the monkey dog...

The Affenpinscher is also known as the Monkey Dog for its strange monkey- like face and mischievous nature. Affenpinschers were originally bred for vermin control and despite only weighing 3-4kg are very active, playful and often aggressive dogs. They will happily size up to much larger dogs and therefore need to be socialised carefully. They are usually well behaved with children, but will bite if provoked. They can have outbursts of anxiety if children are too noisy or active near them. In fact, they don't like a lot of noise, including noisy animals and people and can become quite fretful.

Affenpinschers are notorious show offs and will try to maintain your attention with a variety of cute tricks. The more you show interest in their antics, they more they will entertain you. They are very affectionate with people they know and trust and very protective of them. They are also territorial with their food and toys so you will need to teach your children not to attempt to remove things from this dog.

Training can be difficult. This breed is stubborn and particularly resistant to housetraining. You will need to be patient, firm and consistent to achieve the obedience you require. Their tendency to yap constantly needs training too,to keep it at an acceptable level.

Affenpinschers need regular exercise, either a daily walk or a sustained play session. Don't play rough-house games because these dogs fracture bones quite easily. Instead, play games that appeal to the dogs' intelligence.

Whilst they are low shedders, weekly grooming will keep them looking good (in a scruffy way) and remove any loose hairs. Also, trim the hairs around their feet and keep their toenails trimmed. Because they are prone to gum disease, regular teeth brushing and tartar control biscuits are recommended.

So, if you are after a feisty, funny, small dog that requires some time and effort, the Affenpinscher might be the dog for you.

<ul><li>Very small dog</li> <li>Medium haired - low shedding</li> <li>Can be aggressive and territorial - socialisation essential</li> <li> Very loyal and affectionate</li> <li>Very energetic</li> </ul>