Magpie Guide Standard

Updated 1st January 2024

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Standard of points

Head, Eyes & Ears Head to be of good size, bold and broad, with a gently curving profile.
Muzzle to be of good width and rounded at the nostrils.
Eyes to be large, bright and bold and set with good width between.
Ears to be large and drooping, and set with good width between.
Body Shape To have short, cobby body with good width across shoulders and body.
To be fit and of good substance, with plenty of firm flesh.
To have good size appropriate to age.
Markings To consist of patches of black (or chocolate) / white and black (or chocolate) /white mixture, evenly distributed on each side of the body on either side of a central line formed by differently coloured patches.
of which
Head Markings Head ideally to have two colours divided down the centre.
A different colour on each side of the head divided by a blaze of the third colour is almost as desirable.
Line & Distribution of Patches Patches to be placed on each side of the body so as to give no overlaps over the central line top or under.
Each side of the body of the cavy to have three or more patches.
Each side of the cavy of the cavy to have patches of all three colours.
Shape & Clarity of Patches Patches to be square-cut with straight edges and of equal size
Patches to be clean-cut and distinct from each other, with no intermingling of colours.
Colour Black / Chocolate colours to be rich, even and with glossy sheen, and carried well.
White colour to be pure and clean.
Eye colour to be dark.
Coat To be soft, clean and groomed free of guard hairs.

NB: Any Full Standard for this breed is likely to be based on that for the Tortoiseshell & White.


As well as being based on a Black/White combination, as referred to in the Standard above, the Magpie may also be based on a Chocolate/White combination.

Important note: In using the word ‘colours’ in this Standard, this refers both to the black (or chocolate) and white colours and to the patches of black (or chocolate)/white mixing.

Guidance notes

The Magpie is a smooth coated cavy, carrying a chequerboard pattern of square-cut patches of black (or chocolate), white and black (or chocolate) / white intermingling, with a dividing line running the length of the cavy both top and underside.

There is no set sequence for the patches

There is no set sequence for the patches.

The head should ideally consist of two colours, split down the middle, but a head with three colours is almost as desirable.

There should then be at least three patches on each side of the cavy.

All of the colours should be present on each side of the cavy, ideally on the body.

Looking from either above or below the cavy, patches on opposite sides of the body should meet so as to form a central ‘line’ down the spine and mid-belly of the cavy.

No patches should overlap this central line, either on top or under side.

Patches should ideally be square-cut and of the same size all over the body.

Each patch should consist of either a solid colour or an even intermixing of colours, clearly delineated from surrounding patches, and having in the solid patches no intermingling of hairs of a different colour.

Specific disqualifications

Specific faults

Line Faults

(In descending order of significance, i.e. worst faults first, but dependent on extent of failing)

Distribution Faults

(In descending order of significance, i.e. worst faults first)

Distinctiveness Faults

(To be penalised according to extent)

Wash 2: Designed by Simon Neesam for the British Cavy Council © 2020