The breed is German in origin and dates back to the seventeenth century. Its name is derived from the German Affe (ape, monkey). The breed predates and is ancestral to the Griffon Bruxellois (Brussels Griffon) and Miniature Schnauzer. Dogs of the Affenpinscher type have been known since about 1600 but these were somewhat larger, about 30 -33cm, and came in colors of gray, fawn, black and tan, gray and tan, and also red. White feet and chest were also common. The breed was created to be a ratter, working to remove rodents from kitchens, granaries, and stables.