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Affen Tzu (Affenpinscher & Shih Tzu Mix) Info, Pictures, Facts, Traits

Emma Braby Profile Picture

By Emma Braby

Affen Tzu mixed dog breed

Height: 9 – 11 ½ inches
Weight: 8 – 13 pounds
Lifespan: 11 – 15 years
Colors: Black, blue, brindle, gold, white, belge, silver, red or a combination
Suitable for: Families with children and other pets, those looking for a low-shedding dog, experienced dog owners, those with plenty of time to give, apartment living
Temperament: Feisty, sassy, fun, stubborn, needy, affectionate, friendly

The Affen Tzu is a lovely little mix of the Shih Tzu and the less well-known Affenpinscher. Together they have created a well-balanced but spunky dog who is the best of both his parent’s world. He is a little dog, but he is full of BIG personality. Feisty, fun, and comical as heck, he is a wonderful family pet to have.

However, there are certain things that you need to know before you fully commit to him because he is not everyone’s cup of tea. He is needy, he can be high maintenance, and he can be challenging to train. As long as you have the time and energy for him, he does well with most families.

Here in this guide, we are going to talk about all things personality, intelligence, training, grooming, and much more. So, join us on our Affen Tzu discovery to see if he is your next canine soul mate.
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Affen Tzu Puppies


The Affen Tzu is a needy dog who needs constant attention. He is quite cat-like in that he thinks his humans are there to serve him rather than to be his master. The Affen Tzu needs continuous attention, and he hates to be left alone. For this reason, he needs a family that can spend most of their time with him.

He is not suited to those that work long hours away from home, or like to travel without their doggies in tow. He is a sassy chap, and you’ll know about it if you upset him.

Stubbornness is another trait of his, which means he can be challenging to train. So we wouldn’t advise that first-time dog owners take the Affen Tzu challenge on.

Thankfully though, these are the only sticking points to his personality. Which, for many dog owners, aren’t sticking points at all. Some owners find these traits endearing, and they certainly add to his charm. If you think you could handle these traits, read on to find out much more about what you can expect from him.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Affen Tzu

1. The Affen Tzu is a monkey mix

OK, not quite a monkey mix. But his Affenspincher parent is known as the monkey dog, or the ape terrier because his squishy face looks ape-ish. And Affenpischer translates to monkey dog in German. The French also call him the mustached little devil.

2. The Affen Tzu is a super funny pooch

His Affenpinscher parent is known as being one of the most entertaining dogs in the canine kingdom. So, you can be sure that he will inherit at least some of his humor.

3. The Affen Tzu is very cuddly

Behind closed doors, this guy is super cuddly and loves to give his mom and dad lots of cuddles and kisses. Just don’t tell his friends we told you so!

Parent Breeds of the Affen Tzu
Image Credit: (L) Didkovska Ilona, Shutterstock | (R) Jumpstory

Temperament & Intelligence of the Affen Tzu 🧠

The Affen Tzu is a mixed breed, and so he can inherit the characteristics of either parent. But the Affenpinscher and Shih Tzu are similar in their personality, so there won’t be too much variety.

The Affen Tzu is confident and flamboyant and loves to show his fantastic personality off to the world. Be that strangers or friends, he commands everyone’s attention.

He is sociable with all, and although he can be vocal, he doesn’t make a fantastic watchdog or guard dog. Instead, he’ll want to make friends with intruders and show off his party tricks.

After a hard day’s work of entertaining the family, he likes to snuggle down for the evening with his human pack. He is very affectionate and is so small that he’ll curl up on your lap and snooze the night away.

He likes to think he is in charge, and as you walk around doing your chores, he will supervise you to make sure you get it done right. This is all part of his charm, so you might as well just let him get on with it.

The Affen Tzu is a very intelligent dog. For this reason, he picks up commands quite quickly if he is the mood to learn. But because he does things on Affen Tzu time, you’ll have to check with him to make sure he has time for you.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

The Affen Tzu is a great little family dog for the right family. There needs to be someone at home for most of the day so that he has company, and if there is, great!

The Affen Tzu is a tiny dog that is suitable for apartment living. Because he is adaptable, he could also live in a larger home. He is quite flexible to your family environment, just as long as he feels that he is in charge.

He gets on well with children, and although he is small, he is slightly stocky and robust compared to other toy dog breeds. Just be sure that your children know how to handle him rather than treat him like a toy.

Because he is a sassy dog, there will be times where he will want to get away from his family and have some alone time. Getting a crate will not only give him a safe space to be for when his family can’t be with him, but it can also be his time out spot when he needs five minutes peace.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

As long as the Affen Tzu is socialized well as a puppy, he will get along great with other dogs. Although he is small, he will be able to hold his own with other bigger dogs around. As long as you give him his fair share of attention (or maybe just a bit more), he shouldn’t get too jealous of the love you give to your other pets.

