Deer Head Chihuahua vs. Apple Head Chihuahua: Get the Facts

Major dog breed organizations like the American Kennel Club (AKC) classify the Chihuahua into two types: shorthaired and longhaired. Unofficially, however, Chihuahua fans are looking further. There are two main subcategories: Deer-headed Chihuahuas and Apple-headed Chihuahuas.

Although the most obvious difference between the two types of Chihuahua is the shape of the head, there are other differences between the two, from size to body shape to likelihood of breathing problems. It’s helpful to categorize Chihuahuas into deerheads and appleheads as it provides a wealth of information on what to expect of each type.

Applehead Chihuahua


  • Domed head in “apple” shape
  • Short snout connected to the head at a 90 degree angle
  • Large and pronounced eyes
  • short jaw
  • Small body with shorter appendages.
  • They often have moleras (a soft spot on the head, like a baby’s fontanel)
  • Meets AKC specifications; can participate in traditional dog shows

Apple-headed Chihuahuas have large, rounded heads, much like, you guessed it, an apple. Their eyes appear to be quite large and often protrude from the head due to the domed skull shape. They have a short snout that meets the head at a 90 degree angle. It’s also slightly pointed. Apple-headed Chihuahuas are smaller than deer-headed Chihuahuas, averaging five to nine inches tall and weighing between two and six pounds. Their legs and neck are also generally shorter.

Not surprisingly, most teacup chihuahuas are applehead chihuahuas. Similar to the unofficial Buckhead and Applehead categorizations, there is no official teacup breed; The term simply refers to a small Chihuahua. Beware of breeders who use the term “teacup,” as breeding smaller and smaller dogs can lead to serious health problems.

Most applehead chihuahuas are born with molars, which are small soft spots on the top of their heads that result from their skulls not fully merging. Moleras tend to close up as the dog ages, often in as little as three or four months, but they don’t always close up. Although a Chihuahua’s molar does not fully close, it does get smaller over time as the cartilage compresses parts of the skull.

It’s important to be very careful with Chihuahuas with moleras, as head injuries can be more dangerous for them. However, the molera itself is not harmful.


Apple-headed Chihuahuas are more prone to health problems than deer-headed Chihuahuas. For example, the acute angle at which the snout meets the head puts them at risk of developing breathing problems such as reverse sneezing, tracheal collapse, and brachycephalic airway syndrome, which can cause snoring and discomfort.

They are also more likely to develop dental and eye problems. It’s important to ensure Applehead Chihuahuas have excellent eye hygiene, as eye infections are common.

Although the AKC does not specifically recognize apple-headed Chihuahuas, it does state that a “rounded apple head” is a trait of the Chihuahua breed. The AKC also defines Chihuahuas as five to eight inches tall, which is more like the applehead type than the deerhead type. Consequently, Applehead Chihuahuas are the species to compete in dog shows as they better fit the official traits defined by the AKC.

Deer Head Chihuahua


  • Narrow head similar to that of a deer.
  • Longer muzzle that meets the rest of the head with a slant.
  • less pronounced eyes
  • longer jaw
  • Larger body with longer appendages.
  • You can have Moleras, although less frequently
  • Due to the shape and size of the head, it cannot compete in traditional dog shows.

Deer-headed Chihuahuas have more slanted facial features resembling those of a deer. They have narrower, more angular heads than apple-faced Chihuahuas. Its snout is longer and not at the same steep angle to the head; it’s more of a gentle 45 degree incline. Their ears are usually larger and their eyes less pronounced. Although deer-headed Chihuahuas can have molars, they are much rarer.

Deer-headed Chihuahuas are generally larger than their apple-headed counterparts. They can grow up to 12 inches tall and weigh up to 10 to 12 pounds, about twice that of appleheads. Their legs and neck are also longer, giving them a more graceful appearance. Deer Head Chihuahuas can generally be larger because breeders have never bothered to keep them small as they cannot show off. However, there are Chihuahuas with deer heads.

Although deer-headed Chihuahuas are not allowed to compete in traditional dog shows due to their departure from official Chihuahua traits, they can be registered with the AKC if they are purebred. Despite not meeting the show’s criteria, stag-headed chihuahuas get a lot of love in pop culture. In fact, many famous Chihuahuas are deer heads, including revenge of a blondeby Bruiser Woods and Gidget by Taco Bell. However, Tinkerbell, Paris Hilton’s pup, is an apple-headed Chihuahua.


Deer Head Chihuahuas and Apple Head Chihuahuas also have a lot in common. Both can come in short-haired and long-haired varieties. They also come in a variety of colors including white, black, tan, red, tan, and sand. They can be solid color or have markings like a flame, mask, or kiss marks. There are no known differences in their temperaments – they both have that protective and classy personality that we know and love.

It’s also possible for a single Chihuahua to exhibit the characteristics of both the Apple Head and Deer Head varieties. Seeing both parents will give you an idea of ​​what your offspring will likely look like. However, it is possible for a deerhead pup to appear in the litter of two appleheads, or vice versa.

Applehead or deerhead, all Chihuahuas tend to be loyal and affectionate, and make excellent companions.

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Featured image: Wikimedia Commons (deer head), Pixabay (apple head)

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