Affenpinscher are noted as far back as the 15th and 16th Century in artwork from those periods, the dogs of this breed type were first named by the German name of “Zwergaffenpinscher” in the late 17th century.  Literally translated: “zwerg” meaning  “miniature” or “little”, “affen” meaning  “monkey” and “pinscher” meaning  “dog” The Affenpinscher is a small, terrier-like dog famous for its monkey-like expression. Affenpinscher lives up to his name,’monkey terrier’, in both looks and actions

From all history reports, a man from Lubeck, Germany was the first to breed them in earnest. Soon they were bred to a smaller size and used in the home as mousers. Mice were the great fear of the women of the house due to their long skirts. Most of the Ratting Terriers were salt and pepper, reddish black (red gray with the black hair mixed) or solid black. Dogs of the same description bred in other parts of Germany were of salt and pepper in color and more of the Schnauzer Ratter type of dog.

The color in Europe and England is always black, though a light frosting of grey is permissible. Canada, Mexico and Bermuda use the American Kennel Club standard, which allows for several colors: black, silver, black and tan, red, and belge (a mixture of red, black and white hairs). The Affenpinscher has a domed skull, short muzzle and ears that are cropped to a point or naturally either drop or stand erect or semi-erect.

The breed is confident, lively and affectionate towards family members, but their loyalty towards them also makes them very protective of them. Affenpinschers can be somewhat territorial when it comes to their toys and food, so they are not recommended for households with very small children.