How Do I Know What Kind Of Chihuahua I Have?

Short Hair Chihuahua

Chihuahuas might have a general, small look to them, however, there are some distinct differences between the variations of the breed.

But what should you be looking for?

Chihuahuas are one of the world’s most identifiable dog breeds. They are adorable and fun-loving breeds who are recognizable by their small size. Generally, they do not exceed 2.8kg (or 6lbs) and stand up to 38cm (or 15in) tall.

To really identify the type of Chihuahua you have is very easy. There are short-haired Chihuahuas and long-haired Chihuahuas. The other ways to identify the type is by looking at the head, there are (deer head) or (apple head) Chihuahuas. Photos can easily identify what type of Chihuahua you have.

There are some key things to look out for when trying to be a bit more specific in the kind of chihuahua you have. Below are the things to look for!

What To Look For To Identify The Type of Chihuahua

1. Fur Colouring Helps To Identify Type

The fur of the chihuahua is the number one identifier. The most common fur colour for a chihuahua is blond or golden yellow. This colouring of fur is often called “fawn” as it resembles deer fur.

Other variations of the fur do exist and these can include merle, which is more of a pattern rather than colouring of the fur.

Merle’s tend to have patchy blotches splattered on their coats. Other colours can include black sable, which is where the fur is primarily black and the areas around the eyes and chest are tan or white in colour.

2. Deer Shaped Head Or Apple-headed

Chihuahuas are identified by the shape of their head. There are two shapes that exist, the deer and the apple. The deer shaped head will appear similar to a deer’s head with a slightly triangular shape.

Apple-headed chihuahuas have wideset ears and their head is very round, like an apple. These pups generally have smaller noses while the deer-headed variations will have longer noses.

The head shape plays an important role in knowing the kind of chihuahua you have.

These two features are the biggest tell-tale signs of the kind of chihuahua you have. It is always a good idea to take a closer inspection to the dog to see just variation you might have.

There are other patterns of the fur that exist as well, like the brindle chihuahua that has tiger-like stripes in its fur. These aren’t as common because they are harder to breed, just like the merle variation.

How Can I Tell If My Chihuahua Is Full-Blooded?

Full-blooded, or purebred, dogs can be hard to come by. To be considered full-blooded, a dog must be bred responsibly with another dog of similar traits.

The world is full of mixed breeds and mixed variations and this can cause some issue when it comes to identifying a “full-blooded dog“.

The best way to identify if your chihuahua is full-blooded is by ensuring they are obtained from a responsible breeder.

Responsible breeders will always have ethical breeding practises as well as proper paperwork for the dog. Often times this paperwork is documentation indicating that the dog has been bred ethically and may include DNA testing proving its lineage.

These factors certainly give insight to a chihuahua being purebred and moreover, they would be of the fawn colouring rather than any colour of patterns.

If you’ve got a pup that isn’t from a breeder, always check the head-shape and fur colouring and if possible, inquire about a DNA test that will showcase the dog’s lineage.

A DNA test has come a long way and the kits out on the market aren’t too expensive, but vets might be able to perform the testing as well.

Even though there are DNA tests available out there, the best way to get a property bred chihuahua is through a breeder.

To some, this might seem a little bit extensive since most reliable breeders require visits to the animal to ensure that people are a good match for the pup, however, it is necessary.

The time, money, and effort that is spent with a reputable breeder are extremely important. This is primarily due to having peace of mind that the dog was bred properly and will be healthy will no immediate adverse health issues.

But how can you tell a reliable breeder from an unethical one? Below are characteristics common to responsible breeders.

Responsible Breeder Characteristics

Helpful Knowledgeable Breeder

The very first thing that you should look for in a reliable breeder is their knowledge base. People who take pride in their job and their animals will not hesitate to answer any questions and will provide any feedback to any questions you might have.

This even includes harder questions such as known health issues for chihuahuas, life expectancy, etc. They will be honest and forthcoming in their replies.

This shouldn’t be confused as being “cocky“. They have the answers because they want to be helpful to their customers.

Breeder That Provides All Paperwork

To ensure that all health records are disclosed, reliable breeders will provide the paperwork for the dog.

This includes information stating that the dog was bred ethically and with the proper variation of chihuahua and breed.

This is important information related to knowing if the dog is purebred or not as well.

Is Fair And Doesn’t Price Gouge

A lot of unethical breeders, or puppy mills, will increase the price of the dogs dramatically to turn a quick dollar. The price point of the dog should be around $687 – $2060 AU (or $500 – $1500 US dollars).

This price range might seem high already, however, due to the delicate nature of breeding and the work that goes into it, the prices are quite fair for the lovable dog that comes out of it.

If the price is much higher than that highest price point, it is a huge red flag that something isn’t right. Some variations of chihuahua, like pure white-coated, can be more expensive due to the rarity of their success.

However, if the paperwork lines up and all other criteria seem legit, the price for these types can be understood.

