The Holland Lop is one of the most popular rabbit breeds kept as pets, and are known for having a friendly, playful personality. They are an active and energetic breed that enjoys playing and being handled once bonded with their owners. Despite their activity levels, they adapt well to living in indoor cages and enclosures. These rabbits have a compact, stocky build with a rounded body shape. Their distinguishing feature is their dropped “lop” ears, which hang down on both sides of the head. Holland Lops are one of the smallest lop-eared breeds, weighing just 2-4 lbs. as adults. Overall, the Holland Lop is a great choice for those looking for a friendly and compact pet rabbit breed. Their manageable size, playful personality, and adorable lopped ears make them popular as both pets and show rabbits.

History and Breed Origin

The Holland Lop rabbits were developed by Adriann de Cock in the 1950s in Holland. He started by crossbreeding French Lops with Netherland Dwarf rabbits. De Cock’s goal was to create a dwarf lop breed with the compact size of the Netherland Dwarf and the signature lopped ears of the French Lop. The first Holland Lop litter was born in 1952. However, it took several years to stabilize the breed and achieve the signature Holland Lop appearance. By 1964, the Holland Lop was accepted as a breed by the Dutch National Rabbit Club. The Holland Lop grew in popularity over the years and made its way to other countries. It was first imported to the United States in 1976 by breeders Dave and Ann Segura. The American Rabbit Breeders Association recognized the Holland Lop as a new breed in 1979.

Over the years, breeders have continued to refine the Holland Lop, working to improve the breed standard. Today, the Holland Lop is known for its sweet temperament and balanced body type. It is one of the more popular lop-eared rabbit breeds kept as pets.

Appearance and Size

The Holland Lop is a compact, well-muscled rabbit with a rounded body type. They have a full heavy head with a broad forehead, and short erect ears.

Size – The Holland Lop is a small-sized rabbit breed. The maximum weight for a senior buck is 4 lbs. and for a senior doe is 3.5 lbs.

Body Type – Holland Lops have a compact, well rounded body. They have broad shoulders and hips. Their body shape is semi-arch, meaning they have a rounded midsection. The rump is plump and well filled out.

Head – The head of the Holland Lop is bold and broad. It has a pronounced width between the eyes. The crown of the head is large, full, and rounded. The cheeks are well filled. The muzzle is short and thick.

Ears – One of the most distinctive features of the Holland Lop is the short, erect ears. The ears stand upright and are thick, well furred, and rounded at the tips. The inside of the ears match the color on the back.

Coat – The coat of the Holland Lop is dense, roll back fur that is approximately 2-3 inches in length. It feels plush, soft to the touch, and rolls back from the head to the tail causing the rabbit to appear rounded. The fur on the belly is long and full.

Colors – Holland Lops come in a wide variety of color varieties and patterns. Solid colors include black, blue, chocolate, lilac, chestnut agouti, opal, chinchilla, tortoise, and more. Broken pattern varieties include broken black, broken chocolate, broken tortoise, among others. Pointed white patterns like butterfly are also seen.

Temperament

The Holland Lop is known for having a very docile, sweet, and laidback temperament. They tend to be more interested in cuddling with their owners than playing and exploring. This breed is very calm and gentle, making them ideal house rabbits and good pets for families with children. Holland Lops form very strong bonds with their owners and seek out companionship and affection. They love to be petted and cuddled. Many Holland Lop owners comment on how their rabbits will snuggle up in their lap while they watch TV or read a book. Some Holland Lops even enjoy resting on their backs in the arms of their owners, looking utterly content.

While docile, Holland Lops are also quite smart and can be trained. They are usually food-motivated, so positive reinforcement training with treats works very well. With patience and consistency, Holland Lops can learn tricks and commands. Holland Lops tend to get along well with other rabbits and animals. It’s ideal to bond and pair Holland Lops with other mellow rabbit breeds. Having another docile companion helps keep Holland Lops content. They appreciate having a partner to snuggle and groom with. Overall, the Holland Lop is one of the sweetest, most easy-going rabbit breeds. Their affectionate personality makes them a delightful pet for both adults and children. They thrive in calm environments where they receive frequent petting, cuddling, and quality bonding time with their owners.

