Painted Whiskers Rabbitry

Friendly, Quality, Show Bunnies

Rabbit Glossary

This is a glossary of words and terms peculiar to rabbits and rabbit keeping. These are not necessarily the dictionary definitions.

A
ADULT-
Any fully developed, mature rabbit of breeding age. For show classification, see senior.

ALBINO-
A white rabbit with a pink eye.

ARCH (ARC)-
The gentle curvature of the spine, extending from the neck (or shoulders in some breeds) to the rear of the rabbit. Best observed by viewing the animal in side profile.

AWN FLUFF-
The soft, crimped, intermediate wool fibers, ending with a straight tip. A type of wool fiber described in the Giant angora standard.

AWN HAIR-
The strong, straight guard hair protruding above the undercoat or fleece in Giant Angoras.

B
BACK-
The top portion of the rabbit’s shoulders, loin, and hindquarters.

BALANCE-
(1)Type-Shape or conformation. An orderly and pleasing arrangement of physical characteristics so as to present a harmonious appearance.
(2)Markings-Equal distribution of corresponding markings, such as color divisions of the Harlequin, or equal amounts of color on the cheeks of the Dutch. Equal distribution of color in the pattern and side markings of the Checkered Giant, English Spot, and Rhinelander.

BANGS-
The longer wool appearing at the front base of the ears and top of the head in some wooled breeds.

BANDING-
(1) A hair shaft having various colors. Normally associated with an agouti coat.
(2)An unbroken vertical circle of marking color extending around the body of the Harlequin.

BARRED-
(1) Elongated spots, which should be round. (As found in the side markings of a Rhinelander or English Spot, or the cheek spots of the Rhinelander, English Spot, or Checkered Giant.)
(2) Light colored streaks or bars on the front legs.
(3) A semicircle of marking color, running vertically on the side of the Harlequin.

BASE COLOR-
The fur color next to the skin, undercolor.

BELL EARS-
Ears that have large, heavy tips with a distinctive fall or lop to them.

BELLY-
The abdomen, from the last rib to the pelvis, containing primarily the organs of digestion.

BELLY COLOR-
the color underneath a rabbit, extending from the forelegs to the crotch area.

BEST IN SHOW-

          When a rabbit wins Best in Breed, it is eligable to compete against all the other Best in Breed winners. The judge usually selects 3 winners sometimes 4 winners, (sometimes 3rd Reserve) 2nd Reserve, 1st Reserve, and Best in Show.  

BLAZE-
the white marking found on the head of Dutch. It covers the nose, whisker bed, and runs along the jaw line. The shape is that of a wedge, which tapers from the nose to the base of the ears.

BLOOM-
The vitality and finish of a coat in good condition.

BLEMISH-
Any defect or fault which detracts from the appearance.

BOILS or ABSCESS-
A localized area of inflammation caused by an infection under the skin, in a gland, or in a hair follicle. It may produce localized swelling, heat, and redness.

BOOTS-
The colored markings on the feet and legs of Himalayan marked rabbits.

BOWED LEGS-
May be applied to the fore or hind legs. Bent like a bow. Legs curved outwardly or inwardly from the middle.

BREED-
A class of domestic rabbits which reproduces itself with distinctive characteristics, such as fur, markings, shape, and size.

BREEDER-
(1) Anyone who raises a breed or variety of rabbits which complies with the STANDARD OF PERFECTION.
(2) A rabbit used primarily to produce offspring.

BREEDING CERTIFICATE-
A written certificate, issued by the owner of a stud buck, showing its pedigree and the date of breeding to a particular doe. It is issued as proof of the ancestry of the anticipated litter.

BRINDLING-
(1) The longer tipped guard hairs carried up the sides of Tans.
(2) An intermixture of two colors without definite pattern.

BROKEN COAT-
Fur with the guard hairs missing or broken, which exposes the undercoat. Areas where the coat is affected by molt, which exposes the undercoat.

BUCK-
An intact male rabbit.

BUCK TEETH-
See wolf teeth.

BULL DOG HEAD-
A short, broad, bold head, with a definite masculine appearance.

BUTTERFLY-
A nose marking found on some breeds. The wing portions cover the whisker bed from lip to lip, with the body, or nose fork, extending up the center of the face.

BUTTING TEETH-
A form of malocclusion, where the incisors meet evenly, without the upper incisors overlapping the lower incisors in proper structure. A Disqualification from Competition.

C
CAKED TEATS or BREASTS-
Engorgement of a doe’s mammary gland and teat with an abundant milk supply. Inflammation usually indicates mastitis.

