Have you ever heard of the Deer Head Chihuahua? The name may sound strange on paper, but this type of Chihuahua actually does exist and is one of the two variations of Chihuahua dogs available.
But what exactly is a Deer Head Chihuahua, and what should you know about one before investing? That’s what we’re here to find out.
Let’s get started!
The Deer Head Chihuahua Vs The Apple Head Chihuahua
The Deer Head Chihuahua The Apple Head Chihuahua
The Deer Head Chihuahua has less protruding features than the Apple Head Chihuahua, but otherwise the two are identical.
Most people know that the Chihuahua is the smallest dog in the canine kingdom. Many also know that Chihuahuas can come in a variety of different colors, coat patterns and even coat types. But did you know that there are also two variations of Chihuahua?
That’s right. Chihuahuas are either considered to be Deer Headed or Apple Headed, and only one is the accepted variation for show, according to the American Kennel Club.
But what distinguishes the two? Well, as you can see from the images above, it’s all in the head shape. Deer Head Chihuahua dogs, on the left, have less protrusive features than their apple-headed counterparts.
This all has to do with skull shape and breeding, but aside from head shape there are very few differences between the Apple Head Chihuahua and the Deer head Chihuahua.
With that in mind, here is an overview of the average Chihuahua dog:
Height: 5 – 8 Inches
Weight: Under 6 Pounds
Coat Type: Long or short, shedding
Coat Color: White, black, fawn, chocolate, gold, cream, and a variety of patterns and variations
Life Span: 14 – 16 Years
Temperament: Clever, Proud, Charming, Bossy
Energy Level: Moderate
Exercise Needs: Moderate
Common Health Conditions: Hypoglycemia, luxating patella, tracheal collapse, dental disease, spinal injuries, hydrocephalus, reverse sneezing, scleritis, bladder and kidney stones, cardiac issues and obesity.
Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at 15 facts you should know about the Deer Head Chihuahua before you decide to invest in one.
1. The Deer Head Chihuahua Is Not Accepted By The American Kennel Club for Show
Though an accepted type of Chihuahua, the Deer Head is not accepted in the show ring.
Currently, the only accepted variation of Chihuahua for show is the Apple Headed Chihuahua. That said, the Deer Head Chihuahua is still seen as a purebred dog.
While a novice may not immediately notice the difference between the two Chihuahua variations, it’s pretty easy to tell a Deer Head from an Apple Head once you know what to look for.
Deer Heads have longer muzzles and less protruding foreheads. Their eyes are smaller and they often have longer legs, making them appear somewhat larger than Apple Head Chihuahuas as a whole.
And while these dogs can come in any and all of the same colors as Chihuahuas in general, the most common coat color seen in the breed is fawn.
2. Deer Head Chihuahuas Are Considered the National Dog Of Mexico
Chihuahuas are ancient dogs hailing from Mexico, and are even Mexico’s national dog.
Well, not JUST Deer Head Chihuahua. Chihuahua dogs in general proudly represent Mexico as the national dog, and this is largely due to the Chihuahua’s rich history.
While much of his earliest days are a mystery, historians believe that the Chihuahua was an ancient dog of the Aztecs, who refined an even older Chihuahua type dog known as the Techichi.
These dogs were treasured by the Aztecs and highly valued, so it was devastating when the Aztecs were conquered by Spain in the 1500’s, as this left the dogs to fend for themselves and people feared the breed would end up extinct.
However, the opposite happened. The tiny breed thrived, fending for themselves in the Mexian jungle and finding favor with people who lived in secluded villages. They survived this way up until the 1800’s, when American’s finally took notice of the breed upon exploring the State of Chihuahua.
It was during this time that these small canines became known as Chihuahuas, in honor of the area in which they were discovered.
Today, the tiny Chihuahua is one of the world’s most famous breeds, landing starring roles in movies and commercials, and, as we mentioned, even being touted as Mexico’s National Dog.
3. The Deer Head Chihuahua Is Named Such Because He Looks Like A Young Deer
With those big eyes and ears, many people liken the Deer Head Chihuahua with a fawn.
It’s no wonder the Deer Headed Chihuahua is named such a name. One quick look and you can see this dog resembles a small deer from nose to tail. His large ears, sweet eyes, and doe-like head give him the appearance he is named for, as does his body shape and usual coloring.
In fact, even the Deer Head Chihuahua’s longer legs and more proportionate body help lend to his name.
4. The Deer Head Chihuahua May Have Less Health Issues Than His Apple-Headed Counterpart
Deer Head Chihuahuas in general are relatively healthy dogs and sometimes even healthier than Apple Head Chihuahuas.
