Deer Head Chihuahua – A Complete Guide To A Distinctive Tiny Dog



deer head chihuahua

The deer head Chihuahua is one of two unofficial types of the breed. They have a narrow head, wide eyes and a slim muzzle. A relatively long snout meets their skull at a 45-degree angle. It’s quite distinct from the apple head variety, which has a round, domed head and a snout that meets the skull at a perfect 90-degree angle. Deer head Chihuahuas are often bigger than their apple head cousins too, and have longer legs and larger ears. Their distinctive shape has given them the nickname Reindeer Chihuahua in some circles, but it’s not just their cute look that’s got people talking. Some of the health problems pedigree Chihuahuas suffer from might be reduced by this less dramatic build.


The reindeer Chihuahua’s rise to popularity was cemented in the 90’s by the energetic Taco Bell Mascot, Gidget. Since then, people have fallen in love with the breed because of its fierce loyalty and saucy attitude. They are toy type dog that makes an amazing apartment pet or lapdog.

Deer Head Chihuahua vs Apple Head Chihuahua

The differences between these two dogs are mostly superficial. There’s no real difference in personality or energy levels. The proper care for apple head and deer head Chihuahuas is the same.

The only important differences are those regarding health issues. While anecdotal, many people who have owned both types claim that deer head Chihuahuas are less affected by the diseases that plague toy breeds.

There is little hard evidence to support this, but apple heads more often have a molera (a soft spot on the head, like a human baby’s). Moleras are linked to hydrocephaly – an unfortunately common issue for Chihuahuas.

deer head chihuahua

Deer Head Chihuahua Appearance

Like previously mentioned, the deer head Chihuahua weight is usually greater than that of an apple head. Deer heads tend to weigh in at 4 to 7 lbs. They are not overweight Chihuahuas just because they weigh more than an apple head Chihuahua.

Deer heads have a long snout, with large triangular ears.

Long Haired Deer Head Chihuahua

It is possible to get a long haired deer head Chihuahua, or a short haired version.  But, the long haired reindeer Chihuahua needs significantly more care than the short haired variety. 

Owners must be prepared to groom them regularly. Keep their coat tangle free, and bathe them so that it never gets dirty.  Short haired varieties will need this too, but their maintenance is much easier than the popular long coat version. 

deer head chihuahua

Dear Head Chihuahua Colors

These little dogs come in a variety of colors. But, fawn-colored is most common. Black deer head Chihuahuas are topped in rarity only by pure white ones! And, black deer head Chihuahuas are becoming more popular as time goes on.

Note that the color of a dog’s coat doesn’t have any effect on temperament or health.

Are They Aggressive?

When you envision a Chihuahua, the first thing that comes to mind is their larger-than-life personality. Words like saucy, sassy, and feisty are often used to describe Chihuahuas – and with great accuracy. They have some intangible quality that other dogs lack. Perhaps they’re just particularly expressive with their face.

That’s not to say they don’t express love and devotion like other dogs. On the contrary, Chihuahuas are loyal to a fault. They’ll ferociously defend their ‘pack’ against any perceived threat, no matter how big it is.

An interesting quirk of the breed is that they tend to latch onto one person in particular, usually whoever spends the most time with them. They’ll show preference to this person in obedience, as well as defending them against anything (even other members of their ‘pack’).

Temperament vs Type

Like all dogs, deer head Chihuahua temperament is determined by that of its parents and by their level of training. Unfortunately, there’s a pervasive notion that small dogs and toy breeds don’t need the same training or socialization as large dogs. That’s false, and the cause for many poorly trained reindeer Chihuahuas.

It’s a shame, because Chihuahuas are fairly easy to train. Since they develop close relationships with one person, they can learn quickly when time is regularly devoted to training.

Are Deer Head Chihuahuas Good With Kids?

Remember, though, that Chihuahuas are not a breed known for their patience. They’ll get irritated by poking and prodding from children. Be sure to watch children playing with Chihuahuas carefully.

This breed isn’t best suited for homes with small kids, as they are also very fragile and can be easily hurt by children who want to pet them.

Deer Head Chihuahua Health

The unfortunate reality of Chihuahuas is that they often suffer extensive health problems. The same breeding that made them so cute has inadvertently conferred many congenital and chronic health issues.

Chihuahuas have a high incidence of senile iris atrophy. As the dog ages, the muscles in the iris decay, causing sensitivity to light and vision loss. There’s no treatment for this disease. Small breeds, or those with oddly-shaped faces, are particularly susceptible to brachycephalic airway problems.

Chihuahuas are no exception. They’re predisposed to suffer from reverse sneezing. Rowena Packer found in her 2015 study that the ratio of muzzle to cranial length is an influencer of brachycephalic airway issues, such as tracheal collapse.

Her findings do suggest, however, that deer head Chihuahuas might be less affected than apple heads since they tend to have longer snouts. Chihuahuas are well known for periodontal issues such as early tooth loss and mandibular degeneration.

deer head chihuahua

How Long Do They Live?

Deer head Chihuahua lifespan can vary due to the likelihood of health issues. But, a healthy Chihuahua can easily live 15 to 20 years.


Is a Deer Head Chihuahua Right for Me?

Deer head Chihuahuas are fun loving, energetic, affectionate, and will be very loyal to their owners. But, they won’t suit every home. They need owners that can commit time every day to training, socialization, and exercise. Even though they’re small, they have a lot of energy that must be worn off.

They are also prone to a lot of health issues due to their tiny size. Potential owners should be aware of this risk, and be prepared to pay some costly vet bills.

Deer head Chihuahuas won’t suit homes with small children or boisterous pets. These little dogs are very fragile, and need owners that can handle them with care and delicacy. Choosing a slightly larger dog can help you find a healthier option. But, to the right homes, a deer head Chi can be a good choice.

Deer Head Chihuahua Breeders

Some breeders specifically match parents with the longer deer shaped head. When you look for a deer head Chihuahua puppy you need to check with the breeder beforehand whether this is the type they are going for.

Good breeders health test all puppy parents, regardless of type. Your puppy should ideally have no family history of breathing problems, dental issues or joint problems. Expect the breeder to ask lots of questions, but in turn answer anything you should ask and willingly show you the parents’ health certificates. Make sure that the mother Chihuahua is friendly and confident, and that she seems in good health.


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