Miniature Lop (AKA Mini Lop) is a breed of domestic rabbit recognised by the British Rabbit Council (BRC). They are a small breed, although not quite a dwarf. Despite this, they can be quite stocky and robust. They have lop ears, as the name suggests and come in a wide range of beautiful colours.
As any prey animal, the Mini Lop can be sensitive to noise and sudden movement. They also don’t like being off the ground. Most Mini Lops can be calm and laid-back with sweet temperaments, however, this can also depend on the individual rabbit. We have found that boys can generally be more chilled out and enjoy affection more than girls. Mini lops make a good family pet, although will require time and regular contact to get the most from your little, long-eared companion.
Quick Facts about the Mini Lop Rabbit
|Species Name:||Oryctolagus Cuniculus|
|Temperament:||Even temper, energetic, playful, affectionate|
|Lifespan:||6 – 14 years|
|Size:||Small 1.2–1.5 kg (2 lb 10 oz–3 lb 5 oz)|
|Diet:||Hay, fruit, veg, herbs, pellets, nuggets|
|Minimum Cage Size:||5-6 foot|
|Cage Set-Up:||hutch/enclosure, bottle, bowl, bedding, toys|
|Compatibility:||Prefer to live in pairs|
Mini Lop Rabbit History
The Mini Lop in Britain is a relatively new rabbit breed, and it is descended from the first dwarf lops that were developed in the Netherlands during the 1970s. These are now called, in the US, the Holland Lop, but in the Netherlands, they are known as the Miniature Lop.
A Dutch rabbit breeder, Adriann de Cock, is generally credited with developing in late 1949 the dwarf lop breeds, by crossing the French Lop (one of the largest of the lop breeds) with the tiny Netherland Dwarf. Years of hard work paid off to produce the smallest of the lop breeds, and Holland Lops of approximately 2–2.5 kilograms (4.4–5.5 lb) were first shown in 1964.
In 1970, the Holland Lop breed society, composed of 12 breeders in the Netherlands, was established by Adriann de Cock, with the aim of breeding Holland Lops down to 1.5 kilograms (3.3 lb). Ten years later, these smaller Holland Lops were imported to Britain by George Scott of Yorkshire via a Dutch contact. After years of selective breeding among the smallest specimens, a new breed was developed and named the Miniature Lop, which was recognised by the British Rabbit Council in 1994, with a maximum weight of 1.6 kilograms (3.5 lb).
Typical Behavior & Temperament
As a Lop breed, the Mini Lop has a reputation for being very calm and affectionate. They are also great with children and adults alike and can be very playful and energic. The more attention you give this breed the more comfortable and affectionate they become. They do much better in pairs as they thrive off of companionship.
Appearance & Varieties
There are several accepted colour variations of Mini Lop rabbits. For more detailed descriptions of coloured check out this blog post HERE. The available colour groups are:
- Wide Band
- Tan Pattern
The Mini Lop will weigh no more than 3.5 pounds. Does are smaller than bucks and all are considered to be small, fuzzy, balls of fluff. Despite their size, the Mini Lop will be muscular and have a short and stocky neck. The rounded ears fall over the rabbit’s face and the rollback fur has a soft underlayer.
Do Mini Lops Get Along with Other Pets?
Mini Lops prefer to live as part of a bonded pair. You should give two rabbits time to get to know one another before putting them in the same enclosure, but once they have got acquainted, they will prove company for one another for their lifetime.
Rabbits are prey animals, and even Mini Lops, which have never lived in the wild, have a natural response. If they perceive danger, they will try to dart away. Potential danger can include loud noises, sudden movement, being lifted into the air and bright lights. Some have been known to get on with domestic cats and dogs, however, should you introduce your bunny to your pets do so with caution.