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Affengriffon Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Care & Facts

Written by: Chris Dinesen Rogers

Last Updated on July 22, 2024 by Dogster Team

Affengriffon Mix

Affengriffon Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Care & Facts

People initially bred dogs for specific functions. Many were utilitarian, like hunting companions or draft animals. However, things started to change around 180 years ago. Suddenly, conformation and looks became important. Fast forward to the late 1980s, and hybrids became the popular thing, with the Labradoodle leading the pack. But now, there are many designer dogs, just like the Affengriffon. Let’s learn more about this designer breed just below.

Breed Overview


7–11 inches


7–12 pounds


12-15 years


Black, tan, beige, red

Suitable for:

Active families looking for a loyal and entertaining dog


Friendly, playful, confident

The Affengriffon is a mixed breed consisting of a cross of the German Affenpinscher and the Belgian Brussels Griffon. It isn’t as outlandish as it may seem since the two breeds are roughly the same size and look similar. It almost seems like a natural segue to selectively breed the two pups. The major purebred and hybrid organizations don’t recognize the Affengriffon, so a standard doesn’t exist.

Both parent breeds have a long history as ratters and companion animals. The breed’s curious nature and tenacity allowed them to succeed admirably at these jobs. They both joined the American Kennel Club (AKC) ranks early, with recognition in 1936 for the Affenpinscher and 1910 for the Brussels Griffon. Their antics and cute appearance have endeared them to many enthusiasts.

Affengriffon 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 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 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 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.

Affengriffon Puppies

Affengriffon puppies may be challenging to find since both parent breeds aren’t common. You should research sellers before buying because of the lack of formal recognition, and be sure to ask to see both the parents and littermates. Crosses don’t necessarily mean 50% of each dog in the final mix. However, it can help you assess the dog’s temperament and adult size.

You should only get a puppy older than 8 weeks. They need this time with their mother and littermates for proper socialization. Also, only get a pet from a breeder who has given their puppies the recommended vaccinations and deworming.

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Affengriffon Origin and History

The precise origin of the Affengriffon is unknown. That’s the bane of not having formal recognition. Nevertheless, the Affenpinscher’s history dates back to the 18th century. Early records indicate the breed was a cross between the German Pinscher and Miniature Schnauzer. Interestingly, it crossed paths with the Brussels Griffon, along with crosses with the Pug. This line likely died out with other selective breeding.

However, this breed also has a murky past, with few accounts recording the selective breeding. Some suggest the Brussels Griffon was the result of a cross between the Belgian Griffons d’Ecurie and the Pug. What we can say for sure is that both parent breeds had similar jobs, which can explain some of their temperament similarities. It’s one of the many endearing qualities of the Affengriffon.

The Affenpinscher and Brussels Griffon were ratters for many years. Of course, people couldn’t help but fall in love with these dogs. Their pivot to companion animals is understandable, particularly with modern ways to control rodents and other pests. Their popularity grew soon after formal recognition by the AKC, although precise details are vague.

Enthusiasts imported Affenpinschers into the United States in the mid-1930s.1 World War II stalled the breed’s progress until it picked up again after the conflict. It took a while for the breed to gain a following. Nonetheless, the breed won many fans, although it stands at 162nd in the most popular breed with AKC.2

The history of the Brussels Griffon has a royal touch, with the enthusiasm of the Belgian Queen Henrietta Maria, who took a fancy to the cute little dog in the 1870s. The breed got another boost a century later as the scene-stealing pup in the movie As Good As It Gets. The role helped propel the Brussels Griffon to the 92nd most popular breed for a time.

Parent Breeds of the Affengriffon
Image Credit: (L) Didkovska Ilona, Shutterstock | (R) Vera Shcher, Shutterstock

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Affengriffon Temperament and Intelligence

The Affengriffon is a sweet and easygoing dog that will fit in well with any household that can give this dog the attention it needs. They are affectionate with their families and will welcome strangers. Their temperament also makes them an excellent choice for first-time pet owners. Like many small dogs, the Affengriffon has a confident nature that you can’t help but love.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Affengriffon has many traits that make them excellent family pets. Affengriffons are adaptable and are a good choice for apartment dwellers. This pup does best in a home where they get plenty of attention and enrichment. Parents should teach their children how to treat their pets and avoid picking them up because of their small size.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

The Affengriffon is friendly and will welcome new canine and human friends if socialized as a puppy. This dog also has a strong prey drive and wanderlust potential. We also suggest supervising playtime with large dogs because the Affengriffon sometimes forgets how little they are. We also don’t recommend introducing your pooch to pocket pets.

