7 Chihuahua Types – Learn the Difference

Reviewed By Kyoko •  Updated: 08/18/21 •  6 min read
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Chihuahuas have been popular small dogs for years! But do you really know much about these dogs? Even many chihuahua pet parents really aren’t very familiar with this breed.

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For instance, did you know there are seven types of chihuahuas? Even so, only two types are recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club) and breeders.

If you’d like to learn more about these different types of chihuahua, then read on!

Origins of the Chihuahua

When it comes to the history of these adorable little canines, no one’s exactly sure where the breed originated precisely. It is known, however, that chihuahuas come from Mexico. In fact, this is where the name of the city Chihuahua, Mexico comes from.

Images of these dogs have been found on decorated artifacts from ancient civilizations in Mexico. It’s as though the Toltecs love these little dogs. This love of chihuahuas was then passed on to the Aztecs after they conquered the Toltecs in the 12th century. The Aztecs are credited with making the dogs into small, lighter versions of the Toltec dog. Later, when the Spanish arrived and conquered the Aztecs, it was thought the breed was lost.

However, the good news is that chihuahuas were found in very remote villages in Mexico in the 1800s. It was about this time that Americans began to be interested in chihuahuas.

With the growing popularity of the breed, interest began to grow into the different types of chihuahuas. The AKC only recognizes two chihuahua types, yet there are actually seven types of chihuahuas. We’ll take a look at each of the following breed types in this article:

Of these chihuahua types, the AKC only recognizes short coat and long coat dogs.

1). Short Coat (Short-Haired) Chihuahua

These chihuahuas have short hair, and they don’t shed much. This means they’re easy to care for when it comes to grooming and brushing. These dogs come in a variety of colors and patterns. And you won’t be surprised to learn that this type of chihuahua is one of the most popular because the dogs don’t require much grooming!

One thing to know about the short coat chihuahua is that they do tend to shed quite a bit all year round. This means the dogs are not very good for anyone who is allergic to dogs.

2). Long Coat (Long-Haired) Chihuahua

As you may have guessed, these dogs have longer hair than the short coat chihuahuas. The length of their hair does vary, and they also come in a wide range of colors and patterns. One of the nice things about these dogs is that they don’t shed as much as the short-haired chihuahua. However, they do require regular bathing and grooming, though keeping their hair trimmed is not necessary. It will be necessary to brush them almost every day to keep their fur from matting and tangling.

The long coat of the chihuahua is soft and smooth; their hair may even feel like velvet. It can take as long as three years for the coat to grow to its full length.

The long coat is sometimes seen in dear head and apple head chihuahuas.

3). Deer Head Chihuahua

This type of chihuahua has a slightly different shape to their head and body than other types. The deer head chihuahua has a slightly longer head, with a narrower muzzle, too. With their eyes set wider apart and a flatter skull, these little dogs closely resemble a deer.

Their bodies tend to be a little longer, too, as do their legs. This is one of the reasons they’re not counted as a true chihuahua type. However, this type of chihuahua seems to be healthier, and they’re also a favorite as companions and family pets.

4). Apple Head Chihuahua

This little dog is called “apple head” for a reason! Their heads are shaped more like apples. To be typed an “apple head,” the dog must have a very rounded, apple-shaped head. Otherwise, they don’t qualify for this type.

The apple head chihuahua tends to be smaller than the deer hear chihuahua, and they can have different types of coats and color/pattern variations. One thing to know is that these dogs are prone to hydrocephalus. Their eyes sometimes also look as if they’re bulging out.

5). Teacup Chihuahua

The teacup chihuahua is a miniature dog who comes in at 9 inches high and weighs about 5 pounds. However, they look and act like the larger types of chihuahuas.

These dogs tend to be fragile, so it’s easy to accidentally hurt them. Another thing to know about these dogs is that sometimes unethical breeders sell premature puppies, saying they’re the teacup variety. However, later the dogs reach full size, and it’s obvious they’re not teacup chihuahuas. Because the dogs leave their mothers too soon and so small, they can develop health and behavioral issues.

So, if you’re interested in a teacup chihuahua, make sure to only adopt your dog from a reputable breeder.

6). Fawn Chihuahua

These dogs are not really a type, per se. Instead, it’s the color of their coat that puts them in this category. Fawn chihuahuas may be typed as apple or deer headed and can have long or short coats. But their color must be “fawn.”

7). Merle Chihuahua

This is another case when this is not a type; however, it’s the dog’s coat that makes then classified as “merle.” A merle chihuahua has a multicolored coat that can include black, brown, or blue merle patches. These dogs may even have blue eyes! And they can have apple or deer heads, with long or short coats.

The downside to this type of chihuahua is that they tend to suffer from a variety of health issues. They have higher rates of blindness, deafness, and eye problems than other types of chihuahuas.

So, there you have it! Now you’re familiar with the seven types of chihuahuas! Each of these chihuahua types has large personalities and is known for being highly intelligent. By choosing a chihuahua, you’ll have a loving companion for years to come!

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Kyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!

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