We cannot stop ourselves from loving the rabbit when we touch their soft and silky fur and when they cuddle and hops around us. That’s why the rabbit is considered to be one of the best choices for a house pet.
If you are thinking of bringing the rabbit at home, you need to do a little research before buying a rabbit so that you may ensure that which breed is right for you. According to the statistics, there are about 500 breeds of rabbits available worldwide from which about 60 breeds have been developed.
So choosing one of them can be difficult because every rabbit breed is known for its different characteristics. Also, different breeds require different care. So, first of all, you should ensure that which rabbit breed is suitable for you. To make your search easier, we examined the world’s most popular rabbit breeds.
We can say confidently that through our complete guide to rabbit breeds, you will surely get comprehensive information about various rabbit breeds because we have classified rabbit breeds based on their physical traits.
Dwarf Rabbit Breeds
The Dwarf rabbits are the smallest breeds that weigh between 1.5 to 3.5 lbs. As a result, you can fit them into your palm effortlessly. Low weight is the main reason for their popularity. Adults and kids like it a lot.
In addition to low weight, they are inherently cool and attractive. When it comes to caring, caring is also easier because of their compact size. Dwarf rabbits can live comfortably in less space. So they do not require a large cage and they eat less food than other rabbits. The good news is that it fits according to your budget.
Dwarf Rabbit breeds are very energetic and have quite interesting behavior. There is even less chance of chewing the hardwood furniture. Also, they are easier to potty-train. Overall, dwarf rabbit breeds have proven to be the best choice in pets.
Now, we will provide comprehensive information about the world’s two most popular dwarf rabbit breeds:
Netherland Dwarf Rabbit Breed
Nowadays the popularity of the Netherland dwarf rabbit is increasing because they are very famous for their babyish appearance and attractive personalities. As a result, it is preferred more by adults as well as children. If you make a little effort, this breed can easily be socialized. Their lifespan is 10-12 years.
- Appearance- The compact body and a slightly larger head make the Netherland Dwarf rabbit very sweet. Their head looks larger than the body while there are small and erect ears on their head. On the round face, they have large eyes also which make these rabbits more attractive. Therefore, these rabbits appear different from other rabbit breeds. It is considered one of the smallest rabbit breeds in the world. They weigh between 1.1 to 2.5 lbs. And they have the short coat in length. These rabbits are available in various colors such as dark chocolate, orange, black, chinchilla, snow white,
Himalayan, and silver.
- Temperament- These rabbits are quite calm and decent. You do not need to clean them most of the time because they clean themselves and even they are easy to potty-train. This breed looks the very delicate, still, these are very energetic. Because of
their playfulness, they can easily sweat you out.
- Care requirement- Due to its compact body, they do not need more care. Still, the proper diet comes first, when it comes to caring. You should provide them unlimited amounts of fresh water and hay and their diet should contain 25% other food items, including pellets. If their diet does not mainly contain hay, in this breed the risk of malocclusion is high in which jaw and mandible do not grow at the same rate. As a result, the teeth do not connect to each other. So they cannot chew the food. If this happens with your rabbit, they must be examined by a vet.
They do not require a large cage, so you should provide them indoor cage so that they may safe from predators and the elements. You should take the rabbit out of the
cage as long as possible if you want to promote human interaction.
Maintaining their coat is too easy. You should brush your rabbit during shedding season. Always keep one thing in mind that clean the dirty fur with a damp towel instead of bathing.
The Dwarf Hotot
The Dwarf Hotot Rabbits compact body looks quite attractive due to being white. Only around their eyes, the fur is brown or chocolate which enhances its beauty. First-time rabbit owner prefers this breed very much for easy temperament.
These are full of energy so they like to hop around you. When these are fully developed, they weigh up to 3.5 lbs and these can be from 7 to 10 years old.
- Appearance- Most of the people prefer the appearance of Dwarf Hotot because of the compact size and white short coat. Even the coat is dense and shiny. Apart from the white color, they have brown or chocolate fur around their eyes. This combination of color is accepted by ARBA. On the other side, there are some rabbits whose have blue or black fur around the ears but the ARBA disqualify them. Its head is round and
broad but the neck is short. It has short and erect ears on the head which may touch each other.
