We’ve all cooed and awed at a rabbit at least once in our lives. Among these big-eared furry friends of ours, arguably none is cuter than the Holland Lop. These rabbits are the tiny, sweet, and cuddly rabbits with floppy ears and fuzzy fur. When learning more about this breed, a few questions everyone asks are what are they, how does one take care of them, and how long do Holland Lops live?
What is a Holland Lop?
A Holland Lop is a dwarf rabbit bred to be a miniaturized version of the French Lop. This was created in the 1950s by Dutch breeder Adriann de Cock by mixing the Netherland Dwarf and French Lop, then adding the English Lop into the mix when the initial combination failed.
This mix was initially accepted by the Netherlands Governing Rabbit Council (NGRC) in 1964, and later on by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) in 1976. However, the British Rabbit Council (BRC) accepts its British equivalent, the Miniature Lop, which is slightly smaller than the Holland Lop.
Although it’s a rabbit breed that has been carefully curated, it is no less a wonderful animal. When this mix was perfected, it found the balance between delicate looks and an endearing personality. It’s not perfect and there will always be bad apples but they are definitely one of the easier rabbit breeds to handle and are great for beginners.
Holland Lop Qualities
This miniature Dutch rabbit breed is characterized by its compact body and lop ears. Holland Lops generally look heart-meltingly cute, with big bold eyes and a fluffy coat. Once fully grown, these rabbits can only weigh up to 4lbs at its heaviest, with 3lbs being ideal.
These bunnies have a short and stocky build, with round haunches that give the impression of a full rear-end.
Holland Lop heads are broad with huge, bold eyes, a wide muzzle, and full cheeks, which are then framed by a distinctly fuzzy crown and lop ears. Lop ears describe when rabbits have ears that fold and hang down rather than stand erect.
Holland Lops are known to have a thick and dense coat of fur that grows up to an inch long. When properly cared for, this coat is glossy and soft to the touch. Their coloring can vary in pattern and style, with two main classifications: solid (with only one full color) and broken (with patches of other colors). These classifications are further divided into eight color groups: the Agouti, Shaded, Wide Band, Self, Broken, Pointed White, Tan, and Ticked groups.
The actual mix of colors includes white, black, chocolate, chestnut, fawn, chinchilla, blue, lilac, and cream. They typically have dark eyes but are known to have red and blue eyes, depending on the color pattern.
Holland Lop Temperament
Since the Holland Lop is a curated breed, it’s easy to see why they’ve been made to look so cute. But what about their temperament?
Luckily, Holland Lops have been hailed as one of the calmest rabbit breeds there is!
All rabbits come with unique personalities but, generally speaking, Holland Lops are an affectionate breed that are both docile and active. They’re a cuddly companion that craves attention— and most people gladly give it to them.
These rabbits are incredibly sweet, gentle, and very intelligent. Holland lops are easy to handle and can be trained to use litter boxes, which is important for keeping tidy. These rabbits need to have lots of exercises to burn off their energy since they are incredibly active. Giving them time to hop around and play and the sun will be good both for them and for you, to be able to take care of them better when they’re inside. When these rabbits are frightened, some of their attitude will come out and they’ll start nipping in defense.
As with all rabbit breeds, sex and gender likewise play a role in their temperament. Bucks (male rabbits) are generally easier to manage and tend to be more affectionate than does (female rabbits). During heat, does tend to be more difficult to handle, acting grumpy especially when they don’t receive much breeding.
For the more difficult and rowdy lops, spaying or neutering them could help improve their behavior and personality, although this procedure can be pricey.
Holland Lop Lifespan
On average, Holland Lops can be your lovable companion for as long as seven years. That said, there are definitely ways to increase their life expectancy and help them live longer. When taken care of properly, Holland Lops can live up to 12 years old.
To help extend their lives, here are three simple things you can do. These tips mostly rely on giving these bunnies a happy, care-free life, and eliminating the factors that could add to their worries.
Increasing Your Holland Lops Life Expectancy
1. Proper Care
As mentioned, stressful situations aren’t the best for Holland Lops. Much like with humans, rabbits will live longer when they feel relaxed, secure, and well-taken care of.
This includes providing a safe and quiet home without other animals threatening and disrupting them. Having safe and constant access to water, as well as receiving a proper diet will help immensely. Giving them toys and playmates will also help keep them out of a depression, and it also helps them be more receptive to your plans.
Providing them with a routine is another way to lessen stress. Ensuring that their feeding, playing, and cleaning times all consistently happen at the same time everyday helps them rest easy in the feeling that they’re being taken care of.
Make no mistake, rabbits are not low maintenance— they require just as much attention and care as golden retrievers and Maine coons. Holland Lops crave affection and connection but, in return, they‘ll make your job easy by keeping their quarters tidy and potty training themselves.
2. Spaying or Neutering Your Holland Lop
It’s no secret how rabbits breed and, while this is instinctual, it can take a toll on their life expectancy, especially with does. Spaying or neutering your does and bucks to become a fixed rabbit is largely beneficial, especially if you have no intention to breed litters.
This procedure actively tackles two huge rabbit health enemies: infection and cancer. When a doe breeds, the mating, gestation, and birthing all take a toll on her health and drastically shortens her lifespan. Additionally, going unspayed after reaching sexual maturity increases the risk of ovarian and mammary cancers.
Furthermore, spaying and neutering rabbits help deal with some of their more aggressive behaviors during their heat. They can get territorial and destructive if left unsatisfied during this period and this procedure helps lessen this.
3. Indoor Living
Holland Lops are great house rabbits, owing to their size, temperament, and intelligence. People believe that rabbits should be kept outside for optimal care but that’s not entirely true, especially with this breed.
Keeping them outside exposes them to several stressors, including harsh weather, possible predators, and, if the rabbit is caged outside, even unhealthy confinement and isolation is a huge stress-factor.
In contrast, keeping them indoors surrounds them in a safe and reliable space. They’re very active animals and need lots of room to roam and play. This can be given by allowing them 24/7 access to hop around your home or by setting a playtime to let them out from their quarters.
Indoor living also means you’ll have to litter train them and rabbit-proof your home, which is not a very difficult task to do considering the breed’s intelligence.
It’s obvious that Holland Lops can be an extremely lovable addition to the family, and an entertaining sight to see bouncing around. These rabbits can live as long as a house dog, only with much less space consumed and different maintenance.
If you’re considering a Holland Lop for a pet for you or your children, it could be an amazingly sweet experience. These can be great for kids and they could both help burn off each other’s energy while still having loads of fun in the process. That said, it’s a serious commitment that will need all hands on deck even when the novelty wears off.
If you’re ready for this, nothing else should stop you from adopting one of these floppy-eared cuties into your home.