Dutch Rabbit

Dutch rabbit on the grass

The border between the coloured areas of the Dutch Rabbit appears almost as if drawn with a ruler.

Rabbit experts know that the Dutch Rabbit is a special breed, because it is the only rabbit with its unique coat pattern. As well, it impresses breeders and owners with an even-tempered character. Get to know these long-eared beauties in the breed profile.

Appearance of the Dutch Rabbit

Dutch Rabbits have a short, stocky body. Their head is also short and the forehead and snout are broad. Their cute ears with an average length of 10 centimetres are usually raised high.

The head segues into an even back line, rounded at the end. The tail, known as a flower, sits at the rabbit's rear end and lies straight to the body.

Dutch Rabbit colours and markings

These small Dutch Rabbits are something rather special – that is clear upon first glance. This small rabbit breed is the only one with its unique markings, which have come to be known as the Dutch pattern.

The short, dense fur is covered with large, continuous patches of colours in white and one or two other colours. Whilst the ears, cheeks and neck are covered with the coloured head markings, the facial fur remains white. This white area known as the blaze starts in a point on the forehead, runs between the eyes and becomes wider towards the snout.

The shoulders, forelegs and front part of the hind legs are also white, whilst the rump markings cover the entire rear part of the rabbit's body.

There are 12 permitted colour tones for these rabbits. These include, for instance, black and white, grey and white in different gradations, yellow and white or harlequin and white.

Are Dutch Rabbits a dwarf breed?

How big do Dutch Rabbits actually great? In principle, they are small, compact and extremely cute – but they aren't classed as dwarf rabbits. Unlike these mini rabbits, which weigh a maximum of 2kg, the weight of Dutch Rabbits is between 2 and maximum 3.25kg, therefore they are classed as a small rabbit breed.

Character: How do Dutch Rabbits behave?

Little Dutch Rabbits don't just win over breeders and owners with their unique fur pattern. Their good nature and even temper also helps them to shine. They are trusting, very intelligent and playful and curious to boot.

All these qualities make these sweet rabbits loving companions that you want to play and spend plenty of time with.

Housing: A species-appropriate life for your Dutch Rabbit

These friendly rabbits with attractive markings are wonderfully suited for keeping at home – as long as species-appropriate conditions are in place there. Even small breeds like the Dutch Rabbit need enough space. They can also be kept outdoors without any issues.

With plenty of patience and attention, you can even keep your rabbit at home with dogs under certain circumstances – providing that the dogs are well-trained. However, living together with fellow rabbits is more species-appropriate.

Keep in mind: Since rabbits can produce several litters per year, you should consider getting your rabbit castrated or neutered.

The perfect home for these rabbits

It's important that these little hoppers get plenty of outdoor access. The Veterinary Association for Animal Welfare stipulates a surface area of at least 6m2 for two rabbits so they have enough space to hop and frolic around.

Hence, keeping rabbits outdoors is ideal. You can leave the set-up for your new companion's enclosure to your imagination. Simply make sure to keep it clean and put together a rabbit starter pack, which should contain the following:

The zooplus online store offers a wide range of outdoor enclosures. You will also find there intelligence toys to test your rabbit's brains.

A pair of domesticated dutch rabbits
Dutch Rabbits are sociable and are happiest when they can share their home with other rabbits.

Tips for grooming a Dutch Rabbit

A fair amount of undercoat is hidden beneath these little rabbits' beautiful fur pattern. So your treat your pet occasionally to a little grooming session when you gently comb its fur, in order to prevent matting and skin diseases.

Rabbits in outdoor enclosures don't need any special claw care, since their claws wear down naturally. In contrast, regular claw maintenance is compulsory for rabbits kept indoors. You can handle claw care yourself if you're careful or leave to your vet.

Diet: What do Dutch Rabbits most like to eat?

Rabbits mainly feed off fresh green fodder in the wild. Accordingly, you should offer your Dutch Rabbit fresh grass and vegetables along with hay and occasionally some fruit.

A balanced and consistent diet is important for your little rabbit, since this allows you to prevent digestion problems and malpositioned teeth. Tree branches further promote dental health.

We have summarised in a separate article on rabbit diet how you can effortlessly feed rabbits in a species-appropriate way.

Health: How Dutch Rabbits keep fit

Dutch Rabbits show no particular anomalies regarding their health. Like other rabbits though, they are prone to digestive disorders and dental problems. You can prevent these complaints with the right nutrition.

Regular trips to the vet and attentively observing these furry friends also ensures that you can recognise changes in health and react in good time.

You can effectively contribute to your rabbit living a long and healthy life by getting it vaccinated.

What age do Dutch Rabbits reach?

If kept in the right way, rabbits typically reach around 8 years of age – this applies to Dutch Rabbits too.

Life expectancy of course depends on your loving care and your rabbit's health. If all the right factors are in place, rabbits can absolutely live to the age of 10 or older.

Buying a Dutch Rabbit: What you need to know

Have Dutch Rabbits won your heart with their unique fur pattern? Then you can get searching for at least two rabbits with breeders, private owners or in animal shelters.

The wellbeing of the animals is always crucial. If possible, take a close look where they live. Find out as much as possible about the integrity of the breeder and the health of the rabbits.

Once you have finally found your new companion, nothing stands in the way of gently getting your rabbit settled in.

Origin: Does the breed really come from the Netherlands?

The Dutch Rabbit breed was founded in Britain. Their ancestors, pied Brabant rabbits, were bred as slaughter animals predominantly in what is now the Netherlands and Belgium.

They were exported to Britain, amongst other places, where their unusual fur pattern soon found many fans amongst British breeders.

As Dutch Rabbits, these beauties finally made their way back to the mainland and to Germany, where they were first exhibited in 1891. Present-day Dutch Rabbits correspond almost unchanged in form to the breed standard described in 1898.

Incidentally, the typical Dutch pattern is a mutation also found in wild rabbits. Hence, the first depictions of these bicolour rabbits already appeared in paintings from the 15th century.

Conclusion: Unique amongst rabbit breeds

Their beautiful pattern makes Dutch Rabbits unique. However, they also score points easily with inner values. If treated right, these loving rabbits are soon trusting and can therefore enrich families too.

In return, in order to fill your little rabbit's life with joy, you need enough time for extensive activity with it, along with our tips on housing and care.

Find anything else you may need with a few clicks in the zooplus Rabbit Store.

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