Training an Affen Tzu: Tips for Success

Training an Affen Tzu: Tips for Success

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on training an Affen Tzu, a lovable and intelligent breed that combines the characteristics of an Affenpinscher and a Shih Tzu. If you’ve recently welcomed an Affen Tzu into your family or are considering adding one to your household, it’s essential to understand the importance of proper training. In this article, we will provide you with valuable tips and insights to help you successfully train your Affen Tzu, ensuring a harmonious and well-behaved companion for years to come. Read on to discover the best practices, techniques, and expert advice that will make the training process an enjoyable and rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend.

Understanding the Affen Tzu breed

Origins and characteristics

The Affen Tzu is an adorable and lovable small breed dog that is a cross between the Affenpinscher and the Shih Tzu. Originating from Germany, this breed has gained popularity for its unique appearance and charming personality.

The Affen Tzu inherits some distinctive characteristics from both parent breeds. With a small and compact body, the Affen Tzu usually weighs between 7 to 15 pounds. They have a round head, expressive eyes, and a short muzzle that gives them a cute and monkey-like appearance. Their ears can be floppy or erect, adding to their charming allure.

Coat-wise, the Affen Tzu can have a variety of fur types, including long, silky hair or a dense, wiry coat. Their coat colors can range from solid black, gray, or silver to combinations of white, tan, or brown, often with adorable patches or markings.

Temperament and behavior

The Affen Tzu is known for its friendly and affectionate nature, making it a great companion dog. They are loyal and devoted to their families, often forming a strong bond with their owners. This breed thrives on human interaction and loves to be the center of attention.

Despite their small size, Affen Tzus are known to have a confident and sometimes even stubborn personality. They can be independent thinkers and may exhibit occasional mischievous behavior. However, with proper training and socialization from an early age, they can become well-behaved and obedient pets.

Affen Tzus generally get along well with children and other pets if properly introduced and socialized. They have a playful and energetic side, enjoying interactive games and daily walks to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. However, they can also adapt to apartment living as long as they receive regular exercise and mental stimulation.

In conclusion, the Affen Tzu is a delightful breed with a unique combination of characteristics from the Affenpinscher and the Shih Tzu. Understanding their origins, appearance, and temperament will help you provide the best care and training for your Affen Tzu companion.

Preparing for Training

Creating a Suitable Training Environment

Creating a suitable training environment is essential to ensure effective and successful training for your Affen Tzu. Here are some tips to help you create the perfect environment:

  1. Choose a Quiet and Distraction-Free Area: Find a quiet area in your home where you can conduct the training sessions without any disturbances. This will help your Affen Tzu focus on the training and minimize distractions.

  2. Remove Potential Hazards: Before starting the training, make sure to remove any potential hazards or objects that could be dangerous or distracting for your dog. This includes small objects, toxic plants, or any items that your Affen Tzu may chew on.

  3. Use Positive Reinforcement: Create a positive and encouraging atmosphere by using treats, praise, and rewards to motivate your Affen Tzu during training. This will help them associate training with positive experiences and enhance their learning.

Gathering Necessary Training Supplies

To ensure a successful training session with your Affen Tzu, it is important to gather the necessary supplies beforehand. Here are some essential training supplies you will need:

  1. Treats: Use small, tasty treats that your Affen Tzu loves. Treats can be a powerful motivator during training and will help reinforce positive behavior.

  2. Clicker: A clicker is a handy training tool that makes a distinct clicking sound. It helps to mark the desired behavior at the precise moment it occurs, making it easier for your Affen Tzu to understand what they are being rewarded for.

  3. Leash and Collar: A well-fitting leash and collar are crucial for controlling your Affen Tzu during training walks or outdoor exercises. Opt for a harness or collar that is comfortable and does not cause any discomfort to your dog.

  4. Training Toys: Training toys, such as interactive puzzles or chew toys, can be used as rewards or distractions during training sessions. They provide mental stimulation and help keep your Affen Tzu engaged.

Establishing a Routine

Establishing a consistent training routine is key to helping your Affen Tzu learn and retain new commands and behaviors. Follow these guidelines to establish an effective training routine:

  1. Set a Regular Training Time: Choose a specific time of day when you can dedicate uninterrupted attention to your Affen Tzu’s training. Dogs thrive on routine, so sticking to a set schedule will help them understand when it’s time to focus and learn.

  2. Keep Training Sessions Short: Dogs have limited attention spans, especially during training. Keep the training sessions short and focused, typically around 10-15 minutes, to avoid overwhelming your Affen Tzu.

