Guidance Notes for New and Emerging Varieties

The RVCC and the BCC have produced Guidance Notes for Breeders, Exhibitors and Judges for the most popular New and Emerging Varieties. The agreement of such Guidance Notes by the BCC is the first step towards possible Guide Standard status, once it has been established that sufficient numbers meeting the Guidance Notes are being exhibited.

Only varieties with recognised Guidance Notes may be shown in New and Emerging Variety classes. Other varieties or breed combinations or new colour variants may be shown in RVCC Assessment Classes.

The following Guidance Notes were agreed at BCC meetings.

Updated 2017.

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The Californian is a smooth, short-coated cavy with smut and feet of one colour and body of a different colour, the pattern of markings being similar to those of the Himalayan cavy.

The smut and feet may be either Black, Chocolate, Lilac or Beige. These should have good density of colour with the smut being oval-shaped and carried up between the eyes, whilst the feet should have the same density of colour carried up to the hock. There should be a clear demarcation between the smut and feet markings and the body colour.

Body colour may be that of any fully standardised Self from the red / yellow series, i.e. Red, Golden, Buff, Saffron, Cream or White. Colour should be even and carried well down. However, any cavy with black or chocolate smut and feet, bright red eyes and white body colour must be treated as a Himalayan.

Colour of eyes, ears and skin pigment should correspond to those of the smut colour as defined by the Self Standard.

When judging U/5 exhibits it should be remembered that the smut and feet will still be developing and will not reach their full colour development until they reach the age of 5/8 months.

In common with Himalayans, colour density of the smut and feet varies with temperature, being more intense in colder seasons.

Self Caramel

All characteristics are as for a Self cavy but with the colour to be a rich, warm toffee, distinctly darker than the Self Beige. Eyes light ruby.


The Ridgeback is a smooth-coated cavy other than for a pronounced ridge, which should be unbroken, erect and straight, running down the spine from between the ears to the hips. The ridge should be up to approximately 2.5 cm (one inch) in height and be most pronounced at the shoulder, tapering towards the rear end. The ridge should be firm and erect when brushed with the palm of the hand. Other than the ridge the coat should be soft and short, clean and free from grease. Head, eyes, ears and body type should meet the requirements of other short-coated cavies such as Rex and Teddy. Ridgebacks may be shown in any colour or combination of colours.

Silver (Agouti) Himalayan

The Silver (Agouti) Himalayan is a Himalayan cavy in which the black smut and feet of the Black Himalayan are replaced by Silver Agouti markings. It is to be judged as per the Himalayan Standard except for its colour requirements.

The Silver (Agouti) Himalayan should have Silver Agouti smut and feet. The ears are black on the outer surface. Ticking on the inner side of the ear means that whiteness in the ear persists, never clearing as it does in the Black Himalayan. Pads and nostrils are black.

Ideally, ticking should be even all over the points but as the hairs are shorter near the nostrils and toes these areas may be darker.

Like all Himalayans colour density varies with temperature, being more intense in colder seasons.

Dark Sable

Dark Sable

Dark Sable

The Dark Sable is a dark sepia coloured ‘shaded cavy’. The masking top colour, a very dark sepia (nearly black), starts from the nose encompassing the head, the front feet and extending right down the back of the cavy. This masking top colour extends down the sides of the cavy shading to a dark sepia colour to a lighter shade of sepia on the belly. Eye colour to be dark ruby.

It is important that the shading and mask are clearly visible for this breed to be assessed by the judge. In the young cavy the body colour is a single shade of dark sepia, as the shading has not yet developed, these are not suitable for showing.

The Sable can be assessed by placing the very dark sepia feet against the belly, this will identify the distinctly lighter shade of the belly. The dark ruby eyes of the Sable are different to the required black-eye colour for the Self Black.

The Chocolate Sable is a colour variant of the Dark Sable. This shows the same development of markings, with colour starting from a from a deep chocolate colour (mask) shading to a milk chocolate belly colour.

Sable Fox

Sable Fox

Sable Fox

Colour shading is as for the Sable, with a white belly, eye circles, pea spots and lacing hairs as for the normal Fox.

Wash 2: Designed by Simon Neesam for the British Cavy Council © 2016