English Self Breed Standard

updated December 2018

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Standard of points

Head, Eyes & Ears
of which
Head - To have a pronounced Roman nose.
Eyes - To have good width of muzzle, squared off at the end but rounded at the corners.
Ears - To be large and drooping, with lower rim parallel to the ground & set with good width between
Body Shape To have short, broad, cobby body with very deep, broad shoulders.
To be fit and of good substance, with plenty of firm flesh.
To have good size appropriate to age.
Colour Top colour to be lustrous and of glossy sheen, of even shade all over the head & body.
Hair on feet to match body colour.
Undercolour to match top colour down to the skin, giving an appearance free from flakiness.
Colours of coat, eyes, ears and pads to match Descriptions below.
Coat To be soft & silky, clean and short, groomed free of guard hairs. 15

Description of colours

Dark Eyed White and Pink Eyed White

To be pure snow white.
Eyes pink (PEW) or dark with a hint of ruby (DEW).
Ears flesh pink. Pads flesh pink.

Dark Eyed Cream and Pink Eyed Cream

To be a pale cream colour, free from yellow or lemon tinge.
Eyes dark with a hint of ruby (DEC) or pink (PEC).
Ears pink. Pads pink.


To be a deep, rich buff shade with no hint of lemon, apricot or cream.
Eyes dark with a hint of ruby.
Ears pink. Pads pink.


To be a medium sand colour.
Eyes pink.
Ears pink. Pads pink.

Dark Eyed Golden and Pink Eyed Golden

To be a medium gold colour with no suggestion of brassiness, yellow or red.
Eyes pink (PEG) or dark with a hint of ruby (DEG).
Ears pink/golden. Pads pink/golden.


To be a medium dove grey colour, with no suggestion of beige.
Eyes pink.
Ears pink/ lilac. Pads pink/lilac.


To be a medium colour.
Eyes pink.
Ears pink/beige. Pads pink/beige.


To be a rich, dark colour.
Eyes dark.
Ears dark. Pads dark.


To be a rich, dark colour.
Eyes dark with a hint of ruby.
Ears chocolate. Pads chocolate.


To be deep and lustrous.
Eyes dark.
Ears black. Pads black.


To be a mid slate grey with no tendency to a brownish hue.
Eyes ruby.
Ears and pads to be a well-pigmented slate-grey.


Top colour to be an even, dark blue-grey colour with no hint of brown.
Eyes dark.
Pigmentation of skin as well as ears and pads to match the blue-grey coat colour.

NB: In the above descriptions of Eye Colour the term ‘ruby’ means a dark red colour.

Guidance notes

The English Self is a solid (single) coloured cavy bred for Head qualities (head, eyes & ears), Body Shape (particularly shoulders and breadth & compactness of body, Colour and Coat.

The Outline of the English Self cavy should consist of a series of gentle curves, rising from the nostrils to the peak of the shoulders, then dipping to the back and levelling briefly before again dipping over the rear.

Viewed from above the overall impression should be of a brick, rounded at the corners.

Size is very desirable, but not at the expense of cobbyness or quality.

Condition is very important. The cavy should carry plenty of firm flesh but not be gross or flabby.

The sex of the exhibit will usually be apparent from its facial qualities. Boars, if complying with the standard, should not be penalised when in competition with sows on account of slightly different head shape.

Normally the upper weight limit for an U/5 months Self cavy will be 30 oz or thereabouts.

For a cavy of 8 months it will be 37 oz or thereabouts.

Although the judge's discretion is absolute as regards whether a cavy is eligible for the class in which it is entered, judges should give careful consideration in cases where these weight limits are exceeded.

In order to differentiate Dark-Eyed varieties from their Pink-Eyed equivalents, when judging such varieties preference is to be given to a darker eye colour over one that is clearly ruby.

The ears of PE and DE Goldens should match the body colour. Ears whose colour noticeably deviates from the body colour should be penalised according to the extent of the deviation. Obviously dark pigmentation on the skin around the eyes or on the vent of PE and DE Goldens should be penalised. Goldens showing black ears and/or pads should be disqualified.

The colours of young Lilac and Beige cavies are appreciably darker than those expected in adult exhibits of these breeds. This should be taken into account when judging young classes of Beige and Lilacs.

The belly colour of a Beige indicates the colour that it is likely to attain when it reaches adulthood.

It may be helpful to consider the colour of graphite as offering an indication of the colour of the Self Blue.

Specific disqualifications

Specific faults

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