With choosing your next puppy there’s so much research going into the decision. Is the breed a good family pet, how much exercise, training, socialization is needed?
Once you settle on the breed you prefer, small breed, large breed, long coat, short coat, the choices are endless. But let’s say you have decided on a feisty little Chihuahua and you want a smooth coat. Now, what color and markings do you want?
Are You Looking For Chocolate Chihuahuas?
The fawn Chihuahua is the most common and well known, probably because of the dog’s many film roles. But the Chihuahua comes in an array of colors and it seems to the AKC (American Kennel Club), they are all acceptable. There are some rare colors, including pure white, solid black, lilac and brindle.
Is the color of your Chihuahua important? Yes, it is, because other than your preference, you’ll want to give the breeder some idea of what you want, then he can tell you if there’s any chance of those colors coming through, in the next batch of puppies.
You will need your new puppy’s specific color and markings to identify the dog when you register his pedigree.
Down the road, if you’re interested in entering your puppy into dog shows, then the color, isn’t important for that. The judges do not select a winning Chihuahua because of any special markings he may have.
Choose The Color Of Your Chihuahua
If you prefer a certain color, for example, chocolate Chihuahuas then speak to a reputable breeder and find out if their plans include breeding the chocolate or a variation, such as the chocolate merle Chihuahua.
Very experienced breeders know just what they’re doing when they pair two dogs together, in order to get the colors and markings they want. Kind of “tell me what color you want and we’ll find a pair that will produce it” scenario. Mother nature doesn’t always play ball though, so you still must wait and see.
The AKC recognizes 30 colors and 11 markings. That’s a lot, I don’t remember knowing of another dog breed with so many. Maybe you could let me know in the comments of any dog breed with more. That would make some fun research.
The chocolate Chihuahua will have brown fur, but it doesn’t stop there. If he’s a real chocolate-colored Chihuahua, it will depend on his skin color. The color of eye rims, his nose, his lips, and paw pads, all the skin in these areas will, in fact, be brown.
1. How Did All These Chihuahua Colors Come About?
As you probably know the Chihuahua originates from Mexico, but he might also have links to south, central, and North America. Which might go some way to explain why there are so many combinations of color and markings.
Here are four examples:
Tan markings – don’t always come with a solid coat. For example, a black and white Chihuahua could have some tan markings.
Black mask, white markings – you won’t see these markings often, but it’s when there is black marking around the nose and mouth, and a white chest. Again, there is no set coat color for this combination.
Kiss marks – these are small flashes of color on the dog’s eyebrows. They do not recognize them as an official marking. Even so, it gives the dog an expressive face.
Blue Chihuahuas – they are really a shade of black. But the skin coloring of their eyes, nose, lips and paw pads are blue.
2. Chihuahua Eye Colors
The AKC determine the eye color and they state, the eyes should not protrude, a round shape, set well apart and luminous dark or luminous ruby. In white or blond dogs, it’s permissible for light eyes.
A fault in the dog’s breeding would be blue eyes, different color irises, or more than one color in one iris.
Ruby eyes simply mean that in certain circumstances under special lights, the dark eyes of a Chihuahua will take on a red color.
3. Chihuahua Coat Color Changes
In many breeds, the color of the coat a puppy starts out with will transform. You’ll see this happen many times in the first year of a puppy’s life. For example, he might start out a dark sable and eventually turn out a creamy color, with some dark markings around his mouth, ears and nose.
Experienced breeders will give some wonderful insight into what the final result will be. So don’t take a puppy’s coat color as a given, speak to the breeder, they will surprise you at just how much his coat might change.
But by the time they pass their first birthday, it shouldn’t change much from there.
4. Do Chihuahua Coat Colors Affect Their Health?
Do the Chihuahua colors show genetic health issues? Certain markings might imply that it does. In effect, because the Chihuahua has such an enormous variation in colors and markings, it’s not really helping the breed’s reputation.
Some breed registries will not accept piebald or merle Chihuahuas because they believe those colors show the genetic eye and ear problems. Problems severe enough to induce deafness and blindness.
The Chihuahua is also a color-dilute dog and carries a recessive color gene. These dogs can suffer from Color dilution alopecia (CDA). This can cause hair thinning and prevalent in dogs with coat colors of blue and fawn. When they’re born it’s not noticeable, but once they reach 6 months old, it can become obvious.
The cause of CDA is unknown, but there is no cure for dogs that have it, and the hair will not grow back.
5. How Much Are Chocolate Chihuahuas?
Although the AKC doesn’t consider a solid chocolate Chihuahua a rare color, if it’s mixed with another color such as white or tan, then they will sell as rare markings. The price then can be set higher. They can sell a puppy with these markings for $1200 to $1500. A chocolate teacup Chihuahua might be even more expensive.
With such a huge choice of colors and markings, including chocolate Chihuahuas, it might be difficult to settle on an outright winner. But look on the positive side, with many dog breeds you don’t get to choose like this.
Think about the health considerations regarding some markings. But have an enjoyable time picking your favorite color scheme.
As a kid, I grew up with lots of dogs in my family. My earliest recollection was a Labrador mix called Bruce, and I must have only been about three years old.
When I was around seven, we began to move around frequently, so having a dog was very difficult until we adopted a baby long-haired Dachshund. I was thirteen by then. We called him Pepe; I have no idea why; all I can say was it wasn’t my idea. But he did seem to grow into the name.
I’ve personally been the parent of a Great Dane called Lady, a French Bulldog we called Spike. I have also had the privilege of being the parent of one of the gorgeous cats on the planet; a British Blue Shorthair called Ellie. Right now, we have an amazing little Havanese in our family; we call Biscuit; he’s four years old.
I pride myself on being the very best dog-parent I can be. I refuse to bring a dog into my life without investing as much time as possible to understand that dog’s particular needs. Every dog I have parented has been an experience, and they are all different with incredible personalities.
To understand dogs as much as possible, I have taken several courses regarding dog care and training. The most recent course is The Truth About Cats And Dogs, offered by The University Of Edinburgh.
My dogs and cat have been the funniest and most unique animals I have ever been privileged to spend my life with. They can teach human beings so much if we take the time to watch and listen to them. My ambition is to share what I have learned with other passionate dog lovers.
I am obsessed with writing and researching everything I can about dog health, care, psychology, and finding the best dog products available to help ensure a dog’s life is as happy and contented as possible.