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10 Friendliest Rabbit Breeds For Pets [18 Year Experienced Rabbit Raiser]

Its tempting to choose a rabbit breed that you like the look of first. But that does not mean you whill choose one of the best rabbit breeds for pets.

There are also some key factors that will have an effect on a rabbit’s personality. Causing it to be not so friendly. So let me share some tips with you on how to know if your rabbit will have a good personality or not. Of course, it’s not full proof but it’s better than going in blind.

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Sex Plays A Role In The Rabbits Personality

If you are looking for a good pet rabbit make sure you are getting a male (buck) rabbit. All-day every day.

The female (doe) rabbits will become hormonally out of balance (ladies can I get a witness) become fussy and even aggressive if she is not bred often enough. It’s odd to say but it is the truth.

That is not to say that all does will be like that but you don’t know until they reach maturity.

Some does are fine or will just ignore you for a while. But some are a monster to handle even if they are normally very sweet. This happens with about 50% of my french lops.

The Age You Get The Rabbit Will Have An Effect On Its Personality

If you get the rabbit at 12 weeks or older it has started to get used to the original owner or breeder. This is a fine balance and as a rabbit raiser, I do my best to play with them just enough to keep them friendly but not attached to me.

Staying With Siblings Or Momma Too Long

When siblings stay together too long they will start to fuss with each other. To be safe I want all of my rabbit litters separated by 12 weeks old no questions asked. This also keeps them looking for attention from people not from each other. Which is what you need if you want to have a nice pet rabbit that wants to be with you and does not ignore you.

This goes alongside that but your rabbit does not need a rabbit buddy. I have a blog post about this in more detail. But the shortest way to make my point is do you want your rabbit to be buddies with you or another rabbit?

Rabbits are not pack animals. Let me say that again for the people in the back!

Rabbits are not pack animals!

They are loners and come together to do one thing. Make babies. So don’t feel guilty about it.

Sometimes The Rabbit Temperament Is In The Blood Lines

This tip will be of more use if you are involved in rabbit showing. Some bloodlines will have a tendency to be on the aggressive side because the breeders want to have the best body type possible so they won’t cull a rabbit that has too much natural aggression.

Other times it is just the breed. Some breeds are just hard to handle cough… checkered giants… cough, cough…

But if you are willing to put up with their shenanigans then get the breed you love.

Like any animal, on occasion, you might find that bad apple in these breeds I am going to recommend. That one rabbit was just downright mean and that does happen. If that is not a natural characteristic of that breed don’t be afraid to try the breed again.

What Was The Breed Ment For

Every breed and species was meant for something. And as animal owners or potential animal owners, you need to do your homework to understand what the bread was meant for so you don’t get in over your heads.

If they are a market animal (intended to be eaten) then it is not as big of a deal if they are friendly and easy to handle. A market rabbit is going to be are going to be gone in about 10 – 12 weeks anyway. Make sense?

Now I am not saying that all meat rabbits are nasty but they definitely have a tendency to be grouchy and not make the best pets.

Whether you are looking for a rabbit as a pet, 4h project, or to produce meat for your farm. You don’t want a breed that is a total jerk. Yes, jerk bunnies do exist.

You want to at least find something that will be easy to handle and not attack you if you do something it doesn’t like.

If you are looking for a project for meat check out my post on rabbit breeds with the best feed-to-meat conversions.

Best Rabbit Breeds For Pets

Here are several breeds that are not hard to find, naturally calm, and make good pets.

Keep in mind that I have not owned all of these breeds. But I do come in contact with them and get to see how most of these breeds react at shows and other events. I have not recommended any breeds that I have not seen in real life and gotten to see their natural behavior of the over all breed.

Just note that I don’t have pictures of some breeds because it is really hard to find purebred rabbit photos that I am allowed to use on my site. (If you own the breed listed and would like your rabbitry features please reach out on the contact page.

Lop Rabbit Breeds

Lop breeds on the whole are pretty clam by nature and would be a safe bet if you are looking for a good first time rabbit pet.

English Lop (have owned)

The English lop is definitely one of the best rabbits for pets. They do have some special needs because of their long ears so make sure to read up on them before you try to buy one.

The English Lop weighs a minimum of 10.5 pounds with no max weight. They have an ear span at a minimum of 21 inches from tip to tip for the breed.

Rabbit Temperament: They naturally have a very calm temperament and are good-natured, but are chewers. So if in a wood hutch you will need to make sure they cannot get to the door edges or corners they can get their mouth around. The breed will be lazy for the most part, however, they are also very curious and can become bored. Some kind of toys is recommended to help keep them entertained, if not you could have some behavioral issues show up due to boredom.

Con: There are two issues I would say that make this breed an issue. They love to chew so if you have them in wood cages they will destroy the cage. So wire is best.

The second one is their long ears. If you will keep them outside their ears are easily torn and also need to have protection from the cold because they will get wet and freeze to wire or get water on them and stick to the cage.

