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15 of the Best Pet Rabbit Breeds

I had rabbits growing up, and my parents' love for them was contagious. My Lionhead & Mini Lop are my best friends in the world.

Which rabbits make the best pets?

Which rabbits make the best pets?

Do Rabbits Make Good House Pets?

As any rabbit owner will tell you, bunnies are just as cuddly, playful, and smart as your average dog or cat. However, they are more high-maintenance and require consistent, daily care. In addition, different breeds come with different physical characteristics, personality traits, and needs. For instance, some rabbit breeds love to cuddle, while some tend to hop away when you try to handle them. Potential owners should consider each breed carefully to ensure a good match.

Owners should also consider each breed's susceptibility to health problems. Some breeds, like the Netherland Dwarf, have a high risk of developing malocclusion (the misalignment of the top and bottom rows of teeth when the jaw closes).

Other breeds just have the standard rabbit health issues, including overgrown teeth (their teeth never stop growing, so they need to constantly chew things), susceptibility to fly strike (when flies lay eggs in matted/dirty fur—especially in unsanitary housing conditions), and ear mites.

As long as you give them proper care and attention, rabbits make great, affectionate pets.

15 Rabbit Breeds That Make Great Pets

Different rabbit breeds have different needs, sizes, appearances, personalities, health concerns, and life spans. Make sure you choose one that will fit your home and that you can care for properly.

BreedSizePersonalityEase of CareHealthLifespan

1. Mini Rex

3.5–4.5 lbs

Calm and quiet

Doesn't need a lot of grooming

Standard rabbit issues

5–7 years

2. Holland Lop

2–4 lbs

Energetic and friendly

Needs space to roam and sheds a lot in the summer.

Standard rabbit issues

7–14 years

3. Dutch Lop

4–5.5 lbs

Calm and gentle but highly sociable

Needs exercise and sheds a lot in the summer.

Standard rabbit issues

5–8 years

4. Dwarf Hotot

2.5–3.5 lbs

Bonds well with owners and highly active

Feeding should be monitored closely to prevent overeating and needs exercise.

High risk of malocclusion

7–10 years

5. Mini Lop

4.5–6 lbs

Loves cuddles

Very active and tends to chew things more than other breeds.

Standard rabbit issues

5–10 years

6. Mini Satin

3–4.5 lbs

Calm and gentle but skittish around strangers

Not too active and doesn't mind small living spaces

Standard rabbit issues

5–8 years

7. Netherland Dwarf

1.1–2.5 lbs

Shy and skittish but friendly once they get to know you

Should be kept indoors and needs regular exercise but less than other breeds

High risk of malocclusion

10–12 years

8. Polish

2.5–3.5 lbs

Cuddly and affectionate

Best kept indoors

Standard rabbit issues

5–6 years

9. Lionhead

2.5–3.5 lbs

Energetic, loves to play, and very affectionate

Needs a lot of grooming

Standard rabbit issues

7–10 years

10. Jersey Wooly

1–3 lbs

Gentle and docile

Not very active and needs frequent grooming

High risk of wool block

7–10 years

11. Californian

8–10.5 lbs

A bit shy but loves to cuddle once properly socialized

Needs exercise and sheds heavily in the spring.

Standard rabbit issues

5–10 years

12. Harlequin

6.5–9.5 lbs

Playful, curious, and loves toys.

Needs exercise

Standard rabbit issues

5–8 years

13. Havana

4.5–6.5 lbs

Calm, gentle, and bonds well with humans

Not highly active

Standard rabbit issues

5–8 years

14. Standard Chinchilla

5–7 lbs

Calm, docile, and enjoys being held and pet.

Needs room to stretch and play

Susceptible to overgrown teeth and ear mites

5–8 years

15. Himalayan

2.5–5 lbs

Calm and patient

Very sensitive to the cold as babies

Standard rabbit issues

5–8 years

Mini Rex

Mini Rex

1. Mini Rex

  • Size: 3.5–4.5 lbs
  • Appearance: Long, erect ears and short necks. Short, smooth fur that is extremely dense and can be a variety of colors. Rexes generally have rounded backs with well-developed shoulders.
  • Personality: Usually very calm and quiet but may squirm if held too tightly.
  • Ease of Care: Needs less grooming than most breeds due to their shorter fur.
  • Compatibility With Children: Usually calm and friendly with children but can squirm when held.
  • Health Concerns: Nothing beyond standard rabbit concerns.
  • Lifespan: 5–7 years

Mini Rexes originated in France in the late 1800s. A recessive gene makes the Rex's hair stick out from their bodies instead of lying flat, and their outer layer of fur is shorter than that of most breeds. This means that you can feel their exceptionally soft, velvety undercoat.

As the name implies, they are fairly small in size (they weigh between 3.5 and 4.5 lbs fully grown) and are incredibly friendly. There is little reason to question why they are one of the most popular rabbit breeds in America.

