Top Breeds of Rabbit

Rabbits are enjoyable pets and companion animals. And they come in different breeds that finding the right one for you can be overwhelming.

In relation to this, the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) formally recognizes 50 unique breeds, varying from the playful Californian rabbit to the adorable English Lop.

If you’re thinking of adopting a bunny, we have everything you need to know to help find the ideal companion. This guide to the best rabbit breeds will help you know the top breeds and their variations, so you can determine the pet rabbit that is best for you.

American Rabbit

The American rabbit is a medium to large breed, that weighs 10-12 pounds and has a lifespan of 8 to 12 years This class of rabbit has fine, silky fur that is either “blue” (dark bluish grey) or white.

American rabbits are adaptable and easy-going, with an inclination to be lazy.

The American rabbit breed is not likely to have any particular diseases or health problems, but rabbits should always be observed for behavioral alterations that show illness. They should be inspected regularly and get an annual checkup with a veterinarian.

American rabbits do not require any specific food or diet, but all rabbits necessitate access to clean water, fresh hay, and nutritious food pellets. Like any other rabbit, the American Rabbit will relish the occasional treat.

American rabbits require a shelter that is big enough for them to stretch out and get some exercise.

They should be brushed each week or two and awarded chewing toys, playtime, and attention.

Belgian Hare Rabbit

The Belgian Hare is a medium to large breed of rabbit that weighs 6-9 pounds and has a lifespan of 7-11 years.

They have a light rust-colored fur with an orange shade over their entire bodies, with a slighter undercoat visible on their bellies and around their eyes.

Belgian Hare rabbits are remarkably active and curious, with a tendency to be timid. They require lots of room for exercise and are smart enough to be trained to do some tricks and play games. They are sometimes unpredictable and surprise easily.

The Belgian Hare breed is not prone to any particular diseases or health difficulties, although it would be best to have them checked regularly. More so if they are showing any signs of illness

Belgian Hares do not require any special food or diet, but they also require access to clean water, fresh hay, and nutritious food pellets. Like any other rabbit, the Belgian Hare will enjoy the special treat.

Belgian Hares require much more room than other domestic rabbits for movement and exercise. It’s an excellent idea to let them run indoors or outdoors, and provide them with toys and activities that encourage movement. Some people suggest hanging a Belgian Hare’s water very high, to promote the rabbit to stretch while drinking.

Their short, glossy fur needs minimal brushing but rubbing their coats once a month will better keep them healthy.

Blanc de Hotot

Originally from France, the Blanc de Hotot can easily be recognized by its “black eyeliner” that contrasts the rest of its white body. As a bonus, these bunnies behave well with children and other pets, as long as they grow up with them. Dedicated brushing time and taking walks outside are amazing approaches to bond with them.

Californian Rabbits

The Californian Rabbit is a large breed of rabbit that weighs 8-11 pounds and has a lifespan of 5-10 years. It possess a thick coat of fur that is rough to the touch. They are typically white with grey Himalayan markings.

Californians are generally mild and quiet. However, they can also be a loving pet that wants to play and cuddle. 

Californian rabbits are not prone to any particular diseases or health issues, but rabbits should always be observed for behavioral shifts that show illness, inspected regularly for any signs of illness, and get an annual checkup with a veterinarian who really knows rabbits.

Californian rabbits do not require any special food or diet, but all rabbits require access to clean water, fresh hay, and nutritious food pellets. Like any other rabbit, Californians will surely enjoy the occasional treat.

Californian rabbits have dense fur and a thick undercoat that makes them evenly suited to be held outdoors or indoors. This large breed of rabbit does require a good amount of space for exercise and thrives with lots of human interaction. Their thick coat requires brushing at least once a week, and more frequently during shedding season.

Checkered Giant Rabbit

Weighing in at about 13 pounds, a Checkered Giant is an excellent pet for couples or seniors who are looking for a companion. This breed of rabbit is more individualistic than others and is less affectionate, but is still curious and gentle. You can easily spot a Checkered Giant Rabbit by the butterfly-like marking on its nose.

Dutch Rabbit or The Hollander

The Dutch rabbit is a mini to small in size breed of rabbit, weighing 4-6 pounds, and has a lifespan of 5-8 years.

They have short, soft, shining fur, and all Dutch rabbits have white legs, bellies, and shoulders. They also possess a white blaze from their noses all the way to their foreheads. Various breeds of Dutch rabbits have different shaded colors on their ears, tails, and rumps. Some of them have black rumps and ears, some have grey, and some have brown.

Dutch rabbits are soft to touch, calm, and sociable. They thrive with the attention and companionship of people and other rabbits. That’s because they are loving, curious, and trainable.

