The Mini Lop vs Holland Lop debate is important for anyone that wants to bring home a new lop eared bunny. Which one is best? Both the Mini Lop and the Holland Lop are accepted by the ARBA. Both have floppy ears that hang either side of their heads, and both come in a wide variety of colors. The Mini Lop, despite its name, is often slightly larger than the Holland Lop. But, both have similarly endearing personalities and care needs.
Let’s take a closer look at the main differences and similarities between the Mini Lop vs Holland Lop to help you decide which is right for you. Including their care needs, health, and finding a breeder.
Mini Lop vs Holland Lop at a Glance
|Mini Lop||Holland Lop|
|Size:||4 – 6.5 lbs||Under 4 lbs|
|Fur type:||Rollback, medium length||Rollback, around 1 inch in length|
|Colors:||All recognized solid colors, or any recognized solid color with white.||All recognized solid colors, or any recognized solid color with white.|
|Personality:||Gentle, laidback, cheerful||Calm, gentle, playful|
Mini Lop vs Holland Lop Appearance
At a glance, these two bunnies may look quite similar to one another. But, there are some subtle differences between the Mini Lop and Holland Lop that will help you tell them apart. One of these is their overall size and shape. Both may have similar lop ears, but the Mini Lop tends to be slightly larger than a Holland Lop when fully grown. According to the ARBA Standard of Perfection, Mini Lops should fall between 4 and 6.5 lbs as adults. Whereas, Holland Lops will weigh in lower, not exceeding 4 lbs as a maximum. Of course, bunnies bred as pets may fall outside of these boundaries.
In terms of body shape, the Mini Lop is large and thick-set with broad shoulders and well-filled hips. Their body should be muscular and compact, despite this generally stocky appearance. Holland Lop rabbits should be similarly well-muscled, with a short, wide-set and well-proportioned body. Both breeds have short, thick and straight legs.
Fur type is another similar trait in these two bunnies. Both have rollback fur that is short to medium in length. And, both come in a huge range of colors. Although, solid and broken colors are the only ones accepted for show lops of both types.
The major difference between these two breeds is in their size. So, if you’re looking for a small rabbit, a Holland Lop may be preferable. But, if you have the space for a slightly larger bunny, a Mini Lop may be right for you!
Mini Lop vs Holland Lop Personality
Appearance is important to many, but personality is often a better indicator of which breed will suit your household. Of course, the temperament of individual rabbits will vary even among the same breed. So, vague breed outlines should be taken with a pinch of salt. But, here is what you may be able to generally expect from the Mini Lop and the Holland Lop breeds.
The Holland Lop is known to be a social breed. They are calm, gentle, and well-mannered, making them great in homes where they will be handled and spending a lot of time with adults or sensible, older children. However, these bunnies are intelligent and curious, so it’s important to make sure they can’t get themselves into any danger around the house, or even escape! They will need plenty of mental stimulation each day, and the opportunity to exercise.
The Mini Lop is often said to be similarly laid back and social. However, like the Holland Lop, they will need plenty of opportunities for play and physical exercise. As long as you are always gentle and calm, handling them from a young age will help to increase the level of trust between you.
Both breeds are prone to biting or nipping if they feel unsafe, so you must always be gentle and patient with your bunny. Small children should always be supervised with either breed, as they can accidentally hurt a small rabbit like these breeds. Both tend to do best in homes with older children that can understand their care needs and vulnerabilities. And, both are often happiest in homes with plenty of company.
Mini Lop vs Holland Lop Health and Care
There are a number of common health issues that pose a threat to all bunnies, regardless of their breed. And, as prey animals, rabbits are very good at hiding signs of health issues. So, whether you choose a Mini Lop or Holland Lop, you should be aware of the following common problems and their symptoms:
- Dental disease
- Skin problems
- Overgrown claws and nails
- Overgrown teeth
- Respiratory problems
- Ocular diseases
Studies have also shown that lop eared rabbits are more at risk of ear infections and dental issues than erect-eared bunnies. So, proper dental and ear care is vital, whether you choose a Mini Lop or a Holland Lop. If you’re concerned about this higher standard of care needed, it may be best to choose a rabbit with erect ears instead.
Regardless of breed, your bunny will also need plenty of space and opportunities to exercise. On top of this, they need a health, balanced diet, and plenty of fresh hay and grass to help them keep their teeth adequately ground down. You will need to trim their nails regularly, so ensure they are comfortable with handling from a young age. If you ever suspect your rabbit health has changed, take them for a veterinary appointment. And, make sure their high social needs are met. This is often achieved by keeping multiple rabbits, but if you only have one you will have to spend more time playing and interacting with your bunny yourself.
Mini Lop vs Holland Lop – Which is Right for Me?
Neither one of these breeds is better than the other. But, one may be more suitable for your lifestyle. If you have less space, the smaller Holland Lop could be ideal. However, both bunnies have high care needs, regardless of their size, particularly since their ear structure puts them at a higher risk of ear infections and dental problems.
Both the Holland Lop and Mini Lop breeds are friendly, gentle, and calm. However, both may be best in homes with older children, rather than younger kids. If you do have very young children, they should always be supervised with your bunny, and taught the right ways to handle a rabbit gently.
Holland Lops are currently slightly more popular than Mini Lop rabbits. However, the Mini Lop rabbit is consistently growing in popularity. So, it shouldn’t be hard to find either breed from a reputable breeder! Ideally, you should choose a reputable breeder over pet store bunnies, as a good breeder will work to minimise health risks in all of their rabbits. Both breeds are very similar in price. Those intended for show will usually cost more than those bred as pets.
Which is Your Favorite?
Which bunny wins the Mini Lop vs Holland Lop debate for you? Do you already have one of these rabbits at home? We would love to hear about your experiences with the Mini Lop and Holland Lop bunnies in the comments!
References and Resources
- American Rabbit Breeders Association
- Mesick, A. ‘ARBA Registrars Study Guidelines’, ARBA (2006)
- ‘Mini Lop Standard’, American Mini Lop Rabbit Club
- ‘Breed Type’, Holland Lop Rabbit Specialty Club
- Mullan, S. (et al), ‘Survey of the Husbandry, Health and Welfare of 102 Pet Rabbits’, Vet Record (2006)
- Makitaipale, J. (et al), ‘Health Survey of 167 Pet Rabbits (Oryctolagus Cuniculus) in Finland’, Vet Record (2015)
- Harvey, N. (et al), ‘What Makes a Rabbit Cute? Preference for Rabbit Face Differs According to Skull Morphology and Demographic Factors’, Animals (2019)
- O’Neill, D. (et al), ‘Morbidity and Mortality of Domestic Rabbits (Oryctolagus Cuniculus) Under Primary Veterinary Care in England’, Veterinary Record (2019)
- Rooney, N. (et al), ‘The Current State of Welfare, Housing and Husbandry of the English Pet Rabbit Population’, BMC Research Notes (2014)
- Dalley, F. (et al), ‘Rabbit Health Practices of 202 Rabbit Owners’, The Veterinary Nurse (2018)
- Johnson, J. & Burn, C. ‘Lop-Eared Rabbits Have More Aural and Dental Problems than Erect-Eared Rabbits: A Rescue Population Study’, Vet Record (2019)