The Holland Lop is the smallest of the lop rabbit breeds. They originated in the Netherlands in the mid-twentieth century, and weigh just 2-4 pounds.
Holland Lop bunnies have small compact bodies, flat faces, and distinctive lop ears. They have short fur, and come in a wide range of different colors.
Despite often being referred to as calm and docile, the Holland Lop rabbit can be quite lively and needs plenty of opportunity to exercise. They are friendly, inquisitive, and can be a lot of fun.
So could a Holland Lop bunny be the right pet for you? Let’s take a look at exactly how this tiny breed arose, the care they need, and what you can expect from the Holland Lop in your life.
Holland Lop FAQs
Our readers’ most popular and frequently asked questions about this bunny.
- Is a Holland Lop bunny a good pet?
- Are Holland Lops easy to care for?
- Are Holland Lops aggressive?
- Do Holland Lops like to be held?
What’s in this guide to the Holland Lop
- Where does the breed come from
- Holland Lop appearance
- Holland Lop temperament
- Health and care for Holland Lops
- Holland Lop Lifespan
- Holland Lop care
- Similar breeds
- Is a Holland Lop right for me?
What Is A Holland Lop
This tiny bunny is the essence of cuteness due to their cuddly size and floppy ears. Though there are different breeds of lops, the Holland Lop is the smallest of them all.
This is one of the most popular rabbit breeds in the USA and around the world. They have very sweet, affectionate dispositions to go along with their adorable looks.
Where Does The Holland Lop Come From
The Holland Lop originated in the Netherlands, created by the well-known Dutch rabbit breeder Adrian de Cock, who began the breeding process in 1949.
De Cock wanted to produce a miniaturized version of the French Lop, a large and heavy breed of rabbit highly favoured in northern Europe. To achieve this, he crossbred the French Lop with the Netherland Dwarf.
The venture initially failed, as the resulting bunnies had upright ears, despite being small.
Further crossbreeding with English Lops strengthened the lop gene, finally producing a tiny rabbit with the distinctive floppy ears.
By 1964, the Netherlands Governing Rabbit Council officially recognized the Holland Lop as a new breed. It became extremely popular across Europe, both as a pet and show rabbit.
The tiny Holland Lop made its way to England in 1969 and was introduced to the USA in 1975.
Holland Lop Appearance
So what do these bunnies look like?
Holland Lops are small, compact bunnies that have a wide body shape that is stocky and muscular with short, thick legs. They have flat, round faces and a broad head with a distinctive puff of fur at the back, known as the crown.
They also have a short, dense coat of medium length with rollback fur. When stroked from the opposite direction, it returns to its original position.
Without a doubt, their most famous features are their lop ears, which hang down either side of the head and frame their adorable faces, only adding to their appeal! However, their ears do not usually lop until they are about two months old, with some not flopping until the age of three!
This cute little bunny has a pose resembling a cat, where they rest mostly on their hind legs, placing little weight on their two front ones.
How Big Do Holland Lops Get?
Holland Lops are only 2 to 3 inches in height and about 5 to 6 inches long.
They typically weigh no more than 4 pounds when fully grown. Females tend to be larger than males.
Holland Lop Colors
Interested in a black Holland Lop rabbit? What about a blue Holland Lop? How about a chocolate chinchilla Holland Lop?
One of the most endearing and interesting features of the Holland Lop bunny are the variety of colors and patterns seen in this breed.
The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) recognizes eight color groups in the breed, with different colors belonging to each.
These bunnies have bands of colors and dark ticking. White is around the eyes, nose, mouth, belly, inside the ears, and under the tail. Their colors include:
- Chocolate Chinchilla
The self-group bunnies have one solid color which includes:
This group includes colored patches with white in between. Tricolors are also possible.
The color should be at least 10% and no more than 70%. If a Holland Lop is mainly white with only a small amount of color (less than 10%), it is often known as a “charlie.” These are not ideal and forbidden in showing.
Alternately, a rabbit with too much color (more than 70%) is also not permitted to show.
These bunnies have a white body along with colored points on the nose, ears, feet, and tail. The eyes are ruby.
Shaded bunnies have darker coloring on their ears, tail, head, and feet with the rest of their body being a lighter shade.
