Last Updated on December, 2023
What’s not to love about chihuahuas? The dog breed is adorable, family-friendly, and loyal.
So, your choice of breed is phenomenal.
But the real challenge is to choose the color, isn’t it? You wouldn’t want to get a chihuahua puppy only to see another puppy of your favorite color on your way back.
The solution for this is knowing everything about the subject.
We did the research and brought all that knowledge here. All you need to do is read through and make a choice.
Let’s see where your favorite color is on this list.
Chocolate, black, and fawn are the most popular Chihuahua colors.
Colors are determined by a combination of recessive and dominant genes and are affected by the genetic interactions of the parents.
Lighter-colored Chihuahuas may be better for families with small children due to their activity level and potential defensiveness.
Table of Contents
- Most Common Chihuahua Colors
- Other Solid Colors
- Combinations of Chihuahua Colors
- Best Patterns for Chihuahuas
- Respective American Kennel Club Codes for Chihuahua Colors and Patterns
- Which Chihuahua Color is Right for You?
- In Conclusion
- What’s the Rarest Chihuahua Color?
- Is it Easy to Breed Chihuahuas to Get the Expected Color and / Or Pattern?
- Are White Markings Registered in the American Kennel Club?
- How Much Does a Chihuahua Puppy Cost?
- Are There Albino Chihuahuas?
- What is a Piebald Chihuahua?
- Can I Find Ethical Chihuahua Puppy Breeders at the Chihuahua Club of America?
- How Many Colors Does a Chihuahua Have?
- Are Chihuahuas With White Markings Bi or Tri-Colored?
Most Common Chihuahua Colors
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), chocolate is a standard color.
That has certainly helped the color become one of the most popular chihuahua breed colors.
The source of the chocolate hue is a dilute gene that washed out the black pigmentation.
More specifically, it’s because of the B locus’s black allele (B) mutation.
The black allele is also responsible for the brown and liver colors.
At first glance, you might confuse a brown coat with a chocolate one. But the chihuahua’s coat is darker than brown and liver chihuahuas.
Don’t be discouraged if there are some white splashes here and there; they’re still chocolate chihuahuas. But remember, it’s not the same when they have white marks on the coat.
As a unique feature, chocolate chihuahuas usually have brown or beige noses, not solid black. The reason is earlier mentioned, washing away the black pigmentation.
Don’t be surprised if you don’t come across a chocolate chihuahua easily; they are a bit rare.
Solid black is a very popular chihuahua color. But similar to chocolate chihuahuas, the challenge is to find a solid black chihuahua puppy.
Despite the color’s rarity, solid black is an accepted color by the AKC.
Black is a dominant color in chihuahuas and comes in both short and long-haired.
It’s common to find almost-pure-black chihuahuas with few splashes of other colors, such as white or some chihuahua markings.
That commonness lowers the color of a black chihuahua puppy with a few splashes.
But as mentioned earlier, solid black chihuahuas are rare. Here’s the reason for that.
It requires at least three dominant genes to produce a pure black chihuahua puppy. It would have been borderline impossible had the genes been recessive. Nonetheless, breeders struggle to get that jet-black color.
Fawn is the most popular chihuahua color, period. In fact, the color used to represent the breed back in the time.
That’s not all — the fawn chihuahua was also referred to as the “little yellow dog” in the past.
These reasons justify how common and popular the color is.
You will usually find a fawn chihuahua with a coat of varied color saturation. This saturation can fluctuate between a darker red-yellow to a lighter cream-ish yellow.
Not just the coat, but even their noses can be a bit cream-ish brown or black.
At first glance, a fawn chihuahua puppy would seem like a baby deer, like “Bambi.” The main reason is their head shape. Some fawn chihuahua puppies will have the deer head, which has a unique V shape. This is the most common type.
However, AKC exclusively accepts only chihuahuas with apple heads.
The source for all the bright red coats is the red pheomelanin pigment. Red is another standard chihuahua color that is very popular.
Similar to fawn chihuahuas, red chihuahuas too have a range of coat color variety. This can change from dark orange to brown orange.
While the pheomelanin pigment is the direct reason, the genetic interactions of the parents tremendously affect the coat color too.
That’s why it’s borderline impossible to find two identical red chihuahuas. That increases their uniqueness too.
The pheomelanin pigment only affects the chihuahua’s coat but not the skin. This independence of the pigment causes most red chihuahuas to have black paws and noses.
But it’s also not impossible to find a red chihuahua with a light red-brown nose due to genetic mutations.
Red chihuahuas usually belong to the short-haired chihuahua type. If not, they won’t have the distinctive red chihuahua look. As a rule of thumb, be sure to consult a reputed breeder.
