Holland Lop

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A pair of two-month-old Holland Lops

Holland Lop is a breed of lop-eared rabbit that was recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) in 1979. The Holland Lop, with a maximum weight of 4 lb (1.8 kg) (as stipulated by ARBA), is one of the smallest lop-eared breeds.[1]

Holland Lops are one of the most popular rabbit breeds in the United States and the United Kingdom. They were first bred by Dutch breeder Adrian de Cock, as a hybrid of the French Lop and the Netherland Dwarf.[2][3][4] Holland Lops are miniature rabbits that only weigh from about 2 to 4 pounds.[5] They are muscular in relation to their compact frame, and have a wide variety of coat colours. Their lopped ears are one of their most distinctive features.[5][6]


Allele series for Dutch spotting in rabbits. From left to right: Du (black), du (dark Dutch), du+ (Medium Dutch), duW (White Dutch).

The history of Holland Lops began with Dutch breeder Adrian de Cock from Tilburg, Netherlands. Holland Lops were acknowledged by the American Rabbit Breed Association (ARBA) in 1979 and made known to the public in 1980.[2][4]

When Adrian de Cock realized that French Lops were over-sized and Netherland Dwarfs were under-sized in 1949, he decided to breed the two with each other in hopes that their offspring will inherit the optimal size. French Lops weigh anywhere from 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) to 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms) while Netherland Dwarfs only weigh around 1.1 pound (0.5 kilogram) to 2.5 pounds (1.13 kilogram). Unfortunately, the results were nothing like what de Cock expected. Their offspring were way too big and died as a result. The mother (female Netherland Dwarf) also died from the breeding process. In 1951, de Cock decided to try the breeding process again. Instead of using a Netherlands Dwarf doe, he used a male Netherland Dwarf buck. He did not think that this was possible at first, because the French Lop was much bigger than the Netherland Dwarf buck. The results exceeded de Cock's expectations. All of the offspring were normal-sized and had standard ear positions. In 1952, de Cock wanted the rabbits' ears to be lopped (hanging limply), so he let a French Lop's and a Netherland Dwarf buck's off-spring breed with the Sooty Fawn, an English Lop with visibly lopped ears. The results were one with lopped ears, 2 with normal ears, and one with semi-lopped ears. At the end of the breeding process in 1955, a Holland Lop weighing less than 6.6 pounds (2.7 kilograms) was born. 11 years after this significant event, de Cock announced Holland Lops weighing less than 4.4 pounds (2 kilograms). Another goal at the time was to publicize Holland Lops. In 1964, these rabbits were finally recognized by Dutch breeders and authorities, which led to the introduction of Holland Lops across many countries in Europe.[2][4]

Sometime in 1965-1975, these rabbits made their first appearance in the United Kingdom thanks to George Scott, an English rabbit breeder from Yorkshire county who found these Holland Lops. At this time, the average weight of this breed was only about 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilogram).[4][3] The history of the well-known Mini Lop is also related to the history of the Holland Lop. When Scott found these Holland Lops, he sought to make them even smaller, so he let the lightest Holland Lop off-springs breed with each other. The result of this breeding process was the Mini Lop, which was acknowledged by the British Rabbit Council in 1994.[3] In 1976, Holland Lops made their way to the United States, where they were acknowledged by the American Rabbit Breeders Association 3 years later.[4][7] Over the years, Holland Lops have traveled across the globe and their breeders' accepted maximum weight has changed insignificantly with the actual weight of these rabbits.[2] Holland Lops are now one of the most well-known rabbit breeds in the United States and the United Kingdom.[2][3]



Similar to most rabbits, Holland Lops' fur is very diverse with a wide variety of colors and combinations. The most common color is black tortoise, also known as black tort 1. The different colors include Chocolate, Lilac, Blue, Black, Chestnut, and Frosty. Some examples of fur patterns include broken color (a pattern of patches of color on a white base fur), tortoise, solid, and tri-colored. Almost any normal color can come in a broken variant. When they are shown, it is in broken and solid groups according to the ARBA standard of perfection.[8] Albino Holland Lops with white fur and red eyes are not unheard of. A mutation, very rare among Holland Lops, produces a dark orange color known as ASIP or Agouti Signaling Protein. This color is distinct from the normal light orange color.[1]

A Holland Lop of the broken blue color variety.


