All About the Affenpinscher

Learn all about the Affenpinscher dog’s personality and temperament, and discover if this dog breed is the right pet for you.

By Jerome Cushman and Jo Ann White | May 23, 2012

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The Affenpinscher dog is a family companion who is willing to be dressed up in doll clothes or to roughhouse in the yard or go chasing a ball. The breed’s flexible front quarters allow the playful dog to quickly pivot, scoop up a ball and literally toss it toward his master. Going for long walks or sitting on the sofa watching TV with the family, the Affenpinscher adapts and thrives with all kinds of human interaction.

The Affenpinscher makes an alert, intelligent and amusing pet. This dog’s personality well suits his whimsical, monkey-like appearance and the twinkle in his eyes. Imagine a dog that loves to throw and chase his own toys, using his front paws as hands. If you laugh at his antics, your Affenpinscher will perform even more enthusiastically for your entertainment. It is quite common for him to accompany his play with a great deal of enthusiastic racing around and barking, although retrieving is not something that generally comes naturally to the Affenpinscher.

Another characteristic of the Affenpinscher is its independence, which sometimes verges on aloofness. The Affenpinscher has a great sense of its own self-importance, which is comical in a dog breed so small and endearingly bedraggled.

The Affenpinscher also makes an excellent watchdog, barking vociferously as his first line of defense if he feels his territory is being invaded (even by the postman). Originally bred to guard his domain from intruders, be they rodent, canine or human, an Affenpinscher will still defend his property (including his owners) fearlessly.

It is likely that the Affenpinscher will bond most closely to one member of your family. While this dog is generally a quiet and affectionate companion, he is likely to become extremely excited and aggressive if he perceives that he or his owners are being attacked. This means that you should be careful when introducing your Affenpinscher to visitors, and make sure that he understands that they are welcome in his home. Speak to your Affenpinscher softly and soothingly, and allow him to approach your visitors when he is ready.

Although Affenpinschers do have a terrier-like personality, they generally tend to get along with other dogs and pets (except for hamstersguinea pigs and other rodent or rodent-like creatures, which they are likely to view as prey). This is especially true if they have been raised with other animals. However, you should expect that your Affenpinscher will want to monopolize all of your attention, pushing his way in if you are playing with or petting one of your other pets.


Excerpt from Affenpinscher, part of the Comprehensive Owner’s Guide series, with permission from its publisher, Kennel Club Books, a division of BowTie Inc. Purchase Affenpinscher here.

 

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