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Do You Have an Apple Head or Deer Head Chihuahua?

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deer head chihuahua and apple head chihuahuaWe often get questions in our facebook group from pet parents wondering if their chihuahuas have an Apple Head or a Deer Head. Sometimes it’s easy to tell. Other times, not so much. Hopefully this guide will help you if you are wondering what your chihuahua is.

The funny thing is, these terms are not even mentioned in the Chihuahua Club of America breed standard guidelines. However they do state that a chihuahua should have a well rounded “apple dome” skull.

So does that mean if you have a deer head, your chihuahua isn’t legitimately a chihuahua? No, of course not. In fact, there can be deer heads and apple heads in the same litter with the same parents. It just means the ideal chihuahua has an apple head in the eyes of the CCA.  So if you ever wanted to enter your chi in a dog show, you couldn’t with a deer head. Most of us don’t have chihuahuas for show though, we have them for companionship.

One thing that should make you feel better about having a deer head chihuahua is that even though they aren’t the ideal standard of the breed, they are less prone to health issues than apple heads are.

Characteristics of an Apple Head Chihuahua

front and side view of an apple head chihuahua

  • The head is very round and bulbous.
  • The eyes appear to be lower down on the head and often bulge out more.
  • The forehead is prominent.
  • The muzzle is short.
  • Apple heads tend to have a smaller body than deer heads.

By the way, the little cutie above is named Newt and he belongs to Evelyn Ann Ciaramella Hannigan.

Here’s a video with an apple head chihuahua:

Characteristics of a Deer Head Chihuahua

side and front view of a deer head chihuahua

  •  A longer, more tapered snout (or nose).
  • The eyes appear to be higher up on the head.
  • The forehead is less pronounced and not as round as an Apple Head.
  • Their head often resembles a deer’s head (hence the name).
  • Deer head chis tend to be a little larger than apple heads.

Here’s a video of a deer head chihuahua:

Now look at them side by side:

Now I do have to mention that I have seen some chihuahuas that seem to be a combination of both types so if you have a hard time telling which one your chi is, it could be because of that.

So do you have a deer head or an apple head chihuahua? My Kilo was an apple head. Lucas is a deer head and Lucy is an applehead.
The Story of Duchess
Happy Birthday Cedric!
Happy Birthday Cedric!


Saturday 29th of August 2020

Gracie is a mixed chihuahua her mother is full breed chihuahua and her father is shih Tzu and yorkie she’s the sweetest little thing ever


Sunday 30th of August 2020

I bet she's a cutie too!

Vicky L Brown

Monday 24th of August 2020

So sorry about Reeses! I can totally understand how you feel, I had to put down my Chi 2yrs ago. It broke my heart. The sweet boyfriend I have got me another one. I could never replace my Susie but Sassy is a joy too. I didn't think I could love another like I loved Susie but I love Sassy just as much. Give it time, you will never forget your baby but the pain won't hurt as much. You will always carry her in your heart.God has Reeses with him. God bless you.


Saturday 22nd of August 2020

So sorry about Reese, it is a heartache that will take a lot of time to bear. My William and my Rosa are apple head and my Pinto is deer head. I think I prefer the apple head, but both are wonderful fur babies!


Saturday 22nd of August 2020

I think I prefer the applehead. They are just so round and cute. But any chi is a good chi to me.


Saturday 22nd of August 2020

Bentley falls into that "little bit of both" category. His torso is a tad bigger and his muzzle a tad longer than a standard apple head, but not enough bigger to be deer head. Whichever, though, I think he's the most handsome of dogs.

marika Rocco

Saturday 22nd of August 2020

@Kyla, I think mine is dear head 😊❤


Friday 21st of August 2020

I have a 6lb Deer Head named Brownie. He is my 15and half year old senior furbaby. I can see the signs of aging but he is still in a good shape for his age. He is always very calm, not much barking and very obedient. The only thing is, he always let know other dogs what his territory is. My kids have big dogs but Brownie doesn't care and those dogs know that they can't mess up with Brownie. Funny, because one of the dogs is a pitbull and the other one comes from the family of pitbull. Well.... I love my furbaby and I hope that I will have a few more years with him.