Most rabbits are trainable and capable of becoming good pets. Size, type of fur and color are main factors in deciding how a rabbit will suit his master. Knowing the history, distinctions and colors of a breed will help in making your decision. There is an official association and website for most all breeds. Though all breeds have desirable potential; these 10 have qualities that many see as best for becoming your pet rabbit and friend.
1. Holland Lop
The Holland Lop will reach a maximum weight of about 4 pounds. Though small, they are massive with lopped ears and come in nearly all colors. These are sturdy rabbits with great personalities. This is one of themost popular breeds among youth and at youth shows. They capture the hearts of the older as well.
2. Rex and Mini Rex
These rabbits have an outstanding fur that is dense and plush. and they are bred in several colors. Many of the mini varieties of several breeds are produced from the dwarf gene as is the mini Rex. The Rex mini will reach about 4-1/2 pounds; the standard Rex will weigh about 10 pounds still being a very nice size for a pet. The national Rex Rabbit Club’s motto is “King of Rabbits”.
3. English Lop and French Lop
These are similar large breeds in which most will weigh between 12 and 15 pounds. These breeds are docile and attentive and don’t seem to mind a harness and leash though they do prefer freedom within their protective area. The English Lop has enormous lopped ears. The French Lop is blocky and has a more balanced ear length. Though requiring more effort, these large, lop-eared rabbits make excellent pets.
The Dutch is a small rabbit that will weigh about 5 pounds. It has distinctive markings which have to be just right when breeding for show. They are bred in five colors marked with white and have wonderful personalities that make them great pets.
5. Mini Satin
Mini Satins will weigh about 5 pounds and are also a result of breeding with the standard Satins with the dwarf gene. Their best characteristic is their refined and translucent hair which manifests a beautiful sheen and shimmer. There are many varieties including Red-eyed, Chinchilla and Siamese.
This breed weighs 5 – 7 pounds and is a rich-looking breed with unique hair color. The base of the hair shaft next to the skin is slate blue. The intermediate band is a light pearly gray/white, as light as possible. Next is a band of black. The very tips of the hair shafts are white, however some of the guard hairs throughout the pelt are entirely jet black.
Cinnamons will weigh up to 11 pounds. The history of their origin is interesting. “The Cinnamon rabbit breed is the result of the Fred Houseman family’s pet Easter bunnies bred to New Zealand White rabbits. Add in a rescued Checkered Giant and a crossbred Californian. Eventually the Houseman children had 2 ‘russet’ rabbits, genetically dark tortoise shell. The kids’ breeding project gained the attention of the father, and then the ARBA. The Cinnamons are regarded as excellent breeds for pets.
This is a small lopped rabbit which is larger than a Holland Lop but significantly smaller than a French Lop. The breed was created in Germany and imported to America in the 1970s. They are recognized in many colors, including brokens, and weigh up to 6 1/2 pounds.
The Harlequin can be traced to Japan prior to 1875. They are now bred in a ‘checker’ (barred) or a banded pattern, with alternating colors on head, ears, chest and body. Harlequins weigh up to 9 -1/2 pounds. Tri-color Harlequins with good markings are especially impressive.
Thrianta's (pronounced Tree Awn Ta) are the American Rabbit Breeders’ Association’s newest approved breed. These are a medium-sized breed of rabbits weighing 4-6 pounds. They are known for their brilliant red coat color and sweet temperaments.
When studying which breed to choose, consider also whether you might show or breed your rabbit in the future. Look for a reputable breeder who knows their breeds well and from whom you can purchase quality, healthy stock. Poor health or illness can result in a despondent or irritable rabbit.
There are many helpful sources for those who are interested in having a pet or raising rabbits. You may need to know the basics of getting started; you may want to know about breeding or showing rabbits. And, you may even want to consider rabbit farming. You will find Raising Rabbits to be a comprehensive website providing nearly all the information you will need.
Learn about taking good care of your pet rabbit. Know what gives rabbits security and what makes them nervous. They become better pets with handling and socialization, and they respond well to love and kindness. Whatever breed you choose, you will find it to be a wonderful pet when it is well kept.