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Affen Terrier

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Affen Terrier

The Affen Terrier brings together two popular small breeds the Affenpinscher and the Border Terrier. He has a life expectancy of between 10 to 15 years and can be one of the smallest dogs to exist, sometimes still staying in single digits even when reaching full maturity. So if it are looking for a small dog with a big heart this definitely fits the bill. He is classed as a Herding dog but is also positioned as a watch dog, companion and athlete. The latter comes from his talent in several fields including agility, competitive obedience, hunting, tricks and tracking.

Here is the Affen Terrier at a Glance
Average height 10 to16 inches
Average weight 7 to 15 pounds
Coat type Wiry, short to medium
Hypoallergenic? Yes
Grooming Needs Low to moderate
Shedding Moderate
Brushing Needs brushing at least a week
Touchiness Not overly sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? No, prefer companionship
Barking Moderate
Tolerance to Heat Good to very good prefers warm climates to live in
Tolerance to Cold Not good, should not live in a cold climate
Good Family Pet? Very good
Good with Children? Very good and patient too
Good with other Dogs? Friendly but likes to try and dominate them!
Good with other Pets? Yes good to very good here too
A roamer or Wanderer? If he is more like his terrier side high, otherwise moderate
A Good Apartment Dweller? Yes excellent for it
Good Pet for new Owner? Yes very good to excellent
Trainability Easy to train as he likes to please and is clever
Exercise Needs Low to Moderate needs
Tendency to get Fat Moderate to high if kept in the apartment all day
Major Health Concerns None known
Other Health Concerns Hip and elbow dysplasia
Life Span 10 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $765
Average Annual Medical Expense $400-$475
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $250-350

Where does the Affen Terrier come from?

As a hybrid or designer dog there are no origins as such and little is known about when and where the Affenpinscher and the Border Terrier were first crossed. As with all crosses the temperament and appearance sometimes lean more towards the Terrier side and sometimes more towards the Affenpinscher and that can change from one litter to another. Both its parents are considered lap dogs and because of its size so is the Affen Terrier.

The Affenpinscher


Originally from Germany the Affenpinscher was a ratter dating back to the 17th century. This meant he was bred to catch rats and mice and other vermin around shops, homes and stables. Eventually he was bred to be smaller and became a dog ladies would often carry with them as companions. Much later he was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1936. Today he is also known as 'the monkey dog' because of his looks. He is a rare breed and is intelligent sometimes stubborn, affectionate and happy.

The Border Terrier

The Border Terriers origins can be found in the North of England where he was bred in the 18th century to help farmers in their battle against foxes. He is so named because where he was bred bordered with Scotland. It took some time for other dog lovers to notice him though and he was not recognized as a breed in Great Britain by the Kennel club there until 1920. In American it was 1930. Now he is an affectionate and good tempered dog who is easy to train. He is very intelligent but does not like having other small pets in the house with him. They do tend to become overweight quite easily too and love to escape and dig and run away!


The Affen Terrier is an active and attentive dog who also has intelligence and loves to play. He is friendly and makes a great family pet though because of his size it is the children who need to learn to be careful when playing with him so that he does not get hurt. He has lots of energy and often when with a family will bond more closely with one person though he is still friendly with everyone else. He is loyal and loving too and eager to please.

Occasionally there are some puppies that inherit that stubbornness an Affenpinscher can display!

What does an Affen Terrier look like

Affen Terriers are just 10-16 inches in height and weight between 7 to 15 pounds. They are in fact one of the smallest dogs you can get. His cost is wiry and medium to long in length and usual colors are white, black, dark brown, chocolate or tan. Often he has markings or colors are mingled together. His body is very small and fine boned but he does have a sturdiness to him. He is well proportioned with short legs that suit the small body. He has a muzzle that is slightly pushed in and is short, a nose that is black and eyes that are round. Ears can be upright, folded over just at the top or in a drooping down position. His tail is thicker at the base and then tapers out and gets thinner at the tip and is long. He usually has it held upwards and you can see a sickle curve. Some may hold out outwards though and just raise it when they are showing interest or excitement.

