7 Best Breeds of Rabbits for First Time Bunny Owners

white and brown rabbit on a wooden floor.

So you want a pet bun, huh? Well, rabbits are just so darn adorable, so we’re not surprised. However, like with other pets, getting one that suits your personality and lifestyle boosts the chances that it will be smooth sailing for you and your fur baby most of the time. That’s why we came up with this list of the 7 best breeds of rabbits for first-time owners.     

See which of these cute and cuddly breeds will be the best match for you and your family:    

1. Mini Rex    

This good-natured rabbit breed often makes it to the list of the friendliest rabbits. That’s one reason why the Mini Rex is a popular pet among families, especially those looking for a first-time pet for their kids. A mutation in their genes makes this breed’s hair stick outwards instead of lying flat and smooth over the body. This quirk gives their coat a soft and velvety feel.    

Classified as a small breed, a grown-up Mini Rex can weigh between 3.5-4.5 pounds. They come in different colors (the breed has 20 official colors!), their ears are erect, and they have dark-colored eyes, usually brown or black.    

Calm, gentle and friendly, that’s what a Mini Rex bun is. Their easy-going personality makes them easy to care for, even for beginners. They also do well with kids, but some may object to being picked up too often.    

white and brown rabbit on a carpet.

2. Flemish Giant    

If the Mini Rex is on the small side, the Flemish Giant is its opposite as this bun breed belongs to the list of the biggest rabbits in the world. In fact, the record holder for the longest bun (size at full stretch) is a Flemish Giant. But don’t be deterred by their size as they are also called gentle giants because of their friendly nature. Their lovely disposition is one of the reasons Flemish Giants have become increasingly popular as pets and why we consider them one of the best breeds of rabbits for first-time owners. 

Because of their size, they can live safely with other furry companions, such as dogs or cats, making them ideal additions to multi-pet households.    

Flemish Giants do very well with kids. Due to their pleasant demeanor, they are a favorite among children everywhere.    

3. Lionhead Rabbit    

Energetic and friendly, this rabbit breed is easy to bond with, especially for those who are looking for an active companion.     

Lionheads are itty-bitty beauties. They’re a dwarf breed that weighs an ultra-light 1-1.5 kilograms fully grown. Giving them a unique appearance is the mane of hair around their neck, making them look like lions. Thus, the name Lionhead. They come in various colors, and some have a single mane while others have a double layer.    

As attractive as Lionheads are, they are not as easy to care for as other rabbit breeds. Their long fur needs regular grooming; otherwise, it can get matted or tangled. They also shed a lot during molting season, so maintaining their coat can be quite a chore.    

Still, if you want a bun with a unique look, then this rabbit breed might just be for you.    

4. New Zealand Rabbit    

Pet parents call them the Golden Retrievers of pet rabbits, which means that these buns are the perfect choice for first-time pet owners. They’re not only super friendly, but they also tend to stay calm and docile in most situations. Bonding won’t be a problem with this breed as they love humans. Because of their gentle demeanor, they get along well with children and other pets.    

Caring for New Zealand Rabbits is a breeze. Being impeccable groomers, these buns can keep themselves clean. Besides, their short hair requires only regular brushing to help with fur shedding anyway. They are on the large side, though, as they grow to around 10 pounds.    

white rabbit sniffing a box.

5. Holland Lop    

Their lop ears make this rabbit breed simply adorable. But that’s not the only reason why they made it to our list of the best rabbit breeds for first-time owners. Add to their irresistible appearance is the fact that Holland Lops are intelligent, friendly, curious, and energetic bundles of fur.    

They come in a compact size, weighing only 2-4 pounds in adulthood. That means they require less space than bigger rabbit types. But tiny though they may be, these buns are active cuties. They love to explore their surroundings and will enjoy playing games with their human.     

You’ll need to give them something to do, however. Otherwise, Holland Lops can get bored and resort to destructive behavior, such as chewing. Giving them chew toys will help release their pent-up energy.     

brown and white rabbit with a birthday cake.

6. Netherland Dwarf  

These buns are probably the smallest in our list as they weigh only between 1.1–2.5 pounds. They look like baby rabbits even when they’re adults, which makes them simply adorable.  

Most Netherland Dwarfs are playful and friendly, but they tend to spook quite easily. They also don’t enjoy being held too much. Still, with some patience, bonding with them won’t be a problem. 

Because of their size, you’ll need to handle Netherland Dwarfs with extra care, so they might not be good choices for families with small children.  

7. Dutch Rabbit  

No list of the best breeds of rabbits for for-time owners will be complete without the Dutch Rabbit because this bun type has most of the traits first-time pet parents love. They’re a medium-sized breed, meaning they’re not too small or too large. They’re friendly, and they can thrive both indoors and outdoors.  

Do you have other pets? Well, no worries there, as Dutch Rabbits can easily adjust to living with other furry companions.  

They do love to dig, though, so make sure you provide them with safe digging materials like cardboard, crumpled paper, and old rags.   

What about mixed-breed rabbits?     

Mixed breeds are the most common rabbits around because of all the cross-breeding between different bun types. A mixed-breed combines two or more rabbit breeds; thus, they can have mixed physical traits and personalities depending on their mixes.     

Mixed breed buns make excellent pets, too, just like purebred ones. Their temperament may be a bit difficult to pinpoint, but then, even with purebred buns, some don’t embody the personality of their breed.     

As you can see, there really is no best rabbit breed for first-time owners. We’ve given you some top choices, but picking the one that will suit your home and lifestyle will depend on your unique situation. All rabbits are adorable anyway, so whichever one you choose, you’re sure to have a charming companion.    

More on Breeds of Rabbits

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