Moving on to the Body (25 Points): The body is to be short, compact and well rounded. The shoulders and chest are to be broad and well filled, with shoulders matching hindquarters. The depth of the shoulders should be deep enough to allow the animal to show full chest and then round back to hindquarters of slightly less depth. The hindquarters are to be broad, deep and well rounded. The lower hips should be well filled. Legs should be of medium length and medium bone, relative to the size of the animal. Faults: Long, narrow body, flatness over shoulders or hips, chopped off, pinched, or undercut hindquarters, any specimen that shows raciness.
Golden Sunrise Hosta (photo courtesy Setzke's)
showing nice round profile, (although his rear feet
are posed too far forward in this pic)
I've read that a compact breed's dimensions should be the same heighth x length x width. I was also told that the profile should look like a basketball cut in half or actually a quarter of one When you cup your hand over the shoulders and move it down the body to the butt (and the table the bunny's resting on), it should feel full and even all the way down. No hollow or sucked in spots. (Here's a link to Gail Gibbons'/ Cimarron Lionheads, excellent description of the correct way to pose a lion, for show and to evaluate its body type. I will also add some of my own pics soon for visual illustration). The shoulders should be as wide as the hips. According to Melissa Kelly, in the NALRC's guidebook, pg. 58 (1), "Juniors, no matter what breed, will always be more narrow in the shoulder because they will widen in the shoulder with age. They will also lengthen with age in the shoulder. Moving along the rabbit, the rib spread should reach out to meet the stifle or knee of the rabbit. Ideally, that section of should be as even as possible. The rib spread is difficult to correct so careful culling would be important here." In profile, the body should round back nicely from the shoulder; if it slopes down sharply, this is incorrect. It should appear to have no neck. There should be no flat spots over the shoulder or hip and no abrupt drop or flatness to the table. Hosta appears to drop off a bit sharply over his butt in the above photo, most likely because his rear feet are so far forward. Still, he's in a much better pose than I'm usually able to achieve for the camera, which is why I asked if I could use his pic here.
As we move down the body and get to the hindquarters, the most commonly occuring faults in lionheads are weak hindquarters, that are pinched and/or undercut. (2) ARBA judge Carol Green, at the 2009 ARBA convention lionhead exhibition show was quoted as saying, "Unfortunately a relatively large number of the animals lacked fullness in the hindquarters and some were flat and long in type". This fault also factored into the lionheads not passing presentation as a breed in 2009. Flat and long in type would describe "raciness".
You check for good hindquarters by continuing to move your cupped hand down the rabbit's back and butt and observe if your hand goes under the rabbit or stays full and open. You also turn the rabbit over and observe how its hind feet look in a relaxed position. They should be nice and parallel to each other, with good width between them. You don't want back feet that are too close together or have heels that point inward at each other. That indicates that the rabbit's pelvis is pinched or too narrow.
I suspect the black rabbit on the left has poor back feet, from the angle of them (although it could just be the photo. He also has a white snip on his nose-incorrect marking). The other three pics are of rabbits I have here; their feet maybe could be spaced even a little further apart. But I have made sure not to keep any rabbit with heels that go in, which I saw very frequently the first year I was
For information on evaluating coat, go on to the next page. Mane pictorial
(1) Evaluating Rabbits by Melissa Kelly, assisted by Eric Stewart, NALRC Guidebook, 2nd edition, pg. 56
(2) Judging Lionheads at Convention 2009, Carol Green, The Mane Musings, Jan/Feb/Mar 2010 issue, pg. 31
page 2 - mane pictorial