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Rabbit Show Etiquette, Do’s And Dont’s Of The Trade


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So you have made it to your first show! How exciting! Oh..no, wait you are scared to death. Take a deep breath you can do this. Everyone in that showroom had their first experience at a show. It seems worse then it really is.

I want you to take that nervous ball of energy and push it as far down as you can and remind yourself over and over that you’ve got this.

If you find someone who seems to be on their own, go talk to them. Ask if they have space for you next to them. Talk to them about their rabbits, that is something everyone at the show has in common!

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Rabbit people LOVE to talk about how they do things or their breed. So ask questions, learn, see what is working for other people.

You are going to feel clueless for a while but then all of the sudden it will just click and make sense. This post is meant to inform you of how a show runs and help you learn some of the unwritten rules of showing.

Tips For Setting Up Your Space At A Rabbit Show

When you first get to a show take a quick walk inside and get a feel for the layout of the building. Where people are already set up and look for where there might be space for your rabbits.

Sometimes with a long drive, getting there early is not an option, but the sooner you can get there the better. When you are ready to go into the show, pull out only the necessary items.

Take things like:

  • A chair (if they are allowing them)
  • Your rabbits.
  • And your grooming table.

You will have plenty of time after you are registered to get the rest.

Crating areas (the area where people will stack or not stack there rabbits in the carriers) can become a “free for all” and very frustrating. Trying to set up your grooming table and carriers can be a challenge.

Many people will unstack every carrier so each rabbit is easily assessable which is great and I get it. BUT when you are not allowing space for others because you have 50 rabbits spread out. That’s not cool. So just an FYI don’t do that.

After you find a place to put your cages. Set out your chair and grooming table. As close together as possible but with just enough space to move around. A grooming table looks something like the image below but if it is not huge you can use anything you want. The reason people don’t use side tables often is because they are too short. These grooming tables are often waste high.

Stack your carriers next to the grooming table so the rabbits can be placed quickly on the table for easy grooming. That will save you from a lot of bending and twisting.

You will know if they are not allowed they will most likely make several announcements asking you to put them away to make more space.

Be sure to leave a path to exit your caging area. When the breed you are exhibiting is called to the table you do not want to have to climb over 50 carriers and humans along the way.

Sometimes you only have inches to walk through and you don’t want someone tripping over your cages and hurting themselves or your rabbits.

In short, be considerate where you are setting up your carriers and grooming table in the showroom.

General Show Room Etiquette

Don’t open, close, or adjust doors in the showroom that affect light/airflow for others without checking with the show committee for permission. There could be a very good reason for them being set the way they are.

WATCH YOUR KIDS! Don’t let the run through the showroom, roller-skate, throw things or be disruptive to others around them. Some rabbit breeds are naturally jumpy and might injure themselves or their owner if a ball goes flying past their face.

Never get into the carriers or rabbits that are not yours. Even if the rabbit is just sitting on a grooming table ask before you pet it. Some rabbits are worth more than you might think. OR it could be a rabbit with a tuned and you might get a chunk taken out of your finger. If a rabbit is prepped and ready to go and you goofed up its fur without knowing.

Try to remember to bring your own grooming supplies. People do not mind lining out a few things, but letting people brow everyone in your grooming box after a while can be frustrating when you are trying to take care of your own rabbits.

Clean up after our self and your rabbits. It is not the show manager’s job to clean up after everyone. Rabbits have accidents, don’t ignore the urine on the floor so someone else can slip and fall.

If you see someone struggling with a heavy load don’t stand and watch. Offer to help or at least get out of their road.

Show Table Etiquette

All show tables will have some variation of what is below. There are dividers to keep rabbits seperate and normally there should be some kind of wire on both ends.

  • Be polite to both the judge and the people writing down the results.
  • Don’t point out your rabbit to the judge or talk about recent wins your rabbit had while at the table. The judge is not supposed to know who owns each rabbit he or she is judging.
  • Pay attention to when your class is up and get you rabbits to the table on time.
  • Clean your rabbits before putting them on the show table. No one wants to handle a rabbit that smells bad or has poo stuck to them.
  • DO NOT! Change that natural appearance of the rabbit in any way. This can cause you to be excused from the show and or band from showing completely.

Hopefully these tips will help you have a less stressful time because I know trying to do things “right” will make your brain feel like it is going to short circuit with everything that is going on.

Take a deep breath and know that everybody had to start from zero.

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