Deer Head Chihuahua: Everything You Need to Know

Deer head Chihuahua on a leash walking in the garden

Anybody who knows their stuff about dogs can tell you a thing or two about the infamous deer head Chihuahua. However, there is much more to know about this breed than just inaccurate stereotypes.

First seen in the olden days in Central America, this ancient breed has a long history from being hardy village dogs to becoming Arizona’s unofficial state dog.

To help you fully understand the mighty deer head Chihuahua, keep reading as we discuss the health, appearance, temperament, and other facts about this little dog!

What Is a Deer Head Chihuahua? 

Reindeer Chihuahua with a harness side profile

A deer head Chihuahua is a type of Chihuahua with features resembling a baby deer. This tiny dog originates from a long line of dogs bred in ancient Central America. Believed to be descendants of the Techichi dog, this toy breed features a pointed nose and ears, long legs and neck, and oval eyes.

Unlike the more popular apple head Chihuahua, deer head Chihuahuas have longer muzzles, legs, and larger ears, straying from the traditional and more typical appearance of Chihuahuas.

The deer head Chihuahua or deer head Chihuahua is a highly intelligent breed capable of adapting to changes. Due to their intelligence and small size, they are very suitable to more urbanized environments.

Are Deer Head Chihuahuas Rare?

Compared to their more popular cousins, the deer head Chihuahua is quite harder to come by. This is due to the preference of breeders and kennel clubs for apple head Chis over deer heads.

This preference mainly roots in the breed standard created by kennel clubs. Deer head Chihuahuas do not follow the breed standard according to most established kennel organizations such as American Kennel Club (AKC).

Breeders will most likely comply with the breed standards that favor apple head Chihuahuas over deer head Chihuahuas, making the latter rarer.

Are Deer Head Chihuahuas Purebred?

Deer Chihuahua standing on top of a wooden gate

A novice dog enthusiast may be misled to say that deer head Chihuahuas are mixed breed dogs since they look more or less like the more popular apple head Chihuahua.

Contrary to popular belief, deer head Chihuahuas are actually purebreds. The misconception may have originated from the preference for apple head Chihuahuas over deer head Chihuahuas.

You can easily confirm if a deer head Chihuahua is purebred by going over its pedigree, registration papers, and kennel club membership.

Deer Head Chihuahua vs. Apple Head Chihuahua: What’s the Difference?

Upon first inspection, a deer head Chihuahua and an apple head Chihuahua might seem like the same dog. However, there are quite a handful of differences when it comes to these two types of Chihuahuas.

As the name implies, the more familiar apple head Chihuahua has an apple-like dome head. 

Its attentive eyes are round but not protruding. The muzzle is relatively short and has a sharp definite stop where it connects to the head.

If you are curious, here’s a picture of an apple head Chihuahua:

White apple head Chihuahua side profile 2

In contrast, a deer head Chihuahua is basically a lengthened version of the apple head. Its head is more elongated, resembling less of a brachycephalic dog and more of a young deer. 

The deer head Chi also has a long muzzle that connects more seamlessly to the head. The eyes are more oval and slightly smaller. 

Lastly, the ears and legs are longer, making this Chihuahua seem larger than their apple head counterparts.

Here’s what a deer head Chihuahua looks like:

Deer head Chihuahua side profile smiling

Lastly, an unusual feature present in both dogs is the soft spot found on their skulls called the molera. Don’t be alarmed because these are merely unfused portions of their skulls and are common in the breed. 

Deer Head Chihuahua Appearance

Deer Chihuahua front profile

As the name suggests, deer head Chihuahuas have features similar to that of a baby deer.

Deer head Chihuahuas have a quite elongated head shape for a brachycephalic dog, almost like a Pomeranian. In addition, their large, erect ears connect to the top and sides of their heads.

Their eyes are almost oval and do not protrude from the sockets, unlike other toy breeds. The mouth has a leveled bite with a complete set of evenly spaced teeth; they have neither underbites nor overbites.

Deer head Chihuahua bodies are quite longer than taller. However, they still present a bold conformation with a well-defined neck and chest. They are also noticeably longer in terms of body length.

Despite being relatively thin, their proportionate legs carry the entire body quite well. All legs are adequately muscled and run parallel to each other, making the dog appear more balanced.