CAP-
the marking line where lower ear color stops and joins head color. Specified in the Checkered Giant.

CARRIAGE-
(1)The manner in which a rabbit carries itself. The style or characteristic pose of a rabbit.
(2) The style in which a rabbit carries its ears.

CHAIN-
The arrangement of the spots on an English Spot, running from the neck to the abdominal area.

CHARLIE-
An extremely lightly marked animal in marked breeds or Broken Groups. Usually having colored ears, light eye circles, and a Charlie Chaplin mustache like marking. Usually devoid of back and side markings.

CHEST-
The front portion of the body, between the forelegs and the neck.

CHEEKS-
(1)The sides of the face, below the eyes.
(2) The rounded color head marking that forms the blaze and carries down along the jaw line of a Dutch.

CHOPPED-
A condition of body type in which there is an abrupt and sharp vertical fall from the top of the hip to the tail. Not well filled out and rounded.

CLASSIFICATION-
A system of arranging the judging within different breeds.

CLEAN-
(1) A term used on French Angora, Satin Angora, Jersey Wooly, and Fuzzy Lop’s head, ears, feet, and legs, denoting the presence of normal fur (absence of wool) in those places.
(2) A marking term denoting well formed markings without congestion or drags.

COBBY-
A short and stocky body type which is close couple and very compact.

COLD-
An infection localized in the nose. Usually characterized by repeated sneezing and the discharge of fluid from the nose. Sometimes accompanied by matted fur on the inside of the front feet. Note: In judging, the matted fur is only an indication and shall not be considered as conclusive evidence of a cold.

COMPATIBLE-
In eye color, a normal color that complements or matches the body color.

CONDITION-
The overall physical state of a rabbit in relation to health, cleanliness, fur, and grooming.

CONJUNCTIVITIS-
Inflammation of the inner membrane of the eyelid and sometimes the portion of the membrane that covers the white of the eye.

COTTONY-
A very fine, soft textured fur or wool which lacks guard hair.

COW HOCKS-
Hind legs that turn inward at the hock, causing the toe portion to turn outward from the belly.

CRIMP-
The natural waviness of the fiber in a wool undercoat.

CROWN-
A strong basal ridge of cartilage at the top of the head, forming the ear base on some lop eared breeds.

D
DEAD HAIRS-
Fur which lacks life. Caused by molting or dead coat.

DEAD TAIL-
A tail which is hard and brittle due to the loss of circulation.

DENSITY-
The property or quality of thick coat of fur. The number of fur fibers in a given area.

DEFINITION-
The sharpness and clarity of a color break on a hair shaft, as in the ring color in Agouti fur.

DEPTH-
Measurement downward from the top line of the body to the lowest portion of the body.

DEWCLAW-
An extra toe or functionless digit on the inside of the front legs.

DEWLAP-
A pendulous fold of loose skin which hangs from the throat. Common in does. It should be in proportion to the total body size. Not accepted in some breeds.

DISQUALIFICATION or DISQUALIFICATION FROM COMPETITION-
One or more defects, deformities, or blemishes which render a rabbit ineligible for competition or registration.

DOE-
An intact female rabbit.

DRAGS-
Intrusions of color markings into a white marking area.

E
EAR CANKER-
An inflamed, scabby condition, deep inside the ear. It is caused by an infection of the ear canal by an ear mite.

EAR LACING-
A colored line of fur which outlines the sides and tips of the ears.

EXTENSION-
(1) Length of leg and limb.
(2) Depth of color carried down a hair shaft.

EYE COLOR-
The color of the iris. The circle of color which surrounds the pupil of the eye.

EYE STAIN-
Splotches or streaks of color around the eyes in Himalayan marked breeds.

F
FAKING-
Any deliberate change in the appearance of a rabbit which is done with the intent to deceive.

FEATHERING-
(1) Small colored drag off the top of the eye circle. Usually associated with English Spot, Rhinelander, or Checkered Giant.
(2) Any drag in the coloration of a Dwarf Hotot eye band.

FELTING-
Wool fibers that have become interwoven during natural growth.

FINE COAT-
A coat of fur too fine in texture, lacking body. Guard hairs weak and thin in structure. Lacking the proper amount of guard hairs.

FINISH-
The desired degree of perfection in condition. Fully prime in coat, color, and flesh.

FLABBY-
The condition of a rabbit when the skin hangs loosely by its own weight. Not trim, shapely, or firm of flesh.

FLAT COAT-
Fur lying too close to the body. Lacks spring or body as noted by touch. Usually a fine coat coupled with lack of density.

