Types Of Chihuahuas: From Short-Haired to Apple-Headed!

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Breeds By Alex J. Coyne 3 min read October 17, 2019 23 Comments

types of chihuahuas

Chihuahua’s are a fascinating breed – and one that briefly took the world by storm, gaining more popularity after being spotted in celeb hands (and handbags) like Paris Hilton, Demi Moore, Reese Witherspoon and even, at some point, Marilyn Monroe, whose pooch was named Josepha.

Today we’re digging into the history of the Chihuahua and the different types of Chihuahuas than fans of the breed might seek out!

Types of Chihuahuas: Quick Facts

  • Long-Hair Chihuahua
  • Short-Hair Chihuahua
  • Apple Head Chihuahua
  • Deer Head Chihuahua
  • Teacup Chihuahua
  • Fawn Chihuahua

Learn about these Chihuahua variations, which ones are officially recognized by the AKC (hint: not as many as you’d think), and more below!

The History of the Chihuahua

One of the theories we have available about the origin of the chihuahua breed – and certainly the most plausible one if you ask us – is that they are descended from an ancient race of dogs called the Techichi who were kept by the ancient Toltec peoples.

These dogs were kept around as companions, and they eventually found themselves being sold to passerby travelers – named after the region they were most commonly found in: Chihuahua!

The Chihuahua breed was first registered as an official breed with the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1904, and its popularity has since given rise to many clubs focused on Chihuahua’s the world over, maybe even one in your hometown.

There’s The Chihuahua Club of America, The British Chihuahua Club, The Dallas Chihuahua Club, the Chihuahua Club of Canada and the Chihuahua Club of Victoria Inc. (Australia) to name just a few.

Now, let’s talk about breeds. Just how many are there?

According to the AKC: Long and Short Coat

Officially, the American Kennel Club only recognizes two types of Chihuahua breeds: Long and short coat. The rest, which we’ll go through in a bit, are considered subtypes – just for the record.

Type 1 and 2: Short-Hair and Long-Hair Chihuahuas


The only notable difference between the short-hair and long-hair Chihuahuas (also referred to as the short-coat and long-coat) two types is, well, the coat.

It’s worth noting that Chihuahua coats can come in a wide variety of colors, all accepted as valid by the AKC providing that their coat is well-kept. It can take up to 24 months at most for a long-haired chihuahua to develop a full (and, of course, luxurious) coat.

It goes without saying that short-haired chihuahua owners will have less effort on the grooming front and a little less shedding to clean up after

Type 3: Apple Head Chihuahua


Most people think of the apple head chihuahua when they think of the breed (anyone else remember the Taco Bell chihuahua?)

The first characteristic of this type is in the name – and the shape of the skull. Apple head Chihuahuas have a slightly shorter muzzle and are all born with what’s called a molera: A soft part in the skull that may or may not completely close, much like the fontanel in human newborns.

Type 4: The Deer Head Chihuahua

deer head chihuahua

This is one of the most common types along with the apple-head Chihuahua; of course, the deer head chihuahua can be identified – again – by the shape of the skull.

Deer headed Chihuahuas differ from the apple head because they have a slightly longer head shape, no slope on their noses (like is seen on the apple-head chihuahua) and the deer head chihuahua can be expected to be a little bit heavier than its counterparts – a fact which apparently disqualifies it from most dog shows with a weight limit.

Type 5: The Teacup Chihuahua

teacup chihuahua

Teacup Chihuahuas are so named because they’re small enough to fit in a teacup. According to Teacup Daily, to meet this criteria a teacup chihuahua would have to weigh less than five pounds and be no higher than nine inches. Wow!

It’s worth noting that many folks disapprove of continuing the teacup Chihuahua breed. Teacup dogs are abnormally tiny and tend to have painful lives due to the genetic issues that come from being purposely bred to be unnaturally small.

Type 6: The Fawn Chihuahua


The name Fawn Chihuahua actually refers to their color, and any of the types of Chihuahua on this list could classify – providing their coat is fawn-colored.

What type of Chihuahua do you have? What’s your favorite? Share in the comments!

And before you go, be sure to check out our other Chihuahua resources:

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Written by

Alex J. Coyne

Alex J. Coyne is a freelance journalist with eight years’ experience writing for publications like People Magazine, Re:Fiction, Great Bridge Links and NB Publishers. Sometimes, his three dogs take him for walks around the neighborhood; they offer helpful feedback on his work and
offer little to no comment on his singing.


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I have 2 Chihuahuas there brothers and sisters, and I can’t tell if there a deer headed, or apple headed and how can I find out if there really siblings, cause the male looks like a deer, and both of my chihuahuas are white and the female looks like a Taco Bell dog

Ben Team

Hey there, Gabby.
To determine if your pups are deer- or apple-headed, I think looking at them from the side is often helpful.

As for verifying that your pups are actually siblings, you could obviously ask the breeder. But if that’s not possible (or you don’t trust the breeder to be honest), you could always try a dog DNA test. Some of the better tests on the market will actually show you known relatives of your pooch.

Check it out and let us know what you find!

Margaret m

My sister friend has a dog they say is a chi she had puppies they are trying to sale but I looked at the momma and she looks like a Winnie dog. I wanted to post a picture but I don’t know how to do it on here. I just wanted to make sure

Ben Team

Hey there, Margaret.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell what breed a dog is by looking at it. The only way you can know for sure is through a dog DNA test.
Best of luck!


I have a teeny weeny little fawn applehead boy who was the only boy in the litter and was known as the runt. I have never seen a chihuahua behave so beautifully with all children and be so placid with cats. He prances around gracefully when walking, but hates getting his precious little feet wet. He is also a great doorbell before visitors even get out of their car.

