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Ask the Judge - Oct/Nov/Dec 2007

Cheeks are worth 12 points, could you explain how you break down the point schedule that you use? For instance, if the rabbit has one good cheek and one bad cheek, do you give 6 points for the good cheek and maybe 2 points for the bad one, or deduct a certain amount from total score? Do you evenly fault high cheeks and low cheeks, or is one fault more penalized than the other? How much do you fault drags into the mouth? If the cheeks are even, but high or low, do you penalize that less?
From Keith McNinch:
I assess the total package and ultimately look for balance.  Cheeks that are equally marked, but misplaced, will favor more points.   I would evenly fault high and low cheeks, while drags into the mouth would indicate very low cheeks, and would cause additional point reductions.   From my experience, high cheeks are commonly associated with other markings that are also too long, such as the saddle and stops.   At least with low cheeks, some of the other body markings will generally be more correctly placed.     
From Kevin Hooper:
As for the question of how many points you deduct for certain faults, many judges will answer no points!  We believe the standard is written with points assigned to tell us how important certain breed traits are as compared to others.

With that in mind, if all other aspects of a Dutch are equal, and we are comparing two rabbit’s cheek markings, then I usually go with balance, or the one which has the two that look alike, and preferably come the closest to the standard.  I will go with slightly low cheeks that are even over one good cheek and one bad cheek.

As for how much you might fault a Dutch with a drag into the mouth or jawline, it would depend on two things: the severity of the drag or size, and how the cheeks look otherwise.  As small drag running into the jaw on otherwise good cheeks, will be faulted a little, while a small drag on otherwise ugly cheeks will be faulted a lot.

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