Dutch Breed Standard

Updated 1st January 2024

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Standard of points

Update June 2009
Head, Eyes & Ears Head to be of good size, bold and broad, with a gently curving profile. 10
Muzzle to be of good width and gently rounded at the nostrils.
Eyes to be large, bright and bold and set with good width between.
Ears to be large and drooping, and set with good width between.
Body Shape To have short, cobby body with good width across shoulders and body. 10
To be fit and of good substance, with plenty of firm flesh.
To have good size appropriate to age.
Markings 60
of which
Blaze, Cheeks, Neck ∓ Ears Blaze to be an inverted ‘V’ of white coat, widest at the smellers (nostril and whisker bed) and narrowing to a point or narrow, thin line between the ears. (25)
Cheeks to be rounded in shape, following the jaw line but clear of the mouth, and ideally should go as near as possible to the smellers without touching them.
Neck to be clean, i.e. white and free from any extension of cheek markings.
Ears to be sound, i.e. the outside to be coloured, with no flesh markings due to lack of pigmentation.
Saddle & Undercut Saddle and undercut to be positioned midway between the neck and hips; to be cut as a (20)
straight line with the sides at right angles to the body. A higher cut (i.e. cut line nearer
to the head) is preferable to a low, 'slipping' one (i.e. further back towards the hips).
Foot Stops There must be two foot stops and these should be of the same length (‘balanced’), ideally being cut midway between the hock and the toe ends. Each stop must have three white toenails, and the white pigmentation on the pad must not run to the hock. (15)
The hairs covering the toes must be white.
Colour Colours ideally to conform as nearly as possible to ESCC or NACC Standards, although slight variations from these should not be penalised so long as colour is rich, even, of glossy sheen, free from hairs of a different colour (brindling, roaning, or any patches), with the colour carried well down to the skin to avoid any appearance of flakiness. 15
Ear pigmentation to be appropriate to breed colour.
Coat To be soft, clean and groomed free of guard hairs. 5

Description of colours

Dutch cavies are recognised in all standardised Self colours excluding the Self White (for obvious reasons) and: the DE Golden (to avoid confusion with the Red Dutch) and all standardised Normal and Solid Agouti colours.

Colours should conform as closely as possible to English Self Cavy Club (ESCC) or National Agouti Cavy (NACC) requirements, although Red Dutch are expected to be lighter and Cream Dutch darker.

In Agouti Dutch the belly colour should be as narrow as possible but dark enough to ensure that the demarcation line on the undercut can be clearly seen.

NB: Argente Dutch are Guide Standard only.

Guidance notes

The Dutch is a Self or Agouti-coloured and White cavy, in which the areas of colour occur in a defined pattern on the cheeks and ears of the cavy, and on its entire rear half below a centre line across the back, with the exception of an area of white between the toe ends and the hocks (the ‘foot stops’).

The white colour defines a blaze on the head, as well as a ‘clean neckrsquo; and the ‘stops’ mentioned above.

The blaze should be an inverted “V” separating the cheeks, meeting at a point or narrow, thin line mid-way between the ears

The quality of these markings is by far the most important aspect of the Dutch.

Specific disqualifications

  • Only one stop, no stops or stop(s) above the hock
  • Any coloured toenails

Specific faults

Flesh Marks

Flesh marks on the ears, hocks or body are particularly undesirable and are to be penalised accordingly.

Long Stops

A long stop that runs to but not over the hock should be penalised as a serious failing but is not a disqualification.

Very Short Stops

Stops consisting only of a few hairs above the nails are to be penalised.

Eye Circles

Eye circles in Agouti Dutch should be penalised. However, slight evidence of eye circles should not be unduly penalised in an U/5 exhibit as this fault may clear as the cavy matures.


Intermixing of a particular colour in areas of another colour, e.g. red hairs in black.


Intermixing of white in areas of another colour.

Wash 2: Designed by Simon Neesam for the British Cavy Council © 2020