FLAT SHOULDERS-
A trait that occurs when the top line over shoulders is noticeably parallel to the surface of the judging table. A lack of continuous arch from the neck over the shoulders.

FLEECE-
The wool covering the rabbit, including all growing fibers. (Not sorted.)

FLYBACK-
A coat of fur which flies back to its smooth normal position when stroked from the hindquarters to the shoulders.

FOOT-
The portion of the skeleton on which the rabbit walks or stands. On the foreleg, that portion below the pastern or ankle. On the rear leg, that portion below the hock.

FOREIGN COLOR-
Any color of fur, nails, or eyes differing from that called for in the STANDARD OF PERFECTION for the breed or variety.

FOREHEAD-
The front part of the head between the eyes and the base of the ears.

FOREQUARTER-
The portion of the body starting with the neck, back to, and including the last rib.

FRINGES-
The wool appearing on the ears of some wooled breeds. Falls between the tassels and the bangs.

FURNISHINGS-
The tassels, fringes on the ears, bangs, and the head side trimmings on some wooled breeds.

G
GESTATION-
The length of time between conception and birth. (Normally 31 days.) The carrying of young.

GLOSSY-
The reflection, luster, or brightness from a naturally healthy fur. A natural property of fur, sometimes improved by grooming.

GRAND CHAMPION-

        When a rabbit receives 3 legs. Has to be registered with an official registrar with the legs completed and sent to the ARBA with a fee. You may receive a certificate. See also, Legs of Grand Champion

GROUP-
A broader classification than variety, usually applied to color pattern groupings.

GUARD HAIR-
The longer, coarser projecting hair of the coat, which offers protection to the undercoat. It furnishes wearing quality and resilience to the coat.

H

HERRINGBONE-
The colored spine or dorsal stripe on the English Spot. A herring bone or serrated edge to the spine marking.

HIND LEG-
Consists of the foot, hock, stifle (knee), and hip joint.

HINDQUARTERS-
The rear portion or section of the body, from the last rib. Composed of the loin, hips, hind legs, and rump.

HIP-
The joint that attaches the hind legs to the trunk of the body.

HOCK-
The pointed portion of the rear leg. The joint distant to the stifle.

HUMPBACK-
A hump or protrusion on the back, caused by a deformity of the spine.

I

INSIDE OF EAR-
The concave portion of the ear.

INTERMEDIATE-
Terminology used in breeds having 6 showroom classes. A rabbit 6 to 8 months of age, or meeting weight requirements of the breed standard for that age group.

IRIS-
The colored portion of the eye, surrounding the pupil.

J

JUNIOR-
A rabbit less than 6 months of age.

K

KINDLE-
A term used to indicate the birth of young.

KNEE-
The second joint of the hind leg. Connects the thigh to the leg. Also known as the stifle.

L

LACING-
See Ear Lacing.

LACTATE-
To nurse. To produce milk.

LAP SPOTS-
Intensification of belly color in the area of the groin. (Inside the hind legs, on the belly.)

LEG OF GRAND CHAMPION-

          A piece of paper received when a rabbit wins Best of Breed (BOB) or Best Opposite Sex of Breed (BOS) with 5 or more rabbits and 3 or more exibitors.

LIGHT TOENAIL-
Toenail showing some pigmentation but not the full color.

LOIN-
That portion of the back on each side of the vertebrae from the last rib posterior to the hip joint.

LOOSE COAT-
Fur not set tightly in the skin. Slipping and breaking out.

LOPPED EARS-
Pendulous ears, carried below horizontal rather than upright.

LUSTER-
Brightness and brilliance of fur.

M

MALOCCLUSION-
Teeth having the lower incisors extending in front of the upper incisors or meeting with no overlap. This condition may be hereditary and may also be known as buck or wolf teeth.

MANDOLIN-
Having the appearance of a mandolin laid face down. Body arch starting at the back of the shoulders rather than the nape of the neck.

MARBLING-
A mottling of the eye color.

MARKED-
A rabbit, usually white, which is broken up by an orderly placement of another color(s). Also includes rabbits which carry the Tan Pattern.

MASK-
Nose and muzzle color, which usually extends further up the face than a butterfly marking.

MASSIVE-
Giving the impression of being large, bulky, heavy, and ponderous.

MASTITIS-
An inflammation of the mammary glands.

MATTED-
Wool entangled in a thick mass.

MEALY-
Off colored stray hairs in a colored pattern, giving the appearance of being powdered or sprinkled with meal.

MEATY-
The quality of being able to carry a good portion of meat in proportion to the bone, size, and type of the rabbit. A noticeably well proportioned meatiness of the forequarters, back, loin, and hindquarters.

