The Affenpinscher dog is another of the beyond words, stinking’ cute flat faced toy dogs I absolutely adore. Everything about Affenpinschers is giggle provoking. The name, the crazy Einstein hair and their conviction that they are the biggest, coolest dog on Earth.
Let’s start with that name…Affenpimscher, which literally means Monkey Faced Dog or Monkey Terrier in German. Uffe means ape or monkey and pinscher means terrier and sometimes loosely used for dog in German. For more name fun, the Affenpinscher is called the “Diablotin Moustachu” or the “moustached little devil” in France. Gotta love a dog whose very name is so whimsical!
While the Affenpinscher is a very old breed, some say dating back to the 1600s, that early dog was much bigger, standing over a foot tall at their shoulders. They were also any random color…who cared as long as they did what they were bred to do…hunt vermin! They were used to catch and dispose (nice work for rip apart and kill) of the rats that infested the ships and docks. Their work ethic and fun looks soon moved them from the boats into the homes and stable of those who met them.
As with many dog breeds, there is no definitive word on exactly where the breed originated. Germany, where they are very popular today, claims them as do the Dutch and French. Many of the Dutch painters who painted the wealthy and royal depicted little dogs who looked much like today’s Affenpinscher at the foot of the lady of the house in the portraits. It is thought that the German Pinscher, Pug, and also the German Silky Pinscher were added to the bloodlines to set the looks of the dog we know today.
It is easy to see the Brussels Griffon (Griffon Bruxellois) and Miniature Schnauzer received both looks and tenacity from the Affenpinscher, who is recognized as being behind both breeds. To me, the Brussels Griffon got the look and the Schnauzer got the work ethic.
They are relatively hardy little dogs, without many of the health issues that plague other toy breeds. Sure, they have some issues with luxating patellas and the super round eyes can cause them to have more issues with eye abrasions, but they are much less prone to issues than some other breeds.
Personality plus, is another hallmark of this breed. Their temperament is a lot like they look – inquisitive, sassy, and full of themselves. Of course, they can be hard to house train, like virtually every other toy or small breed. Invest in paper towels!
No mention of the Affenpinscher would be complete without mentioning AKC BIS, BISS Gr. CH. Banana Joe V Tani Kazari (AKA Joe) won Best in Show at the 2013 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City. This Best in Show at Westminster was a first for the Affenpinscher. CONGRATULATIONS to all involved!
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