Mini Lop Rabbit – information and facts about the Mini Lop Rabbit Breed. Learn more about Mini Lop Rabbits in this article. Breed photos are included.
The Mini Lop is considered as one of the most popular rabbits most especially because of its cuddly characteristics. It’s so huggable that you would just want to hug it every time you see it. Indeed, many people think that the Mini Lop closely resembles a big plush toy, given its pudgy face, floppy ears, solid body, long and soft coat, and a little extra of skin from one side of the rabbit to another.
Aside from it being very huggable, the Mini Lop is also a very strong contender during rabbit shows. It ranks third among the smallest lops, next to Holland Lop and American Fuzzy Lop. The breed is considered as the smallest non-dwarfed lop.
But despite not being the smallest breed, the Mini Lop has managed to always stay on top of its game that made the breed be liked by many people all over the globe.
Mini Lop Rabbit Facts
Rabbits with lop ears have been around in Europe for a long time. The English Lop is the flag-bearer of this line. The rising popularity of the breed spread across Europe, which inspired the development of the German Big Lop. After which, the German Big Lop was crossed with a small Chinchilla rabbit, which resulted to a small lop called the Klein Widder, or “Little Hanging-Ear”.
Around the first years of 1970s, specifically in the year 1972, Bob Herschbach, a resident of California, saw the lop-eared rabbit in a rabbit show in Essen, Germany. He liked the rabbit and brought three of them back to the United States. This becomes the first recorded appearance of the lops in America. He then started crossing the trio with a Standard Chinchilla.
Due to its unique characteristics and overall appearance, the rabbit has attracted the attention of many rabbit breeders. While they are first presented to the American Rabbit Breeders’ Association as the Kline Widder, they were later named ‘Mini Lop’ in the year 1974 to have a better public appeal.
And with the efforts of a breeder named Herby Dyke, the Mini Lop was finally accepted to the ARBA by the year 1980. This memorable event happened at the National Rabbit Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Shortly after the convention, the Mini Lop Club of America was organized to promote the breed.
A few years later, another variety, the French Lop, was introduced to the public as the broken pattern color of the breed.
2. Characteristics and Appearance
In countries such as the United Kindom, Australia, and other nations that employ the British Rabbit Council’s standards, the Miniature Lop’s weight range is only between 3 to 4 pounds. This Miniature Lop is the same breed as the Holland Lop of the American Rabbit Breeders Association. Accordingly, America’s own version of Mini Lop would weigh from 5 to 6 pounds, a bit larger than the British.
Mini Lop is classified as a medium-sized rabbit. According to the ARBA’s Standard of Perfection, senior Mini Lops need to be at least 6 months of age, and should have a maximum weight of 6.5 pounds (3 kg). On the contrary, a Mini Lop can be considered at its junior stage when it still is under 6 months and weighs less than 6 pounds (2.7 kg). The ideal weight of the rabbit is 5.5. pounds (2.5 kg).
Many people think that the Mini Lop is the French Lop’s smaller version. Ideally, its head is of “bulldog” shape, signifying its broadness in size. For the females, the head is usually pillowed on a big dewlap. Moreover, the shape of its ears is like that of a horseshoe.
Generally, the Mini Lop’s body is very deep and round, characterized with a sturdy bone. When the Mini Lops are shown, judges are expecting to see a ‘basketball with a head’ rabbit. This means that they are projecting a well-rounded body with a thick depth, long and thick ears, head of reasonable width, and thick bone.
Mini Lop rabbit has a luxurious rollback coat. The American Rabbit Breeders Association recognizes many varieties for the Mini Lop. Some of the most common varieties are chestnut agouti, opal, chinchilla, and steel. Lynx, ruby-eyed white and tri-color also round this long list. These colors are usually divided into two main categories: broken pattern and the solid pattern.
A lack of complete head markings can be penalized during shows. Light body markings and excessive white hairs in solid patterns are also faulted.
A mismatch in the eye color can be a reason for disqualification. Foreign color spots in rabbits of the solid pattern group can also be another ground for the breed’s disqualification.
3. Personality and Traits
It has been told that the Mini Lop behaves exactly just as how it looks like. For many breeders and pet owners, the Mini Lop is their own version of a real-life teddy bear, not just on the physical aspect, but also on the way it behaves.
Many accounts of the rabbit also profile them as having a variety of personalities, just like any other animal. But most of the time, they are fairly friendly and playful. They are also very smart, so much so that they can be trained that they can be easily trained with tricks and commands, atop from its ability to be litter box trained.
For children who are doing the 4-H project, the Mini Lop is cited as one of the most viable options.
The Mini Lop rabbit continues to show its unique characteristics and personality across the years. Indeed, in the year 2011 alone, there are more than 1,100 Mini Lops that were entered in the ARBA Convention, attesting to the breed’s strong showroom following.
In the status quo, there are two National Specialty Clubs for the breed in the United States. The American Mini Lop Rabbit Club is currently holding the ARBA Charter for the breed. The clubs continue to promote and develop this very well-known breed.