Rabbit Breed Information
There are approximately 50 different breeds of rabbit in the UK so this article has been written in order to help you decide which breed would be best for you, your family and your lifestyle.
As a general rule, larger breeds are more laid back and less excitable than smaller rabbits but they have a much shorter life span of approximately 4 to 5 years, whereas some of the smaller breeds may live up to 12 years.
As well as the size of your rabbit it is also important that you consider the coat type and length. Do you have time to groom a rabbit daily? If not then a shorter haired breed may be more suitable.
In addition, certain breeds of rabbit are more prone to particular health problems; dental and eye problems are more common in Netherland dwarf and lop rabbits, for example.
Rabbit breeds are split into four groups according to their fur type:
Of all the rabbit categories the normal fur rabbits require the least attention with regards to grooming.
This breed has a white body and black feet and ears. The breed was originally a cross between the Chinchilla breed and the Himalayan rabbit breed for meat. A hardy all-weather rabbit of plump appearance which would be well suited to living outside.
Another breed of rabbit originally bred for meat. The chinchilla is a large rabbit usually salt and pepper in colour with a nice calm nature. They are good with children as they are quite patient and like to be cuddled. However due to their size they do require a lot of space.
A fairly new breed well suited to an indoor lifestyle. They are easily house trained and a particularly friendly but mischievous rabbit
These are the most common type found as pets in the UK. They do require a little more time and attention than those in the normal category.
Netherland dwarf Rabbit
This breed of rabbit is quite feisty and independent. They are a fairly small breed so do not require an excessive amount of space. This breed is better suited to adult owners and although they can make good house rabbits. They do not mix well with dogs and cats.
This rabbit often referred to as a Dalmatian due to their spotty appearance. They come in a variety of colours including black and white, blond, chocolate, lilac and blue. A very striking looking rabbit and its short coat requires minimal grooming
Dwarf Lop Rabbit
These rabbits are not as small as their name suggests and are in fact quite a large breed. They are one of the better family rabbits as they are inquisitive and cheeky but at the same time enjoy a cuddle and can be reasonably easy to handle.
A difficult rabbit to keep due to their excessively long fur which can get easily matted. It is the only type of rabbit where the fur can be spun into wool. They have a calm and docile nature.
Flemish Giant Rabbit
One of the largest rabbit breeds the Flemish giant can reach weights in excess of 10kg. They obviously require a large amount of living space and are too big to be kept in your average hutch!.They are a very calm and gentle breed and often like to curl up on your lap to be cuddled.
Satin rabbits have a very sleek, thick and glossy coat and are avalible in a variaty of colours. They are predominantely kept by rabbit breeders who show them in competitions. Examples of Satin Rabbits include the Havana and the lilac both of which are very calm and docile in nature.
The last of the four categories; the Rex rabbit, it has a very unique short, soft velvety-feeling fur. The most common include the Otter and the Dalmatian Rex. They are easy to breed and make good mothers. All Rexs are best kept in sheltered accommodation as their short coats provide little insulation so they can easily become cold.