Deer Head Chihuahua vs. Apple Head Chihuahua: What to Know

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 07/28/20 •  10 min read
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Are you thinking about adopting a Chihuahua? This is a popular small furry friend to add to family households. But you have may have heard of different variations of this breed and wonder what the differences are. For example, you might have seen the words ‘apple head’ and ‘deer head’ being used when talking about Chihuahua.

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Indeed, there unofficially these two different types of Chihuahuas. Let’s take a closer look at what they are so you can learn more about your popular pooch.

The Chihuahua

When we are talking about the apple head and deer head Chihuahua, we are clearly referring to the shape of their head instead of their height or build. First of all, it is essential to realize that we are talking about the same breed of dog; the Chihuahua. The differences between a deer head and an apple head Chihuahua are simply the look of the canine. They are not recognized as separate breeds in any way. For example, the American Kennel Club only recognizes the Chihuahua and not any variations of this. The only thing they do mention is that you can get a smooth haired or a long-haired Chihuahua. No mention is made for their head shape.

Apple Head Chihuahua

Just as the name suggests, an apple head Chihuahua has a round skull that reminds you of the fruit. They tend to have a short muzzle and there is a 90-degree angle between the muzzle and the skull. You will recognize the apple head Chihuahua for having a prominent jawline and you may think that their eyes bulge from their skulls. They are also known to have a molera, which is a soft spot found on the head. This is a very fragile part of the head and you must be careful that you do not injure your canine here.

The apple head Chihuahua can be longer than a deer head Chihuahua. But they are always lighter and this means that they weigh under 6 pounds. For example, a lot of the teacup Chihuahuas you see out there will be apple head Chihuahuas.

Deer Head Chihuahua

Again, the deer head Chihuahua is just as you would have imagined. They have a head that is reminiscent of a young deer. This means that they have a narrow skull, as well as a long and angular face. The jaw line is extended and they have a pointed muzzle. The deer head Chihuahua is less like to have a molera and they even have a longer neck than the apple head.

You may be interested to know that the deer head Chihuahua does not meet the requirements of the American Kennel Club. For ordinary family owners, this is not going to be a big deal. But if you play on showing your pooch and entering competitions, you will have to make sure that you adopt an apple head Chihuahua. In their standard description for a Chihuahua, the American Kennel Club state that the breed must have a ‘well rounded apple dome skull’.

Deer head Chihuahuas are often bigger too when it comes to their body. They can have longer legs and their average height can be around 8 to 12 inches. In addition, they can weigh more at up to 12 pounds.

Breathing Problems

One thing that has been observed between deer head and apple head Chihuahuas is breathing problems. In particular, the apple head Chihuahua can suffer from more problems with respiratory. This is due to this variation having shorter noses. This means that upper airway issues are more common, and they can suffer from reverse sneezing and even tracheal collapse. Of course, since the deer head typically has a longer muzzle, this makes breathing problems less common.

Eye Infections

The eyes are more prominent in the apple head Chihuahuas. This means that they can be prone to eye infections. You will need to make sure that your furry friend’s eyes stay clean, wiping any discharge on a regular basis. If you notice something that is wrong with your canine’s eyes, make sure that your take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible. This will make sure that the eye infection is dealt with as soon as possible and to avoid discomfort for your beloved companion.

If the eyes are bulging, this can be a sign of hydrocephalus. Your vet will be able to advise you on the next best steps if this is the case.


When it comes to temperament, everybody wants a friendly and obedient pooch. There are lots of owners out there that claim that deer head Chihuahuas are a lot more obedient and affectionate than apple head Chihuahuas. But there is little evidence to back this up. This could be an observation made due to the individual dog’s personality or even just luck. Unless you adopt an apple head and a deer head Chihuahua to compare them, it is unlikely that you will notice a huge difference between the types.

The Difference Between the Deer Head and the Apple Head Chihuahua

Ultimately, it is important to remember that the apple head and the deer head Chihuahua are the same breed of dog. This means that while there are physical differences, they still share the same traits. So, let’s take a look at some of the common traits you can expect from all Chihuahuas.

