Taking your guinea pig to the exhibition: how to prepare for that?

Probably most of us know dog exhibitions including the organization thereof. However, even guinea pig owners can participate at an exhibition. How do such events work and what is their main principle? How do I prepare my guinea pig for an exhibition and what restrictions do I have to observe? We have discussed this with long-term guinea pig breeder Andrea Kroftová. 

How is the guinea pig exhibition organized?

Guinea pig exhibitions in different parts of the world do differ. There are even two different types of exhibitions in our country, the biggest difference between them being whether the guinea pigs are exhibited in cages provided by the host or in their own ones. The second type is conducted in the German style and mostly, it is a meeting of breeders.


How to prepare the guinea pig for the exhibition?

The pre-exhibition preps include the classic routine care of each guinea pig - cutting claws, cleaning the sebaceous glands, giving it a bath if necessary, and also specific care, depending upon what breed we will present at the exhibition. Some long-haired guinea pig breeds require combing, short-haired guinea pigs tearing loose hair and combing their rosettes.


Can any guinea pig go to an exhibition?

In the Czech Republic, even mix-breeded "guinea pigs" may take part in an exhibition. In the Czech Republic, there is a so-called standard A, B and C. Standard A includes short-haired breeds (smooth, English crested, American crested, US teddy, Swiss teddy, rex, rosette) and long-haired breeds (sheltie, coronet, Peruvian, texel, merino, alpaca, lunkarya - Peruvian). Standard B includes giant cuy breeds and hairless skinny and Baldwin breeds. Standard C is intended for pets. Within this standard, you may exhibit even guinea pigs, which would be difficult to assign to any breed.


What about age restrictions?

Participating at an exhibit with the baby category (up to five months) is not limited by age, but by the weight of the guinea pig. Guinea pigs are being judged in the baby category from 500 grams and giant guinea pigs from 700 grams. Additionally, with short-haired breeds, it is necessary that the guinea pig be overcoated and long-haired breeds´ minimum coat length is to be at least seven centimetres. The breeding traits development is to have been completed in all guinea pigs. Under certain conditions, breeds may also be exhibited in the so-called recognition procedure which currently refers to minipli and guinea pigs in lavender color.


What does the guinea pig have to have documents for (confirmation of origin etc.) prior to going to an exhibition?

It's nothing too complicated. The exhibitor selects his/her exhibition on the It's showtime exhibition he is interested in and reads the exhibition conditions stating how he can exhibit the guinea pig. Usually, the rules define for which breeders the exhibition is designed for and whether you have to be enlisted in an organization. Prior to going to the show, it is necessary to file an affidavit on the guinea pig's health status or visit a veterinarian and ask for a veterinary certificate. Both documents mustn´t be older than three days. The exhibitor then submits the documents in the course of the exhibition acceptance procedure. The acceptance site is at the entrance to the exhibition grounds, here the breeder signs a statement about having been instructed in how to handle guinea pigs and places the guinea pigs according to the instructions and waits as the organizers assess the guinea pig.

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