Do you know the difference between the apple head and teacup Chihuahua? The Apple Head Chihuahua has a head that is somewhat shaped like an apple. The Teacup Chihuahua is a tiny Chihuahua also called a micro Chihuahua.
If you are considering getting a Chihuahua, knowing the differences and what makes them unique matters so keep reading to learn all about them both!
Why Are Chihuahuas So Special?
Chihuahuas are also the national symbol of Mexico!
They are considered “purse dogs,” due to their small stature and are one of the oldest breeds in the Americas. Their lineage spreads back far into the ancient kingdom of the pre-Columbian era.
Chihuahuas are tiny, graceful dogs that have a similar demeanor to a terrier but they weigh no more than six pounds!
The round “apple,” shaped head is one of the breed’s trademarks, but there are actually two different head styles for Chihuahuas.
Chihuahua Characteristics You Should Know
They come in a wide variety of fun colors and can have either long or short coats.
Chihuahuas are considered very loyal little dogs but are also known for having “big dog,” attitudes.
They love their owners and make ideal lap dogs. Since they are so small it makes them ideal for traveling or taking with you just about anywhere.
There are many types of Chihuahua.
- Teacup Chihuahuas
- Long and short hair
- Reindeer Chihuahuas
- Apple head and Deer head Chihuahuas
- Multiple colors available
Why Are Chihuahuas So Small?
Why exactly are Chihuahuas so tiny? Surprisingly, Chihuahuas never used to be small! Chihuahuas actually descend from much larger dogs called Techichi.
These dogs were extremely popular among the Toltecs who live in Mexico.
During the 12th century, the Aztecs started breeding them to become smaller and smaller, resulting in the tiny dog that we see today.
In layman’s terms, selective breeding was used to make a miniature dog over a long period of time.
They just kept choosing the smallest dogs and bred them to obtain smaller and smaller puppies.
What is an Apple Head or Deer Head Chihuahua?
Chihuahuas are very popular dogs but besides coming in a variety of colors and coat lengths, there is one more differentiating factor with these tiny dogs, their head shape!
Chihuahuas can often display two different skull shapes.
- Apple-shaped (apple dome)
Differences Between Apple Head Chihuahuas and Deer Head Chihuahuas
Generally speaking, it is fairly easy to distinguish between the head shapes even for an amateur.
However, a little tip, if you can’t seem to tell is to take a peek at the area where your Chihuahuas muzzle meets the side of his face.
Apple Head Chihuahua
Apple-shaped head Chihuahuas will have a 90-degree angulation and a deer head Chihuahua will have around a 45-degree angulation.
Sometimes these dogs are called “apple dome” Chihuahuas due to the round shape of their head.
A couple of other physical characteristics that are different with Apple Head Chihuahua puppies are that they will often have a soft spot on their head when they are born.
This soft spot closes up as they grow through puppyhood. They will generally also have shorter necks and a short muzzle in comparison to the deer head version.
Are Apple Head Chihuahuas Rare?
No, Apple Head Chihuahuas are not really all that unique to classify them as being rare.
However, because the breed standard does mention an ‘apple dome’ shaped head it may take a little more effort for you to find one compared to just looking for a Chihuahua.
Deer Head Chihuahua
Deer-head Chihuahua dogs on the other hand have longer legs, longer necks, and longer muzzles and sometimes may also have slightly larger ears than their apple-head counterparts.
Both styles of head-shaped Chihuahuas come in every color and coat length. There can sometimes be a combination of the head styles, although this is rare.
Are Deer Head Chihuahuas Rare?
No, Deer head Chihuahuas are not rare probably due to the fact that they don’t meet breed standards.
Chihuahua Breed Standards
The apple-headed Chihuahua is a term people use but is not officially recognized for the breed standard.
However, the term ‘apple dome’ does appear in the breed standard and so most people connect the two and say a Chihuahua must be an apple head to meet standards.
If you will be looking for a show dog instead of a pet, it is important that you find an apple-head-shaped Chihuahua or more specifically one with an apple dome-shaped head.
This does not mean that the deer-head versions are bad or not great dogs, it simply is just the breed standard to show an apple head.
As with every breed, there is a dog show type dog, which will conform to all breed standards and then there is the regular dog that will be a housepet.
There is no reason for a family pet to have all the requirements of the breed standards.
