Types of Chihuahuas

The Chihuahua breed has the most variations of any other breed in regard to their shapes, colors, and coats. While Chihuahuas only have two coat lengths (either long-hair or short-hair), they come in a wide array of colors; fawn, brindle, sable, chocolate, black, tri-colored, rare blues, and rare whites just to name a few. Many other color combinations can be found on our Chihuahua Colors & Markings page.

When it comes to a Chihuahuas body there can be big differences from one dog to another. Some Chihuahuas have longer bodies, with long slender legs, while others have short compact (cobby) bodies with short legs. These differences can result in some Chihuahuas being over a foot tall, and others as short as 4 inches.

How many different types of Chihuahuas are there?
Officially there is only one "breed" or one "type" of Chihuahua. Within the Chihuahua breed there are two official varieties of coat lengths according to the AKC (and other dog kennels) breed standards; the long-coat and the smooth-coat. It is the different coat varieties that people commonly refer to as being different types of Chihuahuas, and that can be confusing because the AKC only recognizes one type of Chihuahua. Unofficially the term "type of Chihuahua" is used way more loosely and is used to refer to distinctions in the breed like coat length, head shape, and body type. Using the unofficial standards, there are many different types of Chihuahuas. Listed below are all the different types of Chihuahuas (not including color types). 

Why don't they just separate the Chihuahua into two breeds - The Long Coat and the Smooth Coat?
There are many reasons why they don't and why they can't separate them into separate breeds. The first and foremost being that they are technically still the same breed. Another reason is that when you breed two smooth coat Chihuahuas together it is entirely possible to get a long coat offspring (see why on our Chihuahua Genetics page). This lack of breed predictability disqualifies the Chihuahua from being considered for a separate breed.


How many different varieties of Chihuahuas are there?

Long-Coat Chihuahua:

longcoat chihuahua
long-haired chihuahua

The long-coat Chihuahua also commonly referred to as a long haired Chihuahua is one of two officially recognized varieties. Long-hairs can come in many different colors, and their coat length can be very long or sometimes only slightly longer than a smooth-coat. The long-hair can be an apple-head, a dear-head, and may have long legs or short legs.


Smooth-Coat Chihuahua:

smooth-coat chihuahua
short-haired chihuahua

The smooth-coat Chihuahua or short-hair is the other officially recognized variety of the Chihuahua. Short hairs can come in many different color combinations, and like the long-hair, the short-hair can have an apple-head, and deer-head, long legs or short legs.



Apple-Head Chihuahua:

apple head chihuahua

The Apple-Head is the only officially recognized type of head for the breed and accepted in the show ring. For a Chihuahua to be considered a true Chihuahua, it must have a well rounded apple domed head or it is disqualified. It is called an apple-head for the obvious reason that the shape of their head resembles an apple. Typically the Apple-Heads have a shorter snout than the Deer-Head, and have a much more prominent stop (closer to 90 degrees).


Deer-Head Chihuahua:

deer-head chihuahua
deerhead chihuahua

The Deer-Head Chihuahua is called a deer head because of it's resemblance in shape to that of a deer. The deer head is more elongated than that of an Apple head and also has a longer, narrower snout. A deer heads stop is less prominent and more slanted and they are typically have a longer body and longer legs than the apple head, but not always. The deer head is not considered a favorable trait within the dog show community as they do not meet the breed standards, but it is a desirable trait for some people and many breeders purposefully breed for the deer head look. They are usually healthier with fewer genetic problems.


Fawn Chihuahua:

A Fawn type of Chihuahua does not exist. It is simply a misunderstanding. Fawn is actually a color of Chihuahua and does not mean anything other than that. Perhaps the confusion is that a Fawn is also the name for a baby deer.


Teacup/Miniature/Micro Chihuahua:

Teacup Chihuahua
a chihuahua in a teacup

A "Teacup Chihuahua" is a popular marketing term for breeders trying to make their Chihuahuas seem more unique. While "Teacup" may be a fitting description for small Chihuahuas, there is not really such a thing as a Teacup Chihuahua. This description simply refers to a Chihuahua that is really small. Chihuahuas can range in size from 2 lbs to 8 lbs, but smallness is not a trait that can be predictably bred (although many have tried and are still trying). It is somewhat misleading for a breeder to use the term "Teacup Chihuahua" as it gives the impression that they are a distinct type of Chihuahua. Just be aware that the term usually refers to a smaller than average Chihuahua. Some Chihuahuas simply turn out smaller than others, and many Chihuahuas can fit inside of a teacup, especially when they are young, but they are still just a Chihuahua.


Pear-Head Chihuahua

pear head chi

The Pear-head Chihuahua is an uncommon and usually undesirable type of Chihuahua. You will most likely never hear this description unless you are a Chihuahua breeder, as the term is very specific. The pear head is similar in shape to a deer head, but the head is more pear shaped (as the name suggests), they usually have a flatter skull, a larger more prominent muzzle. Pear-head Chihuahuas can be pretty large for the breed and the trait most often appears, when a breeder has bred an apple-head Chihuahua to a deer-head Chihuahua. Even, though they do not have the desired looks, they are still Chihuahuas. It does not appear it is a dominant trait as when they are mated to an excellent mate they produce beautiful pups.



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#1 Monique 2014-01-30 14:26
Every types of chihuahuas are great and adorable ;) Take a look in my shop for nice and warm outfits for yours dogs ;)
#2 Alec 2014-03-06 20:05
#3 rconte 2014-04-22 21:54
I have a chin/chi. so very cute
+1 #4 RE: Types of ChihuahuasJanie 2014-10-21 18:15
I had a Pear headed Chi, I think it helped him to be stronger then the average Chi. Although he had no clue how to play ( he was a rescue) he was a very spritely fellow right up to the end pretty much. He was 10lbs in his later years but close to 12lbs in his prime but the vet said he was really healthy. He had an almost barrel chest and walked with big dog attitude though he was very much a Chi in many ways! The only difficult issue he had was his teeth, as much as we tried. I am not sure if the heart failure was genetic or his surgeries, that was very controlled and never showed any symptoms! He was a most loving dog, I hope other folks can get this type of pup, you aren't afraid they might get hurt and they hate being dressed up or carried around. Mine looked like a mini German Shepard! ( and pranced around like one!)
#5 Dianeadmin 2015-01-25 00:27
I saw absolutely no difference in my pear headed Chihuahua's disposition, she thought she was like the other Chis and she acted like the others, very sweet girl. People were always asking me what kind of dog she was, LOL.