Dutch Dwarf Rabbits
Dutch Dwarf Rabbits are probably one of the most easily recognized breeds of rabbit. While it has dropped in popularity since the development of all the dwarf breeds like Netherlands, Lionheads and Polish, the Dutch still remains one of the most popular breeds in the world.
The distinctive coloring of the Dutch rabbit has been described as a white rabbit wearing formal clothing. It is this coloring that makes the Dutch stand out from all other rabbit breeds. Getting the coloring right can be tricky, however. Not every Dutch that is born has the proper markings for show. They still make excellent pets, however.
Developed in England during the 1800s from the Petite Brabancon from Belgium, the Dutch rabbit highlighted the unusual markings that sometimes appeared in this old breed. Dutch rabbits of today must follow specific rules for markings to be considered show quality.
They must have a blaze that goes up the forehead; a white band called a saddle that goes all the way around their bodies over their shoulders and front legs and the tips of their hind feet must be white. These white toes are known as stops.
Dutch Dwarf Rabbits are available in black, blue, chocolate, gray (chestnut agouti), steel (black with white tips) and tortoise (a bright orange with slate blue shadings). In the UK, they are also recognized in yellow and pale gray. New varieties are being developed every so often, including a new Harlequin variety currently under development in the United States that is also called a tri-color Dutch.
Full grown Dutch Dwarf Rabbits weigh between 4 and 5-1/2 pounds. They make great pets. They are known for their intelligence and personality. Rabbits can enjoy the company of people; let them get used to you on their own comfort level. Children should be supervised when handling rabbits. Not only can the child harm the rabbit, but the rabbit can harm the child. Rabbit claws are very good at scratching, and they can occasionally bite if they feel threatened.
Dutch rabbits make an excellent choice for pets, 4H animals, show animals and for rabbit agility. For those not familiar with rabbit agility, the rabbit is trained to go through a course of small jumps, rather like stadium jumping in the equestrian world. The rabbits really enjoy it, and it is a great way to spend quality time with your pet. Any rabbit that enjoys being active can participate; though the medium sizes like Dutch do best.
Some of the smaller rabbits have problems with some of the jumps and some of the larger breeds would just prefer not to run and jump. This makes the Dutch and similar sized breeds like the Havana, Florida White and others ideal for this activity.
Today, Dutch Dwarf Rabbits are still a popular choice for pets and 4H projects. Their colorful appearance makes them attractive to people of all ages. Their small size makes them ideal for indoor pets. You can train your Dutch to walk on a leash and harness and take them out with you.
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