If you’ve decided to welcome a Chihuahua into your home, you’re in for a treat. These vivacious little dogs have lots of love to give and energy to expend.
However, understanding the different types of Chihuahuas can feel overwhelming when you’re first embarking on your research. There are a lot of Chihuahua categories that people throw around, many of the varieties involving fruit and non-dog animal breeds.
So, I’ll help you sort through the noise so that you can understand the varieties of Chihuahuas you can choose from to help you find the best-fit pet.
2 Main Types of Chihuahuas
According to the American Kennel Club, there are two kinds of Chihuahuas: Long-hair and short-hair (officially called long coat and smooth coat).
Let’s explore each of these Chihuahua varieties.
The short-hair Chihuahua is for you if you want the most popular type of Chihuahua. These dogs, coupled with the long-hair variety, hail from the Americas, where they’ve kept the same resemblance since re-Columbian times.
There’s a reason why the American Kennel Club official labels the short-hair Chihuahua as a “smooth-coat Chihuahua.” These dogs have a coat that is almost glossy to the touch.
That said, depending on the type of Chihuahua, their hair might feel smooth or rough. (And different again for Deer head Chihuahuas)
They also tend to have less hair on their face than around their neck. So, keeping your Chihuahua away from excessive direct sunlight is best, as it could cause sunburn.
It’s a common misconception that short-hair Chihuahuas shed less than long-hair varieties. However, since short-hair Chihuahuas have an undercoat, they have more pieces of hair on their body, causing them to shed more.
Therefore, it’s helpful to brush them frequently if you want to prevent too much hair from falling on your floor. The good news is that you’ll never have to spend money or time taking your Chihuahua to a groomer, given that their hair doesn’t grow long enough to need a cut or styling.
If you set a short and long-hair Chihuahua side-by-side, it’s clear that these dogs are the same breed aside from the difference in their hair length. Their height, body shape, and weight are all similar.
However, if you wanted a short-hair Chihuahua but got a long-hair variety instead, I don’t recommend cutting a long-hair Chihuahua to a short-hair Chihuahua’s length. That’s because long-hair Chihuahuas only have a single layer of fur.
So, a Chihuahua’s single, long coat helps keep them warm and protects them from damaging UV rays. That said, unlike short-hair Chihuahuas, you’ll need to brush your long-hair Chihuahua more frequently to prevent matting and keep debris out of their hair after playing outside.
An advantage of welcoming a long-hair Chihuahua into your home is that they shed less than their short-hair counterparts. Nevertheless, you can expect either type of Chihuahua to shed more in the spring and fall.
You might be wondering—what about professional hair trims?
It’s helpful to bring your Chihuahua to a groomer (or take some scissors to their hair yourself, if you’re brave enough) for a trim. Unlike certain breeds like Poodles, though, they don’t need frequent trims to maintain a healthy coat.
5 Other Types of Chihuahuas
Although you won’t find the breeds below listed with the American Kennel Club, I wouldn’t try telling a Chihuahua owner that they’re not a real dog. These unofficial types of Chihuahuas are just as joyful to have in your home as the official short and long hair varieties.
1. Deer Head Chihuahua
It’s impossible to glance at a Deer Head Chihuahua and mistake them for a deer. Nevertheless, upon closer inspection, it’s clear that this type of Chihuahua has similar features to the much larger woods-residing mammal.
Some characteristics that a Deer Head Chihuahua shares with deer include:
- Large ears
- Elongated head
- Narrow snout
- Long legs (relatively speaking)
In many cases, Deer Head Chihuahuas also have similar brown coloring as deer. However, they can also come in many other color varieties and have short or long hair.
Naturally, short-hair Deer Head Chihuahuas resemble a deer more than a long-hair Chihuahua.
Deer Head Chihuahuas tend to be on the larger side for Chihuahuas. Whereas the American Kennel Club states that a “true” Chihuahua doesn’t exceed six pounds, Deer Head Chihuahuas can weigh as much as ten pounds.
After all, there needs to be more mass to compensate for their relatively long legs.
