Deer Head Chihuahua: What To Know Before Buying

The Deer Head Chihuahua is a big dog with a very small body.

This little dog is confident, sassy, and a bit feisty.

New dog owners can keep them, but someone experienced in keeping dogs with attitude is the best fit for this breed.

Like all Chihuahuas, they do not make a good pet for a family with young children.

These little pups are ready to tackle the world and keep you safe.

What is a Deer Head Chihuahua?

Classified as a toy breed, the Chihuahua’s history is shrouded in mystery.

Some of the first Chihuahuas have been found with the Aztecs, so it is thought that Aztecs were the ones to first breed this dog all the way back in the 1500s.

Even back then, the Chihuahua was bred as a companion dog. It was not until the early 1900s, when the Chihuahua first gained AKC recognition, that it split into two varieties: the Deer Head the Apple Head.

The Deer Head is typically larger than Apple Heads (more on this later).

This is not the type of dog for country life or a family with children. Instead, they make the perfect companion for someone in an apartment.

They do not need a lot of exercise or mental stimulation, and if they have a short coat, grooming is minimal.

  • Overview: Toy Group
  • Purpose: Companion
  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Size: 8-12 inches
  • Temperament: Feisty, High-strung and Confident

Deer Head Chihuahua Appearance


Their face is often described as looking like that of a young deers – this is how they got their name. The Deer Head Chihuahua has a long muzzle, large ears and their stop (the area between the muzzle and the forehead) has a slight slope.

Ears stand upright, and they have long legs and a thin body.

Their eyes should be full, round, and dark brown in color. Their neck should be slightly arched, sloping down into lean shoulders and a long back, with a long tail that should be held up over the dog. Deer Head Chihuahuas should never have their tail hanging low.

With this pup you have a quick moving, compact little dog, with a dominant expression.

8-12 inches10 pounds


For this type of Chihuahua the most common color you will see will be fawn or various shade of chocolate or liver.

However, they can come in any shade that normal Chihuahuas come in. Although silver, grey, black, or white are more common for Deer Heads. Merles and other more diverse colors are more common with Apple Heads.


Their coat can be either short or long.

For short-haired, a good brushing once a week is enough. Whereas long-haired dogs need to be brushed about three times per week.

Both varieties will need a bath every three to four weeks.

Short-haired tend to shed a bit, while long-haired shed even less.

7 Fun Facts About The Deer Head Chihuahua

Deer Head Chihuahua

  1. They are one of the oldest dog breeds, dating back to the 1500s.
  2. Chihuahuas are the smallest dog breed in the world.
  3. They are the unofficial state dog of Arizona.
  4. It was once believed that they could cure asthma.
  5. They make excellent watch dogs.
  6. Wild packs of Chihuahuas roam throughout Arizona.
  7. Chihuahuas used to be gifted in bouquets of flowers.

Deer Head Chihuahua Personality and Temperament

Chihuahua and Toys

They are a lively, alert and confident little dog.

Deer Head Chihuahuas often do not realize just how small they are and their boisterous attitudes make that well-known. They are extremely prone to small dog syndrome, so it’s important to treat your Deer Head like a dog, not a child.

Proper obedience training will help a lot with this.

They love to play, whether with you or by making up a game themselves. When they are not curled up under a blanket with you, they are often running around the house, tackling their toys.

Because of their size, keeping a Chihuahua with bigger dogs can be an issue. They also do not typically get along with other dogs well, although they do love fellow Chihuahuas. Special care needs to be taken to ensure they do not get hurt playing with any bigger dogs.

Unfortunately, they feel the same way about other pets. Although with plenty of training and hard work, you can teach your Deer Head to tolerate pets like cats.

This pooch will only bond with one member of the family, so do not expect your dog to be affectionate with everyone in the household. Their favorite will be the one who cares for them the most.

The Deer Head Chihuahua is quite the barker, making them a great watch dog. They do not howl, but they will bark at everything. This is great if you want something to alert you to someone at the door, but can be an issue if living in an apartment.

Other than being extremely playful and a little bit bossy, expect to always have to check underneath blankets or covers before sitting down. These little dogs love to burrow, so instead of getting a dog bed, give them a pile of blankets to make them happy.

