Often seen in the arms (and purses) of celebrities and renowned as the national symbol of Mexico, Chihuahuas are small, cute and amusing “purse dogs” and one of the oldest dog breeds in America.
According to the AKC, there are officially two types of Chihuahuas—short-coated and long-coated.
But you would be surprised to know that there are different varieties of this breed and each one of them is unique having different characteristics like head shape, coat length and body type.
So, if you’re planning to bring home a Chihuahua, then it’s a good thing to recognize the various types of Chihuahuas. So, read on to know all about Chihuahuas.
- About the Chihuahua Breed
- Different Types of Chihuahuas
- Other Types of Chihuahuas
- Parting Thoughts
Renowned for being the smallest dogs on the planet, Chihuahuas are saucy little dogs with larger-than-life personalities tucked away in their small bodies.
Weighing around 6 lb and with a height of around 5-8 inches, Chihuahuas are graceful and balanced dogs with characteristic features such as an “apple-like” rounded head, luminous expressive eyes and erect ears.
The coat of the Chihuahua may be short or long and comes in varied colors and patterns. These intelligent dogs are charming, loyal and confident.
They form very close bonds with their humans and are extremely affectionate and loving companions. Their compact size makes these dogs perfect for city and apartment living.
These alert dogs make excellent watchdogs and can perform their duties efficiently, provide endless entertainment and can sit on your lap for hours without tiring, making Chihuahuas perfect companions.
Different Types of Chihuahuas
As we have discussed earlier, officially, there are two types of Chihuahuas. The other varieties of the breed are simply the subtypes of these two varieties, which we will discuss in greater detail.
Also known as short hair Chihuahuas, Smooth-Coat Chihuahuas are officially recognized by the AKC. These dogs have a short coat that is very close to the body, which has a soft, glossy texture and gives the dog a streamlined appearance.
Smooth-Coat Chihuahuas come in varying colors, head shapes and leg lengths. The short coat does not shed a lot and does not need a lot in terms of grooming and maintenance, and these dogs need a bath only occasionally.
Also known as long coat Chihuahuas, long hair Chihuahuas typically have a soft and velvety coat that is either flat or wavy, but not curly. These Chihuahuas have fringed hair on their ears and they have a big ruff around their necks.
And you can see some feathering on the legs and feet. Long hair Chihuahuas have a long, plume-like tail.
These Chihuahuas come in various body types and coat colors including fawn and black. The long coat of these dogs needs more grooming and maintenance such as regular brushing every day and more frequent baths.
Although these dogs have long hair, they don’t shed too much. Their coats take a rather long time, around 2-3 years before they grow out and become full and luxurious.
So, it is best not to trim their fur and groom them only when it’s absolutely necessary to keep them neat and well-groomed.
Easily recognizable by their rounded, apple-shaped heads, Apple Head Chihuahuas are smaller compared to Deer Head Chihuahuas.
The apple-shaped head where the top portion of the skull is round and broad and a little flattened—as in an apple—is the key requirement for a Chihuahua to be considered to be an authentic one.
Apple Head Chihuahuas have quite a large head compared to the dog’s body, with a small muzzle, short snouts and protruding, wide eyes.
The color of the coat of Apple Head Chihuahua varies and around 80% to 90% of these dogs are born with a molera or fontanel, which is a small opening in their heads that may close over time as the puppy grows older.
Apple Head Chihuahuas commonly suffer from hydrocephalus, a condition that causes them to have very large heads and eyes that may seem to pop out of their sockets.
And so, if you’re planning to bring home a Chihuahua, then it is a good idea to check the dog and ensure if it is suffering from hydrocephalus.
Deer Head Chihuahuas have a few physical features that are different and which distinguish them from their apple head counterparts.
Deer Head Chihuahuas have a slender, elongated head, large, deer-like ears and a narrower snout that does not have a slope.
Deer Head Chihuahuas may have a short or long coat, which comes in varying colors. Deer Head Chihuahuas are slightly larger compared to their apple-head-shaped counterparts.