The only type of animal that he may not get on with are rodents. His Affenpischer parent was a ratting dog used to hunt out the rats in farm barns. Although it is not a given that he will inherit this trait, there is a chance that he could. So if you have a lot of pet rodents, you might want to consider another mixed breed.

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Things to Know When Owning an Affen Tzu:

So now you know about the Affen Tzu and his cheeky personality, here are the day-to-day things that he needs to be happy and healthy.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Affen Tzu is small, and he doesn’t need a lot of food. However, he will try to convince you otherwise, especially if he takes after the forever-hungry Shih Tzu canine vacuum.

He will only need around 1 cup of high-quality kibble every day. A high-quality kibble will provide him with all the nutrition he needs to power his sassy self. Make sure that you purchase a kibble that is small enough for him to eat. He will likely need a small or toy breed-specific sized kibble.

He’ll need to eat a minimum of three to four meals a day because he has a little body that needs regular energy top-ups to prevent low blood sugar. If you have any questions about his feeding regime, always ask your vet for tailored advice.

Never free-feed the Affen Tzu, because he’ll just keep eating and eating. He is known to become obese if allowed to, which can put extra pressure on his joints and organs. So, keep him healthy and trim.

Exercise 🐕

The Affen Tzu only needs around 30 minutes of exercise a day. This doesn’t need to be vigorous like some other dogs exercise needs, and it is more of a leg-stretch to keep his body and mind happy.

He will get a lot of exercise from his playtime in the home and yard during the day. He’ll also benefit from a variety of game time during the day with his family. It’ll keep his mind stimulated and happy.

Being a friendly dog that loves to show himself off, he would appreciate some time down at the local doggy park. This will also double up as socialization training to keep his doggy manners in check.

Training 🦮

Because he is super stubborn, he is not a first-time dog, and he should only be homed with an experienced dog owner. And if you are expecting a fully obedient dog, this guy is not for you, in any way, at all, ever. We can’t stress this enough – he is a diva dog for sure.

The trick with keeping stubborn and independent dogs interested in you and your training is to make training sessions short and fun. If he gets bored with you, you’ve had it.

Find out what he likes to be rewarded with, and use this to your advantage. Positive reward training is the most effective way to train a dog. And if he inherits the Shih Tzu appetite, yummy treats will likely be his favorite reward.

As with any dog, early socialization is vital if you want a polite pooch. The last thing you want is a stubborn Affen Tzu who is also obnoxious and rude to other animals. It will transform him into the cheeky and friendly Affen Tzu that he should be, and it makes your life much easier too.

Because he is small, many owners make the mistake of allowing him to get away with rude behaviors because he wouldn’t do any harm. This is what is known as ‘small dog syndrome,’ so don’t let it happen.

Grooming ✂️

The Affen Tzu is not totally hypoallergenic like his Affenpischer parent, but he’ll likely be a lower shedding dog. This makes him an excellent choice for those that do not like dog hair floating around their home.

Depending on how long his coat is and what style you opt for, you’ll need to brush him between two and four times a week. If you opt for a longer haircut like his Shih Tzu parent (although it won’t be as long), he’ll need brushing every other day to keep matting and hair knots at bay.

If he opts for the shorter teddy bear cut, he will need brushing about twice a week to keep him looking healthy and shiny. Adjust his grooming schedule as per how well his coat keeps during the week.

The Affen Tzu has a teeny tiny mouth with compact teeth, so you need to brush them twice every week too. Start him young, and it will keep his pearly whites in good condition, and keep periodontal diseases at bay.

Because he doesn’t need a lot of exercise you’ll have to clip his nails regularly, otherwise they’ll become long and painful. Whenever you groom him, cast an eye over his ears too, because he can be susceptible to regular ear infections. If they become smelly or you notice he is scratching them a lot, be sure to take him to the vet.

Health and Conditions ❤️

The Affen Tzu is a healthy dog who enjoys a long lifespan of 11 to 15 years. Because he is a mixed breed, he can suffer from the health problems that affect either of his parents. So, be sure to make yourself familiar with them and their symptoms.

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
  • Patella luxation
  • Eye conditions
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Hyperthyroidism
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Male vs. Female

There is little difference between male and female Affen Tzus. The only real difference is that males tend to be larger than females, but being so small this is hardly noticeable.

Training and his environment is the most significant influence on his personality. So, be sure to invest lots of time and effort into him if you want him to be his happy and showy self.
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Final Thoughts

As long as you keep the Affen Tzu busy and excited, your relationship with him will be a very happy and rewarding one indeed.

He will provide you and your family with a lot of entertainment, and being so small you can take him everywhere with you. He will be a big hit down the local café, and he’ll lap up all the attention.

He needs constant company, and he needs a lot of effort put into his training to make sure that he doesn’t get too big for his sassy boots. As long as you can provide him with this, everything else will fall into place.

Are you ready to serve the Affen Tzu? If so, what are you waiting for – your diva designer doggy is out there expecting your call.

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Featured Image Credit: Pikist

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