Breeds of Rabbits – Which One Is Right For Me?

There are 47 breeds of rabbits recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (aka ARBA). Each has its own special characteristics from fur type, size, color and even personality. The choice can be overwhelming for those contemplating adding a bunny to the household.

The table below summaries the key characteristics of the different breeds. In the end your choice should always come down to your own situation and your personal preference. Just remember though that these are generalisations about breed personality – in the end your pet bunny is an individual with her own personality, likes and dislikes!

Rabbits can range from around 2-16 lbs (!) so the size of a bunny is often a key factor in choosing your pet. We have listed the maximum weight (as defined by the ARBA for the breed) to help you.

Breed

Characteristics
American (12lb) Compact, medium sized rabbit. Two colors – Blue or White.
American Chinchilla (12lb) Mid-sized rabbit of the three chinchilla breeds. Very docile and a good choice for a pet.
American Fuzzy Lop (4lb) Very popular choice for family pet because of its size, color choice and gorgeous floppy ears. Fancy or ‘wool’ fur type which requires a lot of grooming.
American Sable (10lb) One color breed, available only in Sable which is a dark brown with lighter patches on ears, shoulder and back.
Belgian Hare (9.5lb) Resembles a wild hare in shape and size but, despite his name is most definitely a rabbit. Available only in red chestnut color. Keep him well exercised to stay trim!
Beveren (12lb) Found only in White, Blue and Black. Beveren rabbits can be a bit temperamental so are not recommended for families with children.
Blanc de Hotot (11lb) Its name translates to “the white of Hotot”, Hotot being the area in France where the breed was developed. The breed only comes in white and is noted (and judged) for the dark ring around its eyes.
Britannia Petite (2.5) A tiny breed which can make a good pet for older children who will treat it with care. Available in five colours: Black Otter, Black, Chestnut Agouti, Ruby-Eyed White and Sable Marten.
Californian (10.5lb) As implied by its name, the breed originated in California and is related to the Himalayan Rabbit. It is white with Himalayan markings – dark ears, nose, feet and tail much like a Birman cat.
Champagne d’Argent (12lb) Originally breed in the Champagne region of France for fur and meat. It is similar to the Creme d’Argent but larger and a different colour. It is recognized in just one color – Silver, a mix of white, blue and black hairs which produce a silvery effect.
Checkered Giant (No max) This popular breed must follow very strict rules on its markings. It has a white main coat and specific patterns in either Blue or Black.
Cinnamon (11lb) The cinnamon’s reddish colour fur distinguishes it amongst breeds. It has a friendly nature which makes it a good family pet however it is fairly uncommon so may be difficult to find.
Creme d’Argent (11lb) Similar to the Champagne d’Argent but smaller and creamy orange in colour. Its unique color is found only in this breed.
Dutch (5.5lb) Although its name suggests it was breed in Holland, it actually originates from England. It is easily recognizable from the blaze of white on its face, dark eye patches and band of white fur around the chest.
Dwarf Hotot (3lb) These little guys are only available in white with their characteristic ‘eye liner’ ring of black around the eyes. They have playful, curious natures and love attention.
English Angora (7.5lb) Smallest of the four Angora breeds, the English Angora is a gentle soul but not for the faint-hearted when it comes to grooming. Minimum 1-2 times a week required.
English Lop (none) This is one of the oldest of breeds. The soft, droopy ears are a crucial part of show points for this breed and an adult lop’s ears can reach 20 inches or more.
English Spot (8lb) As its name suggests this is a spotted rabbit, rather like a Dalmatian, with a white background and dark markings.
Flemish Giant (none) The largest breed of rabbit. It is often seen at shows and has no maximum weight… the competition is fierce to breed the biggest Flemish!
Florida White (6lb) Available only in white (no surprise there!) the Florida White is sadly the breed most used in lab research :'(
French Angora (10.5lb) Bred in France for its wool. Similar to the English Angora but slightly larger.
French Lop (none) Bred from the Flemish Giant and the heavier English Lop, French Lops are heavier but have shorter ears.
Giant Angora (none) Bred to produce a rabbit with a high wool yield, Giant Angora are slow growing and come in white with red eyes. They don’t shed and need to be clipped regularly.
Giant Chinchilla (16lb) Bred mainly for commercial purposes, this breed is a cross between Chinchilla rabbits and Flemish Giant rabbits.
Harlequin (9.5lb) A quiet, calm breed with an unusual orange and white striped coat. They are playful rabbits and enjoy being the center of attention.
Havana (6.5lb) A calm, gentle rabbit which is good with children. Four colors: Chocolate, Blue, Black and Broken
Himalayan (4.5lb) White with dark markings on ears, feet, nose and tail. They have a gentle temperament and are content to snuggle on a warm lap.
Holland Lop (4lb) This is the smallest breed in the lop group. They are also known as Netherland Dwarf Lop and are a popular choice for their looks and curious natures.
Jersey Wooly (3.5lb) This breed belongs to the fur/wool type and is available in many colours. They are known for their intelligence and laid back nature.
Lilac (8lb) The lilac makes an attractive companion rabbit with its dense, silky, lilac-coloured fur. It is rapidly becoming a rarer breed.
Mini Lop (6.5lb) The Mini Lop was developed in Germany under the name ‘Klein Widder’. it is a compact, tough little rabbit and very popular at shows and as a pet. They come in many colours, either solid or broken.
Mini Rex (4.5lb) If you like the velvet fur of the Rex you’ll love the Mini Rex. Baby-cute and soft as velvet, the mini rex is a good family choice.
Mini Satin (4.75lb) Mini Satins were only recognised as a separate breed in 2005 however they are gaining popularity. They share the same amazing coat color and shine as their standard Satin counterparts.
Netherland Dwarf (2.5lb) One of the most popular breeds, appreciated for its baby-like appearance, compact size, variety of colours and good nature. Females seem to be better natured than males.
New Zealand (12lb) A commercially breed, larger sized rabbit which is nevertheless popular as a pet. Available in White, Black and Red.
Palomino (11lb) Easy going and medium sized, it’s not a surprise to find that the Palomino was named after the palomino horse for its golden color.
Polish (3.5lb) Debate continues to the origins of this breed – Poland, Holland or England. It is a tiny, compact breed with a gentle nature.
Rex (10.5lb) Also known as Standard Rex or Velveteen this medium sized rabbit is known for its amazing soft velvet-like fur and cheeky personality. A good choice for a family pet.
Rhinelander (10lb) This breed has an unusual color mix of a white base and black and tan patches. It is similar to a calico/cameo coloured cat.
Satin (11lb) A commercial rabbit used for fur and meat. Known for their extra shiny, glossy fur.
Satin Angora (9.5lb) A cross between a French Angora and a Satin rabbit. It has wool type fur which is silkier than the other three recognised breeds of Angora rabbits.
Silver (7lb) Colors are Brown, Fawn and Black. Known for their glossy, silk-like fur, they are one of the rarest breeds.
Silver Fox (12lb) This medium sized rabbit is prized for its dense undercoat in Black or Blue. It is a rare breed.
Silver Marten (9.5lb) Available in four colors: Blue, Chocolate, Sable and Black. Its guard hairs are always grey tipped.
Standard Chinchilla (7.5lb) One of the three types of Chinchilla rabbits named after the chinchilla because of their similar fur colour – blue, grey and white merging together.
Tan (6lb) A small to medium rabbit with distinctive black and tan coloring.
Thrianta (6lb) A new breed, recognised in only one color – fiery orange red. Also known as ‘Fire of the Fancy’

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