The variation of Chihuahua’s coat color is one of the things I love most about this breed. With all the interesting colors and combinations there are truly no two chihuahuas alike.
According to AKC Standards, a Chihuahua can be “any color – solid, marked or splashed”. The main colors are Black, Chocolate, Fawn, White and Blue. Within each group of main color, there can be combinations of colors, markings and patterns, such as sable, brindle and masked.
Marked means a solid color with a few markings or patterns on the face or body.
Splashed means patches of colors on a white body.
Black Chihuahuas have dark eyes and a black nose. Gray and white hairs begin to show up on their face and body as they mature, especially around the muzzle, this can happen as early as a year old.
Totally Black chihuahuas usually don’t do well in dog shows, it’s harder for judges to see their features and expression, the same holds true for trying to photograph them. It takes really good light to capture their very expressive eyes. The Black combination is a popular color group for Chihuahuas in the US.
Chocolate is the term used for brown chihuahuas. “Brown” chihuahuas can be in the chocolate group or the fawn group. Fawn is really more like tan, cream or gold. The chocolate gene blocks the black pigment in the nose and toenails. So if you see a “brown” chihuahua that has a black nose or toenails, it should be called fawn and not chocolate.
Fawn is the proper term for a tan or light brown chihuahua. The Chihuahua Club of America defines fawn as “A brown, red-yellow with hue of medium brilliance.” Tan is the term used for the color of a marking, not the dominant color. Fawn is called fawn because it’s the color of a baby deer.
Solid White Chihuahuas are rare, usually they have markings of other colors on their body. The colors of the markings may be fawn, cream, gold, red or black. White chihuahuas can have black noses and toenails or a lighter color such as beige or pink. A pink nose can give them an entirely different look.
Blue color , most people are very confused by this term. Blue is actually the official term for gray, it can range from silver to dark steel.
Pure blue dogs, not only chihuahuas, are commonly associated with a serious condition known as alopecia (balding). Although there is not much you can do about it medically, I have heard that feeding a high-quality diet with essential fatty acids may help.
Not all blue chihuahuas get alopecia, and far less likely if it’s a blue combination, the Blue, White and Tan tricolor coat is especially beautiful.
What I find the most interesting is the different color combinations or markings there can be in a single litter; and how different one litter can be from the last or a previous one, considering they were from the same sire and dam.
Chihuahua coat colors are determined by genetics and when those genes are combined you can end up with a very unique and beautifully marked little dog.