Holland Lop

Holland Lop

2. Holland Lop

  • Size: 2–4 lbs
  • Appearance: Large, floppy ears with medium-length fur in broken or solid coloring.
  • Personality: Very energetic, active, and friendly but will resist being picked up and held.
  • Ease of Care: Sheds heavily in the summer months, so needs more brushing during that time. Should be let out to roam fairly often.
  • Compatibility With Children: Incredibly friendly with children but will squirm when they don’t want to be held.
  • Health Concerns: Minimal—nothing beyond standard rabbit health concerns/care.
  • Lifespan: 7–14 years

Holland Lops are popular show rabbits. The breed originated in the Netherlands and was officially recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association in 1979. They are a dwarf breed, meaning they are on the small side for rabbits. The standard Holland Lop weighs between 2 and 4 lbs.

They can have either broken or solid coloring in a wide variety of colors. Holland Lops are excitable by nature, so they are fun to play with but can also be a little difficult to get in and out of their cages. They probably aren't the best breed for families with children. While they can get along well with children, they will struggle if they don't feel like being held, so be sure to supervise any playtime with the rabbit.

Dutch Rabbit

Dutch Rabbit

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3. Dutch

  • Size: 4–5.5 lbs
  • Appearance: Very distinctive black and white coloring. They have dark ears and bottoms and white shoulders, belly, front legs—plus, a wedge of white fur up the front of their face.
  • Personality: Calm and gentle but will easily get depressed if left cooped up too long. Very sociable.
  • Ease of Care: Sheds heavily in summer months. Needs to be able to run often.
  • Compatibility With Children: Very calm and friendly with children.
  • Health Concerns: No notable health concerns beyond regular rabbit care.
  • Lifespan: 5–8 years

Dutch rabbits (a bit of a misnomer, since they were originally bred in England) are well-known for their unique color pattern. They are a bit larger than dwarf breeds, but still on the smaller side overall, averaging 3.5 to 5.5 lbs. They are a calm and easygoing breed, making them exceptional pets—especially for those with children. They can put up with the chaos of being frequently pet and held.

Dwarf Hotots

Dwarf Hotots

4. Dwarf Hotot

  • Size: 2.5–3.5 lbs
  • Appearance: Very small breed with small, upright ears. Very distinctive all-white coat with dark spots around the eyes.
  • Personality: Friendly, and therefore needs frequent human interaction. Very amenable to being handled frequently.
  • Ease of Care: Does fine in smaller cages than most breeds due to their small size. Food volume needs to be monitored so that they don't overeat.
  • Compatibility With Children: Bond well to their owners, making them very good pets for children. Due to how active they are, they do better with older children who know how to properly handle rabbits and let them down when they need to run.
  • Health Concerns: Higher-than-usual risk for malocclusion.
  • Lifespan: 7–10 years

Much like Dutch rabbits, Dwarf Hotots are known mostly for their unique coloring. They have entirely white coats, except for one small circle of color around their eyes. For years, the only Hotots that were allowed in shows were those with black spots, but recently, those with chocolate spots have also been given the OK to compete by the ARBA.

They were not originally a dwarf breed. The larger Blanc de Hotot was bred in the early 1900s to be a black-eyed, white-haired rabbit that could be used for fur and meat. As both rabbit meat and fur went out of style, and more people began keeping these critters as pets, dwarf breeds became increasingly popular, and the Dwarf Hotot breed was created.

Hotots have upright ears and tend to be under 3 lbs in weight. They tend to be outgoing, though can occasionally be moody. They are a great breed for anyone who wants a rabbit that will enjoy cuddles and being pet often, as long as you can wait out the short moody periods.

Mini Lop

Mini Lop

5. Mini Lop

  • Size: 4.5–6 lbs
  • Appearance: Very round body with long, thick ears and a large head. Solid or broken patterned fur in a wide variety of colors.
  • Personality: Greatly enjoy cuddling and human interaction, including being pet and held.
  • Ease of Care: Needs to be able to run out of their enclosures. More likely to chew random objects than other breeds.
  • Compatibility With Children: Incredibly sweet and easygoing, making them ideal pets for children.
  • Health Concerns: No notable health concerns other than those common to all rabbits.
  • Lifespan: 5–10 years

Perhaps one of the most popular breeds in the world, Mini Lops are frequently sold or bred as pets and show rabbits. Similar to Holland Lops, they are small with floppy ears. They are extremely cheerful and playful, and are easily trained. Mini Lops are great for anyone looking to have a litter-trained bunny. They are very sociable with other rabbits and animals, but they do prefer calm children. This breed needs intellectual stimulation, so be sure to put plenty of toys in their cage.

