The Holland Lop was created in the Netherlands by Adriann de Cock whose purpose was to have the results of a miniature French lop. This was done by breeding French Lops with the Netherland Dwarf, and strengthening the lop gene by adding in some English Lop blood. The breed was accepted by the Netherlands Governing Rabbit Council in (NRC) 1964 and by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) in 1979. The British equivalent of this breed is the Miniature Lop, which is recognized by the British Rabbit Council (BRC). However, this breed can be smaller than their Dutch relative. Additionally, the Miniature Lop, found in the U.K., should not be confused with the American Mini Lop, which is a different breed of rabbit altogether.
What is a Holland Lop?
This is a small, compact breed of rabbit which has a short, stocky body, a broad head, with a well- defined crown (or puff of fur/cartilage) at the back of the head, and the ears are lopped (hanging downwards rather than standing erect). Their fur is short, dense, and glossy when in good condition. Holland’s typically weigh between 2 – 4 pounds. This breed is very popular and well known for having a sweet temperament and therefore they are often a favorite breed to have as a pet, as they tend to do well with children.
How do I care for a Holland Lop?
Holland Lops are small and easy to handle and require only basic grooming. They do well with weekly brushings, and regular nail trimmings being done on the average of once per month. They also do well on a wire-bottomed surface in their cage; which assists in keeping their fur clean, & as with all rabbits, they should not be bathed. Otherwise, they should be in a cage that is a minimum of 18”x24”, however “the bigger the better” is always a great rule of thumb to follow in regards to cage space.
Their diet should primarily consist of timothy hay, plus a good, high quality pellet feed, as well as clean, fresh drinking water. Giving treats is ok, as long as it is done so in moderation and only with rabbit-safe items. Additionally, they always appreciate a good ‘chewy’, such as an untreated chunk of wood or a few willow or fruit tree twigs. They also tend to be fans of playing with pet-safe toys, which could be bought at local pet stores, or even made from recycled household items such as empty/cardboard toilet paper or paper towel rolls. And as it also is with any rabbit, they do require attention. No rabbit should be just tossed into a cage and left there. They are social animals that need exercise and they thrive on companionship. It is suggested that if you don’t have the time to give them the attention they need, perhaps it would be best to consider getting a different kind of pet. Otherwise, due to their small size and gentle temperament, Hollands make good pets for children, as they are one of the easier breeds to hold and care for.
Is my Holland Lop show quality?
Holland Lops should possess certain qualities to be considered as “show quality” rabbits. They are scored on a point system that is based on the health, weight, size, and body type which meet the ARBA (or BRC) Standards of Perfection guidelines. The illusive perfect Holland Lop would therefore score a total of 100 points on the show tables. When posed correctly, well-typed Hollands should give the over-all resemblance of looking at a miniature bull-dog. The correct pose of the rabbit is to be sitting up-right. It should appear that the rabbit is sitting on his rear-end, propped up by the front legs, with both feet resting on the table and the hind feet, squarely tucked under its body. The legs should ideally be short and thick, giving the appearance of short, thick tree-stumps.
You might also like: 5 reasons why Lionhead Rabbits are cute pets!
The body should be short, wide, and well-balanced from end to end. The head should present as massively as possible, with a short, wide muzzle, including a slight curving from the base of the crown downwards, to the base of the nose. The crown should be thick from front to back as well as wide, from side to side, and definitively raised above the head. The ears should be lopped, hanging evenly on both sides, beginning just behind the eyes. They should be thick and well-furred, with no visible creasing, and have the appearance of a teaspoon or an up-side-down bell. The body should be muscular and wide with broad shoulders, midsection, and hindquarters. When you rub your hand from shoulder to tail over the posed rabbit, if it is in good flesh condition, there will not be any bones that could be seen or felt, nor should the rabbit feel flabby.
Additionally, the coat should be thick, dense, smooth, and glossy, with the approximate strand-length of 1 inch. In retrospect, a Holland that possesses creased ears, or long, thin front legs would be considered as having “thin bone” or “length of limb”, both of which are faults when showing.