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Long Haired Chihuahua

Chihuahuas come in two varieties — smooth coat and long coat (long haired chihuahua). If a Chihuahua has a smooth coat, its hair is short and close to the body, and it may or may not have an undercoat — a protective layer of shorter fur underneath the outer or top coat. A smooth Chihuahua that has an undercoat appears more thickly coated and usually has a furrier tail and a ruff of thicker hair around its neck. If a Chihuahua has no undercoat, its hair is sparser. In fact, it may be so thin that it appears nearly bald on parts of its head, ears, chest, and belly. If a Chihuahua is long haired, it has an undercoat, and its outer coat is between 1 inch and 1 1⁄2 inch long. Long Haired Chihuahua also has the following characteristics:

  1. The ears are decorated with longish hair called fringe or feathering.
  2. Long haired Chihuahua has an abundant ruff around the neck.
  3. Long haired Chihuahua has long hair called a plume on her tail.
  4. Long haired Chihuahua has wispy hair on the back of her legs.
  5. Long haired Chihuahua sports natural pants — long hair on buttocks.

Aside from that, the Long haired Chihuahua should look exactly like a smooth Chihuahua, because the two varieties have exactly the same conformation (body structure) underneath their coats.

Comparing Long/Smooth Coats in a Chihuahua:

When deciding whether you want a long-haired or a smooth coated Chihuahua, you should consider more than just the length of coat you want to cuddle. That’s because the differences are more than skin deep. In general (with some exceptions), slight personality differences exist between the two coat types.

Here are the more obvious differences:

  1. Long coats can handle the cold better. Although no Chihuahua can stand the cold for long, many long coats enjoy a short walk in brisk weather and may even play in the snow (provided it’s only a couple inches deep). Not the case with smooth coats. Chihuahuas with short hair are miserable in cold weather and should wear a sweater outdoors on chilly days, even when going for a short walk
  2. Smooth coats cuddle closer. A short-coated Chihuahua will enjoy feeling the warmth of your body on his nearly bald belly as he lies on your lap while you read or watch television. His longcoated counterpart wants your company, too, but he’s more likely to sit beside you rather than on you. Differences also are noticeable if you decide to bed down with him. A smooth coat curls up under the covers, and a long coat usually lies on top of the blankets.
  3. Long coats shed less. No, that isn’t a misprint. Long-coated Chihuahuas shed seasonally — usually twice a year. During those periods, they lose a lot of hair quite quickly. But a few good brushings, plus vacuuming the carpets and furniture, put an end to the problem for several months. Smooth coats, on the other hand, shed old hair and replace it with new hair all the time. Consequently, a few tiny hairs always will work their way into your clothes, furniture, and carpets.
  4. Long coats are a bit more reserved. Smooth coats often are more outgoing and accept new friends faster than long coats. Although long coats like attention, too, they tend to be a little more reserved and need more time to warm up to friendly strangers. Long coats and smooth coats often are litter mates, which means they’re brothers and sisters born in the same litter. According to an old wives’ tale, at least one long-coated Chihuahua appears in every litter of smooth coats — a gift from Mother Nature to keep its short-coated litter mates warm. Although this is a sweet story, it doesn’t always happen that way. Besides, smooth-coated pups don’t need the help. They do just fine by cuddling up to their mom and to each other.

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