If you think all rabbits are the same, then we have news for you… there are more than fifty different types of rabbits, and within each rabbit breed there are different varieties.
Rabbits come in lots of shapes and sizes, in different colours and with different lengths of fur. If you are thinking of getting a rabbit as a pet, then it’s helpful to know the different breeds you can choose from.
And remember: no matter what breed you choose, rabbits are not an “easy option” pet. They need to be fed, groomed and cleaned regularly. They’re also very social animals, so you should be willing and able to give your pet plenty of attention.
If you still feel that a rabbit is the right pet for you, here are a few of the types of rabbits available.
Five popular types of rabbits
This is one of the more unusual types of rabbit; it’s also one of the newest, having only been recognised as a breed in 2002.
Lionhead rabbits get their name from looking a little like a lion with a mane. They are small and grow to an ideal weight of around 3.5lbs (1.59kg). If you take care of a Lionhead rabbit in the right way it should live for between seven and nine years on average.
Lionheads are often popular as show rabbits but they can also make excellent pets. However, you need to be careful about the particular rabbit you choose – depending on how their breeding line has been produced, Lionheads can be a type of rabbit with an unpredictable temperament. If you choose carefully though, your Lionhead should be playful and friendly, even if it is timid at first while it gets to know you.
It’s worth noting that Lionhead rabbits are often prone to dental disease and the development of hairballs causing digestive problems.
You may be surprised to learn that the name ‘Polish’ has nothing to do with where this type of rabbit comes from, it’s based on the smooth and shiny appearance of the rabbit’s fur.
The Polish rabbit was actually established in England, by breeding wild rabbits with Dutch rabbits. Today’s Polish rabbits still have a touch of the wild rabbit look about them in their body shape.
Many of the original Polish rabbits were albino and it’s still fairly common to see the albino type of this rabbit.
The good news about Polish rabbits is that their fur is short. This means that they need less grooming and are less likely to get hairballs.
One thing to be aware of is that this type of rabbit tends to be highly strung, so it’s not always easy to get to know them. That being said, if you do get to know a Polish rabbit then you will find them to be playful and intelligent.
If you’re looking for a rabbit that’s not too big then a Polish rabbit is a good choice, as it only grows to around 2.5lbs (1.1kg). This type of rabbit lives for around six to eight years; possibly longer if the bunny is spayed or neutered.
Dutch rabbits are one of the most popular types of rabbit to keep as a pet. Of all the types of rabbits, they are some of the most laid back and sociable. This makes them easy to train.
They are also pretty cool to look at with their striking bands of colour and white! The breed originated in The Netherlands, but was developed in England.
If you have a Dutch rabbit, and care for it in the right way, it should live for between five and eight years. It’s worth remembering that, as with most types of rabbits, it is possible for individual bunnies to live for more than ten years. You can expect Dutch rabbits it to grow to between 3.5lbs (1.59kg) and 5.5 lbs (2.49 kg).
Dwarf lop rabbits
Dwarf lop rabbits are very popular as pets. They are very cute and have a laid back and friendly attitude.
These rabbits are easy to recognise by their lop (drooping) ears and squat little faces. Dwarf lops are really easy to house train so if you want a house rabbit, this breed is a good choice.
One thing worth knowing is that dwarf lop rabbits are not as small as you might expect given their name! They can grow to an average of 6.5lbs (3kg).
It’s also worth noting that dwarf lop rabbits should be groomed three times a week; every day when they are moulting.
If you are thinking of buying a dwarf lop rabbit then you should ask about its background. They are prone to dental disease so it’s a good idea to try and buy or adopt one that does not come from a line with this problem.
Flemish Giant rabbits
So far we have looked at small and medium types of rabbits, but we could not finish our guide without taking a look at this giant bunny!
Flemish Giants can grow as big as between 14lbs (6.36kg) and 20lbs (9.09kg).
It’s important to handle and get to know this type of rabbit from an early age as handling can become difficult otherwise.
Flemish Giants are actually quite easy to get to know as they are gentle and laid back. They are also less lively than other rabbit types.
It’s important to remember that you need plenty of space to have a Flemish Giant in your life. It’s recommended that these rabbits have an area of at least 5 sq ft (.50 Sq Meters); although bigger is better.
These are just a few of the most popular types of rabbits to keep as pets. We have looked at some of the ways in which different breeds behave – but remember: each rabbit is different. Just like humans, every bunny is an individual and you need to spend time getting to know them.