As the popularity of designer dog breeds grows, certain ‘parent’ breeds have taken the spotlight. Of course, you’ve probably seen every “Doodle” cross you could imagine and then some! One of the more popular breeds to cross regarding small dogs is the Shih Tzu, prized for its adorable appearance and spunky personality. To some, the combination of the Shih Tzu and Affenpinscher, the ‘Affen Tzu’, is the ideal family pet. So what’s all the hype about this rising in popularity crossbreed? If you’re looking for a huge personality in a small package, a variety of coat colors, and a winning charm, the Affen Tzu might be your next furry family member.
Known for their spunky personalities, these little dogs show devotion to their human family members — sometimes to the extreme. If you’re thinking of bringing home a pup to be a companion who can always be at your side, the Affen Tzu would be happy to oblige. With that in mind, if you love this breed’s devotion but work long hours or travel away from home often, the Affen Tzu’s cheerful personality might wilt under this lifestyle.
As a “designer” breed that often sells for high prices, the Affen Tzu doesn’t frequent shelters. However, mixes of both parent breeds are fairly common. A similar mix to an Affen Tzu shouldn’t be hard to find in a shelter or rescue near you. Many small dog breeds exceed expectations as far as lifespan goes, so if you’re willing to open your heart to a senior pup, there is an abundance waiting to come home with you.
Read on for a detailed list of characteristics of the Affen Tzu.
Affenpinscher and Shih Tzu Pictures
Dog Breed Group:
Mixed Breed Dogs
More About This Breed
- The Affen Tzu is a small designer crossbreed with beloved parent breeds.
- This dog does best with engaged dog parents always at their side.
- For busy dog parents who can’t be home often, the Affen Tzu is likely not a good fit.
While the Affen Tzu is fairly new as far as intentional breeding, both parent breeds of this mix have a long history and are beloved by many. The Shih Tzu was historically a symbol of royalty — their name means “little lion.” They are beloved by many as cherished lap dogs. Today, the Affenpinscher is often a companion, but their original intent was for use as ratting dogs. Both of these breeds have strong personalities, leading to the Affen Tzu packing quite a punch despite their little bodies.
The Affen Tzu is a small breed that rarely outgrows 15 lbs. With that in mind, care should be taken with handling to not drop or be overly rough with the dog. Although small, this breed is endlessly playful and interested in what people around them are doing. They also enjoy accompanying a pet parent almost anywhere.
The Affen Tzu is a loyal, small companion that gives back just as much affection as they are awarded. While energetic and playful, the Affen Tzu doesn’t typically require exhaustive long walks or dedication to a more intense activity like agility — a leisurely walk and games of fetch should suffice. They love to be glued to their dog parents’ side and are great fits for people who work from home or can bring in a dog to the workplace. Despite their loyalty, they are still typically outgoing and friendly with strangers. While their small size means that boisterous kids and larger furry friends should be gentle, they often get along well with just about everyone.
While the Affen Tzu typically has a long lifespan, there are some health concerns these dogs face stemming from their parent breeds.
- Patellar Luxation
- Eye Problems
- Retained baby teeth. The Affen Tzu is more prone to dental issues as their parent breed, the Shih Tzu, is known for a notable underbite.
Affen Tzus are likely to enjoy laid-back exercise like casual walking in the park or a quick game of tug-of-war. Care should be taken to ensure they do not overheat when playing, as the breed can have issues breathing that can be exacerbated in hot weather. Although energetic, they are fairly easy to exercise properly. However, the Affen Tzu is very emotionally needy and requires lots of love from a dog parent.
The Affen Tzu should be fed a diet consistent with that of a small dog with medium energy levels. Monitor treat intake. It’s easy to underestimate how many calories your dog is consuming, which can often lead to obesity in smaller breeds. Because all dogs are unique in their diet requirements, it’s best to consult your veterinarian to determine the best food to feed your pup.
Coat Color And Grooming
The Affen Tzu isn’t a breed for dog parents who wish to be mostly hands-off regarding grooming. They have thick coats that grow tangled easily, particularly around the ears, tail, and paws. Affen Tzus should have routine daily brushing and frequent bathing. For pet parents who don’t wish to dedicate that much time to grooming, a professional groomer should be considered. Like all dog breeds, Affen Tzus’ nails should be regularly checked in case they are overgrown. This can be more common in smaller dogs who do not walk long distances to wear down their nails.
Children And Other Pets
Affen Tzus are typically predisposed to enjoy the company of all, including children. They aren’t particularly nippy, but gentle handling should be encouraged. They are also known to be friendly with other dogs. Affenpinschers were originally bred for ratting, so an Affen Tzu may have a strong prey drive. Caution should be used around smaller pets. As always, dogs need to be properly introduced to children and other animals in the house to ensure a safe environment for all.
Affen Tzus have no dedicated rescue groups due to being a crossbreed. However, Affenpinschers and Shih Tzus do have dedicated groups. You may be able to find an Affen Tzu or similar cross through one of these groups.