A Bold Personality

One thing that everybody knows about the Chihuahua is that for a small dog, they have a huge personality! In fact, this furry friend can be feisty and they are known for being bold and confident. While it can be fun and hilarious at times, it will also you to be a strong own when it is necessary. For example, they may not follow your commands if they think that they can be the leader of the pack. Therefore, if you want to adopt a Chihuahua, make sure that you are ready to take control and show them who is boss. Otherwise, their bold personality may become a problem!

Intelligent and Fast Learners

While Chihuahuas can be stubborn and bold, they are actually very intelligent. These small pooches are smart and they can pick up tricks and commands very quickly. This does mean that they can be easy to train when you are a strong leader. Therefore, make sure that you are confident and develop a good bond with your Chihuahua. They can be very rewarding pups to have around the house.

Just make sure that you provide your Chihuahua with enough mental stimulation during the day. Because they are so smart, they need to be mentally worked in order to feel satisfied and calm. Treat games and toys are a good way to entertain your canine when you are busier and make sure that they do not become destructive or disruptive.

Affectionate Toward Their Pack

These little furry friends not only look cute. But they are also very affectionate and adorable spending time with their pack. Of course, any Chihuahua owner will tell you that their canine has a mind of their own. Yet, they will happily sit with you and spend some quality time in your company.

It is best to point out that, Chihuahuas are not always the best for households with very young children. They are very fragile due to their size and this can mean that a busy household is too much for them. In addition, they do not always have the best tolerance when it comes to children that are boisterous around. Therefore, unless children are taught to be gentle around a Chihuahua and give them the space they need, accidents may happen.

Social but Not with Strangers

With their pack, Chihuahuas are very sociable. They have their favorite humans and will happily be petted and have some fun. However, something to be aware of is that they can be distrusting of strangers. They will not like it when new people come into the house.  With some consistent training, they may be able to overcome this distrust. But this is something that you will have to practice if you want the easy life. On the plus side, it can make them good watchdogs around the house.

In addition, socialization with other furry friends will be necessary. Since they can have a bold personality, they can often take on bigger dogs because they feel confident. But this is how they can get in trouble. Therefore, they will have to learn how to act around other furry friends. This way, they can go to the dog park and have some fun with other pups.

Surprising Energy Levels

For such a small dog, you may be surprised by the energy levels that the Chihuahua has. They will need daily exercise combined with mental stimulation so that they are happy and relaxed at home. Daily walks around the neighborhood, as well as some play time will keep them satisfied. For example, they will love to play fetch in the local park or run around at the dog park when they are trained. Be sure to train your pooch to walk nicely on the lead so that you can enjoy a stroll with them. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise every day.

Where to find a Chihuahua

If you love Chihuahuas and want to bring one into your household, you can find them in several ways. The best way to bring any pooch into your home is by visiting your local shelter. While Chihuahuas are not the most common breed that you find at the shelter, there will certainly be a few if you take the time to look. You may have to travel to other shelters around your area but it is such a rewarding act to rescue a pup that needs a forever home.

In addition, you can look at rescues online to see if there are any region rescues that offer Chihuahuas. There are many that are dedicated to this breed and some of them will be fostered in a family beforehand. This can be advantageous if you are unsure of how a rescue Chihuahua will fit into your home. Again, this may require some searching, as well as some traveling. But you are going to love bringing a Chihuahua home and it is going to know you have rescued him or her!

Another option you have is to contact a reputable breeder and get a Chihuahua puppy. They are very adorable and you have the opportunity to grow with your pooch. The most important thing you can remember when you are choosing this option is to choose a good breeder that you can trust. There are a lot of breeders out there that just want money and view breeding as a business. This means that they do not treat their canine as part of the family. You want to choose a breeder that truly cares about their canines so that your Chihuahua can be brought up well. This includes having proper socialization, as well as early training. They can even be healthier with fewer health problems too. Good breeders will make sure that they test their dogs for genetic health conditions. Sometimes, this can also make sure that they have good temperaments.

If you want to have a Chihuahua or any other breed of dog, always make sure that you are ready for the commitment. Having a dog is a lot of work, no matter how small they are. You will also need to have the financial freedom to be able to look after a new furry friend. Even if you get a dog from the shelter for free, you may have to get them neutered. This surgery is going to cost money at the vet. You will also have to supply all of their food, toys and bedding. While Chihuahuas do not eat a lot, this is still going to be an expense you have to budget for.

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!

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