- Size: Dwarf
- Weight: 2-4 lb
- Lifespan: 7-14 years
- Body Shape: Compact
- Best Suited For: Rabbits for Singles, Apartment Rabbits, House Rabbits, Families with children, First-time owners, Indoor/Outdoor enclosure
- Temperament: Curious, energetic, sweet
- Comparable Breeds: Netherland Dwarf Rabbit, French Lop
Holland Lop Breed History/Origin
Not all rabbit breeds made it into this world naturally. Some were created with the help of careful breeders who wanted to ensure that their clients got the best bunnies that money could buy. The Holland Lop got its start in the 1950s in Netherlands. A Dutch breeder Adriann de Cock wanted to combine the qualities of a French Lop and a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit. These are two very different breeds, so it was an intriguing mix to say the least. Sadly, The resulting litter of six was unsuccessful. This was because their ears were erect and did not have the loping effect of the Holland Lop we know and love today. In 1952, de Cock took a doe from that litter of six and bred her with an English Lop buck. After a few hit and misses of breeding from these litters, de Cock successfully bred a Holland Lop with the French Lop’s characteristic floppy ears. The rest, as they say, is history.
This breed was recognized by Netherlands’ Governing Rabbit Council in 1964 and by the American Rabbit Breeder’s Association by 1976. Ever since then, the whole world has enjoyed having the incredible Holland Lop in their lives.
The Holland Lop is a dwarf rabbit, which means it should weigh about 4 lbs. once fully grown.
The Holland Lop is a dwarf rabbit, which means that it should weigh about 4 lbs. once fully grown. They have a wide, yet short body. This consequently gives these rabbits a compact body shape. They pose similarly to a cat, resting mostly on their hind legs and only slightly on their two front feet. The Holland Lop’s head is broad with a distinct puff of fur at the back, that has become known as the “crown”. The crown should be thick and wide and raised above the head.
While their stocky body and fluffy round head would have been more than enough to make these bunnies cute, it’s their floppy ears that make this breed district and endlessly lovable. Without a doubt, the Holland Lop’s most famous feature is their large fur-covered ears which fall on either side of their heads. The ears are well-furred and thick and they are in the shape of a teaspoon (rounded tips and wider at the bottom). The slack ears that frame their adorable faces only add to the appeal these bunnies have for prospective owners. These rabbits were bred to be as adorable as possible, so you can expect them to worm their way into your heart at first site.
The Holland Lop is one of the most popular rabbit breeds, both in the United States and around the world. And it’s not merely their lovely appearance that charms people! Easy-going, sweet, and friendly, the Holland Lop will win you over with its wonderful personality. These bunnies will love you right back and bring joy to any home. That’s certainly not true of any breed of rabbit and it is what has kept this particular breed so beloved for generations.
The Holland Lop’s coat is of the rollback variety. It is dense and medium in length. This smooth and glossy coat does not require much grooming to keep it in good condition. So in addition to being adorable and lovable, the Holland Lop is a low-maintenance rabbit breed. No wonder children everywhere go so ga-ga for these things!
As a rule of thumb, a weekly or bi-weekly grooming session should suffice. Simply brush your bunny with a slicker brush or a fur splitter (aka a wide toothed comb) to keep their coat tangle-free and lustrous. Of course, the purpose of coat grooming is not merely to maintain your rabbit’s beautiful appearance. Rabbits are avid groomers, and as a result will ingest a lot of their own hair. Unfortunately, all of that fur muching might lead to deadly intestinal blockage in your little friend. So the goal of brushing this bunny is to minimize the amount of loose hair your pet will ingest. Never forget to do this.
Hair brushing is particularly important during the molting season. At the change of seasons, you may notice your rabbit will begin to shed a little more than usual. During these heavy-shedding periods, you will need to brush your bunny a few times a day. It may seem like your little bunny won’t need those extra brushing sessions, but trust us, this is so important.
On the flip side, bathing is never recommended for rabbits. They aren’t remotely fond of being bathed and it can cause significant stress. That’s the last thing you want for your pet. If your Holland Lop gets dirty, simply use a moistened cotton ball to clean their fur. It might take longer to clean your pet this way, but will be so much better for the bunny in the long run.
This breed of rabbit is recognized in a variety of colors and groups. They are divided up into two classifications: solid (one color only) and broken (which contain patches of one or two other colors). Some (of the many) examples include chestnut agouti, chinchilla, chocolate and opal in the “Agouti” group; tortoise, seal, smoke pearl and sable points in the “Shaded” group; and cream, fawn, frosty, orange, tricolor, and red in the “Wide Band” group. The impressive variety of coat colors within this breed only adds to the appeal and popularity of these bunnies. Cuteness is guaranteed with a Holland Lop, and in no less than 15 different colors and color combinations! The possibilities are almost endless.
The Holland Lop is recognized in a variety of colors and groups.
