The Dutch Rabbit has enjoyed being one of the most popular breeds of rabbit worldwide for many years. Their distinctive two-tone patterning is eye-catching and easily recognizable, and their engaging personalities have made them beloved pets. They can be one of the more difficult rabbits to show because of the stringent requirements placed on the perfection of their markings.
Rabbits have unique and dynamic personalities and can form close, loving bonds with their owners. Many can be trained to use a litterbox, will come when you call their name, and may even enjoy learning a couple of tricks. Coupled with the fact that they’re quiet, require relatively little space, and are very low odor, it’s not hard to see why rabbits have become the third most popular pet in the United States and Great Britain.
There are a few important things to consider before choosing a rabbit as a pet. Rabbits will require your time and attention. They’re very social, curious, and playful animals and will live a sad life if kept confined to a cage with little interaction. They will need space and opportunity to exercise and explore, and you’ll need to make sure the space has been rabbit-proofed against nibbling and gnawing. A rabbit is a long-term commitment with many living more than 10 years – sadly, with their popularity on the rise, the number of rabbits abandoned to shelters and rescues has also risen. They’ll require occasional veterinary care, and in some countries it’s required that they be vaccinated.
Rabbits are a poor choice as a pet for young children. They may be soft and cute, but rabbits are easily stressed and frightened around loud noises and activity. Many rabbits do not enjoy being held or cuddled and may bite or kick to get away, and rabbits can easily be seriously injured in such a struggle.
Appearance / health:
The Dutch Rabbit is a small-to-medium sized rabbit weighing from 3.5 to 5.5 pounds. They have round, compact bodies, and a rounded head with short, upright ears. The Dutch is distinguished by a two –toned body and a “blaze”, which is a patch of white fur down the forehead and covering the nose and mouth. The body is divided into thirds of color, with the head and ears colored (except for the white blaze), a white “saddle” (comprised of the neck, chest, and front feet), and color again on the back end. The tips of the back feet are also white.
In the US, color variations are Black, Blue, Gray, Steel, Chocolate, and Tortoiseshell. In the UK, Yellow (US: Gold) and Pale Grey (no US equivalent) Dutch are also recognized for show.
Like other small mammals, Dutch Rabbits can be susceptible to colds and viral infections. Exposure to draft, sudden changes in temperature and stress can lower the rabbit’s resistance to sickness. Rabbits are also vulnerable to conjunctivitis (a bacterial infection of the eyelids caused by smoke, dust, and fumes) and ear mites. Intestinal ailments like coccidiosis (parasites propagated by unsanitary conditions), bloat, and hairball obstructions are also common in rabbits.
Behavior / temperament:
The Dutch Rabbit is an intelligent and playful breed. They get bored quickly and enjoy new things to play with, or even learning tricks. They’re generally quite social and docile, and are somewhat demanding of attention.
Rabbits are social animals, and are happiest when kept in pairs or trios. Rabbits may bond very closely to one another, forming a near-inseparable “bonded pair”. Non-bonded rabbits should have their own cage and should be carefully supervised until they get to know one another. A rabbit kept singly will need lots of time and attention from their human caretaker, though human companionship can never fully substitute for the interaction they have with each other. Ideally a single rabbit will be allowed plenty of free access to its owner, whether that’s cuddling on the couch or following them around the kitchen.
Rabbits are generally playful and curious and you may find that a free-roaming bunny will greet your guests at the door. They tend to get along well with other household pets, though some cats and dogs have a high prey instinct and may act aggressively towards the rabbit. Some rabbits are quite intelligent and enjoy learning tricks, and many rabbits can be trained to use a litter box. Rabbits also love to chew and dig, and it’s especially important for their dental health that they have something appropriate to gnaw on. It’s also important that anything they shouldn’t gnaw on be kept from their reach!
Rabbits may spray to mark their territory, though this behavior can be significantly reduced or eliminated by spaying or neutering. Spaying or neutering can also result in a calmer temperament and fewer behavioral issues.
They are most active at sunset and at daybreak. In general, rabbits are physically fragile and easily stressed, and not recommended as pets for young children.
Dutch Rabbits are best kept indoors to protect them from extreme temperatures, predators, and other outdoor dangers. They should be allowed to roam and exercise, preferably where they can get sunlight and fresh air. Extension hutches, exercise pens or lawn enclosures are recommended for safe outdoor exposure.
If kept in a cage, the enclosure should be at least five times the size of the rabbit with plenty of room to stretch and stand upright. Wire mesh flooring should be avoided because it can cause pain and injury to a rabbit’s feet. A hide-away box or sleeping quarters should be provided as a quiet place for a rabbit to retreat to feel safe and for sleep. Baby toys and interesting items should also be available for entertainment. Another option is housing your rabbit in a play-pen or puppy-pen.
Many rabbits can be trained to use a litter box. The best litters are non-toxic (rabbits may try to nibble on their litter) and dust free. Recycled paper litters or pellets, citrus-based litters, compressed wood pellets, aspen shavings, newspaper (ensure the ink is non-toxic), and hay are all appropriate. Avoid clumping litters as they can clump inside the digestive tract if eaten, and never use wood shavings from pine or cedar.
