Learn about the different types of rabbits in this article and discover how they are classified. Pictures and Information of the rabbit types are included.
The American Rabbit Breeders Association has laid out the breed standards for 47 different breeds of rabbits. In this article I am going to attempt to group those 47 different breeds into 5 different rabbit type categories and provide you with pictures of each for better comprehension. If you are interested in learning more about the individual traits and qualities of each of those rabbit breeds, I suggest that you check out our rabbit breeds article.
There are five main different type rabbit type categories that rabbits are commonly classified by; Rabbit Body Type, Rabbit Fur Type, Rabbit Sizes, Rabbit Purpose, and Domestic vs. Wild Rabbits. We will mainly be focusing on the classification of the domestic rabbit breeds in this article as those are the only ones that ARBA recognizes and the ones that the vast majority of rabbit breeders raise.
Rabbit Body Types
Rabbits by ARBA standards are commonly classified by their rabbit body type. That being said there are currently 5 different rabbit body type classifications.
The rabbit body type breed classifications include; Commercial Rabbit Breeds, Compact Rabbit Breeds, Cylindrical Rabbit Breeds, Full-Arch Rabbit Breeds and lastly Semi-Arch Rabbit Breeds. In this article we will be looking at all five of these classifications in great detail.
Commercial Rabbit Breeds
One of most common rabbit body types include the Commercial Rabbit Breeds. Like indicated by the name, the rabbits that make up this category tend to be used as production animals and meat rabbits. The rabbits that make up this “Commercial” category tend to grow fast and have large meaty loins. Many rabbit breeders have pointed out that these bunny rabbits look very similar to the “Compact Rabbit Breeds” except they are a lot bigger.
Compact Rabbit Breeds
Some of the smaller breeds of rabbits make up the Compact Rabbit Breeds category. Rabbits in this “Compact” category will many times look well balanced when you set them up properly.
Cylindrical Rabbit Breeds
The Cylindrical Rabbit Breed category currently consists of only one representative. The sole representative from this “Cylindrical” category is the Himalayan Rabbit. Many breeders have noted that the Himalayan Rabbits looks a lot like a smaller version of the Californian Rabbit however their shape is cylindrical in nature. When these rabbits are posed properly on the judging table they should be laid out in a “cylindrical” like fashion.
Full-Arch Rabbit Breeds
Rabbits that have been categorized in the Full-Arch Rabbit Breed category tend to be “always alert” and “energetic” in nature. Many of the rabbits in this category have very erect ears and possess a spotted fur coat.
Semi-Arch Rabbit Breeds
The final rabbit body type category contains the Semi-Arch Rabbit Breeds. The Semi-Arch rabbits that are found in this category are commonly referred to as the “Gentle Giants” because of their larger size. These rabbits tend to be the largest out of all 47 of the ARBA recognized breeds and possess low shoulders along with a high hip.
Rabbit Fur Types
In addition to being commonly classified by “Rabbit Body Type” rabbits are also classified by the fur on their pelts. There are four main types of rabbit fur; Normal Rabbit Fur, Rex Rabbit Fur, Satin Rabbit Fur, Wool Rabbit Fur.
Normal Rabbit Fur
The most common rabbit fur classification is; Normal Rabbit Fur. The majority of the different breeds of rabbits have “normal rabbit fur”. Within the “Normal Rabbit Fur” category there are two different rabbit fur sub-types; Fly-back Fur and Rollback Fur.
Fly-Back Rabbit Fur
A fly-back rabbit fur coat is basically just a coat that will “fly-back” into place after rubbing your hand across the pelt in the opposite direction of the natural rabbit fur.
When you rub your hand against “Rollback” fur it should essentially “roll back” into place after running your hand against it.
Rex Rabbit Fur
One of the rarest types of rabbit fur is; Rex Rabbit Fur. Currently there are only two ARBA classified breeds that contain “Rex Rabbit Fur”. These breeds consist of the; Rex and Mini Rex rabbits which are known to have a softer and more “velvety texture” fur coat.
Satin Rabbit Fur
The fur on a “Satin Rabbit Fur Coat” is generally much softer than normal fur. Similar to the “Rex Rabbit Fur Classification” there are only two breeds of rabbits which possess “Satin Fur”; the Satin and Mini Satin.
Wool Rabbit Fur
Lastly there is “Wool Rabbit Fur”, which is sometimes referred to as simply “Angora Rabbit Fur”. As indicated by its revealing name Wool Rabbit Fur is quite similar to the fur found on sheep however it has been proven to be of a higher density.
In addition to being classified by their fur and body type, rabbits are also classified by their size and weight. Although many experts have categorized rabbit size in different ways, for the purpose of this “Rabbit Types Article” I am going to categorize the ARBA breeds into four average full grown weight groups. These four rabbit size-weight groups consist of the Small Rabbit Breeds, Medium Rabbit Breeds, Large Rabbit Breeds and lastly Giant Rabbit Breeds.
The categorization rules are as follows…
- Small Rabbit Breeds: Under six pounds (2.7 kg)
- Medium Rabbit Breeds: Over six pounds (2.7) through 9 pounds (4.1 kg)
- Large Rabbit Breeds: Over 9 pounds (4.1 kg) through 11 pounds (5 kg)
- Giant Rabbit Breeds: Over 11 pounds (5 kg+)
In addition to the other rabbit type classifications, rabbits can be classified by their purpose for being raised. As you can imagine, some rabbit breeds are better for certain purposes than others are.
In my opinion there are four many reasons why people choose to raise rabbits…
- Fancy: to show them or to simply raise as pets
- Meat: rabbits that are raised or sold specifically for meat
- Research: animals that are raised and bred specifically for research and experimentation purposes
- Textiles: rabbits that used for their fur
Domestic vs Wild Rabbits
In simple terms, all rabbits regardless of the categories that they have been categorized in, fall into two main rabbit types. These two main types include: Domestic Rabbits and Wild Rabbits. As mentioned already, all of the breeds of rabbits mentioned in this article are domestic rabbit breeds. Wild rabbit breeds are not categorized in the same way that domestic breeds are.
Also pet rabbits are almost always domestic rabbits. Domestic rabbits have been bred over the years to live peacefully in human enclosures, wild rabbits on the other hand need to live in the “wild” because that is their natural habitat.
Alright this concludes our article about the different types of rabbits. If you have any questions about the material mentioned in this article you can ask us questions on our Rabbit Breeders Facebook Page.
Also if you enjoyed this article I suggest that you check out some of the following rabbit articles and resources that I have provided below…
- Rabbit Breeders Newsletter: Our free newsletter on raising rabbits, if you enjoyed this article about the different rabbit types I highly suggest that you go claim your free email subscription.
- Rabbit Books: Grab a rabbit book from our recommendation list and start learning more about raising rabbits
- Breeds of Rabbits: Go learn about the different breeds of rabbits in this article
- Rabbits for Sale: Use our rabbit breeders directory to locate rabbits for sale in your area
- Breeding Rabbits: Discover the secrets to successfully breeding rabbits
- Facts about Rabbits: Go check out our article on rabbit facts and learn some amazing things about the rabbit species in general
- Rabbit Supplies for Sale: Use our rabbit supplies store to find rabbit supplies for sale
- Rabbit Names: Use this huge list to find names for your rabbits
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