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A Closer Look at the Chihuahua
by Laurence Fitt-Savage

Fore Action

Once on the move, kinetic balance requires maximum work for minimum effort, to increase stamina and reduce fatigue.  Viewed from the side the radius and ulna should be parallel with a line drawn from foot to centre of the shoulder, when the foot is in contact with the ground.

From the front the foreleg should still be straight, but it must be noted that the faster a dog moves, the greater the tendency to place the feet near the centre line beneath the body.  This is not a fault, it helps prevent body roll, which would be unduly tiring.  However, the speed a chihuahua is normally gaited at in the ring should not require anything approaching single-tracking.  The opposite of single-tracking, 'paddling' can also be a problem.  Tied in elbows are restricted in their movement, as a result the legs are thrown wide of the body, which rocks from side to side because the feet fall so wide apart.

Other gaiting faults combine various features of a front that is not straight, the leg bending at elbow, pastern or even just the foot.  Movement is most efficient when the leg, from point of shoulder to foot, is a straight column of bones.  Loose elbows which 'flap in the wind' wide of the body throw the leg inwards.  Weak pastern joints throw the pastern out, or turn the feet both in and out.  'Weaving' is the result of the elbow problem, 'winging' that of the pasterns.

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Skull :: Jaws and Cheeks :: Muzzle :: Bite :: Eyes :: Ears :: Neck :: Forequarters
Shoulder :: Movement :: Balance :: Forehand :: Foreaction :: Musculature
Hindquarters :: Hindaction :: Croup :: Angulation :: Back :: Body Shape :: Chest :: Tail

Reproduced from the British Chihuahua Club Handbook 1987

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