  3. Be Consistent with Commands: Use consistent verbal cues and hand signals for each command you teach. This helps your Affen Tzu associate the command with the desired behavior and makes it easier for them to understand and respond.

  4. End on a Positive Note: Always end each training session on a positive note, even if progress is slow. Reward your Affen Tzu with praise and treats for their effort, reinforcing their confidence and motivation for future sessions.

By preparing a suitable training environment, gathering the necessary supplies, and establishing a consistent routine, you will set the foundation for successful training sessions with your Affen Tzu. Remember to be patient, consistent, and positive throughout the training process, and you will see progress in no time.

Fundamental training techniques

When it comes to training an Affen Tzu, there are a few fundamental techniques that can greatly contribute to your success. By using positive reinforcement, clicker training, and teaching basic commands, you can establish a strong foundation for your Affen Tzu’s training journey.

Positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a highly effective training technique that involves rewarding your Affen Tzu for displaying desired behaviors. This method focuses on praising and rewarding your dog when they perform well, encouraging them to repeat those actions in the future. Affen Tzus, like many other small dog breeds, respond well to positive reinforcement due to their eagerness to please their owners.

To implement positive reinforcement, ensure you have a selection of small, tasty treats that your Affen Tzu finds irresistible. Whenever your dog successfully follows a command or exhibits a desirable behavior, immediately praise them with enthusiasm and offer a treat as a reward. This positive association will reinforce the desired behavior and motivate your Affen Tzu to continue learning and obeying commands.

Clicker training

Clicker training is a popular and effective technique that utilizes a handheld device, known as a clicker, to mark desired behaviors. The clicker makes a distinct sound, which serves as an immediate signal to your Affen Tzu that they have performed the correct action. This method is especially useful for shaping behaviors and capturing precise moments of success.

To start clicker training, familiarize your Affen Tzu with the sound of the clicker. Simply press the clicker and immediately follow it with a treat. Repeat this process several times, allowing your dog to associate the sound with a reward. Once your Affen Tzu understands the connection, you can use the clicker to mark and reinforce desired behaviors. For example, if you are teaching your dog to sit, click the moment they lower their hindquarters and instantly reward them with a treat. With consistent clicker training, your Affen Tzu will quickly learn new commands and behaviors.

Basic commands

Teaching your Affen Tzu basic commands is essential for their safety, communication, and overall obedience. Start with simple commands such as "sit," "stay," and "come." These commands provide the foundation for more advanced training and help establish your role as the pack leader.

When teaching basic commands, use positive reinforcement and clicker training techniques. Begin by showing your Affen Tzu a treat and guiding them into the desired position. For "sit," hold a treat above their head and slowly move it back, causing them to naturally lower their hindquarters. Once they sit, immediately click and reward them. Repeat this process until your Affen Tzu associates the verbal command with the action. Gradually phase out the treat rewards, relying solely on praise and the clicker as your dog becomes more proficient.

Remember to keep training sessions short, fun, and consistent. Affen Tzus have a relatively short attention span, so multiple short sessions throughout the day are more effective than one lengthy session. With patience, consistency, and the use of fundamental training techniques, you will set your Affen Tzu on the path to success in their training journey.

Addressing common challenges


Housebreaking is an essential aspect of training an Affen Tzu. Since they are small dogs, it is crucial to establish a routine and be consistent with their bathroom breaks. Here are some tips to help you with the housebreaking process:

  1. Establish a designated area: Choose a specific spot in your house or outside where you want your Affen Tzu to go for their bathroom needs. This will help them associate that area with the act of relieving themselves.

  2. Set a schedule: Create a regular schedule for bathroom breaks. Take your Affen Tzu outside or to the designated area after meals, playtime, and waking up in the morning. Consistency is key to reinforcing good habits.

  3. Reward and positive reinforcement: When your Affen Tzu successfully goes to the bathroom in the designated area, make sure to praise and reward them. This positive reinforcement will encourage them to continue going in the right place.

  4. Accidents happen: Be patient and understanding. Accidents may occur during the housebreaking process. If you catch your Affen Tzu in the act of going in the wrong place, calmly interrupt them and take them to the designated area. Avoid punishment, as it can cause fear and hinder the training process.

Separation anxiety

Affen Tzus are known to be affectionate and can develop separation anxiety if not properly trained. To help your Affen Tzu cope with being alone, follow these tips:

  1. Gradual separation: Start by leaving your Affen Tzu alone for short periods and gradually increase the duration. This will help them become familiar with being alone and reduce anxiety.

  2. Create a safe space: Designate a comfortable area for your Affen Tzu when you’re away. Provide them with their bed, toys, and familiar scents to make them feel secure.

