Toy Dog Group
Official MDA Breed Standard


    Although the Affenpinscher has been well known in Europe as far back as the 17th century, it is relatively unknown in America. Germany is generally accepted as its country of origin. The breed was used to control rodents. It is one of the source breeds of the more popular, and similar, Brussels Griffon. The Affenpinscher is a bright, alert little dog, very much a miniature terrier in conformation and temperament. Its bushy eyebrows and whiskers, short and rather pointed nose and keen, mischievous expression have earned him the nickname of “Monkey Dog.” In fact, in German “Affenpinscher” means “monkey-like terrier.”

Brussels Griffon Breed Standard

    The total, overall appearance of the Affenpinscher is to be considered more important than any individual characteristic. It is a small, balanced, wiry-haired, toy-type dog; with an intelligence and demeanor making it a good house dog. Body proportions give a square appearance. The height, measured at the withers, is approximately the same as the body length, measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks.

    The Affenpinscher is not delicate in any way, being sturdy and compact, with medium bone. The breed is game, alert and inquisitive, displaying great loyalty and affection toward master and friends. They are generally quiet, but can become vehemently excited when threatened or attacked; and are fearless toward any aggressor.

    The head is carried confidently upright and is in proportion to the body. It has the characteristic monkey-like expression.

    SKULL - Round, not long, domed and has a prominent forehead. The stop is clearly defined.

    MUZZLE - Short and straight, with no upward curve, and a straight bridge. The lips are black and tight-fitting. The lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper jaw and is slightly turned upward.

    TEETH - A full compliment of strong, white teeth meet in a close undershot bite. A level bit is acceptable as long as the monkey-like expression is maintained. The teeth and tongue must not show when the mouth is closed. The bottom jaw should be broad enough for the teeth to set in a slightly rounded straight row. Two missing teeth are not faulty.

    EYES - The full, round eyes are dark and brilliant. They are of medium size and in proportion to the head; never bulging or protruding. Eye rims are black.

    NOSE - The black nose is not obviously turned up nor down.

    EARS - The ears are V-shaped and set high. They may be left natural or cropped to a point, as long as they are symmetrical. If natural, they may stand erect, semi-erect or dropped. If cropped, they stand erect.

    The short, straight neck is carried upright, and is free from throatiness.

    The shoulder blades are long, flat and sloping. Upper arm is muscular and lies close to the body.

    FORELEGS - Strong and straight when viewed from any direction. The elbows are held close to the body. The pasterns are straight slightly sloping. Dewclaws are generally removed from the forelegs.

    The topline is strong, straight and slightly sloping down from high withers. The back is short and straight. The moderately broad chest is deep to the level of the elbow and the ribs are only slightly flattened. The underline is slightly tucked up at the short loin.

    Angulation in the hindquarters is moderate.

    HIND LEGS - When viewed from the rear, the legs, including the rear pasterns, are straight. When viewed from the side, the hind legs are set under the body, maintaining the square appearance. The upper and lower thighs are strongly muscled and long. The stifle and hock joints both have moderate angulation. Dewclaws are generally removed from the hind legs.

    Forefeet are short and round with tightly knit, well-arched toes. Hind feet are somewhat longer than forefeet. The pads are tough and the nails are short and black.

    The tail may be left natural or docked. The natural tail is carried curved gently over the back when the dog is in motion. The docked tail is set high and carried erect. It is generally docked to be between one and three inches in length.

    The hair is dense, rough and harsh-textured. It is approximately one inch in length on the shoulders, body and back; shorter on the rear and tail; and longer, shaggier, and less harsh on the neck, chest, stomach and legs. In a mature dog, the hair on the neck and chest may be longer, forming a cape. The monkey-like expression is maintained by the longer hair on the head, eyebrows and beard.

    Black, gray, silver, red, black and tan, or belge are all acceptable. Blacks may have a rusty cast or a few white or silver hairs mixed with the black. Reds may vary from a brownish red to an orangey tan. Belge has black, brown, and/or white hairs mixed with the red. With various colors, the furnishings may be a bit lighter. Some dogs may have black masks. A small white spot on the chest is not penalized, but large white patches are undesirable. Color is not a major consideration.

Serious Fault: Large white patches.

Disqualification: Albinism.

    Height is measured at the withers. The acceptable height range, for both sexes, is between 9 and 11 inches.

    Weight ranges from 8 to 13 pounds.

    The breed’s characteristic gait is relaxed, fluid and slightly mincing, with moderate drive from the rear. The legs move straight and parallel.
    General demeanor is game, alert, and inquisitive with great loyalty and affection toward its master and friends. The breed is generally quiet, but can become vehemently excited when threatened or attacked, and is fearless toward any aggressor.

    Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Albinism.