At this time, there are exactly fifty unique breeds recognized by the ARBA. From the silky eared, puff-ball English Angora, to the agile English Spot or petite Jersey Wooly, there is truly a rabbit breed for every person. Even though all of these unique and amazing breeds has their own place, the Mini Lop is the breed that has captured my heart.
What differentiates Mini Lops from the rest is a blend of both extrinsic characteristics–the specific attributes of the breed like size, weight, and type–and intrinsic characteristics–their personality and energy-level.
Mini Lops are bred to be look massive. Chunky cheeks and thick-set crown rest on a sturdy well-formed body, accentuated by their broad and elegantly rounded ears. Although they appear gigantic, Mini Lops are relatively light, weighing at most 6.5 pounds, placing them in the category of medium-sized rabbit breeds. This combination of weight and size makes Mini Lops perfect for cuddling, plus their lustrous roll-back fur, silky ears, plush nose, and cute, chubby cheeks are primed for kisses.
Another benefit to the Mini Lop rabbit for a breeder, is that many colors are accepted in their Standard of Perfection (SOP). Want to show blue and fawn tri-colors? Go ahead! Love the misty shades of sable and frosted pearl? Totally acceptable! Although my first and foremost goal as a rabbit breeder is to produce the best type possible, I love being able to have litters with babies in all kinds of colors without being concerned that their color will disqualify them.
Even though their extrinsic attributes are a major reason why Mini Lops are such a unique and fantastic breed, their level of energy and wonderful personalities also contribute to making Mini Lops one of the best breeds.
Partially due to their size, Mini Lops are categorized as having a moderate energy level. Although comparing across animal species is generally not recommended, without taking this comparison to far, Mini Lops are like the Golden Retriever of rabbit breeds when it comes to energy. Generally, a good rule of thumb for estimating a rabbit breed’s potential energy level is to evaluate the bunny’s size. The lighter the rabbit, the more energetic they will be, while larger, heavier breeds are much calmer. As one of the medium breeds, Mini Lops love to have boxes to jump on, tunnels to run through, and toys to chew on, but also take breaks to hangout with their humans.
Additionally, Mini Lops also have fun and quirky personalities. They like attention and are easy to integrate into a pet home.
Concerns Regarding Mini Lops
While Mini Lops are amazing both inside and out, some vets and rabbit owners have expressed concern about Mini Lops distinctively flat faces. A brachycephalic (literally flat-faced) breed, some believe that Mini Lops are predisposed to malocclusion and breathing problems.
A complication that occurs when the lower and upper jaw are misaligned, malocclusion prevents the teeth from wearing down, eventually making it impossible for the rabbit to eat and causing the rabbit to develop abscesses. Although some have claimed that because mini lops are brachycephalic their jaws are more likely to be nonaligned, good breeding prevents this, and in fact, any rabbit breed can suffer from genetically caused malocclusion.
Breathing issues are also another hot topic, but there is little evidence that mini lops suffer from extra respiratory problems. However, just to be on the safe-side, it is crucial that in hot weather mini lops have a cool, shady place to rest in.