If you’re searching for a pet rabbit that’s both irresistibly cute and tiny, the Holland Lop rabbit has to be at the top of the list of suitable bunny breeds.
It usually weighs in at just 2 to 4 pounds (0.9 to 1.8 kg), and it looks like this:
Now don’t lie… has this picture melted your heart away?
Of course, it has. That bunny face could thaw even the Ice Queen’s heart!
So what next?
Take a deep breath, relax all the muscles that are screaming, “I must squeeze that little bun,” and dive into the rest of the blog post — we’re going to show you that Holland Lop rabbits aren’t just another pretty face!
The History of the Holland Lop Rabbit
The Holland Lop rabbit originates from the Netherlands.
It all started in 1949 when a genius Dutch breeder named Adrian de Cock began the breeding process.
He intended to create a miniature lop breed based on French Lops, one of the most popular rabbit breeds in Northern Europe (read more about this giant breed here), and Netherland Dwarf Rabbits, one of the smallest and most beloved breeds in the world.
However, his initial efforts failed, as his new breed still had upright ears (like Netherland Dwarfs) despite the French Lop genes.
To strengthen this lop gene further and gets those ears to flop, de Cock introduced an English Lop buck into the cross-breeding process and finally succeeded in creating tiny lop-eared rabbits.
It took him well over a decade to get the breed recognized locally by his national rabbit club, the Netherlands Governing Rabbit Council, in 1964.
But his hard work paid off.
The Holland Lop rabbit was an instant success in Europe as both a pet and a show rabbit.
It made its way to England in 1969, where it was approved by British Rabbit Council (BRC) and given the name “Miniature Lop.”
From there, it crossed the Atlantic (not on its own, though) and arrived in the USA in 1975. It only took four years (significantly less time than de Cock spent creating this breed) to become recognized by the American Rabbit Breeder’s Association in 1979.
These bunnies haven’t looked back since:
- They have their very own breed-specific Holland Lop Specialty Club (HLRSC).
- The Holland Lop breed is one of five most popular rabbit breeds in the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA).
- And they frequently top classifications and contests looking for the best pet rabbits.
Hats off, tiny rabbits, hats off!
Physical Description of Holland Lops
Size and Appearance
Holland Lops are a small, compact rabbit breed that only weighs roughly 2 to 4 lb (0.9 to 1.8 kg) thanks to the dwarf gene they inherited from their forefathers, the Netherland Dwarf Rabbit.
They have broad, short bodies and short, thick legs that give them a stubby (yet charming) appearance.
Their faces are also flat, broad, and round, and they have a distinctive puff of fur at the back of their heads, known as the crown, which is a typical element of the Holland Lop appearance.
However, it’s their distinctive lop ears that are their most telling feature — these furry, floppy ears set them apart from many other dwarf rabbits and give them an impossible-to-resist look.
But be careful when trying to identify baby rabbits as Holland Lops as their ears don’t generally lop until they reach two months of age (with some only lopping at three years old)!
The Holland Lop rabbit is nicknamed “The Hallmark Breed” because they look so distinguished and proper, especially when they sit in their typical pose.
A posing Holland Lop rabbit looks very similar to a resting cat — they put the majority of their weight on their hind legs and use their front paws to gently and regally prop their upper body up.
Cute or what?
P.S. If you like the way the Holland Lop rabbit breed looks, check out the other lop rabbit breeds, too — i.e., the American Fuzzy Lop, the French Lop, the Miniature Lion Lop, the Cashmere Lop — to feast your eyes on some of the cutest fluffballs in the universe.
Holland Lop rabbits have short, dense fur coats that are:
- Medium in length
- Insanely soft to the touch
- Made up of rollback fur, which means that their hair returns to its original position even if it’s stroked from the opposite direction
They luckily don’t require too much rabbit grooming to keep this soft coat in tip-top condition — once a week is more than sufficient, but we’ll cover all the grooming details a little further down.
