Apple Head vs Deer Head Chihuahua
Chihuahuas originates from a country that we now know as Mexico. You probably did not know that it dates back to the 9th Century.
Some experts believe that the Chihuahua comes from a dog known as Techichi. It is the actual ancestor of our sassy Chi. However, experts believe that the Deer Head Chihuahua is a cross between Techichi and the Chinese Crested. In other words, Techichi is thought to be Deer Head Chihuahuas' true ancestor.
When Aztecs conquered the Toltecs, Chi's became popular. Because of this, we do not have much information on this dog breed in just Toltec society. Chihuahuas were believed to predict the future and heal the sick. Because they thought they could lead their owners' spirit to the afterlife, like a guide, they were often sacrificed and cremated with their owners.
While their popularity diminished significantly when the Spanish conquered the Aztec, their numbers and popularity rose again when Americans became interested in the breed. Since they found this breed mainly in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, this tiny dog breed became known under that name - Chihuahua.
Americans ''refined'' the breed once they took them back and started entering them into shows. Because of this, the first Chihuahua to be registered with AKC (American Kennel Club) happened in 1904. Since then, Chi's have been popular worldwide as a tiny family pet, ranking 34 on the most popular dog list. And they are becoming more popular with each passing year.
Appearance Differences Between Apple Head and Deer Head Chihuahuas.
People who have never owned a dog of any kind find it hard to recognize the difference between the two types of Chihuahua. However, that is why we will go into detail and try to explain these differences as best as we can.
Chihuahuas can have one of two different skull shapes: apple-like or deer-like. At the risk of being bluntly obvious, Apple Head Chihuahuas have heads shaped like apples, while Deer Head Chihuahuas have heads shaped like heads of deer.
It's usually relatively easy to differentiate the two. But if you are having trouble, the easiest way is to look at the place where your Chihuahua's nose meets its face from the side. Apple Head Chihuahuas will have an approximately 90-degree angle where these two join. In contrast, the same part of a Deer Head Chihuahua will be about 45 degrees.
Simply put, the Apple Head of Chihuahuas face features are essentially sharp-angled, and the noses of Deer Head Chihuahuas are sloped. Furthermore, the forehead of apple-shaped chihuahuas is much more pronounced than those of deer-headed individuals.
The main characteristics of an Apple Head Chihuahua are:
- rounded, apple-shaped head
- shorter snout
- pronounced forehead
- protruding eyes
The bulging, large eyes and small, rounded head make the Apple-Headed Chihuahua appear physically similar to our babies – which is one of the reasons why humans find these Chihuahuas so dang cute.
The main characteristics of a Deer Head Chihuahua are:
- more elongated, oval head
- longer snout
- smaller eyes
- less prominent forehead
While the Apple Heads remind us of babies, the Deer Heads are gentler looking, almost doe-like. These two types genuinely make it hard to choose just one.
While there are some confusions and many owners are unsure whether their Chi is actually a Chihuahua because of the differences, we can undoubtedly say that they are the same, just a different variable. Deer Heads will get mixed with pinscher dogs because they are similar, but if you received all the papers and did your research, you will have no reason for concern.
Characteristics of Apple Head and Deer Head Chihuahua.
Even though they are the same breed, they do have differences between them. This can be tied to the breeding and history of both variables of Chis'. While we know how the Deer Head Chi came to be, the Apple Head Chihuahuas are still a slight mystery, at least to the public. The differences are often not as apparent unless you have both types of Chis', which is why we are here to break them down for you.
- Companionship and loyalty - Since Chihuahuas are known for being fiercely loyal and utterly devoted to their owners, there isn't much of a difference—both the Deer Head and Apple Head Chihuahuas exhibit these traits.
- Temperament - While Chis' in general are categorized as being feisty, untrusting to strangers, not getting along well with other humans, pets, or children, Deer Head Chihuahuas are considered more lenient in this regard. While Apple Heads can be trained to accept everyone, their counterparts are often more open to being in the company of other people and pets.
- Trainability - Both the Apple Head and the Deer Head Chihuahuas should be trained from an early age. Their predisposition to become aggressive as they age is the leading cause why you should start their training as puppies, either independently or with a professional.
- Socialization - Even though the Deer Head Chihuahuas are considered more lenient, they should still be socialized on time. This should be one of your priorities, whether you choose an Apple Head Chihuahua or their counterpart.
