Rabbits are such wonderful pets, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
From the popular Holland Lop to the long-haired Angora rabbits, there is a type of rabbit for everyone!
What breed of rabbit do you want to adopt? This is a question that many people ask themselves before they go and get their new pet. You might be thinking, “I don’t know what kind of rabbit I want!” If this sounds like you, then we have some good news for you!
In this blog post, we will give you a list of 51 different breeds of rabbits as recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. We’ll also look at some of the other popular breeds not recognized by ARBA because they still can make great pets!
You will be able to learn a little bit about each breed, and figure out which one you might want to adopt. So, without further ado, let’s look at some of the most popular breeds!
51 Rabbit Breeds Recognised by the American Rabbit Breeders Association
ARBA is a non-profit organization with the sole purpose of ensuring the development and improvement of the domestic rabbit and cavy.
With over 20,000 members including breeders which you can find here, these are the 50 breeds they recognize.
The American Rabbit is a rare breed of rabbit found in the United States. The American Rabbit is considered to be critically endangered by the American Livestock Breed Conservancy.
This breed has a laid-back disposition, making it an ideal family pet.
They come in two color variants, Blue and White.
When a British person showed these rabbits at the New York State Fair in 1919 that was the first time they were shown on this side of the ocean, they were then sold to Edward H. Stahl and Jack Harris.
Chinchillas have contributed to the creation of more rabbit breeds and types across the world than any other domestic rabbit breed.
The most uncommon of all the Chinchilla strains is the American Chinchilla.
American Fuzzy Lop
In 1989, the American Fuzzy Lop was recognized as a breed.
The American Fuzzy Lop is a sweet-tempered rabbit with large head, wooled coat, and lopped ears that is energetic and popular for both begginer and seasoned exhibitors.
The American sable is known for its exquisite brown coat, which fades from a dark sepia tone over the top to a lighter shade of sepia on the sides.
With a dark sepia face, feet, ears and tail. The color of these rabbits is often compared to that of a mink.
They make excellent show, meat and fur rabbits.
Although there are six distinct types of Argente rabbits, the ARBA only recognizes three: The Champagne, Creme, and the most recent accepted breed, the Brun.
The Argente Brun is an attractive and stunning creature with a rich, glossy, silky coat that has a dark brown undertone.
This breed was accepted at the 92nd ARBA Convention in Portland, Oregon, and presented successfully by Charmaine Wardrop. This rabbit has joined the ranks of the legendary frosty rabbits that are loved by breeders throughout the world.
The Belgian Hare rabbit is one of the oldest breeds in America. They came to America around 1880.
They were created in the early 18th century in Eastern Europe through selective breeding of wild and domesticated rabbits.
The Belgian Hare has a remarkable, lithe, and elegant form that really makes it stand out on the show table.
The Beveren is steeped in European history. It was created from crosses of the Brabanconne, St. Nicolas Blue, and the Blue Vienna in Belgium during the 19th century.
The Beveren breed is rare in the United States, but it has a large following.
There are three recognised colors, black, blue and white.
Blanc de Hotot
The name and the rabbits known as Blanc de Hotot (White of Hotot) were derived from Hotot-en-Auge, which is near LeHavre in Northern France and is home to a breed that resembles the one we know today.
This snow white breed with the black eyeliner has a long and steadfast following, from its humble origins in the early 1800s to their recognition by the ARBA in 1979.
One of the smallest breeds of rabbits that are recognized by ARBA, the Britannia Petite is known in Britain as the Polish.
The Petite is a high-strung breed, which means they’re more active and lively than other breeds.
They’re a little difficult to handle, but with the right person, they make a great show rabbit.
The Californian rabbit was developed in Southern California during the 1920s by George West, and is one of the most popular breeds in the American Rabbit Breeders’ Association.
The “Cal” is a commercial breed that has been prized for its meat-producing abilities, as well as its pelt.
It is a competitive commercial breed in all 50 states.
Cavies, also known as Guinea Pigs are a domestic species of rodent originally native to South America.
ARBA recognizes 13 distinct breeds of cavies for the purpose of promoting ethical cavy breeding, showing, pet, and research purposes.
Likely named after their silvery coloured coat which is similarly coloured to champagne, Champagne d’Argent translates as ‘Silver Champagne’.
The breed is thought to have originated in France by the mid-1600s, however its precise origins are unknown.
The Champagne is a popular winner on the show table because of its distinctive “silver” pelt, they are also a popular breed for meat.
The Checkered Giant, or as it’s also known ‘rabbit beautiful’ was first recognised by ARBA over 100 years ago, in 1919.
The Checkered Giant is an easy type of rabbit to recognize. They are very big and have distinctive markings on their body.
They are a running breed and require a spacious cage to run about in.
