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CIRCUS LIONS RABBITRY

Lionhead rabbits for sale in Northeast PA

Evaluating Type

 

    

 I'm going to try to show you how to figure out if your rabbit is "typey" - that is, if it fits the standard or what breeders are trying for in regard to body structure and coat.  The standard can be confusing and open to interpretation.  Each breed of purebred animal has a standard, whether it's a Boston terrier or Flemish giant rabbit or the lionhead.  (No one animal will perfectly meet the standard but the breeder's and show person's goal is to come as close as possible.  Since lionheads are a new breed and not yet an officially accepted breed  (by ARBA - American Rabbit Breeders Association), the breed as a whole shows some wide variety in type!  But as the breed progresses, the type gets more consistant and stronger, with the hard work of all kinds of breeders all over the country.  Getting a new breed passed and officially accepted is a long, difficult process and takes a lot of years dedication on the part of the people attempting it).

 

Let's start with the head.  The standard calls for this: Head (10 points): The head should be bold.  It should have a good width and a slight roundness between the eyes, but should not be round from all directions.  The muzzle should be well filled.  The head should be attached to the body with a high head mount and no visible neck.  Eyes should be bright and bold. Eye color to be described as in the individual variety.  Faults: A long, narrow head; pointed or narrow muzzle; low headset; head that is round from all directions.   You will see lots of pet store lionheads that still have the longer head the breed began with.  Lionhead breeders crossed Netherland dwarf rabbits (and others) into their lines to bring in the rounder head they desired for the breed.  The black rabbit above on the left is recognizable as a lionhead but it has a narrow head - compare with the width of the face of the blue rabbit on the right.  So the head on the left shows poor type and the one on the right is much better type.

A rabbit with a good head mount can pose up easily; one whose head mount is too low never really poses up high enough.  They tend to be "table huggers", lying too flat and low.  A frightened rabbit with correct type can do this, too and make it difficult to see its correct type.   

Ears (5 points): Ears are to be erect and well set, but not necessarily touching.  When relaxed, ears will be carried in a slight "V".  They should be well furred, of good substance, and slightly rounded at the tips.  Ears should balance with the head and body. Faults: Ears that are pointed, lack furring or do not balance with the body.  Heavy wool more than halfway up the ear.  Disqualification from competition: Ears that exceed 3.5 inches in length. So the rabbit on the left has ears that are probably too large (and although the standard allows for ears up to 3.5 inches long, most breeders seem to prefer as small an ear as possible, that still balances with the head).  Its ears are also too pointed.  The rabbit on the right has much typier ears.  But she also carries heavy wool on them too far up the ear.  This is a fault but not a disqualification.  Some breeders will mistakenly try to remove excess wool like this but it's considered cheating and not good for the breed in the long run.  That sort of practice just perpetuates too-wooly ears, instead of moving the breed closer to the standard.  Good substance means a nice, thick ear leather.

The ears should also be set high enough forward on the head so they stand easily, and don't need to be lifted into place. 

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