The Affenpinscher is a dog that originated in Germany and was used for years to exterminate rats and other pests. Dogs of this breed are characterized by a wrinkled face and a shaggy coat that give them a distinctive, monkey-like appearance. This breed is noted for being energetic and mischievous, but also loyal and affectionate.
Dogs of this breed are small in size, weighing between 3 and 6 kilograms, and varying in height from 23 to 29 centimeters. Life expectancy is 12 to 14 years and they belong to Group 2 of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), which groups Pinscher and Schnauzer type dogs, Molosser and Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs.
Breed history in brief
The Affenpinscher is a breed of dwarf dog originating in Germany. The name of the breed comes from the words "Affe" meaning monkey and "Pinscher" meaning terrier. In the 1600s, Affenpinscher dogs were developed as mousers, i.e. as dogs to eliminate mice and other undesirable animals from stables. Years later, they replaced the stables by the interior of houses where they acted as mousers but also as companion dogs during the night. In the 19th century, the Affenpinscher became a well-known companion dog among the European aristocracy.
Today, some countries still use these dogs as mousers, but it is not a common practice. The Affenpinscher is often a beloved pet because of its lively and affectionate personality, but it is rare.
The Affenpinscher breed is characterized by its small size but muscular body. The tail is usually docked and carried erect, but can also be natural and curl slightly over the back during movement. The most distinctive feature of the breed is its wrinkled face which gives it a curious expression. Its head is round with dark, medium-sized eyes. The ears are pricked and erect.
The breed has a thick, coarse coat that gives it a shaggy appearance. The hair on the head, eyebrows and beard is longer in length and accentuates the breed's resemblance to the monkey. Together, these characteristics give the Affenpinscher a "scruffy" appearance. The coat color can be black, gray, silver, red, black and tan or beige. Some dogs may have black masks.
The Affenpinscher is known in France as the "little mustached devil" because of its appearance and its playful and charming attitude. It is characterized by its loyalty and affection towards its master, and is also calm although it can be excited by a threat or attack.
Common health problems
As with other dog breeds, Affenpinschers can be prone to health problems. Some of the most common disorders and diseases are patellar luxation, cataracts, hip dysplasia, corneal dystrophy and testicular retention.
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