Just like the apple heads, deer head Chihuahuas have two coat lengths. A smooth coat deer head Chihuahua has a short coat of hair that sits tight to the body. 

In contrast, a long-coat deer head has medium-length hairs that span across its entire frame. Although, in some cases, they may come out as hairless.

Nevertheless, deer heads come in the colors brown, white, black, merle, and other hues also exhibited by the apple head.

Lastly, be mindful that even purebred deer head Chihuahuas may not exactly meet some of these descriptions. This may be caused by varying genetic factors and are completely normal.

Deer Head Chihuahua Size and Weight

An average deer head Chihuahua can grow up to 5 to 8 inches in height for both males and females. 

Although there is no weight minimum set by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC), deer head Chihuahuas can weigh from 4 to 6 pounds.

In comparison, the United Kennel Club (UKC) dictates that an average deer head Chihuahua weight should be between 3 and 6.5 pounds. 

Despite these breed standards set by established kennel clubs, it is important to know that some deer head Chis might deviate from the parameters that were set.

Nonetheless, they are still considered purebred Chihuahuas, but they won’t be able to participate in dog shows.

Deer Head Chihuahua Kennel Club Recognition

Deer head Chihuahua standing on a rock

Unfortunately, the deer head Chihuahua is not an official breed as it does not meet breed standards set by kennel clubs such as the American Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club, and the United Kennel Club.

The main reason for their failure to meet breed standards is due to their head shape. 

The apple dome head and short muzzle are highly favored by these kennel clubs, making deer head Chihuahuas unfit for these conventions.

However, neither apple head Chihuahuas nor deer head Chihuahuas are recognized as separate breeds. They are merely two types of the official Chihuahua breed.

Deer Head Chihuahua Temperament and Personality

Let’s be honest, the deer head Chihuahua personality is almost notoriously terrier-like. However, Chihuahuas are still quite popular among dog owners, and there is much more to love in deer head Chihuahuas.

Since they are quite protective by nature, these tiny canines are quite reserved against strangers. This would be a good thing for your pooch’s protection but a hassle when it comes to vet visits.

On the spectrum of friendliness towards other dogs, a deer head Chi is somewhat in the middle. 

Friendlier deer head Chihuahuas tend to stick to their own breed, but some get a little too comfortable with other dogs, Chihuahua mixes, and even cats.

However, it’s important to know that deer head Chihuahuas do not go well with children. A child’s curiosity and unfamiliarity with dogs plus a deer head Chi’s aggression will most likely lead to an accident.

Regardless of some of the negative traits of deer head Chihuahuas, they will love their masters until their senior years. 

Ultimately, there’s no doubt about their popularity and charm, still making a deer head Chihuahua a good family dog.

In connection to discipline, it’s always important to have your deer head Chihuahua undergo proper obedience training. A disciplined Chihuahua and an untrained one are truly worlds apart in terms of animal behavior.

Deer Head Chihuahua Lifespan and Health Issues

Deer Chihuahua riding a stacked skateboard

Deer head Chihuahuas are relatively healthy woofers compared to other dog breeds, having a life expectancy of 14 to 16 years. However, there are health issues that commonly pose threats to the deer head Chi.

Here are some of the health conditions that affect deer head Chihuahuas:

  • Hypoglycemia: Having low blood sugar or hypoglycemia is one condition that commonly affects toy breeds, including the deer head Chihuahua. Their tiny bodies are designed in such a way that they’re not able to store adequate amounts of glycogen. This usually leads to weakness, dizziness, and even loss of consciousness.
  • Patellar Luxation: Sometimes, the patella or the kneecap pops out of place, leading to the inability to walk. Although patellar luxation is not always painful, it is usually recurrent and requires surgical intervention.
  • Tracheal Collapse: Similar to other small breeds, deer head Chis may develop tracheal collapse as they age. The tube that connects the airways to the lungs or the trachea collapses and lets less air pass through, leading to difficulty in breathing which starves the organs of oxygen. Common symptoms are distinct coughing sounds, weakness, and paleness of the gums.
  • Dental Problems: Deer heads are notoriously known to have too many teeth for their small mouths. Overcrowding teeth tend to lead to many problems such as uneven teeth, dental plaque, and even gum disease. Although these problems come with the breed, these can be easily managed by regularly having their teeth checked by the vet.

The conditions mentioned above are undoubtedly terrifying, but don’t let them scare you away from keeping a deer head Chihuahua! 