Care and Feeding

The Holland Lop is a relatively small rabbit breed, weighing between 2-4 lbs. as an adult. As such, their dietary and housing needs differ from larger rabbit breeds.

Diet and Nutrition

Holland Lops should be fed a diet comprised primarily of timothy hay, which provides fiber needed for good digestion. They should also have access to fresh clean water at all times. In addition to unlimited hay, Holland Lops can be fed a measured amount of rabbit pellets and fresh vegetables daily. Pellets should make up less than 20% of their diet. Look for a pellet formula specifically for dwarf breeds. Recommended vegetables include dark leafy greens like kale and romaine lettuce, vegetables like carrots and broccoli, and small amounts of treats like apples or bananas. Avoid feeding high-calorie treats. With their small size, Holland Lops have a fast metabolism and need to eat frequently throughout the day to maintain weight. Monitor their food intake and body condition score regularly. Read this article on all the foods that are good and bad for rabbits!

Exercise Needs

Holland Lops are energetic and benefit from at least 1-2 hours of playtime daily outside their enclosure where they can run and jump freely. Supervise exercise time and rabbit-proof any space they will have access to. Provide toys in their enclosure like tunnels, chew toys, and puzzle feeders. Due to their short ear carriage, Holland Lops often lean or tip over. Avoid exercise wheels with slatted rungs which could catch their ears.

Housing

Holland Lops need a habitat at least 4 times their adult size – approximately 8 square feet for a single rabbit. The enclosure should be tall enough for them to stand fully upright on their hind legs without hitting their head. Include a hiding box where they can retreat and feel secure. The habitat flooring should be solid and easy to clean – options include recycled paper bedding, fleece blankets, or woven grass mats. Avoid wire flooring which can cause injury. Litter train your Holland Lop to contain waste in one area. Holland Lops are sensitive to temperature extremes due to their small size. Keep their environment between 60-75°F. Provide fans for air circulation and frozen water bottles for cooling in summer and hide boxes packed with straw for warmth in winter.

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Health and Medical Issues

The Holland Lop is generally a sturdy and healthy breed, but they are prone to a few health issues that prospective owners should be aware of. Some of the more common health problems seen in Holland Lops include:

Malocclusion: This is a misalignment of the teeth and jaws that can lead to overgrown or misaligned teeth. It’s caused by genetics and is common in lop-eared breeds. Regular dental checks are important to catch and treat malocclusion early.

Ear infections: The floppy ears of the Holland Lop can trap moisture and debris inside the ear canal, leading to yeast and bacterial infections. Cleaning the ears regularly can help prevent infections.

Sore hocks: With their compact body shape, Holland Lops can be prone to sore hocks from sitting in one position too long. Providing soft bedding can help prevent this. Check out this article here for more about sore hocks.

Obesity: Holland Lops love their food and can easily become overweight if overfed. Sticking to a measured diet and limiting treats is important.

Respiratory infections: Like other short-nosed breeds, Holland Lops can be prone to snuffly noses and respiratory infections. Good husbandry and avoiding drafts is important.

Fleas: The dense coat of a Holland Lop makes them prone to flea infestations. Regular flea treatment is advised.

The average lifespan of a Holland Lop is 7-10 years. With proper care, diet, and health monitoring, they can live happily into their senior years. Finding a reputable breeder who screens for genetic issues can help stack the odds for a healthy bunny. Overall, Holland Lops are quite sturdy as long as their needs are met.

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Baby Holland Lop rabbit

Breeding Holland Lop Rabbits

Holland Lops are one of the most popular rabbit breeds to breed because of their sweet personality and popular “teddy bear” appearance. Here are some key things to know about breeding Holland Lops:

Reproductive Specifics – Holland Lops reach reproductive maturity around 4-6 months of age. The gestation period for Holland Lops is 28-35 days, with an average litter size of 4-6 kits.

