Is an affenpinscher puppy the right choice for me and my family

The Affenpinscher is considered a toy breed by the AKC. It is a wiry-haired dog that looks somewhat like a terrier but is not. It is a curious, active, confident, fun loving, lively and affectionate dog. It has small erect ears and some owners crop these ears, especially if he is to be a show dog. Other owners have stopped cropping the ears and still show them.

*Are They Good With Children? They can be just fine with older children. But they are generally very territorial, especially with their food and toys so they are not considered appropriate as pets for small children. There are always exceptions to the rule. Never leave very young children alone with any dog.

*Temperment. They are generally quiet but alert. They can become fierce and fearless if they or their human family is threatened. They exhibit loyalty and affection to their adopted family.

*Approximate Adult Size. Generally the adults range from 7 to 8 pounds and 9 1/2 inches to 11 1/2 inches tall at the highest point of the adult dogs back, or withers.

*Ideal Environment. A fenced yard is always ideal for a dog but they will do well in an apartment. Expect them to run around in your apartment for exercise. If you do not have a yard, they will need frequent walks to burn off some of their energy. They do not like extreme temperatures, very cold or very hot.

*Special Health Considerations. This dog is considered to be very healthy but luxating patellas or trick knee is a common problem. This is where the kneecap dislocates or gets out of whack. This condition occurs more frequently in miniature and smaller breeds. Other less common considerations are patent ductus, hip dysplasia, Legg-Calve-Perthes Syndrome and collapsed trachea.

*Grooming. He has a harsh coat which should be brushed weekly and never clipped. The coat can be difficult to work with so an occasional professional grooming would be a good idea.

*Life Span. The average life span is 10 to 12 years.

*Training. It is recommended that they be crate trained. Because they can be stubborn and difficult to house train, crate training is ideal. Crate training runs on the principle that dogs and puppies instinctively do not want to soil their immediate surroundings. This will work in your favor. As long as you take your puppy out frequently, and understand that every time that puppy comes out she will need to go outside immediately, the puppy will almost house train itself. Praise the puppy every time she does her business outside.

*Training your puppy to poop outside is not that hard. When your puppy is loose in the home, at first, follow her around and keep a sharp eye on her. She will probably have to poop either right before she eats or right after, or right before and right after. It will not be rocket science to figure out her schedule. She has some control over this function and will welcome a chance for you to help her do the right thing and learn the rules. Give her lots of praise for pooping outside, every time. She wants to please you.

*Pee training is more difficult as your puppy can pee about 10,000 times a day, or at least it seems that way. Actually, your puppy has some bladder control but not much capacity so taking her out before and after everything you do will help her figure out that peeing in the house is not the right thing to do. Lots of praise is essential when she pees outside. Raise your voice a little when you praise her as she does not understand English. At first, she will pee in the house just because she has a little discomfort and why hold it. When she figures out that you do not want her to pee in the house, she will make an effort to hold it until she goes out. Her holding time as a puppy is short so frequent outs are a necessity. Between your positive reinforcement, her increased capacity to hold her pee as she becomes an older puppy and her instinct, you will be successful. Keep in mind that there will be accidents. Be sure to wipe down with a bit of white vinegar after you clean up an accident to make the scent so she does not get the wrong idea.

*History. The Affenpinscher was developed in Germany and goes all of the way back to the 17th century. The name relates to the German affe which means monkey in German. The monkey dog. The French call them the devil dog. The breed was developed to kill rats, mice, and other vermin in and around the house and barn.

*Special Good Points. Very loyal to family and protective. Fun loving.

*Special Bad Points. Can be difficult to housebreak. Can be stubborn.