Chihuahua dogs in general are feisty little things, and they have a decent lifespan to prove it. In fact, most well-cared for Chihuahuas can live between 14 and 16 years, with some living even longer.
That said, this breed can be prone to some serious health issues including reverse sneezing and eye problems.
Luckily, the Deer Head Chihuahua dog’s unique head shape may protect him from some of the more common ailments the breed is known to suffer from. This is because his skull’s development better protects his eyes and elongates his muzzle, allowing for easier breathing.
Due to their skull development, Deer Head Chihuahuas may also be better able to regulate their body temperature. And, because some of these dogs are larger than their Apple Headed Counterparts, they may also be less likely to easily suffer from injury or tracheal collapse.
That said, none of this is guaranteed. Chihuahuas, in general, are small dogs who can be prone to genetic ailments. For this reason, it’s important a potential owner is aware of them.
The most common health issues a Deer Head Chihuahua may face include:
- Luxating Patella
- Tracheal Collapse
- Dental Disease
- Spinal Injuries
- Reverse Sneezing
- Bladder and Kidney Stones
- Cardiac Issues
- And Scleritis
You can help reduce the chances of your Deer Head Chihuahua suffering from the above health issues by ensuring you get him from a reputable source. Early health screening may also help, as can ensuring your dog is on a proper diet, gets routine exercise, and keeps up with regular vet visits.
5. If You’re Looking For A Family Dog, The Deer Head Chihuahua May Not Be The Dog For You
The Chihuahua can be impatient and even snappy with young children.
Though small, the Deer Head Chihuahua packs a big punch. The breed is known for their bossy nature and are often impatient, especially with smaller children or other rambunctious pets.
Due to their small size, it is understandable that the Chihuahua must be so feisty. If handled too roughly, this tiny breed can be susceptible to serious injury.
For this reason, the Deer Head Chihuahua will do best in a household with singles, couples, or seniors who are gentle and easy-going.
They can get on with children so long as they are raised and socialized, but it’s important for parents to work with children and teach them how to respectfully interact with their dog.
If you do have children and are considering investing in a Deer Head Chihuahua, it’s important to note that these dogs are known to be snappy and sometimes bite. While they are small, their nips can still hurt and be frightening, especially for youngsters.
Prepare for this by ensuring children are monitored around the family dog and working on properly socializing and training your Chihuahua at an early age.
6. Though Small, Deer Head Chihuahua Dogs Require Plenty of Routine Exercise
Chihuahuas will thrive with routine exercise.
Exercise needs vary from dog to dog, and many people often assume that the Chihuahua doesn’t require much of it because of his small size. However, these dogs are actually much more active than people realize.
While they don’t need several hour-long walks a day, Deer Head Chihuahua dogs still require routine exercise and playtime with their favorite family member.
Ensuring your Deer Head Chihuahua is properly exercised can help reduce behavioral problems and pent-up anxiety, which this breed can be prone to.
It will also help reduce destructive behaviors like chewing, barking and bathroom accidents.
Exercising a smaller dog like the Deer Head Chihuahua can include short walks through the neighborhood and indoor playtime. They do not require backyards, though they will enjoy free playtime outside so long as they are monitored and the yard is securely fenced.
When walking your Deer Head Chihuahua, be especially careful of his sensitive throat. Because he is a toy breed, he is especially prone to suffering from tracheal collapse if pressure is put on his neck.
We have listed one of our favorite harnesses below for walking small dogs to reduce this potential health hazard.
SlowTon No Pull Small Dog Harness
The above dog harness by SlowTon is especially designed for smaller dogs and is thus ideal for a Chihuahua.
The harness reduces pulling and is designed for an easy and quick fit. It is also padded and refrains from putting pressure on your dog’s throat. Instead, it connects down lower around his chest, making walking more enjoyable and much safer.
The harness comes in several sizes from XX-Small to Large. It is also available in four color varieties.
7. The Deer Head Chihuahua Is Described As Almost Human-Like
The deer head chihuahua knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to tell you.
Deer Head Chihuahuas are considered low maintenance dogs. However, they are also somewhat bossy and human-like in their needs and demands. Still, they are famously charming and those who love them love them passionately, adoring them even more for their unique temperamental traits.
These tiny divas are also known to be comedic. They will enjoy making their people laugh and will behave almost deliberately in order to do so.
However, don’t ignore this little dog. The Deer Head Chihuahua knows how to demand attention and will go to any lengths to get it from you. If his needs are not met, the Chihuahua can become vocal and he may become destructive, mischievous or anxious.
8. The Deer Head Chihuahua Comes in Two Coat Varieties
You can have a long haired or a short haired deer head chihuahua.
