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One of the most ancient of toy dogs, the Affenpinscher (translated from German as Monkey Terrier) originated in Central Europe. During the 17th century, small terriers were frequently kept around stables, on farms or in stores where they served as ratters. Bred down in size, these small terriers became companions in the home and kept mice from overrunning their mistresses boudoirs.

The Affenpinscher is believed to have been a major influence in the development of many of the smaller rough-coated breeds of continental Europe, including the Brussels Griffon and the Miniature Schnauzer. The area around Munich, Germany, eventually became the heart of Affenpinscher breeding in Europe.

The breed was admitted to the American Kennel Club in 1936. This quaint little dog's popularity has been overshadowed by that of his descendent, the Brussels Griffon, but more recently he is enjoying a return to favor.

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