The Affenpoo is a hybrid breed that combines the affable Affenpinscher with the intelligent Poodle. Its size depends on whether it is a descendant of the miniature, toy, or standard breeds. However, they are generally regarded as a small breed, and while they are loving and affectionate with their family, they can be easily irritated and may become snappy with young children that don’t yet know how to behave around dogs.
10 – 20 inches
8 – 30 pounds
12 – 16 years
Brown, black, chocolate, tan, gray
Singles and seniors, as well as families with older children
Friendly, affectionate, lively, irritable
The hybrid breed is intelligent and considered easy to train, which is little surprise considering its Poodle lineage. They tend to be eager to please and are very clever, although they can be stubborn and independent on occasion, so you will need to keep training enjoyable and fun if you want to get the best, ongoing results.
Described as hypoallergenic thanks to their low-shedding Poodle heritage, the Affenpoo requires a daily walk and regular interaction, does not do well when left alone for long periods, and the breed requires only minimal care and grooming to keep it healthy. Common health conditions include bloat, joint dysplasia, and patellar luxation but this breed is considered generally healthy.
The Affenpoo was popularized in the 1990s and is a cross between two purebred dogs—the Affenpinscher and the Poodle. Although it is a cross, it is popular in some circles. Whether you’re buying a purebred or a hybrid, you need to speak to the breeder. Ask them questions about the parents, ensure that they have any essential health checks completed, and ask to meet one or both parent dogs. The mother will usually be available for you to meet. When meeting the parent, determine whether it is accommodating and happy to be stroked.
Because the Affenpoo breed is a cross, its cost is lower than that of purebred dogs, and because it can be snappy, you may find examples of this breed in local shelters, waiting to be rescued. Even if you are adopting, you should find out as much as possible about the dog you plan on taking home. In fact, this is arguably more important with a rescue dog. Determine why the previous owner gave it up, but be prepared to do your research because the previous owner may not have told the full story.
If you already have dogs, try to introduce them to your rescue dog before taking them home. This will allow you to see whether they get along. They may not become best friends at the first meeting, but you should get a decent idea of whether they will be friendly with one another in a home environment.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Affenpoo
The Affenpoo is a cross of the highly intelligent Poodle, known as one of the cleverest dog breeds. As such, your Affenpoo will be similarly clever, but while the Poodle is known for being affectionate and understanding, the Affenpoo can be a little snappy, especially with young and small children that tend to grab handfuls of fur and pull at tails.
The typically smaller stature of the breed means that it is suitable for life in an apartment, although it is quite an energetic dog and will require regular walks.
The breed is considered very brave, which is typical for a ratter or terrier breed. Even if you have a smaller example of this breed, it will not back down from confrontation. While it may not be known as an aggressive dog, it can end up in fights because of its unwillingness to submit or walk away.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪
Young kids can be a bit physical. They can be accidentally rough, and if they grab clumps of hair or pull tails, the Affenpoo may snap back. However, the breed does enjoy the company of older children: those that are old enough to play and that have learned how to handle dogs. They are considered a good bred for seniors and singles, as well as for families with more mature children.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?
Known for its bravado and big attitude, the Affenpoo can live with other pets. It will usually get along with other respectful dogs, although you shouldn’t expect the Affenpoo to back down from a fight or confrontation—it is a terrier, after all.
Introduce the Affen to other dogs as soon as possible. Take things slowly and be prepared to separate the dogs after a short time.
The ratting instinct of the breed means that the Affenpoo may not be a good choice for living with cats and other, smaller animals. They usually retain some level of prey drive, although if you introduce them when your dog is still a puppy, it may be possible to have dogs and cats living harmoniously under one roof.
You should not let smaller animals out of their cages or hutches around the Affenpoo. They will chase animals like rats and hamsters, and they are likely to attack if they get close enough.
Things to Know When Owning an Affenpoo:
Like any breed, the Affenpoo has its positives and negatives. It is a loyal and loving dog that can live in an apartment, and it is intelligent and sharp-witted enough that it can be trained easily, in most cases. It is also energetic so can perform well in canine sports like agility.
However, the breed does not mix well with smaller animals and may not get along well with very young children that have not properly learned how to behave around small dogs. Read on to see what else you need to know about this breed and to see whether it is the right choice as a pet for your family.
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
You should feed your Affenpoo good quality dry food, wet food, or combination. Expect to feed anywhere from ½ a cup to 1½ cups of dry food per day, depending on where it falls in the scale of standard size. If you’re feeding wet food, follow the guidelines on the packaging, and if feeding a combination, reduce the amount you feed of both types of food. For example, feed half the recommended wet food and half the required amount of dry kibble, per day. Feed this over two or even three meals a day.
Always ensure that any dog has fresh water available. Your dog should be able to access a water bowl, whenever they are thirsty.
If you feed treats, or you use food or snacks as a training tool, you will need to take this into account when calculating the amount of food you give your dog each day. The Affenpoo could be quite small, so even a handful of treats can have a big impact on their diet.
The Affenpoo might be smaller, but it is a terrier, and this means that it will expect a moderate amount of exercise each day. This means that you will have to walk your hybrid every day. A 30 to 40-minute walk should be adequate.
You should also look to provide an assortment of toys for them to play with.