- Overall Health - Since we do not know the exact origins of the Apple Head Chihuahuas and how they came to be in the form we know them as today, we cannot in certainty advise why they are more prone to the health issues that are more severe than in Deer Head Chihuahuas. Nevertheless, you should keep an eye on both varieties and make sure to monitor their health.
The Temperament of the Apple Heads and Deer Heads.
Despite there being no scientific evidence the head shape of the Chihuahua impacts their character in any way, many Chihuahua owners say Deer Heads are more friendly and more compliant compared to the Apple Head. However, it is likely their upbringing and environment influence their temperament, and the shape of their skulls has no bearing.
The Apple and Deer Heads are equally intelligent, confident, and stubborn. They both utilize a no-nonsense approach and do not suffer fools gladly - meaning they are intolerant of foolish people or pets.
Despite this, they are very cheerful pups who love life and their family. These puppies love to play and are very friendly and caring toward their family. They are both defined as having cheeky terrier-like disposition qualities. Chihuahuas yearn for companionship, making them very sociable, which means they may suffer from separation anxiety.
If not properly trained and socialized, Chihuahuas tend to bark a lot. This can be exhibited in the over-protectiveness of their family. They may snap at other people, children or animals if their behavior is not corrected on time.
Both the Deer Head and Apple Head Chihuahuas are typically wary of strangers. If they don't like someone or something, they will let you know about it. So, if you are after a small protective dog, these guys are known to be quite good watchdogs.
Despite being considered tiny, Chihuahuas have a medium prey drive, meaning they will chase smaller animals, even cats.
They are both very fast puppies, but because the Deer Head has longer legs and is more athletic, he will disappear from your sight much faster than the Apple Head if something captures his attention. This is why leash training is a must so that you can keep them close and safe.
Chihuahuas are popular dogs to be mixed with other breeds because of their feisty personality. Some examples of this are Pomchi (Pomeranian and Chihuahua mix), Dachshund Chihuahua mix, and many more.
Potential Health Issues of Both Apple Head and Deer Head Chihuahuas.
The average lifespan of a Chihuahua is 14 to 16 years. Still, they have one of the most extended canine lifespans and often live to around 20 years old. The deer head tends to be the most extended living out of the two, with fewer health problems than the apple head.
Due to their head shape, shorter muzzle, and flatter face, Apple Head Chihuahuas are often more prone to having breathing problems than the Deer Head Chihuahuas. One of the most common issues an Apple Head Chihuahua can experience is Brachycephalic Syndrome, a scientific term for severe respiratory diseases caused by the flat face and short muzzle. It also means they can suffer from the heat and have a problem regulating their body temperature if they are hot. Because these are life-threatening problems, be sure to research how to manage them best. This can severely impact your Chihuahuas' life and yours if not controlled.
The Apple Head is more prone to being impacted by a collapsing trachea - meaning your Chis' windpipe would collapse and prevent them from breathing. The cause is still unknown, but it is thought to be because Apple Heads have a smaller and weaker windpipe. Smaller dogs breathe faster than larger dogs. So if you can imagine a soda straw being sucked and the walls pressing together, blocking the airflow, that is what can transpire inside the Chihuahua's neck.
Because of its protruding eyes, the Apple Head is also more prone to eye injuries and infections than the Deer Head Chihuahuas. So, if you notice reddening of the eyes, discharge, irritations of any kind, or anything that seems out of the ordinary, take your puppy to the vet to get checked out.
Both the Deer Head and the Apple Head Chihuahuas can have what is known as molera. This is a soft part of their skull where the skull has not appropriately fused. It is similar to that of a newborn human baby. However, the molera on the Chihuahua's head doesn't usually merge when they mature. This is most common in Apple Head Chihuahuas but can happen to their counterparts as well, although much less frequently.
Even though this defect is accepted according to breed standards, this ultimately is an area with no protection. It could be harmful to their health. Veterinarians and many breed lovers debate that this should be bred entirely out of the breed. The reason is that if your Chi gets hurt in this part of their head, they can lose their life or have complications for the rest of their lives.
Besides the issues mentioned above, these two Chihuahua varieties can share the same health issues. According to the NBC (national breed club), your puppy's parents must undergo a series of examinations for the pup to receive its health certificates. These include:
- A cardiac checkup to test for Mitral Valve Disease will determine whether your puppy is predisposed to develop this disease early or later in life.
