Dutch Rabbit – information and facts about the Dutch Rabbit Breed. Learn more about Dutch Rabbits in this article. Breed photos are included.
Do you know that Dutch Rabbit was once the most popular of all the rabbit breeds. This is not until the dwarf rabbits came into the picture that the popularity of the Dutch rabbits slowly declined.
Dutch Rabbit Facts
When people hear of the word Dutch, they would usually associate it to Netherlands. And that’s true in this case. Dutch rabbits originated in Holland, near the Netherland Dwarf’s birthplace. During these times, both the Netherland Dwarf and Dutch rabbits were considered strictly fancy showing animals.
However, Dutch Rabbits are not developed in Netherlands. These popular rabbits were developed in England. Fulfilling their meat purposes, England did a series of weekly importations of these rabbits from Ostend, Belgium during the 1830s.
One of these rabbits was Petit Brabancon, which originated from Brabant, Flanders. This breed might still be found in paintings from 15th century. This old breed can be accounted as one of the generic roots of Dutch rabbits. Petit Brabancon have Dutch markings. Rabbit breeders chose the ones with even markings, and developed the breed in such a way that they can have the markings of the Dutch rabbits that we have today.
Most Dutch rabbits are popular for both pet and showing purposes.
2. Characteristics and Appearance
The size of a Dutch rabbit is small to medium. It is a 4-class breed. Those rabbits that are under the age of 6 months, and have a minimum weight of 1.75 pounds, fall under the category of junior rabbits. For senior rabbits, they are over 6 months of age and have a weight between 3.5 and 5.5 pounds. The ideal weight for senior rabbits is 4.5.
The bodies of Dutch rabbits are compact and well rounded. Their heads are also rounded, complementing their body shape. The roundedness of their bodies and head should be apparent in all varieties. It should start from behind the head, then over the shoulders to the loin’s highest part, then rounding off over the hindquarters. Their ears are short, stocky and well furred.
Dutch rabbits are easily noticed because of their characteristic color pattern. Indeed, this marking pattern is their most striking feature. They have an even edge of white feature that runs through their face. This white feature is shaped by their cheeks, which are the rounded circles of color on either of the face’s sides. This white run in the face is what you call blaze.
Dutch rabbits also have this feature called saddle. Saddle is a straight line that runs right behind the shoulders and continues underneath the Dutch rabbit undercut across the belly. On their rear feet, you can find the stops. These are white in color and approximately one-third in length, if measured from the toes.
The fur of a Dutch rabbit is glossy and flyback in nature. They come in 6 colors, as recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association: black, blue, chocolate, gray, steel and tortoise.
Just a slight overview of their varieties, let’s start it off with the Black Dutch. Black Dutch rabbits should have this dense and very glossy color. This coloring is jet black in nature and runs deeply towards the rabbit’s skin, which perfectly blends into the slate blue under coloring of the Dutch rabbits.
The Blue Dutch is slightly lighter when compared with the Black. This rabbit variety has a uniform medium-dark blue and very glossy color. It also runs deep towards the skin, just like the Black variety, and blends perfectly with the slate blue undercolor next to the skin. The major difference between Black Dutch and Blue Dutch is their eye coloring. The Black Dutch rabbit must have a dark-brown eye color while the Blue Dutch must have a blue-gray.
We also have the Chinchilla Dutch and the surface color in the top and sides of this rabbit’s body is to pearl white ticked with black. At the top of the intermediary band is a black band. In the belly area is a white surface color, coupled with a slate blue under coloring.
Chocolate Dutch, as the name suggests, boasts its dark chocolate brown color running towards its skin. Next to the skin is a bluish dove under color, perfectly complementing the chocolate color. Its fur is very glossy and uniform and the eyes are colored dark-brown.
For the Gray Dutch rabbit, a remarkable feature is its agouti patter, which shows the distinct bands of color of the rabbit. Colors on the hair shaft of the Grays should be slate blue at the base, then followed by a medium tan, a thin charcoal brown band, and finished with a lighter tan. The colored portions of this Dutch rabbit’s body should be uniformly spread wit the black guard hairs.
We also have the Steel Dutch, whose entire colored portion is covered with black color. On some of its hair tips, there is a uniform disbursement of off-white or cream coloration. It also has a slate blue under coloring of the skin, similar to the Black and Blue Dutch varieties.
Last but not the least is the Tortoise Dutch. Its coloring is to be bright, clean orange which blends into a smokey-blue shading over the lower rump and carries well down the haunches The top coloring of the Tortoise should be carried down into the under color, then blends into the dark cream color next to the skin of the rabbit. The upper portion of the color of the tail should match the color of the top body.
3. Personality, Traits and Purpose
The Dutch rabbits are known as gentle as well-dispositional animals. Accordingly, they make a great rabbit not just for the beginners but also to advanced exhibitors in rabbit shows and fairs.
Dutch rabbits are known to produce an average size of litter at around 6 kits, in a gestation period that runs for 28-32 days. Their kits are born blind, but their eyes will open anywhere between 7-14 days.
Dutch rabbits are widely recognized as show rabbits. New varieties of Dutch rabbits that are still being developed right now are the Harlequin, which has an equivalent of Tri Coloured Dutch in UK, and the Chinchilla.
For the American Standard of the Dutch rabbits, 50 of the total 100 points is attributed to the rabbit’s markings, 25 points to the general type, 10 points for the color, 10 points to the fur and 5 to the rabbit’s condition.
When purchasing a Dutch rabbit, once must take into account the purpose of the rabbit. Also, he must not even think about having a perfect Dutch. There is no perfect Dutch rabbit. But there’s a clear distinction between a good and a bad Dutch rabbit. And that’s what has to be understood from the very beginning.
Now, the American Dutch Rabbit Club is in charge of promoting and developing the breed. Feel free to approach any member of ADRC for further information about this amazing and popular rabbit breed.