In German, affenpinscher means monkey terrier. The affenpinscher received that moniker because his cute little face can resemble that of a monkey. This toy breed makes a suitable companion for small confines such as an apartment, as his exercise needs can be met with short walks and indoor play.
Most affenpinschers are solid black, although the American Kennel Club breed standard allows for black-and-tan, gray and red. Dogs of the breed sport dense, wiry coats. Affenpinschers are small, but they're no hothouse flowers. They should resemble the sturdy terriers from which they descend. At maturity, affenpinschers stand between 9.5 to 11.5 inches at the shoulder.
Like some other small dog breeds, the affenpinscher has no idea that he's not a big canine. He'll try to protect you from perceived danger -- affenpinschers are good little watchdogs and will attack anyone trying to harm their person. That attitude can get him into some trouble, so you must sometimes protect him from himself. Overall, affenspinschers are good-natured, smart and obedient.
The Affenpinscher Club of America reports that some members of the breed like to walk on their hind legs, reminiscent of an organ grinder's monkey. The AKC states that the breed has the "impish nature" of the monkey.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.