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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 from pet parents wondering if their chihuahuas is 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 do so 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.

Because Apple heads have a shorter snout, they are more prone to breathing issues such as Tracheal Collapse and Reverse Sneezing.

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 lower down on the head and often bulge out more.
  • The forehead is prominent.
  • The muzzle is short.
  • Apple heads tend to have smaller bodies than deer heads though their bodies are more sturdy and compact.

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.
  • Deer heads usually have longer legs and their bodies are slimmer and a little longer than Apple heads.

Here’s a video of a deer head chihuahua:

Now look at them side by side:

A side view of a deer head and apple head chihuahua.

Now I 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.


Interesting Apple head Chihuahua facts

Facts about deer head Chihuahuas

How to tell if your Chihuahua is purebred

blond woman holding white chihuahua

Cathy Bendzunas

Pet Blogger

I have had dogs all my life. I have been a pet groomer, worked in a pet hotel, and a kennel, and have bred and showed dogs.


Tuesday 13th of February 2024

About my deer head chihuahua...

We got our little Trixie by accident when we stopped at a PetSmart to buy dog food one day. They had some dogs in the back that had been transported by van from Texas to Oregon. Can you imagine! We saw this little dog that we had no clue what she was but she seems so sweet. We were actually looking for another small dog for a companion to our little Yorkie. We asked if we could see her. We got her out of her cage and she immediately acted like she just fell in love with my husband, myself, and my two girls. We happen to have our Yorkie with us so my husband went out to the car and got her. They both got along great right off the bat! So we bought her! We had no clue what she was. After searching and searching the closest thing we could find was a Prague ratter. Although the tail didn't look quite right. She definitely didn't look like I'm a miniature pinscher though. We had her for a few months and really got to love her. Although there has to be some trauma in her past just from a few of the things that completely scare my poor little thing. One day while my daughter was taking Trixie to the restroom at a park, a lady says, "Oh you have a deer head Chihuahua! So do I!" My daughter replied, " Oh is that what she is?" The lady says yes 100% absolutely a deer head chihuahua! We immediately went to the all-knowing Google and sure enough! She is 100% spitting image of a deer head Chihuahua right down to down to the personality! We all love our little Trixie and she is so affectionate. It almost makes me cry sometimes to think that if we wouldn't have bought her she probably wouldn't be on this earth now. She is such a sweet loving little thing I just can't imagine this world without her.

Cathy Bendzunas

Tuesday 13th of February 2024

I'm glad Trixie has a good home with you and your family Mandy!


Friday 2nd of February 2024

Can deer heads have a combination of long hair and short hair coats?

Cathy Bendzunas

Friday 2nd of February 2024

Yes, that happens sometimes.


Friday 22nd of September 2023

My little Jasmine is a black deer head chihuahua. She turned 2yo last month August 2023.

Cathy Bendzunas

Friday 22nd of September 2023

I bet she's a cutie. I love black chihuahuas.


Friday 15th of September 2023

I had never considered inviting a Chi into my life. However, I and my elder terrier mix and I were grieving over the loss of our dear friend, Tommy due to elder health issues. My Grandson brought a 4 month female Chi to me who was lost from her family. In attempting to determine what kind of dog she is, I discovered she may be a Deer Head Chi. She stole my heart. Beyond the fact that she is so cute, her personality, energy and intelligence are too much to deny my instant love. She is friendly, loving and fearless as well having a solid body. If all Chis have these wonderful qualities, I would highly recommend a Chi to anyone with room to spare in their heart and home.I

Cathy Bendzunas

Friday 15th of September 2023

I'm so glad you and your chi found each other! Sounds like a perfect match.

Lise Sauvé

Sunday 4th of December 2022

Zoé le à DEER head chihuahua ( juste adorable love her