The ears are one of Holland Lops' most distinct features. As mentioned in the history of Holland Lops above, they inherit their lopped ears from the French Lop and Sooty Fawns. These almond-shaped ears are about 4.7 inches (12 centimeters) long.

Their eye color is usually black, but can be brown, blue or other colors.[7]


Holland Lop's tails are fluffy and small.[5]


The feet of the Holland Lop can be categorized into 6 types: ideal, narrow hindquarters, pinched hindquarters, thin bone, thin long bone, and pinched. Since Holland Lops are very small, their legs are also short and stubby. They also have claws that are not used very often.

Ideal Holland Lop feet are parallel and symmetrical. This foot type indicates that the rabbit will have heavy compact bone, and mass. Narrow hindquarters feet are closer, but still parallel. This indicates less width towards the back, but they still maintain a heavy bone and compact type. Pinched hindquarters heels point towards each other, causing the feet to create a V-shape. This may cause the feet to appear at the bottom when posing for a show. Thin boned feet are shorter and thinner than other structures. This indicates that the rabbit will have medium bone and will remain compact, however will have less mass. Thin, long boned foot structure can cause a change throughout other areas of the rabbit's body, making the head pointier, and the ears longer and thinner. In addition, the feet are longer than thin boned feet, and increase the overall size of the rabbit. Pinched and narrow hindquarters is a combination of the pinched hindquarters and narrow hindquarters foot structures. The heels point towards each other and are closer together, which leads to the hindquarters to appear more hollow.[9][10]

Ideal appearance[edit]

According to the Holland Lop show standards, they are expected to be muscular for their short size. "Broad shoulders and deep hindquarters" are expected traits from a high quality Holland Lop, according to a judge from the Holland Lop Specialty Club. They also added that the legs should be "thick, short, and heavily boned." In shows, the body is worth a total of 32 points.[11]

The Holland Lop is typically 60 cm wide when fully stretched, as well as 60 cm tall.[12] The Holland Lop's flesh is known to be muscular and well-toned. This is especially true when applied to high ranking show Holland Lops.[7] They have "short, rounded noses," which differentiates them from other lop breeds, such as the mini lop.[13] Holland Lops usually weigh between 2-4 pounds. However, according to ARBA show standards, the Holland Lop at maximum weight, is 4 pounds.


A Holland Lop resting.

Holland Lops, as a breed are considered to be very calm rabbits even though they tend to come off as shy at first. As a result of this, owners can expect to spend time playing and relaxing with their Lops. In addition to exercise, Holland Lops also require toys to chew on. This is not only important for keeping them occupied, but also for avoiding potential dilemmas. If neglected, this could ensue in the destruction of personal items, or even walls, as reported by some owners.[14]

As a whole, the Holland Lop is considered to be a very friendly breed. Although there is individual variation for each rabbit, this is what is reported. Also, Male rabbits, or bucks, have been reported to be less nippy than female rabbits, although they do tend to experience a stage where they are shyer and nippy. This typically occurs when they would like to be bred.[15] However, does are often much neater than bucks. Bucks have been known to exhibit destructive behavior, often resulting in ruined cages.


The Holland Lop is a breed of rabbit that is not simple to care for compared to other rabbits, because they have always health issues with their ears. But these fatal ear problems can only be detected with a CT scan. They are an active breed that requires plenty of physical stimulation and playtime to be happy and healthy pets.[16] They live an average of seven to ten years. Holland Lops need weekly brushing in order to prevent intestinal blockages that can be the result of fur ingestion during self-grooming.[17] Additional brushing is needed during the yearly two weeks of molting. Nails should be trimmed monthly.

Checking for overgrown teeth is a must as well, since these can be very painful for the rabbit. A diet consisting of plenty of timothy hay should be enough to prevent this from occurring. In the case that the teeth do become overgrown this can cause their mouth to shift and in turn lead to possible infection and abscesses.[18] The Holland Lop diet should consist of around 80 percent hay(unlimited), 10 percent leafy greens, 5 percent of pellets and 0-5 percent treats. In addition, these rabbits need an unlimited supply of fresh water.