Is A Deer Head Chihuahua A Good Family Dog?

Unfortunately the Deer Head Chihuahua does not make a good family dog. They are not a good dog for children, and typically will only bond with one member of the family.

Caring for a Deer Head Chihuahua

Female Deer Head Chihuahua

Exercise Requirements

Although they are considered a high energy breed, exercising a Deer Head Chihuahua is easy due to their small size. A quick walk around the block coupled with some play inside is enough to keep them satisfied for the day.

Often they will play by themselves, making it even easier on you, although they won’t mind if you join in on the fun. Make sure you provide a couple of rope toys, some chews, and a few squeaky toys, and your dog should do most of their exercising for you.

One important thing to note is that this breed does not handle the cold well at all.

If you are in a colder area, you will need to purchase coats for your Chihuahua to wear outside. Walking your Chihuahua in weather below 35 degrees Fahrenheit should be avoided.

  • Number of Walks Per Day: 1.
  • Total Exercise Needed Per Day: 30 minutes.

Grooming and Shedding

Short Haired Chihuahuas do not shed often and just need a weekly brushing.

Whereas Long Haired Chihuahua shed a bit more, and require brushing about three times a week. Both varieties need bathing about every three weeks.

Brushing their teeth every day is necessary since Deer Head Chihuahuas are prone to dental issues.

Feeding and Diet

Making sure your Deer Head Chihuahua has the correct food and is eating the right amount is very important. The best dog food for this toy breed are nutrient-dense formulas with a smaller serving size.

Give your Deer Head Chihuahua a high protein feed to ensure they get the proper nutrition, as well.

Splitting their daily food into two meals throughout the day is best. Make sure to get something high protein, and also small enough for your dog to eat. Deer Headed Chihuahuas are also prone to weight gain, so make sure you do not feed them too much.

Calories Per Day:Cups of Kibble Per Day:

Known Health Problems

  • Molera (also known as a soft-spot) can occur.
  • Patellar luxation.
  • Cardiovascular problems are also common.

If you’re like most dog parents (or parents-to-be), you care for your pet immensely. Having pet insurance could save you from the headache of going to the vets with reimbursement for every vet bill from now on!

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Exam fees are included, which saves you around $50-$250 per sick visit.

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PetPlan covers injury and disease in every adult tooth — not just the canines.

Breed Specific Conditions

Not all providers cover hereditary conditions linked to breed. PetPlan does.

How Long Does A Deer Head Chihuahua Mix Live?

They usually live for around 14-16 years.

How Much Does A Deer Head Chihuahua Mix Cost?

$400-1,200 dollars per puppy.

How to Train a Deer Head Chihuahua

A Deer Head Chihuahua

As always, positive reinforcement is the best method for dog training.

However with Deer Head Chihuahuas, a certain amount of patience is necessary. Although easily trained, these are still very stubborn dogs. So despite their small size they need to have a firm owner to prevent problems from developing later in life.

They are not the friendliest dogs, so early socialization is a must. Introduce them with as many people and different animals as you can when they are young.

These pups do not require a ton of mental stimulation. Instead they are more than happy to keep themselves busy playing with whatever toys or chews you provide.

It is also important to lay down boundaries with them when they are young. A young Deer Head Chihuahua that is allowed to get away with things will turn into a much bigger problem the older it gets, and often will even become destructive.

These dogs usually do not take to strangers very well either, and will often nip or bite.

Buyer’s Guide


Great in an apartment.
Do not handle the cold well.
Good watch dogs.
Need careful handling (can be fragile).
Easy to care for.
Typically bond to one person in the family.
Have a long lifespan.
Hard to housetrain.
Can travel very easily.
Love to bark.

Quick Breed Summary Table

Breed Characteristics
Size:8-12 inches
Lifespan:14-16 years
Coat:Long or smooth coat
Color:Fawn is most common, but also silver, white, black, and gray
Do They Shed:Yes, although not a lot
Temperament:Feisty, confident and strong headed
Intelligence:Short attention span
Socialization:Needs teaching at an early age
Destructive Behavior:They are prone to being very destructive if not trained
People Skills:Standoffish with anyone not in their family
Good with Children:Can be hit and miss
Activity Levels:High energy, but easy to exercise


Generally speaking Deer Head Chihuahuas are a very easy to care for breed.