  3. Leave distractions: Leave interactive toys or puzzle feeders to keep your Affen Tzu occupied while you’re gone. This can help divert their attention from your absence and provide mental stimulation.

  4. Avoid excessive greetings: While it’s tempting to shower your Affen Tzu with affection when you return, it’s essential to keep greetings calm and low-key. This prevents reinforcing their anxiety and teaches them that your departures and arrivals are normal.


Socializing your Affen Tzu is crucial for their overall well-being and behavior. Here’s how you can effectively socialize your furry friend:

  1. Start early: Begin socializing your Affen Tzu as early as possible, ideally during their puppyhood. This is when they are most receptive to new experiences and interactions.

  2. Expose to various environments: Introduce your Affen Tzu to different environments, such as parks, streets, and other public places. This exposure helps them become comfortable in various settings and reduces the likelihood of fear or anxiety.

  3. Positive interactions: Encourage positive interactions with other dogs, pets, and people. Organize playdates with friendly and well-socialized dogs to help your Affen Tzu learn appropriate social behaviors.

  4. Reward good behavior: When your Affen Tzu displays calm and friendly behavior towards others, reward them with treats, praise, or playtime. This positive reinforcement reinforces their social skills and encourages further positive interactions.

Remember, patience and consistency are key when training an Affen Tzu. By addressing common challenges like housebreaking, separation anxiety, and socialization, you can ensure a successful and well-adjusted companion.

Advanced training and tricks

Advanced commands

Once your Affen Tzu has mastered the basic commands, it’s time to take their training to the next level with advanced commands. These commands not only challenge your dog’s intelligence but also strengthen the bond between you and your furry companion.

  1. Stay: Teach your Affen Tzu to hold a stay command for an extended period of time. Start by having them stay for a few seconds and gradually increase the duration. This command is essential for situations where you need your dog to stay put, such as crossing a busy road or when guests arrive at your home.

  2. Leave it: Teach your Affen Tzu to ignore and leave items alone when commanded. This command is particularly useful in preventing your dog from picking up harmful objects or stealing food from the table. Begin by commanding them to "leave it" when they show interest in an object, and reward them when they comply.

  3. Find it: This command encourages your Affen Tzu to use their sense of smell and locate hidden objects. Start by hiding treats around the house and giving the command "find it". As they become more skilled, you can increase the difficulty level by hiding the treats in harder-to-reach places.

Trick training

Trick training not only entertains your Affen Tzu but also provides mental stimulation and helps to prevent boredom. Here are a few tricks you can teach your furry friend:

  1. Roll over: Teach your Affen Tzu to roll over by using treats as a lure. Start by having them lie down, then bring the treat close to their nose and move it in a circular motion, guiding them to roll onto their side. Reward them with the treat and praise when they successfully complete the trick.

  2. Play dead: This trick mimics your Affen Tzu playing dead on command. Start by having them lie down on their side, then gently roll them onto their back while saying "play dead". Reward them with treats and praise when they stay still in the "dead" position.

  3. Spin: Teach your Affen Tzu to spin in a circle. Hold a treat in front of their nose and slowly move it in a circular motion, guiding them to follow the treat with their body. Once they complete the full spin, reward them with the treat and praise.

Mental stimulation

Mental stimulation is crucial for keeping your Affen Tzu engaged, happy, and mentally sharp. Here are a few activities that will provide the mental stimulation your dog needs:

  1. Puzzle toys: Invest in puzzle toys that challenge your Affen Tzu’s problem-solving skills. These toys often require your dog to figure out how to retrieve treats or toys from hidden compartments, keeping them entertained and mentally stimulated.

  2. Hide-and-seek: Play hide-and-seek with your Affen Tzu by hiding treats around the house or garden and encouraging them to find them. This game taps into their natural hunting instincts and provides mental exercise.

  3. Training games: Continue to challenge your Affen Tzu with new training games and activities. Teach them to differentiate between toys by name, play "find the treat" by hiding treats in different locations, or even create an obstacle course for them to navigate.

Remember, advanced training and tricks, along with mental stimulation, are essential for keeping your Affen Tzu mentally and physically sharp. Enjoy the process and have fun while training your furry friend!

In conclusion, training an Affen Tzu can be a rewarding experience for both the owner and the dog. By following these tips for success, such as starting early, being consistent and patient, using positive reinforcement, and seeking professional help if needed, you can establish a strong bond with your Affen Tzu and teach them the necessary skills and behaviors. Remember, every dog is unique, so it may take time and effort to find the most effective training methods for your Affen Tzu. With dedication and love, you can help your Affen Tzu become a well-behaved and happy companion.