10 Best Small Rabbit Breeds (with Pictures)

Growing up watching Bugs Bunny gives most of us an impression that rabbits are somehow large animals. But do you know that there are small rabbit breeds?

This article will unleash the 10 most small rabbit breeds that are best for everyone.

1. Netherland Dwarf

Netherland Dwarf

Breed Type Small Breed Rabbit
Breed Name Netherland Dwarf
Origin Netherland
Size 1.1 lbs. to 2.5 lbs.
Lifespan 5 years to 7 years
Color Wide variety
Temperament Even (can be sweet and friendly, can be wild and aggressive)
Best for: Adult pet handlers. Not ideal for children and newbie pet owners.

The Netherland Dwarf rabbit breed always comes first in the small rabbit breeds list.

This domestic rabbit breed originated in the Netherlands due to cross-breeding a Polish rabbit breed, and the wild smaller-sized rabbit breed is recognized as the world’s smallest rabbit breed.

Netherland Dwarf Rabbit Characteristics

You can easily distinguish a Netherland Dwarf rabbit breed because of their build. They have a round head and round eyes whose colors depend on the Netherland Dwarf rabbit variation.

Though their body is small, the Netherland Dwarf rabbits are full-chested, with erect ears, their hind legs are tiny, and they are fully covered with a soft and short coat.

The Netherland Dwarf rabbit breed looks so cute. But don’t get these rabbits wrong, they are temperamental, and they can sometimes get very aggressive, which makes them not an ideal rabbit pet for children.

Suppose you wonder how some people managed to get, keep and transform a Netherland Dwarf into a lovable pet, more likely. In that case, the owner of this small rabbit breed is probably training the Netherland Dwarf bunnies to become gentler and tamer.

The Netherland Dwarf, however, is popular in pet shows and exhibitions. This baby-faced small breed rabbit comes in various colors including jet black, lilac, blue, and orange.

Click the subheading above and see what they look like when fully grown.

 

2. Polish Rabbit

Polish Rabbit

Breed Type Small rabbit breed
Breed Name Polish
Origin United Kingdom
Size 2.5 lbs.to 3.5 lbs.
Lifespan 5 years to 10 years
Color Wide variety
Temperament Calm, docile
 

Best for

New pet owners and families with little children

The Polish rabbit breed is another small breed you will fall in love with. The Polish rabbit or ‘little aristocrat’ is allegedly a cross-breed of a Dutch and Himalayan rabbit. They were initially larger breeds raised and farmed for their meat and bones.

Today, the Polish rabbit breed is considered one of the small rabbit breeds without any dwarf gene.

Polish Rabbit Characteristics

Their appearance widely recognizes them as a rabbit with large eyes, full cheeks, and ears shorter than regular rabbits. The Polish rabbits’ calm and friendly temperaments make them an ideal and excellent pet for children, and they do not need ample space.

These rabbits are naturally more intelligent and more trainable than most magicians who choose this rabbit breed to do the magic tricks.

 

3. Holland Lop

Holland Lop

Breed Type Small rabbit breed
Breed Name Holland Lop
Origin Netherland
Size 3 lbs.to 4 lbs.
Lifespan 5 years to 7 years
Color Wide variety
Temperament Sweet, Friendly
 

Best for

New pet owners and families with little children

To have the best quality rabbits, a judge and rabbit breeder named Adriann de Cock decided to develop a dwarf rabbit, an ideal house pet and perfect breed for rabbit shows.

After several times of unsuccessful breeding, Adriann de Cock managed to develop the Holland Lop, a hybrid of an English Lop rabbit breed and a French Lop rabbit breed.

Holland Lop Characteristics

The Holland Lop’s compact body, with around an inch-long fur, can grow up to 12.7 to 15.2 cm or 5 inches to 6 inches long only. Its short body, broad head, and large fluffy ears are the distinct characteristics of the Holland Lop breed.

 

4. Mini Lop

Mini Lop

Breed Type Small rabbit breed
Breed Name Mini Lop
Origin Germany
Size 3 lbs.to 4 lbs.
Lifespan 5 years to 7 years
Color Wide variety
Temperament Energetic, even-tempered
 

Best for

New pet owners and families with little children

The Mini Lop, originally named Klein Widders, was first noticed in 1972 when Bob Herschbach discovered a crossbreed of German Big Lop and a rabbit breed called Chinchilla. Please do not mistake the Chinchilla rabbit breed with the Chinchilla rodent.

