White v Pure White

What’s the difference between a white Chihuahua and a pure white Chihuahua?

Markings, or more specifically, the absence of any. A white Chihuahua may have some markings or patches, but a pure white Chihuahua has a completely white coat without any markings at all, and this makes the pure white Chihuahua the rarest color in the breed.

Chihuahuas have always come in a range of colors (the AKC breed standard states that any color is acceptable – solid, marked or splashed)  but breeding a true pure white Chihuahua can take generations to “perfect” because of recessive genetics. The “sw” gene in combination with the “cch” allele is responsible for the ‘whiteness’ in pure white Chihuahuas. Both parents must be true whites without any black pigments in their genes, and that’s harder to get (so to speak)  than one might think.

Cream is a fairly common color in the breed, a dilution of fawn, and sometimes, a cream-colored Chihuahua is mistaken for being white –  but while a cream colored Chihuahua usually has pale skin, he or she will also have a dark or black-lined eye and a brown nose. Pure white Chis have pale noses, lighter eyes, white nails, and pink ears (and some may have dark skin on the nose and eyes, causing a gray effect).

It’s important to note that pure white Chihuahua are not albinos!  In a white Chi, the genetic marker for the dog is white, but an albino dog has no melanin or pigmentation at all. As far as we know, only genetic testing can affirm is a Chihuahua is a true albino, and our reading suggests that albino Chihuahuas are quite rare. The eyes and the tissue surrounding the eye sockets of an albino Chihuahua appear to show a pinkish hue, but it’s not true pink, it’s actually the result of diffused blood flow in these areas.

Other genetic combinations might result in a Chihuahua who looks white, but the dog likely carries genes for a number of different coat patterns.

Pure white Chihuahuas are found in both smooth coat and long coat varieties, but whatever the coat variety, the pure white color makes up a very small percentage of the Chihuahua population.

Read more about the Chihuahua’s coat below:

The Chi’s Recessive Coat

Image by Bigjoy/Deposit Stock photo

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