What dog breed has a head shaped like an apple? An Apple Head Chihuahua!
The Apple Head Chihuahua is an intelligent little dog with big bulging eyes, an expressive face and its head shape is like an apple.It is charming and fragile but it can also be bossy!
Sometimes referred to as the:
- Apple Dome Head Chihuahua,
- Teacup Chihuahua,
- Techichi Chihuahua,
- or The Taco Bell Chihuahua.
This delicate purebred dog could easily get hurt in play and rough and tumble so it’s therefore not recommended as a family pet for young children.
An Apple Head Chihuahua puppy is a very cute little dog indeed.
A brief history of this small dog
The Chihuahua is the smallest dog recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as a purebred dog.
The Apple Head Chihuahua and the Deer Head Chihuahua are two different types of Chihuahua; not separate dog breeds.
There are only two officially recognized differences within the Chihuahua breed; the long haired Chihuahua and the smooth coat (short coat) Chihuahua varieties.
Although the Apple Head Chihuahua and the Deer Head Chihuahua are considered part of the same breed they are not officially interbred.
So where did the Chihuahua breed, with its strange name, come from?
The Chihuahua is considered as the National Dog of Mexico.
The Chihuahua breed is believed to have been discovered in the 1800s, in the area of Chihuahua in Mexico; hence the Mexican name Chihuahua. Ancient drawings of a tiny Chihuahua-type dog have been discovered across Central America with similarities to the ancient Techichi dog, and in also in Europe with similarities to the ancient Chinese Crested dog.
It is therefore believed that an early ancestor of the Chihuahua dog may have been the small ancient Techichi dog and somewhere along the bloodline it may have been crossed with a Chinese Crested dog to give us the Chihuahua breed we recognize today.
The Apple Head Chihuahua vs the Deer Head Chihuahua dog
Same breed but different; How?
The Apple Head Chihuahua has a head shape like an apple. The American Kennel Club (AKC) states that the breed standard requirement is an ‘apple dome-shaped head’.
All Apple Head Chihuahuas have a large head in relation to the size of their body and it’s the only dog breed born with a soft spot on their skull, like a human baby, known as a Molera.
This Molera (an incomplete skull) is not a defect! It is designed to help the mother give birth to her big-headed puppies and it then forms their dome-shaped forehead. The Molera is likely to close over after about 3-4 months.
The Deer Head Chihuahua has a head shape like a young Deer, but its head shape is smaller and it is not usually born with a soft spot on its skull: a Molera.
The face of the Apple Head Chihuahua has a distinctive 90-degree angle where the muzzle meets the forehead; known as a ‘Stop’. Its face profile is like a neat ‘L-Shape’.
The Apple-head has a shorter jawline and shorter neck than the Deer-head Chihuahua.
The face of the Deer Head Chihuahua has a distinctive 45-degree angle, its Stop, where the muzzle meets the forehead and ears shaped like a deer.
Physical Characteristics and appearance:
Overall, the Deer Head Chihuahua is bigger than the Apple Head Chihuahua, although it is still a Toy breed and there are even smaller versions; known as Teacup Chihuahuas.
The Deer Head Chihuahua has larger erect ears, longer legs, taller and therefore heavier, a longer neck and jawline, a larger muzzle, and a longer snout than the Apple Head Chihuahua variety.
Either variety of Chihuahua can have either a recognized long coat or smooth coat (short coat).
Believe it or not, the Long-haired Chihuahua coat sheds less than the Smooth Coat (Short-haired) Chihuahua coat!
These coat varieties are fully recognized by the following kennel clubs:
- American Kennel Club (AKC)
- Canadian Kennel Club (CKC)
- United Kennel Club (UKC)
The Chihuahua dog, now has its own specific breed club for both variations of the Chihuahua; The Chihuahua Club of America (CCA)
Fact: Only the Apple Head Chihuahua variety of the breed can participate in the show ring, as an official show Dog (because of its breed standard apple-dome skull); according to the AKC.
The Taco Bell doggy
The most famous Chihuahua dog was Gidget, the Taco Bell fast-food chain dog image. This cute little Chihuahua (a deer-head) made Chihuahuas famous in the US in the 1990s and they quickly became a very popular dog.
The Chihuahua dog breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1908 – as a long coat and smooth coat (short coat) variety, not based on the head shape.
Only the Apple Head Chihuahua can participate as a show dog and according to the AKC breed standard definition, it must have a well-rounded ‘apple dome’ head.
The different types of Chihuahua dogs
The Chihuahua dog is a pure breed that comes in a mix coat colors – mainly fawn, black, white, chocolate, gold, cream, but not Merle! (a color associated with health problems caused by a defective gene)
The only real difference is the head shape, size, and coat length or colors – their topcoat, undercoat, and eye color.
They all have distinctive shaped erect ears, unusual eyes, and a very expressive face.
What are the main characteristics?