They have longer legs and bodies and are heavier, although their weight will not exceed 10 lbs. Due to these factors, often, Deer Head Chihuahuas are not considered a true breed by most dog kennel clubs and societies and are unable to participate in dog shows.
The good thing about Deer Head Chihuahuas is that they are healthier and suffer from fewer health issues compared to Apple Head Chihuahuas, making them a preferred option, especially for first-time pet owners.
A cross between the Apple Head Chihuahua and Deer Head Chihuahua, pear head Chihuahuas are distinguishable because of their distinct pear-shaped skulls.
Their pear-shaped skull is flat, wide and apple-like on the top, which becomes slightly narrow and then flares into a wide muzzle. Overall, Pear Head Chihuahuas resemble Deer Head Chihuahuas.
Sometimes, Pear Head Chihuahuas may be taller and heavier compared to the other types of Chihuahuas and they come in varying coat lengths and colors.
Also known as mini Chihuahua or micro Chihuahua, Teacup Chihuahuas have become extremely popular over the years. Teacup Chihuahuas are not a different breed, but simply a tinier version of the standard Chihuahua.
These dogs are extremely tiny and grow up to around 9 inches in height and weigh around 3-5 lb. and when they are puppies, they can fit in a teacup. In terms of their appearance, Teacup Chihuahuas resemble regular Apple Head Chihuahuas.
They can have either short or long-haired coats that come in different colors. Unfortunately, Teacup Chihuahuas are prone to several health problems because they are bred so small.
And, since they are so petite, they have very fragile bones and they suffer from bone fractures and other problems such as heart disease, hydrocephalus, etc.
Teacup Chihuahuas also commonly suffer from urinary incontinence, which makes them very challenging to toilet train.
Technically, not a breed of Chihuahua, fawn Chihuahuas get their name from their beautiful fawn or reddish-brown colored coats. These fawn-colored Chihuahuas are the most common type.
And, within the color itself, you can see a variety where some dogs have darker colored coats, whereas other Chihuahuas’ coats are light-colored.
Some Chihuahuas even have colors such as blue fawn and sable fawn but all these come under the color category of fawn Chihuahuas. Fawn Chihuahuas come in long or short-haired coats, which may have varied markings in different colors.
The types of Chihuahuas that we have discussed above are the 7 most popular types of Chihuahuas.
There are some other rarer types and plenty of Chihuahuas hybrids with other dog breeds that also make popular pets and some of them include:
Not a real type of Chihuahua; the hairless Chihuahua is quite rare. These Chihuahuas have been bred without any hair which reduces the need for grooming and makes them perfect for people with allergies.
The merle Chihuahua, just like the fawn Chihuahua, is not a breed. It has a distinct multicolored coat with blue, brown and black patches. Sometimes, this type of Chihuahua may have blue eyes.
A cross between a King Charles Spaniel and a Chihuahua, the Chillier Chihuahua has large eyes and spaniel-like ears. These small-sized dogs are quite adaptable but don’t do very well in extreme cold.
Also sometimes known as the Mexican Hotdog, the Chiweenie Chihuahua is a mix between a Chihuahua and a Dachshund. A feisty and confident little dog, the Chiweenie Chihuahua grows to around 6-10 inches in height and despite their little size, their high-pitched barking makes them great watchdogs.
The Chorkie is a mix between a Chihuahua and Yorkshire Terrier. The small size of this hybrid makes it very popular among celebrities as a handbag dog. These low-maintenance dogs tend to be single-owner dogs and can be rather hostile when around other people.
A mix of Chihuahua and terrier, the Chihuahua Terrier is a hardy breed. These dogs are high-spirited, outgoing and very carefree. They are also among the healthiest Chihuahua hybrids and have an average lifespan of around 15-17 years. But Chihuahua Terriers are rather small and are a bit delicate.
Now that you have all the information you need to distinguish between the various types of Chihuahuas, including their appearance, shape, size and color, you can make an informed decision about the one that you like best and want to bring home.
But irrespective of the type of Chihuahua you choose, these lovely, intelligent dogs are super fun and loyal and make exceptional pets that you will be happy to welcome into your family.