The Basic Standard, by which all show gerbils are judged, is based upon the allocation of points for various features.
Points are allocated using the Judge’s Checklist as follows:
Body – 25 pts
Fur/color – 25 pts
Temperament – 25 pts
Tail & Tuft – 15 pts
Eyes – 5 pts
Ears – 5pts.
Body: The head is short and broad, and well set into the body. The topline of the gerbil should be smooth from head to mid-back and then it should curve towards the tail. The neck should not dip at the shoulders, nor should they have a prominent fat pad at the shoulders that causes the shoulder to be the highest point in the topline. Symmetry and general appearance of the body are decidedly solid and firm. The gerbil should be in top health. There should be no signs of wounds or scars on the body. Teeth should not be overgrown or broken. Whiskers are long and full, not broken or missing.
Females: should be streamlined and athletic in appearance.
Males: should have a larger, heftier body type, but should not appear fat.
Fur: The coat is full, fine, soft, short, and has a smooth, healthy sheen without any greasy appearance. Adult gerbils shall not be molting.
Tail & Tuft: The tail shall be held straight back for balance when the gerbil is in motion, free from kinks and ending with a brush-like tuft. In an adult the tail shall be the same length as the body. Faults include broken or kinked tail.
Eyes: The eyes shall be bright, widely set, and large. They should have an almond shape and be symmetrical. The eyes should not bulge out of the sockets, especially when held. The blue scleras (whites of the eye) should not be visible..
Ears: The ears shall be fairly small, not too rounded and carried erect. The ears should located at 10 and 2.
Temperament: Gerbils shall be tame and friendly towards people, and show gentleness toward cage mates. They should exhibit a temperament that is curious, active, confident, even tempered, exhibiting stability, playfulness, with an outgoing, loving disposition. Biting, nipping, excessive digging, tail swishing and aggressive behavior shall penalized.
Show Penalties and Disqualifications
Penalty points are to be deducted as follows:
- Disease – Disqualification
- Sores, scabs, or wounds – Disqualification
- Intractability – Disqualification (a gerbil that is too fearful, wild, or aggressive to be handled for examination by a judge will be disqualified)
- Hard nipping – Disqualification (Hard nipping will be immediate grounds for disqualification, repeated incidents of biting will bar the gerbil from further show eligibility)
- Pregnant (or nursing) female – Disqualification
- Missing fur – 10 points max
- Excess fat – 10 points max
- Molting – 10 points max
- Dirty or stained fur – 10 points max
- Dirty show pen or litter – 5 points max
Conformation and Body Type
Head, Ear and Eye Shapes
Tail and Tuft
The tail shall be held straight back for balance when the gerbil is in motion – free from kinks and ending with a brush like tuft. In an adult the tail shall be thick and the same length as the body.
- Length: from where the tail joins the body to the end of the tuft
- Proportion: harmonious relation between body, tail and tuft
- Straightness: The tail should be free from curves, bends, kinks or irregularities
- Carriage: the position or bewaring of the tail in relationship to the body
- Tuft: the elongated hairs begin to rise at the midpoint of the tail and form a brush like formation at the end of the tail.