If you are looking to get your first rabbit and wondering what rabbit breeds you should consider then you are at the right place. In this article we will compare 10 Best Breed Of Rabbit For First Time Owners.
We will find out which rabbit breeds are suitable for indoor housing, which rabbit breeds are suitable for housing outdoors, which rabbit breeds require less maintenance and which rabbit breeds require more effort from their owners. We will also find out the best breed of rabbit for children and teenagers.
1. New Zealand Rabbit
People often call them the Golden Retriever of pet rabbits. They are calm, docile and easy to bond with. A perfect choice if you are looking for the best breed of rabbit for first time owners.
Although one might get confused by the name but New Zealand rabbits originated in California USA. They were first bred for their meat and fur. They come in 5 different colors, red, black, blue, broken and White.
Originally New Zealand Rabbits were mostly red but in the year 19 17 William S. Preshaw discovered some white rabbits new Zealand Rabbits.
White New Zealand rabbits carry a rare gene that causes a lack of the pigment in the body. This gives rise to white fur and ruby pink eyes which are quite desirable.
New Zealand Rabbit Characteristics
● Size : 10–12 lb (4.5–5.4 kg). Females can be slightly bigger than males.
● Appearance : New Zealand Rabbits have broad shoulders and rounded haunches. Their fur is short slick & smooth. They have 5 colors but mostly available in white which is an albino variant.
● Personality : Calm & gentle in all situations. They can easily bond with humans and other house pets. New Zealand rabbits can be taught to play and do tricks as well. Having the rabbit spayed or neutered will also help to mellow their temperament
● Ease Of Care : Easy to take care of. They do not need bathing, these rabbits are impeccable groomers and can keep themselves clean. They only need brushing to help with any fur shedding.
● Space Requirement : New Zealand rabbits do not need more space than typical. They should have plenty of space even living in an apartment.
● Compatibility With Children : New Zealand rabbits are perhaps the on of the best rabbit breeds for children. They are not at all aggressive and can be handled by even small children, with adult supervision of course.
● Health Concerns : Nothing other than any other rabbit. New Zealand Rabbits are prone to becoming overweight so keep a good & healthy diet may be needed.
● Lifespan : 7-10 years if kept as a house pet. Breeding rabbits live for 5-7 years.
● Price : Depending upon where you live New Zealand Rabbits can cost anywhere from $20 – $50. Adoption costs are typically lower than what pet stores may charge you.
● Cost Of Ownership : Other than any vet bill which can be close to $100, the monthly cost of ownership for a New Zealand Rabbits is less than $50.
What Makes New Zealand Rabbit Good For Beginners?
If you are a first time rabbit owner and are looking to learn the ropes of keeping a pet rabbit then a New Zealand Rabbit can be and ideal first rabbit. You can take care of one of these rabbits with very little effort.
If you have a cat, dog or any other pet and are considering getting a pet rabbit then you should get a breed that is not too small, friendly with other pets and easy to bond with. The New Zealand Rabbit fits the bill perfectly.
2. Holland Lop
Holland Lop is one of the most popular rabbit breeds for first time owners. They are adorable and have distinctive droopy ears like a Cocker Spaniel dog and a smashed in face like a bull dog.
Although they come in on the smaller side of rabbit sizes, Holland lops are friendly, smart and energetic. They are incredibly curious and love to explore their environment and figure out things on their own.
They come in many colors and patterns of red, black, grey and fawn. They were bred as a show rabbit by dutch breeder Adrian de Cock. Holland Lops are very popular as pet rabbits throughout the world and loved for their behavior, personality and floppy ears
Holland Lop Characteristics
● Size : 2-4 lb (0.9 – 1.8 kg) Making them one of the smallest rabbit breeds in the world.
● Appearance : Holland Lops have small faces, short round noses and hanging ears. Their body is small but muscular. They have short, stubby legs and a fluffy tail. Their fur is smooth and fluffy with a wide range of colors and patterns.
● Personality : Most Holland lops are outgoing and energetic. They love to explore and play. But, they need chew toys otherwise their playfulness can cause damage to your furniture.
Some Holland Lops have been known to be nippy, it is where they bit softly to get attention. That being said, this behavior is often driven by hormones and can be resolved with spaying or neutering the rabbit.
● Ease Of Care : Holland lops do not need any specific care but they do need weekly brushing and grooming to help with their shedding fur. Although Holland Lops can groom all the fur out themselves, they are prone to ingesting it and getting a gut blockage which is like a fur ball in the stomach but deadlier.
They also require additional brushing during the summer when they shed their winter fur off.
