The Affenpinscher is a robust, intelligent, terrier-like toy dog ​​that generally adapts well to life in today’s smaller dwellings. Early Affenpinscher socialization is critical, so be sure to purchase from a responsible breeder who has given the puppies lots of loving attention and exposed them to a wide variety of people, sights, sounds, and smells. Because toy puppies are so small and fragile, it is unlikely that you will be allowed to bring your puppy home until he is 12 weeks old. Affenpinschers are relatively rare and have small litters of only two to three puppies, so don’t be surprised if you have to wait long enough to get a puppy from a reputable dog breeder.

Trusted places to start your search are the AKC (American Kennel Club) and the Affenpinscher Club of America, the AKC recognized national club for the breed. The Affenpinscher Club of America (ACA) offers a wealth of information on the breed for both newcomers and seasoned fanciers. They also offer a breeder referral service, through which you can locate ACA member breeders in your part of the country. ACA breeders must adhere to a code of ethics in their breeding programs; this offers security to the prospective Affenpinscher owner, who is looking for a reputable breeder they can trust. If you are interested in an adult Affenpinscher rather than a puppy, the ACA also has an active rescue program that can help you find an Affenpinscher in need of a new home.

When trying to decide which puppy is right for you, study the breed standard and ask to see at least the mother, all the puppies in the litter, and other relatives if possible. If you are lucky, the father will be on the premises, although this is not always the case.

If you plan to buy an Affenpinscher, try visiting the potential pet in its original environment. Seeing the temperament of the parents and the puppy in your own home will help identify personality traits. If this is impossible, then it is important to contact other Affenpinscher owners and the breed club to learn about the reputation of the breeder of your prospective puppy. Horror stories abound of people who have impulsively bought a cute puppy and paid more money than the cost of a potential show from a reputable breeder. The temperament and health problems that have been encountered with poorly bred puppies are indeed tragic.

A responsible breeder will likely ask you many questions to ensure that you provide a suitable home for an Affenpinscher puppy. Don’t be offended, as these questions will also help you find the puppy that best suits your personality and lifestyle. Keep in mind that if you have young children, the Affenpinscher is probably not a suitable breed for you. Before you begin your search for puppies, you should read as much as you can about the breed and rank the qualities that are most important to you. Be sure to make your wishes clear to the breeder, who has been observing the puppies since birth and will be more familiar with their individual characteristics than you during a short visit. Also, if you aspire to show off your Affenpinscher, the breeder can use his experience to predict as best he can which puppy shows the most promise.

When you go to visit the breeder and litter, you should have already decided whether you want a dog that is calmer and quieter or more outgoing and assertive. Observe each puppy closely. All puppies are cute, of course, but which one seems to be the most curious, the most playful, etc.? What could be the best guard dog or the sturdiest companion if you want the dog to accompany you on long walks?

It’s not uncommon for Affenpinschers to be a bit wary of strangers at first, but puppies should soon come to you in a familiar environment with a little encouragement from their breeder. An occasional puppy can be quite aloof, which may indicate more caution than you want. The ideal puppy for show or obedience ring is extremely outgoing. If Affenpinschers tend to be stubborn, try holding a puppy in your arms on its back for a moment. If your puppy frantically struggles to escape instead of relaxing in your arms, he can become a very dominant dog that could be more difficult to train.

Ask what health tests have been performed on the puppy and the parents, ask to see the documentation of the test results, and ask what type of written health guarantee the breeder will provide. At a minimum, you should be given a few days to take the puppy to your vet for a full checkup and to be able to return the puppy for a full refund if any problems are found. It is not enough to be able to exchange a sickly puppy for another from the same lower litter!

Older Affenpinschers, retired show dogs, or retired breeding animals that have been spayed or neutered, often make excellent pets. This breed is highly trainable and very adaptable if introduced into the family in a quiet and consistent manner. Most older dogs accept cage training and appreciate scheduled quiet time in a comfortable enclosure. Be sure to allow the dog to visit your bathing area immediately after the break. Gradually introduce the newly adopted adult to a new or different environment after having been released and exercised for an appropriate period of time. A secure exercise pen or fenced yard is a must for all small dogs.


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