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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Affen Terrier Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Care Guide & More

Affen Terrier Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Care Guide & More


Breed Overview


9 – 16 inches


6 – 16 pounds


12 – 15 years


White, blue, silver, red, brown, gray, black

Suitable for:

Active families, those looking for a low-shedding dog


Loyal & loving, intelligent, easy to train, friendly, gets along with other pets

Affen Terriers come from two bold and brave dog groups, the terriers and the pinschers. Affen Terriers are tiny in size and giant in personality, a cross between the Affenpinscher and the Border Terrier. Leaning more towards their terrier traits, these small companion dogs won’t back down from a challenge. They’re very smart and clever, always having a look of determination in whatever they’re trying to do. If you’re looking for a small but active dog with a lot of character, the Affen Terrier just might be the dog for you.

Affen Terrier Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Affen Terrier Puppies

Although Affen Terriers are not purebred puppies, they are designer dog breeds and may still be on the expensive side. Designer dog breeds are growing in popularity, but it is crucial to go to a breeder that understands how canine genetics and breeding work.

Since they’re not purebred dogs, finding a reputable designer dog breed with full knowledge of canine breeding may be difficult. Backyard breeding and puppy mills rarely care about bloodlines and will breed dogs with unstable temperaments and health issues, which can lead to massive behavioral and anatomical issues within a breed. Be sure to ask your breeder the right questions, so you bring a healthy puppy into your home.

These tiny dogs are brilliant, making them easy to train and making it a joy for anyone around an Affen Terrier.

Affen Terrier
Image Credit: Left-  Blick, Shutterstock | Right – Colin Seddon, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Affen Terrier

The problem of getting hybrids or designer dogs is the unknown about temperament and intelligence. Nobody knows for sure what any dog’s temperament will turn out, let alone a hybrid of two breeds. Even if they’ve been selectively bred for specific temperament traits, there’s no way to know for sure. However, you can get a general but vague idea by looking at the two breeds that the hybrids come from.  Let’s take a look at the temperaments of Affenpinschers and Border Terriers:

Affenpinschers are the terriers of the pinscher family, having the looks and personality of terriers. They’re rugged, alert little dogs that have bold demeanors, letting nothing go by their ever-watchful eyes. Nicknamed the ‘monkey terrier’ due to their monkey-like faces, these small dogs love to run, chase, and hunt. While they may be small, they are by no means an easy dog to own and need a leader to follow.

Border Terriers are one of the lesser dog-aggressive terriers, thanks to their history of hunting with other dogs. They’re strong-willed and alert dogs that have high prey drives, letting nothing sneak by if they can help it. Even though they’re energetic and feisty, Border Terriers enjoy spending time with their favorite people. They’re vocal and will bark relentlessly at any “intruders,” so apartment living can be tiring if they’re not trained to stop.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?👪

Yes and no- it depends on the family lifestyle and how young or calm the children are. Since small dogs have more fragile bodies, even the toughest terriers can still be hurt by children that are too rough with dogs. Another issue is that Affen Terriers are not very patient and may growl or snap at them, so they’re best fit for active families with older children.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?


Despite their size, Affen Terriers will stand their ground if they feel threatened. They can get along with most pets, but they may not enjoy the presence of other dogs. Some may actually do quite well with another dog, but every dog is different. They do best when raised with another dog, establishing a life-long bond. If you plan on getting another dog after your Affen Terrier, there may be territorial and jealousy issues to look out for.

Cats and Small Animals

Cats and small pets will have an even harder time adjusting since they may trigger chase instincts, so we don’t recommend them for a household with a lot of cats or small pets. Pets like birds, chinchillas, and ferrets are the most at-risk of being chased, so we don’t recommend this designer breed if you already have these pets at home.



Things to Know When Owning an Affen Terrier:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Affen Terriers are active yet small dogs, so it is crucial to find dog food for their specific needs. It can be very easy to underfeed or overfeed a small dog, especially when only a few pounds overweight will make them obese. A mix of wet and dry food is ideal, with at least 20% crude protein, but it is best to consult with a veterinarian for your dog’s individual needs. Since small dogs are prone to obesity, be sure to measure each meal to ensure you’re not feeding too much.

Exercise 🐕

Exercise is synonymous with the word terrier, and it will be as well for your Affenpinscher-Border Terrier mix. These dogs will want a fenced-in yard to run around and patrol, a few brisk walks, and some playtime in between. Affen Terriers are busybodies and have lots of energy to burn, so they’ll do great on short or medium hikes. Since these dogs tend to chase after things at the drop of a hat, off-leash play should always be in a contained area.

Training 🎾

Patience and a confident, but not harsh, voice are keys to successfully training any terrier, especially smaller ones that are more independent. Affen Terriers may be highly intelligent and clever, but they’re prone to stubbornness and may be difficult to train for first-time dog owners. Group puppy classes will be beneficial for training and socialization, but one-on-one training might be a better option if your Affen Terrier is past the puppy stage.

Grooming ✂️

Since the coat of Affen Terriers is similar to both parent breeds, grooming won’t be too difficult. Brushing out the coat daily or weekly will help keep knots and debris out. They’ll need a trip to the groomers every 2-3 months as well to trim any excessively long hair around their face and paws. As long as they’re brushed often enough, their coats will maintain their shaggy look.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Affen Terriers come from two sturdy breeds, but they’re still prone to some health issues that run in both. When buying or adopting a dog or any pet, it’s essential to plan ahead financially for any care that they may need in the future.

Here are the most common health issues you may run into with your Affen Terrier:

  • Leg-Perthes Disease
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Seizures
  • Cataracts
  • Syringomyelia

divider-paw Male vs Female

Males are slightly bigger than females, but only by a couple of pounds. Except for size and possible marking issues with males, there aren’t many differences between the two. The decision is a personal one and should be made with everyone involved.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Affen Terrier

1. Affen Terriers are tiny but rugged

Don’t mess with these little guys- they come from two small yet very rugged, sturdy breeds. Both the Affenpinscher and the Border Terrier are strong dogs in toy-sized bodies.

2. Affenpinschers are more like Terriers

While they come from the Pinscher family and are feisty in their own way, Affenpinschers seem to be more like terriers. Affen Terriers are almost all terriers, with a dash of pinscher to make them unique.

3. Border Terriers were bred to hunt with other dogs

Border Terriers are still very much terrier-like, but they were bred to hunt alongside fox-hunting dogs. They have less aggression towards other dogs, which is a good thing for your future Affen Terrier!


Final Thoughts

Affen Terriers are brave, lively dogs that enjoy an active, busy life. They’re tough dogs that have tons of energy and spunk, so they can be a challenge for new dog owners. They are also highly intelligent and can be great companions, but they’re working dogs that need to burn off their excess energy. Affen Terriers may seem like they’d be great lap dogs, but they’d rather be chasing and playing all day. As long as they can burn off their energy, they’ll happily lay in your lap at the end of the day.

Featured Image Credit: Left: apolda, Shutterstock, Right: alexdeller, Pixabay

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