Holland Lops come in an impressively large variety of colors and patterns.
How many would you guess?
10? 15? 20?
Try more than 30!
That’s right — the ARBA recognizes eight different color groups with more than 30 overall Holland Lop colors.
Here’s a little taster of what your next Holland Lop might look like:
- Agouti (including Chestnut, Chocolate Chinchilla, Lynx, and Squirrel)
- Solid or Self (including Black, Blue, Lilac, Ruby-Eyed White, and Blue-Eyed White)
- Broken (including almost all colors mixed with white)
- Pointed White (including Black, Chocolate, and Lilac)
- Shaded (including Seal, Siamese sable, and Smoke Pearl)
- Tan Patterns (including Blue, Chocolate, and Lilac)
- Ticked (including Black, Blue, Chocolate, and White)
- Wide Band (including Cream, Fawn, Frosty, and Red)
The Personality and Temperament of Holland Lop Bunnies
If we had to describe the Holland Lop temperament in just three words, we’d choose:
In our opinion, these diminutive rabbits should be far more famous for their incredible personalities than their looks.
They’re an intelligent breed that’s extraordinarily friendly, docile, and easy to handle, especially when compared to other feistier, more nervous small breeds like the Netherlands Dwarf.
Many owners report that male Holland Lops are:
- Even friendlier than females
- Fantastic cuddle buddies — something we experienced personally with a fluffy Holland Lop boy named “Kermie”
But that doesn’t mean female Holland Lops don’t make for great pets. They’re just a bit shyer and less animated than the boys.
Regardless of gender, a Holland Lop is an active bunny that thrives on attention, cuddles, and playtime with their owner and other rabbits, so never ignore them or keep them locked away in a cage in a rarely-visited room!
Holland Lop Rabbits as Pets
Thanks to their sweet, loving temperaments, Holland Lop rabbits make ideal pets for:
- Families with children
- Older children (nine years or older)
- Anyone looking for apartment rabbits or house rabbits
This breed of rabbit is easy to care for, affordable to own, and relatively low-maintenance compared to other popular pets like cats and dogs.
However, they still require lots of love, attention, and careful handling, so we don’t recommend them as pets for children younger than nine (unless they have plenty of parental supervision).
Before moving on to the next section, we want to highlight two questions we commonly hear from new rabbit owners or prospective rabbit owners:
1. “Do Holland Lops Bite?”
Holland Lop rabbits are one of the sweetest, most docile bunny breeds, so they’ll rarely bite or nip.
BUT you shouldn’t forget that your lovey-dovey fluffball is a prey animal, and they might nip or growl if they feel scared, nervous, or stressed.
If this happens, give them a bit of space, and then try to build up trust slowly and steadily — prove to them you’re a friend and not a foe.
2. “Do Holland Lops Smell?”
Domestic rabbits don’t have body odor (especially when compared to our other animal buddies like dogs and ferrets).
However, rarely, you might notice:
- A musty smell if your rabbit is suffering from a health condition
- A musky scent if your male rabbits are intact (not neutered) and near females
How Long Does a Holland Rabbit Live?
The average lifespan of Holland Lops is between 7 and 12 years.
Some might even reach the ripe old age of 15 if they live happy, healthy lives.
You can help your Holland Lop live longer by:
- Spaying or neutering them at around six months old
- Keeping them indoors and sheltering them from bad weather, pests, parasites, and scares from predators
Caring for a Holland Lop Rabbit
Holland Lops are clean animals, and they tend to do most of their grooming in-house.
All you need to do is give them a good brushing with a high-quality rabbit brush about once or twice a week. And only ever bathe your rabbit if they’re very, very dirty as bunnies don’t like baths!
This level of basic grooming is enough to remove excess hairs (to reduce hairballs and blockage), keep their fur looking amazing, and give you two a regular bonding session.
Pro tip 1: HollandLops shed more in the springtime as they lose their winter fluff, so you should plan to up your brushing appointments to twice or thrice a week during this period.