To keep a Holland Lop happy and healthy does not require much time or effort. In comparison to a dog or cat, rabbits are much less demanding pets. Their diet and a good ratio of indoor to outdoor time are two of the most important aspects of their care. So take special care with those aspects.
The first thing you should do is provide proper rabbit housing. A Holland Lop might be a small bunny, but they’ll still need plenty of room to feel happy and stay healthy in your care. The majority of bunny owners keep their pets indoors since they are family pets. That also tends to be the case with the Holland Lop. If you are the sort of rabbit owner who likes to let their bunny hop freely around your house, you will need to rabbit-proof your home. Make sure that there are no wires, chords, or other unsafe objects on the floor that your bunny could chew on. They should also have their own private litter and a cage to retreat to when they feel like it.
An indoor Holland Lop’s enclosure should have sides made of strong wire to prevent them from chewing through the cage. However, they should never have a cage with a wire bottom. Cages and hutches with wire bottoms will hurt your pet’s feet and lead to sore hocks. So, always make sure that they are only hopping on soft and comfy bedding instead. Pet owners will need to spot-clean the bedding every day to rid it of feces and replace the entire bedding every week. A bit of an annoyance sure, but one that will make your bunny’s life so much more pleasant.
The cage should also be large enough for your rabbit to stretch out comfortably. This shouldn’t be difficult since the Holland Lop is relatively small. The minimum cage size is 18 inches by 25 inches, but a bigger cage would be even better. Of course, no matter the how spacious the cage is, your pet will need a lot of out-of-cage time to exercise and be content. In addition to playtime in a rabbit-proofed space, you can always take your Holland Lop for some outdoor fun. Let them hop and play in a safely enclosed part of the garden or yard. With your supervision, of course.
As for you rabbit’s diet, it should consist of 70 percent high-quality hay and the rest should be a balanced mixture of fruits, vegetables, pellets, and leafy greens. You may find that your rabbit prefers one type of fruit to another (like apples, for instance). While it’s great that your hopper has found a delicious fruit he loves to nibble on, perhaps you can use his love for this fruit as an advantage and use it only during training as a treats. This trick can be used for your animal in order to train them to do simple commands such as heeling or hopping or even for more complex tasks such as litter training (more on that to follow).
Fortunately, the Holland Lop is not susceptible to any hereditary health issues, but taking proper care of your rabbit will make their life (and your veterinary bills) so much better in the long run. Make sure that you regularly check their mouth for overgrown teeth, which can grow into their jaws and mouths and become extremely painful. A diet high in hay will make sure this does not happen, as the hay will naturally file down your rabbit’s ever-growing teeth.
Spaying and neutering can be done at a young age in a rabbit’s life. Your bunny does need not be older than six months before they can be safely spayed (some veterinarians will perform the procedure at four months, but most would rather wait until six months). Bucks, on the other hand, can be neutered at as young as three months old and it is commonly known that neutered bucks make for less aggressive companions (although admittedly Holland Lops are not known be aggressive at all, so neutering the buck may not do much).
Holland Lops pose similarly to a cat, resting mostly on their hind legs and only slightly on their two front ones.
In order to really allow your Holland Lops’s personality to bloom, it is important to give them plenty of time out of their enclosures/hutches. Indoor rabbits should be let out of their cages with access to roam around at least in one particular room, if not your entire home. This will allow them to stretch out their legs, get some sunshine ,and most of all, interact with their favorite humans. These little guys make for wonderful first pets whether it is for a single person, a couple, or a family with younger or older children.
The Holland Lop is a relatively active bunny and would also love to spend some time outdoors when the temperatures are just right. Fenced yards are wonderful, but if you have an open yard, investing in an exercise pen should definitely be a priority. This will give your rabbit a little bit of freedom without doesn’t allowing them roam around into your neighbor’s property. Bunnies might seem more manageable than dogs or cats on paper, but when they get excited they will get away from you rather quickly and get up to all sorts of mischief. You may well have a regular Bugs Bunny on your hands and need to keep that little scamp under control accordingly.
In terms of toys, each rabbit has their own personality and may enjoy some toys to chew up and entertain themselves with. It may be as simple as a toilet paper roll to destroy or as elaborate as a mental pet toy from your local pet store. The only way to know for sure is to give your bunny some options and see what they prefer. You can’t force a bunny to play, you can only control how they play and how much trouble they will get into. But don’t let any potential trouble-making get in between you and the bunny of your dreams. The Holland Lop is a beautiful bunny and a wonderful pet suitable for any home. So if this article has piqued your interest in any way, run to your nearest pet store and see if they have a Holland Lop in stock. The pet of your dreams just might be a quick drive away. So get out there and find your personal Roger Rabbit today!
Photo credit: elenathewise/Bigstock; naruden/Bigstock; pakkij/Bigstock