The Affenpinscher belongs to the terrier family and is considered a toy breed. It used to be raised to be a hunter of vermin, but in the 1800 to 1900s, it was bred to its now much smaller size and was became a companion dog instead.
The Affenpinscher has also acquired the nickname "monkey dog" and is sometimes called the Monkey Pinscher. In fact, Affenpinscher means "Monkey Terrier" in the German language. This nickname is due to the dog's monkey-like facial expressions. What gives this breed its monkey-like appearance is the hair that grows longer around the head, eyebrows, and jaw. An Affenpinscher's coat also grows about an inch long in the neck area, chest, and legs while its tail and posterior may have shorter hair. Their coat is rough, wiry, and thick. The coat can be colored red, tan, or dark grey, but black is the most preferred color by Affenpinscher owners and breeders.
An Affenpinscher with an initially well-groomed coat does not require that much further grooming attention. Although it may have a thick wiry coat, an Affenpinscher sheds much less hair than other hairy dogs. Another great thing about grooming an Affenpinscher is that the shaggy, unkempt appearance is the look that you should be going for. Not that hard to do considering Affenpinschers naturally look scruffy and untidy. This breed does not need to be made to look overly neat. Also, an Affenpinscher that is groomed with its monkey-like features enhanced is prized among this breed.
Proper care of an Affenpinscher's coat and appearance begins with its environment. Extreme temperatures, especially places with very warm weather, can ruin their thick coats. Train an Affenpinscher to be used to grooming while it is still a puppy so that it thinks of grooming time as something akin to playtime. Establish yourself as the alpha leader so that the dog will be submissive to you. Thus making the grooming session much easier for the both of you.
Grooming an Affenpinscher may not take much, but weekly maintenance of the coat is a must. Its thick wiry coat is prone to matting, tangling, and knotting. Brush its coat regularly to get rid of accumulated debris and hair that has been shed. Use a fine-toothed comb for the hair around its face and you can use a medium-toothed comb or brush for the rest of the body. Clipping an Affenpinscher's coat is not recommended as it can ruin its much valued shaggy appearance and may take years to grow back. Avoid clipping as much as possible, but you may pluck out the dead hairs.
Free the eye and ear area of overgrown hairs that may irritate the Affenpinscher. Trim excess hair with straight or thinning scissors. Also include regular teeth brushing and nail clipping in the grooming schedule. Use mild dog shampoos when bathing an Affenpinscher. Don't bathe it to often as their skin and coat may become dry and irritated.
A well-groomed Affenpinscher is one that looks like its natural shaggy self. Preserve and maintain this look so that you and your Affenpinscher can reap the benefits of proper grooming.
Grooming the Affenpinscher
by Jerry Welsh
You can read more about the affenpinscher at Sarah's Dogs, www.sarahsdogs.com/breeds/affenpinscher/ . Sarah's Dogs features in depth articles on a many different dog breeds. Each article has detailed information about the breed's appearance, personality, grooming, exercise, special needs and its history.