If you’ve decided that the Chihuahua is the right dog breed for you and you’re starting to research the breed in detail to know what you’re getting into and are beginning to look around to find a Chihuahua breeder to pick a puppy from, you have a lot of decisions to make!
While some puppy buyers aren’t particularly bothered about things like the colour or sex of their puppy, instead preferring to assess each pup individually until the right one presents itself, others have very specific ideas about what they want in their future pet.
When it comes to the coat of the Chihuahua puppy you eventually end up buying, even if the colour isn’t important to you, you should definitely research and decide upon whether or not you’d like a long haired or short haired Chihuahua. This is because the care considerations and upkeep of these two very different coat styles are in turn very different; each has their advantages and limitations, which you need to find out about in advance.
Within the breed itself, the formal terminology for a shorthaired Chihuahua coat is smooth coated, and longhaired fur is known as the long-coated variant.
So, longhaired or shorthaired Chihuahua, or rather, smooth coated or long-coated Chihuahua: Which is better for you? Read on to find out what you need to know about Chihuahua coat types and how to make the right choice.
What should a short Chihuahua coat look and feel like?
According to the ideal descriptions within the breed standard, a short or smooth Chihuahua coat should be comprised of short fur in a single layer (so no undercoat) that lies smoothly and flat to the body.
The fur itself should be soft to the touch, and have a glossy sheen to it. A little more fur in terms of density should be found around the tail and the ruff of the neck.
Long haired Chihuahua fur can be either straight or slightly wavy, but this should never take the form of actual curls. The texture should be soft, not harsh or rough. Not all longhaired Chihuahuas have an undercoat, but this is preferred within the breed standard.
There should be feathering on the dog’s feet and legs as well as ears, and the hindquarters should have denser fur too, which are known as pants! The longhaired Chihuahua’s tail should be feathered and full, forming a plume when held up. Again, a ruff around the neck, the bigger the better, is considered desirable.
So, what are the advantages and disadvantages to choosing a Chihuahua with a short or smooth coat? First of all they’re low maintenance on the grooming front, as their coats aren’t prone to getting tangled and matted. They’re also easier to keep clean and wipe off after walks.
That said, the shorthaired Chihuahua actually tends to shed fur more heavily than the longhaired, and whilst this might seem like it wouldn’t be a problem as the dog is small and the fur short, their shedding can be prolific enough to be an inconvenience.
Their shorter coats also mean they are apt to feel the cold more than longhaired Chihuahuas, and need a rather larger wardrobe for colder weather and to begin wearing it earlier in the year. They’re also apt to be more vulnerable to sunburn.
Longhaired Chihuahuas will tend to get muckier when out on walks than shorthaired ones, and because their fur is longer they can be a bit more difficult to clean up. They do also need more or less daily grooming to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained and to stop tangles from forming, but they’re not actually that much hassle to groom as their fur is not overly thick or curled.
That said, you do need to ensure you get right down to the skin when grooming and also to pay attention to the denser and so, harder to brush areas.
Longhaired Chihuahuas tend to shed fur less heavily than shorthaired ones, but the hair is more noticeable when it does!
The longer fur means that this variant is moderately less likely to feel the cold, and they might be a little hardier than the shorthaired variant. However, there is not much in it as the longhaired Chihuahua still has rather fine fur that is not particularly dense, and so they will also need protection from the elements and a warm winter wardrobe too.
Ultimately, whether the longhaired or the shorthaired Chihuahua is the right pick for you depends on a variety of different factors, including your own preference and which look you prefer. However, it is important to make sure you understand the difference in terms of care and management when it comes to the two different coat styles too.