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Where Will Show Mice Go Next?

6206 Views 48 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Jack Garcia
I was just musing after reading a thread on here. I'm wondering... can the type and shape of a show mouse really be improved now? A pale self show mouse is, to me anyway, the most beautiful of all rodents. Everything seems right. The big ears, thick tail, long body, sleek flat coat, broad faces and large size are all I could wish for in breeding perfection. So what happens for the show mouse now? What improvements could we make as the latest generation of fanciers?

Larger ears would look stupid. Thicker tails would look stupid. An even larger mouse altogether? Might not look stupid, maybe even desirable, but is that even possible? Are we close to reaching physical perfection with the pale self show mouse?

An obvious answer and goal would be for all mouse varieties to attain the size and type of the pale self. Imagine Dutch markings on the body of a PEW. Or self black with that kind of type and size. But is this even possible? Surely the fanciers who came before us would have achieved it with them as they have done with the pale selfs.

So... what do you see in the future of the exhibition fancy mouse?

Sarah xxx
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The general standard of excellence is very high especially as regards pale selfs. There is always room for improvement though. Blacks can never achieve the size and type of the pale selfs, but the pale selfs will never achieve the almost perfect, even and deep colour of a black. Slight faults occur on every mouse, creases in ears, slight lines or thin unders etc. If you had a Dutch the same size and shape as a Pew, the Dutch pattern simply would not fit the mouse no matter what you did as the body shape would be wrong. You need the mouse to be "cobby" so the markings fit. I think the future is about small incremental improvements and concetrating on consistancy of colour etc. Remember, the vast majority of mice bred even today are not winners, and are often well off the standard of winners. We are always fighting a losing battle against nature, which wants all mice to the skanky little runty agoutis they all came from. Just keeping the standard where it is will be quite an achievement.
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But then again someone comes along and raises the bar.
Phil is right that there is always room for improvement. While in theory the best pale self is an excellent animal, you always get the ones who are lacking a little bit in ears, or a little bit in tail, or a little bit in bone, or what have you. And the standard is called the standard because it is so difficult to achieve.

Few, if any BIS mice match the standard perfectly. All that BIS means is that all the other mice didn't match the standard quite as well as the one who got BIS.

I would not be surprised if show mice (and I mean good show mice) split into definite breeds. Whereas pet breeders breed all sorts of incompatible varieties together and cause all sorts of hidden genes to be present, some show breeders have been breeding the same varieties only to the same variety for decades and the beginnings of a breed are there. The line where a "variety" ends and a new "breed" begins can be fuzzy, though. I think our best contender for breed status presently is the Dutch.
My prediction is that show mice will be bred to grow horns and dangly bells from their private parts!

oh i must stop watching ideal.

So you're all basically saying that in another hundred years fancy mice will be where they are now? With exhibitors still striving to achieve the same standard we have these days? I would hope we'd get further than that...

Jack and Phil, I'm not talking about the ones lacking in bone, ears, tail, even colour etc, it's been like that all along. There will always be only few truly excellent mice, but it's always been that way. The siblings of all of the champions ever bred may only be fairly good mice. I'm talking about the winners themselves.

What will win the Harrogate show in another hundred years time? Will it look like the mice we have now? Or maybe in each litter every mouse will be of a winning standard? Then what would make the champions so much better? LOL, that would the end of the mouse fancy, wouldn't it?

Sarah xxx
Who knows? They could have wings and purple horns in 100 years time, for all we know. Predicting the future is hard work. :p
Predicting the future is hard work.
Oh Jack, what a boring answer! :roll:

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Sarah xxx
Well Im defo gonna be working on the dangly bells from the private parts as its the best idea put forward so far. you may be right though Sarah(Y) as if you look at the winners from 100 years ago they are shocking rubbish compared to now. In Walter Maxeys book is a pic of "champion invincible" who was a quadrouple champion. That mouse would have been culled in the nest if born in your first round of Dutch babies. You put forward the reasons why improvement is difficult yourself, if the mouse looks "ridiculous" with bigger ears etc it cant be said to have been "improved" can it?.
Well, I think with some varieties we're pretty much at their peak. Blacks aren't going to get much blacker, PEWs aren't going to get much larger. But there is plenty of room for improvement. I think some tans could be as typey as their self counterparts, most of the selfs could be more even. I think a lot of the AOVs could be more typey as well, like agouti. But maybe I just haven't seen the best examples of these varieties.

Maybe some kind of French Lop look is the way forward with the pale selfs :lol: :lol:

Sarah xxx
:shock: :eek: Lop eared mice!! hehehe Love it.

Attaining perfection is no fun, striving for it is.
In all seriousness, a major body change like lop ears would be a good break-away point for establishing a true breed. I could feasibly see lop eared (show mice with particularly high-set ears might be a good starting point here), Dutch, and manx as proto-types of new breeds based on body type.

The same way that some breeds of dogs may only come in certain colors, the same could be true for mouse breeds. After all, nobody would want to breed champagne Dutch (for obvious reasons).

Personally, I'd like to see fewer varieties of mice in existence overall, so that people were forced to pick one and stick with it. I'd much rather have fewer people doing something well than have masses of people doing something half-heartedly.
Attaining perfection is no fun, striving for it is.
So true.

I'm actually quite taken with the idea of lop eared mice :lol:

Sarah xxx
Personally, I'd like to see fewer varieties of mice in existence overall, so that people were forced to pick one and stick with it. I'd much rather have fewer people doing something well than have masses of people doing something half-heartedly.
While the perfectionist and purist in me agrees with you, no-one should be forced to take their hobby in any direction. Life is miserable a lot of the time, hobbies exist solely for enjoyment ;)

Sarah xxx
And competition. :p
Well while you guys are working on jingle balls. . . :roll:

I think the next thing to come to mice is size. People are so impressed by size right now, I think everyone wants bigger, larger, flashier mice. We already have large mice, but I think they'll get larger if it can be pushed further.

After that? No idea!
this would be a good topic for the NMC news Sarah,if you have time.Not sure when this months cut off is but I'm going to do a quick piece and email it over today.
I think somewhere along the line someone will want to change the look of a mouse and drastically change it- just like they do with dogs. For example, make the face long and pointy, make the body flat and skinny, create new standards for the coat colours. I doubt the main standard of show mice will be lost, be you always have someone with other ideas! :roll: like what you said about the lop ears, I really do believe someone will try and breed mice like that. Or mice with a purposely bred kinked tail which would otherwise be seen as a fault.

I don't think these will be part of the standard, but again, just look at dogs and rabbits and cats...
Despite the need to improve the type of many colour varieties, there is much room to improve the typiest show mice: Many lines do not reach a lifetime of 2 years as pets, some develope cancer early in life, some get fat and have a low fertility, some are less resistent against infectious diseases than others, some are shyer than others.
What you see is not all you want to get.
This does never happen in your stud? Ok, it happens in other studs...

(not in mine, of course :geek: )
It's unlikely that extremes in body shape will be accepted in the mouse fancy megzilla,as a group the club is generally anti such things and that includes hairless.
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