The affenpinscher, also known as a monkey dog, affen, or affie, is a toy breed of dog that resembles a terrier. Its name is derived from the German word Affe, which means monkey or ape, and it is thought to have originated in Germany during the seventeenth century. This dog was bred to eradicate rodents from kitchens, stables, and granaries and was slightly larger than its modern size.

A typical affenpinscher weighs between 6.5 and 13.2 pounds and can reach twelve inches in height at the withers, or shoulder blades. The face of this dog is furry and resembles a monkey, the trait from which it probably received its name. Its fur is soft when groomed but coarse when left un-groomed. The standards of the KC and FCI state that a pure bred affenpinscher is black in color, while AKC standards state that the breed can be red, silver, black, grey, beige, or black and tan in color. Many other dog clubs list differing colors for the breed, but most prefer that the dog be black.

Studies have shown that the affenpinscher has a life span typical to other pure breed dogs, but it is shorter than other dogs its size at about 11.4 years. During this study, which used blood samples from individuals from the UK, it was found that the most common cause of death was old age. This breed of dog often develops hip dysplasia, collapsed tracheas, and occasionally cataracts. The affenpinscher is listed as a breed of dog that does not shed, although every dog sheds to varying degrees.

The affenpinscher can be compared to the terrier, but the two breeds are actually distinct. This can be seen in the FCI classification of group two pinscher-schnauzers that are typically well behaved around people and other pets. Other temperamental characteristics include being adventurous, curious, playful, stubborn, and loyal. It is very active and needs a large amount of play and training. It can be territorial over food and toys and is not suggested to live in homes with small children.

Image Caption: Affenpinscher. Credit: Craig Pemberton/Wikipedia