How to Select Your Best Rabbit Breed
We often see reader questions that focus on which breed of rabbit is best. The simple answer is that no rabbit breed is best. There is not going to be one universal breed that will suit every family or person just like with dog breeds you have to research and decide which is best for you. In this particular article I’m going to talk about how to decide which breed of rabbit will best suit you! I hope you can learn a little bit about some different breeds and also feel free to check out the questions you should be asking of your breeder or previous owner when selecting a rabbit in our post on that topic!
Common Pet Breeds
There are a lot of pet breeds of rabbits. Commonly the following breeds are suggested as pets:
- Holland Lop
- Flemish Giant
Additionally some of these breeds are also offered in the “dwarf” or “mini” size as well. We will get to the size bit shortly! The reason most of these breeds are offered and suggested as pets is for their temperament and other personality type traits. Typically these are all breeds that with plenty of patience and socialization, make great, mild tempered, house pets. As with all pets, some will be more likely to fit into a particular family.
Dutch rabbits are medium sized when full grown which makes them an ideal pet rabbit. They are typically calm and mild mannered which is why they are popular with pet stores and breeders. They are also recommended for pets because they come in a variety of colors and patterns most notably the white stripe on their nose which is accompanied by a white “vest” of sorts and the white tips of their toes.
Holland lop rabbits can be medium sized to large rabbits when full grown. They often have floppy ears that hang down beside their faces. They make great pets because they are mild mannered yet inquisitive and friendly. They too come in a variety of patterns and color combinations; this is another reason why they are typically popular among breeders and as show rabbits!
I wouldn’t say that Flemish Giant rabbits are common as house pets but they do make great pets. They are giant sized rabbits when full grown and are oftentimes larger than some small dog breeds. They are friendly and laid back which is why I believe they can be great house pets. They come in a variety of colors and are also great as a show breed! If you have a child who is interested in starting out with 4H programs or showing rabbits Flemish Giants are a great choice in my opinion!
Lionhead rabbits are noted for their long fur. They can be double or single maned and have either a ring of fur around their heads or both a ring of fur around their body and their heads that tufts out making them look similar to that of a lion. They can be bullheaded and stubborn as well as aggressive so they are not a great pet option for beginners or those who are not familiar and comfortable with rabbits. When properly socialized they make excellent pets. They do require a bit more care as far as brushing, trimming, and fur maintenance is concerned. Keep in mind that these things take time, if you do not have the extra time to invest in a long haired rabbit perhaps look into a different breed!
Rex Rabbits are typically a medium to large breed of rabbit when full grown but they can also be bred, and commonly are, as dwarf or mini sizes. This makes them an excellent choice for anyone who might be looking for a smaller rabbit with the characteristics of the rex rabbit. They do come in a wide variety of colors or patterns, and this makes them popular with show and pet breeders. They can be awesome as pets and they have very short fur that is quite dense. It is very soft!
Polish rabbits are a dwarf breed of rabbit which is commonly known for it’s markings. They often have colored circles around their eyes and stripes or lines down their backs, though not always. They are typically very friendly rabbits, males especially, does can be neutered to avoid any temperament issues down the road. They usually do not weigh more than 3.5 pounds which makes them an excellent choice for apartment, indoor rabbits, and small spaces.
Also a dwarf breed the Netherland dwarf rabbit makes an excellent pet for anyone who is limited on space for their rabbit to exercise. They need less space because they are a small rabbit, typically only weighing about 2.5 pounds when full grown. These rabbits come in a TON of colors, patterns, and varieties. Most commonly sold as pets or for show. They look like babies throughout their lives because they do not grow very large. They are a popular small breed and make excellent pets. They are quite active and stay small into adulthood.
Hopefully this has given you a small taste of what to expect from certain kinds of rabbits. Not all rabbits will make a good pet for every family or individual. You should always do a fair amount of research before deciding to purchase a rabbit. They are not starter pets and require a lot of care, time, financial support, and experience. You should always consult with a local vet before bringing a rabbit home; should the time arise when you need to see a vet you will need to know if they are rabbit savvy! Should you be in an area with no rabbit savvy vet you should consult with local rabbitry’s or breeders to see what they recommend!