An Affenpinscher in Your Home? Get Ready!

Affenpinscher in Your Home

Affenpinscher in Your HomeInviting an Affenpinscher in your home is akin to inviting a willful, intelligent being from another planet to take up permanent residence within your walls, and within your heart. The “Affen” makes his or her needs known from the very beginning of your relationship. You’d better catch on quickly that the Affenpinscher is more humanoid, with more personality, than one would imagine possible from a monkey-like creature that weighs less than ten pounds. Having had the good fortune to own wonderful dogs of all sizes and breeds, I learned within a few days of getting my Chloe that you don’t own an Affenpinscher, he or she owns you. You either relinquish your alpha position for the joy of seeing the pleasure it gives the Affenpinscher  to feel in charge, or you resign yourself to a lifetime of power struggles. Regardless of your decision, the Affen will take complete control.

Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs from Psych 101, the motivational theory that is diagrammedAffenpinscher in Your Home like a pyramid with needs (physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization) positioned like rungs on a ladder? The theory was meant to address human needs, but since Affens are the most human dog you’ll ever meet, the pyramid is useful in understanding what matters to them. Almost 12 years of relatively constant contact has taught me a lot about having an Affen in your home, but Chloe still teaches me every day. And she has taught me that for Affens, the Hierarchy of Needs pyramid is completely upside down.

Affenpinscher in Your Home | Self-Actualization

Knowing that its adorableness will ensure that all basic needs are always met, the Affenpinscher is most concerned with self-actualization. The Affenpinscher wants to achieve full potential in everything. This dog doesn’t just want to be the best version of his or herself, but the best dog possible. Such desire doesn’t come across as a wish to please so much as a desire to outshine all other dog relationships you have—or will ever have had.

Affenpinscher in Your Home | Esteem

The Affenpinscher, born with high self-esteem, takes his or herself very seriously. He or she wants to be respected for strength, despite not being exactly strong. Sturdy? Well, that depends. Agile? Oh yes! Stamina and endurance? Yes, depending upon what the situation requires and for how long it is required. But strong? Those little legs are about the size of a thick pencil and the little head slightly larger than a golf ball. I would say an Affen is the opposite of strong—except in personality. However, the Affen is completely unaware of any physical discrepancies in the strength department. With a few well-timed barks, he or she can project an aura of fierceness sufficient to make a dog ten times its size quiver. But barking is reserved only for serious communication alerts such as “Daddy” arriving home, the mailman, the UPS truck whizzing by, a ringing phone or doorbell, and a dog playing in the park across the street. No whining or yipping, ever, but you may find yourself on the receiving end of a scream or two if you are not where you are supposed to be when you are supposed to be there. Other communications include chortles, baby ground hog noises, a gentle nose knocking at the ankle if lunch is late, a slight cock of the head when trying to understand a word or requesting a run when a good stretch of grass is in sight. Remember how Lassie used to communicate with anyone who would listen? Affens are as communicative and interactive as a trained movie star dog. Maybe more so!

Affenpinscher in Your Home | Love and Belonging