In 1972 the Cinnamon became a recognized breed. It takes it’s name from the russet colour of it’s coat.
The Houseman Family recognized the breed’s potential and began developing it.
The back of the Cinnamon is a rust or ground cinnamon color with a uniform gray ticking, smoky grey coloring on its sides, a dark underside, and an orange undertone.
They were developed as a commercial breed and are commonly used for meat.
The exquisite Crème d’Argent is one of the rarest rabbit breeds, with a brilliant orange undertone and creamy-white color.
With less than 1,000 in population in the US and even less in the UK, this breed is almost extinct.
The ARBA, in collaboration with the Creme d’Argent Rabbit Federation, is committed to preserving and propagating this beautiful breed.
Developed in England during the 1830’s, the Dutch rabbit is one of the most well known breeds.
Breeders began to favor rabbits with the distinct markings that would eventually become the breed’s distinctive characteristics.
It might be tough to choose for correct markings when there are so many different types, but the fact that the Dutch is one of the top ten most popular breeds indicates that plenty of breeders who are up to the task.
The Dwarf Hotot is a dwarf breed that has the distinct markings of the Blanc de Hotot, as well as the cuteness of a dwarfed breed.
Their small size makes them easy to handle for children.
Commonly referred to as the “Eye of the Fancy” they were developed in Germany from two different varieties of rabbit.
The Dwarf Hotot is a popular and long-standing breed recognized by the ARBA in 1983.
The Dwarf Papillon, also known as the Zwergschecken, was a breed developed in Germany under the name Zwergschecken. This means Dwarf Check in English.
The idea for Dwarf Papillons came from Metz, France, at the 2015 Europa show. The French name for Nain Papillon was used to showcase Papillons from several nations: Switzerland, Italy, Germany, France, Sweden and Austria. Six of those Rabbits were brought back to America.
Additional rabbits were then imported from France and Switzerland and subsequently an application was made in January 2015 for a foreign breed that used the same standard as the Zwergschecken.
Randy Shumaker, Maddie Pratt, and spokesman Louis Potter were among the first to breed these rabbits. They picked a name they thought best characterized the breed in the United States and decided on Dwarf Papillon as their moniker.
In 2020, the Chocolate Dwarf Papillon was recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association as its 50th distinct breed.
The English Angora is one of four varieties of Angora recognized by the ARBA.
Only the English Angora is considered a compact (small) breed of Angora.
It has a beautiful, sought-after wool that is both silky and luxurious.
The English Lop was bred in the early 19th century and used as a pet in the Victorian era, when it was also instrumental in developing other lopped breeds such as the French and Mini Lop.
The English Lop is known for having the longest ears of any rabbit breed, and it is regarded as the original lopped rabbit.
The breed’s docile disposition and laid-back demeanour have earned it the moniker “The Dog of the Rabbits’ World.”
The English Spot rabbit was created in England in the 19th century and first appeared in the United States in 1890 where they were an instant hit.
The distinctive colored markings on its body, including the butterfly nose marking, eye circles, cheek spots, herringbone, colored ears, and a chain of spots, were developed through selective breeding.
They’re a running breed (showing motion at the show table instead of stillness), and they’re a great deal of fun to train.
The Flemish Giant is a large breed of Rabbit indigenous to Belgium. It was developed as early as the 16th century in Flanders, Belgium.
The breed was brought to America in the early 1890s to aid in the growth of meat rabbits during the great “rabbit boom.”
The Flemish Giant is a popular breed of rabbit that has been bred for many purposes, including pet, show, breeding, meat, and fur. Its docile nature and adaptability to a variety of roles have earned it the name “Gentle Giant”.
The Florida White rabbit, often known as the laboratory rabbit, was created to supply a smaller white rabbit for use in research. The breed has evolved into much more than simply another white rabbit thanks to its adaptability and versatility.
Approved by the ARBA in 1967 by Judge Orville Miliken, the Florida White has rapidly gained in popularity, frequently winning Best In Show.
The Florida White has also won the rabbit world’s highest award, the ARBA Convention Best in Show.
It’s a dream rabbit for the serious breeder since it has excellent conformation and markings, as well as an outstanding temperament.
The French Angora is one of four Angora breeds recognized by The American Rabbit Breeders’ Association.
The French Angora has seen a recent upswing in popularity due to its docile nature and the fact that it produces unique wool.
The ever popular French Lop was introduced to the United States in 1971, and is said to have been created by crossing the English Lop with the Giant Pappillon.
The French Lop is a huge, hefty rabbit with a very large, robust head.
They are a stunning and magnificent breed with a calm and peaceful disposition, making them excellent pets and also good show rabbits.
There are four breeds of Angora recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association, the Giant Angora, as the name implies, is the largest of these breeds.
