Affen Tzu: Pictures, Info, Care Guide & More

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The Affen Tzu is a Shih Tzu and Affenpinscher mix. These adorable hybrid dogs make fantastic companions and useful watchdogs despite their small size. Their friendly and extroverted nature makes them an absolute riot, but they may not be the right dog for every family. Read on to learn more about this mixed breed to see if it’ll be the right fit for your lifestyle.

Breed Overview


8–12 inches


9–17 pounds


11–15 years


Black, white, brindle, liver, blue, silver, red, tan, gray, etc.

Suitable for:

First-time or experienced dog owners, families with older children, apartment dwellers


Feisty, affectionate, curious, energetic, outgoing

The Affen Tzu is a small hybrid dog resulting from crossing the German Affenpinscher with the Chinese Shih Tzu. These adorable companion dogs inherit a unique blend of traits from their parents that make them perfectly suitable for first-time and experienced dog owners alike. Their feisty and fun-loving attitude and curious and amusing temperament make every minute an entertaining one.

Affen Tzu Puppies

Finding a breeder that specializes in Affen Tzus may prove to be a fruitless endeavor. We were unable to find any breeders in our research, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. If you have your heart set on this adorable hybrid, you may want to reach out to Shih Tzu and Affenpinscher breeders in your area to see if they have any insight.

However, adopting from a breeder isn’t the only way to get your hands on the Affen Tzu. You may be able to find one at your local rescue or humane society.

Affen Tzu Origin & History

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact origins of many hybrid dog breeds, and the Affen Tzu is no exception to this rule. While this is a relatively new crossbreed, its history is a bit fuzzy. However, the parent breeds both have a long and interesting history.

Shih Tzus were favored by Chinese royalty during the Ming Dynasty and were so prized that they were not allowed to be sold, traded, or given away. Affenpinschers were initially bred to work like terriers, exterminating rats and other critters in the stables of Germany. However, once owners found that their ratters also made fantastic bed-warming companions, they became dual-purpose pups.

Image Credit: Left: black affenpinscher (Didkovska Ilona, Shutterstock); Right: Shih Tzu (Sue Thatcher, Shutterstock)

Temperament & Intelligence of the Affen Tzu

Affen Tzus offer some of the best, most redeeming qualities of both of their parent breeds. These perky and active little pups are adventurous, playful, and extroverted. Their affectionate and sweet-natured temperament make them fantastic companion dogs for the young and old alike.

They’re not the smartest hybrid breed, however, but what they lack in intelligence, they make up for in curiosity. These inquisitive busybodies are always entertaining their family members and absolutely love to show off.

The Affen Tzu is an adaptable breed, making them suitable for apartment life. They don’t have high exercise requirements and are generally easy to train. However, they are prone to streaks of stubbornness and aren’t afraid to have a mind of their own.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

The Affen Tzu can make a good family dog, but this isn’t always the case. It really comes down to the age and maturity level of the children in question, as well as the personality of the dog and which parent they take after.

Shih Tzus typically get along excellently with children as they’re affectionate and gentle. They’re generally friendly and polite toward strangers, though, as with any other breed, they do require socialization from a young age.

Affenpinschers can also do well around kids, though some have a lower tolerance for their high energy level. They don’t particularly care for strangers, nor do they like being chased or squeezed. They can become raucous and nippy in some situations. Additionally, they can be territorial when it comes to their food or toys, so they may not be the best choice for homes with very young children.

For this reason, it’s best to wait to adopt an Affen Tzu until the kids are a bit older and understand their pet’s needs.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

The Affen Tzu can thrive in the company of other dogs, but it really depends on the personality of the individual dog. If possible, it’s best to raise the animals together from a young age, so living in a multi-pet household is their norm.

The Affen Tzu can get along swimmingly with other family pets, like cats, but this may not be the case for every individual. The stubborn terrier-type personality of the Affenpinscher side of this hybrid dog can make small animals targets for games of chase. Owners should keep pocket pets like hamsters and guinea pigs in their habitats whenever their dog is around.

Things to Know When Owning an Affen Tzu:

Food & Diet Requirements

Obesity can be a significant health issue for an Affen Tzu, given their small size and less active lifestyle. Owners need to ensure they’re feeding their pups a healthy, portion-controlled diet to keep them at a healthy weight. Excess pounds can quickly lead to obesity and puts dogs at risk for severe health conditions like cancer, heart disease, and osteoarthritis.

Dry kibble should be considered as part of an Affen Tzus diet to help reduce the risk of periodontal disease. The abrasive nature of dry food can remove plaque buildup.

Affen Tzu puppies should be fed frequently, up to four meals daily, to reduce their risk of hypoglycemia, a condition sometimes seen in Shih Tzu puppies. High-quality, small-breed diets for puppies are recommended to ensure all the nutritional requirements are being met.