● Space Requirement : Holland lops are typically smaller than other rabbit breeds and need much less space than some of the larger rabbits on our list. That being said they do need enough space to run and hop around the room they are in.
● Compatibility With Children : Holland lops do fine with children but are not the most child friendly rabbit breed. Their small bodies may be fragile so children need to be careful not to step on them or play rough, which could hurt the rabbit.
● Health Concerns : Other than them getting GI Stasis from ingesting too much shed fur, Holland Lops may also have a hard time cooling themselves down. Rabbits do most of their cooling from their ears and lop eared rabbits have a hard time in this regard.
● Lifespan : A Holland Lop has a average lifespan of 8-10 years if kept as a house rabbit. They have been known to live up to 12 years.
● Price : Holland Lops cost about $20 – $50. Adoption from a local shelter will be cheaper in most cases.
● Cost Of Ownership : Since Holland Lops are small rabbits they typically cost less per month than larger rabbits. Average cost of having a Holland Lop is $20 – $50 per month. Vet bills can be around $100 a year.
What Makes Holland Lop Rabbits Good For Beginners?
If you are someone who is into the look of the lop eared rabbit then a Holland Lop can be perfect for you. They are a ball of energy and will keep you occupied throughout your day.
They are also highly affectionate and can bond easily with their humans making them on of the best rabbit breeds for beginners.
3. Dutch Rabbit
Dutch Rabbits, again, contrary to their name originated in England. They are said to have descended from Belgian rabbits. They can be easily be identified by unique marking on their fur.
Dutch rabbits are one of the most popular Breed Of Rabbit For First Time Owners. They are medium sized, friendly, calm and situated to living indoors or outdoors in a hutch.
They were once popular meat rabbits buy now are mostly bred as pets. That makes them really common throughout the world especially in countries like the US, Canada, Australia & the UK.
Dutch Rabbit Characteristics
● Size : 4–5.5 lbs (1.8 – 2.5 Kgs) somewhere between small and medium size.
● Appearance : Dutch Rabbits come in a bunch of different colors like Black, Grey, Blue, Steel etc. What makes these rabbits unique is the specific pattern on their fur which is not found in any other rabbit breed.
The have short upright ears on a broad face. Their body is short and round with small but powerful legs. Their eye colors can vary from pale blue all the way to deep black. They are short furred which does not shed as much as some other breeds.
● Personality : Dutch rabbits are friendly and outgoing rabbits that can bond with most humans and other rabbits. They also adjust well to living with other pets such as cats or dogs.
They love to run, binky and play around but the also like to dig. So make sure you provide them enough safe digging material like cardboard and old rags.
● Ease Of Care : Dutch Rabbits are on the easier side when it come to caring for them. They have really short fur which does not need a lot of brushing even while they shed their winter coat.
They do need some amount of space to be able to jump and run around but given their smaller size letting them play in just a room is enough.
Dutch rabbits also do better when they have a constant companion, whether it is you their owner or another pet animal. They can get depressed if they are living alone so make sure they get constant attention.
● Compatibility With Children : Dutch Rabbits can be great pets for children, they are easy to handle, take care of and not that skittish. Dutch rabbit can be an ideal pet for children aged 10 and above.
● Health Concerns : Dutch rabbits have no specific health concerns.
● Lifespan : 5-8 years although some may live till 10.
● Price : Dutch rabbits cost around $10 – $40. They are usually available for adoption for even cheaper.
● Cost Of Ownership : Cost of having dutch rabbit is less than $50 a month not including any vet costs which can be around $100 for two visits a year.
What Makes Dutch Rabbits Good For Beginners?
If you are someone who is looking for a friendly companion then a Dutch Rabbit can be a good pet for you. These rabbits are really popular throughout the world and a lot of information about their diet, health and care is available online.
They have a unique look to them and if you are into it then go ahead, bring home a couple of Dutch rabbits today!
4. Netherland Dwarf
Netherland Dwarf Rabbits are perhaps the smallest breed of pet rabbits. As the name suggests, they originate from Netherland and were bred as pet rabbits who looks like baby rabbits.
These rabbits seem like they have been shrunk down which makes them look really adorable. They were originally bred from polish rabbits mating with other smaller wild rabbits.
Even though decades of selective breeding has shaped the Netherland dwarf rabbits into a calm and gentle house pet, they can still be a bit more aggressive than other breeds especially if they are not spayed and neutered at the right age.
● Size : 1.1–2.5 lbs (0.5 – 1.5 Kgs). One of the smallest in the world.
● Appearance : Netherland Dawrf rabbits look just like baby rabbits called kits. They are tiny compared to other rabbits. They have short stubby ears and a stout rounded body.
