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Affen Spaniel - Bright and Dedicated

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Affen Spaniel

The Affen Spaniel is a mix of two lovely companion dogs the Cocker Spaniel and the Affenpinscher. He is a small to medium sized dog with a life expectancy of ten to fifteen years. He is classed as a Herding dog and as a Companion dog. He is bright and dedicated to his owners which makes him easy to train. This dedication though means re-homing him if current owners change their minds can be hard on him emotionally so make sure you are one hundred per cent sure before choosing him!

Here is the Affen Spaniel at a Glance
Average height 10-15 inches
Average weight 15-25 pounds
Coat type Medium haired, curly
Hypoallergenic? Yes
Grooming Needs Moderate to high
Shedding Moderate shedding
Brushing Needs brushing every day
Touchiness Fairly sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Not much, needs company
Barking High, known for being yappy!
Tolerance to Heat Quite good, does better in warm climates
Tolerance to Cold Low, not suitable for cold climates
Good Family Pet? Very good
Good with Children? Yes but take care with young children that they are not too rough on him!
Good with other Dogs? Yes they are very social
Good with other Pets? Yes
A roamer or Wanderer? Average
A Good Apartment Dweller? Yes due to his smaller size
Good Pet for new Owner? Yes if happy to spend time grooming him
Trainability Very good. He is intelligent
Exercise Needs Low to moderate, some play indoors and an occasional short walk are all he needs
Tendency to get Fat Medium to high chances if over fed
Major Health Concerns None known
Other Health Concerns Elbow Dysplasia
Life Span 10-15 years
Average new Puppy Price $900
Average Annual Medical Expense $400-$500
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $300-$400

Where does the Affen Spaniel come from?

This particular hybrid has become more popular in the last ten years though he is still hard to find. He was bred when it became a trend to put two pure breeds together that otherwise have not been seen before and specifics of when and where that happened are not really known. In order to understand the kind of dog you get with an Affen Spaniel it helps to know a little about the parent breeds though which way he leans towards can vary.

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The Cocker Spaniel

The Cocker Spaniel origins start in Spain – Spaniel in Spanish means Spanish dog. In the 1800s there were two groups of Spaniels, toys who were bred as companions and large hunting dogs. The latter group had two types those who were land spaniels and those who were water. The Cocker was named for his field ability for hunting woodcocks. Nowadays the Cocker Spaniel is more a companion dog, lovely to look at and a great family dog. He loves to please has a happy temperament and is a gentle soul, happy when he is snuggled on the couch with you or playing with the children. He is prone to being a bit sensitive though and needs gentle training methods.

The Affenpinscher

The Affenpinscher originates from Germany and was bred as a ratter. It was his job to catch rats and mice around stables, homes and shops. When they were bred to be smaller they became companion dogs that ladies would carry around with them. They have mischievous nature today, being bold and intelligent. They are a typical small dog in a big dog's body though and will not back down from anything. He can be excitable but he loves new things and travels very well because of that. He is a rare breed now though.

Temperament

These dogs are intelligent and friendly and make very good family pets for the most part. They are loving, playful and have a strong protective instinct. That instinct means they will bark to alert you to strangers, but may not stop straight away! They bond very closely with their owners so re-homing can be harder. They can be clownish and love to spend time with people being very social. His eagerness to please and intelligence mean he is easy to train.

What does an Affen Spaniel look like

In terms of size he usually ends up being smaller than the Cocker Spaniel but larger than the Affenpinscher. His height is somewhere between 10 to 15 inches and his average weight lies between 15 to 25 pounds. He has a medium haired coat with shorter hairs on his head. The main coat tends to be curled and come have silky feathering on their stomachs, legs and ears. Colors that are typical include light brown, black, salt and pepper, golden, gray, dark brown, chocolate. His body is small but well formed and sturdy, they are well toned not fat. His head is round and he has a short muzzle that can be pushed back a bit with round small eyes. His teeth meet in a scissor bite and his ears can be either flopped over hanging down or folded over at the top. His tail varies depending on which way he leans in his parentage, a long tapered tail that is thicker at the base or it can be more like a Spaniels, stubby like. The Affen Spaniel usually holds his tail upwards or straight out.

Training and Exercise Needs

How much walking does he need?

