Deer Head Chihuahua: The Complete Breed Profile

If you are looking for a loyal yet feisty and protective little dog then maybe you should educate yourself on what Deer Head Chihuahuas are all about. These little yet confident dogs may not be suitable for inexperienced dog owners, but for those of you who have experience with dogs, they may prove a trustworthy and lovable companion.

As you may or may not know, this Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed in the world. Known for their sincere display of affection, Deer Head Chihuahuas have become extremely popular over the past couple of decades and have even enjoyed their fair share of television and media representation.

Although not the most sociable or friendly of dogs, these little pups get very attached to their owners and tend to stick very close to them at all times. Extremely confident despite their size, they rarely back off from danger or situations where they perceive any threats, which unfortunately means that you must always keep a close eye on the dog to ensure it doesn’t get into any trouble.

What Is A Deer Head Chihuahua?

While the exact origin of the Chihuahua breed is believed to be around the Mexican state of Chihuahua like the name implies, the exact origin of the Deer Head Chihuahua is still uncertain. What’s known is that the breed split into two seemingly separate but very similar breeds, one with the apple head and one with the deer head.

Interestingly enough, remains have been uncovered for both breeds dating back to thousands of years. So in a way, it is very hard to tell which of the two breeds came first, as both the recorded history of the Chihuahua breed and the genetic backdrop show that the breeds have been around for millennia in split form and with very few genetic differences between them.

There are some who believe that the split is the result of a cross between the Techichi and Chinese Crested dogs but it would be very hard to tell for sure. What’s important is that both Deer Head Chihuahua and Apple Head Chihuahuas share a similar genetic build and that they showcase the same biologic predisposition.

Deer Head Chihuahua vs Apple Head Chihuahua


As the name would suggest, this dog looks strikingly similar to a young deer, in the sense that it has a long muzzle and large ears with a slight slope at the stop. Because the ears stand upright and the dog has an otherwise thin body, people were quick to recognize the similarities between the dog and a young deer.

Another striking feature is the neck which is slightly arched, for the most part, sloping down into the shoulders and into a long back with a fairly long tail. The eyes of the dog are full, round, and dark in color for the most part, with brown being the most common. Interestingly enough, the dog rarely has a floppy tail and instead keeps it up for most of the time.

Height & Weight

A member of the ‘toy’ grouping of dogs, this small breed rarely grows more than 8 to 12 inches in size. This is somewhat of a standard for these types of dogs and you will rarely if ever see a Deer Head Chihuahua that’s larger than 12-inches in size and around 10 lbs in weight.

Then again, some people tend to overfeed the dog on account of its cute looks, which is very unhealthy for the dog long-term.

Bear in mind that Deer Head Chihuahuas have a longer and larger frame than the Apple Head. As for height, the dog can vary between 6 to almost 14 inches depending on the parents, the diet, and the general health of the pup. It is also possible for some of these dogs to be a bit smaller in regards to frame and height, which shouldn’t worry you as long as you take proper care of them.

Coat & Colors

A quick look at the breed will tell us that chocolate or liver are by far the most common colors for a Deer Head Chihuahua. This can alter to a fawn shade from time to time, although the commonality of brown and liver is fairly obvious. In some cases, Deer Head Chihuahuas can be silver, grey, black, or even white, but this only happens rarely and for subtle genetic reasons.

The coat of a Deer Head Chihuahua is usually short but it can also be long in some isolated cases. Even though the color and coat of a Deer Head Chihuahua may differ from one dog to another, the temperament is largely similar regardless of how the dog looks. There may be some misconceptions about this but they are definitely untrue considering the genetic heritage these dogs share.

Regardless of what coat type the dog has, Deer Head Chihuahuas require baths every three to four weeks. This is because the dog’s coat is quick to pick up dust and dirt on account of its thickness, and this has very little to do with the length of the hair itself.

Deer Head Chihuahua Breed

Deer Head Chihuahua Personality & Temperament

Despite their size, these little dogs are anything but cowardly, showcasing a confidence very few dogs have. You will seldom find such confidence and headstrong behavior even among the larger breeds, which needless to say, may cause a fair bit of trouble in the long run if left unchecked or if the dog isn’t socialized properly.

