The breed is German in origin is and dates back to the seventeenth century. The name is derived from the German Affe (ape, monkey). The breed predates and is ancestral to the Griffon Bruxellois (Brussels Griffon) and Miniature Schnauzer.
Dogs of the Affenpinscher type have been known since about 1600, but these were somewhat larger, about 12 to 13 inches, and came in colors of gray, fawn, black and tan, gray and tan, and also red. White feet and chest were also common. The breed was created to be a ratter, working to remove rodents from kitchens, granaries, and stables.
This quaint little dog with its captivating monkey-like expression, is one of the oldest Toy dogs in Europe, dating back to about the seventeenth century. Also known as the Black Devil, he originated in Germany. Some think he is descended from wire-coated terrier types of the Nordic dogs of which he is a miniature, while others see in the Affenpinscher something of the pug-like dogs from Asia that are found in Europe.