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Things to Know When Owning an Affengriffon

The German word “affe means monkey, giving the dog the moniker Monkey Terrier. It’s worth noting that this pooch isn’t a terrier despite the similar traits and relationship with the Miniature Schnauzer. However, the name gives you an idea about this pup’s temperament. They are playful animals that will entertain you and themselves with their antics.

Remember that owning a dog is a privilege that you should take seriously. It’s a financial and time commitment to raise a good pet. We don’t recommend the Affengriffon in households where they will spend much time alone. That can set up the perfect storm for separation anxiety and a poor quality of life.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

You should give your Affengriffon a diet appropriate for the animal’s life stage and size. Puppies should get at least 22.5% protein and 8.5% fat to support healthy growth and development. Adults can get 18.0% and 5.5% respectively. You should feed a puppy three to four times daily, ensuring plenty of fresh water is available. You can cut it down to twice daily once they are adults.

We recommend monitoring your dog’s body condition since the parent breeds have a moderate tendency for weight gain. Remember that a 10-pound dog only needs 275 calories a day, of which treats should make up no more than 10%.

Exercise 🐕

Both parent breeds are moderately active, so expect the same with the Affengriffon. Daily walks will provide much-needed mental stimulation and enrichment. We recommend taking your pet to a dog park with a designated area for small dogs because of their size and temperament.

Training 🎾

We recommend reserving treats as training aids to help control your pet’s caloric intake. The Affengriffon is intelligent and is relatively easy to train with consistent lessons and positive reinforcement. Dogs serving roles like ratters often have an independent streak you must manage. They can be barkers, too. You should control these unwanted behaviors early.

This dog is somewhat sensitive, so positive reinforcement is the best approach for training. This is not unusual for companion dogs that are used to being pampered.

Grooming ✂️

The Affengriffon may have a smooth or wiry coat, and that’s because of the Brussels Griffon parent. You should brush your pet’s coat at least twice weekly to prevent mats. Check your pet’s nails regularly and trim them as often as necessary. You should also clean your dog’s ears for any signs of an ear infection, such as a foul odor or redness.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Both parent breeds are generally healthy animals. We recommend only buying from sellers who conduct pre-breeding health screenings for conditions like patella luxation and heart issues. Remember that the Affengriffon is a brachycephalic dog. Thus, they are more susceptible to respiratory ailments and exercise intolerance.

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
Serious Conditions
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Patellar luxation

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Male vs. Female

The size difference between male and female Affengriffons is slight. Either sex will make a delightful pet with the proper training and socialization. Rearing and the environment are the main factors shaping the animal’s personality. We also suggest discussing spaying or neutering your pup with your vet regarding the timing of the procedure if you choose to have it done.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Affengriffon

1. Affenpinschers Have Other Hidden Talents

Breeders show Affenpinschers for conformation to the official standard. However, this dog has other talents in the show ring, including lure coursing, dock diving, agility, and obedience.

2. The Brussels Griffon Parent Appears in a Famous Artwork

The addition of a Brussels Griffon-like dog in Jan Van Eyck’s “Arnolfini Couple” is one of many mysteries surrounding the painting and its alleged symbolism.

3. Some Brussels Griffons Had Webbed Feet

Some Brussel Griffons had what appeared to be webbed feet caused by the fusion of their two center toes. Breeders often associated it with an excellent head shape. While the official standard did not mention it for good or bad, the trait eventually disappeared from the breed.

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The Affengriffon is a sweet little dog with a curious and feisty side that many find endearing. It’s as if this dog doesn’t realize they are only 10 pounds. That’s sometimes what comes from being a companion animal, though. Nevertheless, the Affengriffon is an affectionate pooch that genuinely loves family. They thrive with their companionship and attention, and they aren’t pets you should leave alone.

The Affengriffon loves people and wants to enjoy their company. In return, you’ll have a loyal dog that will lavish you and your family with affection, as only the Affengriffon can do.

Featured Image Credit: (L) Didkovska Ilona, Shutterstock | (R) Dark_Side, Shutterstock

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