Not every dog lover’s cup of tea, the Chihuahua is a tiny dog (the tiniest, in fact) with a big personality that forms strong bonds with its owner. They tend to not get along very well with other dogs, nor do they see eye to eye with young children, making this breed of canine not the best choice for a lot of potential dog owners, but many of the people who do take the plunge and become chihuahua owners end up falling in love.
There is only one real breed of chihuahua, but several different types within this breed, which sprung out of improper methods and experimentation on the part of breeders, with these new variations not meeting the official standards of what a breed can be. These chihuahua types are separated by different physical characteristics, including coat length, head shape, and body size. If you live in an apartment and are considering getting a chihuahua, or other apartment-friendly dog, and would like some advice, this article on the best apartment dogs will tell you which breeds will work the best. Also, this course on how to plan for a dog will help you choose a dog then prepare your home for your new roommate.
Chihuahua Types By Coat
The first variation of chihuahua we will discuss today are the kinds with different types of coat. There are only two variations of coats when discussing chihuahuas: long coat and smooth coat. One type is not inherently better than the other, and both are represented in official competitions, and when it comes to owning one or the other, it comes down to personal preference. If you just can’t stop looking at your dog, and would like to capture them perfectly with a photo, this course on retouching photos of pups for Photoshop will show you how to capture the majesty of your best furry friend.
- Long Coat Chihuahua
This type, also referred to as long haired, has many different types of hair. It can range from soft, to straight, to wavy, comes in many different colors, and can reach up to two inches in length, or may be just slightly longer than the short haired variety. Though the long haired types obviously require more brushing, surprisingly, these types actually shed less than their shorter haired counterparts, and usually even require less grooming. If your long coat chihuahua has recently been trimmed, or even shaved, it may take a couple of years for it grow back to its full length.
- Smooth Coat Chihuahua
The smooth coat, or short haired, variety of chihuahua usually has a soft, glossy coat, with the hair on its head and ears coming in not quite as thick as the hair on the rest of its body. These tend to shed more than those varieties with longer hair, and as a result, require a lot of brushing, as well as a lot of hair removal from clothing and furniture around the house. The name of this type of chihuahua is a bit of a misnomer in that it may not always be smooth, with some of them having downright wiry, rough coats.
Chihuahuas By Size
You may think all chihuahuas are small, and you wouldn’t be wrong in saying that, but there are, in fact, degrees of tininess when it comes to this breed. There are three different major size variations that breeders claim, but you will see that they are not what they seem. While smallness cannot be bred in chihuahuas, breeders still insist upon referring to their dogs as a certain type of size. If your chihuahua, or other dogs, like to take walks, but aren’t quite polite about it, this course on training how to leash walk will help you regain control of your rude canine.
- Teacup , Micro, and Miniature
These three terms are used by chihuahua breeders somewhat interchangeably to describe a dog of especially small size, but are not officially recognized as an official type of chihuahua. These are basically marketing tools used by clever breeders to make their extra small dogs seem unique. What happened was that breeders were in a rush to make a tiny chihuahua, and to get that result, they bred the runts of litters together to make tiny offspring. They would then sell these “unique” dogs for more money, but the owners soon realized that these dogs had health issues, including underdeveloped bones, eye problems, and heart problems, among other issues.
These three terms, as well as other variations, like Tiny Toy, pocket sized, and others, started a bit of a backyard breeding culture, where amateur breeders attempted to breed smaller and smaller chihuahua varieties, to the detriment of the dogs’ health. As a result of the increased popularity of this unprofessional breeding, legitimate breeders have taken to calling some of their healthy and normal chihuahua pups “Teacup”, “Micro”, or “Miniature” in an effort to not only appeal to those that desire these dogs, but also to drive out the amateur breeders who are harming these dogs.
Chihuahuas By Head Shape
If all chihuahuas had the head shape that their breed was intended to have, they would all be Apple Heads. However, that look has been bred out of some types, and we now have three alternatives, one being quite rare. If your chihuahua just won’t learn to tricks, like sit, stay, speak or roll over, this course on training your dog to do 25 different tricks will not only teach your dog, but will show you the basics of dog training in the process.
- Apple Head
Like we said before, this is the original head shape of the breed, and as a result, the only type that is accepted in dog shows. The Apple Head chihuahua is the most commonly found type, with a head that’s shaped, obviously, like an apple. The top of the head is small, well-rounded and domed. In addition to round little heads, these dogs also have large eyes, a prominent stop (where the snout comes out of the head) of about 90 degrees, and a shorter snout, smaller body, and bigger head than the other types.
- Deer Head
The Deer Headed chihuahua has a head shaped like that of a deer, which was bred into the dog as a result of it being more sought after than its Apple Headed brethren. Its head is a bit smaller, with a sloped forehead, and a long, narrow snout. The stop of this type is less prominent and more slanted than the Apple Head, and the bodies of this type are typically taller and thinner, with longer legs, and more delicate paws. Though this type does not meet breed standards, and as a result, not allowed in dog shows, it is more popular with dog owners, and tends to be healthier, with less genetic issues.
- Pear Head
A very unpopular type of chihuahua, the Pear Head type is known mostly only to breeders. Its head, as its name suggests, is like that of a pear, with a flatter skull and a more prominent muzzle than the others. These dogs tend to be large for their breed, and are the result of a breeder combining an Apple Head with a Deer Head.
Chihuahuas By Color and Markings
The final differentiation among chihuahuas we will discuss today are the various markings and coat colorings found on the dog’s coat. There are no specifically named type of chihuahuas when discussing color and markings, like there are with head shape, size and coat, but it is a way that breeders and owners discuss different types.
The common colors of chihuahuas include red, cream, chocolate, blue, black, and fawn. Fawn chihuahuas are sometimes misunderstood to be a specific type of chihuahua, but it is simply a color, similar to a darker shade of beige or light brown, and is the most common color of chihuahuas, while blue is the rarest (it’s more of a black or silver). Aside from being solid colored, many types of chihuahuas have various markings, including spots, splashes and stripes, among others.
Now that the secrets of the chihuahua have been unlocked, hopefully you can now pick out the perfect pint-sized pet. While all of these little guys are special, remember that it takes a certain kind of dog lover to tame the wild lifestyle of the chihuahua, and that, while they thrive in many domestic urban environments, they need a lot of attention, and might not be on their best behavior around children. If you’ve decided on the perfect chihuahua, and would now like to learn how to train him properly, this course on how to train a dog and this article on easy dog tricks for any canine will turn your pet into the next dog Einstein.