Small to medium in size, the Mini Lop rabbit is easily recognizable for its lopped ears and soft, fuzzy coat. Often described as looking like cuddly teddy bears, Mini Lops have quickly become one of the most popular rabbit breeds among bunny lovers.
So, is a Mini Lop a good pet? Mini Lops make wonderful pets to people of all ages, including singles, couples, seniors, and families with younger or older children. Sweet, cuddly, and affectionate by nature, Mini Lops love to interact with their owners and won’t mind being picked up or handled even by small children.
Are you looking for a sweet, playful, and affectionate furry friend? Continue reading to learn more about the Mini Lop rabbit and why it just might be the perfect pet bunny for you!
What is a Mini Lop Rabbit?
The Mini Lop is a medium-sized breed of a domestic rabbit. Usually described as being a basketball with ahead, the Mini Lop rabbit has a rounded body, a wide head, and thick bones.
Mini Lop rabbits are best known for their well-furred ears that lop vertically to both sides of their heads.
This breed is recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association but is different from the Miniature Lop rabbit breed that is recognized by the British Rabbit Council. Bear in mind that both of these breeds are different from the Dwarf Lop rabbit breed which is recognized by the British Rabbit Council but not the ARBA.
Mini Lop Rabbit History and Origin
The Mini Lop rabbit originated in Germany, where it was known as the Klein Widder which means “little hanging ear”. These first Mini Lops were created by crossing a small Chinchilla rabbit and the German Big Lop rabbit.
In 1972, Bob Herschbach came across the Mini Lop breed at a German National Rabbit Show in Essen Germany. He brought three of these original Mini Lops to the United States and started breeding them.
The first generation of Herschbach’s lops was of solid color and the second generation had broken colors.
In 1974, the first Mini Lop rabbits were presented at the American Rabbit Breeders Association convention held in California. The takeaway was that the breed had to be downsized a bit to make it more appealing to the general public.
To achieve the smaller size, Herchbach allowed other breeders to breed more of his rabbits. He also enlisted the help of Herb Dyke, and changed the breed’s name from Klein Widder to Mini Lop.
The American Rabbit Breeders Association officially recognized the Mini Lop rabbit breed in 1980. Ever since then the Mini Lop is one of the most popular shows and pet rabbits across the country.
Mini Lop Rabbit Characteristics
The ideal Mini Lop is described as being a “basketball with a head”. Show quality rabbits must have rounded, thick, and heavily muscled bodies, long and thick lop ears, and a wide head.
The rounded and soft appearance goes hand in hand with the fuzzy and soft fur that makes these bunnies look like miniature teddy bears.
Size, Weight, Shape
The Mini Lop is a medium-sized rabbit breed with a compact body type. Males (bucks) tend to be slightly larger than females and weigh from 4.5 to 6.5 pounds. Females (does) are smaller and typically weigh between 3 and 6 pounds.
Mini Lops come in a range of gorgeous colors which are accepted by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. When shown, Mini Lops are divided into two color groups – solid and broken.
Some of the most commonly seen colors in the Mini Lop rabbits include chestnut agouti, opal, lynx, chinchilla, white, black, ruby-eyed white, blue-eyed white, chocolate, blue, lilac, orange, and tri-color.
The Mini Lop bunny has a soft and fuzzy medium-long rollback fur. Despite its luxurious look and feel, the Mini Lop’s coat is relatively easy to maintain and doesn’t require intensive grooming.
To keep the coat clean and keep the shedding under control, brush your pet rabbit once a week. Mini Lops go through a molting season and will shed more than usual twice a year, usually during spring and fall (source).
During the shedding season, pet rabbits should be brushed two to three times a week. Besides keeping the shedding to a minimum, regular grooming will also reduce the amount of hair your rabbit ingests while self-grooming, thus lowering the risk of GI stasis.
In order to compete in rabbit shows the Mini Lop’s coat has to meet certain standards. Therefore, show rabbits need to have thick and dense coats with a lustrous sheen. The fur also needs to have a good roll back and be medium length.
The Mini Lop rabbit has an average lifespan of five to 10 years. Some Mini Lops can even live longer when spayed or neutered at a young age and properly cared for.
If you are looking for a sweet and friendly medium-sized rabbit, the Mini Lop is an ideal choice!
Cuddly and affectionate by nature, Mini Lops make wonderful pets and companions to people of all ages, including families with younger or older children. These bunnies make great pets for kids since they like to be picked up, held, and cuddled by small children’s hands.
Like all other rabbits, Mini Lops like to explore and need to spend a lot of time outside their enclosures. These bunnies also like to play, so invest in some rabbit-safe toys that will keep your bun mentally stimulated and occupied all day long.
Depending on your rabbit’s personality, their toys can be as simple as a cardboard roll, or as challenging as a store-bought puzzle toy for rabbits.
While rabbits are a bit more difficult to litter train than cats and dogs, training them to use a litter box isn’t impossible. With lots of treats, patience, and strategically placed litter boxes all around your home, litter training a rabbit is possible. You can also clicker train your Mini Lop rabbit to come when called or perform basic commands and tricks.
Bear in mind that Mini Lops do best in calm environments, away from daily hustle and bustle that can stress them out. While typically friendly and sweet, these small bunnies aren’t afraid to show their discontent by vigorously stomping their back feet when angry.
Mini Lop Rabbit Care
While Mini Lop rabbits are relatively easy to keep as pets, they still need a dedicated owner who will make sure that all of their needs are met. When creating a care routine for your pet bunny, pay attention to the following:
Mini Lop bunnies can live either indoors or outdoors if the weather conditions permit it. Always choose a spacious enclosure that will allow your pet rabbit to sit, stand, stretch, and hop without any restrictions.
Indoor cages should be made of durable wire that can’t get chewed through and possess a hard flooring. Cages with metal or plastic bottoms are much more comfortable for rabbits to stand on and live pleasantly.
Line the enclosure with shredded cardboard, newspapers, wooden pellets, or hay to make it more comfortable for your rabbit to live in. Spot clean the bedding every day and completely replace it once a month to maintain hygiene inside the enclosure.
The diet of Mini Lop rabbits is not any different from the diet of any other rabbit breed. Like all other bunnies, Mini Lops should eat around 70% high-quality hay like timothy hay or orchard hay.
The rest of their diet should consist of fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, and high-quality pellets. Keep in mind that not all produce is safe or beneficial for rabbits to eat, and some foods like iceberg lettuce don’t contain valuable vitamins and minerals your rabbit needs to stay healthy (source).
Mini Lops are generally healthy and don’t suffer from any inherited health problems. However, like all other rabbits, they too can develop common rabbit diseases.
The most common health issues seen in this breed are overgrown teeth, flystrike, and GI stasis (source). The best way to prevent dental issues and overgrown teeth are to feed your pet bunny a diet rich in hay as chewing on roughage files rabbit teeth naturally.
Mini Lop Rabbit Price
Mini Lops on average cost between $30 and $200 depending on the line they were bred from. Show quality Mini Lop rabbits can cost upward of $500 depending on the breeder, pedigree, breeding rights, coat color, and gender.
The medium-sized Mini Lop rabbit is one of the sweetest and cuddliest pet rabbits you’re going to meet! Friendly, affectionate, energetic, and playful these bunnies make awesome pets to people of all ages including families with younger or older children.
Mini Lops like to spend a lot of time outside their enclosures exploring their surroundings and interacting with their human families. If you’re looking for a cute and fuzzy pet rabbit that likes to be petted and held, the Mini Lop is a fantastic choice!