Other name(s): Dwarf Lop
Chubby cheeks, big eyes, and a face framed by floppy ears, the Mini-Lop looks like it stepped from the pages of a children’s story book. This breed is undeniably cute with an endearing personality to match, and they make great pets. In Britain, this breed is referred to as the Dwarf Lop, while the British Mini-Lop refers to a different breed entirely.
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. 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 Mini-Lop is not as small as the name implies: they weigh an average of 4 - 6 pounds, vs the smaller Holland Lop’s 2 – 4 pounds, but are still smaller than the oldest lop breeds, the English Lop and the French Lop. They have a short, compact, and rounded body. The head is round and broad with full cheeks and a flat face. The Mini-Lop has short, thick ears that droop to either side of the face.
The coat of the Mini-Lop is medium in length, dense, with a soft texture. They come in a broad variety of colors, including Black, Ruby-eyed-white, blue-eyed white, chocolate, lilac, blue, lynx, orange, chinchilla, chestnut agouti, and tri-color.
Like other small mammals, Mini-Lop Rabbit 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 Mini-Lop is a lively, curious, and friendly rabbit. They can be quite laid-back and affectionate, and many enjoy being held and cuddled. They’re an intelligent breed that is usually easy to litter-box train.
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.
Mini-Lop 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.
Mini-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.
activity level, 4H project, compact size, sweet bunnies, best temperment, docile intelligent rabbits
downright vicious ones, antisocial little thing, speedy little things, escape artist, Nibbling
ARBA breeder, dwarf, complete pelleted feed, smallest breeds, tiny floppy ears
Great if you want a social bunny
Elvis was extremely social. He loved to be picked up and petted. The other mini-lops I've encountered were much the same, in that regard. But, don't think that because they're easy to love that they're easy to keep up with because they're not. They're very active, so they need large play/exercise areas. They're very smart, so they need toys and mental stimulation. And they're little furry escape artists, so you'll have to supervise their play area, so as not to end up having to track down a fugitive bunny. You don't want to chase them, either. They're very fast! I once chased Elvis all around our acre yard for 3 hours after he escaped his little playpen. .
From xtrrmin8 Mar 21 2019 1:03AM
A rabbit favorite!
Dandelion greens are especially a favorite of rabbits and often you can find some of it growing wild in your own yard and kids especially love hunting for the plats so they can hand the treat to the rabbits themselves. It is good for the rabbits to eat greens in addition to their feed..
From EllieB 498 days ago
Molly, quiet & insecure
We got Molly to keep our other rabbit, Willy (a male Mini Rex), company. We had gotten willy 2 years earlier, and he was sterilized. We had them in the same cage, and they got along well. Molly was the quiet & shy one, and would often stay in the cage even when we opened it. She mostly seemed anxious, barely caused any noise and was very calm. You could have her on your chest when you were watching TV but we had trouble finding things she found interesting. Eventually we moved to a house where we had an outdoor pen that they could both be in, something like 5 square meters in area. We had alot of fun making it as good for them as possible, constructing various obstacles & sunscreens. They lived there for the most part during the summers, and we would keep them indoors during the cold season.
Being outside in the pen during the summer was unfortunately what caused her to have her accident and to break both her hind legs. Our neighbours had a dog that had somehow escaped from their house and jumped across our fence into our garden when we were away. The dog had been barking & rattling the cage, scaring Molly so much that she jumped so hard she broke both her hind legs causing us to have to put her down. Willy, our other rabbit, didn't show any sign of behaviour/physical change because of this. It was very sad, but something to keep in mind if you have an anxious rabbit - make sure they don't get in touch with barking dogs and things that can scare them, to avoid this from happening.
Overall she was good company for our other rabbit, just a little shy & calm and we would probably have preferred a rabbit that had a little more energy. After Molly passed away Willy seemed low on energy for some time but eventually seemed to recover and we had him until he died of natural causes..
From Ghus Mar 9 2016 12:57PM