A chihuahua seen on The Dog Whisperer, two-legged Binky LaRue is shown below with owner Jon Forrest and Cesar Millan. Binky had refused to have anything to do with the wheelchair Jon had rigged for her, and Cesar had to help in the adjustment.
Poor and random breeding for dwarfism seems to be the cause of so many chihuahuas born with front flippers instead of legs.
A chihuahua is a "naturally" small dog at around eight to fourteen pounds, evolved for Central American climates without human intervention. But modern breeders have established an AKC show standard that insists a "show quality" purebred chi should weigh seven pounds or less, a recipe for disaster.
This officially demands risk to the health of offspring with the idea of culling (killing) or at least neutering/spaying the ones born with hideous problems, or just fob them off on rescue organizations who don't want to see them killed.
The other use for an unhealthy five-pound chi is to breed the females knowing they cannot give birth except by cesarean section, or the males used as studs with healthier-sized females hoping his size, rather than hers, is duplicated.
The marketplace has contributed to the problem the AKC "credits" as preferable: you can sell a chihuahua in the ten pound range for $300 to $700, but if your lineage frequently tops out at five pounds, it can sell for $2,000 and up.
It's bad enough the once-sturdy little breed has not been respected for what it has been for at least two-thousand years, but "defined" with traits that guarantee it will be diminished not only in size but in health.
Until AKC begins to values chihuahuas as show animals even at a normal weight for the breed, they're only contributing to the bad breeding practices of the so-called "best" breeders, let alone the rampant puppy mills.
Which is not to say the two-legged birth defect afflicts only tiny dogs; it afflicts chihuahuas of any size that have been ill-bred, and ill-breeding is invariably part of the quest for small size even though dogs in a given litter can grow to different weights.
So Binky and many chihuahuas with the same birth defects give evidence that the breeder community is asinine and demented, developing fragile dogs which at best have weak knees, tooth problems, molera (the opening in the skull that is supposed to close up by their third month) that never close, heart problems, and neurological disorders -- in a breed that when not excessively small rarely has any health issues at all and can live to be twenty years old.
And so each year many two-legged chis are either destroyed because unwanted, or with luck like Binky's end up in the care of dog lovers willing to take on a special needs pet.