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

The Chihuahua is a popular dog breed that has been featured in many movies, such as “Beverly Hills Chihuahua.” These dogs come in a variety of colors and hair lengths, making them an interesting breed to learn about. They also vary when it comes to their head shape and are categorized into either the Apple Head or Deer Head variety. Read on to learn more about the difference between Apple Head and Deer Head chihuahuas.

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Visual Differences

Apple head vs deer head chihuahua
Image credit | Left: ruttanapol comfoo, Shutterstock; Right: Pikrepo

The difference between Deer Head and Apple Head Chihuahuas is the shape and size of their skulls. Apple Head Chihuahuas have a more vertical profile that descends from the top of the head to the muzzle by about 90 degrees. Deer Head chihuahuas have a more sloped profile that descends from the top of the head to the muzzle by about 45 degrees.

Deer Head Chihuahuas typically display a less prominent forehead than their Apple Head counterparts. Simply put, as their name suggests, the Apple Head Chihuahua has a head that is shaped like an apple, while the Deer Head Chihuahua has a head that is shaped more like a deer’s.

A Quick Overview

Apple Head Chihuahua
  • Average Height (adult): 5-9 inches
  • Average Weight (adult): 2-6 pounds
  • Lifespan: 14-16 years
  • Exercise: High
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: Sometimes
  • Trainability: High
Deer Head Chihuahua
  • Average Height (adult): 8-12 inches
  • Average Weight (adult): 6-10 pounds
  • Lifespan: 15-20 years
  • Exercise: Moderate
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: Sometimes
  • Trainability: High

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Apple Head Chihuahua Overview

Apple Head Chihuahua
Apple Head Chihuahua | Image Credit: Pickpik

The Apple Head Chihuahua is a friendly and fun-loving dog that enjoys the attention of their family members yet doesn’t mind spending time alone. This variety of Chihuahua is considered the breed standard, so they tend to be a little more expensive than the Deer Head variety. Their heads truly are shaped like apples, with a slight indent at the top of the head. Apple Head Chihuahuas tend to have shorter necks than their Deer Head counterparts, and their eyes tend to be more pronounced and noticeable. They also seem to have slightly shorter snouts, giving them a “puppy” look that tends to stick with them throughout adulthood.

Personality

This type of Chihuahua is friendly with family members and other animals they live with, yet they tend to be wary of strangers. They like to bark when strangers intrude on what they perceive is their private territory. Regular socialization from a young age will help the Apple Head Chihuahua become an interactive dog that human friends and other dogs at the dog park can appreciate. They like attention and don’t enjoy spending time alone at home.

Training

These dogs are smart and can learn obedience commands and tricks with the best of them. However, they do have a bit of a stubborn streak, so patience should be practiced during each training session. Opting for professional group training sessions will allow this slightly shy dog to gain confidence and learn how to properly interact with others.

Apple Chihuahua
Image Credit By: Toshihiro Gamo, commons wikimedia

Health and Care

Apple Head Chihuahuas tend to have shorter hair, but not always. Either way, they should be brushed weekly to keep their coats clean and free of tangles. Their nails should be trimmed once a month or so to keep them from cracking and chipping. These dogs are generally healthy and can live to be 16 years old if properly cared for. However, there are health concerns to be aware of.

Eye disease, idiopathic epilepsy, and patellar luxation are all conditions that the veterinarian should monitor for as this dog breed ages. Other possible health problems include patent ductus arteriosus and heart abnormalities.

Suitability

The Apple Head Chihuahua makes for a great family dog. They love playing with kids and are fiercely loyal to their human pack leader. They can get along with other animals, but they must be well socialized from a young age to do so. They are fine 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 that has things like a fenced yard.

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Deer Head Chihuahua Overview

Deer Chihuahua
Deer Head Chihuahua | Image Credit: Pikrepo

The Deer Head Chihuahua has a head shaped like that of a deer. They have longer necks and foreheads than Apple Head Chihuahuas, and their eyes are less pronounced, which gives them a slightly inquisitive look. Deer Head Chihuahuas are usually larger in size and weight than Apple Heads. This type of Chihuahua became popular in the 1990s and has gained attention from families around the world ever since. These are energetic dogs that love company and adventures.

Personality

The Deer Head Chihuahua is a little less exuberant than their Apple Head counterparts, yet they are still inquisitive and fun-loving by nature. They may run and hide when unfamiliar visitors come to the house, but it will not take long for them to come out of their shell and get to know everyone involved.

They need little exercise and prefer a walk each day just to stretch the legs and smell the flowers. Otherwise, a few toys to play with in the house should keep them engaged, exercised, and occupied. They are independent enough to stay home while their owners work, but they would love to accompany their family on weekend outings.

Training

Deer Head Chihuahuas are intelligent and love to please their family members, so they tend to take to training well. They should start training while still puppies, or they could end up trying to take over the household. Like the Apple Head Chihuahua, these dogs should be socialized with other animals and people from the time they are puppies to ensure that they do not become aggressive as they age. Training can be done in-house or in a group setting, depending on the owner’s preferences.

Deer Chihuahua
Deer Head Chihuahua | Image Credit: Pikrepo

Health and Care

Interestingly, the Deer Head Chihuahua tends to be prone to fewer health problems than the Apple Head Chihuahua. Nobody knows exactly why, but it is thought that genetics plays a strong role. But this is not to say that there are no health issues to be aware of. Deer Head Chihuahuas are prone to reverse sneezing problems, tracheal collapse, and periodontal issues.

Suitability

Deer Head Chihuahuas are excitable and interactive, yet they expect to have plenty of downtime throughout the day. They do not need much exercise, making them the perfect pet option for apartment dwellers. They do enjoy the company of children but do not tolerate being pulled at or teased. They can live with other animals, but they are territorial, which could become a problem without setting strong boundaries within the household. They should always be supervised while spending time with other animals and children that do not live in their household.

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Which Breed Is Right for You?

There are multiple differences between the Apple Head and Deer Head Chihuahua to consider before deciding which to adopt for your household. Apple Head Chihuahuas are more dependent than Deer Heads, and they do not seem to need as much exercise. Both varieties enjoy outings, though, whether on foot or by vehicle.

They both make great family pets, but the Apple Head is more stubborn and tends to take a little more commitment when it comes to training than the Deer Head. We think that both Deer Head and Apple Head Chihuahuas have so much to bring to the table and that any family should feel proud to have either as a family member. We would love to hear what you think in our comments section below!