The smallest of all dog breeds, Chihuahuas have a ton of fire packed into a six-pound body.
They are hyper-aware of their surroundings at all times and are always ready to make their opinions known with a sharp, insistent yap. They are ideal city dogs, fitting in well to smaller living quarters such as apartments or condos. Be sure to keep them warm in the cold!
Although brindles are not that strange in dogs, they are in Chihuahuas. When a dog has patterns of dark-colored stripes or any other type of black streak that differs from the main color of their skin, they are called brindles.
With that said, there are several types of brindles that a dog can have, even a Chihuahua. Now it’s up to you to decide if you want your friend to be a brindle one or not.
Keep reading to learn more about what exactly a brindle entails physically and of course regarding the cost for a brindle Chihuahua.
Long Haired vs. Short Haired Chihuahuas
One of the criteria you may consider when selecting the precise Chihuahua for you is their coat.
Chihuahuas are touted as being very easy to groom and barely shedding, whether their coats are long or short. Which coat is more desirable depends on your preferences.
Long-haired Chihuahuas, as you might expect, have longer coats, especially around the ears, tail, neck, and legs. These coats have a silky texture, with feathering in the aforementioned areas. They will look fluffier than a short-haired Chihuahua and must be brushed and bathed much more often to avoid tangled or matted fur.
Short-haired Chihuahuas, also known as smooth-haired Chihuahuas, have shorter and finer coats that are more coarse to the touch. Unlike the long-haired variety, which should be brushed every day or every other day for optimal health and shine, the short-haired Chihuahua only needs to be brushed once a week.
The short-haired variety was the “original,” so to speak, first discovered in Central America and Mexico in the nineteenth century.
The long-haired variety of Chihuahua was created by breeding short-haired Chihuahuas with longer-haired toy breeds such as the Papillon and Pomeranian until a new purebred variety was established. The Mexican hairless dog, also known as the Xoloitzcuintli, is a separate breed entirely.
According to American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standards, long-haired and short-haired are the only two varieties of coat found in Chihuahuas.
Both are identical in temperament, health conditions, and size. Their only difference is in appearance. The gene for short hair is dominant, so short-haired Chihuahuas are more common. Long-haired and short-haired puppies can sometimes be found in the same litter.
Chihuahuas also come in many different colors like black, red, fawn, cream, and chocolate. Often they come in combinations of two or even three and have additional markings of various colors. The most interesting Chihuahua coats result when a brindle pattern joins the mix.
The Brindle Coat
A brindle pattern on an animal’s coat is often described as tiger-striped, and more formally defined as “having dark streaks or flecks on a usually gray or tawny background.” It can be observed in many animals, such as horses, cats, and several breeds of dogs.
When you think of a brindle dog, larger breeds such as the Boxer, Mastiff, and several varieties of Shepherd Dog often come to mind first. However, brindle Chihuahuas, though rare, can be found as well.
There are two distinct types of brindle coats: brindle and reverse brindle. A brindle is characterized by dark stripes on a light background, and a reverse brindle is characterized by more prominent lighter stripes against a dark background.
Any dog whose coat can come in a brindle pattern has the possibility of being reverse brindle since the same genes determine both.
The genes that cause the brindle pattern are recessive, meaning that both parents must have the gene for it to have a chance of being expressed in any of the offspring.
Considering the wide variety of colors even among purebred Chihuahuas, it is not too often that brindle coloring appears in Chihuahua puppies.
There is no way to test for these genes since geneticists have not yet identified the exact variant that causes a brindle pattern (specifically, the variant in the K-Locus gene, which results in a black coat). As such, the only way to know if a dog carries the brindle genes is by breeding them.
The best chance of producing brindle puppies is by mating two brindle Chihuahuas together. Mating a solid color Chihuahua with a brindle Chihuahua is also doable, but it lowers the chances of brindle puppies significantly.
Most often, Chihuahua brindle mixes are the result of crossbreeding between a Chihuahua and another breed that commonly has brindle patterns on its coat, such as terriers.
Chihuahuas can come in many combinations of colors, and the variation of brindle Chihuahuas is no exception. Any of these colors and patterns can appear in both long-haired and short-haired Chihuahuas.
