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Chihuahua Coat Colours

Chihuahua Coat Colours

Does Coat Colour Matter?

If you are looking to get a new Chihuahua you may be wondering what colour is the best. 

It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for a puppy or adult Chi, there are many things to consider and coat colour is just one of them.

Short and long haired Chihuahuas come in a huge array of coat colours and with one exception it doesn’t matter which colour you chose.  However, merle coated Chis are thought to have increased health risks due to the gene responsible for this colouring.

Merle Chihuahuas

This coat pattern was not found in Chihuahuas until the last couple of decades and many people feel that it only came about due to mixed breeding with other breeds.  If this is the case then buying a purebred merle Chi means it is not truly purebred.  Somewhere down the genetic line there is another breed in evidence.

More evidence of this theory is that most merle coated Chihuahuas are larger than average.  The thought is that this larger size is a recurrence of the genes from the larger merle breed which was used originally to start the merle coat.

The other problem with merle coated Chihuahuas is the increased incidence of deafness and blindness.  This has something to do with the merle gene whitening the coat and the pigment inside the ears and eyes.  Deafness and blindness can occur when only one parent is a merle so there is no safe way to breed this coat colour.

The health risks associated with this coat colour has led to many kennel clubs around the world banning this colouring from dog show competition.  The merle coat is not a recognized breed colour forcing breeders wishing to breed show dogs to stop breeding for this coat colour.

Other Coat Colours

Chihuahuas can come in five main colours:  black, chocolate, fawn, white and blue.  Among these colours there are numerous combinations of colours and markings.  A marked coat means a solid colour with a few markings or the face or body.  A splashed coat means patches of colour on a white body.

If you would like a black coloured Chihuahua there are a number of common variations to choose from.  Black and tan, black and white, black tricolour (black and tan with white markings) and black spots on white are the basic combinations.  Even within these combinations two Chihuahuas can look entirely different depending on the placement of the markings and the percentage of each colour present in the coat.  Black Chihuahuas have dark noses and eyes and have the advantage of not showing tear staining on their dark faces.

Chocolate or brown Chihuahuas are often classified as fawn depending on the darkness of their coat so owners can often get confused.  A good rule of thumb is that if your chocolate Chi has a black nose or toenails they are fawn because the chocolate gene blocks black pigment.

Chihuahuas in the chocolate classification have the same variations as those in the black group:  chocolate and tan,   chocolate and white, chocolate tricolour (chocolate and tan with white markings) and chocolate spots on white.

Fawn Chihuahuas can be cream, fawn, gold or red depending on the depth of the colouring.  There are also variations within this classification such as fawn with white.

Solid white Chihuahuas are quite rare and usually have some other colour marking or splashes on their coat.  They can also have a variety of nose and toenail colours ranging from black to pink to beige.

Chihuahuas classified as blue in colour are actually grey.  Some blue Chis are more prone to hair loss and because of this many breeders choose not to breed for this colour.

Most people chose their Chi because they fall in love at first sight.  Facial expression often wins out over any colouring involved.  Finding a Chi to welcome into your home depends on many factors but hopefully you have a better idea of available colours.


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