Breed Appearance The Beveren is one of the oldest and largest
breeds of fur rabbits. Their coats can be blue, white, black, brown
and lilac, though not all of these varieties are ARBA-recognized.
There is a rare variety called the Pointed Beveren, which comes in
the same colors but has white tipped hairs. The blue variety is the
Breed Description Body: The body type is to be of mandolin
shape. Body is to be medium length, with broad, meaty back and a
deep, firm loin. Shoulders are to be strong and firm, with a
well-sprung rib cage, tapering slightly from broader, smooth hips.
The body should present a definite arch when viewed from the side.
The topline is to be a smooth curve, starting at the back of the
shoulder, rising to a high point over the middle of the back, and
curving over the hips to complete the arch. Head: The head is to be full from top to bottom, with a
well-filled face and jaws. Head is to present a distinct curvature
between the eyes and nose with a medium broad muzzle. Size of the
head is to conform to the body more massive in bucks than in does. A
medium dewlap is permissible on does. Ears: Are to be well furred and carried in a "V" shaped
manner. Ideal length is to be 5 or more inches in seniors and
intermediates. Feet & Legs: Front feet and legs are to be straight, strong
and of medium bone. Hind feet and legs are to be straight, powerful,
and well furred. Legs are to be medium bone, in proportion to size
of body. In whites, toenails are to be white or flesh colored. In
blacks and blues, toenails should be dark. Fur: The coat is to be very dense and glossy. The guard hairs
should be plentiful and of fine diameter, but strong enough to fall
or roll gently back into position when stroked from tail to head.
Density and texture share equal importance. Ideal fur length is
between 1¼ and 1½ inches.
Black - Color is to be deep, glossy, jet black, carried well
down into a blue undercolor. Eyes - Dark brown.
Blue - Color is to be a clean shade of light lavender blue,
carried well down into the base, free from silvering. Eyes - Blue-gray, with ruby cast to pupil permissible.
White - Color is to be pure white, with no ivory cast. Eyes - To be a brilliant blue.
History The Beveren is a very old breed. Though
uncommon in the United States, the Beveren has a rich European
history. The breed was first developed in Beveren, Belgium in the
19th century. The Beveren was derived from crosses of the
Brabanconne, St. Nicolas Blue, and the Blue Vienna. In 1902 in
Beveren, Belgium the first standard was instituted for the "Blue
Rabbit of Beveren". 1905 saw the first exhibition of the Beveren
Blue in Norwich, Great Britain. During the First World War, the "V"
for victory remarkably came from the v-shaped ear carriage of the
Beveren. During this time the Beveren gained a great amount of
popularity with the British. In the early twenties the Beveren was
raised for rabbit pelts. The dominate variety used for pelts was the
white variety as it could be easily dyed by furriers. The blue
variety of the Beveren was even raised in Buckingham Palace in
London before World War II. Through the lengthy development in the
20th century, British fanciers developed the blue, black, blue-eyed
white, lilac, brown and pointed varieties. Comparatively speaking,
the Beveren standard as printed in the ARBA Standard of Perfection
remains very much the same in type and structure as that originally
developed long ago. One major difference is that the ARBA only
recognizes black, blue, and blue-eyed varieties in the American
Beveren. Also, our British counterparts place a great emphasis on
color and coat quality unlike other countries, including the U.S.,
who award twice the percentage that the British give for type; the
percentage which remains for coat is consequently less. Due to the
limited number of Beverens in the United States, U.S. fanciers have
begun importing stock from Britain to alleviate some of the problems
associated with constant inbreeding.
Behavior The Beveren rabbit is a rare breed. They are
well tempered, clean, and smart. Beverens are full of energy, and
love to explore the outdoors. Rabbits can make good pets for younger
children when proper parental supervision is provided. As prey
animals, rabbits are alert, timid creatures that startle fairly
easily. They have fragile bones, especially in their backs, that
require support on the belly and bottom when picked up. Older
children and teenagers usually have the maturity required to care
for a rabbit. Rabbits may grunt, lunge and even bite or scratch.
Usually they do not bite hard enough to break skin. Rabbits become
aggressive when they feel threatened or are cornered.