Not a lot of effort is needed to make sure that this dog is as healthy and happy as can be.

They are a feisty, confident breed, so make sure to always keep them on leash and watch them around other dogs. Deer Head Chihuahuas do not realize how small they are, so you need to make sure that they do not try to start any fights.

Although they are high-energy, a quick walk around the park and a game of tug inside is plenty.

If you are a busy person living in a small apartment or small house, then the Deer Head Chihuahua is right up your alley.

About Thomas Woods 224 Articles
Thomas has been a dog lover since he was 6 years old when his parents got him a rescue Labrador. Since then his love for dogs has lead him to study Animal Behavior & Welfare. He now keeps a six year old English Bullmastiff and educates pet parents through his online publication Perfect Dog Breeds.


  1. I just rescued a Deer Head Chihuahua. This article describes him perfectly. Excellent information for anyone who is thinking of getting a Deer Head Chihuahua.

  2. My rescue Deer-headed is very impatient on walks as I take nature photographs, and she wants to get going! She walks miles and miles and rarely asks to be picked up and if so, not for long.

  3. I got my deer-head mix female 1/2020. She is very sweet & loves our family Maltese-mix & grandkids & anybody who comes in.. she’s very friendly. Not a great eater,very picky but she’s in perfect health & looks gorgeous! Summer was way too hot so she has been pee pad trained since I got her when she was about 8 wks old. So I’m very lucky & all in all she’s GREAT, I highly recommend Deer-Head Chi’s!

  4. I’ve had a deer headed chihuahua for 111/2yrs my family and I could’ve not asked for a more wonderful animal.Blue has bonded with everyone in my family including my 5 grandchildren he plays with my pit and our cat he actually gets along with all other animals.We wouldn’t trade him for the world it’s been a great experience

  5. My deer head Chihauhau Pom/Min Pin just died. He was 14 years old. A real lovable handsome boy. I will miss him forever. Yes he was exactly as described in your article. He thought he was the boss. He had a big bark for a small dog. Hated big dogs and children that were running but was friends with small dogs his size. He made a big dent in my heart.

  6. My chihuahua is very friendly to all people, is great with my young kids, and is good with other big dogs too. Maybe she’s an anomaly ??‍♂️

    • My chi who I’ve have only around 6 mo.she is 8 mo. Old doesnt like the leash . Constantly pulls always in hurry. does walk some on it . I’m lucky if she goes a block before gets stubborn and just lays down . good side she is very friendly , excited to play. Loves to cuddle has been pretty good training it’s been slow but , it’s moving forward . Teeth “over bit ” problem I guess it’s hereditary . What is a good pet insurance. She has had her baby bottom teeth out they were making a good indent in gums permanent lower teeth need to come out in Nov

    • My deer head Chi, Nacho, we had from 8 weeks old. He was my first baby 10 years ago, loved everybody and adored babies and kids. He was an outstanding guardian for both my babies when they were newborn. He wanted nothing but cuddles from anyone who would give him the slightest bit of attention, and got on really well with my pekalier when we got her 4 months after we got him. We sadly had to rehome them together almost 3 years ago as my pekaliers attitude and demeanour completely changed towards me when I was pregnant, (she became aggressive towards me) and she kept baring her teeth at my daughter once she was born, so we couldn’t take the risk. I would have kept my Chi in a heartbeat, but they had been together forever and wouldn’t have coped being apart. Happy to say they went to a fantastic home where they are very loved, but we do miss them terribly.

  7. My tricolored deer head was a wedding gift for my fiancé and I. But due to his hours and me staying at home in college she has definitely grown more accustomed to me. Though she does know she her daddy is.!

  8. First of all I like the article. I recently rescued a deer head Chihuahua from a shelter a year and a half ago. ( Yoda ) was eleven years old when we adopted him. He was given up by his previous owners because they didn’t have time for him no more. Can’t imagine doing that anyhow he is my LOVE of my life he has attracted himself to me and my daughter . He has health issues but that’s why we have a steady Doctor to take care of these issues. And articles like yours to help ( thank you ) for sharing

  9. I just rescued a Deer Head. She is 4m old. I am pleased to read all this. We have many adventures ahead of us. Again, thank you.