Cream is yet another popular and attractive chihuahua color. It’s natural for someone who hasn’t seen a white chihuahua confuse it with a cream chihuahua.
But the ideally distributed light reddish coat gives a distinct cream-ish hue to these chihuahuas.
It’s very common to find long-haired chihuahuas of cream color. However, the white undercoat might diminish that apricot-looking tint.
That’s why the short-haired cream chihuahuas would look as if they have darker colors.
Cream chihuahuas are a result of a recessive red Pheomelanin pigment. But the red color gets very diluted within the gene and ends as cream. But a study also shows that this gene is a recessive red (ee) allele in the E Locus.
Remember, cream chihuahuas are almost always born as white chihuahuas with black noses and eye rims. The light apricot tinge appears as they grow older.
Finding a solid brown coat is rare, and the color is determined to result from recessive genes.
In fact, the brown gene modifies the eumelanin black pigment into its signature lighter brown shade.
In parallel, it’s common for brown chihuahuas to be interchanged with chocolate chihuahuas. Although chocolate is a standard chihuahua color, brown is not.
But remember, brown chihuahuas have a relatively lighter shade. In rare situations, you’ll find solid dark brown chihuahuas.
Another distinctive feature of a brown chihuahua puppy is its brown nose and light brown eyes. The reason behind this is the brown coat color genes. This gene is prone to be affected by other genes, like the dilution gene that produces lighter brown chihuahuas.
White is not a standard chihuahua color but is recognized by AKC with the color code 199.
Pure white chihuahua is the rarest on the list, and that increases their price on the market.
White chihuahuas aren’t the same as albino chihuahuas.
White coat in the chihuahuas results from the shortage of cells (melanocytes) that cause coat pigmentations.
Nonetheless, the Eumelanin makes the chihuahua’s eyes, eye rims, paws, and nose black. Gene mutations may exhibit pink noses rarely.
Remember, more grooming is required to maintain their white coat. Grooming is relatively higher when they are long-haired type.
In addition, white dogs are widely believed to be more prone to hearing problems than other colors.
It’s common to confuse white chihuahuas with cream or silver chihuahuas. If it’s an unethical breeder, they just might try to sell a cream or silver chihuahua for the price of a white chihuahua, as the puppies look the same.
The solution is choosing a reputable breeder.
Other Solid Colors
Blue coat isn’t a standard color but is recognized by the AKC with code number 037. Similar to white chihuahuas, a blue chihuahua puppy can be very expensive.
A blue chihuahua puppy is always bred by two parents having the same recessive gene. That is why the color is so rare.
You’d notice that this blue color is not similar to a bright blue color. The chihuahua blue color is a mixture of grey and dark, and light blue.
The reason for these blue coats is the dilution of the black pigmentation gene.
Blue chihuahuas are expensive due to another reason; rare healthiness. Some kennel organizations don’t approve of breeding blue chihuahua puppies, as they can be unhealthy down the lane. You can only avert this risk with careful and responsible breeding.
Another unique feature of the blue chihuahua is the blue points such as the nose, eyes, paws, and eye rims. They might look black from afar, but the blue tint will be apparent upon closer inspection.
Silver is another popular chihuahua color. People seem to love the ideal mixture of grey and white with a slight glistening coat surface.
The reason is that the silver color is a result of the dilution gene.
The gene dilutes the black pigments beyond the gray and blue shades.
The coat of a silver chihuahua puppy quickly gains that tinge of whiteness over grey hairs as they grow. Finally, a shiny coat appears.
Silver is not a standard chihuahua color but is an acceptable color with a registration code.
But it’s common to confuse a silver chihuahua with a grey or blue chihuahua. The key to distinguishing is the shiny coat surface and the reassurance from the breeder. That’s why breeders play a critical role in getting the perfect chihuahuas.
If you’re a fan of fawn or cream colors, you’ll love the gold version of Chihuahuas.
Surprisingly, their color gene comes from the red pheomelanin.
But that’s just for the body as the pigment fluctuates the coat color between deep red and cream-ish gold.
Ideal gene interaction is the key to the perfect yellowish-gold coat color.
Gold is not a standard but an accepted color under code 091.
Eumelanin is also present in the bodies of golden chihuahua puppies.
It’s this pigment that makes the dog’s nose to be black or liver. Your gold chihuahua would end up with a light brown nose if there were a dilution of the Eumelanin.
But remember that a gold chihuahua is not a cross between a golden retriever and a chihuahua. That’s a Golden Chi; you’re looking for a golden chihuahua.
