With over 49 unique breeds recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association, the world of rabbit breeds is incredibly diverse! From the tiny 2 pound Netherland Dwarf to the massive 15 pound Flemish Giant, rabbit breeds come in all shapes and sizes. Their coats range from short and velvety to long and silky. Color varieties run the gamut from solid to spotted to wildly patterned. Some have cute floppy lop ears while others have upright antennae ears. No matter your preference, there is a perfect rabbit breed for you! This article will explore all 49 ARBA recognized breeds so you can determine the best match for your desired size, fur type, color, and temperament. Let’s hop to it!
American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA)
The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, development, and improvement of rabbit breeds. Founded in 1910, it is the national authority on rabbit breeds, rabbit keeping, and rabbit shows in the United States.
The ARBA recognizes 49 unique rabbit breeds ranging in size from the 2 pound Netherland Dwarf to the 15+ pound Flemish Giant. Each breed is distinguished by a unique combination of size, body type, fur characteristics, coloration, and temperament. ARBA provides breed standards that detail the ideal features, weights, and appearances of each recognized breed.
ARBA also sanctions rabbit shows across the country. These shows enable breeders to showcase their rabbits and have them evaluated against the ARBA breed standards. Top winners can earn the tittle of Grand Champion.
To register your rabbit with ARBA, you must know the exact breed. ARBA maintains pedigree information dating back many generations for all registered rabbits. Registration provides verification of your rabbit's purebred status.
1. Recognized Rabbit Breeds
The ARBA officially recognizes 49 rabbit breeds. They are organized into groups based on their weight and size:
Small Rabbit Breeds: Under 5 lbs
Medium Rabbit Breeds: 5-8 lbs
Large Rabbit Breeds: Over 8 lbs
In addition to weight divisions, breeds are also grouped based on other characteristics such as fur type. The most common groups include normal fur, wool breeds, Rex breeds, and Satins.
It's important to accurately identify your rabbit's breed because each breed has its own standards for body type, fur type, color, and more. Proper breed identification will enable you to register your rabbit and participate in ARBA shows.
Here is an overview of the breeds by size:
Small rabbit breeds (up to 5 lbs)
American Fuzzy Lop
The American Fuzzy Lop weighs 2.5-4 lbs. It has very dense fur that is soft, wool-like, and longer than its body. The head is well-rounded and broad between the ears. Ears are lopped. Comes in a wide variety of colors.
The Britannia Petite is an English breed weighing 2-3.5 lbs. It has a short, cobby body with thick, rollback fur. The head is broad with full cheeks. Ears are small and upright. Color is black, blue, chocolate, lilac, or broken marked.
The Dwarf Hotot is all white with dark black eye bands. Weighs under 3 lbs. It has a compact, well rounded body. The head is bold with upright ears. Fur is short, dense, and rollback.
The Himalayan has a distinctive color pattern: white body with colored points on feet, ears, nose, and tail. Weighs 2.5-4.5 lbs. It has a compact body and small upright ears. Fur is short and rollback.
The distinctive Lop ears of the Holland Lop hang down on each side of the head. Weighs 2-4 lbs. The body is compact and well-rounded. Coat is thick, dense, and rollback. Come in a wide variety of solid colors and broken patterns.
The Jersey Wooly has a short, compact body covered in dense wooly fur. Weighs 1.5-3.5 lbs. Head and ears are rounded. Comes in many colors with agouti fur (each hair having bands of color).
Distinctive for the wool mane encircling their head, Lionheads weigh 2.5-4 lbs. The body is compact with a rounded rump. Ears are upright. Fur is medium length. Come in many colors.
With plush, dense, Rex fur, Mini Rex have velvety coats that sweep back from their bodies. Weigh 3-4.5 lbs. Body is compact and short. Head is rounded with upright ears. Many color varieties exist.
The Mini Satin has the distinctive sheen of the Satin fur types. Weighs 3-4 lbs. It has a commercial body type with rounded head and upright ears. Comes in many colors with a lustrous, satin sheen.
World’s smallest domestic rabbit breed, the Netherland Dwarf weighs just 1.5-2.5 lbs. It has a compact, round body with short, upright ears. Coat is dense and rollback. Comes in a wide variety of colors.
Tiny and toy-like, the Polish rabbit has a maximum weight of 3.5 lbs. It's distinguishing feature is a crest of fur between the ears. The body is short and compact. Coat is rollback with dense underfur.
Medium (5 – 8 lbs)
Resembling a large wild hare, the Belgian Hare has a semi-arched body weighing 5-7 lbs. It has long hind legs and large upright ears. The coat is very dense and rollback. Comes in a wide variety of colors.
Immediately recognizable by its striking color pattern, the Dutch has distinctive white blazes and eye circles on a colored body. Weighs 4-5.5 lbs. The body is compact and well-rounded. Coat is dense and rollback.
Prized for their long silky fur, English Angoras have front and rear fur up to 6 inches long. Weighs 5.5-7.5 lbs. Body is compact and commercial style. Head is rounded with upright ears. Many colors exist.