Affen Tzus have relatively moderate exercise needs thanks to their small size. They typically can meet their physical activity needs through a good play session and a brisk walk or two, which will provide the mental and physical enrichment these dogs need to stay happy and healthy. An under-stimulated Affen Tzu will find other ways to release their pent-up energy, such as destructive chewing.

Owners should know that their dogs may be prone to overheating. Affen Tzus who take after their Shih Tzu side may have brachycephalic syndrome, a condition marked by a short and squished muzzle. This can put them at risk of developing heatstroke, so outdoor activities should be avoided during hot summer weather.


Affen Tzus may be a challenging breed to train, especially if they take after their Fleischer parent. Affens are intelligent and capable of learning quickly, but they also have a stubborn streak that can make training difficult. Shih Tzus, on the other hand, are people pleasers through and through and are typically easy to train.

Training an Affen Tzu is best done with high-reward treats, plenty of praise, and a lot of positive reinforcement. Owners must keep a close eye on how many calories they’re giving their pups during training, however. Calories add up fast in small breeds and can lead to excess weight.


An Affen Tzu will have moderate grooming needs. Owners should brush their coats twice weekly with a brush and metal comb to get any tangles out. The hair may fall into the eyes and will require trimming every so often. This can be tackled at home, but because their coats grow continuously, they’ll need trimmings frequently. It’s best to have the number of a professional groomer on hand to tackle the Affen Tzu’s grooming needs.

These pups may be prone to tear staining, especially if they inherit the flat face of their Shih Tzu parent. Keep this area clean and dry to prevent staining. Use high-quality, pet-friendly wipes for spot cleaning.

Health and Conditions

Affen Tzus may be healthier than their purebred parent breeds simply because of their hybrid status. Studies suggest that certain conditions, such as dilated cardiomyopathy, bloat, epilepsy, and cataracts, are more commonly seen in purebreds than in mixed breeds. However, that doesn’t mean that an Affen Tzu is invincible; they can still be prone to the conditions commonly seen in their parents.

Shih Tzus have very long lifespans of up to 18 years, but they are predisposed to several medical issues, including brachycephalic syndrome, obesity, luxating patella, periodontal disease, orthopedic conditions, ear infections, and kidney disease.

Affenpinschers are also prone to some of the same conditions as Shih Tzus, including orthopedic issues and luxating patella. They can sometimes develop a degenerative hip condition known as Legg-Calves-Perthe disease.

Minor Conditions

Early-caught eye conditions
Mild ear infections

Serious Conditions

Heart disease
Orthopedic issues
Brachycephalic syndrome
Kidney disease
Dental disease
Luxating patella

Male vs Female

There aren’t many notable differences between a male and female Affen Tzu. Males may be slightly taller and heavier than their female counterparts, but this isn’t always the case.

Some owners feel there are personality differences between sexes, but there are no science-backed studies that prove this to be true.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Affen Tzu

1. The Affen Tzu may be prone to separation anxiety.

These pups thrive on human attention and form very tight bonds with their human caregivers. They don’t do well with extended periods of time alone, and if left to their own devices for too long, separation anxiety can develop.

2. The Affen Tzu can make a fantastic watchdog.

Don’t let this pup’s small size fool you; the Affen Tzu is incredibly protective of their family members. They carry themselves with the attitude of a much bigger dog, which can make them excellent watchdogs. They don’t make great guard dogs, but they’ll alert you to the presence of an intruder without fail.

3. The Affen Tzu can make a great first dog.

The easygoing nature of an Affen Tzu makes them a great introductory dog for first-time dog owners. Their small size makes them easy to handle, and their friendly, outgoing, and affectionate nature makes them a dream for nervous novices.

Final Thoughts

The Affen Tzu is a loyal and affectionate little dog that has a lot to offer their owners. Their sweet and playful personality, coupled with their passion for play and curiosity, makes loving them easy. The Affen Tzu provides their family with infinite entertainment and an unbreakable bond that’s truly priceless.

However, these pups do have a stubborn streak that can make raising them challenging at times. Don’t let this be a dealbreaker, though. Every dog, regardless of breed, can be stubborn, but with time and patience, training and socializing them is possible. These pups do err on the clingy side, however, so if you spend a lot of time away from home, you may want to choose a more independent breed.

Additionally, you might wait until your children are old enough to understand and respect boundaries before bringing one of these dogs home. However, when your kids reach the right age, they’ll have infinite fun playing with, loving, and making memories with their Affen Tzu.

Featured Image Credit: Left: black affenpinscher (Didkovska Ilona, Shutterstock); Right: Shih Tzu (Tatiana Gasich, Shutterstock)

The post Affen Tzu: Pictures, Info, Care Guide & More by Chantelle Fowler appeared first on Dogster. Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren’t considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on

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