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He is a small dog so his needs are not as much as larger ones. However he does need some activity. Two or three short walks would be good, or two walks plus some indoor playtime if you do not have a yard. The Affen Spaniel also loves to swim and retrieve things, so a game of fetch is always a hit! Try to ensure he gets 30 to 40 minutes in total a day and he should stay happy and healthy.

Is training going to be painful and long!

No! They are intelligent so they will pick up quickly what you want them to do, though sometimes you can get the odd Affen Spaniel who is a little stubborn just make sure you stay firm but keep a pleasant tone. They do not respond well to harshness they need patience and rewards but they want to please you. Be consistent use a gentle touch staying calm and in control so that it is clear to both of you that you are the pack leader. It is a very good idea to start training and socialization from an early age. If you would prefer not to do this yourself or at least want some guidance there are classes you can take him to.

Not training your dog could lead to him being more destructive, and having behavioral problems that are harder to solve later in life. Most Affen Spaniels will enjoy the training and new experiences and when done correctly it can be a great way to spend time together. Just a note sometimes smaller dogs are harder to house train, Cocker Spaniels can sometimes have dribbling accidents. Crate training or puppy pads may be helpful.

Living with an Affen Spaniel

Taking care of his grooming needs

He needs regular grooming to keep his coat healthy and looking good but being a smaller dog that is not going to take long. Once a day give him a brush with a stiff bristle brush to remove loose hairs and prevent matting. When bathing use a dog shampoo rather than a people one as dogs have natural protective oils in their coats and that would strip them. If you want you could also have him taken care of at a groomers once a month to check on his coat and take care of things like nail clipping and trimming the hair on the pads of his feet and around his ears. Otherwise you need to keep his teeth clean, his nails trimmed (carefully) and his ears cleaned. Try to check him over when you groom him so that you spot any early signs if something is not right. He is good for families with allergies being as hypo-allergenic as a dog can be.

Safe to set him loose with other pets, dogs and children?

They are very social dogs so get on well with other dogs and other pets. Because of their size it may be necessary to supervise young children with them for the sake of the dog not the child! Teach your children how to interact with dogs and things that are a big no no such as pulling tails. Affen Spaniels get on well with children aside from this. Socialization and training can ensure things go even smoother though.

In and outside the home

This is not a hybrid best suited for the cold so if you live where there is extreme cold winters this is not a good puppy for you. They can live as companions in apartments or with families in houses though with their tendency to yap and bark check that the noise is not a problem. If you train him from a young age and include a 'quiet' command in there this should be easy enough to control. They do not have to have access to a yard but obviously any dog would be happy to have it. Just watch them as if they see something to chase they will be off and they do not back down from challenges no matter what the animal or his size.

They are good and loving and very intelligent but still sometimes have trouble with house training so you may have to deal with more pee accidents. Crating or pads are a good idea. They have an alert nature though so will bark if a stranger approaches or if something is amiss. Be sure this dog is the one you want before you give him a home. As mentioned his loyalty to his owners is complete and being rejected can take him longer than some dogs to get over.

Health Concerns

There are no known major health issues for the Affen Spaniel as of yet but he is fairly new and rare still so time may change that. In terms of minor health problems Elbow Dysplasia is one thing to have come up. There may be others as both the Cocker and the Affenpinscher have heath conditions they are more prone to which may be something the Affen Spaniel displays further down the time line.

Costs involved in owning an Affen Spaniel

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Owning any dog takes a certain level of financial commitment as well as your love and time. As well as the initial cost of the puppy which will be around $900, there will also be getting a crate $95, getting him spayed $200, a carrier bag $60, collar and leash $30, misc costs such as chip and food bowls $100. Then expect to have costs each year, obviously there will be food around $120 a year, licensing $15, toys $30, treats $30, insurance or saving for emergencies $220. Other costs you may have to work out include training, socialization, classes, grooming, doggy hotels, travel costs, bedding.

Summary

This is a great and loving small dog that would be perfect whatever size place you live in, whether you are part of a larger family or on your own and looking for a pet friend. Give him your devotion and he will give it right back. While he is not exactly low maintenance and he does have a tendency to bark with training the latter can be controlled, and the former can just be considered bonding time together!

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