Now, the dogs may be feisty, saucy, and sassy by most accounts, but they also display a tremendous sense of loyalty and devotion. I’ve always heard stories of Chihuahuas defending their owners against larger dogs or wild animals and I can say with supreme confidence that this is common for Deer Head Chihuahuas as well.

One thing to point out is that they tend to latch onto a person in particular, which is usually the person that spends the most time with them. Even though these dogs aren’t as disciplined as larger breeds, they still try their absolute best to obey the tasks set forth by their owners.

Deer Head Chihuahua Behavior

These dogs are as loving as they are loyal, so in regards to behavior, you really shouldn’t worry about any behavioral problem if you train and socialize them properly. Due to their inquisitive nature, you will likely have to make sure they don’t accidentally slip through the door or get under your feet when you walk around the house.

Bear in mind that Deer Head Chihuahuas crave attention and love to be the focus of their owner’s affection. Also remember that they prefer to sleep close to the owner so even if you somehow train them to sleep away from you during the night, they will try their absolute best to get close to you either during the night or every time you sit down somewhere during the day.

It is important to point out just how playful these dogs are and how quick they are to switch between a sedentary disposition to a playful one at the mere sight of a toy. Now, because the dog usually bonds with a single member of the family, it may not react the same way if a family friend or a stranger initiates playtime.

Deer Head Chihuahua Temperament

Deer Head Chihuahuas suffer from small dog syndrome quite severely, so you must be extra careful whenever they are around other pets or larger dogs. Given their explosive temperament, they might easily anger larger, more aggressive dogs, which may, in turn, hurt them even by accident. Of course, obedience training helps a lot in this regard, but not all dogs respond the same way to training cues.

It should also be said that Deer Head Chihuahuas rarely get along with other dogs or even other animals per se. As they prefer to bond with one or two members of the family, they tend to ignore other dogs or cats or barely tolerate them if they have no choice.

You can avoid any potential problems by figuring out a sure way of stopping the dog whenever it gets anxious. We can’t tell you what the method is, unfortunately, because different dogs respond to verbal cues differently.

Deer Head Chihuahua Overview

Is A Deer Head Chihuahua A Good Family Dog?

Definitely not, no. While other dogs love socializing and engaging in playful behavior with anyone who would pay them any attention, Deer Head Chihuahuas are very peculiar in that regard. They usually mold their personality according to how permissive their owners are and tend to avoid interacting with anyone who they don’t 100% love and accept.

Needless to say, this may be quite a problem when it comes to children who tend to annoy dogs with or without their express intent. As we said, these dogs are quite feisty and will rather resort to an aggressive behavior rather than tolerating any misbehavior on the part of any person or animal they interact with. Seeing how clumsy most children are, it is only a matter of time until they manage to anger the dog in some way.

Try to understand that Deer Head Chihuahuas are also very loud dogs by all standards, and boy do they love to bark. In fact, they tend to exaggerate virtually any negative interaction, escalating it to the point of direct conflict. For this reason alone, these dogs make lousy family dogs, yet reliable and loyal companions for any single-person households.

Caring for A Deer Head Chihuahua

While the breed is fairly resilient in regards to physical damage, they can develop some pretty serious health problems if they’re neglected. In this respect, Deer Head Chihuahuas need constant care and attention, along with daily exercise and teeth brushing. Other than that, the dog requires lots of affection and personal interaction, otherwise, they might develop behavioral problems in the long run.

Exercise Needs

This is a high energy breed in the true sense of the word, meaning that they require regular exercise. Because of their small size, exercise can mean a few strolls around the street or a regulated and consistent playtime. Interestingly enough, these dogs also like playing by themselves, which is great for people who rarely have the time and/or energy to engage the dog themselves.

Because of the fact that these dogs are sensitive to extreme temperatures of any sort, you may need to take extra steps to protect them when the weather gets too cold. Speaking of which, remember to get them to exercise more during the winter as failure to do so, might result in a host of respiratory problems on account of the cold temperature.

Grooming & Shedding

No matter what type of coat your Deer Head Chihuahua has, you should rest assured that it won’t shed hair everywhere. As a matter of fact, Deer Head Chihuahuas rarely shed, and when they do, it’s usually a very small amount of hair.

