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A Closer Look at the Chihuahua
by Laurence Fitt-Savage


The neck is 'slightly arched, medium length' for strength, as it both carries the weight of the head and is part of the forequarters assembly.  If the neck is too long, the whole dog will probably be built along racy, whippet-like lines with long spindly legs.  Extension of the vertebrae of the neck generally accompanies a pro-rata extension of the rest of the spinal column, giving long, weak backs, slab sides and long, ratty tails.  This so-called 'deer-type' is no longer as common in Chihuahuas.  More common is the Chi with a stuffy neck - too short a neck leaves too little room for the muscles, and is associated with heavy, overbuilt forequarters.  The head, in such a chi, often looks as if it has been stuck straight on to the body, especially in longcoats where the ruff hides the true lines of the neck.

When felt the neck, measured from base of skull to the shoulder, should be approx. one-third of the length of the back.  The arch of the neck is required for strength, to be effective it must carry the head forward, and not up (star-gazing).  If the arch of the neck is inverted the dog's movement suffers, being less smooth and rhythmic, choppy and without reach and drive.

lt should be noted in passing that a Chihuahua should have no loose folds or flaps of skin on the neck, the chi should offer clean bodylines to the eye.

[ Next ]

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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