All You Need to Know About the Affenpinscher Dog Breed

Affenpinscher originated in Germany during the 1600s where they were primarily used as vermin hunting dogs. It is not entirely sure how these dogs were developed, but it is believed that they are linked to breeds such as the Schnauzer and also the Brussels Griffon. Today, Affenpinschers are primarily companion dogs. If you're looking for a dog breed that loves to fool around and have fun all the time, then maybe the Affenpinscher is just the right dog for you. Judging by her name which literally means "monkey", this toy dog loves to monkey around. Like all toy dogs, Affenpinschers are independent and bold in character. In contrast to other toy dogs, she loves to be in the midst of her fellow dogs. They get along pretty well with other canines.

Aside from being a very good clown for the family, this breed also makes a very fine watchdog -- small but terrible, I should say. That is why the Affenpinscher is one of the breeds that families around the globe love to have as a pet. Not only does she entertain her owners, but also protects them from danger.

A Brief History of the Affenpinscher
From the word "Affen" which means monkey and "Pinscher" that means terrier, the Affenpinscher certainly lives up to her funny and lively label. The French people even call this breed diablotin moustachu -- in English, it means "mustached little devil."

Although this breed is known to have originated in Germany, her exact origins are still vague. The Affenpinscher has been thought to exist since the 17th century because Dutch paintings dated back in that century had images of dogs that resemble this toy breed.

During this time in Europe, small terriers were made to work for their owners as rat hunters. They were very good at this job considering their size and speed. They were used in kitchens or in homes to keep away vermin from their owners' food. These small terriers were bred to become smaller than they already were and this smaller strain of terriers came to be known as the Affenpinscher.

These smaller terriers were then further polished by crossing them with German Silky Pinschers, Standard German Pinschers, and Pugs. This was done by the Germans; that's why they claimed that this breed truly originated from Germany. It was also then that this dog breed became popular. Long after that, in 1936, the American Kennel Club recognized the Affenpinscher. Although this breed became very rampant during those years, their number declined after World War II, making them one of the toy breeds that are rare today.

The Appearance
This canine is a rather small animal standing at only 10 inches and weighing approximately 9 pounds. The affenpinscher has medium length fur and is available in different colors, although the most common coat color is black. The coat is commonly shaggy and very coarse or wirey giving the animal a 'devil may care' look; however, it should be noted that the hair on the face is longer and provides a very cheeky impression. This dog has been described as a square dog with a box-shaped body and a very broad chest. The head has a pronounced square structure with a very short nose and docked, erect ears. It is often the case that the hair is quite curly and only adds to the disheveled appearance.

Health Concerns
All animals have a susceptibility to health problems, and in the canine world, the pureblood puppy has an even higher risk to detrimental medical conditions. Due to the short nose, the affenpinscher can suffer from respiratory problems, particularly in warm climates. Their bones are also quite weak and this animal is prone to bone fractures and breaks. This can be a problem as the bone may not heal quickly and when healed may have an abnormal shape. This can add to the problem of hip dysplasia which is a condition where the thighbone does not fit into the hip joint. Hip dysplasia can lead to arthritis and lameness.

The Personality
To meet their cheeky exterior, the affenpinscher is a busy, inquisitive and active dog. While they are keen to remain active and are quite sociable, this dog will not make a very good pet for young children. Despite their affectionate nature, the affenpinscher can become authoritarian if not trained and can display aggressive behavior to those who do not respond to his pack leader temperament.

Advisably the Affenpinscher's coat needs to be plucked once in a while and is usually done by professional groomers. The hair of the Affenpinscher should not be clipped as this tends to ruin the coat of the dog. With this breed, you will sometimes find that there are some hairs growing in the corners of their eyes which may lead to them being irritated. Try to remove these without waiting too long.

Affenpinschers are very clever dogs that will perform well in challenging tasks. They are prone to becoming bored fairly quickly, and will not do well when their training regime is very dull. These dogs will learn very quickly, and it is important to train them firmly as they can also pick up on bad behaviors. The Affenpinscher can be fairly difficult to housebreak, and it is advised that they are crate trained. This breed will do well if the training sessions are full of fun for both the owner and the dog.

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