Many people prefer the short coats because they believe they are easier to care for and shed less. In truth the long coats only shed twice a year while the short coats are continually shedding all through the year. The long coats of chihuahuas are very easy to maintain as they only need a light brushing once every week. The long coats do not need haircuts like a Yorkie or Shih Tzu would, therefore, a groomer is not required, but optional. The short coats require the same brushing as the long coats to remove loose hairs. Short coats usually have a coarser hair than the silkier long coats.
There are really 2 kinds of short coats and 2 kinds of long coats.
Short hair with single coat is sometimes referred to as a smooth coat. The hair on their back will be almost 1 inch and lay very flat without an undercoat. They look almost bare on their belly and chest.
Short hair with double coat is sometimes referred to as full coat. Their hair is about 1 to 1.5 inches long on back and have much thicker hair around neck and tail with a light coating on belly. They have an undercoat.
Long hair with single coat is sometimes called a single long coat. The hair on their backs will lay flat and be about 1.5-3 inches long; while the hair around ears and tails will be feathery and about 2-4 inches long. Single coats tend to be straighter and lay flatter on the back. They do not have much or any undercoat.
Long hair with double coat is much thicker and fuller and about the same length as a single long coat. Double coats will usually appear like little fluff balls as young puppies and as adults their hair will lay down better but with more volume due to their thick undercoat. Their do not require much more care than the single coats.
All the Pretty Colors!
I do not know of another breed with as many colors and coat types as Chihuahuas! Below are all the colors and markings that AKC recognizes. The combinations of the below colors and markings make for lots of variety in chihuahua coats. It is so much fun!!
COLORS: Black, Black & Tan, Blue & Tan, Chocolate, Chocolate & Tan, Cream, Fawn, Fawn & White, Red, Black & Red, Black & Silver, Black & White, Black Sabled Fawn, Black Sabled Silver, Blue, Blue & White, Blue Brindled Fawn, Blue Fawn, Chocolate & White, Chocolate Blue, Chocolate Brindled Fawn, Chocolate Sabled Fawn, Cream & White, Fawn Brindled Black, Gold, Gold & White, Red & White, Silver, Silver & White, White.
MARKINGS: Black Brindling, Black Mask, Black Sabling, Spotted On White, White Markings, Black Mask, White Markings, Blue Mask, Cream Markings, Fawn Markings, Red Markings