Mini Lop Breed History/Origin
The Mini Lop originated in Germany when a German Lop was bred with a small Chinchilla rabbit. The newly developed breed became known as the Klein Widder or “Little hanging ear.”
In the early ’70s, a Californian breeder named Bob Herschbach spotted this newly developed breed at a show in Essen, Germany, and consequently brought a trio of them to the United States. He began breeding them and crossing the breed with a Standard Chinchilla rabbit. The first rabbit of this kind was presented to the American Breeder’s Association (ARBA) with the name “Klein Widder,” but the name changed to the Mini Lop in in 1974. The Mini Lop was successfully accepted into the ARBA later in 1980 by a man named Herby Dyke.
The Mini Lop makes an excellent pet for families with children and seniors.
This breed is often described as being a “basketball with a head.” That it to say that the ideal Mini Lop should have a round body with thick depth, long thick ears and a large head.
Mini Lops have a luxurious soft, medium-length rollback coat. They do not require much care in the grooming department compared to wooly breeds such as the English Angora. Weekly brushings for the most part to keep their coat soft will be enough, however owners may wish to increase the amount of grooming to twice a week during molting periods, which usually occur twice a year.
The Mini Lop is accepted in a range of colors and markings, the list far too long to communicate in this breed description. This breed is accepted as a solid pattern or a broken pattern and is available in colors such as black chinchilla, chocolate chestnut agouti, lilac/fawn tri-color, gold-tipped black steel, sable, seal, smoke pearl and many more.
Mini Lops should be out of their enclosures to play and create a lasting bond with their human handlers.
Like all rabbits, Mini Lops need an adequate enclosure to spend time to eat, sleep, etc. Outdoor enclosures should be raised and have enough space for the rabbit to stretch their legs out comfortably. It should also have a ramp that lowers to the bottom of their fenced enclosure so they can feel some grass and ground beneath their feet. Indoor rabbits should have a wire enclosure that also allows them enough space to stretch out, and a corner to do their business. Their bedding should be spot-cleaned every day so they can lay down on clean, soft bedding and it should be completely replenished every week.
Thankfully, the Mini Lop’s diet does not differ from any other rabbit breed, which means they require a diet consisting of 70 percent good-quality hay such as orchard hay or timothy hay (the occasional alfalfa grass should also be good for their overall health). The rest of the diet should be a good balance of fruits, leafy greens, vegetables, and pellets. Like hay, there are plenty types of pellets available on the market, some with higher protein content than others. Be aware of what kind of fruits, leafy greens and vegetables you have in your home as some are rabbit-safe and others are not. In fact, most leafy greens are unsafe as they can cause digestive issues, especially if you feed your rabbit a large amount of it. Feed your rabbit greens that are high in fiber and nutrients, such as romaine lettuce, and be aware of what kind of fruits you’re feeding (nothing too high in sugar).
Mini Lops should be out of their enclosures to play and create a lasting bond with their human handlers as often as possible. Remember to bunny-proof the room your indoor rabbit resides in, as they will often chew on anything they deem a toy that could be as harmless (but pricey). Should you wish to provide your rabbit with some outdoor fun, remember to place them in a fenced portion of your yard (there are a few rabbit fences readily available online or at pet stores) and always have an adult present to supervise and shield your rabbit from any dangers (such as racoons, dogs, etc).
Mini Lops are not susceptible to any particular disease (such as Wool Block), but there are a few health concerns every pet rabbit owner needs to be aware of.
First and foremost, should a rabbit be outside, they are very susceptible to flystrike, a condition in which flies lay their eggs on soiled pieces of fur (usually around their rear). When the eggs hatch, their main source of nutrition is the rabbit itself and they will start to devour the rabbit from the inside out, causing excruciating pain. Symptoms include seizures, loss of motion (listlessness) and skin irritations.
Always be sure to check your rabbit’s teeth, as they continuously grow throughout their entire lives and are usually worn down by a high-hay diet. If their teeth are overgrown, they may pierce their jaw and/or faces, which also causes a lot of pain and limits your rabbit’s ability to eat. Be sure to also carefully inspect your rabbit’s ears for ear mites and if you suspect your bunny has them, be sure to visit your local veterinarian.
The Mini Lop is often described as being a “basketball with a head.”
These medium-sized rabbits are known to be the cuddliest pet rabbits around and are often described as looking like teddy bears because of their adorable looks and affectionate nature. True to their nicknames, they are indeed great pets for children to pick up, and more than happy to be petted from head to little fuzzy tail! Like most rabbits, their personalities bloom when they are given plenty of time to be out of their enclosures where they can safely roam around their rabbit-proof room or outside in a fenced portion of the yard. Your rabbit may also benefit from having a few toys to nibble on and play with. This can be as simple as an empty toilet paper roll or as complex as a mentally stimulating rabbit-safe toy from your local pet shop.
Because of their sweet disposition, Mini Lops make excellent pets not only for families with children (both younger or older), but also for couples, singles and seniors who are looking for a cuddly companion.
Most rabbits are a little more difficult to train than the common house cat or dog, however it is not impossible. Litter training is possible with lots of patience, rewards, and a few well-placed litter boxes around the house. Teaching your Mini Lop stop, come or perform other common commands and tricks will come with time and plenty of repetition.
Photo credit: Life on White/Bigstock; bobbiesnaps/Bigstock