What Are The Different Types of Chihuahua?

According to the American Kennel Club, there are only two types of chihuahua:

  • Smooth-Coat Chihuahua
  • Long-Haired Chihuahua

As you’ll see below, the only difference between these different types of chi is the length of their coat.

Beyond this, though, you’ll also find the following types of chihuahua:

  • Apple Headed Chihuahuas
  • Deer Headed Chihuahuas
  • Pear Headed Chihuahua
  • Fawn Chihuahua
  • Teacup Chihuahua

Before we highlight some of the specifics of each of these chihuahua sub-types, a few fundamentals about this alluring breed.

I. Chihuahua Basics


The chihuahua is a graceful dog weighing no more than 6 pounds, according to the AKC breed standard.

Small, compact, and highly alert, these dogs move quickly.

In terms of temperament, the chihuahua resembles the terrier, giving you a feisty and family-friendly pet.

With ears standing to attention and deep, luminous eyes, these dogs will draw you in with that doleful expression. You’ll need to exercise a firm will to avoid being taken advantage of by your chi.

Chihuahua coats come in many colors, both plain and patterned. They can be either long or short, and this is the only distinction between these two types of the chihuahua breed.

Despite their tiny form factor, chis are not shy and retiring. You’ll need to train and socialize these dogs from the get-go. Their size means they are unsuitable if you have small and energetic kids in the house. When the weather gets cold, you’ll need to wrap your chi up against the elements. You’ll also need to choose an appropriate dog food for chihuahuas.

If this sounds tempting, we’ll first highlight the two different types of the chihuahua breed.

II. The Two Main Types of Chihuahua

The AKC only recognizes these types of chi:

  • Smooth-Coat Chihuahua
  • Long-Haired Chihuahua

Smooth-Coat Chihuahua


This chi type is characterized by a short and smooth coat. Smooth-coat chihuahuas are also known as short-haired chihuahuas.

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance iteration of this breed, the smooth-coat chi doesn’t shed too much, and doesn’t demand too much by the way of grooming. The lack of shedding is relative, though, and if you suffer from allergies, this breed is inadvisable.

You can find this type of chi in a variety of colors as well as both the apple headed and dear headed sub-types we’ll outline below.

Long-Haired Chihuahua


Long-haired chis are a sight to behold. The smooth and velvety hair just cries out for petting.

Like any dog with longer hair, you’ll need to put in more effort when it comes to combing, brushing, and thorough grooming. You should brush long-haired chis daily, and trim and bathe them frequently to keep them looking like a show-stopper rather than a ragged ball of fur.

It can take up to three years for the coat of a long-haired chihuahua to grow in.

Beyond these two main types of the chihuahua breed, you can also find other sub-types, even if these are not officially recognized by the AKC.

III. Chihuahuas with Different Head Shapes

There are three sub-types of chi by head shape:

  • Apple Headed Chihuahua
  • Deer Headed Chihuahua
  • Pear Headed Chihuahua

Apple Headed Chihuahua


These chis are named for their apple-shaped heads.

With round heads featuring the molera – a soft spot like that on a baby’s skull – along with wide eyes and a small muzzle, this is the chihuahua that first springs to mind when you hear the name.

Sadly, past breeding methods have led to some of these dogs suffering from fluid on the brain (hydrocephalus). If you’re considering one of these chihuahuas, check for any family history of this condition.

Deer Headed Chihuahua


Deer headed chihuahuas are slightly less common. They have elongated snouts and long, slender heads. This sub-type often has longer limbs and a longer body.

These chihuahuas are not accepted as true breeds by most dog societies and kennel clubs. On the plus side, they suffer from far fewer health problems than apple headed chis, making them easier pets and ideal for first-time owners.

Pear Headed Chihuahua


The least desirable sub-type of chihuahua, the pear headed variety is the result of breeding apple headed and deer headed chihuahuas.

These dogs are characterized by flat skulls, long muzzles, and a head shaped like a pear.

IV. Other Types of Chihuahua

You may also encounter the following chihuahua sub-types:

  • Fawn Chihuahua
  • Teacup Chihuahua

Fawn Chihuahua


The fawn chihuahua is not a specific type of chi and it’s not a different breed. Instead, this sub-type encompasses chihuahuas of any type colored fawn.

Teacup Chihuahua


Any chihuahua that weighs less than five pounds and stands less than nine inches tall is considered a teacup chihuahua.

Opinion is polarized on this type of dog. Such intense and unnatural breeding can trigger health conditions and discomfort.

In all other respects save size, a teacup chihuahua is identical to a standard chi.

V. Conclusion

It’s easy to get confused when it comes to chihuahuas, but the most important distinction to make between the two main types of chi is the length of the coat. Whether you find the short-haired chihuahua appealing, or you can’t resist the attraction of long-haired chis, you should do your due diligence before bringing this breed home.

You could also take advantage of the several sub-types of chihuahua if you’re looking for a pet with a real difference.

The best part? Chihuahuas are among the longest-living dogs, giving you a vibrant addition to the family for many years to come.

Take a moment to bookmark BarkVA before you go. We bring you fresh canine content daily covering all aspects of ownership, from training and grooming to choosing the right dog food and taking a road trip safely with your furball. We also bring you impartial reviews of all the best dog equipment. See you soon!

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