Birthing Process – It’s important to prepare a nesting box for the doe about 25 days into the pregnancy. The doe will pull fur to create a warm nest for the kits. Labor usually lasts under 30 minutes, and the doe will nurse the kits for 5-10 minutes right after birth. Kits are born deaf and blind.

Finding a Mate – When finding a mate for your Holland Lop doe, look for a buck that complements her type and addresses any faults. Avoid extreme features like very short faces or ears. Seek out health testing results for both rabbits and review pedigrees.

Care of Pregnant Doe – Feed the doe a high quality diet with unlimited hay, and monitor her weight closely. Make sure she gets nesting material about 3-5 days before her due date. Provide a nursery box with a lip for the kits. Check on the doe often as her due date approaches.

Caring for Kits – Kits will nurse from their mother until about 8 weeks old. Handle the kits gently and minimally during this time. Make sure the nest stays clean and dry. Check that each kit is nursing. Supplement with kitten formula if needed. Weigh kits regularly to ensure they are growing.

Choosing a Holland Lop Rabbit

When choosing a Holland Lop rabbit, finding a responsible and ethical breeder is the most important thing. Here are some tips on what to look for and questions to ask:

What to Look for in a Breeder

Clean facilities – The breeding area and cages should be clean, organized, and free of foul odors. The rabbits should not be overcrowded.

Healthy rabbits – All the rabbits should appear alert and active, with bright eyes, clean fur and no discharge from eyes or nose. Their bottoms should be clean as well.

Knowledgeable – The breeder should have extensive knowledge about the Holland Lop breed and rabbit care in general. They should ask you questions too to ensure you will properly care for one of their rabbits.

Socialized rabbits – Well-socialized rabbits that have been handled frequently make the best pets. The rabbits should not seem fearful around people.

Pedigrees – Reputable breeders will provide pedigrees showing ancestry and health history for at least 3 generations.

Registrations – Good breeders will have certificates for ARBA registration for their rabbits.

Health guarantees – There should be guarantees against genetic defects and the breeder should be willing to take rabbits back if any issues arise.

Questions to Ask the Breeder

  • How long have you been breeding Holland Lop rabbits?
  • Do you show your rabbits? Have any won awards?
  • What diet do you feed the rabbits?
  • How often are the rabbits handled and socialized?
  • Do you have pedigrees showing ancestry? Can I see health and genetic testing results?
  • What is your policy if I can no longer care for the rabbit?
  • What is the health guarantee?
  • Can I meet the parents of the litter?
  • How old are the kits I’m looking at and when can I take one home?
  • What supplies do you recommend I have for caring for a Holland Lop?

By asking questions and evaluating the breeder’s practices, you can better ensure you choose a happy, healthy Holland Lop that was responsibly bred. Be prepared to provide a good forever home for your new rabbit friend!

Bringing Home Your Holland Lop Rabbit

Preparing your home before bringing home your new Holland Lop is important to help the rabbit feel comfortable and safe in their new environment.

Here are some tips:

  • Rabbit proof the area where you plan to keep your Holland Lop. Remove any cables, toxic plants, or small objects that could be chewed and cause harm.
  • Create a space just for your rabbit. Ideally this would be a large pen or enclosed area that gives them room to move around and stretch their legs. Place a litter box with rabbit-safe litter in one corner.
  • Add a hiding box or enclosure where your rabbit can retreat if they feel scared. An upside-down cardboard box with a hole cut in it works well. Place some hay inside for bedding.
  • Gather supplies like food and water bowls, toys, a brush, and treats. Set these up in the rabbits designated area.
  • If you have other pets, properly introduce them to your Holland Lop. Keep the rabbit separate at first so the pets can get used to each other’s smells and sounds. Slowly allow supervised interactions until you can confirm they get along.