Combinations of Chihuahua Colors
11. Black and Tan
Black and tan chihuahua is one of the dog breed’s most attractive and recognized colors.
You’d get reminded of a miniature version of a Doberman when you look at one for the first time. That’s one of the reasons why they’re termed “Mini Dobbies.”
The black and tan chihuahuas have a body mostly covered in black.
The feet and some lower body parts will be a combination of tan or tan and white. The white would typically be on the chest.
But none of these color variations change the body type, except for the skull type, as we discussed earlier. So, how do you get a black and tan chihuahua puppy? For that, the parent must double the non-black allele in the K locus; that’s the first requirement.
The second requirement is for the same parent to have at least one tan-point allele in the Agouti locus.
You can simply ask about the K locus and the A (Agouti) locus from the breeder and know whether you’re getting an authentic black and tan chihuahua.
12. Black and Red
As we go, you’d see how black is one of the repeating base colors in chihuahuas.
One main reason is the dominance of the black pigment in most of these puppies.
Black and red is another combination where black dominates more. The redness of the black and red chihuahuas isn’t as strong as the color seen in red chihuahuas.
Black redness is closer to a darker tan or reddish chocolate.
Some argue that the reason is the powering down of the red pheomelanin with the black pigment present. But there’s no solid proof for the claim yet.
If the black & tan chihuahuas were mini dobbies, the black and red chihuahuas would appear as mini Rottweilers or German Shepherds. Of course, the skull shape would be different.
But when compared to the black and tan chihuahuas, the redness is more prominent in the black and red chihuahuas. That makes it easier to identify them.
13. Black and Silver
Black had about 70%-80% of color dominance in the first two combinations with black. But the situation is different with black and silver chihuahuas.
The main difference is the black pigment’s dilution on the coat.
If no genetic mutations exist, you will notice a brighter sheen towards a whitish silver with a lighter intensity.
The black color should have as dark as it is supposed to be. But the boundary between black and silver hair will have a lighter grey.
The signature trilingual hair will most likely be blackish. The same theory applies to the nose, eye rims, and paws if not for a genetic mutation. Most of the silver will be on the chest, tummy, and ears.
Black and silver chihuahuas are rare, and that increases their market price.
14. Black and White
You’ll be reminded of Border Collie dogs at a glance when you see a black and white chihuahua.
Black and white chihuahuas usually don’t have hairs of a third intermediate color.
That makes them very attractive creatures sharing the same playful chihuahua personality.
There is no hard evidence that the color of chihuahuas affects their temperament. This mostly depends on how they are perceived.
For example, children might find cream chihuahuas approachable, while the black ones may intimidate them.
By now, you know that the black color comes from the black eumelanin pigmentation, and the white color is due to the lack of pigmentation.
If not for genetic mutations, their paws and nose should be blackish. Upon evaluating several black and white chihuahuas, we conclude that they usually have white feet and legs.
Finally, black and white chihuahuas aren’t considered to be rare.
15. Black and Fawn
Although fawn chihuahuas are common, it’s not the same as black and fawn chihuahuas. There are several reasons for this.
The first reason is the fawn color’s intensity in black and tan chihuahuas.
The eumelanin pigmentation causes the black color; you know that already. But the fawn color is made by the “Ay” allele.
When combined, the Eumelanin’s dominance could result in a black chihuahua with fawn markings.
The second reason is the confusion with black & tan chihuahuas.
But wouldn’t it make them black and fawn chihuahuas if the color fits? Not exactly. This is due to the difference between the parental requirement.
That’s why you need to check for the presence of KB alleles and the absence of dominant black genes of the puppy and its parents.
Nonetheless, the legs, part of the face, chest, and tummy will typically be fawn in the black and fawn chihuahuas. The ears typically will be a mixture of most fawn fur and some black.
16. Blue and Chocolate
From afar, blue and chocolate chihuahuas may look like shiny black and white chihuahuas.
But don’t be fooled!
The bluish fur typically appears on the face, chest, tummy, and legs. The cause of this blue fur is the recessive dilute (dd) gene in the D locus. That lightens the brown to blue.
On the flip side, there’s that B gene mutation that causes the chocolate color, as mentioned when discussing pure chocolate chihuahuas.
The saturation of the blue entirely depends on the dilution. That’s why breeders sometimes struggle to get the perfectly detectable blue hue.
Nonetheless, chocolate blue is a rare chihuahua color combination with a relatively higher market value.
17. Blue and Tan
If you liked the black and blue chihuahuas but didn’t like the intimidation of the black color, the blue and tan chihuahuas could be the ideal alternative.
The blue-tan chihuahuas are produced by the same alleles as the black and tan.