If you’re a fan of long-hair Chihuahua dogs, you’ll be happy to know that you can find the Deer Head Chihuahua in a long-coated variety. Long-coated Chihuahua dogs may be more high maintenance when it comes to grooming, however, and this should be kept in mind.
They are more prone to tangles and mats, and may need more consistent brushing. Other than that, both coat types shed and both coat types come in similar colors and patterns.
9. Deer Head Chihuahua Dogs Do Best in Single-Dog Households
While Chihuahuas can get along with other pets, he would prefer to be your one and only.
Just as Deer Head Chihuahuas aren’t especially fond of children, they’re also not especially fond of other dogs.
Deer Head Chihuahuas are less social than many other breeds and prefer to be the king of their domain. For this reason, they do best in single-dog households where they are the only pet.
However, if you do have other pets, don’t worry. So long as they are properly raised and socialized, Deer Head Chihuahua dogs can learn to get along well with other dogs and even cats.
Still, it’s a good idea to monitor dogs in multi-dog households and put a stop to ornery behaviors like resource guarding and marking early on.
10. Though He Does Shed, Grooming A Deer Head Chihuahua Is A Cinch!
The Deer Head Chihuahua is easy to groom, but grooming can vary depending on his coat type.
Looking for a dog that’s easy to groom? If so, the Deer Head Chihuahua should be right up your alley. Their small size and mildly shedding coat means that this dog is simple to care for.
However, the Deer Head Chihuahua is a shedding breed who sheds year-round. This shedding can become heavier during shedding season which is in spring and fall.
During this time, he may need to be brushed more routinely, however the Deer Head Chihuahua typically does well being brushed once or twice a week.
Long-haired Chihuahua in particular dogs may require more routine brushing, as mentioned above, in order to keep their coats from matting.
Pay special attention to your long-hair chihuahua’s belly and underarms, and to his ears. And if you’re wondering about the best grooming tools for this breed, we’ve listed some of our favorites below.
BV Dog Brush
The above brush by the BV Store is a two-in-one comb that includes gentle bristles on one side for smoothing and metal teeth on the other side for removing knots and tangles.
This comb is especially useful for long-haired Chihuahuas who are prone to mats and may be used often to help keep their coats healthy and tangle-free.
It also helps remove loose hair and keep shedding to a minimum. The brush is ideal for small dogs and cats.
Pet Neat Deshedding Brush
The PetNeat Deshedding Brush can also be used on long hair Chihuahuas, but it is best used for short hair Deer Head Chihuahua dogs. This deshedding comb helps reduce loose hair in the coat by 95%.
Like the above comb by BV, this deshedding tool can also be used on small dogs and cats.
Along with routine brushing, your Deer Head Chihuahua should also have his teeth routinely cared for. Like all small dogs, this breed can be prone to dental disease and early tooth loss. The best way to prevent this is to ensure you routinely brush your dog’s teeth and get him into a doggy dentist for teeth cleanings as needed.
The Deer Head Chihuahua should also have his nails trimmed often and his ears checked and cleaned routinely to keep them free of buildup, moisture and debris and to help keep ear infections at bay.
11. Deer Head Chihuahuas May Have Just One Favorite Human
Deer Head Chihuahuas may be a one-person dog.
We mentioned above that Deer Head Chihuahuas are not the ideal family companions because they don’t particularly like children. However, there’s another reason these dogs aren’t ideal for households with lots of people.
Unlike Golden Retrievers or Labs who tend to love everyone, the Chihuahua is a one-person canine. He tends to pick one person in the home as HIS person and will prefer to be with that person as often as possible.
While this can be a wonderful trait for those living alone, it can be problematic for other members of the family or for visitors. Chihuahuas who have not been properly trained and socialized or those who become too protective of their favorite person can be more prone to resource guarding, anxiety, and aggressive behavior towards others.
Of course, it’s completely possible to form a tight bond with your Deer Head Chihuahua without all the negative behaviors, and it all comes down to proper training and socialization.
12. Deer Head Chihuahua Dogs Are Intelligent, Though They Can Be Stubborn
These little dogs will enjoy learning new tricks, though training them can be a challenge.
Deer Head Chihuahuas are highly intelligent and can be quick to learn. However, having the ability to learn and wanting to learn are two different things.
Like many independent dogs, the Deer Head Chihuahua can be prone to stubborn behavior. If he doesn’t find training sessions interesting, he will quickly become bored and begin to ignore you.
The best way to ensure you are getting the most out of your training sessions with your Deer Head Chihuahua is to use positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise. Keep training short and game-like, and give your Chihuahua lots of breaks in between.
