Lifestyle needs


The Affenpinscher is one of the Toy breeds.  He is somewhat terrier-like in his character, often lively and full of mischief.  He makes a suitable companion dog and can adapt to most home environments.  He has a rough, harsh textured coat which needs frequent grooming.  He needs regular daily exercise.

Inbreeding coefficient – COI

(should be as low as possible)

The breed average COI is 9.7%

See A Beginners Guide to COI.

Health and welfare problems due to conformation

(body shape and physical characteristics)
  • Due to the extremely short nose of the Affenpinscher the breed is prone to Brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome (BOAS).  This causes upper airway obstruction, respiratory distress, and exercise intolerance.

BVA/KC Health Schemes:

  • Hip dysplasia: breed mean score 17.8 (parents should be lower)
  • Chiari malformation Syringomyelia (CMSM)

DNA tests available


Unofficial (breed club) schemes

Breed scheme – patella testing

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents (or check the KC’s health test results finder). If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other diseases reported

(for which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
  • Patellar luxation (slipping knee-cap)
  • Umbilical hernia
  • Pyometra
  • Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushings disease)
  • Trachea/windpipe disorder
  • Acute kidney failure

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents.  Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life.  Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions.  Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):

You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Advisory Council’s Standard for Breeders:

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

List of Dog Breeds