What happens at a small rodent competition?

Contents for small rodents do exist for years and most rodent freaks and breeders frequently visit these shows. but the newly interested we will explain the rules once more. Rodent lovers and breeders entry their animals at shows, where their animals are judged by especially trained and skilled judges. A judge has had a substantial training for several years, concluded by an theoretical and practical exam. There are different 'classes' of judges: those who can only judge one species are called C-'keurmeesters' or judges, and those who may judge all species are the top judges called 'Á- judge'.

Shows and by the judge we see these species:

Fancy rats, Mouse, Syrian hamsters, Dwarfhamsters, Gerbils

In small rodents, the boundary between old and young at:

fancy rats: young to  5 months

gerbils: young to 5 months

hamsters: young to 16 weeks


What does it cost if you want to entry your animals

Small rodents:  2,00 euro

Catalog + Administration :  Member 3,50 euro, No member 5,00 euro  

1 per household required) .


What is the purpose of these competitions

The main objective for a breeder is to breed the most ideal rodent, as defined in the  written variety schedule, the so called Standard by which the animals are judged. Competitions give the opportunity  to meet other breeders and to compete with the best animals. Breeding is a learning process and by taking part in competitions you can discover how well your animals in comparison are doing and if there is any progress or not. The description of the most ideal rodent is written down in this Standard, 

What are the judging criteria?

Each rodent is judged by 7 judging criteria:

1      Type, body structure and tail

2      Head, eyes and ears

3      Coat and coat condition

4      Back and belly colour

5      Undercoat  colours

6      Ticking and tail colour

7      Physical condition and care

Each criterium is rewarded as follows:

U    for Excellent       =  between 98 - 100 points

F    for Fair                =  between 95 -   97 points

ZG  for Very Good    =  between  92 -  94 points

G    for Good             =  between  89 -  91 points

V    for Satisfactory    =  between  86 -  88 points

O   for Unsatisfactory =  insufficiently

The final judgement is called ‘predikaat’ and this mark can range  from O to U also. Have you ever been to an animal show before, than take a peek at the critiques on the showcases and learn!

During a show, as the competition days are often called, judges are allowed to judge up to 80 animals but no more. Therefore most of the time several judges are at work simultaneously and  it is customary that, as the animals are divided by species, so are the judges: one judge for the fancy rats, one for Syrian hamsters and so on. Judging usually takes the greater part of the day:

by 9.00 a.m. all animals must be present,

by 10 o’clock judging starts and by 15.00-16.00 p.m.  the job is done. Afterwards  the critiques  are put on or clipped on the show box and owners and other interested can take a peek and ask questions.

Transportation to the show

Most animal owners take their animals to shows in a pet carrier and  on arrival place them in a show box. This box must have clean bedding and for each small rodent a chunk of apple, cucumber or carrot is needed for moisture during the day. Do make sure the lid of the show box is properly closed !

On arrival

It is customary to place the animals in their show tanks on arrival and place the tanks on the showing table.

However take due notice:  when you arrive on 2the show, you first contact the Show Secretary to pay your registration fee(s) and receive the show catalogue and show box labels, than you visit the Veterinary Station, where the vet will  decide if the champions to be are healthy, fit and free of external parasites. Sick animals or animals with external parasites can not take part in the competition and are removed to a restricted area, as are the animals taken to the show in the same infested carrier. If your animals passed this health check, you can put them in the show box and put the label on the lid. When entering more than one box, please take care to put the labels on the correct box. Next you place your box(s) on the correct spot on the show table. The box are placed numerically, so when confused, please ask the stewards for help. So far your job is done, until the end of the day. Enjoy!

The Judging

At 10 o'clock judging starts and from now on no animals may be taken out of the box on the show table, not even by the owner.

The steward takes the box from the show table to the judging table, where a writer takes notes. Every remark the judge makes on the animal on his or hers  table, is noted and when all animals are judged, these critiques are handed back to the exhibitors by placing them  on the show box, to  peek at on the spot or to study at home, the feedback for future breeding or showing.

Award Ceremony

At the end of the day the award winners are announced. If your rodent did very well, you may be a winner too! Don’t wander off or start packing, it is impolite and unsporting. It is highly appreciated that all competitors are still present, when the last winner is called forward!    

Other things to do during judging hours

Of course you can take a look at the rest of the exhibition hall and shop, but you can also learn a lot by standing near the judges tables. Owners, breeders and interested are always allowed to listen, but not talk to or in the worst case start a discussion with the judges. In that case you can be summoned by the judge or the organisation to step aside. You can also shop around and there are breeders and owners who sell their animals. No time to be bored.

After ceremonies

After the award ceremony, and not before, you  may collect your animals from the show bench and if possible help cleaning up. The quicker this done the sooner everyone can start the journey home.

Rodent Club Rattonia hopes to see you at the next show.

 Judging Regulations.


Syrian hamster, Dwarf hamster, Gerbils and Fancy rats. 

Show Regulations

Closing date: entries have to be submitted a fortnight, 14 days, before the show 

  • In case of absence or late withdrawal  the entry fee will not be refunded. Withdrawals also by mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">rThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

  • The animals should be show in transparent, plastic show tanks or fish tanks, with a well closing lid, to be provided with the number of entry. Wire-cages, glass fish tanks, mini Duna’s etc. are not allowed. For rats the minimum size should be 35 to 23,5 cm, for gerbils and Syrian hamsters 29,5 to 20,5 cm, for mice and dwarf hamsters 18 to 14 cm. The tanks must be clean and filled with little fresh bedding and provided with some chunks of fruit or vegetable or a water bottle.

  • Show animals must be present before 9.00 a.m. (for foreign participants exceptions can be made in accordance with the Show Secretary )

  • During judging hours only the stewards may handle or open the show tanks, unless permission is granted by the Show Secretary.

  • During judging hours talking to or even starting a discussion with the judges is not allowed. You may listen!

  • Participants are allowed to sell animals to family and friends.

  • Sick animals, pregnant females, females who are just off the litter are disqualified.

  • Only after the competition and awards ceremonie show animals can be taken out of the show tanks and made ready for the journey home, not before! Again in accordance with the Show Secretary, exceptions can be made for foreign competitors.

  • Rodent Club Rattonia is in no way legally responsible for any suffered damage.



Mei 2018