The Dutch rabbit breed is not prone to any particular diseases or health issues, but all rabbits should always be observed for any signs of illness. Thus, taking them to the vet for an annual checkup is advisable.

Dutch rabbits do not require any particular food or diet, but all rabbits must have access to clean water, fresh hay, and nutritious food pellets. Like any rabbit, Dutch rabbits will also enjoy the occasional treat.

Dutch rabbits require enough space for healthy exercise and interaction, but this small breed of rabbits doesn’t need as much room as larger breeds. Their coats should be brushed once a week, and every day during the shedding season.

English Lop

The English Lop is a medium-sized breed of rabbit that typically weighs 9-10 pounds and has a lifespan of 5-7 years.

The English Lop has a short, soft coat and comes in a huge array of colors and patterns. This breed of rabbits is calm and gentle, but also active, spirited, and friendly. They are smart and easier to train than some other breeds, and not as inclined to chewing.

The English Lop is not prone to any particular diseases and it does need regular care and attention for its ears.

English Spot

The English Spot is a medium-sized breed of rabbit that weighs 5-8 pounds and it has a lifespan of 5-9 years.

English Spots are distinguished for their notable spotted coats, with dark eye circles, cheek spots, and colored ears, the strip of shade down their backs, and a butterfly-shaped nose marking. They come in a mixture of colors and possess short, dense fur.

The English Spot was cultivated as a show animal, so they are compliant, calm, and easy to handle. They are fairly active, but not very energetic.

The English Spot is not prone to any particular diseases or health issues, although it would be best to observe your pet for any signs of illness. It would help if you bring them to a vet for regular checkups.

English Spot rabbits do not require any particular food or diet, but all rabbits must have access to clean water, fresh hay, and nutritious food pellets. Like any other rabbit, an English Spot also enjoys an occasional treat.

English Spots do require enough space for exercise and activity for 1-2 hours a day, but they are fairly calm rabbits and do well indoors. Their short coats can be brushed every couple of weeks, and more often during the shedding season.

Flemish Giant Rabbit

As you might have guessed, the Flemish Giant is an extra-large breed of rabbit and weighs 9-15 pounds, and has a lifespan of 5-8 years.

The record-holding Flemish Giants have weighed up to 22 pounds and been longer than 4 feet long. They possess short, dense, glossy fur and come in a wide variance of solid colors.

Flemish Giant rabbits are often described as the “gentle giants” because they are sweet and docile. They can easily get along with people and with other animals and are smart enough to train.

The Flemish Giant is not prone to any particular diseases or health issues, but all rabbits should always be observed for behavioral shifts that show illness, inspected regularly for any signs of illness, and must get an annual checkup with a veterinarian who really knows rabbits.

Flemish Giant rabbits do not require any particular food or diet, although providing larger servings would be ideal. In addition, always give your pet clean water, fresh hay, and nutritious food pellets. Like any other rabbit, the Flemish Giant also enjoys an occasional treat.

Flemish Giants require particularly huge hutches and runs to get healthy exercise. Still, they should not be given two-level hutches, as it is not comfortable for them to climb ramps or steps. 

Flemish Giants are large enough and smart enough to be harness-trained, so they can be carried out on a harness. But that isn’t a replacement for free running and jumping exercise. 

Like several rabbit breeds, Flemish Giants are more likely to chew, but because of their bigger size, they can do more damage. So healthy chew toys and good rabbit-proofing are very important. They should be brushed every few weeks or as required during the shedding season.

French Angora Rabbit

The French Angora rabbit is a large breed that weighs 7.5 – 10.5 pounds and has a lifespan of 7-12 years.

The French Angora possesses long, thick, soft fur, called “wool” that comes in various colors and patterns. But because of their long, thick fur, French Angoras are very prone to wool block,” and need to be brushed frequently (often every day) to stop digestive problems from self-grooming. 

Symptoms of wool block include reduced appetite, fewer droppings, and degraded energy.

While French Angora rabbits themselves are fairly pleasing and low-maintenance, their coat requires constant carel, even if you don’t plan to use their wool. They need to be brushed, often on a daily basis. They need frequent blow-drying to keep the fur dry and free of debris (although rabbits should never be bathed).

A French Angora’s coat can grow as much as six inches every season and requires to be sheared or trimmed 3-4 times a year. They also require regular exercise and healthy activities like any rabbit. When given sufficient exercise and interaction. They can be very friendly, sweet, and agreeable pets.

French Angora rabbits do not require any particular food or diet, but all rabbits must have access to clean water, fresh hay, and nutritious food pellets. Like any other rabbit, the French Angora also enjoys an occasional treat.

Harlequin Rabbit

The Harlequin rabbit is a medium to large breed of rabbit and weighs 6.5 – 9.5 pounds and has a lifespan of 5-8 years.