While it isn’t easy to just look at a chihuahua and know if it is a purebred, there are some ways to do so. The first and most important step to finding that answer is to start with the breeder.

If you’re sure your dog came from a legit breeder, it can be easier to know if your dog is a full-blooded version of its breed.

What Are The Two Types of Chihuahua?

While the identification of a chihuahua is done through the fur colouring or pattern as well as the head shape, there are two main “types” of chihuahua that can also help determine what kind of chihuahua it is.

These two types are considered to be short-haired and long-haired. Short-haired chihuahuas are the more popular of the breed, having short hair that requires little to no maintenance.

As long as their food is of good quality and helps support their coat and skin, their coats will be healthy!

Long-haired chihuahuas a bit more unique and are super adorable. They have long hair that spans the whole extent of their bodies, including longer hairs on their triangular ears.

These coats require a bit more maintenance than their counterparts, however, it is totally worth it to have one of these pups. Their fur might need to be brushed more often than a short-hair chihuahua.

They might also require baths a little more often. Chihuahuas shouldn’t get baths too often, only around every 3-weeks, depending on their activity levels.

Long-haired pups might need a bath sooner, however, spot cleaning the fur can be an option instead of giving a total bath. Too much bathing can result in dry skin.

While these are the two main types of chihuahuas out there, each one does carry its own specific look other than the length of its coat. Long-haired chihuahuas come in a few colour types including tan, black, cream, red, brown, or blue.

This type is generally associated with the merle pattern as well. They are often nicknamed as “long-haired chi” among chihuahua lovers.

Short Hair Chihuahua
Short Hair Chihuahua

Short-haired chihuahuas are commonly coloured with black sable (the black with brown or tan on the fur around the eyes) and the fawn tan or cream colours.

They still need to be brushed like the long-haired variety, though not as often. Both versions are lovable and loyal to their owners. They are both still just as playful as well!

The long-haired and short-haired chihuahua will always be the two primary types of this breed, however, there are some other variations that exist.

Once again, as previously stated, these variations will be more of a pattern in the fur or colour differences. Below are the other variations of chihuahuas that might be found.

Other Variations of Chihuahuas

  • Merle – A splotched pattern the fur, typically in white and black.
  • Brindle – A tiger-like stripes throughout the fur, usually in dark or light brown.
  • Lavender – A washed-out dark brown colour that can appear to be purple, but isn’t really
  • Pure-White – The rarest colouring of the breed and is just as simple pure, snow-white colouring.

These variations aren’t too common as they are harder to breed and in some cases, like the merle, can result in health issues like deafness. While they aren’t too common, they are still lovable variations that can be found.

What’s The Smallest Type Of Chihuahua?

Chihuahuas are known for their small size as stated before, they only grow up to 38cm (or 15in) tall. But are there even smaller versions of this lovable breed? The short answer is yes, but it isn’t that simple.

You might be familiar with the term “teacup” or “miniature” when it comes to certain chihuahuas. These terms should be approached with caution because they aren’t technically a “type” or “variation” of the breed.

Rather, these pups simply have stunted in their growth.

Chihuahuas who don’t grow to the full size of a standard adult (the 38cm or 15in in height) is generally called the teacup or miniature chihuahua. These pups generally only grow to be 15cm (or 6in) tall and have an average weight of 3lbs.

Because they aren’t technically a “breed” of the chihuahua variation, they aren’t usually recognised by national dog breed associations. Moreover, they often called “toy” chihuahuas when in fact, they are not.

The term “toy” is applied to a regular, full-sized adult chihuahua. Toy breed is simply a blanket term for regular chihuahuas.

Teacup chihuahuas get their namesake because they can fit inside of a teacup. While is a cute concept, due to their size, breeding teacup chihuahuas is considered to be unethical.

This can be attributed to their shorter life spans (up to 12 years over a regular-sized chihuahua of 15 to 20 years), and inherent health issues.

To refer back to knowing if someone has a responsible breeder, it should be noted that if you come across a breeder labelling their chihuahuas as “teacups“, they probably aren’t ethical.

This isn’t to say that smaller sized chihuahuas cannot be sold. In fact, these little pups need love too! However, it is all in the naming of the pup. If a breeder is trying to sell “teacups” they are usually assumed to be doing so for a quick profit.

If a breeder is selling a singular pup who was the runt of a litter, this is a different situation and can be acceptable. It is just important to ensure that you are aware of possible scams related to this size of a chihuahua.

They are also usually astronomically priced, well out of the range of a normal chihuahua.

Whether it is a deer-headed, apple-headed, long-haired or short-haired chihuahua, identifying the type of chihuahua you have is not only important but also fun!

These adorable pups have so much energy and personality that any owner should take pride in getting to know their characteristics just a little bit more!


Hello, my name is Mackenzie and I have created this website out of my love for all the world's beautiful creatures - great and small. I hope you find this website useful as I take you through various topics about a variety of some of our most loved animals and ways in which you can gain some knowledge on how to care for them properly.

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