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The Giant Papillon is one of the largest rabbit breeds, distinctive for its dark spotted markings on a white coat. Usually gentle and good-natured, they are active, energetic rabbits and can be very playful.

Size: Giant

Hair Type: Short


The Giant Papillon originated in the Lorraine region of France towards the end of the nineteenth century and is known there as the Great Lorrainese. Bred from Flemish Giants, large French lop-eared rabbits and spotted rabbits, they were initially multi-coloured or natural wild coloured but further development produced the characteristic 'butterfly' markings that have made the breed popular since the 1920s. Exported to the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century, they are known there as the Checkered Giant and have been selectively bred to a type distinctly different from the Giant Papillon.


The Giant Papillon is one of the largest breeds with a minimum weight of 5kg (11lbs) and many weighing over 6kg (13lbs).

The Giant Papillon has a slender, muscular build. The long body has a straight back, rounded hindquarters and long, powerful legs, and a wide head with large, broad ears held firmly upright.

Giant Papillons have a white coat with coloured markings. They have coloured ears, rings around the eyes, cheek flashes and a butterfly-shaped marking on the nose. A dorsal stripe (herringbone) runs down the spine from ears to tail, with several spots on the haunches.

Breeding well-marked Papillons is not straightforward. In most litters around half the young will have good markings, there are usually self-coloured (one plain colour) and partially marked young as well. Rabbits with partial markings are often called 'Charlies', this is thought to stem from the partial butterfly marking on the nose which looks like a 'Charlie Chaplin' moustache.

Giant Papillons have short, soft hair.


Black, Blue, Grey, Chocolate, Tortoiseshell and Tri-colour.


Giant Papillons have a fairly calm temperament and are usually gentle and good-natured. They are active, energetic rabbits and can be very playful. They need plenty of exercise.

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