The only difference is the requirement of a dilution gene as it fades the Eumelanin’s (black pigmentation) to blue.
The dilution can bring the bluish hue close to gray, or it could go for a clearer bluish color. Like the black and tan color, the bluish fur will mostly cover the body.
This makes the tan color typically appear on the paws, ears, and around the muzzle.
Noses tend to be black almost all the time.
But there are tri-colored situations where blue and tan combine with white color. With white legs, it’s a very attractive and rare color combination.
Remember, for tan to appear, the inheriting tan-point gene from one or both parents is mandatory.
18. Blue and White
What if you liked the bluish hue and wanted an even friendlier secondary color? You should be thinking about white.
Luckily, there are blue and white chihuahuas, albeit very rare.
When evaluating their appearance, their face, tail, legs, and chest should be white, and the rest of the body should be blue.
As mentioned earlier, the eumelanin pigments dilute to blue thanks to the dilution allele.
However, don’t expect the entire face to be white, as the ears will be blue. This creates a sudden color shift, as there won’t be greyish-blue fur unless there’s a mutation.
Blue and white chihuahuas are rare, with enough demand for the color combination. That increases demand, and the rarity makes the blue-white chihuahuas sell for very high prices.
Just as much as their rarity, bluish-white chihuahuas are very attractive.
19. Chocolate and Tan
Chocolate and tan chihuahuas are for dog parents who want that chocolate color with an attractive shade.
Chocolate blue is typically a result of the interaction of B and A Loci genes. Chocolate color is a result of B locus mutations. The tan points in the A (Agouti) gene bring the tan markings.
These tan markings (or points can) usually be seen on the feet, above the eyes, the muzzle, and the chest.
There’s the usually crispy color boundary on the face, unlike in the body.
With a long-haired chocolate tan chihuahua, you can expect a nicely blended tan and chocolate fur all over the body. But a majority of the tan fur will be on the feet.
The majestic look makes them look very attractive and friendly.
20. Grey and silver
Grey and silver might sound like the same color. But it’s not the same with chihuahuas.
Silver is the accepted color by the AKC but not grey. The main difference between grey and silver is mainly the shininess.
How can you notice this difference?
You need to check the gray coat of your chihuahua carefully. When you do, the grey and silver chihuahuas are likely to exhibit flakes of white, and they slice through the coat.
That produces a version of grey that’s shinier — that’s the grey and silver shine.
These chihuahuas still require decent grooming, but not as much as white chihuahuas. They make friendly family dogs too.
21. Gold and White
The gold and white chihuahua usually is one of the friendliest-looking chihuahuas in the color list. It’s not a standard color but an accepted color with code 092.
Similar to other situations, the gold color originated from the red pigment. It’s the dilution that takes it down to the gold color.
Needless to say, the white spots lack pigmentation.
Gold and white color combination on chihuahuas usually has a wide variety.
Some chihuahuas have about 80% of the coat covered with white color with a few golden chihuahua markings. The gold color usually appears on the neck and the back.
If the golden color’s dominance is high, it’s simply a gold chihuahua with white fur on the paws, tail, belly, chest, and, maybe, some on the face.
22. Fawn and White
If gold isn’t your color, maybe fawn is. When combined with white, it births one of the most attractive colors.
The fawn and white chihuahua is usually a white chihuahua with multiple large fawn marks on the body.
The general rule of dark and light colors applies for fawn and white, too — dark color on the top and lighter color on the chest.
However, it’s common to find black or liver noses, and it depends on their individual genes.
Remember that fawn and white chihuahuas aren’t as common as the fawn chihuahua. That automatically increases their value.
The fawn and white chihuahua is ideal for someone who wants the signature fawn color on their dog but looking for that exclusiveness. But remember to consult a reputable breeder when buying rare chihuahua colors.
23. Cream and White
You know cream is a standard chihuahua color caused by the dilution of the red Pheomelanin pigment. It’s easier to notice that dirty whitish hue when you pay attention.
Fawn is another separate standard chihuahua color.
So, don’t let anyone tell you that a cream and white chihuahua is the same as a fawn and white chihuahua.
The cream color is relatively less saturated than the fawn.
The reason is the extreme dilution of the Pheomelanin pigment. Pigment cells will be absent on the chest, tummy, and paws, and that’s where the white fur will be.
Ideally, the rest of the body should be cream if not for genetic mutations.
24. Chocolate and White
The black gene’s dilution causes the chocolate color, and the lack of pigment cells causes the white color — that’s how the chocolate and white chihuahua are made.
Almost all the time, the ears, eye rims, and back of chocolate & white chihuahua will be chocolate. The rest of the body should be white, including the paws.
