Breed profile of the Miniature Lop, the smallest of the lop-eared breeds, known in the USA as the Holland Lop. Mini lops are lively, social and active rabbits with a dense coat and stocky build.
The Miniature Lop in Britain is descended from the first dwarf lops developed in the Netherlands during the 1950s, known as Holland Lops or Dwarf Lops. A dutch rabbit judge and breeder, Adriann de Cock, is generally credited with developing the Holland Lop. He set out to create a miniature French Lop, by crossing the French Lop with the Netherland Dwarf, and while this did not produce lop-eared rabbits, further cross-breeding with English Lops proved more successful. It was difficult to breed Dwarf Lops that were small enough, yet also had good ear carriage (the Netherland Dwarf influence produced smaller rabbits, and also introduced a wide variety of colours, but resulted in upright ears in many rabbits). Years of careful selective breeding resulted in a rabbit very similar in type to the French Lop yet much smaller, and Holland Lops of around 2kg were first shown in 1964. These were imported to Britain in 1970, and selectively bred to produce the Dwarf Lop breed in the UK, recognised in 1977 with a breed standard weight of around 2kg. Meanwhile, a Holland Lop breed society was established in the Netherlands in 1970, with the aim of breeding Holland Lops down to 1.5kg. These smaller Holland Lops were later imported to Britian in the late 1980s, and bred with the smallest of the established Dwarf Lop breed to develop the Miniature Lop. The Miniature Lop was recognised by the British Rabbit Council in 1994, with a maximum weight of 1.6kg, and although it shares common origins with the Dwarf Lop, is considered a seperate breed. (The minimum weight for the Dwarf Lop breed standard was raised to 1.9kg in 2000, establishing a clear difference between the Miniature Lop and the distinctly heavier and more substantial Dwarf Lop). The Miniature Lop, often called the Mini Lop, has become one of the most popular show and pet breeds. (The Miniature Lop is known as the Holland Lop in the United States, the Mini Lop in the United States is most similar to the Dwarf Lop in Britain.)
The Miniature Lop is the smallest of the lop-eared breeds, weighing around 1.4-1.6kg (3-3½lbs).
Miniature Lops have a stocky build, with a short, thick-set body, rounded haunches and short, strong legs. The head is broad with a strongly curved profile, and broad, thick ears that hang down beside the head.
Miniature Lops may be self-coloured (solid-coloured) or have white patches on the head, chest and legs
Miniature Lops have a dense coat of soft, medium length hair.
White, Black, Blue, Brown, Agouti, Chinchilla, Opal, Siamese Sable, Siamese Smoke, Sealpoint, Sooty Fawn, Fox, Sable Marten, Fawn, Orange, Steel, Butterfly
Miniature Lops are quite lively rabbits, although generally good-natured and friendly. They are active, playful, and social and will thrive on attention.
Mini Lops are prone to dental disease, a potentially fatal condition that is often inherited.
Choose a rabbit with a low risk of hereditary teeth problems, from a reputable breeder or rescue centre.