Best known for its large floppy ears, the English Lop rabbit is believed to be the first lop rabbit breed developed by people. Covered in a short and soft flyback coat, the English Lop rabbit is relatively easy to groom and care for.
But, are English Lop rabbits good pets? English Lop rabbits make amazing pets and companions to people of all ages. Also known as the dogs of the rabbit world these bunnies have friendly, outgoing, curious, and placid temperaments. English Lops get along well with children, but they might be too big for a small child to hold and carry.
Are you looking for a cute-looking, calm, and friendly pet rabbit? If so, keep on reading! In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the English Lop breed and why they make ideal pets!
What Is an English Lop Rabbit?
The English Lop rabbit is one of the oldest breeds of domestic rabbit. It’s widely believed that they were the first lop rabbit breed created by people through selective breeding.
Easily recognizable for its oversized lopped ears that fall on either side of its face, the English Lop is a popular pet and show rabbit.
English Lop Rabbit History and Origin
The English Lop rabbit was developed in England in the 19th century. They were created for showing purposes as an early “fancy breed”.
With the rise of animal fancy in the Victorian era, the English Lop became a popular household pet. This was new for that time since most domesticated rabbits served mainly as sources of meat, fur, and wool production.
The English Lop was later bred with other breeds which led to the development of new lop rabbit breeds. These include the French Lop, developed from English Lop and Flemish Giant crosses, and the Holland Lop, created by breeding the French Lop with the Netherland Dwarf (source).
This breed made its way to America via trade ships and it soon became popular due to its unique appearance. The English Lop rabbit is officially recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association and is often seen at rabbit shows.
English Lop Rabbit Characteristics
The English Lop rabbit is best known for its long and oversized ears that fall on either side of its face. Their ears are up to 32 inches long tip to tip and are the longest ears of any rabbit breed.
English Lop rabbits have a longer and slimmer body than other lop rabbit breeds and a bold head. Their feet should be straight and they should also have a straight tail.
Size, Weight, Shape
The English Lop is a large-sized rabbit breed with a mandolin-shaped body. Male (bucks) usually weigh from nine to 15 pounds. Females (does) are slightly larger and weigh from 10 to 15 pounds.
English Lop rabbits can come in both solids and broken colors (any color broken by white). Within these two color groups, English Lops can come in many different colors including black, orange/fawn, blue, agouti/opal, chinchilla, red-eyed white, and blue and black torts.
The American Rabbit Breeders Association allows all recognized colors to be shown in either solid or broken groups except for pointed whites.
These bunnies have a short and smooth flyback coat that is fairly easy to maintain. An English Lop’s ears should be covered in soft fur and feel silky to the touch.
Brush your pet rabbit once a week to remove loose hair and keep their coat clean and shiny. If you notice that your pet rabbit is shedding more during the shedding season, start brushing them two times a week to keep the shedding under control.
Don’t try to bathe your pet rabbit under any circumstances! Bathing is an extremely stressful event for rabbits and can lead to a heart attack. If your rabbit seems a bit dirtier than usual, use a damp cloth to spot clean its coat.
English Lop rabbits have an average lifespan of five to eight years. Taking your English Lop rabbit to regular veterinary checkups and caring for them properly will help them stay healthy and happy.
Nicknamed the dog of the rabbit world the English Lop rabbit has a placid temperament and easy-going nature. These bunnies make wonderful pets to people of all ages including families with children.
Energetic and curious from a young age, these bunnies stay playful well into their adulthood. Naturally calm, laid-back, and outgoing English Lop bunnies make superb pets to families with younger or older kids and even novice owners.
If you are looking for a calm, gentle, and friendly rabbit that won’t be overly active and will like to spend time with you, the English Lop rabbit is a perfect choice. These cute bunnies are even willing to be picked up, petted, and cuddled by their owners or strangers.
English Lop rabbits don’t need a lot of toys, since they aren’t as interested in gnawing as many other rabbit breeds. However, they will need some form of environmental enrichment to keep them occupied and prevent boredom and destructive behavior.
These rabbits don’t require constant attention, but they like to interact with their families and will enjoy occasional cuddling and petting.
English Lops are also very intelligent and they tend to understand the concept of litter box training better than most other rabbits. This means that they are a bit easier to train and may even be interested in learning tricks and basic commands such as come, sit, and stay.
English Lop Rabbit Care
English Lop rabbits require more care in the ear department than other rabbits, just because they have such large ears. When it comes to caring for an English Lop rabbit pay attention to:
English Lop rabbits can live both indoors and outdoors as long as the temperature doesn’t drop below freezing. Due to their large ears and larger size, these bunnies need large and spacious enclosures to move, eat, sleep, and live comfortably.
Indoor cages should be made of wire and have a plastic or metal bottom that won’t chafe your rabbit’s feet and cause sore hocks. Use shredded newspapers, hay, or wood pellets as bedding to line the inside of the cage.
Spot clean the bedding every day and remove it completely once a week to keep the cage clean and to maintain hygiene.
Due to their large ears, English Lop rabbits are prone to ear infections and need extra ear care. Examine your rabbit’s ears once a week for dirt, mites, and waxy buildup (source). If your bunny’s ears seem dirty, clean them using a vet-approved ear cleaning solution.
Ear blemishes and injuries can be kept to a minimum by keeping your rabbit’s toenails clipped. This way, your pet bunny won’t scratch its ears when it accidentally steps on them.
Also, never leave a bowl of water outside for your rabbit if the temperature is near the freezing mark. If your bunny’s ears touch the water, there is a risk of frostbites and the tearing of the tips of the ears. If there is a chance that the weather will become too cold, bring your bunny inside to prevent frostbites and other ear injuries.
The diet of English Lop rabbits is no different than the diet of any other rabbit breed. The majority of their diet, 70% to be exact, should consist of high-quality hay. The remaining 30% should include fruits, vegetables, leafy greats, and pellets.
Make sure that your bunny has enough hay to chew on as this helps file their teeth naturally. Besides hay, English Lop rabbits should have unrestricted access to fresh and clean water. To prevent ear injuries and frostbites use a water bottle instead of a water bowl.
English Lop rabbits don’t suffer from any hereditary health problems and are considered a generally healthy breed. However, due to the large size of their ears, these bunnies are more prone to ear infections and injuries.
The English Lop’s ears are prone to waxy buildup so examine them regularly and clean them when necessary. And since their ears tend to drag on the ground, keep your bunny’s nails clipped to prevent them from tearing and injuring the ears if they accidentally step on them.
Like all other rabbits, English Lops should have their mouths checked regularly for overgrown teeth. Since their teeth don’t stop growing, English Lops should eat a diet rich in hay since chewing on roughage wears down the teeth naturally.
English Lop Rabbit Price
The average price of pet quality English Lop rabbits is between $50 and $75. If you are looking for a show-quality English Lop rabbit expect to pay around $100 to $150 or more depending on coat color, lineage, and the breeder.
Also known as the dog of the rabbit world, the English Lop rabbit is best known for its oversized ears and larger size. These curious, outgoing, and laid-back bunnies make wonderful pets to people of all ages, families with children, and newbie owners.
English Lop rabbits are relatively easy to maintain, but special care should be taken to keep their large ears clean and healthy. To prevent recurring ear infections, examine your bunny’s ears for excess wax once a week and clean them as necessary.