    • I am looking for a deer head Chi/Fox Terrier mix . I just lost my lil nugget due to heart failure at only 9years. Sooo unexpected. I must have another. They are the best breed in my book however I seem to be doing circles online. Anyone know any Taco Terrier Breeders or where I might get one?

    • My deer head Charlie was the love of my life too. I had him for six years and he was about 9/mo-1 yr. when I got him. Just lost him to a tragic accident a week ago and I’m just devastated! Rescued from the streets of my city. We were inseparable! He howled whenever he heard sirens of police or fire trucks/ambulances. I will definitely look for another deer head when I’m through grieving for my Charlie. ❤?❤

  10. I have had my female Chihuahua for 3 years now. She was used for breeding purposes only. She is a wonderful dog, very pretty, and loves her big brother who is a Corgi. She knows her place and always let’s her brother go first. Love this darling chi-chi.

  11. I love my deer head Chi. She is a rescue & almost exactly what you described. We think kids must have been mean to her in her past cause she hates kids. She loves my husband & I & tolerates my 17 year old. She growls at every until she sees my husband or I interact with them. Then she’s OK. Very loyal to us & we love her so much.

  12. I have recently been adopted by a Deer Head. I’m guessing he’s about 8 months old. He’s exactly how you describe the Breed. I’ve only had large breed dogs. So I’m getting used to him as he is training me. I have always considered a pet in my life as one who considers me his PEOPLE.
    This little Guy has won my heart and I look forward to Many adventures and years of companionship. Thanks for the Great Article.

    • I too have a deer head Chihuahua. She is a little over 5 monThs. For the life of me I can not get her to walk with a leash. She also gets mad really easy and off on a run thru my apartment making a mean noise at me. I think it’s hilarious. She is every bit stubborn. Any advice about the leash

  13. Since my mother died I am takung care of her 6 year old Shi, Tuti (that means “little darling” in Malay language.) It has been 2 years now and though we had Boxers in the past, she is the love of my life! She accepts my girlfriend-partner but bonded strongly with me (knew me from puppy days on). But boy, is she shedding! Always has been. The vet says that Chi’s do… But you deny it in your great article. Enjoyed reading it, so true!
    Thank you for sharing! Love from The Netherland?

  14. Great article, vert informative, we just got 12 weeks Chi & behaves same as explained in this article except for dislike towards children. He is very active playful and we expect lot of joy for years to come !!!!

  15. I have a 1 1/2 yr old male deer head Chi. Got him when he was 7 months old. I love, love him so much. He never meets a stranger, but I am the one whose lap he sits on. We have a fenced in backyard and he loves going out. He lets me know when he is ready to come back in by howling. I was surprised when your article said they don’t howl. I haven’t come across anyone else that has heard of them howling. I liked your article.

  16. Yes we just recently adopted a deer head chi named Meko and he is 4 months old and full of energy and loves to chew on all things me especially. He loves his daddy who is the disciplinary and he laughs at me trying to discipline him because he thinks I am his play toy.He is Teething and I will be glad when ? he has his grown boy teeth.But I love him to pieces and I get to kiss him when he gets sleepy and not trying to chew on me.

  17. I have a 9 year old Deer head named Nala. We can leave her unattended with kids…Unless the child has food, she would just steal it. I live with my wife and her family and already have 3 dogs ( 1 big, 2 small) and she loves to play with them and never have any issues with them. Only problem I have with her is she “ONLY” listens to me and sometimes my wife. But when I’m at work she acts like a brat with family.

  18. This article was very helpful and so are the comments. I’m hoping to adopt or should I say rescue and nine year old that was recently abandoned. Looking forward to what I’ve had dogs of all sizes

  19. Our Shadow is just as you described: confident, feisty but also loyal. She is an ideal companion for us. Thank you for this article!