- An evaluation from the ophthalmologist to test the health of their eyes, which is a must for Apple Head Chihuahuas since they are more sensitive.
- A patella evaluation of his knee joints since Arthritis is a big issue with all Chis.'
While this all must sound scary, we assure you that not all Chihuahuas carry every disease listed here, regardless of the variety. The important thing you need to remember is to take your fur-baby for checkups at least once a year. Of course, if you notice anything out of the ordinary, consult with your vet.
Training of the Apple Head and Deer Head Chihuahuas.
These guys are pretty intelligent pups, and they are known to pick up commands quickly. Chihuahuas are fiercely independent. Because of this, if they decide that today is not the day to participate in training, you are improbable to be successful. They will know how to push your buttons and test how far they can go without repercussions. This is why you should always be prepared for any scenario.
Due to this stubbornness, early obedience training is vital. It is also important to socialize them from a very early age to be cozy with other humans and larger dogs. This will help with their barking and reticence with strangers.
Deer Head Chihuahuas are very intelligent and love to please their family members, so they train well. They should be trained while still puppies or they could end up trying to rule over the household. Like the Apple Head Chihuahua, they should be socialized with other animals and people to guarantee that they don't become aggressive at a later age. Depending on the owner's preferences, training can be done in-house or in a group setting, standalone, or with a professional.
Suitability of Apple Head and Deer Head Chihuahuas.
The Apple Head Chihuahua makes for a beautiful family dog. To get along with other animals, kids, or other humans, they should be socialized from a young age. If well socialized, they will love playing with kids and be fiercely devoted to their human pack leader. They are good in an apartment setting if they can get out for exercise and bathroom breaks several times a day. They will thrive in a house setting with things like a fenced yard.
Deer Head Chihuahuas are hyper and interactive, yet they desire an abundance of rest throughout the day. They do not need extensive exercise, making them the perfect pet option for apartment residents. Deer Head Chihuahuas enjoy the company of children but do not tolerate being dragged or mocked. They can live with other animals, but they are territorial, which can become a problem without setting firm boundaries within the household or if they have to cohabitate with an alpha animal. You should always oversee your Chi while spending time with other animals and children that do not live in their homes.
Nutrition of Apple Heads and Deer Heads.
The Apple and Deer Heads do not have the same nutritional needs. Since Deer Head Chihuahuas are usually bigger in size and weight, they require a higher calorie intake per day. This will also depend on their activity levels. If they are a lapdog, they will need slightly less, and if they are out chasing squirrels all day, then somewhat more food will be required.
Despite being one of the smallest breeds, they still need the best nutrients to keep them healthy, so be sure to feed them superior quality kibble. Ensure treats are adequate size, as most Chihuahua struggle to eat standard-sized treats.
Two types of eaters are present in Chihuahuas. They are either very picky about their food or eat anything that crosses their path. This is why it is essential to figure out their dietary needs from the start.
If your Chi is a picky eater, you can mix the kibble with some raw food and find what they prefer. Maybe they are more inclined towards cooked food vs. kibble or dry food as it is commonly known.
However, suppose you have a Chi that is a living and breathing vacuum. In that case, you might want to consider a specialized bowl that will teach them not to gobble everything or interactive toys with treats. There are many options to choose from. It will require work and patience, but all dogs can be trained and taught.
Grooming of the Deer Head and Apple Head Chihuahuas.
This usually depends on the type of coat your Chi has. Regardless of the variety. Short-haired Chi's tend to shed more and should be brushed at least once a week. Some recommend rubber mittens for brushing, but in general, you can use whatever comb you wish, or you can consult with your vet on what they would recommend. The long-haired Chihuahuas can have their coats tangled and matted, so brushing them a couple of times a week is necessary. Just keep in mind that Chihuahuas do shed all year round, not just seasonally.
Regarding bathing, the opinions are mixed. Some will advise that you bathe your Chi once every couple of weeks, some once a month, while some recommend washing your puppy every two months. However, suppose you do decide to bathe your puppy frequently. In that case, it can lead to even more shedding and developing skin conditions, like dandruff.
It would be best if you brushed your Chihuahuas teeth at least three times a week to prevent periodontal diseases. Smaller breeds have more compact jaws and raws of teeth, which is why food usually collects between the teeth and can cause terrible breath. If you do not want to brush your Chis' teeth often, make sure to at least provide them with toys and treats that can help them with this.
