Lionhead Lop Rabbit
Oryctolagus cuniculus

   The Lionhead Lop, like the Lionhead Rabbit, is a very friendly little critter. They enjoy people and are sweet and easy to handle!

   The Lionhead Rabbit is the newest breed of rabbit, first imported into the United States in 1999. Along with the introduction of this adorable little rabbit with its erect ears, the cute little Lionhead Lop was developed!

Lionhead Lop Rabbit
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Photo © Animal-World:
Courtesy Lee Densa

   A Lionhead Lop is a hybrid rabbit developed by crossing a Lionhead Rabbit with a Holland Lop. Lionheads crossed with the Mini-Rex are referred to as Velvet Lionheads. Their are many hybrids of the Lionhead and they are all very cute, very unique, and will make excellent pets!

   The outstanding characteristic of the Lionhead Lop and the Lionhead Rabbit is that they have a ‘mane’. These small rabbits are much easier to care for than longhaired or wooly rabbits like the Angoras, because their mane only needs to be combed out every couple of days. The mane on the Lionhead Lop does tend to mat a bit more than on the erect eared Lionhead Rabbit.

  One thing to keep in mind when getting a young Lionhead is that this is a very new breed, and you won’t know what your pet will look like until it grows up! There is no absolute certainty that it will keep its mane. The mane may molt and disappear for good or it may grow back even fuller than it was before.

For more information about Rabbits and their care see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Rabbit

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Lagomorpha
  • Family: Leporidae
  • Genus: Oryctolagus
  • Species: cuniculus

Background:

   The Lionhead Rabbits were first brought into the United States from Europe in 1999, mostly from England and Sweden. It is generally thought that the Lionhead Rabbits were first bred in Belgium in 1996 and then imported to England in 1998 where they were crossbred with other small animals to develop what is today called the European Lionhead Rabbit; Lionhead Lops were also being developed.
   There are a couple of thoughts on where the Lionhead Rabbit originated. Some think they were the result of crossbreeding a Swiss Fox and a Belgian Dwarf, while others think they are from the Dwarf Angora.
   To help get more uniformity in type and size, breeders have been crossing the Lionhead Rabbit with a variety of other rabbits.

Description:

   The Lionhead Rabbit is a small bunny that has a ‘mane’! The Lionhead Rabbit is unique to all other “new breeds” of rabbits. It has the first major mutation in rabbits since ‘satin’ fur first appeared in a litter of Havana’s in the early 1900’s. Unlike most fur mutations that are recessive genes, the Lionhead has what seems to be a dominant mutation that causes the ‘mane’. So only one parent is required to have this gene to produce more Lionheads and it cannot be recreated using other breeds!

Color differences:

   The Lionhead Rabbits come in many patterns and color varieties. Sixty colors are approved for showing in England!


Featured Image Credit: David Soanes Photography, Shutterstock