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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.

Shirley M Vazquez

Wednesday 18th of May 2022

I love to watch your articles, and read about them! I really learn alot about our chi's. Thank You!!!


Wednesday 18th of May 2022

You're welcome Shirley and thanks for making my day!

Karen Rayne Carr

Wednesday 2nd of March 2022

My chihuahua is named Elsa. Elsa is a Deer Head Chihuahua & she is so beautiful. She is fawn colored & she looks a tiny deer.


Wednesday 2nd of March 2022

I bet she is a beautiful chi.


Tuesday 1st of March 2022

I have had both types and now we have two males from same litter where mum is more dear head and dad is apple head, so these dogs have the best of both worlds and one looks like your Lucy, same colour and almost as fluffy, his brother is similar but more bambi looking and they are bigger than normal, healthy and athletic and intelligent from pedigree breeder Khalizar kennels new zealand. No matter where they come from they are the most adorable breed of dog on the planet.


Wednesday 2nd of March 2022

I totally agree Sandra.

David Mangus

Tuesday 28th of September 2021

We have a tan deer head male( Moose is his name) and an apple head 3.6 lb female( Tina) . We have had chi's for years now and love them . Our last male apple(Cujo, he earned the name) was strictly Mama's dog passed at 18+ years. Moose is 10+ lbs, but very trim. Love our chi's. Tina is a barker. We have to put a buzz collar on her. She thinks she's a squirrel catcher. Lord help her if she ever did,4 teeth.


Tuesday 28th of September 2021

LOL, yeah they love chasing their squirrels. I know mine do.

Pensri Rooney

Saturday 21st of August 2021

We adopted 3 Chi's early last year all boys. Lucky is a dear head, such a sweet and quiet dog Muffin is an apple head, the monster in the group. Goofy was a Heinz 57 variety, sadly he passed away in March after fighting several internal problems. He may be gone but never forgotten


Saturday 21st of August 2021

Sorry you lost your little Goofy Pensri!