MID SECTION-
That portion of the body starting with the 6th rib, back tot the rear legs.

MOLT-
The act of shedding or changing fur.

MOON EYE-
See Wall Eye.

MUTATION-
The sudden change of a physical characteristic, caused by an alteration of the genetic organization. The best known mutations are the Rex and Satin fur structures.

MUZZLE-
The lower part of the face and nose of the rabbit.

N

NECK-
(1)That part of the rabbit connecting the head to the body.
(2) A wedge shaped marking that is a portion of the collar, behind the ears, on Dutch.

NOSEFORK-
The body portion of the butterfly marking.

NOSTRILS-
The two openings of the nose leading to the internal structures of the head.

O

OFF COLORED-
A departure from the desired color of fur, toenails, or eyes. (See Foreign Color.)

OPEN COAT-
Coat lacking the ability to return to its natural position when stroked towards the head.

P

PACKED-
Wool that becomes compacted or felted.

PARASITE-
Another organism that lives on, or within, the host animal. Examples are mange, mites, lice, fleas, protozoa, etc.

PATCH-
A small section of fur.

PAUNCH-
The prominent portion of the abdomen.

PEA SPOTS-
Two spots of marking color at the inside base of the ear in Tan Patterned breeds.

PEARL-
The intermediate color band of some varieties of rabbits. Off white in color.

PEDIGREE-
A written chart of the male and female ancestors, showing the date of birth, the parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. It may contain other information such as color, weight, etc.

PEGGED TEETH-
Teeth which only meet and do not achieve the required upper incisor overbite of the lower incisors. A Disqualification from Competition.

PEG TEETH-
Two small residual incisors just behind the normal top incisors. May be incorrectly used to indicate butting teeth.

PELT-
(1) The hide of the animal after it is removed.
(2) For judging purposes, the usable portion is defined as that part remaining after the removal of the head, feet, tail, and legs.

PENCIL LINE-
A protrusion of fur across the throat and under the chin. Not a dewlap.

PIGEON BREASTED-
A narrow chest, with a protruding “V” shaped breast bone.

PINCHED HINDQUARTERS-
Hindquarters tapering towards the tail, giving a pinched appearance.

PLUSH-
Dense, fine hair, with a very soft feel.

POINTS-
(1) The ears, tail, nose, front feet, rear feet, and leg markings in Californian, Himalayan, or Pointed Whites.
(2) A scale of points, as listed in the Standard, showing the comparative value of each feature to the ideal.
(3) Points that an animal receives toward display. Points to be figured by multiplying 6 points for first, 4 points for second, 3 points for third, 2 points for fourth, and 1 point for fifth, times the number of animals in the class.

POT BELLY-
A distended condition of the abdominal cavity, usually found in young rabbits.

POOR COAT-
Fur not in good condition due to molt, stain, ill health, or general poor quality due to genetic factors.

PRIME-
An animal which exhibits ideal condition of flesh and coat.

PRIME LINE-
A line of fur that develops down the middle of the back and rump, signifying a finished coat condition.

PUREBRED-
A very loose term used to designate rabbits which closely approximate the requirements of the standards for their breed, and have done so for a number of generations.

R

RACY-
Slim, trim, alert, and hare like in appearance. Long and slender in body and limbs.

RIBS-
The curved portions of the sides immediately back and under the shoulders.

RING COLOR-
The color of the intermediate portion of a hair shaft in Agouti Patterned animals.

ROLLBACK-
A gradual return of the fur to its normal position when stroked from the hindquarters to the shoulders. Slightly slower return than a fly back coat.

ROMAN NOSE-
A nose whose bridge is so comparatively high as to form a slightly convex line from the forehead to nose tip.

RUN-
An intrusion of white color into a colored marking area on a marked breed.

RUMP-
The upper, rounded portion of the hindquarters.

S

SALT AND PEPPER-
A flat appearance of black and white ticking, as found on Chinchilla, caused by the lack of contrast and desire waviness in the ticking. This is due to a weakness of color on the tips of the guard hairs.

SADDLE-
(1) The whole upper portion of the back, including loin, rump, and hind legs.
(2) A Dutch marking. The point where the white fur ceases and the colored fur begins, on the upper part of the body.

SCREW TAIL-
See Wry Tail.

SENIOR-
A rabbit 6 months of age or over in those breeds having 4 showroom classes. A rabbit 8 months of age or over in breeds having 6 showroom classes. An animal having reached minimum senior breed weight, if allowed in the breed standard.

SHADOW BARS-
Weakness of color in the fur on either front or hind feet. Appearing in the form of light colored bars running across the feet and legs.