The good news is that the larger the dog, the fewer potential health issues it may have. As you’ll soon see, Teacup Chihuahuas have a higher chance of health issues due to having such small bodies.
2. Apple Head Chihuahua
It’s hard not to look at an Apple Head Chihuahua and squeal, “They’re so cute!”
The Apple Head Chihuahua has a round head that seemingly doesn’t match the proportions of the rest of its body in an adorable kind of way. Although many people classify Apple Heads as a different category of Chihuahua, the reality is that the American Kennel Club accepts this head variety as being okay for showing.
Apple Head Chihuahuas have more bulging eyes than Deer Heads, and they also have a shorter snout, though it’s not scrunched like certain dog breeds.
Because an Apple Head’s eyes protrude so much, they tend to have more eye issues than other Chihuahua varieties. So, try to keep them away from anything that could scratch their eyes and be on the lookout for ingrown eyelashes.
Many Apple Head Chihuahuas have molera when they’re born, a soft spot that human babies also have. There’s no need to worry about having an Apple Head Chihuahua puppy with molera. Like humans, it will harden over time.
3. Fawn Chihuahua
It’s a bit of a stretch to put the Fawn Chihuahua into its own category until you consider that this is the color pattern people seek the most when they’re on the market for a Chihuahua.
You’re not crazy if you see a deer theme here. The reason people labeled the Fawn Chihuahua’s tan coat “fawn” is because it resembles the coloring of a baby deer.
Any type of Chichuhua on this list can be a Fawn Chihuahua. So, you can have short-hair Apple Head Fawns or long-hair Deer Head Fawn Chihuahuas.
I’d be remiss not to say there are other Chihuahua colors, though. Some of the most common coat colors aside from the fawn variety include red, black, brown, and cream.
Given these varieties, it perhaps comes as no surprise that there are variations even within the fawn color. So, you may have a fawn Chihuahua with a relatively lighter or darker fawn coat color.
4. Pear Head Chihuahua
Can you guess how a Pear Head Chihuahua comes to be if I give you a hint that it’s the combination of two Chihuahua varieties we already covered here?
That’s right; the Pear Head Chihuahua happens when a Deer Head and Apple Head Chihuahua mate.
The result is a flatter skull, a mid-size muzzle, and a size that varies according to whether the puppy inherited its larger Deer Head or smaller Apple Head parent’s shape.
As with all the breeds here, Pear Head Chihuahuas can come in long and short hair varieties and any of the Chihuahua’s color patterns.
That said, it isn’t as common to see Pear Head Chihuahuas. This lack of commonality is partly because they’re bad for showing, given that their head and nose proportions typically don’t qualify them.
But don’t try telling that to a Pear Head Chihuahua owner—these dogs are just as loving as any other type of Chihuahua on this list.
5. Teacup Chihuahua
Teacup Chihuahuas most closely resemble Apple Head Chihuahuas. They get their name because when they’re puppies, they’re small enough to fit inside a teacup.
As adorable as this is, I encourage you to weigh the implications of supporting breeders who sell this trendy designer breed.
Teacup Chihuahuas weigh up to three pounds and only get six inches tall at most. The result is that people may accidentally step on them, and children may inadvertently injure them during play.
Furthermore, Teacup Chihuahuas have an increased chance of experiencing several health issues, including:
As a result, Teacup Chihuahuas tend to undergo more health issues than standard-size Chihuahuas. You also may need to shell out more money for veterinary costs, and you might still lose your precious Teacup Chihuahua at a younger age than a regular Chihuahua.
That said, it’s undeniable that small dogs live longer than larger dogs. So, by getting a non-Teacup Chihuahua variety, you might end up spending more years with your pooch than with the Golden Retriever you own.
The Many Chihuahua Varieties
You’ll likely never look at a Chihuahua the same again after reading this. Chihuahuas come in many shapes, colors, and sizes while still falling under the same breed.
So, now you know the different angles to assess when deciding which types of Chihuahuas you may want to call your new best friend.