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Everything You Need to Know About the Netherland Dwarf Rabbit

The Netherland Dwarf rabbit is a tiny bundle of energy, but this dwarf breed makes for a great pet rabbit. Netherlands Dwarf rabbits are perfectly sized to be house rabbits. When handled well, they're friendly and docile, and are good pets.

If you're a first-time rabbit owner, it's important to choose a rabbit breed that's right for your family. You'll have plenty of breeds of rabbits to choose from, but if you're looking for a pet that takes up minimal space, a dwarf breed might be just right for you.

Netherland Dwarf Rabbit History

The Netherland Dwarf rabbit is the smallest breed of rabbit. Their cute, babyish appearance makes them very popular pets. Their small size is actually due to a dwarf gene, which was first discovered in rabbits in the mid-1900s. A breeder in Holland was the first to use this gene to create very small rabbits.

A Netherland Dwarf of perfect size and proportions, a "true dwarf," has one copy of the dwarf gene. Two true Netherland Dwarf rabbits who breed together can produce offspring with no copies of the gene, one copy of the gene, or two copies of the gene. If the offspring do not get the gene at all, they will not be small enough to be shown professionally. If the offspring get two copies of the gene, they will be born too small to live longer than a few days.

These rabbits come in nearly every color of the rainbow. If you buy from a breeder, you may have your choice of colors including lilac, fawn, lynx, tortoiseshell, squirrel, chinchilla, opal, sable marten, and more.

Caring for the Netherland Dwarf

Netherland Dwarf rabbits are extremely active and energetic, requiring more exercise than most rabbits. They tend to be skittish, but with repeated exposure to humans can learn to enjoy interactive play.

Like any rabbit breed, the Netherland Dwarf will need an appropriately sized rabbit hutch or cage. These bunnies can learn to use a litter box, which is helpful if you want to let them out to explore and to have some play time.

Bringing Home a Bunny

If you're thinking of bringing home a Netherland Dwarf bunny, consider bringing home two, instead. Rabbits are highly social creatures and having another bunny friend can make your rabbit feel happier and more secure.

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Body photo: Corinne Benavides/Flickr

What do you think about the Netherland dwarf rabbit? Let us know in the comments below!

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