The Dutch rabbit breed is among the small-sized rabbit breeds with white colored fur that is always present with another base color. Their ears stand erect and the hind legs are powerful for their size. An average fully grown Dutch rabbit could weigh from 4 lbs up to 5 ½ lbs and with an average lifespan of around 5 to 8 years. Neutered or spayed rabbits could live beyond the average lifespan, some up to even 15 years.
These rabbits are considered as one of the most popular rabbit breeds these days. Their striking appearance makes them stand out among others. The Dutch rabbit breed is also often presented during rabbit shows for their distinct color markings, their body built, and also for their intelligence.
Behavior and Temperament
The personality of the Dutch rabbit is calm and easy-going that is why they make good house pets. They have a friendly disposition and are intelligent. They can be trained simple rabbit tricks easily and can be thought how to litter-train.
Older children who know the basics of rabbit handling can have a Dutch rabbit as pet, although supervision from an adult may be required from time to time. These rabbits are generally good-natured and gentle animals. They are sociable and highly energetic. They can be clingy to humans when they are bored and need to do some enriching activities. The Dutch rabbits, however, could be very wary and jumpy. They tend to panic easily when they feel threatened and also during acclimation period (see: How to: Rabbit Acclimation). Scenarios like this must always be observed with care.
Health and Care
New rabbit owners must know how to pick up rabbits properly and how to handle them to avoid accidents and injuries on your rabbit. Rabbits are fragile and can get easily injured. Compared to other pet animals such as cat and dogs, rabbits can get easily scared and they panic when they are being picked up and carried particularly by people who they are not familiar with.
The most common scenario when rabbits panic is to try to escape and flee from its handler using their powerful hind legs to kick their way out from being restrained. If they had a bad fall, they can get fractures or even become paralyzed. Supporting their rear end while picking them up must be learned properly.
Health and care for rabbits include regular cleaning of their cage, trimming their nails when necessary, checking if their teeth are aligned to avoid overgrowth and overlapping, and regular health check for any symptoms of disease. If you decide to keep rabbits as companion pets and would prefer not to breed them, you may consider having them spayed or neutered to prevent common diseases that may develop as they age. Doing such procedure will also make your rabbit avoid the symptoms of hormonal changes which makes them have happier moods.
Diet must include 80% fresh grass hay. You may offer carrots and leafy veggies from time to time. Make sure that their diet is rich in fiber and always refill their water bottles with clean and fresh water to drink.
History and Background of Dutch Rabbit
The other names for the Dutch rabbit are Hollander and Brabander. They were once the most popular among all the rabbit breeds because of their color pattern, friendly personality, and their relatively small size which most pet owners are looking for. After the development of the dwarf rabbit breeds, the demand for Dutch rabbits decreased as people got excited on caring for a much smaller rabbit. However, the Dutch rabbit still remains at the top 10 of the most favorite rabbit breeds of all time.
Even if the name is called “Dutch” rabbit, this rabbit breed didn’t actually originate from the Netherlands. This rabbit breed actually was developed during the 1830s in England when rabbits were imported each week for its meat. The rabbit breed called Petit Brabancon from Brabant, Flanders is one of the breeds being imported to England during this time and it is the main ancestors of the Dutch rabbit. The color patterns and shadings are from the genes of this old rabbit breed.