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Judging The Standard Rex by Auri

LegacyWritten by Auri of Dunn Mountain Rabbitry

The Rex is a medium sized rabbit known for its good looks, and beautiful fur. Its fur is, on average, 5/8 of an inch in length. A common belief about the Rex is that they have no guard hairs. This is untrue as the Rex guard hairs are the same length as the undercoat, giving them the appearance of lacking guard hairs. They are a velvet-looking, mellow rabbit that makes a wonderful breed to raise and show. However, the differences of the Rex coat and build can make it a little harder to evaluate. Of course, the most valuable information of how to evaluate can only come from person to person instruction and plenty of experience. However, I hope to give you more of an idea of what to look for to determine the quality of an animal and if you should breed it, buy it, or keep it. When judging a Rex you must know how to pose them. As a commercial type animal, the Rex is to be posed with its hind toes parallel to its hindquarter, and its front toes parallel to its eyes. You would first look at the rise, width, and balance of the body. General type-meaning the body, head, ears, limbs, and tail put together-is worth a total of forty-five points. Of course, the body is only worth thirty-five points itself. The other ten points are divided as: head and ear worth six points evenly distributed, eyes and tail being worth two points evenly distributed, and the limbs being worth two points. While evaluating the type, you also check the fur, and condition. You'll look for thick fur that has plenty of life to it, and a condition that is solid. You'll check to make sure the coat is free of molt, stains, and guard hairs. Those are vital parts of a good condition, worth five points. Good condition also doesn't let you feel the spine and pin bones when you pet the animal, and it doesn't have an excess amount of flab either. A dense coat usually doesn't show much skin through when you blow directly on it. This is also done to check good color (intermediate bands and under color)worth ten points. This isn't a fool proof way to check density, but it is a way to give a novice a better idea of what good density will feel like. Good texture is usually found with life or a resilience to it. A good way to check texture is by pushing directly down on the fur when it is standing straight up (brush it from the hindquarters to the shoulders). The imprint your hand leaves should be minimal or nonexistent. If your hand leaves an imprint, the coat is probably lacking life and texture. Check the density and texture in more than one place on the rabbit, as molt can be found over the hindquarter, or texture and density may not be uniform all over. That, too, is a fault. An animal with good coat should not win over an animal with good type just based on those two traits. The coat loses to type in overall value by five points (it is only worth forty). How you chose to weigh the importance of a fair typed animal with great fur, to a great typed animal with fair fur is up to you. How many points that is deducted for each fault is not a set standard. It is your call whether or not a particular fault should have a lot of impact. This is, of course, within reason. You cannot make an animal in a class lose to another simply on bad ears if it has the better body. You must still work within the standards and set table of points. All decisions and deductions of points must be made in relativity to the points in the table of points in that breed standard. If evaluating your own animals, you may weigh each quality as heavily as you wish in accordance to what you need and what you don't. With any breed, good type should be a necessity to your rabbitry. If you breed for a specific trait, and ignore the rest, you are strengthening faults such as poor type, etc. By focusing on one trait you are degrading the overall gene pool that so many have worked so long to perfect. With every breeding, the goal should be to improve your stock overall, and in doing so improve the breed. If that breeding is just going to degrade the stock and the breed, it's best you don't do it!! Breeders that have bred their animals to one trait and have lost all others are also producing faulty, or poor genetics. With poor genetics you'll have more health problems, breeding problems, and probably temperament problems. Something for you to consider. Today we all must judge rabbits to the Standard of Perfection when we aren't doing it for ourselves. Judges must follow the standards. This doesn't always make the standards right. I feel judging the Rex so heavily on fur is encouraging poor types, and poor genetics overall. The goal should always be to acquire or breed the most perfect rabbit there is, it isn't a very achievable goal. There is no such thing as a perfect rabbit. However, there are some closer to perfection than others. Those rabbits are acquired by none other than those with perfection as their ultimate goal.

1997  Auri of Dunn Mountain Rabbitry (click here to learn more about Dunn Mountain)


2001 National Rex Rabbit Club

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