How many types of chihuahuas can you name?
Great things come in small packages! One of the most immediately recognizable dog breeds, chihuahuas are small dogs with huge personalities. The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognizes two different types in their breed standard, but there are several other different types of chihuahua besides long hair and short hair versions. Read on to find out more about these different breeds.
The Chihuahua Breed History
According to the AKC, Chihuahuas developed in Mexico, and the modern breed is thought to be descended from the Techichi, a dog kept by the Toltec people, nearly a thousand years ago. The Aztecs refined the Techichi into a smaller, lighter dog, but it was thought that the breed was lost after Spain conquered the country in the 1500s. However, the breed remained strong in many remote villages and become popular among American dog lovers in the mid-1940s.
Different Types of Chihuahuas
Standard chihuahuas are small and terrier-like, with an alert personality. They are typically less than six pounds and their coat color can be a range of different colors including black, blue, chocolate, cream, fawn color, white, merle, and red (or a mix thereof). They also have large eyes and erect ears. Personality-wise they are loyal to their owners and often act like they are bigger than their small size. This isn't the best dog for working on a farm, but purebred chihuahua dogs can make intelligent companions.
These little dogs usually stand nine inches tall or less and weigh five pounds or less when fully grown. Although this breed of tiny dogs is very common, many breeders are opposed to it because breeding for such a small size can lead to health problems such as joint and bone problems. The smallest dogs usually have some sort of health problem to accompany their small stature. Teacup chihuahuas are available in both long and short coats, as well as a variety of colors and designs such as fawn, black and brown, red, and others. These dogs will actually fit into a teacup, and once the dog outgrows it, he or she is no longer called a Teacup Chihuahua.
2. Apple Head Chihuahua
The Apple Head Chihuahua has a very rounded head shape that resembles an apple. They have a very short and narrow muzzle that forms a 90-degree angle with their ears. The eyes of this Chihuahua are somewhat bulged from their sockets and are closer together than those of other breeds. Due to the size and shape of the head, this sort of chihuahua may potentially suffer from health issues such as fluid on the brain or hydrocephalus, so it's best to contact a reputable breeder before purchasing a chihuahua puppy. Finally, this Chihuahua has a much shorter and stockier body than most breeds, which may give the impression that their head is much bigger. This breed can be compared to pit bulls and pugs because of the strange head shape.
3. Deer Head Chihuahua
This breed of chihuahua has a somewhat different body and head shape than the rest of the breed, which makes them popular with individuals but not with associations or breeders for dog shows. They have a somewhat broader head with a longer and narrower muzzle, larger set eyes, and a flatter skull, similar to that of a deer. This type of chihuahua has a longer body and longer legs than the typical chihuahua. Since they have this style of head and body, they are less vulnerable to health problems, making them popular as family pets.
4. Long Coat Chihuahua (or Long-Haired Chihuahua)
The long hair or long coat chihuahua is one of two official breed variants accepted by the AKC. It takes around three years for the long coat chihuahua's coat to reach full length, but they will eventually have a thick but soft coat once it has fully grown out. They shed very little and you will not need to trim their coat regularly, but they do need regular baths and daily brushing to ensure that it doesn't knot, tangle, or form mats. This type of chihuahua is very popular with people who want to show their dogs in shows.
5. Smooth Coat Chihuahua (or Short-Haired Chihuahua)
The other official breed variant approved by the AKC is the short hair or smooth coat chihuahua. Their hair length is significantly shorter than the long-haired type, and they are popular among people who don't have time to regularly brush or bathe their dog's coat. Unfortunately, they do shed more than the long-coated variety. Their hair does not need to be trimmed and simply needs to be bathed on a regular basis to stay healthy. However, brushing their coat will help avoid shedding. Bathe your dog at least once a month to ensure proper hair and skin hygiene.
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