|Show Results for Toni's Coneys||Shows We Plan to Attend||Training Show Rabbits to Pose|
First show March 15th, 2014!
3-15-14 Grinnell, Iowa. I'll be the registrar for this show!
3-16-14 Ginnell, Iowa. 4H workshop.
|Mini rex that pose easily and hold that pose have an advantage over their rowdy competitors on the show table. It's not easy to properly evaluate a compact breed when the rabbit is on his hind legs. Here is the step-by-step process that I use to train my mini rex rabbits to pose like pros.|
A properly posed mini rex, and many other breeds with compact, commercial, or semi-arch type, should have the toes of its hind feet lined up with the front of the hips, and its front feet right below the eyes.
In this picture, the yellow shows the ideal lines on which to set up the feet.
Rabbits should be posed on a non-slip surface such as carpet.
If a rabbit is not used to being handled it will often be easy to pose because it is "scared stiff." Since I handle my rabbits from the day they are born, I teach them what I want them to do.
I start at about five or six weeks. Since they are just babies, I don't make a big deal out of it. I just set them up in the proper pose, try to keep them still for two seconds, and we're done. Only do this once or twice a week, and avoid frustrating them. At this point I'm just getting them used to being handled while they're on the table.
Most rabbits go through a stage where they don't want to hold still. The best thing to do is just forget about posing them during this time. If you keep trying to pose them and they keep fidgeting, they'll learn to be ornery whenever they want to.
Step 1. Place the rabbit on the table. Notice my left hand is supporting her hindquarters and my right is supporting her shoulders.
Step 2. Adjust her hindquarters, lining up her toes with her hips. I have my left hand resting on her head to keep her from wandering away.
Step 3. Set up her shoulders, lining up her front feet with her eyes. Usually touching the rabbit's elbows will get her to relax her front legs.
Step 4. The finishing touches. The rabbit's hind feet may have moved. You can tuck them back in or pull them back out as needed. Remember to keep your hand on her head to steady her. In this picture she has stretched out, so I am tucking her back into the compact pose of a mini rex.
Step 5. Brushing the rabbit's nose or face with your finger will often keep it still for longer.
I start serious training at around three or four months of age, depending on when I first show my juniors. Hopefully they are old enough to hold still a few seconds without it killing them now.
It is important that the rabbits don't get frustrated, or they will be very hard to work with. Always work gently, and only for a minute or two a day. I practice with them a few times a week until they get to the point where I only have to lightly touch their shoulder and hip and they pose on their own.
Once they know how to pose, your work is done! Just practice once every few weeks to keep it fresh in their minds. My brood doe Daisy still poses on her own, and she is three years old.
Since you are teaching them to pose when on the show table, don't allow your rabbits to hop around on the table. It will quickly become play time.
If your young rabbits insist on standing up, try tickling their bellies or chins. They quickly learn that they must stay still to avoid the tickle.