Though the Chinchilla rabbit somehow looks like a Chinchilla rodent, rabbits can not breed with rodents.

The Mini Lop Characteristics

The Mini Lop Rabbit breed is widely known for its small stature and temperament. They are calm, docile, affectionate, sweet, and fun-loving rabbit breeds.

They look beautiful with their round body type, little drooping ears, and short fur that comes in different colors.

Though small in size, the Mini Lop’s body is full of muscle with its head seems like it is simply sitting or attached to its compact body.

However, not because they are muscly compared to other small breed rabbits, people are highly advised to handle the Mini Lops as they are delicate.

 

5. American Fuzzy Lop

American Fuzzy Lop

Breed Type Small rabbit breed
Breed Name American Fuzzy Lop
Origin United States
Size 3 lbs.to 4 lbs.
Lifespan 5 years to 8 years
Color Wide variety
Temperament Energetic, even-tempered
 

Best for

New pet owners and families with little children

After four years of crossbreeding the Holland Lop with English Spots rabbit breeds, the American Fuzzy Lop was successfully developed.

Though the breeders were able to retain the features of a broken rabbit gene, unfortunately, they failed to keep the Holland Lops fur characteristic – a rollback fur. Then they tried breeding the litters of the Holland Lop and English spots with French Angoras.

The breeding process created a variety of Holland Lop-French Angora litters where some of the litters are developed along or short-wooled Holland Lop rabbits with a small drooping ear.

They look like Holland Lop with wool of American Fuzzy Lop.

American Fuzzy Lop Characteristics

The American Fuzzy Lop has distinct characteristics. They have a specific marking on their flat nose, spots on their little fluffy ears and their eyes are round. They come in various colors, and their wool color comes in either white or colored.

Like most other dwarf and miniature breeds, the American Fuzzy Lop’s body is compact and muscle-filled. The American Fuzzy Lop is a very active-type rabbit breed, and they love to be surrounded by toys and people.

 

6. Lionhead

Lionhead 

Breed Type Small rabbit breed
Breed Name Lionhead
Origin United Kingdom
Size 3 lbs. to 4 lbs.
Lifespan 8 years to 10 years
Color Wide variety
Temperament Friendly
 

Best for

New pet owners and families with little children

Some people debate whether the Lionhead comes from the United Kingdom or the United States. So, let us clear it today.

The Lionhead was first recognized in the United Kingdom as the newest rabbit breed that they must add to the list.

The United Kingdom recognized this small rabbit breed type in 2002, which is years earlier than the US recognizing the Lionhead rabbit breed.

The Lionhead rabbit breed is a mix of Swiss Fox and Netherland Dwarf rabbit breeds.

Lionhead Rabbit Characteristics

The Lionhead’s name comes after its very distinct appearance. This rabbit breed has a lion-like wool mane around its head, which can be thinner or thicker.

Though they have a wool mane, their head is typically more prominent than their body. Their nose and ears are beautifully developed, and their legs are asymmetrical.

When it comes to its colors, the Lionhead comes in various colors, including black, silver marten, tortoise, and Siamese sable.

 

7. Jersey Wooly Rabbit

Jersey Wooly Rabbit

Breed Type Small rabbit breed
Breed Name Jersey Wooly
Origin United States
Size 2.5 lbs. to 3.5 lbs.
Lifespan 7 years to 10 years
Color Wide variety
Temperament Friendly, Sweet, Active
 

Best for

New pet owners and families with little children

The Jersey Wooly breed was developed in New Jersey, the USA, where it got its name.

A rabbit breeder from High Binge, New Jersey named Bonnie Seeley decided to cross-breed a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit with a French Angora Rabbit, which resulted in a litter of rabbits with wooly coats.

Though they are wooled, the Jersey Wooly’s coat is easy to maintain.

Jersey Wooly Rabbit Characteristics

The Jersey Wooly’s fur is dense and is susceptible to rabbit mites if not groomed and checked regularly. The Jersey Wooly rabbit breed shares the same characteristics as other small breed rabbits. They have a short, round, and compact body.

