Affenpinscher

  • Overview

    Affenpinschers, whose names are derived from the German word for monkey, are known for their simian-like appearances and their spunky personalities. These little dogs are big characters. They live up to their name by constantly monkeying around, amusing their owners and standing up for themselves. If you are willing to give your pint-sized pal the attention and boundaries he needs, he will make an amusing companion.

  • Personality

    These petite pinschers stand between 9 and 12 inches tall. Despite their small size, they are full of energy. They enjoy devising creative ways to amuse themselves and their owners, which gives them their reputation as clownish playmates. They are always alert, and they take themselves quite seriously, which makes them eager watch dogs. Only with frequent socialization will these feisty balls of energy adjust to being around other dogs. They can be stubborn, but Affenpinschers respond well to positive reinforcement. They are sensitive, so they appreciate being able to see that they've pleased their owner. Although they can be slightly stand-offish, they are emotional and appreciative with their owners.

    Even though they look and act like terriers, Affenpinschers actually have more in common with the pinscher/schnauzer family, which means they often enjoy the company of other dogs and are not as temperamental or loud with strangers.

  • Coat Care

    Affenpinschers have harsh, shaggy coats that look permanently tousled without frequent brushing. Their protruding jaw and short nose gives them their monkey-like appearance. His rough, short coat is longer and shaggier around the head, neck, body and legs. The hair is shorter around the tail and bottom. Their unique facial hair makes them look like bushy-headed, mustachioed little philosophers. His long, severe eyebrows give him an air of stern seriousness. The Affenpinscher's coat comes in black, dark gray, and occasionally, tan and red.

    These short-snouted dogs are susceptible to breathing problems and respiratory difficulties. They are also sensitive to the heat, so they enjoy hanging out inside on hot days. Affenpinschers love being bathed with a detangling shampoo or spray. Because these uniquely styled pooches are groomed to be slightly shaggy, they are an easy breed to groom at home with the proper tools.

Brushing

Pay special attention to the coat around your Affenpinscher's face, beard and legs. Use a metal rake comb to comb out the longer hair. Affenpinschers don't shed, but they do need fairly routine stripping so that their coat does not become too unruly or sloppy-looking. They should be brushed weekly with a short slicker brush and combed with a metal rake comb.

Bathing

Affenpinschers love being bathed with a detangling shampoo or spray.

Hair Clipping

Affenpinschers don't shed, but they do need fairly routine stripping so that their coat does not become too unruly or sloppy-looking.

Nails

Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Wire coated dogs have sensitive ears covered in hair that  need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. West Highland Terriers and other small terriers with white coats are prone to developing tear stains around the eyes, so clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.

Teeth

Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.