The average chihuahua tends to have a smooth coat, an average height of around 6 to 9 inches, and weighs in at only five to six pounds.
You can read the official Chihuahua breed stands here on the American Kennel Club (AKC) website.
American Kennel Club (AKC) Chihuahua Registration
It does not matter what shape of head your Chihuahua possesses, as long as both parents are full-blooded Chihuahua, you can register your dog with the American Kennel Club!
There is always the possibility that the AKC will eventually recognize both styles and even have separate classes for the deer-head style.
Which Came First? The Apple Head or Deer Head?
In part, no one knows exactly. The history of the Chihuahua is fairly difficult, so no one knows whether the apple-head or deer-head came first, or even why they produce different head shapes.
Many scientists believe Chihuahuas are a breed that is centuries old, and that both styles were representative.
This complicates the situation, and it is likely we may never fully know the answer to what style came first or why.
To further complicate the situation, either head shape can be produced by either head shape in their litter. You never know what you are going to get if you are a Chihuahua breeder.
Do Chihuahuas Make Good Pets?
Yes, Chihuahuas make great pets. Especially due to being so small, you are able to take them to many places much easier than you would a very large dog.
Chihuahuas can be very friendly and loveable. They make great companions for elderly people or those looking for a companion.
Even though Chihuahuas tend to be high energy (most small dogs are) they can make a wonderful family pet.
In fact, it is not unusual for Chihuahua overs to have more than one and sometimes three, four, or even more!
Are Chihuahuas family-friendly?
As with most everything, this will entirely depend on the dog, but most Chihuahuas are not suitable around young children.
If you are entirely sold on a Chihuahua yet have young children, it is best to seek the help of a trained dog professional and do adequate socialization.
Help your children understand how to be calm and gentle with the dog and that may help.
Chihuahuas are well known for their loveable, spunky energy, while simultaneously being fantastic lap companions.
Every Chihuahua will vary in what their personality is like. Some will be quite timid and some will be the exact opposite.
It is really important with small Chihuahuas to make sure they are getting the best food possible.
Here is a list of ideal food qualities when selecting a food for your Chihuahua:
- A food manufacturer in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, or even Western Europe. (Chihuahuas have a higher sensitivity to toxins, so ensure your food comes from a country with high standards.)
- Small kibble size.
- Meat is the first ingredient.
- No artificial flavors, colors, or other nonessential ingredients.
- Added fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6. This promotes a healthy coat.
How Much Do Chihuahuas Eat?
The adult Chihuahua generally needs between 200-300 calories per day.
Most commercial dog foods contain 300,400, or more calories per cup so are cautious about the type of food you are feeding.
The amount your Chihuahua should eat also varies by the individual dog so be sure to seek out professional advice with your food selections and quantities.
How Often Should You Feed Your Chihuahua?
Many breeders will suggest that their clients feed their dogs tiny, frequent meals. Sometimes 3 or 4 meals per day.
Sometimes, you can just simply leave a small dish of food out for them, but this will depend on the overall health of your dog and if they have any eating issues such as overgorging.
Chihuahuas can become hypoglycemic (have blood sugar crashes) fairly easily. If your dog is more susceptible to this, leaving a dish of food out constantly is highly recommended.
Chihuahua Health Issues You Need to Know
Chihuahuas are usually very healthy dogs, but they can be prone to a few different diseases and genetic issues.
- Heart problems (patent ductus arteriosus) or commonly referred to as mitral valve disease
- Eye diseases
- Patellar luxation
- Idiopathic epilepsy
- Tracheal collapse
- Respiratory problems
- Chronic bronchitis
- Skin and coat-related issues
The recommended health tests for Chihuahua owners are:
- Patella Evaluation
- Cardiac Exam
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
Chihuahuas explained by the American Kennel Club are generally healthy little dogs. They are also capable of living long lives, sometimes living upwards of 15 years.
This is awesome news for pet parents, but it leads us to a unique challenge.
Chihuahuas can have long lives and they are relatively susceptible to different lifestyle-related health problems.
Consider Rescuing a Chihuahua
Did you know that over 23% of people with Chihuahuas rescued them or adopted them? Chihuahuas are more prone to becoming shelter dogs than just about any other dogs.
This is partly due to how many Chihuahuas there are. Backyard breeders and irresponsible breeding is a big problem and leads to many dogs ending up in shelters.
