You might have heard of the Teacup Chihuahua, but what about the apple head Chihuahua and the deer head Chihuahua?
Feeling confused? Well, don’t worry. Here is a breakdown of what category these Chihuahuas fall under, what they look like, and the differences between them.
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They both belong to the same breed
Let me start by saying that we’re talking about some physical variations inside the same breed. No dog club recognizes these types of Chihuahuas as a separate breed or sub-breed.
The AKC lists two types of Chihuahuas: smooth (short) haired and long haired, and in either category, the Chihuahua may be an apple head or deer head.
The terms ’deer head’ and ’apple head’ are simply descriptions of the shape of the Chihuahua’s head, just as the term ‘Teacup’ is used to describe a Chihuahua who is very small.
What do they look like?
Here are their physical characteristics:
Apple head Chihuahuas
- Rounded, apple-shaped skull
- Short muzzle
- 90-degree angle between the muzzle and skull
- Prominent jawline
- Often has bulging eyes
- Can have a molera (a soft spot on the skull)
Deer head Chihuahuas
- Head shaped like that of a young deer
- Long, angular face
- Narrow skull
- Long, narrow, pointed muzzle
- Extended jaw line
- Muzzle forms a slope where it joins the skull
- Has a longer neck compared to the apple head Chihuahua
- Usually larger than the apple head Chihuahua
- Less likely to have a molera
Sometimes these characteristics are not visible from early ages, so the best way to know what your Chihuahua is going to look like is by seeing her parents.
Deer head Chihuahuas don’t meet the AKC standard
The American Kennel Club describes the standard Chihuahua as having a “well rounded apple dome skull”, so owners who want to register their dogs for shows and competitions must have an apple head Chihuahua.
If you’re just looking for a companion, however, a deer head Chihuahua is still a Chihuahua. So don’t let the breed standard stop you – I personally think they have a real charm!
Deer head Chihuahuas are larger
This is a consequence of the fact that deer head Chihuahuas don’t need to stay below the 6-pound limit stated in the standard for the breed, as they don’t qualify for competitions anyway. So, breeders haven’t been too preoccupied about keeping her small.
Deer head Chihuahuas can grow as large as 12 pounds (5.4 kg) and sometimes they have longer legs, too.
Apple head Chihuahuas, on the other hand, tend to be a little longer rather than taller, and they usually maintain their weight under 6 pounds.
However, not all deer head Chihuahuas grow that large – Teacup deer head Chihuahuas do exist, too:
Both types make great pets
Some Chihuahua owners claim that deer head Chihuahuas are more obedient and have nicer temperaments than apple head Chihuahuas. However, there’s no scientific evidence or statistics to prove this statement.
The way you train your dog influences her behavior, not the shape of her head. Apple head and deer head Chihuahuas can both make great pets, and both need equal amounts of obedience training sessions and early socialization.
Deer head Chihuahuas have less breathing problems
Chihuahuas are generally healthy dogs, but they can suffer from upper airway problems like reverse sneezing and tracheal collapse.
Apple head Chihuahuas are more prone to these respiratory problems due to their shorter noses. As the deer head Chihuahua has a longer muzzle and a larger, less fragile trachea, she tends to suffer less from these breathing troubles.
Deer head and apple head Chihuahuas are the same breed of dog but with different looks. The apple head Chihuahua has a very rounded forehead and is usually much smaller in size, while the deer head Chihuahua has the face shape of a fawn, and is usually larger in size.
Deer head Chihuahuas do not meet the AKC standard for the Chihuahua and therefore cannot be used in shows. They tend to suffer less breathing problems than apple head Chihuahuas.
There’s no proof that one or the other makes a better companion. In my opinion, they are both perfectly fine choices, and both need just as much training and socialization to make her into a sociable and companionable pet.
Which Chihuahua do you like best? If you have one, what does your Chihuahua look like? Let us know in a comment below!