The world of Chihuahuas is one of the most colorful worlds in the canine kingdom. Kennel clubs like the American Kennel Club usually recognize only a few colors in a certain dog breed. But when it comes to the Chihuahua colors palette, the sky is the limit. Kennel clubs welcome the unique color palette with open arms.
Here is a fun fact. The American Kennel Club says this about Chihuahua coat color options, “any color, solid, marked, or splashed”.
For those who want to register their Chihuahua in the AKC, there are 9 standard colors and 21 additional colors, combinations, and patterns.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the entire rainbow of Chihuahua colors.
History of The Breed
Chihuahuas have been subject to several misconceptions. These little charmers are native to Mexico. Yet, some people debate even that. Some experts have theorized that the puppies may have been brought from the island of Malta by the Spanish conquistadors. Other speculations claim they may have originated in China.
But most people accept the widely accepted theory that they originated in Mexico. The theory is that the Toltec people of Mexico kept a little dog known as the Techichi. This dog had a fat body and a large Chihuahua-like ears.
When the Aztecs came into power, the nobility owned these little dogs who were more than just companion animals. They were bred with the Xoloitzcuintli, a Mexican hairless dog. The eventual result was the Chihuahua we know today.
By the 1800s, people in the US began taking interest in the breed. It was in 1888 when James Watson, an author and a judge purchased a dog named Manzanita. Owen Wister, another author, imported a Chihuahua named Caranza, which was the dog that produced the famous bloodlines, Meron and Perrito.
Here is a fun fact. Most of the imports had long coats, not the now popular smooth coat.
In 1904, the AKC recognized the breed and registered the first Chihuahua puppy, a dog named Midget, owned by H. Raynor of Texas.
The Chihuahua Club of America was founded in 1923, with the sole purpose of developing a community of Chihuahua breeders and owners to further popularize the breed in the United States.
Difference Between Long Haired and Short Haired Chihuahuas
Nowadays, there are two types of Chihuahuas. You can find a long haired Chihuahua that has a longer fur and has a fluffier look. The short haired Chihuahua is the same breed, with the same size, temperament and health, but their coat length is shorter. The short hair Chihuahua has a smooth coat.
But no matter the length of the coat, these dogs can have any color. There is no difference in colors between long hair and short hair.
We also have to note, that Chihuahuas can have any color, no matter their shape as well. For those of you who do not know, the Chihuahua kingdom has apple head Chihuahua and deer head Chihuahua.
What Are Standard Chihuahua Colors?
For each registered dog breed, the AKC sets a breed standard. In that standard, the AKC sets breed info for size, temperament, appearance, coat color, and more.
For Chihuahuas, that info reads, “solid, marked, and splashed”. That means that all coat colors and combinations are acceptable.
Now, some colors are more common than others. Let’s take a look at all the possible Chihuahua colors.
What Is The Rarest Color For a Chihuahua?
White Chihuahua is arguably the rarest option around. An albino Chihuahua is not the same as a white one. Yet, both are the result of a lack of pigmentation.
Many Chihuahuas may have white in their coat. But a pure white Chihuahua is the rarest dog in the breed. Those without pigment, like albino and white, are more likely to be blind, deaf, and prone to sunburn.
A reputable Chihuahua breeder will never purposefully breed albino puppies because of the increased health risks. With that in mind, white is definitely the rarest Chihuahua color.
What Are The Common Chihuahua colors?
This might seem strange, but while pure black Chihuahua is rare, black is the most common and dominant color in the Chihuahua kingdom. You’ve probably never seen an entirely black Chihuahua.
Yet, of all the colors, black is the most commonly appearing in Chihuahuas. There are at least three dominant genes that result in solid black. Because black is so dominant, it is easier to breed compared to other recessive genes.
Chocolate is rarely an acceptable color for dog breeds. The reason is simple, the color comes from a dilute gene that washes out the black pigmentation.
Yet, with Chihuahuas, all colors are acceptable. For a Chihuahua breed to be considered chocolate, it should have a darker coat than those categorized as liver or brown. Some splashes of white and other colors are acceptable.
Due to the dilute gene, these Chihuahuas often have brown or beige noses, not the standard black nose.
The Pheomelanin pigment is the one responsible for the redness in the coat of Chihuahuas. Depending on the genetic interactions of parents, the result may be a range of colors.
Some have rich reddish-brown, very close to mahogany, while others have bright red coats with darker hairs.
This pigment only influences the color of the coat, so these dogs retain black noses, pawns, and eye rims. A red Chihuahua is also an adorable puppy.
When most people think of Chihuahuas, they think of a small, yellowish dog with big ears. This is the fawn Chihuahua, one of the most common Chihuahuas out there. Back in the day, Chihuahuas were referred to as little yellow dogs. The color has clearly dominated the Chihuahua kingdom for some time.
For most people, a cream Chihuahua might look like an almost white one. But they do retain some of the red color in their coat, giving the puppy a faintly apricot tinge resulting in a creamy huge.
They have a pale skin, but most have a black nose.
We also have to note that Chihuahuas change their color as they mature. A Chihuahua puppy may appear pure white before it gets older.
What Are Some Other Solid Colors?
Besides the five common Chihuahua colors, you may find solid color Chihuahua in other hues and patterns. Here are some more options.
- A blue Chihuahua is as rare as a blue Pitbull, a Blue French Bulldog, and similar blue-colored puppies. The blue color comes from two parents carrying the same recessive gene that dilutes the black pigmentation
- Gold Chihuahua can range from creamy color to a golden brown. These dogs have either a black or liver nose
- Silver Chihuahua is another option that happens due to the recessive dilution gene. Some people say that a silver Chihuahua is actually a color combination of gray and white hair. Yet, silver is listed as an accepted color by the AKC and other kennel clubs
- Chocolate Blue is one of the rare colors. To get this, both parents have to carry the dilute gene for black pigmentation, and the b allele that makes the black pigment appear brown. You might say that this combination is not even possible, yet, the AKC lists it as possible
Color Combinations for Chihuahua
Now that we looked at some of the common and rare Chihuahua colors, let’s take a look at the possible combinations and patterns.
- Black and tan are probably some of the cutest and most adorable, but they are not particularly common in the Chihuahua world
- Blue and tan is another rare combination
- Chocolate and tan Chihuahua is a combination where a puppy must have a tan-point allele in the Agouti gene and mutations in the B locus. Because it is quite rare, a tan and chocolate Chihuahua puppy may cost as much as $2,000
- Fawn and white Chihuahuas can have either liver or black noses, depending on the specific gene makeup
- Black and red is a commonly seen combination in dog breeds like Rottweiler or German Shepherd, but also in a Chihuahua
- Black and silver Chihuahua will stand out from the crowd due to the intensity of the silver color
- While some dog breeds are commonly seen in black-and-white combination, that is not common in a Chihuahua breed
- Chocolate and white is another adorable combination giving the pup an impression that it is made of milk and white chocolate. Add in the white chests and paws, and this dog becomes irresistible
- Red and white Chihuahua looks like a miniature Irish Setter
- Let’s finish off with the Blue merle Chihuahua, a dog that has a light coat with darker blue or black markings