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English Lop Rabbit

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Avg. Owner Satisfaction

4.4/5

(52 Reviews)


Willem Hoekstra

The basics:
Looking like a character from a children’s book, the English Lop’s long ears almost seem unreal – they’re long enough for this sweet rabbit to occasionally stumble over! The longest ear-span on record belongs to the English Lop, Nipper’s Geronimo, whose ears were over 31 inches long! In addition to their charming look and unique appeal, the English Lop is affectionate and companionable, making it an excellent pet.

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.

Rabbits are a poor choice as a pet for young children. Rabbits are easily stressed and frightened and many do not enjoy being held or cuddled: they may bite or kick to get away, and rabbits can easily be seriously injured in such a struggle.

Appearance / health:
The English Lop is a large-sized rabbit weighing anywhere from 9 to 15 pounds. They have a long body, slim with a mandolin-like curve from neck to rounded rump. The head is large, but the distinguishing characteristic of the English Lop are its exceptionally long, drooping ears – they average 20 to 22 inches long! The ears are thick with rounded tips. Unlike other Lops, the English Lop’s ears sag because of their size and weight, and not a specific structural difference. The English Lop is a smooth, short coat with silky fur on the ears. They come in self (solid) and broken in a wide variety of colors.

Because of the large, heat-expending surface area of the ears and the lack of an undercoat, English Lops are particularly susceptible to cool temperatures. In addition, the long ears are also more susceptible to ear infections, and if a rabbit’s nails aren’t trimmed regularly, stepping on the ears can cause the rabbit to injure itself.

Like other small mammals, English Lop 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 English Lop is known for its amicable and laid-back temperament. This is a calm and somewhat sedentary breed, perhaps due to the difficulty of getting around with such long ears! They’re gentle and easily handled, though care must be taken when handling their ears.

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.

Rabbits are physically fragile and easily stressed, and not recommended as pets for young children.

Housing:
English Lop Rabbits are best kept indoors to protect them from extreme temperatures, especially cold, 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.

Diet:
English Lop 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.

wonderful

enormous ears, docile by nature, gentle giants, absolute favorites, super-cool rabbits

challenging

smaller children, larger cage, higher maintenance breed, wax buildup, ear infection

interesting

goofy personalities, adventurous little fellow, adorable eeyoretype ears

Helpful English Lop Rabbit Review

English Lop Rabbit

From rachaelob93 Apr 22 2015 6:02AM

5/5

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