This is a question that is frequently asked by people before they adopt a little Chi. Given that there are 2 varieties, the smooth coat and the longer coat, do long haired Chihuahuas need haircuts often, rarely or never?
Let’s look at the advice from experts in the field.
Differences Between Smooth & Long Haired Chihuahuas
The smooth coat, as you would expect, is very easy to manage and maintain.. Such a short coat is highly unlikely to end up with mats or knots.
We have already seen how important brushing is in Chihuahua grooming routines. And certainly if you can keep on top of it, then there is far less corrective work that needs to be done.
The video at the end of this article demonstrates the use of a stripping tool (affiliate link). This kind of tool works wonders to thin out the coat and get rid of loose hairs at the same time, eliminating the need for a full body clip.
4 Common Chihuahua Haircuts
If regular brushing is not maintained, or if there is too long a period in between brushing sessions, then the long-haired Chihuahua will need clipping periodically. So what exactly does that mean? There are, in actual fact, a couple of different clips that are used for the long haired Chihuahua, if a haircut is deemed necessary.
1. A Trim
Even if you are very disciplined with brushing your Chi on a regular basis, you will need to trim the hair between the toes every now and then. The hair on their lower legs and around the paws can grow to quite a length.
The last video in this article provides a really good demo on how to trim around the paw area.
In addition, the area around the tail can become messy, so scissoring this area to keep it shorter and more hygienic is a good idea.
Normally, groomers will leave the body hair to bounce in all of its glory. However, this is a very low-to-the-ground breed. Muddy puddles? Forget it. There goes the shine off your freshly bathed pooch. Therefore, groomers often trim the under belly hair to maintain a cleaner, less knotted look.
2. A Chihuahua Lion Cut
This is one haircut that is probably more common in warm climate areas.
Whilst the body itself is trimmed all over, caution is taken to keep a least some length for protection from the sun.
This hairstyle keeps the body cooler. But as the name suggests, the head hair is left long, in true lion style.
3. A Show Cut
This haircut is, of course, for the show ring so one has to follow the breed standards if competing is the goal.
You can probably get the best idea of this cut by looking at an actual competition. Here is a video of the 2015 Manchester Championship Dog Show judging in the toy dog category. If you watch to the end, you can see how the long haired Chihuahua faired.
All I can say is that I’m glad I wasn’t a judge. They ALL looked so cute.
And now for how the Show Cut is done. This video also has many tips that can be applied to regular clips that you might want to do at home.
As you would have seen, the groomer always starts on the feet and actually spends considerable time getting the hair just right in that area. Then she moves onto the ears and then the rest of the body.
The groomer uses tools similar to these categories (affiliate links) :
- A tiny slicker brush
- Double sided thinning shears
- Straight Shears for little dogs
- Dog Hair Stripping Tool – designed to thin out the undercoat
- A dog leave in conditioner
- Dog show sheen
- A pin brush for dogs
- A forced air blow-dryer for dogs – specifically a Christensen Kool Pup Dryer
4. A Summer Cut
The Summer Cut, as the name implies, is a short trim all over, using dog grooming clippers (affiliate link). You will find that some owners highly recommend this cut while others ask ‘why spoil the natural look’ of the long, fine Chihuahua coat. Those in the latter group stipulate that a regular brushing routine is all that is needed to keep this tiny toy dog breed looking fantastic. In addition, those in favor of the natural-look would argue that both matting and heat issues can be solved with some spot trimming around the paws, underbelly and tail.
So, do long haired Chihuahuas need haircuts?
The short answer is that they don’t need, as in have to have, an all-over body haircut but there are versions of a haircut that are commonly used. In other words, sections of the body are often trimmed. In fact, there are parts of the coat that can certainly do with a trimming from time to time such as the paws and tail. The rest of the body can be kept long by preference. Some owners choose to clip completely but most prefer that classic look so typical of long haired Chihuahuas.
What do you prefer to see in the cute little Chihuahua?