The Giant was created as a wool producer. The breed’s wool is made up of three types: underwool, awn fluff, and awn hair.
Edward H. Stahl developed the Giant Chinchilla in the United States in 1921, with the goal of achieving as large a pelt of chinchilla fur as possible.
In 1928, he succeeded in achieving his objective and the Giant Chinchilla was formally recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association.
Not only did Edward H. Stalk achieve his goal, but he also earned a million dollars from the sale of his rabbits, earning them the nickname “The Million Dollar Rabbit”.
There are two types of Harlequin, the Japenese, and the Magpie, the breed originates from France, having been first being exhibited in Paris in 1887.
The Japanese Harlequins come in either orange or fawn with either black, blue, chocolate, or lilac markings.
The Magpie Harlequins are white, mixed with either black, blue, chocolate, or lilac markings.
A Harlequin’s head, ears, feet, and body markings should be divided equally between the two hues, this makes breeding a perfect Harlequin a challenge for competitive breeders.
The Havana is also referred to as the “Mink of the Fancy”.
In 1916, the Havana was recognized by the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA). The breed was previously known as the Standard Havana and prized for the fact its fur was very similar to that of minks.
They are a miniature breed that can be shown in the classic five colors: Chocolate, Black, Blue Broken, and Lilac.
Because of its popularity, the Havana is one of today’s most popular show breeds, frequently winning awards at shows.
The Himalayan rabbit is known by several names in other countries, including the Russian Rabbit, the Chinese Black Nose Rabbit, and the Egyptian Smut.
The Himalayan rabbit was first described in a European journal in 1857, and by the 19th century, British breeders were exhibiting Himalayans.
The Himalayan is the only cylindrical-shaped breed recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association.
They’re laid-back in demeanor, simple to handle and a pleasure to show.
The Holland Lop was developed to create a smaller version of the French Lop that would be easier to handle.
Developed by Adriann de Cock in the Netherlands, the Holland Lop was recognized by ARBA in 1979. It’s a lovely addition to the rabbit world due to its small size, big head, lop ears, and slender build.
The Holland Lop is one of the top five breeds recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association.
Developed by Bonnie Seely with the intent to breed a pet rabbit with easy to care for wool, the Jersey Wooly was recognized by ARBA in 1988 and has since grown to become one of the most popular rabbit breeds in the United States.
Brought to the United States in 1922 after originally being developed in Great Britain the breed is known for its luxurious pinkish dove-gray colored fur.
Unfortunately, it’s listed as a breed to watch by the Livestock Conservancy due to its low population numbers
As a standard breed of rabbit, it only comes in one color.
Because of its docile nature, moderate size, and simple breeding standard, it is an excellent choice for a beginner rabbit breeder.
The most prominent feature of the Lionhead rabbit is its lion-like mane, which gives it the appearance of a male lion.
While the Lionhead has only been recognized as a breed in the United States since 2014, it is gaining widespread popularity from rabbit lovers worldwide and even gained a best in show at the 2018 ARBA convention.
The Mini Lop was bred in Germany and has since been brought to the United States with the name Klein Widder.
The Mini Lop was recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association in 1980.
The Mini Lop is a dwarf breed of rabbit that has a distinctive appearance. A head roughly the size of a softball with lopped ears, the Mini Lop is one of the most popular small breeds.
The Mini Rex is another relatively modern breed, developed in Texas in 1984 by Monna Berryhill.
In 1988, the plush-coated Mini Rex became a recognized breed by ARBA and has consistently since been a top entry at American Rabbit Breeder Association conventions.
The Mini Rex comes in a range of different colors, is easy to breed and easy to care for, making it an extremely popular breed.
The Mini Satin was previously called the Satinette and was founded by J. Leo Collins.
First recognized by ARBA in 2005 in only a single showable color, white, the popularity of the breed skyrocketed and there are now 16 recognized varieties!
The Mini Satin rabbits are docile, easy to care for and love companionship.
The Netherlands is credited with developing the Netherland Dwarf breed in the early 20th century, however, they were quickly exported to the United States.
Their appeal has only increased since then, as new color variations have been accepted, for a total of 25.
The Netherland dwarf’s popularity is due in part to its tiny stature, many showable colors, and brachycephalic head.
You’d think with a name like New Zealand, the origins of this breed of rabbit would be obvious. However, despite the name, the breed was originally developed in the United States!
The New Zealand first become recognized in 1916 and since then has gone on to win more ARBA Best in Shows than any other breed of rabbit.
New Zealand’s are prized for their rapid growth and meat production. New Zealand Reds were initially the more popular choice, however, because of the fur industry and ease of dying the white fur, the New Zealand white quickly became the most popular type of New Zealand.
