Holland Lop Rabbit – information and facts about the Holland Lop Rabbit Breed. Learn more about Holland Lop Rabbits in this article. Breed photos are included.
Widely popular for its flat face and floppy ears, Holland Lop is probably not just the favorite breed across America, but the entire world. Many countries that employ the ARBA standards call this breed Holland Lop, such as the US, Canada, Japan, and Malaysia. For other countries that use the British Rabbit Council standards, such as the UK, Australia and the New Zealand, they call it the Miniature Lop.
The Holland Lop, as its name suggests, came from the Netherlands. In the year 1964, Netherlands’ Governing Rabbit Council officially recognized the Holland Lop. As a result of successive developments and a series of importation of the breed to the United States, the American Rabbit Breeders’ Association recognized the Holland Lop in the year 1979.
Holland Lops are widely popular for rabbit pet owners, mainly because of their sweet temperament as well as non-aggressiveness. However, they also have the tenacity of that of a dog.
Holland Lop Rabbit Facts
The history of the Holland Lop rabbit breed in the United States is widely recorded. During the early years, a rabbit enthusiast named Aleck Brook played a special role in the importation of Holland Lops to the United States.
But the other angle of the history looks at the history of the rise of Holland Lops across Europe.
The Holland Lop, also dubbed as the Dwarf Lop, is a Dutch rabbit breed developed by Adriann de Cock, a resident of Tilburg, Netherlands. In the year 1964, the Netherlands’ Governing Rabbit Council adopted a full standard of perfection for the breed.
Adriann de Cock has been breeding Tan breeds for a long time then. But he’s also very vocal in his interest for the Netherland Dwarf and the French Lop breeds. However, he thinks that the French Lop was ‘handicapped’ due to its large size. In order to address this concern in size, between the years 1949 and 1950, he tried breeding a male French Lop with a female Netherland Dwarf, a small breed. This endeavor failed.
In the year 1951, he tried mating a French Lop doe and a Dwarf buck, which resulted in a litter of six bunnies. The six bunnies all have possessed erect or normal ear carriage, with the Dwarf’s small closed ears being in dominance. This set of offspring has an important role in the succeeding mating that resulted to the Holland Lops that we have today.
One of the does from the litter was bred to a male Sooty Fawn colored English Lop. This breeding resulted into five young offspring. From this set, one of the does has a lopped ear carriage, the other to being normal, and the remaining bunny being half-lopped. However, the aggressiveness of the fully lopped female bunny led to its unsuccessful breeding.
De Cock tried another breeding, this one involving a one lopped ear doe and a buck from the first litter. At the same time, the female rabbits from the first breeding were also bred with the male bunnies from the second breeding. These series of breeding resulted in a couple of lop-eared rabbits, which were later on interbred.
This interbreeding also affected the sustenance of the traits that de Cock wanted to preserve in his breeding due to the infusion of the blood of the English Lop. Yet, this did not constrain de Cock to develop his very first Holland Lop.
In the year 1955, de Cock finally had his Holland Lop that weighs around 2.5 to 3 kg. It was in the year 1964 when he presented four of his rabbits for acceptance. Each of his four rabbits weighs less than 2 kg.
The demand for Holland Lop soared, overwhelming the supply available. It’s also during this hype when the “fast buck merchants” were already requesting for an increase in the weight allowances of the Holland Lop – from 2 kg to 2.5 kg. And in the year 1970, de Cock, along with twelve other avid supporters of the breed, founded the Holland Lop Specialty Club. One of the major aims of the club is to breed the upper weight of the lop down to 1.5 kg, as it is in the status quo.
The rising popularity of the Holland Lop has lead to its immediate worldwide distribution. The Dutch stock has made available the distribution of the breed all throughout the European continent, prominently Belgium. Germany and Denmark also have acceptance rates of the breed, with preference on medium-sized “Mini Lop”. Switzerland and France have brought about the popularity of the breed in Italy. The breed has reached Asia with the coming of the Japanese stock via Denmark.
The coming of the Holland Lop in the United States is done in a slow transition. The Dutch lines have produced the Madagascar (Sooty Fawn/Tort) and the Sable point. These two varieties are the two most favored colors in the Holland Lops. Madagascar, which shows the dark tortoise, is the original color of the breed. Tortoise is the most common variety of Holland Lops today.
There are also other varieties, namely the blue-eyed white, tricolored, and the other less popular ones which are considered “colored Hollands”.
Today, the Holland Lop is considered as one of the most popular rabbit breeds for show and pets ever since.
2. Characteristics and Appearance
The Holland Lop is a very cute rabbit. It’s literally a small compact breed. Male Holland Lops must be 6 months or older to be called senior. They also should weigh not over 1.81 kg or 4 pounds. For the junior bucks, they need to be under 6 months and a minimum weight of 0.91 kg or 2 pounds. While the ideal weight is 3 pounds, breeders of the Hollands find themselves pushing the weight into 4 pounds, in a bid to have a thicker bone and more solid, heavyweight bodies.
Their bodies are short, muscular and thickset and comes with rounded haunches and short, strong legs. Its shoulders are nearly of equal depth and width with the hindquarters. When the Holland Lop is properly type, its heads are set high on the shoulders. The head should not be pushed down to the table, especially when judging. The best way is to just allow the rabbit to showcase its natural head mount.
Ideally, the head is described as broad and bold with a strongly curved profile. The broad and thick ears complement the body as it hangs beside the broad head.
The ears are often likened to tear drops because it is thick, short and round. The ears can be a subject to many disqualifications, such as thin ears, rolled ears, or a tight crown. A tight crown causes the ears to stick out to the sides instead of falling against the head’s sides.
The dense coating of Holland Lops is its soft and hair of medium length. It is classifieds as a gentle rollback. It’s also important to note that coating does not hold much bearing in the point system of the Holland Lop.
During rabbit competitions, all of the colors are to be shown as solid and broken. And the recognized colors within a group are not judged separately. The varieties of Holland Lop are divided into 8 groups: Self, Shaded, Agouti, Tan, Wide Band, Pointed White, Ticked and Broken. The broken color is any color in conjunction with white.
Some rabbit breeders focus in developing the color of the breed. Their aim is to beat the torts variety.
Overall, the rabbit should have a gigantic look while still being a small rabbit. And with the nice personalities of Hollands, which people all over the world have loved, there still is a long future for this flag bearer of the rabbits.