- Sable Point
- Tortoise – black, blue, lilac, or chocolate
- Siamese Sable
- Smoke Pearl
Rabbits with this pattern have a solid color on the head, outside the ears, the top side of the body, and the front feet. Creamy white with ticking appears on the belly, around the ears, and on the front of the legs and feet.
On black or chocolate otters, the ticking is orange, whereas the ticking on blue and lilac is a lighter fawn color.
The surface color of ticked Holland Lops can be:
These colored bunnies have an even ticking of either silver or gold seen throughout the coat, feet, legs, sides, back, chest, and ears.
This group consists of top coat color and undercoat color. White is around the ears and eyes, on the belly, and at the bottom of their tails.
The colors in this group consist of:
Holland Lop Facts
In Holland, the Holland Lop is “Nederlandse Hangoor Dwerg” which translates as Dutch Little Hanging Ear.
These bunnies are nicknamed “The Hallmark Breed.”
Holland Lop Temperament
The Holland lop is full of life and thrives on attention from people. They are renowned for being more calm, gentle, and docile than other popular rabbit breeds and are easy to handle.
It is vital that this type of bunny has plenty of time away from their enclosures so they can hop about and exercise, preferably outside when the weather is good. However, Holland Lops are a curious and intelligent breed that is prone to finding ways to escape, so make sure you have a secure area for them!
Providing toys for your bunny keeps them both occupied and stimulated, thus preventing boredom.
Unless you plan to breed from your bunny, it is preferable to spay does and neuter bucks. This helps reduce territorial behaviors like digging or spraying and makes litter training easier.
Do Holland Lops Bite?
Generally speaking, almost any rabbit breed may nip if under stress or frightened.
Among these rabbits, bucks are generally considered cuddlier and more affectionate than does.
Does are equally sweet, but they may be more feisty and prone to nipping if nervous or scared.
Taming Holland Lops
Taming a Holland Lop bunny should be no difficult task, as they generally take to humans and are known to be relatively easy to handle.
However, as with any animal, it’s important to take steps to let them get used to you when you first meet. Speak softly, and don’t make abrupt movements.
Holland Lop Health
As a prey animal, it is often difficult to know when a bunny is sick, as they will hide their symptoms. Daily observation of your pet is essential so you can detect any illnesses or diseases early.
Monitor their eating and drinking habits, check their droppings, and stay vigilant for any changes in their appearance or behavior, feeling for any unusual bumps.
As the Holland Lop had certain features specifically bred into them, this has made them prone to certain health conditions.
Specific Health Issues
Their small round heads and flat faces often cause sinus issues and eye problems.
It also leads to misalignment of the teeth so they are not worn down when chewing, leading to malocclusion. This severe condition causes pain and infection, making it impossible to eat, and can lead to gastrointestinal stasis, which is extremely serious, requiring possible surgery.
Feeding plenty of quality hay and grass-based pellets along with providing wood and pet-safe toys to chew helps wear down a bunny’s teeth.
The lop ears of this breed can often mean poorer hearing and having an extra fold prevents air flowing freely. As a result, dirt accumulates and causes a painful condition called otitis media.
Otitis media is an infection of the inner ear and, if left untreated, can spread to the upper respiratory tract.
Other Potential Problems
This rabbit is also prone to many of the diseases prevalent in other domesticated rabbits which include:
- Head tilt
- Ear Mites
- Sore hocks
Find a Vet for Exotic Pets
Before bringing a Holland Lop into your home, it is vital that potential owners find a rabbit savvy vet in their area.
Rabbits are considered exotic pets, requiring specialized veterinary treatment, as they react differently to certain medications.
Administering anaesthesia to such a delicate creature for surgery is highly dangerous. As a result, medical treatment for a rabbit is expensive.
Any pet rabbit should have a health check with the vet at least once a year.
How Long Do Holland Lops Live?
The Holland Lop lifespan is around 7 to 12 years, with some living up to 15 years of age.
Spaying or neutering your rabbit can help them live longer, as well as improve behavior and prevent certain cancers.
An indoor rabbit is more likely to live longer than one living outdoors, as it is sheltered from bad weather and not exposed to pests, parasites, or predators.
Do Holland Lops Smell?
In and of themselves, Holland Lops — and other rabbit breeds — do not smell badly. However, it really depends on how clean the bunny cage is kept, and that’s up to the owner!
