Pet Rabbit Breeds
There are pet rabbits as big as spaniels and as small as guinea pigs. In between, there are pet rabbits of every size, shape and color - more than 50 domestic breeds from which to choose your pet. If this figure overwhelms you, find out from a pet shop or breeder the best breed for you. Although it is not possible to present here every pet rabbit breed that is available, the following descriptions give the reader a thorough overview of some of the types of rabbit that are available to the hobbyist.
Dutch Pet Rabbit Breed
This rabbit is colored similarly fore and aft, with a broad band of white around the front part of its body up to the head. A small-to-medium character with a charming disposition, it comes in a variety of attractive colors. It is no wonder that it has become popular as a pet.
Polish Pet Rabbit Breed
This is the original dwarf rabbit, a small, lean individual weighing no more than 0.9kg. It is the same size as the more common Netherlands Dwarf, but the complete opposite in body shape, having a log, graceful body and a racy, alert appearance. The most usual variety is the red-eyed white, although many other colors exist, such as black, blue, smoke and sable. The fur of the Polish is very short and shiny, as though it has been polished - hence the name (although 'Polish' is pronounced as if it was derived from Poland). Unfortunately the Polish has a reputation for being bad tempered and is therefore not a pet for the novice.
Belgian Hare Pet Rabbit Breed
One of the most intelligent of pet rabbits. This attractive animal, whose weight can range from 2.7kg to 4.5kg, has beautiful lush fur that is reddish tan in color. Its body shape is similar to that of a hare, with very long legs and ears.
Champagne D' Argents Rabbit Breed
Tend to have excellent temperaments, and put weight on very well. They run from about 10 - 12 lbs.
Himalayan Pet Rabbit Breed
This red-eyed rabbit sports a white coat with black, blue, chocolate or lilac markings. These markings are on the nose, ears, tail, feet and legs. Medium in size, it weighs from 0.9kg to 1.8kg.
Angora Pet Rabbit Breed
These beautiful pet rabbits are easily recognizable by the distinctive quality of their coats. This breed is available in white and various other colors. The Angora is more difficult to take care of than some other types of rabbit, but if you devote the necessary time and patience to brushing, cleaning and clipping it you will be rewarded by the beauty of this prized and unusual pet.
Lop Pet Rabbit Breed
The hallmark of lop pet rabbits is their long, soft, dropping or 'lop' ears (which in some breeds are enormous in size in relation to body size). In the larger lop breeds, ear lengths easily measure over 50cm. The French Lop is the largest variety, growing as big as 6.8kg. It has a very round, compact body shape. The slightly smaller English Lop is a mean, lean shape, with the largest ears of any rabbit. The German Lop, the Dwarf Lop and the Mini Lop are all smaller versions of the French Lop, the Mini Lop being the smallest at approximately 1.4kg. The Meissner Lop has distinctive silver coloring, similar to the silver rabbit, and the Cashmere Lop is the longhaired version of the Dwarf Lop. All Lops come in a great variety of colors and markings, and make excellent pets.
Silver Pet Rabbit Breed
These beautiful pet rabbits are the choice of quite a few hobbyists. Silvers, whose coats are short and even in length, are available in several colors, all of which are highlighted by the breed's characteristic silvering. Adult members of the breed weigh from 1.8kg to 3kg.
Netherlands Dwarf Pet Rabbit Breeds
These pet rabbits, often simply called dwarf pet rabbits, are a favorite of many in the fancy. Their appearance is distinctive: short ears perched on top of an apple-round head, and a very compact body. Netherlands Dwarfs, which come in a variety of beautiful colors, are known for their even dispositions.
Chinchilla and Chinchilla Giant Pet Rabbit Breeds
These are two recognized breeds and are similar in appearance. The Giganta is larger, weighing about 4.9kg to 5kg while the Chinchilla weighs 2.7kg. The distinguishing characteristic of both is the unique color, 'to resemble real chinchilla'. The under color is dark slate blue at the base, light pearl at the center, and the top banded in black; the chinchilla effect is produced by a very light band brightly ticked with jet black hairs in a wavy fashion. The top color of the Chinchilla Giant is darker than the Chinchilla.
Rex and Satin Pet Rabbit Breeds
These pet rabbits are 20th-century breeds. The Rex is characterized by short, dense fur that looks and feels like plush. It is the result of a mutant factor, that reduces the guard hairs to the length of the under hair. The Satin sheen is the result of a mutant factor causing the fur to roll back. Among the many Rex colors are opal, lynx, sable, seal, blue, castor, chinchilla, and others. Colors often suffer from the lack of density of the coat.
English Pet Rabbits
This is a medium breed of about 3.6kg/8lb. The pattern consists of a butterfly-marked snout, a narrow saddle along the spine, dark ears, dark eye circles, cheek spots and chain markings on the flanks. Colors are blue, black, tortoiseshell, chocolate or gray on white.
Normal Havana Pet Rabbit Breed
A furry Dutch rabbit, once dubbed the beaver, the Havana has been a well-known European breed since the turn of the century, exhibited widely in France, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, and England. Its present name derives from the brown variety's close color resemblance to the Cuban cigar. Short, cobby and wholly romantic, the Havana has dark eyes that twinkle a rich ruby glow in a darkened room. The fur is approximately 2.5cm in length.
Flemish Giant Pet Rabbit Breed
This is a long and powerful rabbit with a notably square and wide body. Color, which is always uniform, can be any solid except white. As its name suggests, this rabbit blossomed in Flanders, Belgium, where it was known as the Patagonian and favored for its tremendous size. Its coat is strikingly full and bright, and always of one length.
Californian Pet Rabbit Breed
A pure white rabbit with black Himalayan markings on the body, this is a 'Roaring Twenties' rabbit creation, achieved by crossing a Himalayan and a Chinchilla. The body is medium long, appearing full and somewhat rounded.
Beveren Pet Rabbit Breed
Beveren is a small town in Belgium where this rabbit was first bred in the early 1900s. Its initial popularity in England was with butchers, as opposed to pet shop keepers, as meat was very scarce during the First World War. The Beveren's body is shaped like a mandolin and it enjoys being stroked. Considered one of the largest of the fur breeds, the Beveren can weigh up to 4.5kg.
Sable Pet Rabbit Breed
This medium sized rabbit is a well-furred, good-eared little darling who sports a very rich sepia-brown color, which extends as deep as possible. The eyes are brown with a distinct ruby glow.
Harlequin Pet Rabbit Breed
Harlequins are usually pretty docile, make good mothers and foster kits well but, like everything else, there are always individual exceptions. They're a good breed for all ages because they are relatively easy to handle, and because competing on a national basis is within the grasp of almost anyone.
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