A Closer Look at the
Balance is determined in two situations; on the move (kinetic balance) and standing still (static balance).
Static balance is achieved if the dog's structure allows standing on all fours with the minimum of effort. For this to be possible the base of its support (the heel pad) must be vertically beneath the centre of gravity of the shoulder, although the support is not a solid vertical 'pole'. 'Forelegs set well under' means that the humerus must be long enough to set the legs under the shoulder, the best arrangement being the humerus set at 90° to the shoulder blade, and of the same length. The ultra straight 'terrier front' is the result of a shortening of the humerus with a resultant shorter, more upright shoulder. This may look extremely smart, but it is most definitely incorrect in a Chihuahua. The foot is set too far forward, rather than being well under. The leg appears to be a continuation of the neck, with no brisket visible in front of it. (A) The straightness throws the foot forward of the centre of gravity and straightens the pasterns until they tend to knuckle over. This is NOT the straight front the standard refers to. A short humerus would bring the elbow above the brisket line. To give freedom of movement the elbow is lower. This of course, is freedom of movement front to back, 'looseness' refers to side to side movement and is not wanted.
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Reproduced from the British Chihuahua Club Handbook 1987