Their face looks like a Netherland Dwarf. Adult Jersey Wooly maintains a baby face look with round heads, big eyes, and small ears. The Jersey Wooly is ideal for children because they are less aggressive and sweet.

 

8. Columbia Basin Pygmy

Columbia Basin Pygmy

Breed Type Small rabbit breed
Breed Name Columbia Basin Pygmy
Origin United States
Size 0.8 lb. to 1 lb.
Lifespan 3 years to 5 years
Color Wide variety
Temperament Shy, Timid
 

Best for

Experienced rabbit handlers

The Columbia Basin Pygmy is currently an almost-extinct rare breed. The smallest North American rabbit breed is native specifically to an area in Washington. Now, the government created programs to preserve the species.

Columbia Basin Pygmy Characteristics

The Columbia Basin Pygmy is petite in size. They have around but compact bodies and small ears, which are proportional to their body. Their tail is very short that it blends with its body, and their claws are more extensive than a typical small rabbit breed.

The Columbia Basin Pygmy rabbit breed also has a soft and fluffy grayish-brown fur that helps fight terrible weather conditions. It keeps their body temperature within the normal range.

What is interesting is, though the Columbia Basin Pygmy has pretty tiny legs, they can still hop at around 15 miles per hour.

Because these rabbits are naturally from the wild, only a select few can handle this delicate creature. They don’t make it the best pet for inexperienced rabbit handlers or children.

 

9. Dwarf Hotot

Dwarf Hotot

Breed Type Small rabbit breed
Breed Name Dwarf Hotot
Origin France
Size 2.5 lb. to 3.5 lb.
Lifespan 7 years to 10 years
Color Wide variety
Temperament Friendly
 

Best for

New pet owners and families with little children

Don’t get this mistaken with Large Hotot breeds, as this is a different breed. The Dwarf Hotot results from cross-breeding a White Hotot and the Netherland Dwarf.

This small rabbit breed was then introduced in the United States for rabbit shows.

You can easily distinguish a Dwarf Hotot rabbit breed because of its prominent white fur and black eye linings or markings.

Dwarf Hotot Characteristics

Their body is short yet compact, and their neck connecting their round head to its compact body is short.

Their hind legs are round, and their shoulders are broad. At the same time, their ears are short, semi-pointed, and thick.

When it comes to Dwarf Hotot’s fur, they are rollback, short, dense, shiny, and come in different colors that you can choose from.

Their temperament is super friendly, and they are attention seekers, which makes them the best pet for people who love rabbits. However, they are not as playful as other small rabbit breeds.

 

10. Britannia Petite

Britannia Petite

Breed Type Small rabbit breed
Breed Name Britannia Petite
Origin England
Size 2.5 lb. to 3.5 lb.
Lifespan 6 years to 10 years
Color Wide variety
Temperament Friendly
Best for Experienced rabbit handlers

The Britannia Petite rabbit breed is one of the oldest smallest breeds registered. They were originally from England due to small wild rabbits and the Belgian Table rabbits in the 19th century.

They are from the Polish rabbit breed line. But don’t get this breed mistaken with the Polish rabbit breed as they are entirely different.

In 1912, when the Polish rabbits were first brought to the US, they bred the Polish with other breeds to create a meaty American Polish rabbit breed.

The American Rabbit Breeders Association changed the American Polish to Britannia Petite to avoid confusion.

Britannia Petite Characteristics

The Britannia Petite has a meaty compact body and can be usually seen with white fur and red eyes. It is similar to the Polish rabbit breed, only that the Britannia Petite’s body is round.

Their compact body is wholly arched. At the same time, their heads are entirely smaller than regular small rabbit breeds. The Britannia Petite’s eyes are big and protruding, and their ears are short and pointed.

This small rabbit breed is not shy when it comes to its temper. They are friendly and super active. Because of the Britannia Petite’s nature, these breeds are not ideal for children or inexperienced adults.

 

Summary

Though most small breed rabbits are good house pets, some are not ideal for a family with children or anyone who doesn’t have any experience handling rabbits.

But regardless of what small rabbit breed you may get, always handle them gently and with care.

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