French Lop Personality (own currently)

french lop rabbits sitting on a table

French lops have a minimum of 11.5 pounds and no max weight so you can see as large as 18 pounds. Their body mass is huge compared to say a dog that weighs 18 pounds so make sure you get to see adults before you decide you want to have this breed.

I would say these are one of THE BEST rabbit breeds for a pet because they are really big and can handle a lot, but they are easy going and are not a jumpy breed.

Rabbit Temperament: French lops are like little dogs. Very good temperament and easy to care for. They are very big but will put up with a lot so they are a good breed for small children to sit on the floor next to them. Some animals of this breed enjoy to have a few toys but are often content being lazy and some will not even mess with a toy. Some like to through things like their food blows so it is best to have their feed secured to the cage.

Below is the type of bowl I water my big boys and girls out of and I COULD NOT live without them. They take a lot of abuse and are great for stomping out ice in the winter.

Con: The main issue with this breed due to their size and strength. they are VERY hard on cages and wire. I build my own cages and floors are needing replaced every other summer.

I don’t consider the size a con but you just have to make the choice for your family. I do think they are a great rabbit for kids BUT do to the size that can be an issue. So if you are willing to move the animal for your child then I think french lops would be great for kids.

If you want to learn more about the french lop rabbit bread read this post here.

Mini Lop Temperament (have owned)

mini lop rabbit

Mini lops have a minimum weight of 4.5 pounds and a max weight of 6.5 pounds for the breed. These guys are about half the weight of French lops and are often confused with Holland lops.

Temperament: Mini lops again are a very easy going breed, you might have the occasional fussy one but that is not normal for the breed. If you find one that seems to be naturally fussy you should consider a different animal.

Holland Lop Temperament

Holland lop rabbit personality
Holland lop rabbit personality

Image Cred: Jack & Birdie’s Rabbitry located in central Florida – Click to visit.

Holland lops have no minimum weight and have a max weight of 4 pounds for Sr. rabbits.

Rabbit Breed Temperament: These little guys are the best choice if you have little space and would like to keep a rabbit indoors. You would be hard-pressed to find an aggressive Holland lop. They are a good breed for a small child (8-12) who has the drive and will to start their own herd of rabbits. They are easy to manage and do not have the strength of a larger breed.

Con: I have heard that they are not the greatest breeders and struggle with having litters. This does depend on the bloodlines and sometimes years are just bad for breeding.

Looking for large hanging rabbit cages that let the waste fall to the ground? These are perfect for sheds, barns, or lean-to style hutches. Check these out.

Rabbit Breeds With Wool

These breeds are pretty easy going BUT You are getting yourself into a LOT of work if you choose to get a breed with wool. They need to be groomed at least weekly if not every few days. Some of the breeds may even need to be sheered.

English & FrenchAngora

English Angora Weight

  • Senior Bucks – 6 months of age and over should have a weight of 5-7lbs
  • Senior Does – 6 months of age and over should weigh 5-7.5lbs

French Angora Weight

  • Senior Bucks – 6 months of age and over should have a weight of 7.5-10.5lbs
  • Senior Does – 6 months of age and over should weigh 7.5-10.5lbs

The angoras are both very calm breeds and to be honest, are not supper active as adults. If you are wanting a breed to be entertaining then this is not it. But they are great calm rabbits.

Jersey Wooly

A close representation of the jersey wooly rabbit breed
  • Senior Bucks and Does – 6 months of age and over should not weigh over 3.5lbs

I had this breed as my starter breed when it came to showing and learning this whole world. They are a great small breed to start with. They do have a bit easier wool to deal with but do need more grooming than most rabbits.

Since they are smaller they do have a little more energy but should not be aggressive by nature.

American Fuzzy Lop

  • Senior Bucks and Does – 6 months of age and over should not weigh over 4lbs

American fuzzy lops have no minimum weight and have a max weight of 4 pounds for Sr. Rabbits.

Temperament: Again are a very good breed for small spaces or children but they do come with a little bit of extra work with the wool. They do need extra brushing or they will become matted if not groomed. Very calm but you can occasionally find a fuzzy lop that is a little more standoffish.

Other Friendly Rabbit Breeds

Mini Rex (have had)

Mini Rex has a minimum weight of 3 pounds and a max weight of 4.5 pounds for Sr. rabbits.

Temperament: This is another small breed that is not as laid back as the lop breeds but you can still get a good temperament in the breed if handled on a regular basis. They are slightly more jumpy but would not be a problem for even a young person to handle.

Here is a list of my favorite rabbit care tools list incase you missed it.

Netherland Dwarf (have had)

Netherland dwarfs have the smallest A.R.B.A. standard weight with a max weight of 2.5 pounds for Sr. rabbits.

Temperament: These little guys are energetic (so a slightly larger cage is recommended) but still have good temperaments for the most part. They are not naturally aggressive. They do make good pets for smaller spaces but still need room to move. If they feel confined in a cage that does not have enough space this can cause behavioral issues.

