Southern Cavy Club Guidance Notes for Pet Judges

The Southern Cavy Club has drawn up these Guidance Notes in order to help standardise the judging of pet cavies, at shows held by SCC affiliated cavy clubs.

The aim is to achieve consistency in pet judging, while allowing the judge freedom to express his or her own preference.

Qualifications: A pet judge must be a SCC member, and must have had at least 2 years’ experience as an exhibitor.

The Junior Pet section can be judged by a junior aged 14 – 17 years, provided they have the same qualifications as above.

Pets have traditionally been judged on condition, behaviour and cleanliness, and these still form the main qualities on which a pet cavy should be judged. As to the order of importance of these qualities, the judge must consider the variables within them, but also bear in mind that condition and behaviour reflect the everyday care of the cavy, whereas cleanliness shows the ability of the exhibitor to prepare a cavy for show.


CONDITION / FITNESS: All exhibition cavies must be shown in good health and sound physical condition, and be free from disease. They should be fit not fat, with a well fleshed, muscled body, healthy shining coat and bright eyes.

BEHAVIOUR / TRACTABILITY / FRIENDLINESS: the cavy should be tame, easily handled, friendly and calm on the table. This is an essential quality in the pet cavy. Allowance should be made for U/5 cavies to be more skittish than those in older age groups.

The cavy should be:
Clean – bathed, clean coat and grease spot, clean ear flaps, free from static and running lice, nails trimmed if necessary. (Ears to be checked visually without poking cotton buds or fingernails etc into ears.)
Groomed – but only to remove loose hair. Shorthaired pets are not expected to be prepared in the same way as pure breeds. Coat to be free from knots or tangles. Longhairs are usually shown with coats clipped to a length that clears the floor.

DISQUALIFICATIONS: these are faults which are of such seriousness that they warrant the disqualification of the cavy.

Table 1 Disqualifications

FAULTS: these are faults which are not sufficiently serious to disqualify the cavy, but will penalise it when in competition with cavies not showing these faults.

Table 2 Faults


Table 3 Not Faults

NOTE 1: The cavy should be handled throughout the judging process in such as way as not to cause it any distress.

NOTE 2: While some exhibitors may like to groom their pets to purebred standards, and newcomers may practise grooming on their pets, the presence or absence of guard hairs on smooth coated exhibits must not be used as a point of judging.

NOTE 3: The size of the cavy is not in itself important. Cavies should be fit, not fat. A fit larger cavy should not be given preference over a fit smaller one, purely on account of its greater size. Size must not be the winning factor in judging pets.

The judge can use their discretion to identify underweight cavies, and penalise the excessively obese.

NOTE 4: Pure breeds are acceptable as pets.

NOTE 5: The judge may need to explain to newcomers that they shouldn’t identify their cavies to the judge. (SCC Show Regulation 19).

NOTE 6: It is recommended that after judging has finished, the judge should make him or herself available for answering questions. This would particularly help newcomers. An announcement can be made when the Pet Judge is available to answer questions.