Don’t know your pet rabbit’s breed? Let me guide you to determine.
May 22, 2020
Assuming you own a couple of pet rabbits, and cannot determine the breed of your pet rabbits.
It is easy to recognize the breed of pet rabbits or at least guess the breed of their ancestors.
In this post, you will learn precisely how to determine what breed is your rabbit merely by observing their appearance.
Every rabbit breed has its unique characteristics. Commonly rabbit breeds are distinguished by their appearance.
Today, determining the breed of dogs is very easy. A simple DNA test can tell you who your pet dogs’ ancestors are. Nevertheless, In current days there are no existing DNA tests available for rabbits.
Thus the only way to recognize what breed a rabbit is by their appearance.
If not accurately, but at least we can guess which breeds are your rabbits relatives.
Skip to section
How can the weight of your pet rabbit help you determine your rabbit’s breed?
Depending on the weight of a rabbit, one can distinguish whether the rabbit is a:
- Dwarf rabbit;
- Standard rabbit;
- Giant rabbit.
I don’t see giant rabbits to be very popular as pet rabbits. A giant rabbit can grow bigger than six pounds. However, some people like to keep giant breed rabbits as pets.
On the contrary, a more typical house rabbit weighs between four to six pounds. They are in the standard category of rabbits.
Now, the dwarf-sized rabbits are not so common yet popular among rabbit guardians.
Dwarf breeds of rabbits are adorable and weigh between two to four pounds. If your rabbits are small and weigh less than four pounds, then probably your pet rabbits are one of these breeds:
- Dwarf Hotot;
- Netherland Dwarf;
- Polish rabbits;
- Britannia Petite.
Can ears of a rabbit determine their breed?
Usually, we see rabbits with two different kinds of ears. Looking at rabbits with loppy ears or not, we can figure out what the rabbits breed is.
Most standard domestic breeds do not have loppy ears.
Rabbits that have their long ears dangling on the side are a different breed from rabbits that have ears erected and pointing upwards.
If your house pet rabbit has loppy ears, probably your rabbits are one of these breeds:
- Holland lop rabbits;
- Mini lop rabbits;
- English lop rabbits;
- French lop rabbits;
- American fuzzy lops.
Loppy rabbit breeds are not as common as erect eared rabbit breeds as house pets.
So what is the other type of rabbit ears that determine the breed?
Whenever we think of rabbits, we imagine a fluffy animal with long ears that is standing straight.
This breed of rabbits have their ears pointing in the opposite direction of loppy ears.
Rabbit breeds that have erect ears pointing towards the roof of your living room are also the most widespread rabbit in domestic households.
Contrary to lopped ear rabbits, there are 37 breeds of erect eared rabbits, whereas only five breeds of lop-eared rabbits have recognition.
To determine the breed of such rabbits with stand up ears, you have to look into other factors as well.
But can you guess the third type of rabbit ear fashion?
The third type of rabbit ear is semi lopped ears. Semi lopped ears are common for Angora rabbit breeds.
Angora rabbit breeds have a long coat of fur.
So any rabbit that has a long coat of hair and semi lopped ears, they belong to the angora rabbit breed.
However, if your pet rabbit has partially lopped ears and has a short fur coat, then it is not an angora breed of rabbit. At this point, you must consider other factors to determine your rabbits’ breed.
Determining the breed of pet rabbits can take some time, and become confusing for many rabbit guardians.
If you are still confused about your rabbits breed, then continue reading. Something I have explained later, which may help you find out your pet rabbits breed.
Fur coats of rabbits can determine their breeds too.
Most of the rabbits have soft and short fur. Thirty-seven of the recognized rabbits breeds have soft and short hair. Nevertheless, the fur coat of rabbits is one of the critical factors to determine the rabbit’s family.
The three types of fur coat of a pet rabbit that can almost immediately determine the breed of rabbits are:
- Standing fur.