A rabbit cage should be spot cleaned every few days, and deep cleaned at least once a week. This includes changing out litter and bedding.
Holland Lop Care
Holland Lops only need a weekly brush, but more frequent brushing is required during molting to help stop them ingesting hairballs. Their nails require trimming once a month.
As well as their main diet of hay and pellets, your bunny should have small amounts of leafy greens along with treats of fruits and vegetables. Clean, fresh water should always be available.
As an active rabbit, a cage with plenty of room is essential for running around. It should comfortably fit food and water dishes, litter box, and a box to rest in with plenty of clean bedding.
Set aside one hour per day for your pet bunny to be let out and have a run around as well as interact with you.
Keeping Holland Lops Together
Rabbits thrive on companionship, so you may consider getting a pair of Holland Lops.
They’ll get along better if they’re of the opposite sex, but they will require spaying and neutering if you don’t intend to breed them.
If you have more than one rabbit, make sure that the cage is big enough to allow them plenty of room to move around, keep clean, and be comfortable.
Caring For A Baby Holland Lop
When searching for a baby Holland Lop, always go to a reputable breeder who is happy to show you their facilities and provide information about the breed. Speak to a vet specializing in rabbits for recommendations, or visit rabbit shows to meet breeders from your area.
When buying a bunny, the breeder should issue a written health guarantee.
Avoid pet stores who mainly sell rabbits from commercial breeders. Sadly, these bunnies usually haven’t been handled and are often unhealthy.
A baby Holland Lop will need the same basic diet and grooming as an adult, but make sure that the cage is the right size for your new little pet and that they won’t get a paw stuck anywhere.
Holland Lop Price
How much does a baby Holland Lop cost? What about a grown up Holland Lop?
The actual cost depends on the location, the gender, pedigree, colors, and other factors.
But for a non-show Holland Lop baby, you can expect the price to be somewhere between $35 and $100. For a show-worthy bunny, the price may be closer to $250 or even more.
If you plan to adopt a bunny from a shelter, there will be an initial adoption fee of somewhere between $15 and $50 dollars, though the shelter may charge additional fees.
Showing Your Holland Lop
If you have a show-worthy Holland Lop bunny, look for local rabbit shows to try your pet out. Show rabbits should fit the breed standard in order to be entered.
There may be an entry fee to show your rabbit, but there are also prizes given, usually. So if your rabbit meets the criteria, has a “showy” disposition, and you can travel to shows, it may be worth the effort!
Rescuing A Holland Lop
Instead of buying a Holland Lop, you may consider adopting one from a rescue center.
Look at animal shelters in your area to find out if they have the breed of your choice.
Quite often their rabbits have already been vaccinated, dewormed, and spayed or neutered.
Because of certain features in the Holland Lop, they are prone to specific health issues. You may wish to consider healthier breeds such as these:
If you’re interested in a lop but not necessarily the Holland Lop, check out our article on lop-eared bunnies of all types.
Holland Lop Products and Accessories
Ready to get your new bunny all set up? Here are some suggestions for what they may need.
Is A Holland Lop Right For Me
Holland Lops have sweet and gentle temperaments which make them ideal pets for families with older children. These bunnies require a lot of time and effort to look after properly and careful handling due to their small size and sometimes skittish behavior.
Although this rabbit is adorable, we cannot recommend them due to the health problems which have been wilfully bred into them.
If your heart is set on this breed, you may want to look into rescuing a full grown Holland Lop in need of a home.
Do You Have A Holland Lop?
Do you have one of these bunnies living at home with you?
Take a minute and drop us a line in the comments below. We’d love to hear about your pet!
References And Resources
- Haberfield, J. (2015) Otitis Media in Rabbits. Tokyo Vets
- Mosallanejad, B et al, (2010) Prevalence of Dental Malocclusion and Root Elongation in Pet Rabbits of Ahvaz, Iran. Iranian Journal of Veterinary Science and Technology
- Csomos, R. et al. (2015) Surgical Management of Ear Diseases in Rabbits. Department of Surgical Sciences
- Lichtenberger M, Lennox A. (2010) Updates and advanced therapies for gastrointestinal stasis in rabbits. The veterinary clinics of North America, exotic animal practice.
- How Much Does A Holland Lop Cost? CostStudy.org