Which rabbit to adopt?
Julie Lambert, Paris, France
September 7, 2020
I will make it simple by saying that adopting a rabbit is above all adopting an animal that you will love and cherish throughout your life. Therefore, in my opinion, nothing is less important than the breed, it is a matter of individual taste. There is no breed better or worse than others. It will be up to you to make up your own mind. What really counts is the feeling and the relationship you have with your companion. It is this relationship that will dictate the personality of your rabbit towards you.
To help you find your way around, I am going to introduce you to some traditional breeds of rabbits.
To begin with, we can distinguish 4 main categories of rabbit. These categories are distinguished according to the weight of the rabbit. We find the large breeds, with rabbits weighing between 5 kg and more. Among the best known is the giant rabbit of Flanders. Medium breeds with rabbits weighing between 3 and 5 kg. The small breeds with rabbits from 2 to 4 kg and finally the best known of all for the domestic rabbit, the category of dwarf rabbits with rabbits ranging from 800 g to 2 kg. It is mainly this category that we will focus on in this article.
01 – Breeds of dwarf rabbit
The Ermine rabbit or Polish rabbit.
This breed originated in Poland and was imported to the rest of Europe from the United Kingdom and is a very widespread breed. It is characterised by a large, spherical head, short ears, and white coat.
The coloured dwarf rabbit.
The coloured dwarf rabbit is a rabbit created by Dutch breeders. It has the same characteristics as the Polish rabbit except for the colour of its coat, which can take on different shades.
The dwarf ram rabbit.
The dwarf ram rabbit is also native to the Netherlands. It is mainly distinguished by its very large head, its ears dropping to the ground and its weight approaching 2 kg in adulthood.
The Angora dwarf rabbit.
This recent breed appeared in the 90s as a result of various crossbreeding. The peculiarity of this species is its hair, which is extremely voluminous, as well as its wick on the forehead.
The dwarf rabbit rex.
The Rex rabbit is a breed of rabbit that could be described as opposed to Angora rabbits. With extremely short hair, its coat is almost velvety.
Of course there are other breeds of dwarf rabbits such as the fox dwarf rabbit, the hare dwarf, the Lutterbach Ermine or the ecru ash dwarf which you can inquire about if you wish.
Before continuing this article, I would also like to return to a point that has not been addressed so far. Often in pet shops we see labels with the words “rabbit extra dwarf” or “rabbit toy”. You will notice that these two qualifiers are not mentioned in the list of breeds above. Do you think this is an oversight on my part? Well actually no, it is simply that these two “breeds” do not exist. It is simply a marketing ploy by pet stores to make their animals more attractive. Not only is it immoral to use such a ploy, but most of the time they use animals that are still very young and untrained to illustrate what they are saying. A word of advice, if you are selling these breeds, run away and don’t listen to their advice under any circumstances.
02 –A male or a female?
Another point to take into consideration whatever the sex of the animal is is its sterilization. Indeed, you probably all know the rabbit’s legendary sexual appetite. And you should know that this reputation is far from being usurped – quite the contrary.
In males, at puberty, we regularly notice an increase in aggressiveness pushed by the influence of their hormones. Moreover, territory marking in males is very important and your rabbit will go and urinate everywhere in your house and believe me, this is very impressive.
In females, the same behaviour can be observed, except that 80% of them are prone to uterine cancer and nervous pregnancies.
Sterilisation is the only way to solve all these behavioural problems.