Apple Head and Deer Head Puppies.
The prices can vary, and different factors influence how much your puppy will cost. Typically for an Apple Head Chihuahua, a puppy should cost around $500-$1000. If the parents are from a championship lineage, they can go for over $1500. With Deer Head Chihuahuas, the prices are a bit lower, ranging between $300 - $800 per puppy. However, two Apple Head parents don't have to reproduce an Apple Head puppy. They can get a Deer Head one as well. So the price for a Deer Head Puppy can increase if the parents are from a good and healthy lineage.
Apple Head Chihuahuas' birth is typically more difficult because of the shape of their skull and the problem that can occur passing through the birth canal. Because of this, they are usually delivered by cesarean birth, so the price you would pay for the puppy can be higher. However, breeders tend not to factor in this extra cost because they are a common canine.
Only Apple Head Chihuahuas Meet Breed Standards.
AKC and any other significant canine association distinguish between Apple Head or Deer Head Chihuahuas. Because the breed standards for the Chihuahua require "A well rounded 'apple dome' skull, with or without molera," other head variations, including the Deer Head, is not permitted.
Many first-time owners tend to think that the Deer Head Chihuahua is not a Chi when hearing this information for the first time. However, this doesn't mean that this variety is not a part of the actual breed. In short, it means that they cannot compete in dog shows. Well, technically, your puppy CAN compete but won't win any ribbons as a Deer Head Chihuahua as they don't meet the breed standard. Your Chi can still be registered with the AKC if they have the paperwork, and you can prove the parents are purebred as well.
Breed standards devised by the AKC and other canine institutions are used for evaluating dogs at conformation shows. Suppose a competing dog fails to meet the criteria for his breed. In that case, judges will automatically disqualify him from obtaining the championship title. Neutered or spayed dogs are also disqualified from competing in conformation shows, regardless of whether they meet their breed's standards.
The Deer Head Chihuahuas are real Chihuahuas. They won't win points or championship titles at any dog shows. However, the same can be said for Chihuahuas that weigh over six pounds, which Deer Heads often are, which is also the basis for disqualification.
Should the American Kennel Club Recognize Deer Head Chihuahuas?
This question has been asked by so many. However, because the Deer Heads are so common, there's a strong argument that the AKC should acknowledge them as a breed variation. This wouldn't be the first time they have done so.
The first time the American Kennel Club acknowledged a separate variety was in 1936. The AKC divided the English Cocker Spaniel into the classic English Cocker Spaniels and the American Cocker Spaniels. However, a decade later, the AKC revised the standards again to include the American Cocker Spaniel as a separate breed. Even though they are similar in appearance, the American Cocker Spaniel is shorter than its English brethren and comes in more colors. American Cocker Spaniels are also "more flamboyant" and have a less instinctual drive to hunt prey.
In 1952, the Chihuahua Club of America (CCA) adjusted its standards for the breed, dividing the Chihuahuas into long coat and short coat varieties. Now, breed standards created by all of the influential canine associations acknowledge long coat and smooth coat varieties. Hopefully, we'll see similar measures taken by the AKC soon, recognizing the Deer Head Chihuahuas as a separate variety.
Which Chihuahua Should You Choose?
There are a few necessary details to consider when making your choice. For example, if you desire dog shows and blue ribbons, you'll be compelled to select an Apple Head Chihuahua. Contrarily, suppose you don't have any aspirations for the shows and competitions. In that case, Deer Head Chihuahuas may be the more suitable choice (presuming you favor their look or other traits).
For the most part, you should feel free to pick whichever type of Chihuahua you like best. If you think that Apple Heads are adorable, go ahead and add one to your family. In contrast, if you'd prefer a Deer-Headed cutie, go with that version.
Either way, there are no wrong choices. Based on the traits, look, and your ambition towards your puppy, that is the choice you will make.
Both the Apple Head and the Deer Head Chihuahua can be fantastic family pets. However, Apple Heads tend to be more stubborn, and you need a bit more commitment when training and socializing them vs. Deer Heads. That being said, they both have so much to bring to the table, from being loyal to a fault to protecting the people they love, you will not go wrong with picking either one. As a family, if you choose to buy or adopt a Chi, they will make the most memorable pet you have had. They certainly aren't for everyone, but those special few who decide this is just the perfect dog for them will go on a journey of their lives, and it will not leave them indifferent.