The Apple Head Chihuahua is a sweet little doggie from puppy to adulthood. It will be a lovable, teacup-sized lap dog for a careful dog owner but due to its fragile and petit size, it could get easily hurt by over handling, especially by young children.
It can make a charming and intelligent little pet if treated gently, as it generally has a gentle nature and is not known as an aggressive breed, but it can be bossy and snap at strangers or children when annoyed. It is delicate so possibly not ideal for a first-time owner or young family with other larger dogs.
Loyalty and companionship:
Any Chihuahua owner will soon discover that this tiny dog will be keen to please them and want to keep close. They will make a good companion but their small size will limit certain joint activities. They will just enjoy being around you and be totally loyal to their Chihuahua owner, but they need to be kept safe and preferably in an enclosed environment to prevent them from getting hurt.
Chihuahuas have a reputation of being bad-tempered, snappy, barking a lot, and being moody. This is partly true, they can be noisy if they are allowed to get bored or are provoked or teased. The Chihuahua is a confident small dog that has a fun-loving personality but it is known to bark a lot at larger dogs and when strangers come close.
The Chihuahua dog breed does not rank at the top of the lists of the world’s favorite dog breeds, but it is slowly gaining popularity as a cute little family pet. In the United States it became famous as the face of Taco Bell in the 1990s and now ranks as the 30th most popular dog in the US.
Now with a registered breed standard by the AKC, they can compete as a purebred dog in the show ring in any coat color and eye color combination, providing they have a well-rounded ‘apple dome’ head.
This is an intelligent little dog that is highly energetic and strong-willed so the Chihuahua puppy may not be the easiest dog to train!
It’s a determined and bossy tiny dog that likes to keep active despite its small size. It will want to test the trainer and be the boss. It can be stubborn and difficult to train so patience and lots of effort are needed.
They may try to push the trainer to the limit and gain control of the training tasks, and can sometimes get the better of its dog owner. They need strict but gently training and discipline to learn who the boss is: and it should not be them!
Power and intelligence:
This dog breed is tiny, fragile, and a light weight, so what it lacks in strength it makes up for in determination and attitude. It will be energetic and with its high level of intelligence, it will want to be occupied in a way that is useful and rewarding. They will want to please their dog owner but find their own fun if they are not stimulated and it can be destructive fun.
Any Chihuahua puppy will need early socialization and discipline training to keep it well-behaved and safe.
This breed is delicate in size therefore vulnerable to getting hurt, so it needs to learn control to keep it safe in public places should danger present. They can be friendly but not with everyone and may bark at small children or other dogs if they approach them quickly and they’re viewed as a threat.
Training is important for them to know how to behave in busy places, parks, around strangers, children, or when near traffic.
Chihuahuas find comfort in packs of other Chihuahuas. They can fit into family life easily and mix well with all ages, but not recommended to be left alone with very young children as they can get hurt easily. They are smart so they will enjoy little doggy tasks that have meaning and reason.
They need to keep busy with lots of little walks; they will get bored and yap or run away, so keep them in an enclosed yard or home. This small dog is determined and stubborn and will try to push its behavior to the limit. They will be eager to please their master and will appreciate praise for good behavior. They will love to snuggle up with their owner, or on his clothes or bed-clothes for warmth.
Physical Characteristics of the Apple Head Chihuahua dog
The Chihuahua is a toy breed, which is a small sized dog.
You can expect the dog to reach a height of 6-10” and a weight of 4-6lb (1.8-2.7kg) for both male and female dogs.
An Apple head Chihuahua has a lifespan of around 14-16 years on average, and will spawn a litter size of around 2-5 puppies.
Coat: Long coat or smooth coat (short length)
Smooth Double coat, with soft and fine guard hairs on the topcoat, and a downy undercoat.
Color: Mixed color and pattern combinations including, solid marked or splashed patterns, and mainly fawn, also black, white, chocolate brown, gold, cream – spotted, sable or a mix and match of color but not Merle!
Chihuahuas are alert and easily frightened. They are fairly energetic and stubborn, but can also be eager to please.
They can be friendly and loyal to their dog owner and have a gentle nature and love human company. They can have a loud yappy bark, and can be snappy.
How do you train an Apple Head Chihuahua?
You will need time and patience!
This tiny energetic puppy needs to be trained and socialized early to become sociable and well-behaved at home and in public.
As they have a small and delicate build, any exercise-based training needs to be slow and careful, and nothing forced too quickly.
This is an intelligent but strong-willed breed that may want to do things its own way. So the trainer needs to be firm but gentle and persistent with any attempts to teach this active little dog how to behave and respond to commands.
Although small it will want to take charge of the training. It is therefore important to establish who the leader is early with this little dog breed.
Boundaries need to be set early and enforced; regularly reminding them what is good behavior and what is not! Reward-based training and lots of praise for good behavior and obedience will work well.
The different types of training required: obedience, discipline, agility, and socialization.
So, if you are not going to use a professional dog trainer:
1) Develop your basic command words: Find keywords such as Stop, Come, and Wait, etc. and be consistent each time you use them.
