A true designer breed, as it is a mix of two pure bred dog breeds, the Affenshire is a small, scruffy looking pup who are friendly and affectionate. It descends from an Affenpinscher and a Yorkshire Terrier, making it a tiny breed of a dog. Affenshires, also known as Affen Yorkies, sometimes forget how small they are and will try to be the boss.
There is not a lot of history known on the Affenshire, and nobody claims to be behind the joining of the two breeds to create an Affenshire. Most agree that though there may have been accidental pairings between Affenpinschers and Yorkshire Terries throughout the years, it wasn’t until sometime in the last 20 years that they were bred with purpose.
The Affenpinscher is the older of the two parent breeds, dating back to the 1600s where it originated in Germany, 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.
The Yorkshire Terrier was developed in the mid-1800s with the same purpose as the Affenpinscher, to chase down and capture vermin. It wasn’t long however before these cute dogs became lap dogs for many proper English ladies during the late Victorian age.
When it comes to the Affenshire, there are no size differences between the males and females, both of which can grow to be between 8-11 inches and 4-9 pounds.
Affenshires take on the physical traits from each of their parents, and even within the same litter, you can have puppies with very different markings, and some may have droopy ears, while others are straight up. They tend to have dark eyes and noses and the possibility of an array of different colors; black, grey, red, fawn, and blue.
Affenshires tend to have a medium length, normal density, straight coat. Whether your Affenshire develops and underbite, like their Affenpinscher parent is predisposed to, they will have expressive and unique facial expressions.
Affenshires are often described as big dogs in tiny bodies. The parent breeds are a mix of a terrier, and a terrier-like breed so Affenshires are generally full of energy and alert. Too small to be a guard dog, they make great watchdogs!
Early socialization is important for the Affenshire as they can be barkers and have been known to be food aggressive. They are fine with other pets in the house, if they have been trained and socialized early, however, they can be nippy with small children.
They are very intelligent dogs and love to get attention and cuddles, and tend to suffer from separation anxiety, so leaving them alone for long periods is not recommended. They are adventurous and like to go for car rides, so they make great travel companions.
Caring for Affenshires
Affenshires don’t require a lot of extra maintenance and care, nor do they need a lot of space, so these dogs make a great companion for a first-time dog owner, or someone who lives in an apartment.
Due to the size of Affenshires, they don’t need a lot, in volume, when it comes to nutrition. Generally, 1 cup of a premium quality 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.
The Affenshire’s coat can be rough and wiry, or long and silky, and either way they will require combing and brushing several times a week to ensure there are no mats or tangles in their hair. At the very minimum you should brush them at least once a week. If you let it go too long it can be a nightmare to deal with.
Slow and steady is the way to go when brushing out your Affenshire to make the experience a positive one for the both of you. Try to remove large mats and tangles with your hands before going over them with a comb.
Affenshire Activity Levels
Affenshires need plenty of exercise, for such a small breed, to prevent them from getting bored. In addition, they need to be able to stretch their legs, like all dog breeds. It is recommended that they get 30 minutes of hard play, or a long walk, in to burn off their energy levels.
Overall, Affenshires are pretty low maintenance. They will need teeth brushing several times a week to prevent tartar buildup, and an annual cleaning from the vet. Their nails should be trimmed every month and droopy-eared versions of the breed will need their ears cleaned on a monthly basis as well.
All breeds, purebreds and crossbreeds alike, have a mix of common health issues associated with them. Some major concerns with Affenshires are patellar luxation, portosystemic shunt, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, and bronchitis. Some minor concerns are cataracts and allergies, and occasionally they have an issue with diabetes.
With good care, the Affenshire has a life expectancy of 12 – 15 years.