7 Different Types of Chihuahuas (With Seriously Cute Pictures!)
Whether you’ve seen them being paraded around in designer handbags in Hollywood or yapping in your local dog park, everyone can recognize a Chihuahua. Little bodies, tiny paws, and fairly large ears – they’re one of the cutest and most popular pups around at the moment. But did you know that there are actually 7 different types of Chihuahuas? They’re all the same dog breed but they can have different characteristics, such as type of coat, whether they have a fruit-shaped head (really), and their body type.
Read on to learn all about these adorable little dogs – you’ll be quite the expert by the end!
Chihuahua Breed Basics
Although they’re small dogs, Chihuahuas are confident, tenacious, and very alert. They’re normally between 5 and 8 inches tall and shouldn’t weigh any more than 6 pounds (according to the American Kennel Club). They’re actually the smallest dog breed in the world!
These tiny pups are a beloved companion for many because they’re just so cute. Their large personalities can also be really entertaining at times. They do require early training and socialization though. Chihuahuas have a bit of a habit of thinking they rule the roost and they need to be reminded that they, in fact, don’t.
They come in many different colors and patterns and the AKC recognizes two varieties: the smooth-coat Chihuahua and the long-haired Chihuahua. They all have large, endearing eyes; enormous, pricked ears (compared to the rest of their body); and a confidently cute expression.
They may not know it, but they are small and somewhat fragile pups. You should always supervise children playing with Chihuahuas as even slightly rough play could end up in a serious injury. The same goes for larger dogs and pups at the dog park.
You also need to keep an eye on the sky as birds of prey can be a real problem for little Chihuahuas. It’s best to keep them on a lead and close to you when out and about.
Apart from regular training to keep their feistiness in check, Chihuahuas are fairly easy to care for. They require minimal grooming (long-haired Chihuahuas will require a little more) and they’ll be happy with a short walk around the park or a quick chase after a particularly cute toy. Because of their little legs, all types of Chihuahuas can also have their exercise needs met with a run around the backyard or a good play session with you.
Small dogs that resemble Chihuahuas have been found on artifacts from very old civilizations around the world. The exact origin of these little pups, however, is unknown by experts.
Over a thousand years ago, the Toltecs ruled Mexico and their favorite dog was the Techichi, which is considered an ancestor of later Chihuahua breeds. The Techichi was actually much heavier and bigger than today’s Chihuahua.
When the Aztecs conquered the Toltecs, they further bred the Techichi dogs so that they would be hardier and smaller. With the fall of the Aztecs, it was thought by many that the breed had become extinct. But these little pups are strong and survived in rural villages – many of them in the state of Chihuahua in Mexico which is where they got their name from.
The 7 different types of Chihuahua
As well as the short (or smooth coat) and the long coat Chihuahua, there are 5 more subvarieties of these adorable pooches.
#1 Short-Haired Chihuahua
These little pups are the most common type of Chihuahua and they’re really popular amongst dog lovers – especially those who don’t have time for long grooming sessions and lots of vacuuming. Although not particularly heavy shedders, they’re still not considered hypoallergenic dogs and aren’t a good fit for those who suffer from dog hair allergies.
These dogs have a short (surprise!) coat that should be glossy but slightly rough to touch. Because their coats are so sleek, they’re often referred to as smooth coat Chihuahuas too. They may have a little more hair around their necks and less on the face and head.
These dogs come in a number of different colors and patterns. This coat type can also be found in other subvarieties such as the apple head Chihuahua and the deer head Chihuahua. Although very attractive and with a less demanding grooming routine, this tiny dog will need a bit of extra warmth during the colder months and it’s a good idea to get them a coat or sweater for when they’re outside.
#2 Long-Haired Chihuahua
Also known as the long coat Chihuahua or the rough coat Chihuahua, these are very pretty little dogs. Their coat is incredibly soft and can be wavy or straight. They’ll probably have some feathering around their ears and legs and a pretty voluptuous tail.
When they’re born, these puppies won’t look like they have a long coat, in fact, the long coat Chihuahua can take up to two years to grow their beautiful hair!
As with any long-haired breed, dog owners should be prepared to groom these pups a little more. Unlike the short coat Chihuahua, you’ll need to brush these dogs a couple of times a week to keep them matt-free. Although you won’t need to regularly trim their coat, it’s a good idea to take them to the groomer every so often to keep them looking smart and keep their hair healthy.