If you’re not sure if a rabbit breed will make a good pet ask a breeder.

Before you buy a rabbit and you are not sure if you will like the breed. Try to find a breeder that will give you all the info. If they are open and practically unload on you. Then you know they are being honest. But if they are short answered you might not be getting the full story.

It takes time to learn about animals. Don’t be in a rush if you’re not sure a breed is right for you.

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22 Comments

  1. They are not as easy to get a hold of but yes I think they are fine. They are a bit more laid back then even the mini rex just because of the size.

  2. Regular rex are fine as well. They are far less common and are a bit larger so make sure you get to handle them first before you buy.

  3. I think they are fine just a little more of an active breed. I would make sure to handle it before you buy or find one that is under 3 months old. They are not as attached to their breeder or owner at that age. When I buy rabbits over that point it takes me several months to get them to be ok with me. Some of it is they may not have been handled a lot but most often I am not the face they are used to seeing. Rabbits like their one person and their routines. So when you mess with that they hold a grudge for a while.

  4. How would i purchase and receive a Holland mini lop? I live in kansas.

  5. If you are on facebook then you should be able to find a facebook group for rabbits in your state. So try that first. You can also google holland lop breeders in Kansas but post often rabbit breeders don’t keep their site updated but you might be surprised. I know of a few breeders here in Ohio but most are nervous about shipping rabbits.

  6. We have a Netherland Dwarf and a Holland Lop.They are great bunnies to have very easy to take care of.

  7. I have a six month old mini Rex she is getting used to me I’ve had her since eight weeks old but she was sick for a little while should I breed her or should I Spay her

  8. Mini rex are breedable around 6 to 8 months old. Unless you plan to breed her once a year or so she will continue to have that hormone swing. It does go away after about 2-3 months of the most “grouchyness”. I would also recommend getting her fixed sooner rather than later. I have heard of people fixing a rabbit after they are a few years old and the mood doesn’t really get better because it still takes time for their body to get retrained essentially. I hope that makes sense. It is totally up to you what you want to do but breeding her just once won’t fix the mood issues long term.

  9. Which one do you think has the calmer temperament? I would think the Holland lop would be the calmer one of the two.

  10. Holland lops can be real jerks. Mine offer the companionship of a frog. Mine only care about food and deeply resent being handled (and find it terrifying–if I set one in my lap it is too terrified to even eat its favorite treat). Note that I do not carry them upside down. It isn’t just the lack of ability to be handled… they also do not show affection towards me at all. I’m sure it depends on the bloodline, but sheesh beware this breed.

  11. Oh yeah, that sounds like they are not the best bloodline. Some breeders are all about body type and if the animal looks good they will still keep it. I have seen some nasty french lops too but if there is a lot of attitude from them on a regular basis they are gone. Rabbits can cause a lot of damage even if they are small. So sorry you have to deal with that.

  12. I won a rabbit at the Florida State Fair, and knew nothing about rabbits. I have since read as much as possible, built an enormous house for him on my lanai, and he is free to roam the lanai most of the day. I took a great deal of time and caution, but my dog and 2 cats are all great with “Clover”. Clover is a pure bred English Spot, who comes when I call, and climbs into my lap. He has been a great addition to my critter family

  13. Oh that’s wonderful! I have met several English Spots and they do seem calmer than most breeds of that body type (racy, in the show world). I am so glad he makes a great pet. I think a lot of it also has to do with that he is a buck. They tend to be nicer no matter what the breed.

  14. Are you wondering which breed you would get cashmere from? That would be from the angora rabbits. They have good temperaments too I just did not add them to the list because they have such high maintenance. If you run across a grouchy one then definitely don’t buy it or get rid of it if you are breeding.

  15. I am deciding between an English Angora and a Himalayan bunny. Which one do you think will make the best house pet?

  16. I think bother are pretty calm but the angoras have MASSIVE hair. I remember a day at a rabbit show and we got to use the tables after the angoras…. Let’s just say our french lops came out looking like the angoras… So be prepared for that. I will also say with the himalayans that they are hard to find. Temperament wise they are both pretty chill.

  17. I acquired a 3yr old Holland lop from a breeder. I had her neuterd…one of the most affectionate animals I have ever had which I did not expect if I stop petting her she jumps in my lap and licks me like a puppy. I am retired and live alone so there is nothing to scare her but she is a great companion more then I expected.

  18. That’s awesome!!!! Lops really do have a good personality.

  19. We adopted a 6 month old single mane lionhead from a family whose daughter was allergic to hay. He just turned a year and we would love to get a companion for him. He is sweet and will sit on the back of the sofa next to my head and let me pet him. Occasionally he’ll let me put him in my lap, but for no more than a few minutes. Would you recommend a female? And if she’s not old enough to be spayed, would that be okay until she is? Do you have any compatible breed suggestions for us?

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