Their head is comparatively larger in proportion than their body giving them the dwarf rabbit look.
Netherland Dwarfs can be found in hundreds of color combinations, perhaps the most color option in any rabbit breed.
● Personality : Most Netherland Dwarfs are friendly and playful but they can get spooked very easily and don’t really do well with to much handling. That being said, they can bond with humans as well as other pet animals and can be extremely affectionate.
● Ease Of Care : Netherland dwarfs are small rabbit that do not require much in the way of special care other than keeping their small size and fragile body in mind. Compared to some of the larger rabbits in this lists.
Dawrf rabbits have weaker bones and are more susceptible to injuries. Their small size also makes it hard to keep them with dogs or cats who can seriously hurt a Netherland Dwarf by accident.
That being said, they need much less space and food compared to larger breeds.
● Compatibility With Children : Netherland Dwarf are not the best pet for children. They can get spooked easily from petting or holding them the wrong way which can be hard for children to understand.
They tend to nip and squirm when held for too long which can be quite scary for both the rabbit and the child. Netherland Dwarf Rabbits are not the best choice for children under the age of 14.
● Health Concerns : Dawrf rabbit are prone to dental problems even from birth. They also have weaker bodies compared to other rabbit breeds.
● Lifespan : 10-12 Years when housed indoor with a companion rabbit.
● Price : Netherland Dwarf Rabbits can cost anywhere from $30 – $50. They are a bit on the pricey side compared to some other rabbits on this list.
● Cost Of Ownership : Monthly cost of ownership can be around $50 for these rabbits. Vet costs can be upto $100 a year.
What Makes Netherland Dawrf Rabbits Good For Beginners?
For anyone who is looking for a smaller rabbit, be it for the looks or for any space constraint will find the Netherland Dwarf to be a good match for them.
With enough time and interaction any rabbit can be tamed and bonded. Just make sure that you monitor the bunnies around other pets or children.
5. Flemish Giant
Flemish Giant Rabbits are considered one of the largest breed of rabbit in the world. In the recent years they have become increasingly popular as house pets due to their friendly, calm and docile nature.
They are really big, in fact the world record holder for the largest rabbit in the world is also a Flemish Giant Rabbit. They are known as the gentle giants of the rabbit world.
There were originally bred for meat and fur but they now make adored pets. Although they are not as popular as other rabbits in this list, these rabbits do have some unique quirks to them.
They are big enough to safely live with other pets such as cats or dogs and can even be walked outdoors on a leash.
● Size : 15-22 lbs (7-10 Kgs) Largest and heaviest rabbit breed in the world.
● Appearance : Flemish giants can be as big as a medium sized dog. They have thick fur, long ears and come in eight colors varieties. The male rabbits have a larger head while females have a dewlap.
● Personality : Flemish giant rabbits really are gentle giants. Of all the rabbit breeds, they are the most tolerant to petting and cuddling. That being said they don’t really like being picked up as much as smaller rabbits.
● Ease Of Care : Owning to their large size, Flemish giant rabbits do need a bit more active care than other rabbit breeds. They are known to shed a lot of fur which needs regular brushing. They also require more space to stay active and excessive.
● Compatibility With Children : Flemish giant rabbits are a great rabbit breed for children. Due to their calm nature and adorable behavior these rabbits are a favorite of children everywhere.
● Health Concerns : Flemish rabbits have no specific health concern, they just need space to exercise otherwise they may become over weight.
● Lifespan : 6-10 Years
● Price : Flemish Giant rabbits can cost about $50 – $100. Adoption costs are typically less than that.
● Cost Of Ownership: Cost of owning a Flemish Giant is typically a bit more than smaller rabbit. They can cost about $40 – $70 a month depending on how big the rabbit is.
What Makes Flemish Giant Rabbits Good For Beginners?
Do you want to rabbit that is just like a dog if not better? Flemish Giants are good for someone who has ample space in their home and is looking for a rabbit that can grow into that space then this is the one for you.
Flemish giants also do very well around children or other pets due to their docile nature.
6. Mini Rex
The Mini Rex is is definitely one of the Best Breed Of Rabbit For First Time Owners. They have a gene in them which makes their fur sand up straight rather then being smooth and laying on the body giving their coat a soft & velvety feeling when touched.
They come in many different colors and patterns and can be classified as small rabbits but not dwarf rabbits as they have well proportionate bodies compared to dwarfs.
Combined with their unique fur, their calm, friendly personality and small size, these rabbits which have had origin in France are now one of the most popular pet rabbit breed in the USA.
