Raising House Rabbits

Providing Information About Rabbits

Home Domestic Pets Showing Commercial

So Many Breeds: What Breed Is My Bunny?

A popular question among pet rabbit owners is “What breed is my bunny?” A question that sounds simple enough yet very difficult to answer. Many pet rabbits are mixed breeds and are nearly impossible to determine actual breed. However, there are some traits specific to certain breeds that may narrow down just what breed of rabbit you have.

Step 1 – Ears:

The first and easiest trait to determine is whether or not your rabbit has straight up ears or lopped ears. If your rabbit has lopped ears than the breed of rabbit is narrowed down to those such as: American Fuzzy Lop; English Lop; French Lop; Holland Lop; Mini Lop; or Velveteen Lop.

Step 2 – Fur:

The second easiest trait to determine is fur type. If your rabbit has long hair it is probably one of the angora breeds such as: American Fuzzy Lop; French Angora; Giant Angora; Jersey Wooly; or Satin Angora. If the fur is extremely short and feels like crushed velvet it is probably a rex breed such as: Mini Rex, Rex; or Velveteen Lop. 

Step 3 – Body Type:

This next step may be harder to identify for some people. Every rabbit can be placed into one of the following five body types, as defined by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA).

Full Arch: rabbits show an arch starting at the nape  of the neck, running over the shoulders, mid-section, lion, and hips to the juncture of the tail. Most will show more depth than width.

The full arch breeds include: Belgian Hare; Britiania Petite; Checkered Giant; English Spot; and Rhinelander.

Semi-Arch: rabbits carry good arch starting back the shoulders and carrying through to the base of the tail. Referred to as the mandolin type.

The semi-arch breeds include: American; Beveren; English Lop; Flemish Giant; and Giant Chinchilla.

Compact:  rabbits are lighter in weight and shorter in length than commercial breeds.

The compact breeds include: American Fuzzy Lop; Dutch; Dwarf Hotot; English Angora; Florida White; Holland Lop; Jersey Wooly; Lilac; Mini Lop; Netherland Dwarf; Polish; and Silver.

Commercial: ideal meat rabbit. Rabbits are medium in length with depth equaling width, showing roundness of body and firmness of flesh.

The commercial breeds include: American Chinchilla; American Sable; Californian; Champagne d’Argent; Cinnamon; Crème d’Argent; French Angora; French Lop; Giant Angora; Harlequin, Hotot; New Zealand; Palomino; Rex, Satin, Satin Angora; Silver Fox, and Silver Martin.

Cylindrical: rabbits are long, slim and cylindrical with fine bone and long slender head.

The cylindrical breed is Himalayan.

Step 4 – Markings:

There are several breeds that have very unique markings and colourings, however many mixed breeds could have similar markings and colours thus making this extremely difficult when trying to define the breed of rabbit.

Step 5 – Weight:

As mentioned in a previous article, rabbits come in a variety of sizes ranging from dwarf to giant. Weight alone is not enough to determine a breed as many pet rabbits weigh more than the standard weight established by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. However, you can eliminate certain breeds by determining what weight category your rabbit is in.

Dwarf Breeds (2-4lbs): American Fuzzy Lop, Britannia Petite, Dwarf Hotot, Jersey Wooly, Holland Lop, Netherland Dwarf and Polish.

Small Breeds (3-5lbs): English Angora, Dutch, Florida White, Havana, Mini Lop, Mini Rex, Silver and Tan.

Medium Breeds (5-10lbs): American Sable, Belgian Hare, Californian, English Spot, Harlequin, Lilac, Rex, Rhinelander, Satin Angora, Silver Martin, and Standard Chinchilla.

Large Breeds (10-12lbs): American, American Chinchilla, Beveren, Champagne d'Argent, Cinnamon, Crème d'Argent, French Angora, Hotot, New Zealand, Palomino, Satin, and Silver Fox.

Giant Breeds (over 12lbs): Checkered Giant, English Lop, Flemish Giant, French Lop, Giant Angora and Giant Chinchilla.

After all has been said and done you still may be no closer to identifying you rabbit’s true breed, but that by no way means you have a lesser pet. All rabbits regardless of breed or pedigrees can make a wonderful companion animal if raised properly. 


Useful Links:

Breed List by "Give Us A Home UK"

Breed List by "Rabbit & Cavy Directory"

Breed List by "Wikipedia"

Breed Profiles (Choosing a Rabbit) by "Pet Peoples Place"

Breed Photos by "ARBA"

Colour Descriptions

Rabbit Colours


© 1996-2008 Raising House Rabbits