Holland Lop Rabbit Breed Information – A Guide To The Holland Lop Bunny

holland lop

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 lop ears. They have short fur, and come in several colors and patterns.

Their temperament is usually calm and docile, but the Holland Lop rabbit can be lively and needs exercise. They are friendly, inquisitive, and can be a lot of fun. Today we’ll see whether a baby Holland Lop bunny is the right rabbit for you, your family, your lifestyle, home and space.

Rabbits need a lot more space than many new rabbit owners realise. They need to be able to bounce, stand on their back legs and run up and down. They also need careful feeding, with plenty of hay, to stay fit and healthy. Today we’ll help you to decide whether a Holland Lop rabbit is the right breed for you, and look at general rabbit requirements and characteristics too.

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. But these rabbits also have certain health issues that they are prone to, largely due to how they were bred. So it’s important to get all the facts before you decide to bring home a baby Holland Lop.

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.

Holland Lop

The Holland Lop Breed

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. It was officially recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) in 1979.

Holland Lop Appearance

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.

Agouti Holland Lop

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:

  • Chestnut
  • Chocolate
  • Chinchilla
  • Chocolate Chinchilla
  • Lynx
  • Opal
  • Squirrel

Self Holland Lop

The self-group bunnies have one solid color which includes:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Chocolate
  • Lilac
  • White

Broken Holland Lop

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.

Pointed White Holland Lop

These bunnies have a white body along with colored points on the nose, ears, feet, and tail. The eyes are ruby. Colors include:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Chocolate
  • Lilac

Shaded Holland Lop

Shaded bunnies have darker coloring on their ears, tail, head, and feet with the rest of their body being a lighter shade. Colors include:

  • Sable Point
  • Seal
  • Tortoise – black, blue, lilac, or chocolate
  • Siamese Sable
  • Smoke Pearl

Tan Pattern Holland Lop

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.

Ticked Holland Lop

The surface color of ticked Holland Lops can be:

  • Black
  • Chocolate
  • Blue
  • Lilac

These colored bunnies have an even ticking of either silver or gold seen throughout the coat, feet, legs, sides, back, chest, and ears.

Wide Band Holland Lop

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:

  • Cream
  • Fawn
  • Orange
  • Frosty
  • Red
  • Tricolors

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.”

A Holland Lop named Pui Pui from Tokyo, Japan, is considered the world’s most stylish bunny. Dressing in an array of outfits, he has a massive following of over 23,000 followers on Instagram!

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.

holland lop

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. Don’t rush the introductory process. They can be skittish, especially in new situations.

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:

  • Snuffles
  • Hairballs
  • Head tilt
  • Myxomatosis
  • Ear Mites
  • Sore hocks
  • Parasites

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.

If your rabbit doesn’t smell good, you might need to clean the cage more often. Your bunny may also not be used to litter box training yet.

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.

holland lop

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. The shelter allows you time to get to know a bunny before making the final decision to adopt.

Similar Breeds

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:

  • Rex
  • Californian rabbit

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.

  • Best indoor rabbit cages
  • Most entertaining rabbit toys

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


  1. Hi Alison,

    We have two, twin male, tri-colour Holland Lops who are 2-and-a-half years old currently (Hamish and Dougal). We bought them from a reputable breeder and brought them home at just over 8 weeks old in January 2018.
    They have always been house bunnies and have had the run of the house since we brought them home after letting them acclimatise to their new surroundings. They lived in the same cage and were affectionate with each other until we went on holiday and left them with their breeder for 2 weeks (at 11 months old) and apparently due to the smells and hormones of the does there, they became hormonal and started to attack each other. Although we had planned to, we unfortunately hadn’t had them neutered at that point.
    When we brought them home after holiday, we had to separate them into two cages and let them out one at a time which is how it has been since (November 2018- we had them neutered as soon as we returned in the hope it might remedy the situation).
    Ever since then, they have lived side by side in their cages which causes no problems.
    Despite these issues, they are very sociable with us and often join us on the sofa when they are out. Hamish even gives us kisses on our noses!
    They each have their own distinct personalities; Hamish is more adventurous and despite having the run of the house, wants nothing more than to explore the places which are out of bounds to them (behind the sofa for example where there are wires) while Dougal is a little more shy, reserved and can sometimes be grumpy (if we open his cage and he doesn’t want to be touched, he has been known to ‘lunge’ at our hands and has nipped a couple of times).
    Their diet consists as follows: breakfast- small handful of Allen & Page Breeder & Grower pellets plus plenty of hay throughout the day; dinner: large handful of dark, leafy greens (normally curly kale or broccoli) ; supper (around 10pm): another small handful of Allen & Page pellets. Occasional treats of small pieces of apple and carrot as well as some commercially available rabbit treats (current favourite is Tiny Friends Farm Yippees available from Pets at Home in the UK). Of course, it goes without saying that they each have a water bottle in their cage which is changed daily.
    We bought a cat tunnel from one of the UK supermarkets which they absolutely LOVE running in and out of but they also like playing with wooden toys, chewing toilet rolls and cardboard boxes and jumping over rolled-up pieces of carpet off-cuts etc.
    In summary, although they can be quite a bit of work (yes, they can be left on their own during the day but the cleaning out and supervising when they’re out is quite intensive), we wouldn’t change them for the world- they’re our babies and I shouldn’t think there are 2 bunnies who are spoiled more than ours are! We have family living 7 hours away by car and we took them with us last Christmas and they were absolutely fine during the journey and while we were away. The only regret we have is that we didn’t have them neutered sooner after we got them as this might’ve prevented them having to be separated. They make excellent pets for people like us, a couple living in a flat who are out for most of the day; I would just emphasise that they do need human interaction and they do need exercise outside of their hutches so prospective owners need to be prepared to commit to putting the time and effort in.

      • Well right now cuz it is winter I only have a few litters of bunnies left but I have four males and seven females. I breed Holland lops and I am very picky on who I sell them to. Whenever I see an animal being abused I break out in tears. It breaks my heart.

  2. I have a Holland Lop. My neighbor didnt want her anymore as the novelty has worn off(I guess). She nips at my shoes. Is that a sign of her trying to convey sonething? I also have a Shih Tzu. Is she jealous?

  3. I have a 3 mo. Old holland lop and a shi tzu, they just love each other. I love to watch the things they do together.


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