The breed dates from around year 1420 and was already then portrayed in the paintings of famous painters such as Dürer (1471-1528) and van Eyckl (1390-1441). At the end of 1880's"zwergaffenpinscher" was known in Germany as a family companion and an active guard dog. There are many theories regarding the origin of the Affenpinscher. Some professionals believe that the breed developed from a small, already extinct German terrier. Some people think that the breed is a descendant of a pinscher and others believe it to be a descendant of the Miniature Schnauzer. According to one theory, the Affenpinscher is descended from the Griffon. Like the other Schnauzer-Pinscher breeds Affenpinscher was firstly used as a rat dog and a guard dog. The Affenpinscher received a detailed breed specification in Germany in 1900.
Today the Affenpinscher is a companion. It's cheerful, fearless, stubborn and faithful nature and handy size makes it a suitable companion and an ideal guard in a small apartment. The Affenpinscher needs enough exercise to get rid of its excess energy. There has been an increased interest in agility activities for the breed. The first Affenpinscher took part in an official agility race in Finland in spring of 2007. The owners of Affenpinschers have actively taken part in dog shows.
According to the breed standard, the Affenpinscher is a small and square dog, whose features are partly reminiscent of a Miniature Schnauzer and partly of a Griffon Bruxellois. The Affenpinscher has a round head but does not have an upwards lifting nose nor do they have the small nose that the Griffons have. Its back is straight and its' forequarters moderate. The Affenpinscher has a coat of dense, rough hair and on its head the coat sticks out in every direction. This gives the breed a monkey-like look from which the breed derives its name. The breed moves in a skipping fashion. According to the FCI breed specification, the Affenpinscher's colour is clearly black. A fully grown Affenpinscher's reaches approximately 25-30 cm in size.
A charming combination of stubborn, fearlessness, loyalty and rapid changeability from calm to active are all characteristics of the Affenpinscher. The Affenpinscher is a lively and alert dog, not timid, nervous, phlegmatic or aggressive. Nowadays the Affenpinscher is a companion, but in a more active role the dog can be used for many different hobbies. The Affenpinscher can be hard to motivate which does not make it the easiest breed to train.
Care of Affenpinschers
According to the breed specification, the Affenpinscher should have a rough, dense coat that does not require more than normal combing and grooming but it should be groomed regularly. Schnauzer-type plucking should be done about twice a year. One can easily learn to groom the dog, but to start with it is advisable to turn to a good breeder or professional trimmer for help and advice. Other care methods for the Affenpinscher are cleaning the teeth, eyes and ears and cutting the nails. Balanced feeding and getting enough exercise will contribute to the long-running Affenpinscher well-being.
Affenpinschers in Finland
The first Affenpinscher was registered in Finland in 1932, but it is believed that there have been some unregistered dogs before that. Actual breeding work started with dogs imported from the United States and Sweden in the early 1990s.
Registered Affenpinschers in Finland (puppies + imports)