Rabbit Terms Glossary

Definitions of Words Commonly Used by Rabbit Show Breeders

Click on green words in the list below for more information on that topic.

  • Agouti – a fur color pattern generally involving rings of color on the hair shafts.  Chinchilla is an example of an agouti color.

  • ARBA – American Rabbit Breeders’ Association – umbrella national rabbit club.  All rabbit breeders in the US and Japan should be members of ARBA.

  • cute american fuzzy lop babyBEW – Blue-eyed white – white bunny with blue eyes resulting from two Vienna genes.

  • BIS – Best In Show – the rabbit of any breed judged to be the best at a show

  • BOB- Best of Breed – judged to be the best Holland at that show.

  • BOS – Best Opposite Sex – judged to be the best Holland of the opposite sex of the BOB.  If a buck is BOB, then a doe is chosen BOS and vice versa.

  • BOSV – Best Opposite Sex of Variety – judged to be the best broken (or solid) of the opposite sex of the BOV.  Competes for the BOS but not BOB award.

  • BOV – Best of Variety – judged to be either the best broken or best solid at that show.  Competes for the BOB and BOS awards.

  • BRIS – Best Reserve in Show – the rabbit of any breed judged to be second best at a show.  This BRIS does not have to be the opposite sex of the BIS.  Often written “RIS”

  • Broken – a white rabbit with patches of color.  A broken black has black patches, a broken tort has tort patches, etc.

  • Buck – male rabbit

  • Dam – female rabbit that produced an offspring.  A rabbit’s dam is its mother.

  • Class – a group of Hollands that fall into the same gender, pattern and age group.  Solid Senior Bucks and Broken Junior Does are two classes.  There are eight classes of Holland Lops.

  • Convention – the national rabbit show held by ARBA and sponsored by a local club for all breeds.  Held in the fall.  Many states hold conventions as well.

  • Crown – the part of a rabbits head between the ears and behind the brow

  • Charlie – a bunny with two broken-pattern genes which result in a minimally patterned rabbit.  Hollands must have 10% pattern to be showable. 

  • Doe – female rabbit

  • DQ- disqualification from showing.  DQ’s may be either permanent (such as a missing toe, malocclusion, or nonshowable color) or temporary (illness).

  • Enteritis – an often fatal illness of the digestive system characterized by diarrhea and brought on by stress, excessive carbohydrate consumption and/or weaning.

  • Entry- entries are rabbits that will participate in a particular show.

  • Gestation – the period of time between breeding and birthing or kindling.

  • Grand Champion - a rabbit that has earned three or more legs, at least one of them being a senior leg, under at least two different judges.  To obtain a grand champion number and certificate, the legs must be submitted with a fee to ARBA.

  • Herdsman Points – One herdsman point is awarded to each HLRSC member for each different rabbit that wins a Best of Breed or Best Opposite Sex in sanctioned shows.  Herdsman points are indicators of the depth of the quality of a particular herd.

  • HLRSC – Holland Lop Rabbit Specialty Club – national specialty club for Holland Lops.  There are lots of benefits of belonging to the HLRSC or the national specialty club for your breed.

  • Junior – in Hollands, rabbits under 6 months old and over 2 lbs.

  • Kindling - giving birth to young.

  • Kindling Box – a box provided to does so that she can make a nest and have babies in it.  Also called a nest box.

  • Kit – baby rabbit

  • Leg- a leg is earned by winning in an ARBA-sanctioned show as long as there are three exhibitors and five rabbits competing for the win.  For example, first place in a class of five or more bunnies showed by three or more different exhibitors would earn a leg.  For classes without enough exhibitors and/or bunnies, it may be possible to earn a leg by winning BOSV (if there are sufficient numbers of the related sex in the variety), BOV (if there are sufficient numbers in the entire variety), BOS (if there are sufficient number in the related sex of the breed) or BOB (if there are sufficient numbers in the entire breed).  A rabbit may only earn one leg per judging.

  • Malocclusion – The misalignment of teeth.

  • Nationals – a national specialty show held by a national specialty club (such as the Holland Lop Rabbit Specialty Club) and sponsored by a local club.  The HLRSC show is in the spring.

  • Nest Box - a box provided to does so that she can make a nest and have babies in it.  Also called a kindling box.

  • Open – shows that are open to exhibitors of all ages.

  • Open Coat- fur that is beginning to lose its texture and luster and is almost ready to molt.

  • Palpation- feeling a does abdomen to determine the presence or absence of embryos.

  • Peanut – a bunny with two dwarf genes, which is a fatal combination.

  • Pre-Junior – A show classification for young rabbits only found in very large breeds.  Sometimes used as an unofficial term for rabbits that are old enough to be weaned but not mature enough to show as a junior.

  • Quality Points – HLRSC members earn two quality points for each Best of Breed and Best In Show and one quality point for each Best Opposite Sex and Best Reserve (also Best 4 Class, when available) won in sanctioned shows.

  • Registrar- a person who, after taking a test and meeting other eligibility requirements, is certified by ARBA to evaluate rabbits and register them if they meet standards.  ARBA sanctioned shows are required to have a registrar available.

  • Registration – registration is a process of bringing a rabbit before a registrar to verify that it meets standards for the breed, supplying pedigree information and paying a registration fee in order to obtain a registration number, tattoo and certificate.

  • REW – Ruby-eyed white – white bunny with ruby eyes resulting from two REW (cc) genes.

  • Sanctioned- shows that abide by ARBA and HLRSC (and perhaps local association) show rules and pay sanction fees are said to be ARBA sanctioned and/or HLRSC sanctioned (and perhaps sanctioned by other clubs as well).  Sweepstakes points are accumulated only from sanctioned shows.  Only legs earned at ARBA sanctioned shows can be used to earn a Grand Champion certification.

  • Self - a fur color pattern where the hair colors are the same on each hair shaft all over the bunny.  The pattern that may be modified by the c-series gene (such as in sable point).  Black is an example of a self color.

  • Sire – male rabbit that produced an offspring.  A rabbit’s sire is its father.

  • Sweepstakes – sweepstakes contests are conducted by national rabbit clubs such as the HLRSC and some local clubs as well.  For the HLRSC, sweepstakes points are earned as follows:  6 points per rabbit shown for first place, 4 points per rabbit for second place, 3 points per rabbit for third place, 2 points per rabbit for fourth place, and 1 point for rabbit for fifth place.  Best of Breed earns two points per rabbit shown in the breed.  Best Opposite Sex earns one point per rabbit shown in the breed.  For Nationals and Convention, first place through tenth place earn the following points, respectively, 12, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2 per rabbit shown.

  • Tort – Short for tortoiseshell, the most prevalent Holland Lop fur color; when used alone refers to black tortoiseshell rather than blue, chocolate or lilac tortoiseshell.

  • Trio – two does and a buck, often matched for breeding to begin or expand a rabbitry

  • Variety – in Hollands, the color and the pattern of the fur.  For example, solid tort or broken sable point.  If no pattern is mentioned, then solid is assumed.

  • Youth – exhibitors under age 19 and at least age 5.

Next article

Next Article: What is the difference between “registered” and “pedigreed.” 



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Site last updated November 4, 2013.

Or rather, this "updated last" notice was last updated on that date. The site is updated frequently. :)