Ben Team

He sounds wonderful, Maya! Thanks for sharing.

Monica Nitti

I have two adorable chihuahuas. They are brother and are a mix of long hair apple and short hair deer. They are black and white and have a lovely thick coat.


On my second long haired apple dome cant imagine a better companion so loyal just amazing dogs through and through

Kimberly Trejo

Thank you for all the info about chihuahuas I have a a deer head chihuahua and she is the love of my life so thank you very much and have a great day

Ben Team

So glad you found the article helpful, Kimberly! Thanks for reading.


My Digger, aka Diggy Dig ,or Smiley (yes he smiles) has the deer look. He is a honey .. lover boy! Loves everybody ALWAYS wins them over when his smile! Not a big barker.. Now he does have a mind of his own and thinks he is Boss..all in all he minds pretty good !He is extremely smart!! Love my baby !!


i have a little black dog that i recued but i dont know ,not that it matters if she is a chihuahua or not. all black pointed ears pointed face tiny skinny body. i love her but just want to know. she is a rescue

Ellen shopland

I am looking for a teacup chihuahua puppy. Can you give me any leads?

Meg Marrs

Sorry Ellen, we don’t recommend any specific breeders at the moment. I’d also recommend that you steer away from teacup puppies, as they are quite controversial and have many health issues. You can read more about the issues with teacup puppies here.


I have a teacup, and she has never had any serious issues. Just the normal thing’s like the teeth. She is just over 13 year’s and healthy as can be

Stephanie Parks

I have 8 Chihuahuas. I just love them. I would have never saw myself as being a Chihuahua lover or owner as I’ve always liked bigger dogs. The first time I met a chi chi though I was hooked and in love with the breed. They are a very misunderstood breed, just like pit bulls. Yes they can sometimes be a bit crotchety as some people would say but their amazing personalities and their adorable looks make up for it. I have bought a few of my fur babies and I’ve rescued quite a few. They are very appreciative and they will be loyal and love you as soon as you bond. Some you have to be more consistent with but its well worth it and I have to remind myself what they had been through. They are already a breed born scared due to their size but then they get unlucky because they end up with a horrible abusive owner. I can’t even begin to fathom how anyone could or even would want to hurt, neglect or treat these little guys so bad. Our last rescue is so sweet and he doesn’t chew on anything that’s not his, he is pad trained and also outdoor trained as are all of my chi chis. He was beat, starved, and neglected. Someone we knew took him and brought him to us. He was timid at first of course but after he learned that he could trust us which is incredible that he was able to trust again he became the most amazing loving little guy. Everytime we are in the car and pass another dog all we have to say is “where are the puppies” and he will jump up and start talking and begging to say hi to them. Whenever we get a new dog he is the 1st to greet them and make them feel like one of the family. They are very intelligent. I’ve found that their only downfall is that they have very small bladders but that’s an easy fix (just have to let them go on the pads) they are as easy to train as it is to train a cat to use a litter box in our experience)maybe a bit expensive but they are worth it. Ellen I don’t know if you ever found the teacup you were looking for as this article is a few years old but we have one more puppies left. We are not breeders but his parents just both happen to be teacup apple heads. The puppy is all white and he is healthy and his parents are healthy also with no genetic problems. Thank you for the article I always love reading about Chihuahuas and learning new things about them. Thank you for letting me share about my fur babies. I definitely recommend a Chihuahua to someone looking for a dog. Even your a big dog person, please don’t eliminate the Chihuahua off your list because I promise if you give them a chance you will fall in love immediately. They are the most amazing breed. Im so glad I met one because he completely changed my mind of what I thought about this amazing breed and their bigger then life personalities. They really do have the heart of a pit bull and even though they are very small they will protect you if they feel you are being threatened. If my dudes not in the car our dogs won’t let anyone near the car because they think they have to protect me at all costs. Although small they can be very intimidating. Lol

Stephanie Parks

Hi Ellen, my name is Stephanie. I know that you were looking quite a while ago but if you are still looking for a teacup. Two of our dogs got together by accident. We had an appointment to get our male fixed but our girl went into heat before he got fixed and they just had 3 beautiful male Apple head teacup babies. They are all white. They had no complications during birth and they are healthy and amazing. They just opened their eyes and they are walking around all over their little area for them and their mommy Their mommy is an all white short hair teacup apple head and their daddy is a fawn short hair teacup apple head. They are both also very healthy and have never had any health problems and they have good genes. We are not breeders in anyway but I just happen to have one puppy left. If your interested feel free to contact me at 6147497104. I just wanted to help. I don’t know much about breeding but my guess is if both their parents are teacups then that would make them teacups as well. I hope you have found or find your amazing chi chi that you want. He or she will make you so very happy and you will never be lonely with one of these little guys and no matter what kind of mood your in or if you need to smile or need cheering up they will do the trick everytime. Good luck to you Ellen

Amy Shipley

I have a tiny deer Chihuahua she only weighs a pound she curls up in my bra

Mary J Ballard

Here is a photo of my Chihuahua.
Trying to find out what kind of Chihuahua he is.

Deena Newell

I thought for sure I had a Papillion and not a long haired Chihuahua. But I just had his dna done and my boy is 75% Chihuahua 12.5% Italian Greyhound and 12.5% Jack Russell Terrier. I never would have guessed it.

Meg Marrs

Those DNA tests can be so fun! Sometimes people get such surprises.

John Hinojos

How can I check his DNA?

Ben Team

Hey, John. Not sure if Meg will have time to respond during the holiday season, but check out our review of the Embark DNA Test.
Best of luck!


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