With distinctive spots and markings, the English Spot comes in many color patterns. Weighs 5-8 lbs. Body is graceful and mandolin in shape. The coat is rollback and lustrous. Ears are upright.
A large white rabbit with pink eyes, the Florida White weighs 5-7 lbs. Body type is mandolin shaped. Ears are upright. Coat is dense and rollback. Disqualifications for any color markings.
The distinctive Japanese breed has orange and black/blue markings on a white body. Weighs 5.5-7.5 lbs. Body is graceful and commercial style. Ears are upright. Rollback fur.
With a deep chocolate brown coat, Havanas weigh 4.5-6.5 lbs. Body is graceful and commercial style. Ears upright. Rollback coat. Also come in broken variety.
A domestic rabbit with a distinctive pale greyish-brown coat, the Lilac weighs 4-6 lbs. Body is commercial style. Ears upright. Coat is rollback and very dense.
With signature lopped ears, Mini Lops weigh 4-6.5 lbs. The body is muscular and compact. Rollback coat. Come in wide variety of colors and patterns.
With the sheen of the Satin breeds and medium long fur of Angoras, Satin Angoras have a lustrous silky coat. Weigh 5-7.5 lbs. Commercial body style. Come in many colors.
With black pigment and silver-white fur, the Silver rabbit weighs 4.5-7.5 lbs. Body is graceful and commercial style. Rollback coat. Ears upright. Common color is Chinchilla: silver with black ears, nose, feet, tail.
Similar to the Silver but with defined black and silver markings, the Silver Marten weighs 5.5-8 lbs. Body is commercial style. Coat is dense and rollback. Ears upright.
With signature Pearl fur: white base with black ticking, Standard Chinchillas weigh 5.5-9.5 lbs. Commercial body style. Rollback coat. Ears upright.
Recognizable by their tan color pattern, Tans have tan patterned bodies with dark noses, ears, tails, and feet. Weigh 4-6 lbs. Commercial body style. Rollback coat.
A newer breed with striking coloration: bright orange and white. Weighs 4-6 lbs. Body is commercial style. Rollback coat. Ears upright.
Large (8lbs or larger)
The American rabbit has a mandolin shaped body weighing 8-11 lbs. Fur is rollback with medium density. Comes in many color varieties, often broken patterned. Ears upright.
Resembling a Standard Chinchilla but larger. Pearl fur with bold black ticking on white base. Weighs 9-12 lbs. Commercial body style. Rollback coat.
Rich sepia brown coloration with black ears, nose, feet and tail. Weighs 7-10 lbs. Mandolin shaped body. Medium density fur.
Striking smoky brown color. Weighs 8-11 lbs. Commercial style body. Coat is rollback and dense. Ears are upright.
All white rabbit with pink eyes. Weighs 8-12 lbs. Commercial style body. Dense rollback coat. Upright ears.
Blanc de Hotot
Pure white with black eye bands. Weighs 8-11 lbs. Commercial body style. Dense rollback fur. Upright ears.
All white rabbit except for dark points on nose, ears, feet, and tail. Weighs 8-12 lbs. Commercial body with thick rollback coat.
Silver-white fur with distinctly darker bands of ticking across the body. Weighs 9-12 lbs. Commercial body style. Dense rollback fur.
Large rabbit with striking checkered pattern of white and colored patches. Weighs 10-16 lbs. Commercial body style. Rollback fur.
Chestnut brown color. Weighs 9-12 lbs. Commercial body style. Coat is dense and rollback. Ears are upright.
Straw-cream coloration with pink eyes. Weighs 8-11 lbs. Commercial body style. Dense rollback coat. Ears upright.
Massive lop ears frame the face. Weighs 9-11 lbs. Mandolin style body. Rollback coat. Many color varieties.
Largest purebred rabbit. Weighs 13+ lbs. Semi-arched commercial body. Coat is dense and rollback. Many colors.
Long, silky, wool-like fur. Weighs 7.5-10.5 lbs. Commercial body style. Comes in many colors.
Distinctive lop ears. Weighs 9-14 lbs. Powerful, massive body. Rollback coat. Many color varieties exist.
Prized for its very long fur up to 7 inches in length! Weighs 9.5-12 lbs. Commercial body style. Multiple color varieties.
Largest of the Chinchilla type rabbits. Weighs 12-15 lbs. Commercial body style. Rollback Pearl fur with bold ticking.
Large white rabbit with pink eyes. Weighs 9-12 lbs. Commercial style body. Dense rollback fur. Ears upright. Common multipurpose meat/fur breed.
Golden tan color with white underbelly and blazes. Weighs 9-12 lbs. Commercial body style. Rollback fur. Ears upright.
Plush, velvety fur with a Rex texture: 1-1.5 inch guard hairs. Weighs 7.5-10.5 lbs. Commercial style body. Many color varieties exist.
Color pattern of black and orange markings. Weighs 7-11 lbs. Commercial style body. Rollback coat. Ears upright.
Glossy, lustrous fur with a satin-like sheen. Weighs 9-12 lbs. Commercial style body. Many colors with Satin sheen.
Striking black and silver color pattern. Weighs 10-12 lbs. Commercial body style. Dense rollback fur. Ears upright.