The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) is a national club for domestic rabbit and cavy breeders. The ARBA is headquartered in Knox, Pennsylvania in the United States. Its membership is composed of rabbit and cavy breeders throughout, fanciers, and pet owners in North America and many countries throughout the world.
The ARBA serves to promote the domestic rabbit and cavy fancy, as well as commercial rabbit production. The American Rabbit Breeders Association sets official breed standards for recognized rabbit breeds and cavy breeds. Every five years the ARBA publishes a detailed guide entitled Standard of Perfection. This guide is beneficial to rabbit and cavy (guinea pig) breeders, providing a reference to those interested in understanding the conformation standard for the variety of breeds recognized by the ARBA. ARBA recognizes 49 breeds of rabbit and 13 cavy breeds.
The ARBA sanctions rabbit shows throughout the year, all over the USA and Canada. These shows, sponsored by local clubs, fairs, and show circuits, give rabbit and cavy fanciers the chance to have their animals examined by educated judges and compared to other breeders' animals and the standard. The ARBA holds a large national convention show once a year, which draws in fanciers from across the country and around the world. The 2005 ARBA convention was documented in the film Rabbit Fever . The 2006 ARBA Convention was held in Ft. Worth, Texas, the 2007 ARBA Convention was held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2008 in Louisville, Kentucky, 2009 in San Diego, California, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana, 2012 in Wichita, Kansas, 2013 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and 2014 in Ft. Worth, Texas.
This organization helps all levels of rabbit keepers and breeders, including 4-H participants to fanciers, pet owners to commercial producers. The ARBA also produces educational materials such as a guide book, 'Raising Better Rabbits & Cavies', as well as informative books on each registered breed, and a poster with photographs of the recognized breeds of rabbits and cavies, and rabbit registrar and judge training materials. The judges education program is an ongoing program for established judges.
The ARBA has a standardized judging system in which rabbits are judged against the respective breed standard, set by a 100-point scale, and published in the Standard of Perfection. It is a book detailing all of the recognized breeds in the United States and their attributes. The association has licensed judges since the early 1900s who may judge at sanctioned shows and fairs. The registration system maintains records on all rabbits which have passed a registration examination to ensure the animals are healthy and meet the ARBA Standard for the rabbits' breed. ARBA licensed registrars conduct the examination. Registrations are ranked Red, White and Blue to distinguish how many ancestors of the subject rabbit have been previously registered.
The ARBA Library, located at the headquarters in Knox, Pennsylvania, houses the world's largest single repository of books and writings on domestic rabbits.It is an archival library, not a lending library. It holds over 10,000 items/pieces, which are housed in the collection, and it continues to constantly grow. The next largest similar collection is at the United States National Agricultural Library in Maryland, and it holds about 1,300 pieces. The British National Library, London also has an extensive collection. Access to the Library for research by members is available by appointment only.
The ARBA offers a Youth Scholarship program for high school graduates who wish to further their education. The recipients must have graduated with a minimum 3.0 grade point average and be enrolled in their first year of higher education. The scholarship proceeds are designated to be used towards two- or four-year college, vocational, or technical school.
The Angora rabbit, which is one of the oldest types of domestic rabbit, is bred for the long fibers of its coat, known as Angora wool, that are gathered by shearing, combing, or plucking. Because rabbits do not possess the same allergy-causing qualities as many other animals, their wool is an important alternative. There are at least 11 distinct breeds of Angora rabbit, four of which are currently recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA): English Angora, French Angora, Giant Angora, and Satin Angora. Others include: German Angora, Chinese Angora, Finnish Angora, Japanese Angora, Korean Angora, Russian Angora, St. Lucian Angora, and Swiss Angora.
The Netherland Dwarf is a breed of domestic rabbit that originated in the Netherlands. Weighing 1.1–2.5 pounds (0.50–1.13 kg), the Netherland Dwarf is one of the smallest rabbit breeds. Its popularity as a pet or show rabbit may stem from its neotenic appearance. The Netherland Dwarf is recognised by both the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) and the British Rabbit Council (BRC). The Netherland Dwarf is often confused with the Polish breed of rabbit, but the latter has longer ears, a non-brachycephalic head and less cobbiness.
The Jersey Wooly is a breed of domestic rabbit weighing about 3 pounds with a bold head and easy-care wool fur on their body. They are noted for their docile nature, and gentle disposition.
