Make your own free website on



S2SRPHeader.jpg (17349 bytes)



New Varieties in Australia

how do they become recognised.

By Ken Hart, Robert Brown, Peter Wright and Karen Nichols

Members of the ANCC Standards review Panel

Many fanciers ask, "How does a new breed become recognised?" It surprises most who ask that the Australian National Cavy Council (ANCC) has a process for this to occur. This process has been in place since the Standards Review Panel (SRP) was established in 2001. While the ANCC distributed the information about the SRP and its role to all affiliated clubs and councils, that information was not distributed to all cavy fanciers very well. The purpose of this article is to try to correct this situation.

New breeds will essentially come from two sources; 1) they will be genuine mutations, or 2) they will be recombinations of existing genes to form new varieties. Examples from the past of mutations that have come to be recognised breeds include, Crested, Satins, Rex and Self Slate. Examples of breeds that have become recognised after genetic recombinations include, Argente’s, Texel and Self Saffron. Because of the two different ways that new breeds can occur, the SRP has two pathways in which new breeds can be developed. One for genuine mutations and another for genetic recombinations.


Genuine mutations

Genuine mutations need to be a distinct variety with no possibility of confusing it with another breed, particularly poor examples of other breeds. The genotype of the new breed must be understood and the gene(s) responsible for the new breed explained. For example a mutation at a previously unknown locus, such as occurred with Crested, Satin and Rex, or it may be a new mutation at a known locus, such as Black and Tan at the Agouti locus or Self Slate at the Pink eye locus. The information should identify through breeding records if the gene is dominant or recessive or if it is co-dominant, such as Self Cream, Dalmation or Roan. It also needs to provide information such as whether it is lethal if it is co-dominant. A most important consideration to the fancy is that it must be developed to a level where it is consistent with the expectation of exhibition quality breeds.


Recombining existing genes

New breeds can be developed by recombining existing genes. Often after mutations are established there are a number of new breeds developed in this way. An example is where the Rex mutation was applied to Longhaired breeds. From these recombinations we now have Texels, Alpacas and English Merino’s. Because we already understand the genes involved in recombinations the process is a little more straight forward for these types of new breeds. In the past these types of new breeds have been quite readily adopted in Australia and it is likely that this will continue to the case in the future. While adoption of such breeds is more straightforward there is an onus on judges to ensure that breeds that become recognised in this way are consistent with the expectations of exhibition quality breeds.


The road to recognition

There are four steps involved in the development of a new breed; 1) Working Title, 2) Developing Breed, 3) Guide standard, and 4) Full Standard. In the first two steps they are unstandardised, in that there is no formal standard by which the breed is judged. The latter two steps are standardised, in that there is an accepted standard by which the breed is judged.


Working Title: To gain a working title a breed must meet three criteria:

  1. The phenotype of the breed must be distinct from all other recognised breeds;
  2. The breeders that are promoting the breed must outline the objectives for the breed and the basis used to form those objectives. They must also present a working standard to reflect those objectives;
  3. Demonstrate through breeding records and physical evidence that the breed, breeds true to type, or is co-dominant.


Developing Breed: When a breed is recognised with a Working Title the next step that breeders face is to work toward being recognised as a Developing Breed. There are also three criteria that need to be met to satisfy this level of recognition:

  1. The breeders must present a set of guidelines to judge the cavies by, which are accepted by the SRP;
  2. Demonstrate that the objectives set for the working title have been met;
  3. Identify the gene(s) that determine the breed. Or demonstrate that the breed is produced in a predictable Mendelian manner.



Guide Standard: If and when the SRP is convinced that the breed is worthy it will be awarded a Guide Standard. This will be achieved by the breed demonstrating its credentials in the unstandardised classes and by improving in both quality and quantity. As the name implies there will be a standard by which the cavies are judged, although no points will be allocated to the criteria at this stage. It is at this stage that the breed goes into competition against other breeds within its group and must demonstrate that it can compete with them. Breeders and judges need to fine-tune the standard to prepare for a full standard to be awarded.


Full Standard: To gain a Full Standard a breed must meet the following criteria:

  1. Has been a guide standard for a minimum period of three years;
  2. Have an identified genotype(s);
  3. Demonstrate that the breed is of a standard to compete successfully with other fully standardised breeds.

Each progression in the process toward becoming a recognised breed must be recommended by the SRP to the Annual Delegates meeting of the ANCC. The delegates will vote at the meeting to either accept or reject the recommendation. The recommendation, with the reasons outlining it, must be distributed to the states for consideration, 60 days prior to the Annual Delegates Meeting. Any questions or points of confusion must be directed to the SRP through a State Council or its equivalent.


