Being a cross between two small, low-shedding dogs, it’s no surprise that the Affenchon is also tiny with low-shedding. As a hybrid of the Affenpinscher and Bichon Frise, the Affenchon also takes on other characteristics from the parents’ breeds. Some of those are barking, the need to be socialized early, and attention to grooming. The Affenchon is a breed that can adapt to and feel comfortable in, in most environments, except for extreme heat. They may be timid, but they along with other pets, though they may be wary around strangers. Affenchons are not good around little children as they have a propensity to getting hurt inadvertently.
The Affenchon dates back to the 1990s when someone bred an Affenpinscher with a Bichon Frise. While the Affenchon itself is a relatively new breed, its parents’ history goes way back. The Bichon Frise dates to the 13th century, the relative to the Maltese, was brought by Spanish sailors all around the world, where they became lovable pets, even by the royal courts of the French.
Affenpinschers originated in Germany, in the 1600s, to be farm dogs, in charge of hunting rats and mice. The breed became family pets during the 18th and 19th centuries after they were brought indoors to rid the kitchens of vermin during the day, and then to keep the lady of the house warm at night.
Affenchons are generally between 9 – 11 inches, just like their parent breeds, and on average weigh between 7 – 9 pounds though they can get up to as much as 12 pounds, due to Bichon Frises ability to weight that much.
When it comes to their coats, on average, they take after their Affenpinscher relatives more-so than their Bichon Frise relatives. They have medium, dense, straight fur that can come in red, white, black, or grey, or any combination of these colors. Due to the differences between the parent breeds, it is hard to know precisely what an Affenchon will look like before being born.
With a bit of personality from both parent breeds, the Affenchon is a happy and excitable dog, though they may be timid around strangers, that can get along with other pets, including cats and dogs. They tend to bark and be stubborn and hard to housetrain, so it’s essential to get them socialized, especially around other dogs, at an early age. Command training with them will come in handy as well.
This hybrid breed can suffer from separation anxiety and also needs someone who can be a pack leader by being firm with them to prevent them from taking advantage of situations. They can be trainable, and while it may take some patience and perseverance, these dogs are known for becoming obedient and respectful pets.
Caring for Affenchons
Though Affenchons may be small, they have some significant needs, and will require daily care.
Due to the size of Affenchons, they don’t need a lot, in volume, when it comes to nutrition. Generally, 1 cup of food a day is enough for this breed. Ideally, this portion would be split into two, with half a cup given in the morning and another half a cup given at supper time.
Since Affenpinschers are overeaters, you will need to be careful that you measure the amount of food your Affenchon is getting, to prevent the same issue. Meals high in protein are a great choice to help them burn off some of their excess energy.
You should brush your Affenchon weekly, even though they shed very little. Regular brushing will help mats from forming, as well as get rid of any tangles, loose fur, as well as dirt and debris. Also, brushing your Affenchon will massage their skin and get their circulation and natural oils flowing. If your Affenchon has curly hair, they may benefit from daily brushing as they will tend to develop mats quicker.
In addition to brushing your Affenchon regularly, you will need to trim their nails on a semi-regular basis, around twice a month. It is possible that you won’t need to do this as often, depending on if they are wearing down their nails naturally or not.
Affenchon Activity Levels
Both the Affenpinscher and the Bison Frise are hyper breeds, so it comes as no surprise that the Affenchon is also hyperactive, to the point of being almost intolerable. Due to being hyper, training is essential when owning this breed. You’ll want to teach a quiet command right up there with sit and stay.
The Affenchon should receive about 45 minutes of physical activity a day, and 30 minutes of mental stimulation. It is possible to combine the activities and, for instance, hide their food or toys and have them search it out. You can also purchase toys that will work with the dog on their physical and mental stimulation needs.
If your Affenchon doesn’t get enough exercise, they can become a nuisance, like many dog breeds who become bored; however, their excessive barking may drive you crazy. If you are unable to exercise with them, perhaps a trip to the dog park will be beneficial. Early socialization with other dogs is vital for this so that they don’t get themselves in trouble with some of the larger breeds.
One of the most significant areas of maintenance that you will need to keep up on when it comes to your Affenchon is their dental health. They are more predisposed to gum disease, so it is essential to brush their teeth regularly. Brushing their teeth daily would be ideal, with once or twice a week, the absolute minimum to help prevent them from developing gum disease and other oral issues.
If you so choose, you can have your Affenchon’s hair clipped, with a nail trim and ear cleaning, every 4 – 6 weeks or so.
As with many dog breeds, the Affenchon comes with its own history of health problems, ranging from minor to major concerns. In addition to gum disease, they are predisposed to cataracts, patellar luxation, and Legg-Calve Perthes Disease when puppies.
Other diagnoses that have been reported in Affenchons are allergies, most often to fleas and pollen, corneal dystrophy, and other eye issues.