Mini Satin

Mini Satin

6. Mini Satin

  • Size: 3–4.5 lbs
  • Appearance: Exceptionally shiny coat in a variety of patterns and colors. Short, well-rounded body with a round, full head.
  • Personality: Calm and gentle but can be skittish around unknown humans.
  • Ease of Care: Doesn't need as much space as most breeds, making it ideal for apartments or small homes. Not as active as many breeds.
  • Compatibility With Children: Due to their skittish nature, they aren't ideal pets for children. However, with time, they can become accustomed to children.
  • Health Concerns: No known health issues other than general rabbit health concerns.
  • Lifespan: 5–8 years

One of the smaller breeds of pet rabbits, Mini Satins also have extremely soft and lustrous fur. Larger satin breeds became very popular when the satin gene was first recognized in 1956. From there, breeders went on to try to make a smaller version of these rabbits. Mini Satins are usually calm and friendly. However, they can occasionally be temperamental, so be sure to ask the breeder about your particular rabbit before committing to a Mini Satin if you have a hectic house.

Netherland Dwarf

Netherland Dwarf

7. Netherland Dwarf

  • Size: 1.1–2.5 lbs
  • Appearance: Extremely small rabbits with short, small ears.
  • Personality or temperament: Shy and skittish but generally friendly.
  • Ease of care: Needs open space and regular exercise.
  • Compatibility with children: Not the best pets for children due to their shy and skittish nature.
  • Health concerns: Highly susceptible to malocclusion.
  • Lifespan: 10–12 years

Unlike many of the breeds on this list, Netherland Dwarf rabbits are not the best pet breed homes with children. They are, however, great pets for adults and make good companions for adults with disabilities.

They enjoy human interaction but only in an environment where they feel safe and stable. Extremely small (usually between 1.1 and 2.5 lbs), these rabbits are better suited to a stable and quiet environment better than one with children running around. Despite their small size, these rabbits need a lot of exercise and do better in homes where they're free to run a good chunk of the day. They are skittish and aloof, which, again, is why they are not well-suited as children's pets.

Polish Rabbit

Polish Rabbit

8. Polish

  • Size: 2.5–3.5 lbs
  • Appearance: Short, soft, flyback fur in six distinctive colorings: ruby-eyed white, blue-eyed white, black, blue, chocolate, and broken pattern.
  • Personality: Cuddly, calm, and affectionate.
  • Ease of Care: Is fine with a smaller enclosure due to its small size. Should stay indoors.
  • Compatibility With Children: Affectionate with children and overall great companions. However, their small size makes them easy to drop, so exercise caution.
  • Health concerns: No health issues beyond common rabbit concerns.
  • Lifespan: 5–6 years

Yet another dwarf breed, Polish rabbits are a small breed of rabbit whose size does indeed mean they need less space. They tend to be less active than other breeds, meaning they're ideal for those who want a rabbit but can't designate a lot of space for a pen. They are calm and friendly, and bucks tend to be especially laid back. They can also be trained to use a litter box—always a nice trait for an indoor pet rabbit.

Lionhead Rabbit

Lionhead Rabbit

9. Lionhead

  • Size: 2.5–3.5 lbs
  • Appearance: Distinctive flyaway coat, with particularly long and unruly fur around their head and rear.
  • Personality: Energetic, affectionate, and loves to play. Love to be picked up and handled.
  • Ease of Care: Needs a lot of grooming and fur care because the fur can easily get matted or tangled.
  • Compatibility With Children: Excellent pets for children because they are very amenable to being picked up and carried.
  • Health Concerns: Nothing beyond general rabbit health issues.
  • Lifespan: 7–10 years

This breed got its start in Belgium, with breeders mixing a Swiss Fox with a Netherland Dwarf. A genetic mutation resulted in the Lionhead, a rabbit with longer fur around its head and rear, which later became known as the "mane" gene. Eventually the breed made its way into the United States in the '90s, and was officially accepted into the American Rabbit Breeders Association in 2014. An energetic and affectionate breed, Lionheads are great pets, especially for families with children. However, they do need more grooming and care than some other breeds.

Jersey Wooly

Jersey Wooly

10. Jersey Wooly

  • Size: 1–3 lbs
  • Appearance: Small, short ears and very small bodies. Their heads are distinctly square and bold, giving them a unique look. Fur is long and wooly.
  • Personality: Gentle and docile. Very rarely kick or bite.
  • Ease of Care: Need frequent and attentive grooming. Doesn't need a lot of space due to their small size.
  • Compatibility With Children: Incredibly good with children due to their docile nature.
  • Health Concerns: Slightly higher-than-normal risk of wool block due to their long, wooly coats.
  • Lifespan: 7–10 years

A cross between the French Angora and the Netherland Dwarf resulted in the Jersey Wooly—a small rabbit with a very wooly coat—hence the name. First brought to the ARBA in 1984, this breed is now one of the most widely exhibited rabbits at shows in the United States. Extremely small and loving, they make great pets, even if they do require a little extra grooming.