Harlequin rabbits have short, soft fur with climatic stripes of contrasting colors in dramatic shades. The breed standard should possess ears that are different colors from each other and the face, but there is a huge variation in what the different colors are. 

Harlequins are inquisitive, outgoing, and playful. They are smart, good natured, and can learn tricks easily. 

The Harlequin rabbit is not prone to any particular diseases or health issues, but rabbits must always be observed for any signs of illness. Hence, you should bring your pet to the vet for regular checkups.

Harlequin rabbits do not require any particular food or diet, but all rabbits must have access to clean water, fresh hay, and nutritious food pellets. Like any other rabbit, the Harlequin Rabbit will also enjoy an occasional treat.

Harlequin rabbits require a huge amount of space for exercise, and they are a more energetic breed that demands more activity than some. Harlequins may be brushed every week or two, and more frequently as required during its shedding season.

Holland Lop Rabbit

The Holland Lop is a dwarf type of rabbit breed, weighing only 2-4 pounds and has a lifespan of 7-14 years.

They possess medium-length fur that is dense and glossy. They also come in a huge variety of colors and patterns.

The Holland Lop was bred to be a pet, and they are recognized for being sweet and friendly. They are relatively inquisitive and energetic and are fun to play with.

The Holland Lop is not inclined to any particular diseases or health issues, but the lop rabbits do require special care and attention, especially with their ears. While the ears of the Holland Lop are not so low that they normally drag on the ground or risk being stepped on, they should still be routinely inspected and cleaned.

Holland Lops do not need any specific food or diet, but all rabbits must have access to clean water, fresh hay, and nutritious food pellets. Because of their size, food portions should be less than from other larger rabbits. Like any other rabbit, a Holland Lop also enjoys an occasional treat.

Holland Lops can be quite active sometimes and require room for exercise and play but need less room than other breeds due to their small size. Their hair is medium-length and should be brushed once a week or more frequently, and the ears should be checked and cleaned daily.

Lionhead Rabbit

The Lionhead rabbit is a miniature breed of rabbit that weighs 2.5 – 3.5 pounds and it has a lifespan of 7-10 years.

Lionhead rabbits have a unique “mane” of fine, soft hair that surrounds their head; they can have a single, thin, wispy mane, or a more solid “double mane.” They come in a huge array of solid colors but don’t typically have patterns. 

The fine, soft wool of the Lionhead requires daily brushing, especially during the shedding season. They also need space for healthful play and exercise, but their size does not require a large space. They also enjoy simply relaxing in lap for a cuddle.

Lionhead rabbits are very affectionate and fancy being picked up, cuddled, and held. They are gentle, playful, and good-natured pets. 

Lionhead rabbits do not require any specific food or diet, but all rabbits must have access to clean water, fresh hay, and nutritious food pellets. This mini breed of rabbit only eats smaller portions than full-sized rabbits. Like any other rabbit, Lionheads also enjoy occasional treats.

Netherland Dwarf Rabbit

The Netherland Dwarf rabbit is a dwarf breed of rabbit that weighs just 1 – 2.5 pounds and it has a lifespan of 10-12 years.

Netherland Dwarf rabbits have short, soft hair in a broad array of colors and patterns. Netherland Dwarf rabbits are generally shy and can be timid, and require a lot of gentle socialization and interaction to subdue their shyness and bond with humans.

The Netherland Dwarf rabbit is inclined to a jaw condition known as malocclusion, which makes them incapable of wearing down their teeth. Rabbits experiencing malocclusion require trips to the veterinarian to have their teeth filed. And it’s necessary to find a veterinarian who is experienced with rabbits because these tiny breeds can be delicate and difficult to handle.

Netherland Dwarfs do not need any specific food or diet, but all rabbits must have access to clean water, fresh hay, and nutritious food pellets. Like any other rabbit, a Netherland Dwarf also enjoys an occasional treat.

The short hair of a Netherland Dwarf only requires brushing, especially during its shedding season. These tiny rabbits require very small space to have sufficient room for play and exercise and should be kept indoors because they require protection from the weather and predators.

While most rabbits are prone to chew and require healthy chew toys, the Netherland Dwarf typically does less harm than larger breeds.

Tan Rabbit

The Tan Rabbit first appeared in 1880 in England and its popularity rose over a century later. The full-arched breed is usually energetic but isn’t suggested for young children or seniors. That’s because the active rabbit demands a lot of time outside its cage to run around and can be difficult to keep up with.

Final Thoughts

Rabbits make wonderful pets because they are friendly, smart, and curious companions who are also adorably charming and soft to pet.

They are intelligent enough to learn simple tricks, including getting trained to use the litter box.

With some primary attention to food, housing, and rabbit-proof safe places, they are reasonably low on maintenance and extremely enjoyable pets.

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