This is the correct pose of a Giant Chinchilla. The end of the front toes are under the center of the eye. The toes of the hind foot are under the front of the stifle joint (also known as the knee). The head is held in a natural position. It is not to be pushed down or raised up. There is just a slight flatness over the shoulders with the shoulders being deep and broad. The rise starts just about three fingers back of the base of the ears or close to the center of the shoulders. The rise carries back to a high point over the hips, not quite to center, as the standard calls for. If this rabbit were pushed together it would put the high point over or in front of the stifle joint and that would be a more serious fault than what it is as shown. Due to the high point being in front of the center of the rabbit, it causes the rabbit to have a slight slope (flat area) where it rounds down to the base of the tail. The toes of the hind foot are out where they can be seen to show that they are under the stifle joint. We are offering these photos and instructions to help you in evaluating your rabbits.
Our President, Mr. Carl Filliater, who has raised and judged Giant Chinchillas for decades, has worked diligently to make this presentation for all of us who love these Gentle Giants. We thank him for this wonderful contribution to our site.
This is the same pose as the first picture, with the red lines added as reference points. The first line is at the stifle joint and the rear one is at the base of the tail. These two lines show the hip area (or the hindquarters) of the rabbit. The center line shows where the high point should be, or the ideal as per the standard.
In this picture, and the preceding one, notice the dark lines and the lighter lines throughout most of the body. This is a good example of what the standard calls for in reference to the wavy surface color. The dark lines could be a litter darker. The fur of this rabbit has good return but could be a little faster for a very good FLY BACK!
This photo shows a good comparison of the width to the depth. Also notice how round he is across the top of the back. Notice how full the lower hindquarters are. I will cover this again when I am showing the hind feet.
In the picture where I am showing how to measure the width, I mention the indentations just below my fingers. This picture gives a very good look at them. This is a fault caused by more depth than width, or not enough width to the loin.
The two faults I have mentioned, lacking fullness of the loin and the high point too far forward, are overshadowed by all the good points of the rabbit. When you run your hand over the back, you do not feel any backbone and when you come down over the rump you cannot feel any pin bones. This is a real smooth rabbit, with everything almost in perfect harmony, resulting in a well balanced rabbit.
I wish I had more like him!
The rabbit is to have a rounded hindquarters, from one side to the other. If there is any flatness across the hindquarters, it is to be faulted severely. Nine times out of ten, if there is any flatness the rabbit will also be "chopped" (when you bring your hand back and down across the rump you will feel something like a corner or sharp drop off the back.)
In this picture I am attempting to show a quick and easy way to start measuring the width, depth and length of a rabbit. Place the hand across the widest point of the rabbit, with the end of the thumb at the outside edge of the side and the end of the middle finger at the outside of the other side. Lock your hand in this position so the distance from the end of the thumb to the end of the middle finger do not change.
Also, note the indentations on each side of the rabbit just below the end of my thumb and finger. I will cover this in another photo.
With your hand locked (as described in the above photo) turn your hand so the end of the middle finger is just touching the surface that the rabbit is sitting on, and your thumb shows the difference between the width and depth of the rabbit. If the end of your thumb is sticking above the top of the back, that is a severe fault. This rabbit could be FAULTED (capitalized for emphasis) for having more depth than width.
Here again, notice the dark and light lines. I might emphasize that a CHINCHILLA, of any breed or variety, CANNOT have too much waviness.
Here I am starting to measure the length of the rabbit. You start by measuring the width as in an earlier picture. With your hand locked, turn it so the middle finger is about at the farthest back point of the hindquarters. With your thumb, ruffle the fur just a little so you know where to place your middle finger for the next measurement.
This is the second step of three steps in measuring the length of the rabbit. Your hand should be locked still from the second measurement. Here again, ruffle the fur with your thumb.
This is the third step in measuring the length of the Giant Chinchilla. Notice the nose of the rabbit is about 1/4 to 1/2 the span of the hand. This gives you an idea of how long the rabbit is in comparison to the width. The Standard says for a Giant Chinchilla to be "Moderately Long" but it doesn't say how long "moderately" is. I have found that if your Giant Chinchilla's length of body is 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 times its width, the length will be in BALANCE with the rest of the rabbit. This truth carries on from when the Giant Chinchilla is 8 to 10 weeks of age throughout the rest of its life.
The 1/4 to 1/2 is just about the length of the flatness at the shoulder. If the Giant Chinchilla is any shorter it could be DQ'ed for being too short. If it is over 2 1/2 times its width, it is very close to having the body of a Flemish Giant. A Flemish Giant cannot have a body shorter than 20". If it does it should be DQ'ed for being too short.
