Himalayan Dwarf Rabbit

The Himalayan dwarf rabbit is unique. Instead of the normal shaped body, it is the only breed to have a long, slender body that is best shown off when the rabbit is stretched out. One of the oldest breeds in the world, it is known by many names, including the Russian, the Chinese, The Black Nose and the Egyptian.

Himalayan rabbits have silky white fur over their bodies. They have black, blue, chocolate or lilac points on their ears, nose, feet and tail. Like Siamese cats, they will grow paler versions of their colored fur during hot weather, and during cold weather, they may grow darker fur in their white areas. This discoloration is not permanent, but it is known as smut and is considered a disqualification when showing.

The Black Himalayan dwarf rabbit is the only variety to occur naturally. The other colors were developed by breeders by crossing with other breeds to introduce the color.

There are no records that exist to describe how blue was introduced, but solid colored English Spots contributed the chocolate gene, and later lilac Mini Rex were used to introduce a light lilac color. The rabbits were bred closely to regain the refined look of the Himalayan.

They were imported to the United States from Britain in the early 1900s. At the time, they were considered to have the finest fur of all rabbit breeds and their fur was often used in place of ermine on coats and other fur-trimmed articles of clothing.

Himalayan dwarf rabbits make excellent show rabbits and pets. They have a wonderful, docile temperament, making them an excellent 4H rabbit or pet for children. They are affectionate and easy to care for. All they really need is the occasional toenail trim and extra brushing when they molt.

This is a small breed, which should max out at around 4-1/2 pounds. Their ideal weight for showing is 3-1/2 pounds. Even though they don't weigh much, they seem like a larger rabbit because of their body length. Himmies, as they are affectionately called by those who know them, love to spend time with people and are often very curious.

When first born, Himalayans are pure white. Within a few weeks or months, the babies gradually get their colored points. This breed has red eyes, which may not make them an obvious choice for some who dislike this quality, but the wonderful temperament of this breed can do a lot to overcome this issue with pet owners.

Rabbits with ruby eyes often don't see as well as those with dark eyes do. As a result, it is not uncommon to see the rabbit weaving from side to side. Besides the Himalayan dwarf rabbit, you'll find that any white rabbit with red eyes will do this behavior.

One of the interesting facts about this breed is that they are posed in a stretched position during showing. This is because Himalayan fur was considered to be mock ermine fur, and since an ermine is a weasel, which is a long, slender animal, the rabbit was also stretched to simulate the ermine's length.

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