Unstandardised Classes

To enable breeds that are recognised as having a Working Title or Developing Breed the 2001 Annual Delegates Meeting established an Unstandardised Class at the National Show. If the number of entries permit this may be split into separate classes. To support this move by the ANCC to provide this pathway it is hoped that all affiliated clubs and councils will also provide an Unstandardised Class so that the progress of worthy new breeds is not stifled within your state.




as at August 200

Band T-W, Tri Colours, Patch of one colour that completely encircles the body.
Belt T-W, Tri Colours, Patch of one colour that partly encircles the body.
Bonnet strings Ticked – Band of ticking colour under the chin.
Brassy Lighter shade of Red/Golden.
Breached T-W, Tri Colours, Patch of one colour that covers the hindquarters.
Break in coat Patch of missing or thin coat.
Break in skin An open wound or area on the skin where a scab has formed.
Brindling Intermixture of two different colours of hair. (See also Roaning).
Condition Fitness/body condition.
Demarcation Marked, Ticked – Line between two different areas of the coat.
Density Coat – number of hair fibres per square centimetre.
Double centred Abyssinian & Crested– A rosette or crest with two centres.
Eye circles Ticked – Circles/part circles of the ticking colour around the eye.
Fanning Smooth hairs – Hair which fans out over the hips of a cavy against the normal lie of the coat. (See also skirting).
Fatty eye Fatty tissue protruding from between the eyelid and the eye. A disqualification if it is visible with out disturbing the eyelid.
Flakiness A condition apparent when poor under colour shows through the top colour giving a two toned peppery effect.
Flesh ear Dutch – Patches of white skin on the ear.
Folded ear A fold in the ear that often affects the carriage of the ear.
Fringe Sheba Mini-Yak – The hair that falls from between the ears forward towards the nose.
Frontal Peruvian, English Merino – A fringe of hair originating at the shoulders that lays forward over the face.
Guard hair The longer coarser hairs that show through the finer silkier undercoat.
Gutter Abyssinian – Elongated centre of a rosette. Most commonly found on rump rosettes.
Gutter Non Rosetted Varieties – a parting of the coat anywhere on the body of the cavy causing the coat to grow away from the gutter – generally found on the belly of afflicted cavies
Head Furnishings The facial coat of rosetted breeds.
Hems in ears A fold of skin on the outer edge of the ear.
Hocks Where the heel joins the leg. A critical area with regard to foot stops on Dutch.
In pig Pregnant.
Lifter Abyssinian – A rosette fault where a second rosette has started to form beneath another.
Light chest Ticked – Where the chest colour is lighter than the rest of the body, due to longer ticking and/or poor under colour in that region.
Long ticking Where ticking is too long, giving the coat a lighter appearance than is desirable.
Mane - Abyssinian Hair growing from the collar ridge forward between the ears to above the eyes. Must be erect.
Mane - Sheltie Hair from the neck to the shoulder that is swept back over the body.
Muzzle The region including the mouth, nostrils and fore face.
Open centre Abyssinian & Crested – A rosette or crest that has an open rather than pin point centre.
Patchy Colour – Top colour appears to be several different shades over the body.
Quiff Smooth hairs - Where an area of the coat grows in a different direction to the desirable lie of the coat.
Red Eye Growths of red flesh that protrude from the inner surface of the eyelid against the eyeball. A disqualification if it is visible with out disturbing the eyelid.
Roaning An intermixture of white and coloured hair that is caused by a specific gene. (See also brindling).
Running lice A small coat parasite that can be seen moving through the coat.
Runs to collar Abyssinian – A fault where the coat between the saddle and the collar is flat.
Saddle - Abyssinian Formed by four rosettes across the back.
Saddle - Dutch Formed by the demarcation between white and coloured part of the coat across the back.
Side Whiskers A protruding tuft of hair growing out just below the ear.
Shoulder - Longhair The Coat emanating from the shoulder region of the cavy.
Shoulder – Shorthair A good shoulder is well fleshed and muscular.
Skirting Hair which fans out over the hips of a cavy against the normal lie of the coat. (See also fanning).
Smellers Nostrils.
Smut Himalayan – Patch of colour that forms the nose marking.
Split rosette Abyssinian – Where two rosettes are so close they run into each other so neither is formed.
Springiness / Springy Springiness – Coat (Rex) – When smoothed with the hand the coat should immediately spring back as it was.
Springiness / Springy Springy – Coat (Texel) – When the coat is squeezed in hands it should rebound back to original area filled.
Static mite Coat parasite – Very small and appear stationary when they can be seen clinging to a hair shaft.
Stops Dutch – Foot stops, the white markings on the hind feet.
Sweep Longhairs – the coat emanating from the rump of the cavy.
Swirl Coat fault – An almost rosette like patch of hair in an otherwise smooth coat.
Ticking Ticked – The patch of colour between the base and the tip of a ticked hair. nb. Guard hairs are solid (not ticked) in ticked cavies.
Topcoat Longhair – the region of coat that continues to grow in length throughout the life of the cavy. Is usually the coat growing from the spine, to 2/3 of the way down the body towards the feet. (Also see undercoat )
Undercut Dutch – The continuation of the saddle, on the abdomen, which should be straight and without deviation.
Undercoat Longhair – The shorter hairs on a longhaired cavy, growing from the lower one third of the body. (See also Topcoat).

Added August 2004

Cobby  - (Type) Broad across the shoulders continuing through to the rump with the same body width throughout. When looking down on the cavy it should be rectangular in shape with rounded corners

Abyssinian/Peruvian / Alpaca 
Hair that radiates from pinpoint centre outwards, that evenly.


Cresteds/ also applies to Coronet & English Merino
A symmetrical rosette on the forehead between the eyes and ears.  Radiates evenly from a pinpoint centre.




Back to Standards Review Panel

Back to Home





Webset designed by Pam Bardell
All Photos used by permission of photographer and credited
Please gain permission if you want to use them
This site uses the font Tahoma  and Best Viewed at 1024 x 768 res.  
Updated: 2nd April 2006

Current EDST in Australia

Webmistress: Pam Bardell
22nd October 2003