Bonding with your new Holland Lop and earning their trust will take time and patience. Sit near their pen and talk softly to get them used to you. Offer treats by hand so they associate you with positive experiences. Once settled in, let your rabbit explore your home in a safe, supervised way. Spend time petting, handling, and playing with them daily. Consistency and affection will build a close relationship between you and your rabbit.

For more information on caring for your new rabbit, read our article here.

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Training and Handling Holland Lops

Litter Training

Litter training Holland Lop rabbits is relatively easy compared to other breeds. Start by placing your Holland Lop’s litter box in the corner of their hutch or cage where they most often do their business. Place a handful of rabbit-safe litter like CareFresh or yesterday’s news in the box. Whenever you see your Holland Lop use the bathroom outside their litter box, gently pick up the droppings, and place them in the litter box. This helps establish the scent and trains them that the litter box is the proper place to go. Clean the litter box daily to encourage usage. Over time, your Holland Lop will learn to use their litter box consistently. Offer praise and a small treat when they use the box to reinforce the behavior. With patience and consistency, you can successfully litter train your Holland Lop.

Teaching Tricks

Holland Lops are smart, social rabbits that enjoy learning tricks. Start training early, around 3-4 months old. Keep sessions brief to maintain interest. Use positive reinforcement with treats and praise to teach easy tricks first, like coming when called, standing up, or spinning in a circle. Use a verbal cue like “spin” and guide your rabbit with a treat. Mark and reward correct behaviors immediately. Other fun tricks include jumping through a hoop, ringing a bell, or doing a “high five”. Clicker training can help rabbits learn faster. Advanced tricks like walking on hind legs or jumping into your arms require more time and patience. Make training enjoyable with variety and end on a good note. Well-trained Holland Lops enjoy showing off their skills!

Nail Trimming

Nail trimming prevents overgrown claws and keeps Holland Lops healthy. Get your rabbit comfortable being handled first, and be sure to have styptic powder on hand in case of bleeding. Try to trim their nails every 4-6 weeks. Bunny burritos (wrapping in a towel) can help restrain wriggly rabbits. Have someone assist by comforting and feeding treats. Trim just the sharp tip of the nail in small increments. Aim for the lighter quick rather than darker vein to avoid hitting the blood vessel. Use guillotine or scissor clippers designed for rabbits. Rotary tools are another option, but they require caution since they can easily cause harm to both you and your rabbit. Give lots of praise and banana bites after for good behavior. With regular trims from a young age, Holland Lops become accustomed to having their nails trimmed.


Frequently Asked Questions

Holland Lop Rabbits make great pets in calm environments. They are very docile and enjoy cuddling with their owners and other rabbits. Like with all rabbits, be sure your children are responsible enough to take care of them daily. Always supervise children with any rabbit, and as long as they are gentle, Holland Lops will make great pets for all ages.

Holland Lops enjoy being cuddled. As with any rabbit, you should not try to them up without having created a solid bond as to not cause accidental injury. It’s best to start by sitting on the ground and letting the rabbit come onto your lap. Holland Lops will gladly hop up and snuggle up with you.

Holland Lops typically live between 6 to 8 years, but with great care they could possibly live longer. Things like spaying/neutering, decreasing their environmental stress, healthy food, and lots of exercise are some examples of things that can help your Holland Lop live longer.

Yes! Holland Lops are a docile and gentle rabbit breed. As long as they are not stressed or scared they are quite calm.

The Holland Lop is a small-sized rabbit breed. The maximum weight for a senior buck is 4 lbs. and for a senior doe is 3.5 lbs.

Similar to other rabbit breeds, unlimited timothy hay, pellets making up 20% of their diet, and fresh vegetables. Treats should be given sparingly, because of Holland Lops small size they are more at risk of obesity.

Holland Lops require the same basic care as all rabbits do. Read our article going over rabbit care!

Timothy hay, natural pellets, fresh vegetables, with some fruits and treats. Read our article on all the foods that are ok for rabbits!


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