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What Do You Think?

Dutch Markings...Think Circles

by Dick Gehr

The Dutch breed of rabbit is indeed one of the most distinguishable breeds recognized by the ARBA today, due to it's Markings pattern.
The Dutch pattern is made up of 6 individual markings, which combined, gives it the "Tuxedo" appearance it so vividly displays.
One can think of the markings as representing circles. The markings are as follows, moving from the head to the back of the animal.
BLAZE: The Blaze is a wedge shape marking which tapers from the muzzle up the face to a point at the ear base.
CHEEKS: The Cheek markings represent a continuation of the Blaze, which rounds following the jaw line. The cheek markings should not extend into the whisker bed.
NECK: The Neck is another wedge shaped marking, continuing in a circle from the cheek markings around the back of the head, then tapering to a point at the back of the ears.
The Blaze, Cheeks, and Neck form circles on each side of the head. The Blaze and Neck markings may be joined together by a very thin line running between the ears called a "Hairline", which is desirable in the breed and pattern, however has no importance when evaluating a show rabbit. If the "Hairline" is non-existent there is no penalty or fault.
SADDLE: The Saddle is a line which runs around the middle of the rabbit, which is visible from the top and sides of the animal.
UNDERCUT: The Undercut is a continuation of the Saddle, which runs around the "Under Side" of the animal, completing the circle.
The Saddle can be viewed below, running from the top of the animal around it's midsection...you can see the marking continuing under the rabbit and joining on it's opposite side.
From the Saddle and Undercut, we move to the final marking on the animal.
STOPS: The Stops are circles, which go around each foot of the animal. They are to be even, and placed about 1/3 the distance from the tip of the toes towards the hock (heel) of the foot.
Although the points allocated to the Markings are equal to 50% of the entire value of the Dutch, none of the markings individually are worth the points assigned to the Body type (17% of the total value).
The Body type is comprised of a combination of Body, Head, Ears, and Eyes, each which have a point allocation. The total combined value of the type characteristics is equal to 25% of the total value of the animal.
The Dutch type is that of a short coupled, compact animal showing excellent depth, fullness, and roundness. There should be a slight taper from the hips to the shoulders, which will also represent a slightly deeper (higher) hindquarter than shoulder. However, fullness and firmness in flesh should be realized over the entire animal, with a very well filled lower hindquarter.
The Dutch is currently recognized in 6 colors, Black, Blue, Chocolate, Gray, Steel, and Tortoise. 10% of the animal's value is assigned to the color.
The Dutch fur is a "flyback" type fur, and is to have good density (thickness) and a slightly resilient texture (feel) when stroked from the back of the animal towards it's head. (The fur should "fly back" to it's normal position). Fur also receives 105 of the breed's value.
Lastly is the Condition of the animal, which is made up of the firm flesh and well finished fur. 5% of the total valve is assigned to the Condition.
Although it appears the majority of point importance is within the Markings (50% of the animal's total value), please remember that the Body type is the most important single feature of the breed.
In short, you have to Build the House before you Paint it.

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