Do try to give them a weekly brushing if you have the time, if not for your dog’s sake then at least to avoid stepping in hair from time to time.

Another important issue to address is that of their poor teeth. You see, they are prone to dental issues of a wide variety, so brushing their teeth on a daily basis is an absolute necessity if you want to avoid dental problems later on that is.

The brushing doesn’t have to be thorough or consistent, mind you, but strong enough to ensure that the dog showcases a reasonably decent dental hygiene standard.

Deer Head Chihuahua

Feeding & Diet

Deer Head Chihuahuas require a high protein feed in order to maintain their healthy coat and to avoid many of the health problems some of these dogs are born with. The amount is also very important as these dogs have quite the metabolism. You will, therefore, need to establish portions according to their size and weight and only feed them at regular hours.

You are advised to feed a Deer Head Chihuahua twice a day and only portions that reflect their overall size and weight. This is because Deer Head Chihuahuas are prone to weight gain along with a series of digestive issues and obesity. It is recommended that you feed your dog a standard of 400 calories per day, which is around a cup of kibble.

Known Health Problems

Despite how small and cuddly these dogs are, they tend to suffer from a lot of the issues that usually plague much larger breeds. It is the opinion of many experts that Chihuahuas have a high incidence of iris decay, sensitivity to light, and senile iris atrophy. So no matter how well you take care of the dog, it may still develop eye problems later in life.

One thing to remember is that small dog breeds are commonly susceptible to airway and breathing problems. As such, they can sometimes suffer from reverse sneezing and even tracheal collapse in some cases.

Not just that but many Deer Head Chihuahuas also suffer from periodontal issues and mandibular degeneration, which is definitely something to think about if you plan on getting a pup at some point.

How To Train A Deer Head Chihuahua

The first thing to realize when training a Chihuahua is how stubborn these dogs are. Although they understand what you’re trying to convey, they might still choose to ignore or disobey the instruction if they feel it might be too much of an inconvenience. In this respect, positive reinforcement usually works wonders provided that you take your time.

Also interesting is that these dogs rarely require any amount of mental stimulation. So in a way, you can substitute the physical training you would normally do with a good heap of alone time for the dog to play with its favorite toys.

It is also very important that you set clear boundaries for the dog when they’re a pup. This is because the dog tends to get quite feisty once it reaches adulthood, at which point it may even begin nipping or biting other people or pets.

Quick Breed Summary Table

Breed Information
Size 8-12 inches
Weight 10 lbs
Lifespan 14-16 years
Color Fawn, silver, white, black, and gray
Coat Either long or smooth
Shedding & Grooming Rarely sheds, requires weekly coat brushes and daily teeth brushing
Temperament Strong headed, feisty, saucy
With Other Pets They dislike other pets
People Skills Strong dislike for strangers
With Children Very bad with children
Exercise Needs Regular, about twice a day
Food High protein food, also kibble
Known Health Problems Susceptible to brachycephalic airway issues, senile iris atrophy, and obesity


Even though these dogs are small and inexpensive to keep, they require lots of grooming, exercise, and attention.

In many ways, their constant need for affection and attention makes them difficult dogs in many ways, the type you probably should avoid if you’ve had past experiences with more sociable dogs.

If, however, you live alone or with a partner, then a Deer Head Chihuahua might just be the perfect dog for you. Reason being that these dogs love to cuddle and show affection as often as you let them, thus proving the perfect companions for anyone who has a lot of love to give.

Considering how much they enjoy playing by themselves, you can also rest assured that neglecting the dog for a few hours will not have any negative impact on the dog’s behavior provided that it doesn’t happen too often.

Confident, affectionate, and very easy on the eyes, Deer Head Chihuahuas make the perfect companion for anyone living in a small apartment or house.

Caroline Jones

Caroline has been a dog lover since she was only 6 years old, when her parents got her a rescue Boxer. Since then her love for dogs has lead her to study Dog Behavior & Welfare. She now educates people on how to properly raise and care for dogs, through her online site, Bark Friend. Now, she's a proud owner of a beautiful German Shepherd.

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