Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed in the world and they are usually referenced by their physical appearance such as apple head Chihuahua, deer head Chihuahua and teacup Chihuahua.
The Chihuahua dog breed has its origin in Mexico and was so named after the city of Chihuahua in Mexico. They come in different sizes, coat length, head shape and colors.
The American kennel club (AKC) official standard of the Chihuahua breed states that:
The general appearance of the Chihuahua is swift, alert and graceful and with a temperament similar to that of the terrier.
A well balanced Chihuahua is not more than 6 pounds. Over 6 pounds means it is disqualified as a little dog.
A well rounded “apple dome” skull, with or without molera with a non-protruding full round eyes that is either luminous ruby or luminous dark.
The depression at the top of the Chihuahua’s skull is called a molera. The molera at the top part of the skull along with the wider upper part but narrower around the jaw gives the Chihuahua an apple dome skull.
It may take a bit longer for the apple shape to become noticeable in a puppy Chihuahua.
According to the AKC the bite is: “level or scissors. Overshot or undershot, or any distortion of the bite or jaw, should be penalized as a serious fault.”
The Chihuahua has large ears that stand erect when alert and flares sideways when in repose with a slightly pointed, short snout.
The Chihuahua breed comes in the smooth and long coat varieties. The smooth coat should be glossy, close and of soft texture with heavier coats acceptable as long as they come with undercoats. Long coat must also be of a soft texture, that is either mildly wavy or flat and preferably with undercoat.
They can come in any color – splashed, solid or marked with a terrier like temperament of self reliance, self importance and confidence.
A Chihuahua that has any of the following physical appearance is disqualified by the AKC because it is considered to have fallen short of the standard of the Chihuahua breed:
- Weighs more than 6 pounds.
- Cropped or broken down ears.
- Bobtail or docked tail.
- If the long coat is too thin that it resembles bareness.
Apple head Chihuahua facts
The apple head is an informal way of referring to the Chihuahua that has the round “apple dome” skull as defined by the AKC Chihuahua breed standard. So we could say that it is only the apple head Chihuahua that is officially accepted as a Chihuahua based on the standard for the shape of the head.
Of course there are other criteria that have to be met as stated above.
The Chihuahua breed comes in either the smooth (short haired) or long hair and either of them can be an apple head.
The upper part of the head of the apple headed Chihuahua is wider than the lower part of the head.
The apple head Chihuahua with it’s distinctively apple shaped head makes the apple headed Chihuahua’s eyes appear more pronounced.
Lots of breeders prefer to breed the apple head Chihuahua because it is only the apple head that meet the kennel club breed standard. This means only the apple head can take part in conformation dog shows.
If you want a Chihuahua of show quality, the apple head is the only choice you have either long or short haired.
The apple head Chihuahua can comes in different colors.
Apple head Chihuahua vs. deer head
The Chihuahua is easily identified by the shape of the head which is either apple shaped or a deer head (because it looks like that of a deer). The apple or deer head shape does not imply two breed but rather just one breed with different shapes of the head. Therefore the apple and deer references are an unofficial or layman’s way of referring to the Chihuahua breed based on the shape of the head.
The Chihuahua has one of largest variations of all dog breeds in terms of their sizes, shapes, coat length and colors.
They come in a broad range of colors such as black, sable, fawn, rare whites and blues, chocolate, brindle, tri-colored etc.
Some Chihuahuas have long bodies and long slim legs which makes them taller than those with compact bodies and shorter legs.
The breed standard expects the Chihuahua’s body length to be longer than the legs but the deer head Chihuahua has slightly longer legs than the body length.
Deer head Chihuahua can get as big as 10 to 12 pounds but the breed standard states that when the size is over 6 pounds, the Chihuahua stands disqualified.
The snout of the apple head Chihuahuas are shorter with a pronounced jaw line than those of the deer head, which are narrower and longer. However there are some apple head Chihuahua that have long snout like those of a deer head.
The deep “stop” (the 90 degrees that can be seen between the forehead and the snout) of the apple head Chihuahua makes its eyes appear more pronounced than those of the deer head Chihuahua which has a sloping forehead.