- Temperament- This is a friendly and social rabbit which is quite popular for its calm temperament because they are less active than other breeds. You can place them effortlessly in your lap. They like human interaction. So this breed can be a good choice
for you. The Dwarf Hotot rabbits can jump out of its cage usually, especially when they see their owner. They jump in excitement. Therefore, be careful while opening the cage. Outdoor play is not suitable for them but it will be fine if you roam around the courtyard by keeping them into your lap.
- Care requirement- Because of the small size, this breed requires small cage but they require over food. It is found that the first time rabbit owners feed them over food which is a common mistake. They will eat as much food as you feed them which causes health problems. So for the rabbits of this size, a cup of pellets have been prescribed per day. When it comes to hay, you can provide them unlimited hay. Including fruit and veggies, you should feed them 30% of the remain food items. In this breed, intestinal
blockage and malocclusion are common health problems but these are preventable.
Mini Rabbit Breeds
First-time rabbit owner cannot distinguish between the Dwarf Rabbit breeds and Mini Rabbit Breeds. This is a common problem because there are many similarities between these two rabbit breeds which causes confusion. Yet, there is a way by which there can be the difference between the two.
The Mini Rabbit breed is a non-dwarf breed. Despite their name, they do not come under the category of the smallest rabbits as they weigh more than Dwarf rabbit breeds. This breed weighs up to 5.5 lbs. In short, this is a smaller version of the large rabbit breeds.
Some of the famous Mini rabbit breeds of America are given below:
- Mini Rex: This European breed is the smaller version of the Rex that can weigh between 3.5 to 4.5 lbs. Their lifespan is 7-10 years. This breed is quite popular for its plush and short coat. Because of the compact body, it suits for apartment residents,
singles, first-time rabbit owners, and families with children.
- Mini Plush Lop: The Plush Lop has been bred by 4 different rabbit breeds, including the Netherland Dwarf. Because of the compact size, anyone can accept it as a Dwarf rabbit breed by mistake. When the rabbit is fully developed, they weigh up to 4 lbs and these can be 12 years old. This is suitable for all level owners.
- Cashmere Lop: This breed is not accepted by the ARBA, still, the Cashmere Lop is considered the most popular breed in the US in the Mini rabbit breeds. But this rabbit is accepted by the BRC. They can grow up to 5 lbs and live up to 12 years. The Cashmere Lop is easy to potty-train. The first-time rabbit owner prefers it the most because of playful and friendly temperament.
- Himalayan: The Himalayan rabbit is the oldest rabbit breed in the world. It was one of the oldest breeds which was accepted by the ARBA. It has a cylindrical shaped body when viewed aerially. This shape of the body makes it unique. This breed can weigh between 2.5 to 5 lbs. Because of the small size and calm temperament, it is considered the perfect rabbit for families with young children. Their lifespan is 5-8 years.
Small Rabbit Breeds
“Small” word is commonly used by rabbit owner for rabbits including mini and dwarf rabbit breeds while breeders do not use this word for any breed. Most of the people prefer to buy small rabbit breeds because it is easier to care for this breed at home than the large rabbit breeds.
However, some breeds of small rabbit breeds are less known. Still, these rabbits are equally popular.
These are more active and it will easier to deal with.
- Florida White: The breeders chose the Florida White to get the rabbit with all desirable qualities. It is a relatively small rabbit with a round and compact body. Their neck is short and ears are thick. Their ears may be erect or fall on either side of their head.
Even their coat is lush and soft that makes it attractive. This rabbit is unique for the friendly, relax, and quiet temperament. As a result, it is easy to take care of. The ARBA has accepted it. This breed can grow up to 6 lbs. So they can provide plentiful meat. Their lifespan is up to 8 years.