2) Crate – Buy a crate and get the puppy used to going into it. This will eventually become its nest and it will sleep there. You will have to lock the cage in the early days so it knows it has to sleep there and useful experience for bladder control and if transporting your pet.
3) Potty training – May be hit and miss for a new puppy who gets easily excited and lacks control, however products are available, such as mats and odor sprays to attract puppy go to the same spot each time.
4) Walking on a leash – Voice commands and road awareness is important for a Chihuahua puppy’s safety, as they are delicate and need protection from danger.
Health problems and health issues of Chihuahuas
Any purebred dog breed can inherit certain genetic health problems due to its small size. The Apple Head Chihuahua may suffer from:
Dental and eye problems – are common in this breed as they have prominent eyes and very small mouths.
Dental disease – as the mouth of the Chihuahua is very small the teeth do not have enough space to grow properly and the mouth can become overcrowded. There can also be a build-up of plaque and decay or infection leading to gingivitis and pain. Brushing a Chihuahua’s teeth is essential to help limit disease
Luxating Patella – this is a hereditary condition causing dislocation of the kneecap, on one or more than one kneecap. It can lead to arthritis and further bone pain.
Collapsing Trachea – where the windpipe collapses causing coughing, shortness of breath, lethargy, and great difficulty in breathing.
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome (BAS) – This restricts breathing. The Apple Head Chihuahua has a compromised head shape, a short muzzle, with a restricted nasal passage. This is similar to the pug dog and can cause breathing difficulties. It can also cause discomfort, snoring, sleep apnea, and a Chihuahua is known to make strange snuffling noises as it breathes.
Hydrocephalus – a condition where an Apple Head Chihuahua puppy is born with an abnormally larger head than usual. The puppy will be lethargic, and will not grow or develop like normal puppies. The outlook is grim.
Hypoglycemia – This is where the blood sugar level falls rapidly and becomes too low. It can cause the dog to faint or have a seizure and will make the dog very weak. This can happen due to illness or poor nutrition or the wrong type of dog food for this tiny size of dog.
Other health issues include Heart problems such as Patent ductus arteriosus and Mitral valve disease, which typically require surgery.
Caring for your Apple Head Chihuahua – what’s needed?
This small dog is energetic and would benefit from regular short, brisk walks.
They are tiny and fragile so they can get hurt easily so it would be best if they live in a secure living space with outdoor run-around space, in a closed yard if possible. Even as a puppy they need lots of daily exercises and to be kept occupied.
Early leash training, and road awareness, is strongly recommended to keep this determined puppy safe.
Feed as a small dog, with high-quality, protein-based, with size and weight appropriate Kibble, dog food, as recommended by your Vet. Be careful not to overfeed. They need lots of water to drink.
A Chihuahua has a double coat and is considered a moderate shedder, all year round but with 2 additional seasonal sheds. Although a small dog, you will need a good brush! (Best check out what’s recommended on Google or Amazon.)
Bathe only when needed, as their coats contain natural oil, which can be stripped with over-bathing. Certain dog formulated shampoos have double effect of cleaning the dog coat and protecting it against fleas and insect bites.
Cleaning teeth, nails, and ears
Preventing plaque and tooth decay is very important for Chihuahuas. Chewing breaks down plaque, so use doggie chew-toys, and soft toothbrushes, and toothpaste. Nails need to be trimmed regularly, say once a month, and checked for infection. Their erect ears need to be checked for dirt build-up or infection weekly.
What’s life like for an Apple Head Chihuahua?
Its miniature stature gets it noticed so be prepared for lots of attention and long walks with this little doggy.
They are energetic but stubborn and like to run around.
They will feel the cold and suffer. (Their small frame feels the cold quickly and will need extra clothes in cold weather and even protection for their feet, like little boots.)
Positives and Negatives of ownership
- Cute appearance, big prominent eyes
- Loyal and loveable with family
- Smart and gentle nature
- Loves to snuggle up with you
- A good companion
- Useless as a guard dog
- Can bark and yap if bored
- Not well behaved if left alone
- Very delicate needs careful handling
- Should not be left unattended with young children
- Needs activity, but not rough play, easily hurt
- A moderate shedder needs regular brushing.
- Commonly Asked Questions:
Q: What is the proper name of the Chihuahua dog?
A. There are two varieties within the Chihuahua dog breed – the Apple Head Chihuahua and the Deer Head Chihuahua dog. They are also nicknamed the Chi-Chi, The Hua-Hua, or the Apple-dome skull Chihuahua.
Q. How much does an Apple Head Chihuahua puppy cost?
A. From $500-$1000, from a reputable breeder, (depending on its pedigree, coloring, and pattern) – However, it’s always best to adopt rather than buy, if you can, you may find that it might only cost $50-150.
Food will cost around $30 per month for an adult Chihuahua, and Vets fees, vaccinations, and accessories all need to be factored into the cost of owning a Chihuahua.