The Palmino was first recognized in 1957, after a slight name change, having previously been referred to as the Washingtonian in 1952.
The Palomino, which is named for its hue (Palomino horses are similar in color), comes in two forms: Golden and Lynx.
Palominos are a popular breed with people across the country since they can be shown, kept as pets, utilized for meat and fur production, and more.
The Polish are a well-liked show rabbit, and exhibitors enjoy a devoted following.
The Polish’s history is murky. The breed was mentioned in English literature in 1860, and it was thought to have come from Britain rather than Poland as their name implies.
The Polish is not a dwarf breed, owing to their larger ears, non-brachycephalic head, and lesser cobbiness of the body than the Netherland Dwarf.
The Rex is affectionately referred to as “king of the rabbits”.
John Fehr and Alfred Zimmerman brought the Rex to the United States in 1924 and the Rex breed was first exhibited publicly at the Paris International Rabbit Show in 1924.
Since then it has gained a huge following within the rabbit community, with 16 recognized color varieties.
The characteristic mutation that gives the fur a short, dense velvet-like texture is largely responsible for Rex’s success and the Rex remains the top breed for fur production to date.
Rhinelanders were bred in Germany during the first decade of the twentieth century and arrived in the United States in 1923. They were recognized by ARBA in 1924.
Rinnelders are known for their mobility on the show table as a running breed, as opposed to being statically positioned.
The Rhinelander is a medium-sized arched breed with rich orange and black or fawn and blue markings that is popular among discerning rabbit enthusiasts.
Despite their distinct markings and popularity, they are a rare breed within the United States.
The Satin was initially found in 1934 from a litter of Havana rabbits from renowned breeder Walter Huey of Pendleton.
It was discovered that the Satin Rabbit was a mutation, unlike anything seen in rabbit kind.
Satins were first known as Satin Havanas, but later they were renamed to Satins.
Satins are recognized in 11 different colors and are grouped under a specialty club also containing Mini Satins, or as they are affectionately referred to “Team Sheen”.
One of 4 recognized Angora Breeds, the Satin Angora was recognized in 1987.
The distinctive silky wool, which has a distinct sheen, is among the most prized of all Rabbit wool and is emblematic of the breed.
The Silver is one of the oldest known varieties of domestic rabbit, dating back at least to the 1500s.
Sir Walter Raleigh is said to have brought the breed to England from Portugal, before landing on American soil.
It was one of the first breeds to be recognized by ARBA, way back in 1910, and it is now recognized in three distinct colors: black, brown, and fawn.
The Silver Fox was previously known as the America Heavyweight Silver up until a name change in 1929.
Walter B. Garland created the Silver Fox breed, which was the third in formation in the United States.
The Silver Fox is characterized by its upright fur, which is silvery gray with white highlights. These hairs are equally spread throughout the coat, giving it a sharp, brilliant appearance.
The blue variety of Silver Fox, which was once recognized, has now been dropped.
The Silver Martin is both a breed of rabbit and a definition of color for other breeds.
The Silver Marten was bred by breeders who mixed black and tan rabbits with Chinchillas to improve the breed. In the 1920s, when they appeared in Chinchilla litters, they were referred to as “strange little black rabbits.”
The Silver Martin colorway is a variety found in numerous breeds including the Mini Rex, Mini Satin and Netherland Dwarf.
The ARBA established the Black and Chocolate Silver Marten in 1927 followed by the Blue and Sable in 1933.
Despite the name, Chinchilla Rabbits are not related to and cannot be bred with Chinchillas.
In the 1920s thousands of Chinchillas were registered. Breeders realized that the breed’s fur would be highly desirable and quickly set out to establish a thriving chinchilla population, rapidly overtaking the Belgian Hare in terms of fur production.
Today, the breed has a somewhat lower profile but is still popular with both top breeders.
The ARBA recognizes three breeds; Standard Chinchilla, American Chinchilla and the Giant Chinchilla.
Tans were discovered in the late 1800s in England, where they had escaped from a wild rabbit colony, and their development and domestication began.
The Tans’ first appearance was far different from the slender, longer-limbed, and sleek animals we are familiar with today; rather, they were a cobby-type animal more like a Dutch.
The black Tan was initially popular, but the blues quickly followed.
With many enthusiast exhibitors, today’s Tans are a highly competitive breed.
Under the leadership of Hall of Fame legend Glen Carr, the Thrianta became the first new breed accepted by the ARBA Standards Committee in almost twenty years when it was introduced to the Standard in 2005.
The Thrianta is a brilliant orange-red rabbit from nose to tail.
The breed was originally developed in Sweden for the Royal House of Orange-Nassau in the late 1930s, and it is still popular among devoted breeders today.