Dwarf rabbit refers either (formally) to a rabbit with the dwarfing gene, or (informally) to any small breed of domestic rabbit or specimen thereof, or (colloquially) to any small rabbit. Dwarfism is a genetic condition that may occur in humans and in many animals, including rabbits. True dwarfism is often associated with a cluster of physical abnormalities, including pituitary dwarfism. The process of dwarfing is used to selectively breed for smaller stature with each generation. Small stature is a characteristic of neoteny, which may account for the attraction of dwarf animals.
Rabbit show jumping, also known as rabbit agility or rabbit hopping, is modeled after horse show jumping, on a scale to suit rabbits. Competitions have been held in the United States and several European countries.
The Mini Lop is a breed of domestic rabbit that is recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). It is different from the Miniature Lop breed that is recognized by the British Rabbit Council (BRC). The Mini Lop [US] and the Miniature Lop [UK] are different from the Dwarf Lop breed that is recognized by the BRC. The Mini Lop is similar to several other small rabbit breeds, such as the Dwarf rabbit.
The American Fuzzy Lop is a rabbit breed recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). It is similar in appearance to a Holland Lop. However, the American Fuzzy Lop is a wool breed and will have wool similar to the Angora breeds although the wool will be shorter than that of a commercial Angora. The American fuzzy lop has to weigh up to 4 pounds in order to be shown.
Mini Rex is a breed of domestic rabbit that was created in 1984 in Florida by the late Monna Berryhill of Texas. The Rex mutation, derived in France in the 19th century, is recessive and causes the hair to protrude outwards from the body, instead of lying flat, and the guard hairs to be shortened to the length of the undercoat.
The Flemish Giant rabbit is a very large breed of domestic rabbit, normally considered to be the largest breed of the species. Flemish Giants are historically a utility breed bred for fur and meat. The breed is also known for being docile and patient in being handled, resulting in the large animals commonly being kept as pets.
The term rex rabbit refers informally to one of at least nine breeds of domestic rabbit. One such breed is the Rex, which is recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) and by the British Rabbit Council (BRC). Other modern-day rex rabbit breeds are listed below. Care must be taken to distinguish the rex rabbit breeds from the three types of rex rabbit fur for which they are known.
The American Rabbit is a breed of rabbit, recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) in 1917. By the ARBA standard, American rabbits have a mandolin body shape and a coat ideal for use as fur. It has also been noted for a good 'sweet' temperament and good mothering abilities. As with all domestic rabbits, the American breed is of the species Oryctolagus cuniculus, the European wild rabbit.
The Checkered Giant is a breed of domestic rabbit that originated in France. One of the largest rabbit breeds, the Checkered Giant is recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). The British Rabbit Council (BRC) does not recognize the Checkered Giant, but does recognize a comparable breed, which is named the Giant Papillon.
The Argenté rabbit is one of the oldest breeds of French show rabbits. The British Rabbit Council (BRC) recognises six varieties: Argenté Bleu, Argenté Brun, Argenté Crème, Argenté de Champagne, Argenté Noir, and Argenté St Hubert. The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) recognises the Champagne d'Argent and the Crème d'Argent. A rare variety, the Argenté Clair, is not currently recognised by either the BRC or ARBA.
The Cinnamon rabbit is a breed of domesticated rabbit created "accidentally" in 1962 and named for its coat color. The Cinnamon is currently recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) but not by the British Rabbit Council (BRC).
The Tan rabbit is a small fancy breed of rabbit shown throughout the world. While originally from England, in recent years it has gained popularity in the United States. Tans come in four varieties: black, blue, chocolate and lilac. Full grown Tans weigh 4-6 pounds.
Animal fancy is a hobby involving the appreciation, promotion, or breeding of pet or domestic animals.
The Rhinelander is a medium-sized breed of domestic rabbit that originated in Germany. Rhinelanders are known for their distinctive facial "butterfly markings", a spine marking, colored ears, cheek spots, eye circles and side markings of black with orange or of blue with fawn. The Rhinelander breed is recognized by the British Rabbit Council (BRC) and by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA).
The Florida White is a relatively small breed rabbit originally produced for the laboratory or as a smaller meat rabbit. It is all white in colour with no other markings, with albino red eyes. It is a recognised American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) breed.