I wrote this article for my children, it is not meant to be 'everything there is' to posing rabbits, it is meant to give younger children a 'general idea' on how to start posing netherland dwarfs.
Posing Netherland Dwarfs is easy with practice, the bunnies should be in a natural sitting position with their front feet resting lightly on the table Please see note at bottom of the page. Their head should be up and they should show no light under the belly. They shouldn't be posed up on their feet. And the head should be held high, not held down to the table at all. See the pictures below for examples of the right way and wrong way to pose Netherlands.
This picture shows 2 things: First this JR doe (SV's Beauty) is positioned correctly, you see that her head is upright, her body not elongated, and her front feet (forarm) resting lightly on the table. Here's a picture of the same rabbit a few months earlier.
In the background of this picture.. you can see a posing table made by my good friends husband Charlie Swihart. These are helpful to use in the beginning, or when showing off one of your own beuties! Also, you can see that one of the ends is longer than the other, that is so that you have one end for posing JRs and one end for posing SRs.
This rabbit (SV's Voodoo) is very similar in body type to the black doe in the picture above EXCEPT that this little buck is very shy and drops his head to the table too often! He never sits up when he's being judged and it's terribly disappointing. Attitude and personality are all factors that will make or break a show rabbit. Here's one more "natural" poser SV's Onyx, I truly think that you can cull rabbits to achieve a rabbit that will be a natural poser, like body type and temperment can be culled for--so can proper posing dwarfs be culled for. If you look closely, you will see that Onyx is just up lightly on her forearms, most judges would not notice this, as she has a very short body and you cannot see any light under the belly, like with the blue doe below, I could've just as easily put this picture under "the bad way to pose".
Here are some common beginners mistakes when posing their rabbits...
The biggest mistake is to try and pose the rabbit like an arched breed...way up on their tiptoes of their front legs. Here's SV's Boo and SV's Onyx imitating a Brittania Petite!
Ummm...the petite table is OVER THERE girls!
These girls were from the same litter...both were good show rabbits in there day, not great, but both did get some BOSG legs...but, they do have the upright pose that is very easy to breed out. (BTW, rabbit on the left is SV's Onyx, she is shown above as a JR)
Also, you do not want the rabbit elongated at all...
Also, you do not want the rabbit elongated at all...here's SV's Honey and SV's Kahlua looking very ugly--you need to scoot their butts up close to their shoulders. Part of the problem was that Honey was just flat as a pancake, with a very long body type. You want to try to breed out those with that sort of body type.
This chocolate should've gone into the good pose section...but due to his body type, he is also flat all over....he will never look like he's posed good....When you see ears like this, no matter how good the body type--the rabbit WILL NOT win...ear positioning is all important in dwarfs. I inherited this fault from my daughter. This rabbit is still very young (just under 3 months old), his ears did get better with age. The only thing that will save this bunny is his color and his background--he has more GC/BOB rabbits on his pedigree than most, but as you see, that doesn't mean a thing, i'm sure someone will come along and buy him based on his pedigree...the little black doe at the top of the page, doesn't have hardly anything on her pedigree! Never buy a show rabbit based on the pedigree, big famous breeders get just as much junk as everyone else. You are able to see 50% of the rabbits genes--the ones on the outside, the other 50% are on the inside, 50% is an awfully lot to gamble on--those are not good odds, IMO.
This page updated on June 15, 2001 for Mirjam Gille, on June 22, 2002 for Jeremy.
NoteI received this email from Jeremy (JerScooter) who felt that the statement posing them lightly on their front feet was not right, and did not feel that I should keep this statement on my website, after polling my show friends, they felt that this was NOT misleading, look at the pictures and tell me how YOU would interpret the front feet. I would change the statement if I thought there was a better way to note the position of the front feet. I believe I made it CLEAR that they should not be UP on their front feet.....if you put them heavily down on their front feet, that would be more of an english lop/himalayan pose.......
email taken out of context - Jeremys' reply to my not changing my website on his command.
Karen I am sorry you feel this way, but if you place this on a public website that is available to all and it has incorrect information, all it does is add to the problem. It seems to me we are better off without in the hobby if you insist to feel this way and continue to mis-educate everyone who reads those articles. J