SHAPE-
The general conformation of the rabbit’s overall appearance, as shown by body structure. Synonym for type.

SHEEN-
The principal feature of the Satin mutation. A bright, natural luster attributed to the unique structure of the guard hair shaft. Having a glass-like transparent hair shell with the ability to reflect light. Sometimes used in error to describe fur condition on a normal fur.

SHOULDER-
That portion of the body from the neck back through the 5th rib and the upper joint of the foreleg.

SIDE TRIMMINGS-
Wool appearing along the side of the head and face on some wooled breeds.

SILVERING-
Fur having the appearance of a silvery gloss or luster. Caused by an abundance of silver white or silver tipped guard hairs, evenly distributed throughout the fur, so as to present an overall shiny or silvery appearance.

SLIPPED CROWN-
Placement of the crown too far forward, or too far back, on the head of some lop breeds, causing the ear carriage to be misplaced.

SLIPPING COAT-
A coat of fur that is shedding or molting.

SLOBBERS-
Excessive salivation creating a wet or extremely moist and unsightly fur around the mouth, lower jaws, and forelegs.

SMUT-
(1) A dark, sooty appearing surface color, usually formed by a large number of dark guard hairs. Found in many rabbits that carry the genetic factor of red.
(2) Pelt stain found in Himalayans, Californians, and Pointed Whites.
(3) The nose marking found on Himalayans.

SNIPEY-
An elongated, narrow head, usually terminating in a pinched muzzle.

SOLID-
A classification, for judging purposes, within a breed. Generally including all non Broken animals, as found in Lops.

SORE HOCK-
An ulceration of the foot pad. Can occur on either hind or front feet.

SPLAYED (SPRADDLED LEGGED)-
A condition where the rabbit cannot hold the front or back legs under the body. The legs spread out from the body.

SPOT-
(1) A distinct and noticeable cluster of foreign colored hairs forming a definite spot.
(2) A foreign color in the iris or on the surface of the cornea of the eye.

STAPLE LENGTH-
length of the Angora fiber or wool.

STRAIN-
A genetically related bloodline possessing distinguishing characteristics such as type, color, or coat, and the ability to pass the characteristics to the offspring.

SURFACE COLOR-
The top color of the fur, lying in its normal position.

T

TASSELS-
The longer wool on top of the ears of some wooled breeds.

TICKING-
Longer guard hairs, throughout the coat, of a color distinct from the underwool or body fur.

TINT-
A slight coloring or dusting of one color on another color. A variation in the intensity of a color.

TRIANGLE-
The small area behind the ears, in the shape of a triangle, which is generally lighter in color than the rest of the coat. A feature of Tan and Agouti Patterned animals.

TUCKED UP-
(1) A trim appearance, with the flank and belly gathered in closely to form an arch when the rabbit is in a sitting position.
(2) A posing failure caused by pushing the hindquarters too far forward.

TYPE-
Denotes the conformation. The shape or size of a particular part. The general physical makeup of the rabbit.

U

UNDER WOOL-
The shortest wool fiber, lying at the base of the wool coat. The proportion of under wool to other fibers may be a distinguishing characteristic of some wooled breeds.

UNDERCOLOR-
The color at the base of the fur shaft or next to the skin.

UNDERCUT-
The belly marking on a Dutch rabbit. A continuation of the saddle marking to the underneath side of the rabbit.

UNDERCUT HINDQUARTERS-
Where the skeletal or muscular structure does not fill the lower hindquarters.

V

VARIETY-
A division within a breed or group. Color determines the variety.

VENT DISEASE-
A venereal disease in rabbits which affects both sexes. Indicated by a scabby, reddened sex organ, often exuding puss.

W

WALL EYE (MOON EYE)-
An eye which is whitish on the surface (cornea) of the eye. Having a milky film over the eye.

WEBBED-
Angora wool fibers that are in the beginning of felting or matting. A loose tangling of fibers that can usually be removed by grooming.

WHITE TOENAIL-
A nail without pigmentation. Showing only the pink cast of the blood vessel.

WOLF TEETH-
Protruding or elongated incisors in either the upper and/or lower jaw, caused by malocclusion. Improper alignment of the upper and lower teeth which prevents normal wear. Buck teeth.

WRY NECK-
Carriage of the head to one side at an angular plane, instead of the normal carriage in a vertical plane.

WRY TAIL-
An abnormal tail, bent, carried, or twisted permanently to one side. A corkscrew tail with one or more turns.

Y

YELLOW FAT-
Body fat that is yellow in color. Not harmful, but undesirable from a sales standpoint.