Most of these diseases are manageable and even preventable by investing in your pet’s health care.

How to Take Care of Your Deer Head Chihuahua

Deer head Chis may be the smallest dog breed in the world, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the easiest to take care of.

Caring for them might be easier in certain aspects like grooming and walking, but deer head Chihuahuas have specific needs.

Food and Diet

The amount of food to give a deer head Chihuahua might be the least of your problems due to their small stature, but the quality of their diet must be given more emphasis.

As mentioned before, these tiny canines are more likely to develop dental plaques and tartar. To help combat these problems, feeding them dry dog food more frequently might help. 

Dry kibbles scour against the surface of their teeth to remove unwanted buildup.

Regarding the type of dog food, it’s always best to feed them food specifically made for this toy breed. These types of kibbles contain the required amounts of nutrients appropriate to the size and breed of the dog.

Cleaning and Grooming

Before we jump into it, both the smooth coat and long coat deer head Chihuahuas shed about the same amount of hair. However, they also have double coats that cause them to shed more seasonally.

Moreover, a long-haired Chihuahua will require more rigorous brushing compared to a short-haired Chihuahua to prevent hair matting and hair damage. 

Regardless, short-haired deer heads will still require regular brushing.

They may shed more than other breeds, but their size makes grooming a breeze. A grooming session every 4 to 6 weeks will suffice to make sure your deer head Chihuahua smell and look fresh.

Training and Exercise

Although it’s irresistible to treat deer head Chihuahuas as lap dogs, they will still require enough exercise to stay in shape. 

Walking them every day for at least 30 minutes will ensure that their muscles and joints stay strong and healthy.

It’s no surprise that the deer heads show the common signs of small dog syndrome; that’s why it’s fitting that they undergo obedience training. 

They’re stubborn to begin with but also highly intelligent — you’ll need a lot of patience if you want to train your Chihuahua yourself.

How Much Does a Deer Head Chihuahua Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses

Reindeer Chihuahua resting and smiling

A deer head Chihuahua puppy will cost you about $1,200 to $2,000 from reputable breeders. However, the puppy price can vary depending on the pedigree, size, markings, and gender.

For example, a white deer head Chihuahua will significantly cost higher than black deer head Chihuahua since the former is much more uncommon and difficult to breed.

On top of that, short-haired deer head Chihuahuas are much more common, hence priced lower than long-haired Chihuahuas.

Here are some of the initial expenses when bringing your deer head Chihuahua home:

Type of ExpenseCost
Food and Treats$30 – $80
Bowls$10 – $30
Toys$20 – $30
Beds$30 – $200
Collars and Leashes$15 – $50
Crates and Carriers$30 – $200
Grooming Essentials$50 – $150
Initial Vet Visits$100 – $500
Initial Vaccine Shots$50 – $300
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications$40 – $300
Neutering or Spaying$50 – $500
Microchipping$40 – $60
Dog License$10 – $20
Other Essentials$20 – $50
Total Initial Cost$495 – $2,470

Although the initial expenses are listed above, you might find yourself spending differently from these estimates. As you go along with pet ownership, you may also avail of some services and pet insurance.

Your location, the item’s quality, and your financial status will likely affect the total initial cost of taking care of a deer head Chihuahua.

Places to Find Deer Head Chihuahua Puppies for Sale and Adoption

Apple heads tend to be more popular than the deer head Chihuahua. However, there are still quite a handful of breeders who keep these small dogs.

Here are some places where you may find deer head Chihuahua puppies for sale:

  • Ivy League Chihuahuas – Located in Redding, California, this small hobby breeder offers both long and short-coated Chihuahuas. This AKC-registered breeder ensures all their pups are vet certified and vaccinated before sending them out.
  • Tivoli Chihuahuas – Having a show career since 1966, this established Chihuahua breeder has also dabbled with other breeds such as Basenji, German Shepherd, and even Whippet. Naturally, their Chihuahuas are in demand thanks to the breeder’s watchful eye. This is a good place to find a deer head Chihuahua if the experience of the breeder is a factor for you.

If buying puppies isn’t for you, you can always opt to adopt a deer Chihuahua from a rescue.