- Dutch Rabbit: The Dutch rabbit was bred from the Brabancon rabbit. According to the information it has been found that Brabancon Rabbit was famous for meat in the 19th century. Because of the compact body, silky and short coat, they were included in the
ideal breeds. The main characteristic of this rabbit is, they can quickly adapt to their surrounding environment and enjoy both indoor and outdoor time. It is believed that if it is well cared for then it is a show-worthy rabbit.
Large Rabbit Breeds
Due to large size, the large rabbit breeds require extra space and excessive food. Still, there are many people who prefer to keep them because these are social, friendly, and peaceful compared to other.
Overweight prevents them from jumping over the cage. These are not more active and naughty like other rabbits. Although different types of large rabbit breeds are available, choosing one of these breeds is difficult for an unaware person.
Here, we have included two most popular breeds of the large rabbit breeds:
- American Rabbit: The American Rabbit is a multi-purpose breed that provides not only meat but also fur. Which is why, it is considered the best choice. This breed is found in two types, the White American rabbit, and Blue American Rabbit. The White American rabbit has white fur and red-colored eyes while the Blue American rabbits color is dark grey. The body of the American Rabbit is found in the shape of semi-arch that makes the rabbit very attractive. Their ears are long, tapered and narrow. Their coat is very attractive and the fur is short, soft, and silky. Due to being naturally clean, they do not require more care. When it comes to temperament, they are calm and docile. However, they may defend themselves from human touch because of their skittish behavior. This
breed can grow up to 11 lbs and live up to 12 years.
- American Chinchilla: The American Chinchilla is the most amazing breed developed for meat and gorgeous fur. When these are fully developed they can grow up to 12 lbs. The American Chinchilla’s lower base is slate blue and there is also a darker blue coat with a hint of grey in the middle part. Only this color is recognized by the ARBA. Their coat is short and soft. As a result, they require less maintenance. However, during
the shedding season, it is necessary to brush them twice a week. This rabbit is easy to handle but difficult to potty-train. When it comes to temperament, this is a great and well-mannered rabbit.
The Best Rabbit Breeds For Pets
It is the very common thing that each rabbit owner has different expectations. Some owners prefer only those rabbits that do not need more maintenance. But on the other hand, others like to keep those rabbits which can be kept constantly in their lap.
Here, we have included the best rabbit breeds on the basis of the temperament.
- Gentle and Laid-back rabbit breeds: It is believed that most of the large rabbits are gentle and laid-back. The common point is that if someone is against you, then surely you end up with them. The same thing is about dwarves and mini rabbits. On the other side, some of them are active. They like kicking and relaxing. But if you give importance to the rabbit’s temperament, there are many rabbit breeds that are worthy of you such as a Mini lop, a Holland lop, Rex, a Flemish giant and a Himalayan. These are the best suited for singles, first-time rabbit owners, and families with children.
- Children friendly rabbit breeds: Among the pets, the rabbit is liked the most by the children because they need less maintenance than dogs and they are not independent like cats. But always keep one thing in mind that you should teach your children the fundamentals of pet care. Although there are several breeds that children can handle easily. The Dutch, the American Chinchilla, the Himalayan, California white, Havana and the Japanese harlequin are those rabbits that enjoy playtime with children.
- The rabbit breeds for outdoor living: The rabbits are considered to be a very delicate creature. If you want to keep them happy in an outdoor cage, then they need the right care and the right place to live. The Rabbits enjoy the outdoor cage more than the indoor cage but you need to provide them the protection they require. Outdoor breeds include mainly Belgian hare, California, New Zealand and the Flemish giant. These are
the best breeds for outdoor living.
At the end of this article, we can say confidently that we have given important information about almost all popular rabbit breeds based on the size and characteristics. Still, if you think we should have added something else in this article, you can feel free to drop us a comment. We will definitely add your suggestions in our article.
I am Anoop Nain, proud father of four rescued dogs and two Flemish giant rabbits. I have a degree in Animal Behavior and Welfare. Besides being a full-time dog father, I am an NGO worker and content writer and an educationist, with more than 6 years of experience. It is while working with the NGO I got an opportunity to educate people on animal rights, pet healthcare, animal welfare and various other issues pertaining to animals.