To determine what kind of fur coat your pet rabbit has, you will have to stroke your rabbits from tail to head.
After doing so, flyback fur will immediately return to its original position after a stroke backward.
Pet rabbit breeds that have flyback fur are:
- The dutch;
- English lop;
- New Zealand
Now, to determine the other breed of rabbits with rollback fur, you will have to stroke your pet rabbit the same way. After you stroke your rabbit from tail to head, the rabbit fur will return to its original position but noticeably slower than a flyback fur.
Breed of rabbits that have rollback fur coat are:
- Dwarf hotots;
- Holland lops;
- Flemish Giants;
- Mini lops.
The silver fox breed of rabbit has the third type of fur. They have the standing coat of fur. The standing coat of fur remains in a fixed position towards the direction of stroke. They do not return to their prior position without further stroke. This breed of rabbit is not very common.
Let’s look into something more unique than just the type of fur. Angora rabbit breeds have long, soft and wooly kind of hair.
You can quickly determine an angora rabbit breed merely by their long fur coat.
Once you determine you have angora rabbits, you have to look deep into the rabbits to distinguish between several breeds of angora rabbits. Common breed of angora rabbits are:
- Satin Angora;
- French Angora;
- English Angora;
- Giant Angoras;
- American fuzzy lop;
- The jersey wooly;
- The Lionhead
Lastly, I want to tell you about satin fur coats. This type of fur coat rabbit breeds are not so common.
Rabbit breeds, such as:
- Satin Angoras;
- Mini Satins;
- Satins in general
Have this kind of fur coat. This kind of rabbit has fur that creates a shining effect due to the translucent and reflective qualities of the fur coat.
My first pet rabbit was a rex rabbit. It had a short, dense, and super soft fur coat. If your rabbit has such a fluffy fur coat, it is likely a rex rabbit or a mini rex rabbit.
Rex rabbit breeds are excellent beginner pet rabbits too.
Different rabbit breeds have different body types and shapes.
Five different types of body that determines the breed of rabbits are:
- Semi arch;
- Full arch.
Semi arch body types: This breed of rabbits has a long body and an arch that reaches its peak at the hip area of rabbits. Examples of semi arch rabbits are:
- Flemish Giant;
- English Lop.
Compact rabbit breeds: Rabbit breeds that have a less slope around the arch of their back belong to this rabbit family. Examples of this breed of rabbits are:
- American fuzzy lop;
- Netherland dwarf.
Commercial body type rabbits: Most domestic rabbits belong to this group of rabbits. Commercial breeds of rabbits have short, low, round bodies and a bit longer than compact body type rabbits. Examples of this rabbit breeds are:
- Rex rabbits.
Cylindrical body type: This type of rabbits are long and narrow in shape. Their tubular body shape influenced the name of this breed of rabbit. There is only one rabbit that belongs to this breed:
Full arch: There are not many rabbits that have a full arch in their back. A full arched rabbit has a curve that begins further down the back. These types of rabbits have long limbs and a visible bend in their belly area. Rabbits that belong in the full arch rabbit breed are:
- Belgian Hare;
- Checkered Giant.
I believe now you can easily determine the breed of your pet rabbits.
If you have adopted a rabbit without knowing its breed, that’s not a problem. After all, the family of rabbits must not determine how you take care of your pet rabbits. All pet rabbits deserve the same amount of care and love from their guardian regardless of their breed.
All pet rabbits need care and responsible guardians despite their breed.
You may want to find out the breed of your pet rabbit out of curiosity.
Sometimes, you will notice a pet rabbit has a typical appearance from two different breeds. In this case, you can say your rabbit is a crossbreed.
Many times different breeds of rabbits mate and the babies have similar appearances of two different breeds.
It may not be easy for you to figure out what is the exact breed of your rabbit. You can give it a try and lastly visit this American Rabbit Breeders Association’s link to recognize the breed of your pet rabbits.