The Affenpoo is considered intelligent and is usually eager to please. This combination means that the breed is easy to train. However, it also has a stubborn and independent streak, which means that there will be times when the dog simply decides it doesn’t want to do training. To avoid this, try to keep training sessions fairly short and ensure that they are fun and lively. This will help keep your dog’s attention and it will prevent getting bored and walking away.
The Aff is a lively little dog and has the energy and intelligence to partake in agility and other canine sports. In fact, the Poodle is highly renowned for its ability in the ring, and this has likely been passed down to the hybrid breed.
You should socialize your dog when it is young. Socializing not only helps ensure that it will be friendly and get along with people when it gets older, but it prepares the dog for new situations. Try to start when your dog is a puppy, attend puppy classes, but be prepared to introduce it to new and unique situations. It needs to meet people of different sizes and ages, in uniform and standard attire, as well as people that are running and those that are cycling. Your dog should be introduced to contractors, people at your own door, and people in the street.
With the single-layer coat of the Poodle parent, the Affenpoo does not really shed. It will lose some stray hairs when being brushed or simply when brushing against surfaces, but it won’t have the annual or bi-annual blowout that breeds like the Golden Retriever are known for. It is considered hypoallergenic because of its single coat and because it does not produce a lot of dander.
You should, however, brush your dog’s coat at least once a week. This will help remove dead hairs that can become entangled in the coat. It will also dust out any debris and will make it easier to manage your Aff’s coat.
Nails will usually need trimming every month to 2 months. If your dog walks on hard, abrasive surfaces, this will keep the nails relatively trim and so you should only have to cut them down every 2 months or so. Otherwise, cut them when you can hear them clipping on hard surfaces. Be careful not to cut down to the quick and if you do cause some bleeding while trimming, use flour or a bleeding stick to stop the flow.
Your dog needs help brushing its teeth too. Start when your dog is young, brush a minimum of three times a week, and use a finger brush if you cannot convince the dog to let you use a full-sized brush.
Health and Conditions 🏥
The Affenpoo is considered a hardy breed. Some owners are convinced that they have hybrid vigor, which means that hybrid dogs are less prone to genetic conditions and illnesses that are passed on from one generation to the next in purebred dogs. That being said, you should look for signs and symptoms of the following diseases and conditions, and visit your vet if necessary.
Male vs Female
There is very little difference between the male and female of this hybrid breed. The male may grow a little larger than the female, thanks to its Poodle heritage. However, this isn’t the case with Affenpinschers, so may not be obvious in the hybrid, either.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Affenpoo
1. The Affenpinscher Is Nicknamed “The Monkey Dog”
The Affenpinscher’s appearance has earned it the nickname “Monkey Dog” because it has a simian face. The name Affenpinscher is a combination of the German word Affen, which means monkey, and Pinscher, which is the word given to ratters in Germany. The breed was developed in the 17th century and was originally used to hunt and kill rats and other vermin.
Over time, the Affenpinscher has gotten smaller. Acceptable colors, now, vary according to the registry. The French FCI and the UK’s KC only accept a black coat, while the AKC in the USA accepts additional coat colors including grey, silver, and red. Although the Affenpoo retains a lot of its Affenpinscher looks, it does have the so-called hypoallergenic coat of its Poodle parent.
2. Poodles Are Considered Hypoallergenic
Poodles are often described as being hypoallergenic. While no dog breed can be truly hypoallergenic, the Poodle’s coat is a single-layer coat, so it does not shed and it produces minimal dander. They are also not known for producing a lot of saliva.
People that are allergic to dogs are usually allergic to proteins that are found in the dog’s saliva, dander, or urine. So, while it is unlikely that you are allergic to the dog’s hair, because a dog licks itself when grooming and because dander gathers in the fur as it sheds, it means that high shedding dogs are especially likely to cause allergic reactions in susceptible owners. Poodle hair grows continuously, and they only have a single coat. Having a single coat, rather than the double coat of breeds like the Golden Retriever, means that there is no undercoat to undergo a heavy seasonal shed.
3. The Affenpoo’s Size Can Vary
The Affenpoo is a cross between the relatively small Affenpinscher and any of the Poodle sizes. This means that there is as much variety in the size and stature of the Affenpoo as there is in the general Poodle breed. Standard crosses measure 15 inches and above while Miniatures tend to stand between 10 and 15 inches and Toys measure up to a maximum of 10 inches. Whichever size and standard Affenpinscher you get, they will have the same proportions and the same appearance and temperament.
The Affenpoo is a hybrid breed that combines the Affenpinscher ratter breed with the Poodle. It can combine any of the three standards of Poodle, which means that its size can vary wildly according to the parent dogs.
The breed is lively and energetic and will usually get along with family members of all ages except for very young children who may not know how to behave properly around small dogs yet. It can get along with other dogs, but should not be left alone around smaller animals. It is intelligent, eager to please, and is considered a relatively easy breed to train. It can adapt to life in an apartment but will also enjoy living in a property with its own yard and outdoor space.
One of the reasons for the breed’s popularity is that it shares the same hypoallergenic properties as its Poodle parent. Its single coat means that the Affenpoo rarely sheds and does not produce much dander, so allergic reactions should be minimal around the Affenpoo.
Featured Image Credit: Affenpinscher (Sbolotova) and Poodle (TETSUZO KIZZGAWA), Shutterstock