Your Holland Lop deserves a boss rabbit cage.
After all, they’re going to spend a lot of time in there.
We suggest you get a wire enclosure with a solid plastic bottom and then fill it with soft bedding to ensure your buns are comfortable and warm.
It’s also a good idea to throw a litter box and one or two rabbit hay feeders into your rabbit’s cage — one will make it easier to do your daily spot-cleaning, while the others encourage your rabbit to chow down on tons of healthy hay.
What about cage size?
Even though Lops are smaller than most rabbits, you should still get the biggest cage possible to give them loads of hopping and binkying space.
Pro tip 2: Do a full cage clean once a week using a pet-safe disinfectant!
A Good Rabbit’s Diet
Rabbits thrive on a diet that’s rich in hay.
To be precise, their daily food intake should be:
- 70-80% hay (approx. their body size every day)
- 20-30% rabbit pellets, leafy greens, and vegetables
- Fruit as a special treat (once a day tops)
Adult rabbits should be fed Timothy hay, while babies and pregnant does (female rabbits) should also be fed calcium-rich Alfalfa hay.
Pro tip 3: Make sure clean, fresh water is always “at paw,” preferably in a bunny-friendly water bottle.
Interaction and Exercise
Did you know that wild rabbits run around three miles every single day?
Well, that explains why domesticated rabbits are so full of energy and always ready to do laps around your living room furniture.
It also highlights the importance of providing an indoor rabbit (or an outdoor rabbit living in a hutch without an exercise pen) with plenty of opportunities to exercise and bounce around.
We recommend your Holland Lop rabbit get at least two to three hours out of their cage daily. And it’s even better if you spend some, or all, of that time playing and bonding with them.
You can either let them loose in a rabbit-proofed room or in a safe, protected bunny run in your garden (as long as the weather is nice).
N.B. Holland Lops like chewing A LOT, so definitely get them a wide array of rabbit toys and spread them around their cage and bunny room, you know, so they chew on these and not your Jimmy Choos!
Health Issues in Holland Lop Rabbits
Holland Lops are a relatively hardy breed that tends to live long, healthy lives.
However, like other rabbit breeds, they can suffer from a range of breed-specific and generic bunny ailments.
You can typically tell something is wrong by looking for the following symptoms and small changes in your rabbit’s behavior:
- A lack of appetite or thirst
- A change in the quantity of stools
- Nasal and eye discharges
Breed-Specific Health Issues
Holland Lop rabbits tend to suffer from the following issues more than other breeds:
- Digestive problems (like gastrointestinal (G.I.) stasis) as they have very sensitive digestive systems
- Sinus and eye issues due to their small, round heads and flat faces
- Poor hearing and ear conditions (like Otitis Media) due to their lop ears preventing airflow and encouraging dirt build-up
Other More General Health Problems
All rabbits, regardless of their breed, can be afflicted by:
- Ear mites, fur mites, ticks, and fleas
- Enteritis (especially when they’re baby rabbits)
- Sore hocks
- Overgrown teeth and nails
Where To Get a Holland Lop Rabbit?
You should always purchase a Holland Lop from a reputable breeder that can prove you’re getting a bunny that comes from a long line of healthy rabbits without genetic disorders or family illnesses.
Holland Lop Price
Prices are all over the place, and they’ll ultimately depend on which rabbit breeder you choose.
However, you can use the following ranges as a rough guide:
- $35 to $100 for a pet-quality Holland Lop
- $75 to $400 for a show-worthy Holland Lop
Holland Lops are one of the world’s most popular bunny breeds, and it’s super easy to tell why.
They’re small. They’re frickin’ adorable. And they have gentle, cuddly personalities.
What more could someone ask for in a pet or a show animal?
And that’s why we recommend you go out and adopt one if you fell in love after reading our article — as long as you dedicate enough time and care to them, you can look forward to over a decade of cuddles and softness! 🐇🐰🥰