The Holland Dwarf Lop
Species: orictolagus cuniculus
This breed came to Russia only about 15 years ago, but they have gained instant popularity among those who like pet rabbits. It is a very young breed that appeared in Holland in 1950 as a result of crossing of dwarf rabbits with French lops. The breed was officially recognized in 1964. There is a German legend about the origin of dwarf rabbits. Once upon a time there were many plush rabbits in a toy shop. One night a thunderstorm broke out. In the morning people saw small funny rabbits jumping on the streets: they came to life and became ancestors of all dwarf breeds.
The Holland Dwarf Lop is a fancy breed which has recently become very popular. This popularity is due to their cute looks. Their special feature is ears: their shape reminds of horseshoe. The ears are about 23-28 cm long. The body is cylinder-shaped, they have short necks and rounded hind parts. The front legs are quite short, the tail is small too. Females are smaller and don’t have a dewlap. The head is heavy, with wide forehead. The fur is soft with thick undercoat. Dwarf lops weigh from 1.2 to 2 kg.
These cute critters have gentle and sweet disposition. They are very friendly towards people and are playful, active and loyal which makes them great companions both for children and for adults. Rabbits are very active, so you should let them roam out of the cage on a regular basis.
In the beginning rabbits can be skittish and they react very strongly on abrupt movements and loud sounds.
Like all decorative breeds, the Holland Dwarf Lop cannot stand draughts or heat, so you should choose the location for a cage very carefully. The cage should be spacious, at least 60x80 cm, though the bigger the better. The cage should be made of metal and have a safe lock. For bedding you should use straw, hay or wood cuttings.
You should regularly cut your rabbit’s claws and give to it hard food so that it has a chance to grind its teeth. Otherwise it can start gnawing on your furniture, walls and other objects in your house. In its cage there should always be fruit tree branches and chalk blocks. Provide your pet with toys: balls, sticks etc. Rabbits can be trained to use a litter box. In this case they will come to the box even if they walk around the house.
You should comb the dwarf lop with a special brush.
Rabbits are social animals so it’s best to keep them in pairs or in groups. If you have one rabbit, you should dedicate more time to it.
You shouldn’t give raw vegetables, fruit and greens to rabbits younger than 6 months. After that you can give this food to your pet in moderate quantities. The staple of the rabbit’s diet is hay and grain mixes. You can get both in a pet store. There should always be some hay in a hay rack in your rabbit’s cage. You should also out a mineral block in your rabbit’s cage.
The Holland Dwarf Lop is popular all over the world, it is a great family pet and children adore it. But it is best to buy a rabbit for children over 10 years of age, If your children are younger than that, you should monitor their interaction carefully in order for the child not to injure the small animal.
Despite their toy-like appearance, the dwarf lops are proud and active animals, so their owners have to give them a lot of attention.
If your rabbit displays some unusual behavior: rejects treats, becomes sluggish and its coat gets dull – it can indicate an illness. If you notice any symptoms, you should measure the rabbit’s temperature. If it is over 40 degrees, you should contact the vet. In order to take down the temperature, you should press to the rabbit’s ears ice packages.