Let's Do Some Math!
If you have a Giant Chinchilla doe that is 8" wide she "ideally" should be 8" deep and 18 to 20 " long: 2 1/4 times 8" of width equals 18" (the minimum length
for her to be in proper balance)
2 1/2 times 8" of width equals 20" (the maximum length for
balance and the same length as the shortest Flemish Giant!
Here I am showing the best way to hold a rabbit to turn it over and check it after you have it on its back. You are not going to hurt the rabbit in any way, shape or form. All you have a hold of is the base of the ears. They are nothing but skin, blood vessels and cartilage. You cannot break cartilage so you cannot break the ear base. That is an "old wive's tale" (no offense ladies). Over the years I have handled thousands of rabbits this way and have never broken an ear base.
Place the fingers against the skull, between the ears. With your thumb and middle finger squeeze the very base of the ears. Squeeze as hard as possible and place your other hand just under the base of the tail. Pick up the rabbit and place it on its back. As long as you have pressure on the ear base the rabbit will lie still. The instant you release a little pressure the rabbit is going to start struggling and try to turn over. DO NOT GRAB ANY HIDE with the other two fingers. Notice, I have my other two fingers lying on the shoulders. If you squeeze on the hide you will injure the hair follicles. If you have a rabbit that is hard to handle it is the exhibitor's fault (owner of the rabbit). You can grab a rabbit by the hide if absolutely necessary to control it but only as a last resort.
Here I have the rabbit on its back and only have it by the ear base. In this picture I am squeezing so hard that my knuckles are turning a little white. If I thought there was even a remote chance of hurting this rabbit I would not be holding him in this way. After all, this is the rabbit that won Best of Breed in the two shows at Columbus, OH, on 5-1-10 (and against very strong competition).
He is lying so still there isn't even a muscle twitching!
I still have him by the ears as in the previous picture. And, he still has not moved!
With this picture I wanted to show how the hind feet should be. Notice they are well spread apart and at the outer edge of the body and held parallel to the edge of the body, thus giving the rabbit full lower hindquarters. You can get most rabbits to pull their hind feet in close to their body by touching them on the belly, just in front of the hip. If the heels are closer together than the toes, the rabbit is cowhocked. If the feet are parallel to the side of the body, but held close together, the rabbit will not have the appropriate fullness in the lower hindquarters.
DO NOT KEEP OR BUY A RABBIT THAT IS EXCESSIVELY COWHOCKED OR THAT HAS FEET THAT ARE NOT CLOSE TO THE EDGE OF THE BODY. If you breed such inferior rabbits you are locking that trait into all descendents of that rabbit, from then on. Once you lock in an undesirable trait, it is almost impossible to get rid of. You have to do a lot of close culling.
I hope this set of pictures has helped everyone to understand what a good Giant Chinchilla should look like, or close to it. I hope to see the day when almost all the Giant Chinchillas are as close to the Standard (or better) than this rabbit. At the time of his two wins he was 6 1/2 months old and weighed in at 12 pounds (the minimum weight for a senior buck).
With this picture I am showing the ring color and the undercolor of the Giant Chinchilla. The following are definitions as listed in the Glossary in the Standard of Perfection:
Ring Color: The color of the intermediate portion of the hair shaft in Agouti patterned animals.
Pearl: The surface or intermediate color band of some varieties of rabbits. Off-white in color.
Undercolor: The color at the base of the fur shaft or next to the skin.
The following is in the Standard of Perfection: ARBA DISQUALIFICATIONS FROM COMPETITION UNDER THE COLOR SECTION:
Agouti Pattern: Lack of ring definition on Agouti patterned animals. Allowance should be made for pre-juniors, juniors and animals in heavy molt.
Wrong Undercolor: Color other than called for in the breed or variety standard. Slight variations are acceptable, but considered a fault.
The reason I am listing the above is there are a lot of Giant Chinchillas that have white at the base of the fur shaft, next to the skin, all over the body of the animal. The animals should have been disposed of as soon as they had lost their baby fur and the white was noticeable. They should not be sold as breeding stock. If the white is spotty, just in a few places, and next to the skin, that is a little more acceptable.
In this picture the slate blue undercolor goes all the way to the base of the hair shaft. It could be a little darker. The ring has good color but the bottom does not have the sharp cutoff (definition) that it should have. The black ring at the top of the white ring could be a little darker, giving the black ring more definition.