If you plan on living with an Affenpinscher, you must be patient and persistent. They are intelligent, yet stubborn dogs, who are sometimes difficult to housebreak. Before you get one, I suggest you invest in good cleaning products.
While they are affectionate family dogs, they are perhaps not the best suited for households with young children. They are, however, quite dog-friendly and are good with other family pets. This charming “mustached little devil” as they are known in France, is a wonderful companion who will work his way into your heart, as well as onto your lap.
If you enjoy Christina's writing, check her books out! She is the author of “Chester Gigolo: Diary of a Dog Star” and "Insider Training: Chester Gigolo’s Dog Training Secrets Revealed” for which she won the 2016 DWAA Captain Haggerty award for Best Training Book and the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Award (Animals & Pets). She is also a contributing author to “Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors”. She has written multiple articles which have appeared in various international publications.