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Ok so you are wondering how big do dwarf rabbits get, but there is one thing you need to know. Just because domestic rabbits are small does not mean it is a dwarf bunny.
There are only two dwarf rabbit breeds with the word dwarf in their breed name that are recognized by the ARBA. There are a few rabbit breeds that exhibit the overall shape of a rabbit having dwarfism. But there are also breeds that carry the dwarf gene but don’t really show the typical shape of a dwarf rabbit.
In the list below you will see the maximum weight according to the American Rabbit Breeders Association. Each of these small rabbits are considered full-grown adult rabbits at 6 months old.
Dwarf breeds are:
- Holland Lop – 4 pounds – These are a dwarf lop rabbit.
- Netherland Dwarf Rabbits – 2.5 pounds
- Dwarf Hotot Rabbit- 3 pounds (Ideal weight of 2.5pound)
- Britannia Petite rabbit breed – 2.5 pounds
- American Fuzzy Lop – 4 pounds (Ideal weight of 3.5 pounds for bucks and 3 3/4th pounds for does) – These are another darf lop rabbit but also have wool.
- Jersey Wooly – 3.5 pounds (Ideal weight of 3 pounds)
These breeds are smaller and do carry the dwarf rabbit gene but don’t tend to show the true dwarf shape.
- Mini Rex – 3-4.25 for bucks 3.25 – 4.5 pounds for does (Ideal weight of 4 pounds for bucks and 4.25 pounds for does)
- Mini Satin – 3.25-4.75 pounds (Ideal weight of 4 pounds)
- Polish Rabbit Breed – 3.5 pounds (Ideal weight of 2.5 pounds)
Since netherland dwarfs are one of the first breeds that people think of when they are thinking of a dwarf rabbit I am going to cover the netherland dwarf breed in more detail.
They are a small rabbit with large eyes and short ears. They should have an extremely short neck that is not visible when posed correctly. Their personality is pretty energetic and not laid back like a lot of the larger rabbit breeds. While they are easy for small children to handle I don’t think they are the best option for this reason. Kids are already high energy for the most part and this doesn’t help keep rabbits calm. Which will cause the rabbits to kick and fuss when being picked up.
I have had the chance to own one for a short time and that little guy was a very energetic rabbit and did not calm down at all. This has been the case with all of the Netherland dwarfs I have seen.
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The ARBA Description and Standard of the Netherland Dwarf
The american rabbit breeders association is the group that sets the standards for all rabbit breeds in the united states. They are the AKC for dogs but rabbits instead. If a rabbit does not meet these standards they could be a mixed breed or if they look pretty close to the standard Netherlands dwarf they just might not be as good of quality.
Showroom Classes And Weights
Senior Bucks And Does – 6 months and over, not over 2.5pounds
Junior Bucks And Does – Under 6 months of age, not over 2 pounds.
General Type (Conformation)
Body – The body is to be short and compact, and well-rounded. The shoulders are to be deep and wide. The Sholders and hindquarters are to be equal width, showing no taper. The depth and width of body shall balance.
The topline is to show that the depth of the shoulders is carried through to a deep well rounded and well-filled hindquarters. The legs are to be short in length and of medium to medium-heavy bone.
Head – The head is to be large and of a size to balance with the body. It will be bigger in bucks than in does. The shape should be round when viewed from any direction. In profile, the arc from the base of the ear around the nose should not show a break. The head should be set high, and as close to the body as possible.
Ears – Ears are to be short, well set on top of the head erect, well furred, and of good substance with a strong ear base. They are to be rounded at the tips, with an ideal length of 2 inches. The ears should be balanced with the head and body.
The Dwarf Gene
The breeds that carry the dwarf gene are the Holland Lop, Netherland Dwarf, Mini Rex, Mini Satin, Dwarf Hotot, Polish, Britannia Petite, American Fuzzy Lop, and Jersey Wooly.
The dwarf gene in rabbits is a genetic mutation that affects the size and proportions of the animal. Dwarf rabbits are smaller than other breeds, with a short, compact body and relatively large head and ears.
The dwarf gene is a dominant gene, which means that if a rabbit inherits one copy of the gene from either parent, it will express the dwarf phenotype. If a rabbit inherits two copies of the dwarf gene, one from each parent, it will have severe health issues and is likely to die shortly after birth.
If you want to learn more about the dwarf gene the difference between false dwarfs and true dwarfs I highly recommend you check out the nature trails post on it here.
Dwarf Rabbits As Pets
Dwarf rabbits are popular pets because of their size people often think that getting a dwarf rabbit size is better because of their compact size.
But if you are trying to find a nice pet rabbit the really small breeds aren’t always a good option for kids or first-time pet owners.
Like most small animals of any species, they tend to be jumpy and even on the aggressive side sometimes because dwarf bunnies are snack size for a lot of predators.
If you are wanting to get one of the smallest rabbit breeds because of space make sure to get your small rabbit as young as you can so you can have the time to great good habits with it and it will not get used to its original caregiver. 8 weeks is the most common legal age for young rabbits to leave their breeders property.
The reason you want to get them younger is for a few reasons. They won’t get as attached to the original owner. It takes a long time to get rabbits used to new people. They are creatures of habit and don’t like change. Also, the longer they are with a litter they tend to get more wild rabbit bad habbits and this will not leave you with a well-mannered pet.
Some of the best rabbit breeds that make good small pets are the Holland Lop, Jersey Wooly, and American Fuzzy Lop. It’s a good idea to make sure you tell a breeder that you are looking for one that has a calm temperament if you are looking for a pet and you are not an experienced rabbit handler. Just keep in mind that it is hard to tell the temperament until they are at least 5 weeks old. You can try but rabbits are preyed upon animals and they will be pretty jumpy for the first few weeks of life because they are a big target for predators.
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