To maintain a healthy rabbit the correct housing is another essential element. Cages should be no smaller than 18 inches by 25 inches although it is always better for the cage to be larger than this.[19] Wire bottoms must be avoided too as these are bad for their feet and will cause sore hocks.[20] While they can be kept in a cage, they are very active rabbits that require plenty of physical activity and it is highly recommended to let them have out of cage time to release their energy. The Holland Lop is not at risk for any specific hereditary health issues, but they are still susceptible to the same common health issues as other rabbit breeds are. In younger baby rabbits under eight weeks old they should be watched for enteritis along with gut stasis and bloat.[16] As a lop-eared breed of rabbit they can also suffer from ear infections such as otitis.[21]

Parasites are another common issue to all breeds of rabbit, specifically cheyletiella mites which cause itching and hair loss. Although these can easily be treated by either a spot-on treatment or injection form of anti-mite preparations. Spaying and neutering also decrease the chance of reproductive system related diseases such as uterine cancer that can occur in does.[21] Although spaying and neutering may reduce aggression, it can also lead to many other health problems. E Cuniculi is also a common parasite in rabbits. It is estimated that between 40 and 80% of all rabbits worldwide carry this parasite.[22] While many rabbits carry it, only a small portion of domesticated rabbits show symptoms. These may include drinking more water than usual, frequent peeing, and in worse cases a tilted head (torticollis), seizures or even complete paralysis. It has been theorized that majorly stressful situations could worsen the symptoms.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ARBA Recognized Breeds". American Rabbit Breeders Association. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e "history of the holland lop". dnarabbitry.tripod.com. Retrieved 2019-03-23.
  3. ^ a b c d Brown, Kathryn. "The History of the Mini Lop Rabbit and the true UK Mini Lop standard". Mini Lops Scotland. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
  4. ^ a b c d e "hlrsc.com". hlrsc.com. Retrieved 2019-03-23.
  5. ^ a b c "Rabbitpedia".
  6. ^ "Holland Lop appearance".
  7. ^ a b c "What is a Holland Lop? | How to Care, Lifespan, FAQ (With pictures)". RabbitPedia.com. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  8. ^ "31 Holland Lop Rabbit Colors (with Pictures)". Pet Keen. 2021-02-25. Retrieved 2022-02-01.
  9. ^ "Judging the Holland Lop". Lots of Lops Rabbitry. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  10. ^ "Holland Lop Type". Holly's Hollands Rabbitry. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  11. ^ "Judging Lop Rabbits:Evaluating Ears and Crowns Holland, Mini, and Fuzzy Lops".
  12. ^ "Rabbit Hutch/cage Size Guide - Minimum Requirements". www.therabbithouse.com. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  13. ^ Warren, Dean M. Small animal care & management. ISBN 9781285425528. OCLC 908273739.
  14. ^ Dickson, David (2012-10-18). "Holland lop rabbit who loves to chew (and chew some more)". Best Friends Animal Society. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  15. ^ "Holland Lop Rabbit Breed". Lafeber Co. - Small Mammals. 2017-05-18. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  16. ^ a b "Holland Lop Rabbit Breed". Lafeber Co. - Small Mammals. 2017-05-18. Retrieved 2019-04-01.
  17. ^ "What is a Holland Lop? | How to Care, Lifespan, FAQ (With pictures)". RabbitPedia.com. Retrieved 2019-04-01.
  18. ^ "Holland Lop - breed information and advice". www.petplan.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-04-01.
  19. ^ "Holland Lop Rabbit Health, Temperament, Coat, Health and Care - PetGuide.com". PetGuide. 2016-06-04. Retrieved 2019-04-01.
  20. ^ "What is a Holland Lop? | How to Care, Lifespan, FAQ (With pictures)". RabbitPedia.com. Retrieved 2019-04-01.
  21. ^ a b "Holland Lop - breed information and advice". www.petplan.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-04-01.
  22. ^ "E. cuniculi in Rabbits, treatment available at Pet Care Veterinary Hospital". www.petcarevb.com. Retrieved 2021-08-13.

Works cited[edit]