Rabbits may also be allowed to roam inside the house as long as the areas where they are free to explore are “rabbit-proofed” for safety. Rabbits allowed to roam at all times should still have a hutch to which they can return for sleeping and a feeling of safety.
Dutch Rabbits are herbivorous and their diet will mainly consist of hay, pellets, and vegetables. Hay is very important for both digestive health and dental health. Grass hays such as timothy, orchard, and oat hay can be fed in unlimited quantities, but alfalfa is high in calories and should only be provided occasionally. Fresh pellets should also be made available daily – choose a pellet high in fiber and avoid mixes that include other foods like corn, seeds, or dried fruit.
Fresh foods are also an important part of your rabbit’s diet. Dark, leafy greens like kale, romaine lettuce, spring greens, and some spinach should make up approximately 75% of the fresh food given to your rabbit daily, with vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, bell pepper, and summer squash making up the other 25%. Fruits and starchy vegetables should be limited in the diet, but make great treats! Make sure that all fresh foods are washed thoroughly, and uneaten fresh foods should be removed at the end of the day.
Fresh water should always be available, either from a sipper bottle or in a stable water bowl.
great mothers, Excellent temperament, good starter pet, showmanship rabbit, young children
unwanted breeding, bite, fly strike, chew, scratches, direct sunlight
excellent foster mothers, tort dutch, large exercise area, respectful handling, various colours
"I acquired my dutch rabbit, Oreo, from a friend. I was in my first year of college, and I missed having a dog in the household like back at home, but didn't have the time or space for one being in a studio apartment. In this review I will include the pros and cons of owning a dutch rabbit. <br>Oreo was friendly when given to me, but I continued to work with her socialization with neighbors and other classmates so that she wouldn't be timid around strangers. <br>I also didn't want to keep her penned up in a cage so I worked with her on litter training, which didn't take very long. I kept her litter box in the corner of her cage, and left the hatch open so that she could go in and out as she pleased. Once in a while I would find a stray dropping around the studio apartment, but for the majority of the time she was consistent in using her litter area. <br>A few months after owning her I took her to the vet for a check up. They said she was very healthy. They also asked me what I was using for her bedding, which was cedar that I had bought from the pet store, and what her diet was, which was pellets. The veterinarian advised me to change the bedding and her diet to hay for Oreo's health in the long run. <br>I bought the hay and almost immediately starting having an allergic reaction. I had hives, watery eyes, the sneezes, and irritation with breathing. I tried several brands that pet store owners recommended that was similar to the hay, in hopes that I could find something that worked for my health, and Oreo's, but had no luck. I ended up giving Oreo to a family member that was not allergic to hay products.<br>Overall, my dutch rabbit was friendly, easy to train, worked well for the small space that I had, and didn't take a lot of time to care for. The only downfalls I had were the allergies to the hay, and the foul odor that came from the litter area (even though I cleaned it consistently). <br> I would only recommend a rabbit if you don't have allergies to hay, and if you have a well ventilated area by the cage for smell if you have a sensitive nose. Lastly, although she was an intelligent and sweet pet, having a rabbit is no replacement for having a dog. You won't be able to walk them outside on a leash like you can with Fido, and they won't be jumping with excitement every time you walk through the door.."
From niamcklumzy Jan 9 2016 10:30AM
"We came across our Dutch Rabbit, Mr. Grey at a local pet store. They were on sale and came with all necessary equipment and we thought we would try one out (my wife was in love him). He was terrific for us and got along great with our dogs which was very surprising, wasn't shy, loved greeting, and being around people. There were problems here and there, but other than that he was terrific.<br><br>The Good: Playful, energetic, loved to be around people, easy to maintain, very clean. Since Dutch rabbits are so playful and energetic they do not like to be in enclosed spaces, this species would do better being able to wander around as long as they are supervised and should be very closely monitored if ever taken outside. Do NOT let them live outside as they are prey and will not survive long outside depending on your area.<br><br>The Bad: Don't do well in an enclosed space for a long time, need room to wander around. Remember they are prey animals and others can and will eat them, especially predatorial birds. Also you will want to "rabbit proof" your household which is just basically putting PVC pipe covers over all electric cords as they like to chew a lot and will damage electronics or can result in death for your rabbit. Do NOT scare them and supervise them closely no matter how well they get along with other animals and vise-versa. Our Dutch rabbit unfortunately passed away because while playing with our dogs, one dog barked loudly causing him to become scared and suffering a fatal heart attack.."
From Paulmacias Feb 24 2016 8:01AM
"I took this rabbit in for a friend while he was dealing with a housing situation and I can honestly say I never want to own a rabbit again. He was incredibly messy and no matter how often I cleaned the cage it would still smell very bad. He hated being touched and despised being held. With that said, they are very easy animals to care for. Luckily my friend was able to take his rabbit back and as far as I know they are both happy!."
From montegobaystyle Jan 5 2016 11:20PM