Temperaments of Adopted Shelter Dogs
Sometimes, after adopting a dog there is an adaption period that follows. The number one reported concern about an adopted Chihuahua is that they can be very timid or fearful at first.
Most people report that their new doggie family member was afraid, this was in regards to bigger dogs, noises, or even being picked up.
These new Chihuahua owners also noted that these tendencies faded after some time passed.
Implementing socialization, training, and a bit of patience and positive reinforcement with your new pup can help with the process of falling into a good rhythm with their new life.
How to Find a Good Chihuahua Breeder or Rescue
If you are looking for a purebred chihuahua puppy you can always find a responsible breeder. Chihuahuas are a very popular dog breed, so finding a breeder should not be extremely difficult.
You can search the internet for a breeder, go to dog shows, or ask local vets and dog associations for their advice on finding one.
The only recognized Chihuahua association is the Chihuahua Club Of America and they provide a list of Chihuahua rescue organizations for you.
How Much Does an Apple Head Chihuahua Cost?
If you are specifically looking for a Chihuahua with the apple dome-shaped head you can expect to pay between $500 to $1000 or even more.
Remember, you can rescue a Chihuahua who needs a good home for probably only $100 to $150!
Fun Things You Do With Your Chihuahua
Chihuahuas are fun dogs! There are quite a few fun things you can do with your tiny pal. Some of these activities you may not have thought of!
- Go on a walk.
- Try swimming! Some Chihuahuas really love the water.
- Go to a dog park.
- Travel. Take a day trip (or longer) with your Chi! They are small so easy to take along!
- Take an obedience class or dog training lessons.
- Play hide and seek. Try hiding toys and treats for your dog to find.
- Teach your Chihuahua tricks. Yes, they will love learning tricks from you!
- Use dog toys and plays games with them.
How to Train Your Chihuahua
Every dog owner’s goal should be to implement proper training no matter the breed, age, or size of your dog. Patience is key when training your Chihuahua.
Potty training should also take place at an early age to avoid constant accidents in your house.
Some common commands you can teach your Chi are:
- Lay down
Popular Chihuahua Names
Your Chihuahua is unique and special so make sure you take the time to give them a fitting name!
Related Chihuahua Questions
Are Chihuahuas Bossy?
Well, yes they are! Chihuahuas are well known for being in charge of the household. Just ask them!
In fact, if you look up the word Chihuahua in the dictionary you often see a picture of a Chihuahua! (just kidding!)
What is the rarest Chihuahua color?
Many Chihuahua experts think that white may be the rarest Chihuahua color. What do you think? Solid black and merle are also pretty unusual Chihuahua colors to see.
Are Chihuahuas usually mean?
Not inherently, but it will all depend on how you care for and treat your dog, or how the previous owner treated the dog.
Some rescue dogs can be mean, but this is usually due to not being treated nicely or being scared.
Do Chihuahuas bark a lot?
In general, yes they probably will bark a lot if something grabs their attention (which is often)!
Are Chihuahuas fearless?
Based on their behavior it sure seems like Chihuahuas are fearless! Chihuahuas are well known to go after other dogs and let them know who is boss no matter what their size!
Are Chihuahuas related to wolves?
Not sure why some people think that Chihuahuas are related to wolves but they do!
All dogs are inherently related to wolves in some manner, even the smallest dog in the world, the Chihuahua!
Are Chihuahuas from Mexico?
Yes, it is believed that the standard Chihuahua we see today originated in the city of Chihuahua, Mexico. This is where they received their name.
Do Chihuahuas have floppy ears?
This sometimes can be indicative that the dog is not a purebred Chihuahua, but some purebreds don’t have fully erect ears either.
Are Chihuahuas really the smallest dog breed?
Yes, Chihuahuas are regarded as being the tiniest dogs in the world. The smallest dog ever was only 3.5 inches tall and weighed one pound. That is one tiny dog!
Apple Head or Deer Head?
Chihuahuas are a great companion dog for most people no matter what the shape of their head so don’t worry about it!
But now you know the differences and have learned more about the breed.
They are small, cute, purse-sized dogs that are easy to accommodate and be kept in nearly any home.
With great personalities and many options for color combinations and coat length, there is a Chihuahua for everyone.
If you are in search of your next tiny family member, we wish you all the best in finding one!