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A Closer Look at the Chihuahua
by Laurence Fitt-Savage


A correct scissor bite is such that, side view, the top incisors just overlap, in front of the bottom ones, but the bottom canine fits neatly in front of the top one.  if the incisors meet edge to edge, this is a 'level' mouth, not scissor. 'Set square to the jaws', it must be noted, means that the teeth are set at approx. 90° to the gums.  It does NOT mean that the incisors should be lined up neatly in a straight line like guardsmen; the dental arch (arcade) should curve gently forward from the canines.

Given that the head and muzzle are the result of dwarfing, it is not too surprising that the upper and lower mandibles are not evenly shortened; the result is an over- or under-shot bite.  If overshot, the upper incisors protrude beyond the lower, in severe cases the bottom incisors may be level with the top canines.  If undershot, the bottom incisors stick out beyond the top ones.

Ideally the incisors should be even in size, strong and white, with six top and bottom.  In shorter muzzles this is sometimes difficult to achieve - there may be insufficient room, so the dog may have only 4 bottom incisors (acceptable in U.K. if the teeth are of even size with no large gaps); the teeth may be uneven in size, or the bottom incisors may be set in a straight line.  How serious these mouth faults are is a difficult point.  Unless severe, a poor bite will probably have no significant effect on the dog, but successive generations may show deteriorating mouths.  Uneven teeth, or the odd gap are considered by some to be unavoidable in the best heads, although there is no reason why the best of heads should not carry a perfect mouth.

[ 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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