● Size : 3.5–4.5 lbs (1.5-2.5 Kgs)
● Appearance : Mini Rexes are have broad well built bodies with short velvety fur. They have more than 20 official colors. Their ears stand up straight and they often have dark colored eyes like brown or black. The most unique feature is their Rex gene that causes their coat to be really soft and fluffy.
● Personality : They are calm, gentle and friendly. Bonding with Mini Rex rabbits is quite easy even for first time rabbit owners but be careful while hand
● Ease Of Care : Mini Rexes are easy to take care of even for beginners. They do not require much space to be housed, they do not require thorough and regular brushing compared to some other breeds with longer fur. This makes them an ideal first rabbit.
● Compatibility With Children : These rabbits are gentle and remain calm around children but remember that certain individuals may not like to be picked up too much.
● Health Concerns : Mini Rex rabbits have no specific health concerns.
● Lifespan : 5-7 Years
● Price : A Mini Rex rabbit can cost anywhere from $30 – $60 depending on coat and color. Adopting a Mini Rex may be much cheaper than that.
● Cost Of Ownership : Owning a Mini Rex is really cheap. Their monthly cost of ownership is generally less than $50. Vet costs are around $100 a year.
What Makes Mini Rex Rabbits Good For Beginners?
Mini Rex rabbits are gentle and playful. They can be a great pet for someone who just wants a normal size rabbit to cuddle with.
They can also be good pets for hoes with children and other animals such as cats or dogs.
7. Lionhead Rabbit
Lionhead rabbits have an unique appearence, they have long furry coat forming a mne like a lion near their head. As with most of the rabbits in this list they got their start in Belgium where breeders bred them as show rabbits.
These days Lionhead Rabbits have become popular as house rabbits around the world. They are fun, friendly, energetic and easy to bond with.
That being said, they do need a lot of grooming and care to keep their fur in top shape which can be a bit difficult for a first time rabbit owner as rabbit hardly sit down patiently to be groomed.
They come in a wide variety of color, patterns and mane shapes some with a single mane and other with a double layer of mane around their head.
● Size : 2.5–3.5 lbs (1-1.5 Kgs)
● Appearance : Lionheads have a mane which is tuft of fur around their neck and head which makes them look like a Lion. They come in various colors yet only two specific colors Tortoise and Ruby Eyed White are officially recognized. The shape, size and thickness of a Lionhead’s mane can vary greatly from rabbit to rabbit.
● Personality : Most Lionheads are calm and friendly but they can also be skittish around unknown people or in an unknown environment. They usually have a docile temperament but some can be a bit more feisty than others. That being said they are not aggressive at all.
● Ease Of Care : Lionheads are not the easiest rabbit breed to care for. Their fur is wooly so it can get matted. They also shed a good amount of fur during summer so Lionhead Rabbit owners have to keep up with brushing and maintaining their fur.
● Compatibility With Children : Most lionhead rabbits do fine in household with children but they are not the ideal rabbit breed
● Health Concerns : Lionhead rabbits have no special health concerns.
● Lifespan : 7-10 Years
● Price : Lionhead rabbits can cost as much as $50 – $80. Adopting them is much cheaper.
● Cost Of Ownership : Cost of owning a lionhead rabbit is less tha $50 a month not including vet bills which can be around a $100 per year.
What Makes Lionhead Rabbits Good For Beginners?
Lionhead rabbits have a unique look and unique personalty. If that is something you are looking for in a rabbit then this is the perfect choice for you.
As show animals they are very popular and if you want to style up your bunny then go for a lionhead.
8. Jersey Wooly
A Jersey Wooly is a cross between a cross between a Dwarf rabbit which are tiny in size and an Angoora rabbit which are known for their wooly coat. They are tiny rabbits with lush wooly fur.
They are friendly and docile pets but require some effort to keep them well groomed. Their fur can get dirty. Wooly rabbits also shed a lot which fur which needs to be dealt with.
Yet Jersey Wooly rabbits are some of the most popular show rabbits in the US. They can make excellent house pets especially for folks who like to keep their pet well groomed and styled.
● Size : 1–3 lbs (0.5-1.5 Kgs)
● Appearance : As their name suggests, Jersey Wooly rabbits have a fluffy wooly coats. They are much smaller than the average rabbit and come in many different colors. Their eyes are generally black or brown but some may have red, blue or pink eyes.
● Personality : Jersey Wooly rabbits have a calm and friendly personality. They hardly ever scratch or bit. This makes them an ideal house pet.
● Ease Of Care : Jersey Wooly rabbits do take a bit more effort to maintain when compared to other rabbit breeds. They have a thick coat of wooly fur that need to be brushed and groomed regularly. Their fur is also prone to matting which requires occasional trimming or sheering.