Training and Exercise Needs

Does he need to go outside?

They have a lot of energy but being so small as long as they get interaction, stimulation and play time indoors they do not have to go out. However a short walk each day and some fresh air is always good for him, and for you! Because of his energy and intelligence he can get bored easily which can lead to destructive behavior such as chewing, digging and barking. A yard is not necessary if you are able to take him out a short time each day but it is a bonus. It gives him a place to play. Affen Terriers like to play fetch, run, and swim.

Obedience and Socialization

These are dogs that are very easy to train usually as they are fairly intelligent and love to please and are excited about being stimulated. Be consistent, firm and make sure you establish your dominance especially if you have a stubborn one! Always be calm and use positive reinforcement and rewards. They respond super well to this and will quickly pick up basic obedience commands. You should also include socialization when he is young so that he learns how to deal with different people and situations.


They do have some challenges when it comes to housebreaking as do a lot of small dogs so you may want to use crate training or there are puppy pads to help with this. With consistency and patience you should be able to crack it most of the time!

Living with an Affen Terrier

Grooming needs

He does have some grooming requirements but it is fairly easy to take care of an Affen Terrier. He needs regular brushing using a stiff bristled brush to remove mats and debris that may be stuck in his fur which is more likely if he is long haired. Brushing should be done at a minimum of once a week to keep it looking healthy and to remove any hair that has become loose. He is a moderate shedder. Bathing should happen as and when it is needed taking care to only use dog shampoos that are designed for him, as human ones can strip his natural oils.

Other grooming to be done includes checking and trimming nails. Take care with the blood vessel that runs in them, do not cut too low or if you want to lean to the safer option take him to a groomers or his vet for clipping when they get too long. He also has excess hair that can grow between the pads of his feet that needs to be trimmed now and then. You should also give his ears a wipe once a week with a damp cloth and brush his teeth at least once a week of not daily.

Pets and kids

Affen Terriers are good with children, they are patient and friendly. The danger is not to the children, it is to the dog because of his size. Young children have a tendency to not realise how delicate they can be so need to be taught proper ways to interat with the dog, and supervised.

He also gets on well with other animals even cats. With other dogs they do get on fairly well but sometimes will try to dominate them, (whatever size that other dog is)! Socialization from a young age can help with this.


He is not suited to living in cooler climates and does better in warm ones. He does bark occasionally, some more than others so if you live in an apartment that has strict pet noise rules you may need to re-consider. He needs ½ to 1 cup of high quality dry food a day divided into two meals.

He is loyal and watchful and loves to receive attention. Because of that attentiveness they will notice when something is amiss in their surroundings and will bark to alert you. They are not guard dogs, they are too small for that. But they make good watch dogs. They can live in apartments or houses and make a great family pet.

Health Concerns

There are no known major health issues for this cross though minor issues that may come up include hip and elbow dysplasia. For a more detailed understanding of possible health issues that might arise have a look at those common to the Affenpinscher and Border Terrier. Genetic issues that come up there other than hip and elbow dysplasia include seizures, progressive retinal atrophy and juvenile cataracts.

Costs involved in owning an Affen Terrier


The Affen Terrier is not easy to source but average cost of a puppy would be around $765. At that time you would need to also pay another $300 to $375 in initial costs that cover things like a food bowl, collar, leash, microchip, deworming, blood tests, crate and carrier. After that you can expect to be spending somewhere between $500 to $600 a year on basic costs like food, toys, license, training, emergency health care and treats. Additional 'luxury' costs should you need them include using a professional groomers, kennels, dog sitter.


These are cute little dogs that are well suited to almost anybody first time dog owners included. They are trainable, loving, entertaining, alert but may be moderate barkers so if noise is a problem where you live that could be a problem. They are very attentive towards the person they bond most closely with and can be more than just a lap dog if you want.


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