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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.


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


Monday 21st of November 2022

Trying to find out if my Snuggler is an apple head or deer head chihuahua. He is tri-color and weighs 6 lbs.


Monday 21st of November 2022

Email me your photo and ask in the email about it so I won't forget what you are wanting to know. My email is


Wednesday 31st of August 2022

Rescued as a 2.3 pound Merle MinPin cross… I sent in a dna sample…came back as Chihuahua x Bichon Friese I think she is a Deer-head w/the longer deer legs. At 4 months, she weighs 3.5 pounds. She’s very smart!


Wednesday 31st of August 2022

Is she fluffy like a Bichon?