Many Chihuahua dogs are highly motivated, so try using high quality treats while training as well. Treats that are very smelly, chewy and palatable usually work best.
Zuke’s Minis Training Treats
Zukes Minis are a great brand for when it comes to quality and healthy training treats. These treats are made with healthy ingredients and are specifically designed for training, which means they are the ideal size and flavor to keep dogs engaged.
The mini size is perfect for smaller dogs like the Chihuahua, and we love that these treats are also made with real animal protein and free of fillers or additives. Best of all, each treat is only 3 calories, so they are a great alternative to some other more fatty treats on the market.
13. Deer Head Chihuahuas Are More Independent Than Some Other Breeds
Though they do enjoy companionship, Deer Head chihuahuas also do well on their own.
Even though your Deer Head Chihuahua may become very bonded to you, he’s less likely to develop needy tendencies. This is likely due to the breeds’ history and their ability to survive and fend for themselves for so many centuries.
In fact, they often enjoy alone time and are an excellent candidate for someone with a busier schedule or for someone who works from home and prefers not to be bothered with an overly needy dog.
That said, the Chihuahua still requires a bit of routine attention, playtime and care. It’s best not to leave him alone for longer than eight hours a day and to ensure he is properly exercised and kept mentally stimulated while you are gone.
ZHEBU Dental Toy For Small Breeds
You can help your dog stay busy while you’re gone by investing in interactive toys like the above chew and dental toy by ZHEBU. Not only will this toy help keep your Deer Head Chihuahua active and distracted during the day, but it also doubles as a doggy toothbrush.
The ridges and shape of this toy can help reduce tartar and plaque buildup, while the shape and make of the toy allows you to fill it with treats to keep your dog interested.
14. Because They Are So Small, Deer Head Chihuahuas May Be More Sensitive to Heat and Cold
Chihuahua dogs may need help staying warm in colder weather.
Smaller dogs in general can be more sensitive to extreme weather conditions, especially when it comes to the cold. If you have a Deer Head Chihuahua, consider investing in doggy sweaters and coats during the winter months.
While it’s not always appropriate to put dogs in dog clothes, for some dogs it is a necessity. It’s also important not to leave your Chihuahua outside alone for too long, even if the weather looks nice.
Remember, these smaller dogs are more sensitive than you to the elements. Furthermore, their small size can make them prey to wild predators.
15. Deer Head Chihuahua Puppies Can Be Costly
Even though they are not accepted in the show ring, Deer Head Chihuahuas are highly sought after and puppies can be pricey.
Chihuahuas are some of the more popular dogs in the United States, ranking at number 33 out of 197 on the American Kennel Club’s list of America’s Most Popular Dog Breeds.
And while the Deer Head Chihuahua isn’t eligible for show, he’s no less expensive than his Apple Headed counterpart.
On average, Chihuahua puppies go for between $500 to $2,000. This price can vary depending on the breeder, your location, the quality of your Chihuahua puppy’s parent breeds, and even the size of your Chihuahua.
Speaking of size, some breeders commonly sell smaller Chihuahua dogs at a premium price. They may refer to these smaller dogs as “Teacup Chihuahuas”, but it’s important to keep in mind that there is no such thing as a Teacup Chihuahua.
In fact, Chihuahuas who are bred to be especially small are actually at a higher risk for more severe health issues. Most reputable breeders will therefore avoid purposefully breeding Teacup Deer Head Chihuahua dogs.
In order to ensure you go through a proper breeder, make sure your breeder is qualified and can provide you with a certificate of health for your Chihuahua puppy.
You also have the option of rescuing a Deer head Chihuahua, which can save you money and ensure you get the Chihuahua of your dreams when it comes to temperament and appearance.
Whichever route you choose to take when it comes to getting the Deer Head Chihuahua, make sure you go through a source you trust.
Is The Deer Head Chihuahua Right For You?
The Deer Head Chihuahua makes a wonderful dog for the right owner, but is that owner you?
So, is the Deer Head Chihuahua right for you?
The smallest purebred dog in the canine kingdom, Chihuahuas are feisty, intelligent, and oh-so charming. They do best in single-dog households and prefer to be in families without very young children.
Though smart, Deer Head Chihuahuas can be stubborn and do have some behavioral issues you should be aware of including bathroom accidents, resource guarding, and nipping. However, when properly trained and socialized these dogs make wonderful companions for the right owner.
They are easy to groom and maintain, inexpensive to raise, and are relatively healthy and long-lived.
We hope this has been a helpful guide on the Deer Head Chihuahua and that you now have a better idea if this variation of Chihuahua would be right for you.
Best of luck in making your decision and thanks for reading!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.