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A Closer Look at the Chihuahua
by Laurence Fitt-Savage


The hindquarters, from the croup to the feet, are more involved in the provision of drive than in the maintenance of stability.  Thus the dictates of stable balance are modified to cope with the not entirely compatible requirements for providing drive.  The hip joint is therefore a more straightforward ball and socket joint, with the hip securely anchored to the spine, creating fewer mechanical constraints in the delivery of push.  It should also be noted that the hock is a joint, not to be confused with the hind pastern.

Static balance is achieved when, viewed from the rear, the hind feet are equally spaced either side of the centre of gravity (an imaginary vertical line drawn through the centre of the pelvis, usually the root of the tail).  For perfect balance the leg should form a straight, vertical column of bones from pad to hip joint.  A modified balance is achieved by spreading the hind legs apart and back slightly, usually to display alertness or aggression, or to lower the croup and straighten the topline.  Free-standing Chihuahuas should not show more than a minor amount of stretch, and never stand artificially stretched like a gundog.

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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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