The AKC (American Kennel Club) lists two main types of chihuahua:

          1. Long-haired chihuahua
          2. Smooth-coat chihuahua

There is no difference between these types of chihuahua except for the length of their coats.

Beyond these main types, though, you can also find a variety of chihuahua sub-types. These include:

          • Pear headed chihuahua
          • Deer headed chihuahua
          • Apple headed Chihuahua
          • Teacup chihuahua
          • Fawn chihuahua

Before we explore these different types of chihuahua, some basics about this captivating breed.

Chihuahua 101

The chihuahua is a tiny dog that weighs a maximum of 6 pounds, per the AKC breed standard.

Some quick chihuahua facts:

          • Group: Toy dogs
          • Family: Primitive
          • Lifespan: 13 to 18 years
          • Origin: Mexico in the 1500s
          • Original purpose: Ceremonial purposes and companionship
          • Contemporary function: Companionship

Chihuahuas are small and compact. Highly alert, the chi moves quickly and easily.

Although yappy and feisty, chihuahuas are also family-friendly. That said, the personality of a chihuahua can vary dramatically. Some chis are confident while others are nervous and skittish. You will need to explore the genetic line of the dog to assess their likely temperament, according to whether you want a shy and retiring dog or a more forceful and aggressive furry friend. Beyond parentage, the type of chihuahua will also influence their personality.

You’ll need to resist the doleful expression and the deep luminous eyes of your chihuahua if you want to prevent your chi from taking advantage. Be firm and you should find that most chihuahuas are highly obedient and respond well to training.

There is a great deal of variety in the coat coloring of breed. You can find chihuahuas with patterned or plain coats. The hair can be long or short, depending on the breed. This difference in hair length is the only distinction between the two main types of chihuahua.

Chihuahuas are tiny dogs, but this doesn’t mean they are typically shy or evasive. It is imperative to train chihuahuas and to socialize them immediately. While family-friendly, you should reconsider bringing a chi home if you have small kids in the house. If you live somewhere with a cooler climate, you will need to make sure your chihuahua is well protected against the cold. You will also need to invest in dog food designed for this breed.

There is uncertainty concerning the origins of the chihuahua, the smallest breed of dogs worldwide. Some theories posit that the chihuahua originated in China and was then taken to Mexico by 16th-century traders. Other theories suggest that the chihuahua originated in central America.

The chihuahua is now one of the most enduringly popular breeds in the United States, loved for its cute personality, adorable size, and devotion to its owner.

Here are the two main types of chihuahua so you can determine which one – if either – makes the right fit for you.

The Two Types of Chihuahua



The AKC recognizes the following types of chihuahua:

    1. Long-haired chihuahua
    2. Smooth coat chihuahua

1) Long-haired Chihuahua

The long-haired chihuahua has a smooth and velvety coat that cries out to be stroked and petted.

Owning any dog with longer hair means you’ll need to invest more effort into brushing, combining, and grooming. Brush the coat of a long-haired chihuahua daily. You should also regularly bathe and trim your chi to prevent him turning into a ragged furball.

You may find that it takes two or three years for a long-haired chihuahua’s coat to fully grow in.

2) Smooth coat chihuahua

This smooth coat chihuahua has a characteristic smooth and short coat. This type of chihuahua is sometimes known as a short-haired chihuahua.

Smooth coat chihuahuas involve less maintenance than long-haired chis. This type of chihuahua does not shed excessively. These dogs require little grooming.

This type of chihuahua comes in many colors and with different shaped heads – more on those below as we outline the additional sub-types of chihuahua. While these are not officially recognized as types by the AKC, they are widely recognized as subtypes. The first of these sub-types of chihuahua involves the shape of their heads.

Chihuahuas with Different Head Shapes


These chihuahua sub-types are distinguished by head shape as follows:

    1. Pear headed chihuahua
    2. Deer headed chihuahua
    3. Apple headed chihuahua

1) Pear headed chihuahua

The pear headed chihuahua is the least desirable of all sub-types. This dog stems from the breeding of deer headed and apple headed chis.

This sub-type is characterized by long muzzles, flat skulls, and heads shaped like pears.

2) Deer headed chihuahua

Deer headed chihuahuas are uncommon. This sub-type features long, narrow heads and elongated snouts, partnered with long bodies and longer limbs.

These chis are not recognized as true breeds by dog societies or kennel clubs. That said, they experience far fewer health complications than apple headed chihuahuas, making them ideal pets for first-time or inexperienced owners.

3) Apple headed Chihuahua

These chihuahuas are named for their small, round heads with a molera – soft spot – as well as a small muzzle and super-wide eyes. It is this type of chihuahua that most people first imagine when they hear the name.

Questionable breeding practices mean that some apple headed chihuahuas suffer from hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain). If you are thinking about becoming a pet parent to an apple headed chi, you should look closely into the dog’s family history.

Other Sub-Types of Chihuahua


In addition to the chihuahuas highlighted above, you can also find the following sub-types of this breed:

    1. Fawn chihuahua
    2. Teacup chihuahua

1) Fawn Chihuahua

Fawn chihuahuas are not a different breed and they are not a specific type of chihuahua either. Rather, this sub-type is created for chihuahuas of all types that are colored fawn.

2) Teacup Chihuahua

If a chihuahua weighs below five pounds and stands less than nine inches tall, this is classified as a teacup chihuahua.

Aside from the size, a teacup chi is identical to a standard dog of this breed.

Many people oppose the unnatural breeding practices used to create teacup dogs. This intense breeding often triggers health complications in these dogs.

How to Care for Any Type of Chihuahua the Right Way

Caring for a chihuahua involves similar steps, regardless of whether it’s a long-haired, smooth coat, or teacup chi.

The compact size of this breed means you shouldn’t need to spend too much on food. You will find a chi is an easy dog to keep at home and this breed has modest exercise requirements, ideal for busy owners or those with mobility issues unable to get out and walk a dog.

Some chihuahuas can develop health issues, though, especially teacup breed chis.

You should encourage your chi to eat plenty of crunchy kibble. This will ensure that his teeth stay clean between brushings. You will find your chihuahua loves meal toppers and wet dog food, too.

If you take your chihuahua for a short daily walk, this will fulfill his exercise needs. If you can’t get outside, your chi will be happy scuttling around indoors.

The diminutive frames of these dogs means they can be easily harmed. This breed is not advisable if you have small and energetic kids at home. A chi will get along well with cats and gentle dogs, but the breed thrives alone or with its own kind.

Housetraining a chihuahuas can be challenging and messy. You will need to pack plenty of patience and focus on using consistent, reward-based training methods. When you’re done, you’ll have a potty-trained chihuahua who should give you relatively little trouble from this point.

You will need to train a chihuahua to discourage excessive barking. You can use a dog training collar to help you achieve this.

Make sure you buy food designed for chihuahuas or other small breeds. While this may attract a premium, the minimal appetites of this breed means you dog food bill shouldn’t run too high.


It might seem initially confusing when you are trying to choose a chihuahua, but you can narrow your decision down to a choice between a long-haired or smooth coated chi.

Aside from the difference in aesthetics, the primary difference between those two types of chihuahua is the amount of effort you’ll need to invest into grooming. Additionally, those with allergies may find it wise to avoid the long-haired chi.

Today’s guide may have inspired you to consider one of the different sub-types of chihuahua. If so, you should now have a clear idea of what you can expect if you bring a chihuahua home.

As one of the longest-living of all dog breeds, owning any type of chihuahua can be an intensely rewarding experience, so what are you waiting for?

Bookmark GO Boxer Rescue before you head off and be sure to pop back very soon.

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