The Affenpinscher is a terrier like dog originally bred in Germany for ratting. He only comes in a rough coat and is always black in colour, although grey shading is permissible. His mischievous monkey-like expression indicate he could share a common background with the Griffon Bruxellois which originated nearby Belgium with which Germany shares a common border.

History of the Affenpinscher


The Affenpinscher developed in Southern Germany during the early 1900's with the word 'Affen' being the German word for monkey. Whilst not really a toy terrier, the Affenpinscher accomplished the same job. He killed rats and mice in the old German farms.

To separate them from their Schnauzer (Miniature) cousins, their First Breed Standard called them the Berlin Lapdog Club.

The Affenpinscher becomes a Pure Breed

Affenpinschers, historically small Rough Haired Pinschers, were first recorded in the second volume of the German Stud Books 1903 -1907. At this time colours included red, wheaten, silver grey as well as black, black and tan and black with grey shadings and Affenpinschers were registered in Pinscher-Schnauzer Stud Book. From 1917 to 1923 60% of all registered Affenpinschers were colours other than black. It was then decided that black best suited their personality. So by 1935, 78% of all registered dogs were black[1].

Comparison between Affenpinscher and Griffon Bruxellois

Affenpinscher Griffon Bruxellois
Country of Origin Germany Belgium
Size Height: 24-28 cm (9.5 -11 ins) Weight: 3.2-5kgs (7-11 lbs)
Colour Black Clear red, black or black and rich tan without white markings.
General Appearance Rough coated and sturdy with mischievous monkey-like expression A cobby well balanced, smart with a terrier disposition. It can be either rough coated or smooth.
AffenpinscherAffenpinscher Griffon Bruxellois (Red)Griffon Bruxellois (Red)
Skull Head fairly small in proportion to body; domed forehead, broad brow.. Nostrils large and open. Chin prominent with good turn up. Distance between eyes and nose forming an equal sided triangle. Head fairly large in proportion to body, rounded but in no way domed, moderately wide between the ears. Chin prominent, in roughs furnished with a beard.
Stop Marked, but not indented Definite
Muzzle Muzzle blunt and short with prominent chin Muzzle relatively short and wide. Chin prominent with good turn-up.
Nose Black Black, with large open nostrils
Eyes Round, very dark, medium sized Round, very dark, not too large
Ears Small, set high, either drop or erect. Small, set high, semi-erect
Mouth Slightly undershot Slightly undershot
Neck Short and straight Medium length, slightly arched
Chest Chest deep Chest rather wide and deep
Feet Small, round and compact with dark pads and nails Small, thick, cat-like with black toenails.
Topline Straight sloping slightly to tail
AffenpinscherAffenpinscher Griffon BrabanconGriffon Brabancon
Body Back short and straight. Back short and level from withers to tail root
Tail Set high and carried high High set at right angles to the topline.
Gait A lively, strutting movement. Free with good drive from rear

References and Further Reading

[1] Jerome Cushman, 'Affenpinscher' published by 'Kennel Club Books' LLC USA 2006, ISBN 1-59378-335-3, History of the Affenpinscher Page 11