Chihuahua, Apple Head or Deer Head

  • By: Mick Whitefield
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Apple Head vs Deer Head Chihuahua: What is the Difference?

The Chihuahua dog is a common favorite amongst small dog lovers. For most, any Chihuahua is okay, but there are some who want a particular type of Chihuahua and would like to know the difference between these so called Chihuahua breeds.

The Chihuahua received its name from the Mexican state of Chihuahua. There has always been much debate as to whether the breed actually originated from this area. Finally in 2013 the KTH Royal Institute of Technology based in Stockholm proved that this theory was indeed correct through DNA analysis.

Officially there is only one breed of Chihuahua, but for identification and classification purposes they have been categorized into numerous unofficial “breeds.” There are many unofficial breed categorizations for the Chihuahua dog, but only two of those categorizations are commonly known to most people: the Apple Head Chihuahua breed and the Deer Head Chihuahua breed.

Both have been around for Centuries with references in the Mesoamerica areas for centuries. The apple head Chihuahuas were first popularized worldwide in the early 1900s, while the deer head Chihuahuas were not introduced to America and Europe until sometime around 2000 onward.

Apple Head vs Deer Head Chihuahua

The differences

Apple Head Chihuahua Deer Head Chihuahua

The head is round The head is angular

The muzzle is short The muzzle is longer

The eyes often bulge The eyes rarely bulge

Legs are short Legs are long

Height 6 to 9 inches Height 6 to 12 inches

Weight 4 to 6lbs Weight 4 to 12lbs

Has a molera Has no molera

Apple Head Chihuahua

Adult apple head Chihuahuas and Apple head Chihuahua puppies have a well-rounded apple-shaped skull. All apple head Chihuahua puppies are born with a molera (see below). A molera is a soft spot in the puppies’ skull that may or may not completely close when it becomes an adult. Most dog associations like the AKC emphasize the dog’s apple head shape to be accepted as the breed standard.

Apple Head Chihuaua Puppy
Apple Head Chihuahua puppy with a well rounded Apple shaped skull

Adult apple head Chihuahuas and Apple head Chihuahua puppies have a well-rounded apple-shaped skull. All apple head Chihuahua puppies are born with a molera. A molera is a soft spot in the puppies’ skull that may or may not completely close when it becomes an adult.

Most dog associations like the AKC emphasize the dog’s apple head shape to be accepted as a breed standard.

Apple Head Chihuahua
Dome or Apple shaped Head

The apple head Chihuahua has a broad and short muzzle.

Apple head Chihuahua puppies and adults have a round broad, prominent forehead.

The eyes of an apple head Chihuahua often bulge from its sockets.

The Apple head Chihuahua tends to be the poster boy of this breed, when mentioned most people refer to the apple head Chihuahua.

Apple head Chihuahuas are often the favored breed that is entered in any Chihuahua dog shows.

Often said to be the most popular type by some Chihuahua lovers. However, other chihuahua lovers would counter that the deer head type are in fact more attractive often because they are less known to be Bug Eyed.

Deer Head Chihuahua

The Deer Head Chihuahua has a long small angular face with a sloping forehead.

Often called a “Deer Chihuahua” due to its head shape being like a deer. If you were to put some decorative deer horns on a deer head Chihuahua, it would almost certainly resemble a very small deer.

Img 20190302 160842
Deer Head Chihuahua can be small and elegant

Deer Head Chihuahua have large ears.

The deer head is angular to the jaw and flat on top.

In general the eyes are not quite as prominent as the apple head Chihuahua.

The legs and body length of a deer head Chihuahua are generally longer compared to the apple head Chihuahua. This then gives the dog a more elegant and graceful body shape. And for obvious reasons tends to be slightly taller.

The legs and the feet are generally slimmer.

At full grown, size and weight varies considerably, from just 6 inches to 12 inches high and weighing from 4lbs to 12lbs.

Some owners claim that this breed is less aggressive and more obedient. Whether true or not is debatable. However, what is certain is that the behaviour of both breeds often is often dependant on the owner.

There is often speculation that this was a mixed breed of Chihuahua and the Chinese Crested, but it has never been proven.

Additional Information:

Molera

A molera (also known as a fontanel) is a “soft spot” on the top of a Chihuahua’s skull; it is the equivalent to the bregmatic or anterior fontanelle in human babies, but unlike most mammals Chihuahua’s fontanelle persist into maturity. Historically it has been very common amongst Chihuahuas and was regarded as a mark of purity for this miniature dog breed.

Molera are generally not present on other puppy breeds, but do sometimes appear on older dogs with a slight deformity of the skull, usually on one side, possibly resulting from an injury during growth.

It is still mentioned in many Chihuahua breed standards, however, it is considered a fault in European countries because of concern that this might reflect underlying malformations such as hydrocephalus and ventriculomegaly, Chiari-like malformation and syringomyelia, these conditions are however not scientifically proven to be the reason for the condition.

The Chinese Crested

Given the height, frame and ears it is easy to see why speculation of a cross breed between the Chihuahua and the Chinese Crested may exist, but if it is the case, then no one has either recorded the breeding of, or proven the case through DNA testing.

Chinese Crested Hairless And Coated Resized
Two Chinese Crested one Hairless and one with hair

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