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ARBA Standard of Perfection 2012 Changes – New Varieties and More – Rabbit Smarties : Creative Resources for Rabbit Keepers

ARBA Standard of Perfection 2012 Changes – New Varieties and More

Announcement! If you are a youth member studying for the 2013 ARBA Convention, we are having an online group quiz/study night on every Sunday evening leading up to Convention. Dates are Sept 22, Oct 5, and Oct 13. Anyone is welcome. The place is https://rabbitsmarties.com/quizroom.html. Contact me if you have any questions.
Silver marten Mini Rex Rabbit blue
A lovely blue Silver Marten Mini Rex - Now Fully Recognized. Photo by the Fuzzy Patch



Happy February!  That means  that this year’s updates to the ARBA Show Rules and Standard of Perfection are now in effect. (As of Feb. 1).  If you’re planning to compete in 4-H rabbit showmanship, royalty, breed identification, quiz bowls and so forth this year, you will want to know this stuff.

As you may be aware, five new varieties of rabbits and cavies were recognized by the ARBA at the convention last fall, and as of this month can now be shown in regular competition.  If you’ve purchased the Youth Rabbit Project Study Guide in the past year, you will want to make note of this in the appropriate places.   The most notable change is in the Rhinelander breed, which now recognizes blue/fawn spotted bunnies as well as black/orange.  The original black/orange color, which to this point was known as “standard,”  is now called “black” as the REGISTRATION variety.  The new variety is called “blue” as the registration variety.  However, both colors are shown together as “Standard”so the showroom classification is still “Standard.  Here’s a quick chart:

2012 New ARBA-Recognized Varieties of Rabbits and Cavies


New Variety

Showroom Classification

Registration Name

American Cavy Martenin colors black, blue, beige, chocolate, and lilac Tan Pattern Marten
American Cavy Gold Any Other Self*NOT shown separately, but in the Any Other Self Group Gold
Mini Rex Silver Martenin colors black, blue, chocolate, lilac Silver Marten Black Silver MartenBlue Silver MartenChocolate Silver Marten

Lilac Silver Marten

Netherland Dwarf Blue Torotiseshell*note that it’s tortoiseshell Tortoiseshell*shown with the regular torts as tortoiseshell.  NOT shown as shaded group. Blue Tortoiseshell
Rhinelander Blue Standard Blue
Blue Tortoiseshell Netherland dwarf bunny
Blue Tortoiseshell Netherland Dwarf Rabbit. Photo by the Fuzzy Patch



You can download the Standard of Perfection for these colors from the ARBA website,and I highly recommend you do so if you’re studying for Breed ID, royalty, showmanship, or a judges/registrar’s exam.

You’ll also want to download the ARBA show rules and read them.  As you may have heard, there have been some recent changes that are listed on the ARBA announcements page.  As this stuff is “news,” it will likely be in royalty exams this year.  The most recent change now allows Legs of Grand Championship for Reserve in Show, Best 4-class, and Best 6-class wins when they are awarded.   All shows are required to pick BIS.  All shows are NOT required to pick Reserve in Show, Best 4-class, or Best 6-class.  However, when shows choose to offer these awards, the ARBA now allows it a leg.

If you haven’t seen them yet, check out the corrections to the first printing of the 2011-2015 ARBA Standard of Perfection.

Details, Details!

Rabbit 4-H Showmanship Guide, Breed ID and Judging Contest Tips and More

If you haven’t seen the Youth Rabbit Project Study Guide yet, I welcome you to take a peek at the sample pages below!  This book is based on my experiences as a 4-H’er and ARBA Royalty participant. When I was in 4-H it took me a very long time to learn how to successfully raise rabbits and compete in contests such as showmanship, breed identification, and team judging.  When I did get to successfully competing on the national level, it just came naturally to produce materials to guide other kids there.

For more information, check out the Study Guide’s Own Page. Here are a few sample pages for you to look at:

rabbit breed id guide
Click for larger image
Rabbit 4-H Showmanship Guide Sample Page
Click for larger image -- Showmanship Guide
Rabbit Meat Pen Project Tips
Click for larger image -- Meat Pens
Rabbit Body Type Judging Information
Click for larger image -- body types

Additional Book Features in the New Edition

  • Guide to choosing your course in the project
  • Judging contest tips from an ARBA judge
  • Expanded Breed ID Guide
  • Additional leader’s tips
  • Polish Breed Judging Handout
  • Rabbit Royalty Practice Questions
  • Updated to reflect 2012 Standard of Perfection
  • Still reproducible within your 4-H club.