RabbitMUM: Pedigreed and Registered ARBA Rabbits

Although we have cared for many rabbits for a long time, we rarely cover topics related to rabbits. Today i am going do just that. We got pretty excited to see the judge in Suntec in last year’s show.

The last few years, this region is catching up on the show cycle. Just catch up on NRC 2016 #51 & 52 show (22/5/2016) in Osaka pictures on social media, amazing number of entries 105 in total. Indonesia had their first ARBA rabbit show was in 2012. Their latest show was just in Dec, 2015. The other neighbour Malaysia just had their ARBA non-sanctioned show on 3rd April. Last sanctioned show in Singapore was in May 2015 in Suntec.

To start showing quality rabbits, you need to be familiarized with pedigreed and registered rabbits.  Those who don’t know what ARBA means, it stands for American Rabbit Breeders Association. Quoted from their site: ” It is an organization dedicated to the promotion, development and improvement of the domestic rabbit and cavy. With over 23,000 members throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad, our members range from the pet owner with one rabbit or cavy to the breeder or commercial raiser with several hundred animals.”

Pedigreed Rabbits

pedigree1A rabbit pedigree charts is the presentation of three-generation family information in the form of an easily readable chart. You can even purchase a 48-page book from ARBA store. The animals listed in the pedigree must contain name and/or ear number of animal, variety (color and indication if the pattern is broken), and weight for each ancestor for three generations. Listing only the breeders name or rabbitry/caviary name is insufficient but having non-showable colour for ancestors is acceptable.

Registered Rabbits

Registration system in rabbits are handled slightly differently from dogs (SKC/AKC). One apparent difference is a pedigreed rabbit is not automatically qualified, even if its parents are registered rabbits. If fact, many registered rabbits have no registered parents or grandparents.

a) ARBA Member

Firstly, you need to be a member of ARBA to register (Link here) and all rabbit breeds must be at least six months old before they may be registered.

b) Pedigree Form

Secondly, you must complete an application pedigree form (same as the one listed above) that includes three generations’ information.

c) Examination by Registrar

The other distinct difference is that every rabbit need to be examined by a licensed registrars to be registered. List of registrars are here. MSOP1ost of them are in US but there are 5 in the region (2 in Japan, 2 in Indonesia and 1 in Malaysia).   During the examination, the registrar will take effort to meticulously compare the rabbit to the breed criteria in accordance to “The Standard of Perfection”, not have any disqualifying factors and only upon confirmation that the rabbit meets all the criteria of the breed and variety, will the rabbit be registered. This means to say that the registered rabbit will have met all the requirements for its breed and variety and has no disqualifying factors. It is important to note that any rabbit with disqualifying factors are not allowed to be registered.

TSOP “The Standard of Perfection”booklet came be purchased from ARBA store. From the order form, 2011-2015 edition cost $10 while 2016-2020 edition cost $20 now. If you want to register your larger rabbits, you should attempt to do so as soon as possible after they turn six months old. Best if you have it all registered before breeding them.

For a start, make sure that your rabbit is a showable color. The accepted colors vary for different breeds.  This is listed in the booklet of TSOP for every breed.  Note for disqualifications attributes, it could be different for different breeds.

Besides that, the registrar will check teeth, tail, toes, genitalia and nails. The rabbit will also be weighted (Note: some classes may have weight limitations). Disqualifications could be also due to malocclusion, missing nails, extra toes, missing toes, missing tail, or any other anomalies. Injuries that have not healed properly will also prevent your rabbit from being registered. That is also another good reason to register your rabbits early. A rabbit registration can be spoiled by a simple accident such as a missing nail.  Disqualification from competition can also render a rabbit ineligible for registration.

A permanent tattoo in their left ear is also a requirement for registration.  If you have not already had your rabbit tattooed, you may request that the registrar tattoo your purebred bunny. Generally, expect to pay an extra $1 to $10 for this service.


If the registrar qualified the rabbit, he or she will receive an additional tattoo in the right ear. He will also check your ARBA member card, Pedigree Form and accept the registration fee ($6). Note: if you have a number of animals to register, you may be able to invite a registrar to your barn and have a number registered at once. When I have about twenty rabbits to register, I would make an appointment and my registrar makes a visit. Besides not having to bring along all the rabbits to a show, I benefit by being able to register pregnant or nursing does.

The rabbit is given a registration number which is then added to the rabbit’s pedigree certificate. ARBA registrar will send formal paperwork to certify the registration process. The information on the registration form is compared to their master database, if something does not match, the process is halted and registration is denied.

Every registration certification will be affixed with a seal of quality. An embossed seal will be affixed if there is only one registered rabbit on the pedigree.

~ Red denotes registration of both parents
~ Red and White – all parents and grandparents have been registered
~ Red, White, & Blue indicates that all animals on the registration form were registered
~ Gold indicates all ancestors on the registration certificate were registered grand champions

Registration documents are transferable for a nominal fee and the registration will stay with the rabbit even after it is sold. But the breeder’s name will stay with the certificate to give recognition to the breeders. It is important to give credit to the breeder of the rabbit and it minimise frauds and plagiarisms.

Pedigree Certificate

RabbitRegistrationCertsRedSealThe below information entails the information inside the certificate:

Rabbitry Information: This is the person or rabbitry who created the rabbit.

Pedigree of: This is the rabbit of which the pedigree belongs to. This box contains the name of the rabbit, date of birth, tattoo number, original breeder name and owner’s name, ARBA registration number and ARBA grand champion numbers. Below, the rabbit information is broken down into parts.

Rabbit’s Name: Rabbits have two names – the first name would be the rabbitry where he/she was born while the second is his/her call name. Sometimes this is a name while there are times where it is just the ear number. Example: Stardust’s Valient. You may call the rabbit by any nickname that you like, but the name on the pedigree must be used for all your official rabbit paperwork. Such as pedigrees of offspring and ARBA registration application.

Ear number: This number is tattooed in the rabbit’s left ear and identifies the rabbit.

Sex: This field can be left blank you are not able to confirm the gender of the rabbit as the rabbit is too young. You should fill in this field when you are able to confirm the gender of the rabbit.

Type: This is color of Flemish Giant, i.e., Black, Fawn, Blue, White et cetera.

Weight: This is the weight of the rabbit at six months of age. This is needed in order to register rabbits with ARBA.

Original breeder: This is the rabbitry where the rabbit was born and the name of the original breeder should always be listed. You should never replace the name with your own name and your rabbitry name should not be put in if the rabbit was not born in your rabbitry. Rightful credit should be given to the person who bred the rabbit and the rabbitry it was born in. If you are unsure, you can approach the original breeder.

Owner: This is the person who owns the rabbit at this point of time.

Registration number: This number is given to rabbits that are six months old and have no disqualifying faults. You can obtain more information on this from ARBA.

Family tree: The bottom chart shows the rabbit’s ancestors. The father (sire) is list on top and the mother (dam) is listed below. The same rabbit information should be listed for each rabbit, name, tattoo, weight, et cetera.




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