Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Behind The Points - Page 2 of 2

By Donna Anastasi
Donna raises and shows gerbils and is a certified AGS judge. Share in her gerbil show experiences.

All colors have their challenges. For example, nutmeg gerbils (black-orange-brown mixed fur that looks brindled) always seem to molt at just the wrong time with a noticeable molt line separating the new fur growth from the old. Spotted gerbils must have both the right amount and the right pattern of spots.

In the first round of judging, gerbils are grouped by color or category. There must be a minimum of five in each class and 35 gerbils total in a sanctioned (for points) match. We expect to have close to 150 gerbils entered in the upcoming gerbil show.

Points are awarded as follows:
First Place:  3 points
Second Place: 2 points
Third Place: 1 point

A second blue ribbon for the best gerbil of the opposite-sex-from-the-first-place winner may be awarded at the judge’s discretion in each class. This gerbil also is granted 3 points. This is the case when a judge picks, say a male for first and in the same class there is an exceptional female, that could well be the top female at the show, a “Best of Opposite Sex” in class blue ribbon lets her continue on to the Best in Show competition, too.

Gerbil winners in each class: white belly, self, colorpoint, other and spotted go on to the next level. The best juvenile and best senior also advance, though it can be hard for youngsters less than 3 months or seniors more than 2 ½ years old to compete with gerbils in their prime.

This is the nail-biting climax, where the judges confer in a secluded back room together with the best 14 gerbils to pick the best of the best of each gender: “Best in Show” and “Best Opposite Sex” in show.

Both of these two top gerbils receive a purple, white and gold rosette and an additional 3 points each.

A gerbil that accumulates 8 points under at least two different judges in at least two shows is crowned an AGS champion gerbil. Though most show gerbils come out of several generations of registered gerbils, any gerbil can be registered with the American Gerbil Society and become a champion, even one of unknown origin that started life in a pet shop.

For anyone not completely overwhelmed who wants even more information on gerbil show logistics, get your fill at

  • In Issue #5 Show Points and Breeder Championship Certificates  By Jo Kelley
  • In Issue #9, Preparing Gerbils for Show By Donna Anastasi
  • In Issue #3 - NE Show Made Easy By Janet Morrow
  • In Issue #6 It’s Showtime! Getting Ready for a Show by Janet Morrow
  • In Issue #5 The History of the American Gerbil Society By Judith H. Block

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