Check out this list of rescues where you can find deer head Chihuahuas for adoption:

  • Texas Chihuahua Rescue – Starting with only 22 dogs, this Chihuahua rescue has come a long way to rescuing over a hundred dogs a month — that means a higher chance of running across a deer head Chihuahua. If you’re residing in San Antonio, Texas, look no further because this amazing group is one of the best in the area.
  • Chihuahua Rescue & Transport – With services reaching the Midwest, Southwest, and Southeast regions, this Chihuahua rescue group also caters to Chihuahua mixes. They also add a personal touch to their rescue dogs by keeping rescues with foster families rather than shelters.
  • Chihuahua Rescue Indiana, Inc. – Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, this non-profit group also utilizes foster homes instead of rehabilitation centers. They also hold adoption events to further boost adoption rates. Check their available dogs regularly for a deer head Chihuahua.

In addition to the three rescues mentioned above, you can also check out Facebook groups or Instagram hashtags for the breed variation to locate some more sources.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Deer Head Chihuahua

Reindeer Chihuahua up close

Frankly speaking, there is no perfect dog breed. The deer head Chihuahua may present a variety of captivating traits, but this toy dog also has their downsides.

First, let’s discuss the disadvantages of having a deer head Chihuahua:

  • Noise: Deer head Chihuahuas are extremely vocal and will bark non-stop until their demands are met. However, one might see this as an advantage — a deer head will easily alert you if there is an intruder or a foreign occurrence in your home.
  • Not allowed in competitions: If you aspire to enter your Chi in dog shows, another disadvantage of owning a deer head Chihuahua is not being able to participate in one. Breed standards clearly state that apple heads are the only acceptable head shape for Chihuahuas.
  • Prone to health conditions: They are highly predisposed to some medical conditions. Treating some of these diseases will leave a huge hole in your pocket. Nonetheless, all dog breeds will have certain diseases that are predisposed to them.

Despite these drawbacks, the deer head Chihuahua is still a wonderful breed to own. Here are the advantages of owning one:

  • Loyalty: Deer head Chihuahuas are extremely loyal to their masters. They will protect their owners from bigger dogs despite their minuscule size. You’ll find that most deer heads are extremely clingy to their owners.
  • Compact size: Small dogs like deer heads are easier to handle, groom, and walk. They also consume a lot less food than bigger dogs. Additionally, their size makes them great traveling buddies!
  • Intelligence: Their intelligence is comparably greater than large breeds. They can be easily trained for obedience and can even learn a variety of tricks! Furthermore, they are excellent watchdogs that will alert their owners to danger.

Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of owning a deer head Chihuahua, it’s up to you whether it’s sensible to have one based on your lifestyle, financial status, and environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Black and white deer head Chihuahua up close

Do Deer Head Chihuahuas Shed?

Deer head Chihuahuas do shed, but not a point when it’s overwhelming for the owner. 

They shed moderately due to their double coats. You can expect them to shed noticeably more when they replace their undercoats seasonally.

Where Do Deer Head Chihuahuas Come From?

Deer head Chihuahuas are direct descendants of the Techichi dog of the Central Americas. This now-extinct breed has been around since the time of the Toltecs, the predecessors of the Aztecs.

The Techichi dog is highly similar to the modern deer head, but years of selective breeding have resulted in what we know today as the deer head Chihuahuas.

How Many Puppies Does a Deer Head Chihuahua Have?

On average, a deer head Chihuahua can have a litter of three puppies. Keep in mind that these little dogs are known to have difficulties with whelping. 

Most of the time, larger puppies or larger litters will require a Cesarean section for safe delivery.

Are Deer Head Chihuahuas Bigger?

Compared to apple heads, deer head Chihuahuas are taller, hence bigger. Their comparatively longer and bigger bodies and legs comprise the bulk of their weight difference. 

Additionally, their large ears also make the deer heads appear bigger.

Final Thoughts

Deer head chihuahuas might be small, but they are intelligent, loyal, and live for a very long time. 

Also, keep in mind that they also have imperfections, such as their potential health problems, temperament, and hard-headedness.

Before adopting a deer head Chi, you would first need to consider your current lifestyle, finances, and environment. Always make sure that you can give a deer head the best life it can have.

If you have the patience to train your dog, a strong authority, and the willingness to spend a significant amount of time and money, perhaps the deer head Chihuahua is the right dog for you.

Head over to the comment box below to share your thoughts on the deer head Chihuahua!

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