The apple-head chihuahua is a type that confirms with the American Kennel Club (AKC) standards. This story includes all the facts you need to know about apple-head chihuahuas.
History of the Chihuahuas
We're all aware of how the chihuahuas were named after the Mexican province of Chihuahua, having originated in the region. Additionally, an accepted theory is that Chihuahuas are descendants of the Techichi, a companion dog favored by the Toltec civilization in Mexico.
Chihuahuas are toy breeds, and are among the smallest breed of dogs recognized by some clubs. The breed is known to be both, short-haired and long-haired. Another variation exists, pertaining to the shape of the dog's head―it can be apple-shaped or deer-shaped.
The AKC guidelines only acknowledge apple-head chihuahuas to be conformationally acceptable. Apple-heads are easily recognized due to their apple-shaped skull―it is protuberant on the top and tapers towards the jaw line.
There may be a slight depression on the top of the head, precisely resembling an apple―this part is referred to as the molera, which is a membranous gap between the bones of the cranium.
Deer heads, as the name suggests, have a flatter skull and a longer muzzle compared to apple heads. Basically, the shape of their head resembles that of a deer.
► AKC recognizes two varieties of the chihuahua―long-haired and short-haired. Official breed specifications include weight restrictions, but do not mention height requirements.
► The average height ranges between 6 - 9 inches. Specification standards in America dictate that the dog should not weight more than 6 lb. These standards are applicable only in case of show dogs and not companion dogs.
► A chihuahua's eyes are its best feature―they are large, round, and very expressive. The ears are erect and sit high upon the dome-shaped skull.
► Their coat, whether long or short, can be velvety-smooth or slightly rough. It takes about three years for the long-haired ones to completely grow their coat. Long-haired chihuahuas do not shed a lot, and require minimal grooming.
► Common colors are fawn, red, cream, chocolate, brown, mixed, white, and black, and are seen in a variety of patterns, including solid, spotted, or splashed.
► Chihuahuas are pocket-sized firecrackers, known for their spirited personality. They usually become attached to one person in the family, and can be fiercely protective about them.
► Owing to their size, these dogs do well in apartments, although they do love to run around and play.
► They live up to their 'lap dog' reputation, and love to curl up in the lap of their favorite person.
► Chihuahuas are rather delicate pets who need to be handled carefully. They are therefore unsuitable for small children.
► These dogs are little bundles of energy, and need up to 20 - 30 minutes of exercise every day. They also get bored easily, and may resort to destructive chewing to pass time.
► Chihuahuas require behavioral training to help them socialize, since they are not the friendliest dogs out there. They also have a snappy temper, which can be controlled through the right kind of training.
► They are alert and inherently suspicious, which makes them good watchdogs, but their size also means that they cannot exactly become guard dogs.
► This breed does not have too many health concerns, but may be born with or acquire certain ailments. Ensure that you pick a breeder who can provide health clearances for patellas and heart conditions.
► The life expectancy of a chihuahua can average between 15 - 18 years.
► These dogs thrive in warm weather, and are not too happy when it gets cold. Always wrap them in a blanket or a sweater to keep them from shivering.
► Their ears can be prone to earwax buildup and dry skin. This should be checked regularly.
► Obesity is a major concern for chihuahuas, as their compact size can vastly affect their mobility. Therefore, always monitor their diet, and ensure that they are never overfed.
► The 'molera' or the soft spot in their skull eventually fills out with age. However, immense care needs to be taken until the first six months, when the dog's head is in a very fragile state.
► Chihuahuas are considered susceptible to hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Pet keepers are recommended to carry a prescribed sugar supplement or even honey to use during emergencies.
► Symptoms of hypoglycemia include lethargy, sleepiness, low energy, uncoordinated walking, unfocused eyes and spasms of the neck muscles or head pulling back or to the side, fainting, and seizures.
► Their protruding eyes may be prone to injury and incessant watering. Ensure that the eyes are regularly wiped clean throughout the day.
If you're looking for a pocket-sized firecracker kind of a dog, your search ends with the chihuahua. It may be a toy breed, but is certainly big on personality.