  20. Two months ago, I adopted two Reindeer Chi’s from Humane Society…..Bonded sisters, so scooped both up! They are 5 and 7yrs…..trained, in great health and have been so loving and silly, I can’t believe them…..Very lucky with these two gals, I’m grateful to have so much love and THEY seem to be over the moon to be in MY life….Thanks for your wonderful information, it is truly appreciated!!

  21. Powered your head Chihuahua came from a situation of horrible abuse. It took him a while to come out of his shell. A year ago I thought he hated me and only wanted to bond with my partner. I am big and loud. I have a deep voice. It took him a while to bond with me. But when we got him a year ago I could not imagine how much I love him. I think it took him a few months to realize he wasn’t going to get any more beatings and he has become spoiled as can be. He has a very tiny body and a very big personality. Also he will not eat anything that he thinks is dog food. If you put it in his dog bowl he will not eat it. It was a battle of wills with him to eat dog food and he won. I feed him brown rice and chicken. And if I won’t take a bite he won’t either. He actually prefers to be fed by hand. Because he nearly starved himself to death when we first got him I have spoiled him by the hand feedings. It seems to be the only way he will eat. He will not eat anything unless he sees you eating it first. He is so very sweet. He gives sweet kisses all the time and he loves sitting in my lap watching television. If he sees a dog on TV he will start barking. We have come a long way from him tinkling on the floor from fright when I reached down to pet him. His personality is evolving because of the abuse he received but he is pretty much dead on the description you have given. The only thing that I might add is that he has started trying to talk. If he is excited or something he will start trying to talk to you in this little voice that is neither a bark or a whine. The one thing I would caution you about is that he can be aggressive and unpredictable. Although he can usually be trusted off of the leash to go outside if he sees another dog or wild animal she will start chasing it until I scream at him and yell no. We were just discussing that we’re going to have to put him back on a leash when he goes outside because a month ago he went for the lawn mowing dude. And about 3 days ago he was outside without a leash and saw the neighbor’s dog across the street and ground and ran right out at front of a car. I yelled at him and then he came straight back but not before he had run out in front of a car. He can be very unpredictable and he is going to have to go back on a leash. But he is the perfect boy in every way. And he adores children but they must wait for him to approach them. A chihuahua is a sweet angel of a dog but I do not reccomend them to anyone who is not experienced with dogs. They can be very unpredictable.

  22. I just acquired a deer head from a shelter. She came with a lot of issues including alopecia, dirty ears and missing teeth and nails longer than I’ve ever seen on a dog. Took her to my veterinarian and we are in the process of straightening out her problems. Everything she’s been through,she’s a little trooper and at 72 and not being able to handle a big dog anymore, she’s my sidekick. I love her hair or not. We will survive! Together!

  23. My granddaughter was given a deer headed Chi and she lives in an apartment and Sofia loves the outdoors. I live in the country with 3 dogs and 4 cats and she gets along with all of them. Sofia has a huge personality and never meets a stranger. She is a very picky eater and hates a leash but I can live with that being so lucky with her good qualities. She definitely loves to burrow and loves to dress up in her coats. She takes hearts everywhere she goes.

  24. I have 2 5.5 years old. Almost everything in an article is correct. I found out they bark on a big dogs when on a leash, but in a dog park they friendly with everybody. They love to walk and run a lot, we are going to off-leash park and having a long walks. They don’t like to swim, but if not push them, they may go to water by themselves. Don’t play with any toys after 1 year. They like to eat everything 🙂

  25. I now have sole custody of my deer head chi. He is the best bundle of attitude in a dog I’ve owned. This breed description is so accurate he makes me laugh all the time. I’ve had large dogs all my life and he’s only small in statute Thanks Buddy

  26. My Deer-head is a year and a half now and a wonderful dog. He is my hiking buddy and has completed 9 mile hikes with me. He is large, about 15 lb. His best friend here is a Maine Coon cat. I am finding myself really liking the breed, he’s one of the best dogs I’ve ever had

  27. We just had to say goodbye to our 17 year old ChiPin, 1 1/2 mos ago. The hardest decision to make as she was so perfect even till the end. She had a liver tumor. I am still shocked at the level of grief I feel. We are not in the position to get another dog right now because of work, but I would hands down do another ChiPin. She was the sweetest

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