One look at a lop-eared rabbit can melt your heart. Well, all rabbits have high cuteness quotients, but some bun lovers can’t resist those with lop ears. Maybe it’s because those floppy ears make rabbits look more endearing. But have you wondered how many breeds of lop eared rabbits exist? There are quite a few. However, only 5 are recognized by the American Rabbit Breeding Association (ARBA), while 9 made it to the British Rabbit Council (BRC) listings.
What Are Lop-eared Rabbits?
As their name implies, lop rabbits have ears that flop over the side instead of standing upright like other breeds (check out the differences between two common lop breads here). So even though almost all buns have moments when one ear droops to the side, a true lop means their ears are always in that position.
Their genetic makeup is the reason. The hearing appendages of this rabbit breed are longer and thicker compared to their erect-eared kins. The length and heft make the ears flop to the side, giving the bun types their trademark cuteness overload look.
5 Breeds of Lop Eared Rabbits
Around 19 breeds of lop rabbits exist, but not all made it to ARBA’s listing. Here are those that the organization recognizes:
1. The Mini Lop
Also referred to as the Dwarf Lop, this breed is not as small as you may imagine. Despite the term mini or dwarf attached to them, these buns can weigh around 5 ½ to 6 ½ pounds. Moreover, they have a muscular body, with thick legs and broad shoulders. They’re not itty-bitty balls of fluff, right?
Mini Lops come in various colors. However, not all of these pass ARBA standards for showing. The colors recognized by the association include agouti, ticked, shaded, and wideband.
2. The American Fuzzy Lop
Just by the name, we’re sure you can tell what distinguishes an American Fuzzy. This bun breed is exceptionally fluffy, with fur that grows at least 2 inches long. The American Fuzzy looks like the Holland Lop but has a coat that’s similar to the Angora breeds. This bun type is relatively compact, reaching only 4 pounds in adulthood.
The color groups recognized by ARBA for showing are pointed white, agouti, broken, and shaded.
3. The English Lop
This is the oldest breed of lop rabbits in existence. They’re hefty rabbits, with the average bun weighing around 11 to 12 pounds in adulthood. Their ears are quite distinctive when it comes to length. Those appendages typically reach 21 inches on average and may even grow up to 25 inches.
The color groups for showing are broken, shaded, agouti, ticked, and wideband (with or without markings).
4. The Holland Lop
The Holland Lop is the smallest among the breeds of lop rabbits. A grown-up bun should weigh only between 2 and 4 pounds to be accepted in the show ring. Holland Lops who weigh more than 4 pounds won’t be able to enter shows, but they still make excellent pets.
Recognized color groups for showing include broken white, agouti, shaded, ticked, pointed, tan pattern, and wideband.
5. The French Lop
If the Holland Lop is the smallest lop-eared breed, the French Lop is the largest. The adults tip the scales at around 10 to 13 pounds. They have a dense, shiny coat, and their ears can reach over a foot long.
French Lops for show come in the following pattern: agouti, shaded, broken self, ticked and wideband.
Caring for Lop Breeds
Breeds of lop rabbits require almost the same care as other bun types. However, they’re more prone to some ailments, such as oral issues, ear infections, and obesity. Taking good care of your pet is an excellent way of preventing those problems.
Caring for the Ears
Breeds of lop rabbits have long ears, making them prone to infection and parasitic infestations. Their narrow ear canals can cause ear wax and debris to collect and harden, which sometimes leads to infection.
Due to their ear length, buns belonging to this breed have difficulty keeping their ears clean. This gives parasites, such as ear mites, to burrow deep inside and create all sorts of health issues.
Check and clean your bun’s ears regularly to keep him healthy. You can use an ear cleaning solution, but consult your vet before you do so.
Caring for the Teeth
Compared to erect-eared buns, lop rabbits have shorter skulls. The shorter dimension sometimes leads to misalignment of the teeth and jaws. In turn, the misalignment increases the chances of dental issues. Regularly checking your bun’s teeth will help you spot dental problems before they become more serious.
How to Check Your Rabbit’s Teeth
Include a thorough inspection of your bun’s teeth in your routine. Here’s how to go about it.
- Feel your bun’s cheeks: Carefully manipulate your pet’s cheeks. Feel for bumps or sharp points that may indicate overly long teeth.
- Examine the front teeth: Gently lift your rabbit’s gums. Look for overgrown teeth or teeth that curl inwards.
- Check for signs of tooth problems: Other symptoms of dental trouble include drooling, bad breath, loss of appetite, or changes in eating patterns.
Maintaining Your Rabbit’s Weight
Most lop breeds have a mix of French Lop where they got their stocky build along with the tendency to gain weight. Like humans, obesity makes rabbits prone to ailments, such as heart disease and arthritis. You’ll want your bun to maintain an ideal weight, and you can help him by providing a healthy diet. Another way is by giving him plenty of chances to move around.
A rabbit’s enclosure should have plenty of space so he can hop and jump inside. Three to four times the length of your bun is the correct size. But bigger is better. In addition to providing a large enclosure, you’ll want your bun to get plenty of exercise time. Two or more hours a day work best.
Breeds of lop rabbits are so adorable you might find it hard to resist having one for a pet. After reading about these bun types, ask yourself if you’re ready to take on the responsibility of caring for them.
More on Rabbit Breeds
- How Long Do Flemish Rabbits Live: Giant Breed Facts
- Are Rabbits Rodents? Find Out More About These Small Mammals
- How Long Do Holland Lop Rabbits Live?
- All About Bunnies with Red Eyes: Why and How They Get Red Eyes
- Which Rabbits Make Better Pets: Males or Females?
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