● Compatibility With Children : These rabbits make extremely compatible with children due to their kind and gentle nature. Kids love how cute they are can bond with them in no time.
● Health Concerns : There are no specific health concerns for Jersey Wooly Rabbits.
● Lifespan : 7-10 Years
● Price : A Jersey Wooly rabbit costs around $30 – $50 but they are often available for adoption for much less.
● Cost Of Ownership : They cost less than $50 a month excluding vet costs that can be around $100 – $150 a year.
What Makes Jersey Wooly Rabbits Good For Beginners?
9. Californian Rabbit
Californian Rabbits are a well suited breed of rabbit for first time owners. Although they were originally bred for their meat and fur , their calm and docile nature also makes them excellent house pets.
Californian rabbit are robust animals that can even live both outdoors and indoors. This makes the an ideal low fuss pet. That being said, any rabbit that is being housed outdoors need to live with other bonded rabbits and some essential items to live happily. You can read more about the topic on link me
They are one of the most common pet rabbit breed at US households today.
● Size : 8–10.5 lbs (3.5-4.5 Kgs)
● Appearance : Californian Rabbits have a unique appearence, they have their signature black spot on ther nose, black ears, black hands, feet and tails while the rest of the body is bright white. They also sometimes have ruby pink eyes that are attributed to Albinism.
● Personality : They are generally calm and docile but can be skittish in an unfamiliar environment. They are usually prefer being with other rabbits and don’t like being alone.
● Ease Of Care : Californian Rabbits are easy to care for. They do not need much brushing or grooming. A good diet, clean water and some play time is all they need.
● Compatibility With Children : Californian rabbits can make a good pet for children. They do good living inside and outside so they can be easy to take care of even for children.
● Health Concerns : Californian Rabbits have no specific health concerns.
● Lifespan : 5-10 Years
● Price : Californian Rabbits can cost anywhere from $20 – $50. Adoption options are also available in local shelters for much cheaper.
● Cost Of Ownership : The cost of ownership for californian rabbits is around $30 – $40 a month. Vet costs can be around a $100 a year.
What Makes Californian Rabbits Good For Beginners?
If you want to house your rabbit outdoors then the Californian Rabbit can be a good choise. They are hardy and Robust rabbits suitable to living outdoors given that you provide everything that may be needed.
10. Harlequin Rabbit
Harlequin Rabbits are the only rabbit in this list classified by their color and not physical features such as body, fur or eyes. They are often called Japanese rabbits but they actually originated in France.
They have a unique pattern of black and orange fur, ideally half and half. Some Harlequins can also have patterns of Black and white called Magpies.
Harlequin rabbits are rare and sought after rabbit breed but they are also incredibly docile and can easily bond with any family.
● Size : 6.5–9.5 lbs (3-4.5 Kgs)
● Appearance : Harlequin rabbits are known for their unique appearance. They always have black markings that divide their body and head. Their base color is often orange or white while the stripes can be black, blue, brown or lilac. They can have straight or floppy ears like lop rabbits.
● Personality : Harlequin rabbits are friendly and docile. They were originally developed to be house pets so their nature is gentle.
● Ease Of Care : Harlequin rabbit are easy to take care off, they do not to be brushed or groomed too much. That makes them an low effort rabbit compared to some of the other rabbits on this list.
● Compatibility With Children : Harlequin rabbits are highly compatible with children as they are hassle free and have a great temperament which makes them bond easily with children.
● Health Concerns : Harlequin Rabbits do not have any special health care concerns.
● Lifespan : 5-8 Years
● Price : $50 – $100 is the average price of a Harlequin Rabbit in the USA.
● Cost Of Ownership : Harlequin rabbit can cost upto $50 a month and vet bills can be around $100 – $200 a year.
What Makes Harlequin Rabbits Good For Beginners?
Not only are Harlequin rabbits a rare breed, they also are extremely well suited to be house rabbits due to their docile nature and calm personality.
They can also live well with other rabbits as well as dogs or cats. They are also well suited for children.
11. Mixed Breed Rabbits (Bonus)
Mixed breeds have traits of two or more rabbit breeds. These rabbits are the most common rabbits around as getting pure breed rabbit is really hard due to all the cross breeding.
These rabbits can have mixed body shape, fur style, colors and markings. While most people look for a pure breed, these mixed breed rabbits can make just as good house pets.
It is always recommended that you choose a rabbit by its temperament and personality and not by looks or breed. This is the best way to get a rabbit who can bond with you and live in harmony in the long run.