Affenpinschers have rough, shaggy coats that require a moderate amount of grooming, which includes weekly brushing and, depending on your preferred hairstyle, regular stripping of the coat. See below for details on maintaining an Affenpinscher's coat, along with further info on optional hairstyles.
These dogs' thick, shaggy, short- to medium-length coats require a moderate amount of care, so Affenpinscher grooming will take some time each week. Affens shed very little, but their shaggy coats are prone to mats and tangles, so they'll need brushing at least twice per week. They only need occasional baths (every 3-4 months is fine), but their coats need to be stripped several times per year. Their fur will also need to be trimmed, particularly around the eyes and face, about every three months.
To brush an Affenpinscher: you'll need a slicker brush and a comb. First wet the coat with mist from a spray bottle, then use the slicker brush to first brush the dog's chest, moving upward toward the chin. Then go over its belly and inner legs, switch to the body and outer legs, and finish with the head and facial furnishings. Along the way, work through stubborn mats/tangles with the comb (or your fingers, if necessary). If you're following the brushing with a bath: the kitchen sink is large enough to bathe these little dogs. Use canine shampoo, lather well, rinse thoroughly, then towel and/or blow-dry the coat; finish with another quick brush-through to make the coat look as neat as possible.
Affen coats will also require stripping (either by hand or with a stripping knife) every 3-4 months, and a trim every 3-4 months is necessary as well. Many Affen owners choose a shorter haircut for their dog to reduce the amount of stripping/trimming needed. Regardless of your preference, it's a good idea to take an Affen to a professional groomer at least once; the groomer can advise you on stripping, trimming, and grooming the dog yourself.
Many breed owners choose to give their Affenpinscher a haircut to lessen the amount of coat maintenance required for these dogs. If you choose to leave your Affen's coat at full length, it will need to be stripped several times per year, either by hand or with a stripping knife.
Here are descriptions of two popular Affenpinscher hairstyles that give the dog a "lower-maintenance" coat:
- Puppy Cut: In this style, the fur is shaved short (to about an inch) all over. Many Affen owners choose to leave the hair on the legs and face a bit longer. This cut can easily be done at home with initial instruction from a professional groomer.
- Teddy Bear Cut: With their "monkey-face" features, this style is perfect for these dogs. The hair is cut slightly all over, and the legs and facial furnishings are carefully rounded and sculpted to make the dog resemble a stuffed animal. Can be done at home with instruction--but it might take a bit of practice.