Blue Brindle Chihuahua
“Blue” when referring to the coloring of a dog’s coat means a silvery-gray color that is distinctly cooler than the average gray or black coat. Several breeds will have blue eyes and a blue coat.
Sometimes, even the dog’s nose will have a literal blue tint that you can see if you look very closely. Blue coats are an incredibly rare color and are high in demand among dog breeders.
Blue coats vary greatly in shade, and they can appear as one solid coloring or as blue mixed with other colors, such as in a brindle pattern. As with the brindle pattern itself, the genes that cause blue coats are recessive, meaning that blue coats are rare in and of themselves. A blue brindle Chihuahua is an exceptionally rare sight indeed.
Black Brindle Chihuahua
Solid black coats are among the rarest you can find in a Chihuahua. While it is a dominant gene and thus the presence of the color itself is very common, it is usually found in combination with other colors.
Some examples of this include the Black Sable Fawn, Black Sable Silver, or Fawn Brindled Black Chihuahua which can result in gorgeous patterns. Though they are not as rare as blue brindle Chihuahuas, they may also be difficult to find.
Chocolate Brindle Chihuahua
Chocolate coats are not the most common for Chihuahuas, but they are not notably rare either. It is an accepted color under AKC breed standards. A chocolate brindle Chihuahua will present with darker stripes over dark fur. With a chocolate brindle fawn variety, expect lighter shades of brown or even red to be mixed in with it.
Brindle Chihuahua Prices
Naturally, dogs with rare coloring and coat patterns will go for a much higher price than those with a more average appearance.
As you would when selecting any breeder to get your newest pet from, vet your breeders carefully. Responsible, trustworthy breeders will:
- Be knowledgeable about their breed
- Breed for the standard to produce the healthiest dogs possible (this includes regular health screenings)
- Keep the dogs in a clean, spacious environment
- Ask you more about the home you intend to provide for your pet than how much you’re willing to pay them
- Not place the puppies before they turn eight weeks old
- Have contracts with “return-to-breeder” clauses
- Provide references
Some warning signs for untrustworthy breeders include:
- Excessive numbers of dogs (could indicate that the “breeder” is a puppy mill)
- Unclean or cramped conditions
- Dogs that look unhealthy/afraid of the breeder
- Willingness to place dogs too early
- Not letting you observe the dogs or their living space
- No documentation/certification
Be very careful not to be tricked by shifty breeders trying to pass off a gray or black dog as blue to squeeze more money out of you!
Before you begin your search, it is advisable to become familiar with the dog colors and patterns you want so that you can correctly identify them in your new pup before you pay up. You may want to take a look at the dog’s coat in bright sunlight for better visibility, especially if you are looking at a brindle long-haired Chihuahua.
Breeders often ask between $400.00 and $2,000.00 for Chihuahua puppies. Because of their rarity, expect the prices of brindle Chihuahuas to be on the more expensive side. Extremely rare coat colors such as blue will also jack the price up considerably, putting it between $2,000 and $10,000.
Should you choose to adopt from a rescue or shelter instead, the fee will vary widely depending on the organization and location, but the average adoption fees range from $50.00 to $350.00.
Adoption fees will also typically include the wellness exams and other veterinary care that your dog will require before you can bring them home.
Be prepared for a variation in prices depending on your Chihuahua’s appearance as well as their health, size, gender, and pedigree, among other things. If all goes well, you will be going home with not only a beautiful dog but a fiercely loyal lifelong friend.
Conclusion for What is a Brindle Chihuahua?
Brindle Chihuahuas are quite rare, but they do exist. The brindle color isn’t standard for Chihuahuas from the American Kennel Club but commonly occurs when the Chihuahua is mixed with another dog breed. The prices of a brindle Chihuahua is typically more expensive than a normal Chihuahua due to their unique coat coloring. We hope you learned something about the brindle Chihuahua dog breed!
Other articles you would like:
- What is a Brindle Bulldog?
- Australian Shepherd Chihuahua Mix Breed Guide
- Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix Breed Guide
Still curious about the Brindle Chihuahua? Check out this video.