The English Lop Rabbit is a large breed with a bold head and a mandolin-shaped body. Both its feet and tail are straight. The eyes are bright and bold. What makes this breed unique from other rabbits are the ears, which are really long and loppy, thus the name English lop ear rabbit.
The ears usually measure from 20 to 22 inches, with some reaching 30 inches. Its ears are fully grown after six months. Males have slightly longer ears than females, while the latter have narrow skulls.
The English Lop comes in various colors – solid and broken white and black color combination. The coat is soft and silky to touch. Lastly, adult English Lop can weigh up to 10 to 15 pounds.
Behavior and Temperament
Aside from its unique ears which endear it to people, this breed is also highly sought for its docile and well-mannered behavior. Compared to most breeds, English lop is known to be very gentle and friendly to humans especially to children. As a result, it is considered one of the safest rabbits to own for families with small children. In addition, this breed loves to interact and play with both humans and other animals. It has great energy so expect various activities on a daily basis.
Due to its active and playful nature, owners should provide a few hours each day for playtime and activities. When this is consistently realized, this breed will thrive and maximize its life expectancy. On the other hand, neglecting this requirement will often result in both health and physical issues such as inactivity and unwillingness to interact.
In addition to its laid back and relaxed personality, this breed is a known winner, which makes it a regular participant in numerous rabbit shows. It has dominated rabbit shows for many years due to its fun, well-mannered and champion personality – all of which are favored by judges.
In terms of training, this breed is known to be easier to domesticate compared to other rabbits. Still, owners should always exert extra patience and effort when teaching any commands or tricks. Although it is not as easily trained like dogs, achieving success is possible when proper training methods are practiced.
Due to its large size, very young children should always be supervised when playing with this pet to prevent injuries and accidents. Small children may find it too heavy to carry and may accidentally drop it, which can easily result in injuries. However, expect this breed to be always friendly and careful when playing with small children.
Health and Care
Although larger than most rabbit breeds, the English Lop can be active when it wants (of course, it is less active compared to smaller and lighter breeds). In order to keep up with its proper weight and activeness, a healthy diet is a must. Similar to other breeds, the majority of its diet must be composed of fresh hay. This must be complemented with other food items such as fresh fruits and vegetables. It is also recommended to provide 2 cups of healthy pellets on a daily basis.
Another important ingredient in its daily diet is a constant supply of fresh and clean water. Clearly, due to its large frame, this breed needs more water intake to keep its body hydrated especially after activities. Fresh water must always be available in a large and deep container which you should refill with a new batch after few hours each day.
Because of its large frame, this breed is slightly more susceptible to diseases and sicknesses compared to smaller rabbits. The most crucial part that must always be checked is its long ears, which can be easily infested by parasites and insects. More care must be given to its ears and must constantly be checked for mites, insects and wax build up.
If infection or parasite infestation is suspected, you must immediately bring your pet to a vet for proper treatment. As a home prevention tip, regularly cut toenails to the proper length to avoid transferring germs and bacteria to its ears.
History and Background of English Lop Rabbit
In the 19th century, English Lop was created through selective breeding of fancy domesticated rabbits conducted in England. In 1914, ARBA officially accepted this breed and has gained tremendous popularity since then.