Long-haired Chihuahuas, also known as “long coat” Chihuahuas, are one of two acknowledged breed standards by the American Kennel Club. Chihuahuas also come in the sleeker, smooth coat (or short-hair) variety. This is the appearance or look most people imagine when they think of this breed.
Teacup Chihuahuas also come with either long hair or the short, smooth coat as well.
Similarities between Short-haired & Long-haired Chihuahuas
Long-haired and short-haired Chihuahuas are genetically the same breed, and they both make great companions. They share all the advantages, appearances, temperaments, and challenges of owning a Chihuahua.
Both come in a vast range of color combinations, patterns, and markings. However, neither of them have achieved exclusive breed standard status because breeding for coat type cannot be done reliably from one litter to the next. Consequently, this allows for a beautiful and diverse range within the Chihuahua breed standard and gives you many options to consider when determining which Chihuahua puppy you want to add to your family.
A litter could consist of a full range of solid, splashed, sable, spotted, and marked pups of various colors to choose from. Quite a crapshoot.
The root of all differences between long-coat and short-coat Chihuahuas lie in their fur.
Differences between Short-haired & Long-haired Chihuahuas
Short-haired Chihuahuas have soft, fluffy puppy fur that grows short and coarse as they get older. They generally retain an even coat all over their body. Contrary to popular belief, they shed more than the long-haired variety. Their coats can range in texture from velvety to stiff and whiskery.
Long-haired Chihuahuas have a very fuzzy, downy fur as puppies that gives them an extra fluffy appearance. As they reach adolescence many long coat Chihuahuas undergo a ragged, scraggly phase informally known as ‘uglies’ that sometimes worries a new owner. This is a normal process where a long coat Chihuahua sheds its puppy fur to be replaced it with fuller adult fur. The process is much the same as when a human child loses their baby teeth to make room for their permanent teeth. It’s just a part of growing up! In fact, many dog breeds experience this “uglies” phase.
In a matter of months the pet has a full soft coat of fluffy adult fur, with longer fur at the fringe of the ears and on the tail. An undercoat of fine guard hairs further contribute to the fluffy and appealing appearance of the long-haired Chihuahua.
The longer fur can be misleading, however. Chihuahuas come from the hot region of Chihuahua, Mexico and are not genetically equipped to handle cold weather. Even long haired Chihuahuas need proper cover and protection. While long haired Chihuahuas shed less than the short haired variety, they still need to be brushed and washed regularly for cleanliness, to avoid matting, and reduce the potential for allergies.
A Note About Allergies & Dander
Many people have dog allergies, which are caused by pet dander. Reactions can range from sneezing to emergency room care depending on the person. Chihuahuas shed all year round, leaving fur, dander, and other allergens everywhere. Some people find they are more allergic to one kind of fur over another, though that depends on the person.
Before getting a Chihuahua, a potential new owner with allergies should spend time around both long coat and short coats to make sure they can handle being around the allergens. This will save great expense and heartache later if the buyer finds out about any allergic intolerance up front. Most breeders and shelters will allow people to spend time with their dogs to see if allergies will be a problem. The extra attention is good for socializing the dogs, too!
Regular grooming and vacuuming will help reduce allergic reactions by removing dander from the area. It is also important to train any dog to wait for a cue before jumping up and climbing on people to avoid accidentally triggering an allergic reaction. Also, brushing out long-haired Chihuahuas regularly after being outdoors will help reduce allergens from pollen and spores in addition to simply being a good preventative practice to ward off potential flea infestations.
Long-haired Chihuahuas make great pets with an adorable fluffy coat, though regular baths and brushing will be necessary to reduce shedding on furniture and clothes as well as to reduce allergens.
Also, since the teacup Chihuahua is simply a miniaturized version of the Chihuahua breed, you can also find teacup long haired Chihuahuas of various colors as well.