These dogs can be many different colors similar to other Chihuahua breeds. Actually, the only difference between a smooth coat Chihuahua and a long coat Chihuahua is their coat length! These dogs are the same size and even weigh the same.
#3 Deer Head Chihuahua
Deer head Chihuahuas are recognized because they have a different body and head type to other Chihuahua breeds.
These dogs have a narrower muzzle, wider set eyes, and a flatter skull with no slope on their noses. Their overall head shape and face structure is very deer-like which, of course, is where they get their name from.
A deer head Chihuahua dog also has an elongated body and longer legs than other varieties (which adds to their little deer look). A key difference between these dogs and the other different types of Chihuahuas is that deer head Chihuahuas tend to grow a bit bigger.
We’re not talking huge, they’re still going to weigh less than 10 pounds, but that may mean your pup can’t compete in shows that have specific weight limits. However, because of its different skull structure and body size, the deer head Chihuahua suffers from fewer health conditions that affect the other types of Chihuahuas.
#4 Apple Head Chihuahua
Apple head Chihuahuas have a really rounded head shape and are more common than deer head Chihuahuas. Both the standard Chihuahua dogs (smooth coat and long coat) can be an apple head Chihuahua or a deer head Chihuahua but only apple head ones are accepted by dog kennels and can compete in dog shows.
These pups have a shorter muzzle and large eyes that seem to bulge a bit. Their eyes are also closer together than the deer head Chihuahua. They have smaller bodies and shorter legs than other types of Chihuahuas and a head that looks too big for them!
80% of apple head Chihuahuas are born with a small, soft opening on the top of their head called a molera (rather like a newborn baby). In over half of all apple head Chihuahua puppies, the molera closes as they grow older.
Because apple-headed Chihuahuas are more common and sort after than deer-headed Chihuahuas (especially for those wanting to compete with them), they have suffered from some unethical breeding practices in the past which have led to a few health conditions today. These dogs can suffer from hydrocephalus (a kind of liquid on the brain) so it’s always really important you check with your breeder for your pup’s family history.
#5 Pear-Headed Chihuahua
What do you get if you mix an apple with a deer? Apparently a pear.
Amongst true Chihuahua lovers, these dogs are arguably the least desirable subvariety. (But don’t tell them.) And that’s certainly not our view! They usually have a skull which is the mix of an apple head Chihuahua and a deer head Chihuahua. It tends to be wider at the top and narrower towards the bottom (like a pear) and they have a wide muzzle.
Overall, these dogs usually resemble deer head Chihuahuas more than apple head ones. As far as price goes, you shouldn’t be paying more for these pups than other types of Chihuahuas. Some breeders may try to sell them as rare or unique but this isn’t really the case.
#6 Fawn Chihuahua
The fawn Chihuahua differs from other Chihuahua varieties on the list because they’re not classified by coat length or head shape. They’re simply a common Chihuahua breed color.
Fawn Chihuhaus can be apple-headed, deer-headed, and have a long or smooth coat. There’s also a lot of variety within the color itself. A fawn Chihuahua can be a lighter brown color or a darker reddish one and they can even be sable fawn or blue fawn.
This pup makes it onto the list of the different types of Chihuahuas because it’s a coat color that people easily recognized. It’s isn’t considered a standard or type, just a really popular one that people love!
#7 Teacup Chihuahua
The teacup Chihuahua, or miniature Chihuahua as they’re sometimes called, can literally fit into a teacup when they’re a puppy. They’re really that small! These dogs have to weigh less than 5 pounds and be smaller than 9 inches to be considered a teacup Chihuahua.
Teacup Chihuahuas aren’t actually a different breed but rather just a smaller version of the standard Chihuahua. They usually have an apple-shaped head, come in a variety of different colors, and can have a long and short coat.
Even though they’re smaller than standard Chihuahuas, you can bet that their personalities are just as big! They need plenty of dog training and lots of socialization around other dogs. The teacup Chihuahua is even more vulnerable due to its small size so you always need to be supervising and not let them out of your sight!
As will all teacup dogs, many people disapprove of the breeding of such tiny pups. These little dogs are more prone to bone and joint problems, heart disease, and hydrocephalus. Breeding should meet the breed standard or aim to improve the health of the Chihuahua dog, not make them smaller purely for aesthetic and cuteness appeal.
Chihuahuas are really popular little dogs that are very cute but with feisty personalities. They come in different (head) shapes and sizes and a number of different colors. Which on the list is your favorite?