These puppies don’t look intimidating at all. That’s one of the reasons why they make amazing family dogs. But there’s a considerable grooming requirement due to the presence of white color.
25. Red and White
If you know how Irish Setters look, the red and white chihuahua looks like a miniature version of them.
They come in both short and long-haired types, but the long-haired red and white chihuahuas look more majestic.
That’s thanks to the color distribution; red on the back and white on the tummy, chest, and legs. But there can be red and white chihuahuas with genetic mutations.
You need to be careful when choosing easily interchangeable colors. Red and tan are good examples of that.
Red and white chihuahuas are relatively rare, increasing their market value. 146 is their code in the AKC registry.
Best Patterns for Chihuahuas
The Kbr allele in the Dominant Black locus is responsible for the brindle chihuahua. This pattern has distinctive tiger stripes across the body.
The color distribution is quite uniquely attractive; even the fur on the face looks mixed and striped in most brindle chihuahuas.
The AKC recognized three brindle pattern types: fawn brindles black, chocolate brindled fawn, and blue brindled fawn.
Buying a brindle chihuahua from a reliable breeder is crucial, as some brindle patterns may disappear when they leave puppyhood.
Identifying sable chihuahuas isn’t difficult — the hair tips are black, and the rest is typically fawn or silver.
This allows sable chihuahuas to have mixed-colored faces with no sharp color boundaries. Even their feet and legs could look multicolored.
Three sable patterns are generally accepted: tipped, clear, and shaded.
Moreover, AKC recognized three sable varieties: black sable silver, chocolate sable fawn, and black sabled fawn.
Puppies get the sable pattern with only one sable allele, showing its genetic dominance.
The merle chihuahua isn’t purebred as the pattern doesn’t naturally occur in chihuahua DNA. But that doesn’t make the pattern any less attractive.
Dotted and spotted coats, typically with three colors, are common in the merle chihuahua. But the color may become dominant in the color distribution. The coat looks irregular, including the face.
But there’s a health risk of the Merle gene whitening the ears and eyes. The merle gene can lead merle chihuahuas to deafness and blindness.
The double merle genotype in the merle chihuahua is also believed to cause cardiac, skeletal, and reproductive complications later in life. That’s why any merle chihuahua needs extra medical attention.
Nonetheless, merle chihuahuas are very attractive and expensive on the market.
The chihuahua mask pattern is self-explanatory — a mask on the face. The mask typically appears on the sides of the muzzle and above the eyebrow. There are three AKC-recognized chihuahua types: blue mask, black mask, and black mask with white markings.
Respective American Kennel Club Codes for Chihuahua Colors and Patterns
|Black & Red||014|
|Black & Silver||016|
|Black & Tan||Standard color||018|
|Black & White||019|
|Blue & Tan||Standard color||044|
|Blue & White||045|
|Chocolate & Tan||Standard color||072|
|Cream & White||077|
|Fawn & White||Standard color||086|
|Gold & White||092|
|Red & White||146|
|Silver & White||182|
|Chocolate & White||271|
|Black Sabled Silver||353|
|Black Sabled Fawn||354|
|Chocolate Brindled Fawn||355|
|Blue Brindled Fawn||356|
|Fawn Brindled Black||357|
|Chocolate Sabled Fawn||358|
|White markings||Standard marking||014|
|Merle markings||Standard marking||035|
|Black mask||Standard marking||004|
|Spotted on white||Standard marking||071|
|Black brindling||Standard marking||073|
|Black sabling||Standard marking||072|
|Black mask, white markings||005|
Which Chihuahua Color is Right for You?
Chihuahua colors usually don’t affect their temperament but their health.
However, one could argue that darker coats or colors are more intimidating than lighter ones. The same theory applies to chihuahuas.
Choosing lighter-colored chihuahuas is the best for families with small children. After all, the breed is active and can be defensive.
Darker colors aren’t bad for families; you must establish a solid relationship with this tiny dog first.
Families or dog owners who can’t allocate a long time for grooming should steer clear of white dogs. The same theory applies to long-haired chihuahuas.
Finally, remember the health risks of each color, especially with the merle coat pattern. That should help you decide whether you can afford the additional medical costs.
- Chihuahua Price
- Teacup Chihuahua Price
- Teacup Chihuahua Dog Breed Guide
- Best shock collars for chihuahua dogs
It’s a blessing to have a beautiful dog breed like the chihuahua in multiple colors. The problem is that some don’t even know what they can get — but you do now.
So, take your time, look at the pictures, and try to imagine them at your house. That should surely help you get the best chihuahuas in the best colors.
That’s the ultimate purpose of this reading.
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