Miniature Lion Lop
- Size: Small
- Weight: 3-4 lb
- Lifespan: Up to 17 years
- Body Shape: Compact
- Best Suited For: Rabbit owners of all experience levels
- Temperament: Friendly, social, even-tempered, lively, active
- Comparable Breeds: Lionhead Rabbit, Mini Lop
Miniature Lion Lop Breed History/Origin
The Miniature Lion Lop, also known as the Mini Lion Lop, is a new breed of small pet rabbit that was developed in the United Kingdom during the early 2000s. A breeder named Jane Bramley combined the Lionhead Rabbit with a Mini Lop Rabbit to produce this uniquely beautiful breed.
Jane’s breeding technique worked because the mutation that’s responsible for giving the Lionhead Rabbit its lovely mane and bib is caused by a dominant gene. In other words, when you breed a purebred Lionhead Rabbit with another breed, the offspring will feature that mane and bib. Therefore, the Mini Lion Lop can be produced by crossing the Lionhead Rabbit with a Mini Lop, with a Lionhead/Mini Lop hybrid, and with Dwarf Lops, which would result in the Dwarf Lion Lop Rabbit.
In 2006, this breed was accepted by the British Rabbit Council (BRC). It has been championed in the UK by Jane Bramley, who has worked on achieving recognition for these adorable pets. The breed is not yet recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA).
The Miniature Lion Lop is a new breed from the UK.
Overall, the Miniature Lion Lop is similar to the Mini Lop, but there are some distinctive characteristics that make it stand out, one of which is the Lionhead Rabbit mane, as well as the area of the chest that features more fur. This is why it can also be considered a mini version of the Lionhead Rabbit.
This small rabbit’s body can be described as strong, firm, well muscled, thickset, broad, and short. The back legs are described as stocky, short, powerful, and carried parallel with the rest of the body. The haunches are well rounded and the rump is short. The front legs should be straight and short.
The chest should be deep and broad, and there should be curved sides where the chest meets the rabbit’s shoulders, which are strong and broad as well. The tail should be well furred and straight, and there can also be a small dewlap in adult females.
The head should be wide and have a curvy profile, and there should be a noticeable width in between the animal’s eyes. You will also notice a broad muzzle, full cheeks, and eyes that are large, bright, and bold. The neck is not entirely visible.
The wide ears should hang down on the sides of the head, and they should be carried close to the cheeks. Also, the basal ridge of the rabbit’s ears will be prominent across the top of the head. The ears should be well furred, thick, rounded at the ends, and broad. And the insides of the ears shouldn’t be visible when looking at the animal from any angle.
The coat of a Miniature Lion Lop will be medium in length, as well as soft and dense with roll back and a lot of guard hairs.
There will also be a longer mane that is around 2-3” long, and it should circle the head. Also, the mane should create the shape of a “V” behind the rabbit’s neck, while falling over the head between the animal’s ears. Some rabbits can even be double-maned.
The pads and legs of the Mini Lion Lop should also be well furred, and there could be a bit of extended fur surrounding the flanks.
There are many colors that this beautiful little rabbit can feature, even though it was originally bred to only showcase a few specific colors.
The main colors for the Miniature Lion Lop include steel, opal, iron gray, blue, beige, chocolate, seal point, blue point, smoke, sable (including light, medium, and dark Siamese sable), Siamese smoke, black fox, black otter, butterfly, orange, fawn, sooty fawn, white with red or blue eyes, agouti, and black.
Mini Lion Lops enjoy exploring, being social, and playing.
Your Mini Lion Lop should have the opportunity to spend some time exploring the great outdoors, whether you decide to let him live indoors or outside. When housing a Mini Lion Lop outside, make sure the hutch is large enough for your pet to hop around, stand up on his hind legs, and turn around comfortably. The enclosure should be kept out of direct wind and sun, and it should be totally waterproof and weatherproof, as well as protected from predators. When housed indoors, you can train your pet to use a litter tray, and you should also provide him with a safe and quiet place where he can relax and be alone if he wants to, such as a dog crate. Rabbit-proof your home to ensure your belongings, including wires and cables, will not be chewed on, and give your rabbit room to run around and play safely.
Whether your Miniature Lion Lop lives indoors or in your garden, you will need to give him access to a big exercise area, particularly in the early morning and late evening, when his energy will be highest.
In terms of diet, you can provide your pet with high quality hays, rabbit pellets, and plenty of fibrous veggies and leafy greens. Always provide clean water too.
As would be the case with any other rabbit breed, you will need to check your pet’s teeth regularly to ensure he is not developing any dental issues like overgrown teeth. Providing your Mini Lion Lop with a fibrous diet and gnaw toys will help prevent problems.
Feed your pet the appropriate diet to also help your rabbit maintain a healthy weight, as overweight animals find it difficult to groom themselves thoroughly. In addition to the fur becoming soiled, overweight rabbits could become vulnerable to flystrike.
Talk to your vet about having your pet vaccinated, as well as treated for worms, ticks, and fleas. You can also have your rabbit spayed or neutered.
Miniature Lion Lops are considered friendly and even-tempered.
In terms of their personality, Miniature Lion Lops are considered friendly and even-tempered. They can also be active and lively, and they enjoy being around their human family, getting plenty of attention and having fun by playing. However, the breed is still being developed, so the temperaments of these rabbits can vary.
You should let your rabbit explore, and you should provide him with a variety of toys, such as noisy cat toys and boxes. And if you have the room for more than one Mini Lion Lop, these rabbits enjoy being social with one another, so you will find them playing with each other and grooming each other.
Photo credit: Zashion Stud/Wikimedia; Life on White/Bigstock