In honor of Easter, PawNation is taking a closer look at rabbits. The American Rabbit Breeders Association recognizes 48 different breeds. While we don't recommend making a rash decision to offer a bunny as an Easter gift, those who are ready to commit to these fluffy hoppers may find the pet they're looking for amongst the following popular rabbit breeds. And remember, many rabbits are available at your local shelter!
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As a miniature version of the Rex rabbit, the Mini Rex has risen in popularity. With a sweet personality, and fur described as "living velvet," the Mini Rex makes a great pet. Its famous fur is dense, plush and very soft to the touch. Colors include black, gray, brown or white. The pattern could also be splotched, or one solidly colored fur. (Source)
Lionhead rabbits are small and fluffy, reaching only about 4 pounds in weight. Their petite size and soft fur make them a popular choice as a "pocket pet." They are aptly named due to the lionlike manes that surround their faces. Lionhead rabbits can have either a single or double mane, with the double mane extending to a long, wool skirt around the rear. These rabbits have a gentle disposition, and are willing to play. They can be skittish, but handling from an early age should counteract that. (Source)
The English lop is instantly recognizable from its very long, floppy ears. Similar to its droopy ears, its body is long and lean. It is one of the oldest breeds of domesticated rabbits, and the first lop rabbit developed by humans. Its pleasant and playful disposition make the English lop a popular choice for a pet rabbit. It enjoys playing and exploring, but can be easily startled. Care should be taken when handling this breed. (Source)
Dutch rabbits, native to Holland, are one of the oldest domesticated rabbit breeds. They are also a common sight in rabbit shows. This breed is distinguished by its white fur on the face, shoulders, neck and feet. The remaining fur could be black, brown, blue or tortoiseshell in color. Their serene and laid-back personalities make them a great pet choice for children at least 10 years old. This breed thrives on human interaction, so playing with them should be a daily activity. (Source)
NETHERLAND DWARF RABBIT
The Netherland dwarf rabbit is one of the smallest rabbit breeds. Their fur ranges in color and patterns, and they normally weigh around 2 pounds. They have extremely short ears and short fur coats. This breed is another one seen in rabbit shows, but it also makes an excellent choice for a family pet. They are happiest in pairs, so two are better than one in the case of Netherland dwarf rabbits. (Source)
Of the five different breed of lop rabbits, the Holland lop is the smallest. This is especially confusing because there is another breed called the mini lop. Regardless of the name, the Holland lop reigns as the tiniest. The breed is recognizable from its long, floppy ears, and its dense fur ranges in color from black to orange. The Holland lop is normally curious and energetic in disposition. (Source)
Angora rabbits are known for their immensely soft coats, which are used to make a rich wool. The various types of Angora rabbit are all popular choices to keep as pets, with varying degrees of maintenance required for their famed fur. Four are recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association: English Angora, French Angora, Giant Angora and Satin Angora. Angora rabbits are known to have a friendlier and more playful personality than other rabbits. They do best when they have a friend to bond with, whether that be another rabbit or a cat. (Source)
NEW ZEALAND WHITE RABBIT
The New Zealand white rabbit is often confused with the Florida white rabbit, which has New Zealand white ancestry. Both feature pure white fur on their entire bodies, with pink eyes. The New Zealand white rabbit is an older and larger breed. They normally weigh around 10 pounds. The New Zealand white rabbit has a sweet nature and is easy to care for. (Source)
Next: Origins of the Easter Bunny
JERSEY WOOLY RABBIT
The Jersey Wooly rabbit is one of few breeds that was bred primarily to serve as a pet. It has instead become a popular show rabbit. The breed is a cross between a Netherland Dwarf and a French Angora. The Jersey Wooly rabbit weighs around 3 pounds. Its fur is surprisingly low-maintenance, with no required daily grooming. The short wool coat is normally coarse to the touch. (Source)