Rabbit Breeds

Pet Rabbits
Two pet rabbits on a white background. Getty Images/Dave King

Rabbits come in an array of breeds in various colors, sizes, shapes, and coat types. The subtle differences between breeds are mostly of interest to those who show their bunnies while the average owner is focused mainly on the size and type of coat. Keep in mind that a pet store rabbit is not necessarily purebred or it may not meet ideal breed standards. This in no way reflects on their quality as a pet and should not deter you from adopting a rabbit that you like.

This guide is instead meant to help potential owners sort through the sometimes confusing array of rabbit breeds. Rabbits vary in size from the smaller dwarf breeds that weigh less than 2.5 pounds to some of the giant breeds that weigh in at a whopping 16 pounds. Coats can vary in color, from white to browns, grays, and black and by fur length, from short to long. Note that the longer coated breeds require daily grooming so they are a little more maintenance than the shorter coated breeds.

Pet Rabbit Breeds

The following is an alphabetical list of rabbit breeds that can be kept as pets:

Alaskan

  • 6–8.5 pounds
  • Black
  • Thick coat
  • Originated in Germany

American

  • 9–12 pounds
  • Blue, white
  • Medium build, narrow head

American Checkered Giant

  • 11 pounds or larger
  • White with black or blue markings (along spine, body spots, cheek spots, colored ears, eye circles, and butterfly mark on nose)

American Chinchilla

  • 9–12 pounds
  • Chinchilla colored
  • Dense, fine hair that is smooth and glossy (1¼ inch-long coat)
  • Relatively round body

American Fuzzy Lop

  • 3.5–4 pounds
  • Variety of coat colors
  • Compact muscular body; dense, coarse coat; and of course, ears folded over to slightly below the jaw

American Sable

  • 7–10 pounds
  • Sepia brown
  • Medium build with soft, dense fine coat with coarse guard hairs

    Angora

    • Variety of sizes and colors
    • High maintenance fur
    • English angora: 5–7 pounds, long silky hair
    • French angora: 7.5–10.5 pounds
    • Giant Angora: 8.5 pounds and up, soft fine undercoat (wool), straight stiff guard hairs, and a wavy fluff with a guard tip in between
    • Satin Angora: 6.5–9.5 pounds, very fine wool

    Argentes

    • 5–8 pounds
    • Black, blue, brown, or creamy white

    Belgian Hare

    • 6–9.5 pounds (2.7–4.3 kg)
    • Reddish tan or chestnut with slate blue undercoloring; slender build, fairly stiff coat

    Britannia Petite

    • Under 2.5 pounds
    • Ruby eyed white, black otter, black, chestnut agouti
    • Slender, fine-boned build with a sleek, silky coat
    • One of the smallest breeds of rabbits

    Californian

    • 8–12 pounds
    • White, with black nose, ears, feet; tail
    • Rounded body, medium build, and short smooth coat

    Champagne d'Argent

    • 9–12 pounds
    • Bluish white with black hairs interspersed and slate blue undercolor
    • Plump body
    • Black at birth with white hairs start showing at about 2 months

    Checkered Giant

    • Over 11 pounds
    • White with black or blue markings (along spine, body spots, cheek spots, colored ears, eye circles and butterfly mark on nose)
    • Long, harelike body

    Chinchilla

    • 5.5–6.5 pounds
    • Chinchilla grey colored
    • Fine boned

    Cinnamon

    • 8.5–11 pounds
    • Rust or cinnamon color with grey ticking on back and grey on belly. Rust-colored spots inside hind legs as well as butterfly mark on nose and eye rings

      Continental

      • May be referred to as a Conti
      • Recognized by the British Rabbit Counsel (BRC) but not the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA)
      • World record holder for the largest rabbit
      • 12.4 pounds and up
      • White, black, grey, chestnut and varying shades
      • Live only 5-7 years
      • Have a variety of bloodlines based on their country of origin but originally bred from Flemish Giants

      Creme d'Argent

      • 8–11 pounds
      • Creamy white with orange undercoat, and butterfly marking on nose

      Dutch

      • 3.5–5.5 lbs
      • White with black, blue, or brown; chocolate; steel; or tortoise
      • The front of the face, body, and the back feet are white; the rest is colored

      Dwarf Hotot

      • Under 3 pounds
      • White with black eye rings, rounded body

      English Lop

      • Over 9 pounds
      • Agouti, broken, self, shaded, ticked or wide-band color groups; very long lop ears

      English Spot

      • 5–8 pounds
      • White with black, blue, chocolate, gold, grey, lilac, or tortoise. Markings include butterfly mark on nose, colored ears, eye rings, spine marking (herringboned), a spot on the cheek, and a chain of spots along the body
      • Long arched body like a hare

      Flemish Giant (Patagonian)

      • 13 pounds and over
      • Black, blue, fawn, light grey, sandy, steel grey, white
      • Long with heavy build (but shouldn't be fat)
      • One of the largest breeds of rabbits

      Florida White

      • 4–6 pounds
      • Pure white.
      • Rounded body

      French Lop

      • 10 pounds and over
      • Agouti, broken, self, shaded, ticked, or wide-band groups
      • Muscular, heavy build

      Giant Chinchilla

      • 12–16 pounds
      • Chinchilla coloration
      • Heavy build, rounded body
      • One of the largest breeds of rabbits

      Giant Papillon

      • 13–14 pounds
      • White with markings; similar to English Spot, except for patches on sides instead of spots

      Harlequin

      • 6.5–9.5 pounds
      • Black, blue, chocolate, lilac
      • Striking patterns alternating bands of color and white; half the face white and the other half colored; the ear on the white side colored, and vice versa.

