Grooming Your Affenpinscher

Learn all about how to groom an Affenpinscher dog, whether your Affenpinscher is a pet dog or a show dog.

The Affenpinscher dog breed does not need much grooming. Because of its hard terrier-like coat, it doesn’t become easily matted or tangled. Weekly brushing and a combing out of the fur on the legs and head will maintain the Affenpinscher’s typical scruffy appearance. There is some shedding of the undercoat, but the weekly maintenance will control this.

The Affenpinscher’s head and facial hair can become sticky depending on the consistency of food. Regular cleaning of the dog’s face with a damp wash cloth and a comb after eating will prevent a messy mustache and beard.

Many pet dog owners will have their Affenpinschers groomed professionally every six to ten weeks. This may include a clip- down, but each owner needs to decide on the “look” he prefers and discuss this with the groomer. Regular brushing and trimming can keep the need for professional help to a minimum. Here is the equipment you will need to keep your pet Affenpinscher neat and clean:

• Bristle brush
• Slicker brush
• Metal comb
• Flea comb
• Small dog toenail cutter
• Thinning shears
• Pair of small sharp scissors with rounded points

The show dog will need more hand stripping and trimming by someone with the knowledge of appropriate show dog grooming. One of the major differences between the older style and the modern Affenpinscher is in the appearance of the show dogs. The top-winning contemporary Affenpinschers are more precisely shaped with tighter, shorter coats.

If you want to groom your dog yourself, a monthly bath, toenail clipping and trimming of the hair on the rear, tail and feet will help to keep your Affenpinscher neat and clean. Here are some helpful grooming tips and tricks:

  1. Ears: Trim the hair on the ears. Also pull the hair out of the inside of the dog’s ears.
  2. Head: The head and face of this dog breed are unique, and the hair should stand off from them. The hair on the top of his head may or may not be trimmed, and the hair on the sides of his face from the outside of the eyes may be shortened to blend with the neck hair. This enhances the dome of the skull and helps to create the desired monkey-like expression. Step-by-step instructions:
    • With scissors, layer the hair to a length from about three-quarters of an inch to an inch and a half starting at the dog’s nose and going up to just behind the ears. Keep in mind that you are trying to create the image of a pom-pom chrysanthemum
    • Carefully cut the dog’s hair short on the top of the muzzle and near the inside corners of the eyes
    • Keep the hair on top of the head just a bit longer than the tip or top of the ears. Be careful so as not to nick your Affenpinscher’s ears while using the scissors.
  3. Eyes: Some care should be taken to trim the hair on your Affenpinscher’s face so that his eyes can be seen. The areas around the Affenpinscher’s eyes should be cleaned daily. To prevent eye problems, you may wish to pluck with your thumb and finger any hairs at the inside corners of the eyes that are touching the dog’s eyes. This hair should not be cut with scissors, as this creates short hairs that rub and irritate the eyes.
  4. Eyebrows: Your Affenpinscher’s eyebrows should be combed forward and scissored short enough so that they do not obscure his vision.
  5. Body: For appearance’s sake, you may use scissors to trim excess hair overhanging the edges of your Affenpinscher’s ears; trim longer hair off the ears themselves and all sides of his tail for a smooth, pleasing look; round his feet for neatness; and trim the hair between the pads of his feet. Some plucking or hand pulling of the long coat hair is needed to maintain the hard texture and manageable coat length You may also wish to clip your dog’s stomach hair with a #10 blade, particularly to prevent odor on a male Affenpinscher.

On a mature Affenpinscher, the hair will not all be of the same length. It will be naturally longer over the neck and chest and on the head and lower legs. Excessive hair over the hindquarters on a pet Affenpinscher with a profuse coat may be clipped, as is often done with schnauzers, but a clipper is generally not used on a show dog, as it destroys the proper harsh texture of the coat and may change the color as well.

Excerpt from Affenpinscher, part of the Comprehensive Owner’s Guide series, with permission from its publisher, Kennel Club Books, a division of BowTie Inc. Purchase Affenpinscher here.


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