      Havana

      • 4.5–6.5 pounds
      • Black, blue, chocolate
      • Compact, rounded body

      Himalayan

      • 2.5–4.5 pounds
      • Black, blue, chocolate, lilac. Coloration develops on cooler extremities: ears, nose, tail, feet, and legs

      Holland Lop

      • Under 4 pounds
      • Agouti, broken, pointed white, self, shaded, ticked, or wide-band color groups
      • Muscular build, lop ears

      Hotot

      • 8–11 pounds
      • White with black eye ring
      • Well rounded body

      Jersey Woolly

      • Under 3.5 pounds
      • Wide variety of colors, long wooly coat

      Lilac

      • 5.5–8 pounds lbs
      • Lilac coloration.
      • Compact body and dense coat

      Mini Lop

      • 4.5–6.5 pounds
      • Agouti, broken, pointed white, self, shaded, ticked, or wide band color groups
      • Muscular and compact

      Mini Rex

      • 3–4.5 pounds
      • Black, blue, broken group, castor, chinchilla, chocolate, himilayan, lilac, lynx, opal, red, seal tortoise, white

      Netherland Dwarf

      • Under 2.5 pounds
      • Self group, shaded group, agouti group, tan pattern group, fawn, himalayan, orange, steel, tortoiseshell
      • Ears seem too short for head

      New Zealand

      • 9–12 pounds
      • Black, red, white
      • Long muscular body

      Palomino

      • Under 9.5 pounds
      • Golden, lynx

      Polish

      • Under 3.5 pounds
      • Black, blue, chocolate, blue-eyed white, ruby-eyed white
      • Very short ears

      Rex

      • 7.5–10.5 lbs
      • Black, black otter, blue, broken group, californian, castor, chinchilla, chocolate, lilac, lynx, opal, red, sable, seal, white

      Rhinelander

      • 6.5–10 pounds
      • White with black and bright golden orange markings: six to eight round markings on each side of the back part of the body, as well as a spine marking, butterfly mark on the nose, eye circles, colored ears, and round cheek spots

      Satin

      • 8.5–11 pounds
      • Black, blue, broken group, californian, chinchilla, chocolate, copper, red, siamese, white

      Silver

      • 4–7 pounds
      • Black, brown, fawn with silver or white guard hairs

      Silver Fox

      • 9–12 pounds
      • Jet black with silvering

      Silver Marten

      • 6–9.5 pounds
      • Black, blue, chocolate, sable with silver-tipped guard hairs

      Standard Chinchilla

      • 5–7.5 pounds
      • Chinchilla coloration
      • Rounded body

      Tan

      • 4–6 pounds
      • Black, blue, chocolate, or lilac with tan; eye circles, nostrils, jowls, ears, backs of legs, toes, chest, belly, tail and neck collar

      Pet Rabbit Breed Sizes

      While the breed of a rabbit, in most cases, has little impact on its quality as a pet, you may be interested in the size of the rabbit when it is adult or full-grown. Here are breeds recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association, grouped by size:

      Small Sized Rabbit Breeds - 2 to 6 pounds

      • American Fuzzy Lop
      • Britannia Petite
      • Dutch
      • Dwarf Hotot
      • Florida White
      • Havana
      • Himalayan
      • Holland Lop
      • Jersey Wolly
      • Mini Lop
      • Mini Rex
      • Netherland Dwarf
      • Polish
      • Silver
      • Tan

      Medium Sized Rabbit Breeds - 6 to 9 pounds

      • American Sable
      • Belgian Hare
      • English angora
      • English Spot
      • French angora
      • Harlequin
      • Lilac
      • Rex
      • Rhinelander
      • Satin Angora
      • Silver Marten
      • Standard Chinchilla

      Large Sized Rabbit Breeds - 9 to 11 pounds

      • American
      • American Chinchilla
      • Beveren
      • Californian
      • Champagne d'Argent
      • Cinnamon
      • Creme d'Argent
      • English Lop
      • Giant Angora
      • Hotot
      • New Zealand
      • Palomino
      • Satin
      • Silver Fox

      Giant Sized Rabbit Breeds - 11 pounds and more

      • Checkered Giant
      • Continental Giant (Conti)
      • Flemish Giant (Patagonian)
      • French Lop
      • Giant Chinchilla

      The record holder for the biggest rabbit is currently held by a continental giant.

       

      Edited by Adrienne Kruzer, RVT