What’s a Holland Lop?
by Laurie Stroupe
Holland Lops are the best rabbits in the world, of course! But I suppose you want me to support my conclusion with some information. Oh, okay. First of all, Holland Lops are the smallest of the lop-eared rabbits, smaller than lops and even mini lops. And that alone makes them the cutest, at least in my opinion.
Holland Lops have a wonderful temperament, especially compared to other rabbits their size (please don’t tell any Netherland Dwarf breeders I said that). Curious and relatively easily trained, they are fun to watch and fun to work with. Mine give me bunny kisses. They are so sweet!
I mentioned size, but didn’t tell you what that is, did I? Showing weights range from 2 lbs. to 4 lbs. A very few adult Holland Lops are perhaps under 2 lbs., but false dwarf Holland Lops are frequently over 4 lbs. (not showable, of course).
Now I’ve mentioned dwarfs, haven’t I? The Holland Lop is a dwarf rabbit, having Netherland Dwarfs as part of their original make up. A rabbit with one dwarf gene is more likely to be of show weight and be shorter and cobbier than its counterpart with no dwarf genes. (Rabbits with two dwarf genes do not survive.) That is to say, Hollands are a dwarf breed, but only some of the rabbits have the dwarf gene that makes for the best show rabbits. The ones with no dwarf genes are called “False Dwarfs.” They make wonderful pet rabbits and good brood does. False dwarfs can occur in any litter.
Holland Lops are a compact-type of rabbit, as opposed to the arched types (like Belgian Hares), the semi-arched rabbits (like English Lops), commercial types (these would be the meat types), or the cylindrical type (which is solely the Himalayan). Holland Lops are posed sitting up straight, unlike some other compact rabbit breeds, resting lightly on their front feet. This pose shows off their shortness, high head mount, depth at the shoulders, and nice top line.
Part of the attractiveness of Holland Lops is the massive look in a small package. Most of the points used to compare Holland Lops in rabbit shows focus on the body (32 out of 100) and the head, ear and crown (24 + 10 + 8=42 out of 100). That just leaves 26 points for everything else, including fur, bone, color and condition.
Holland Lops did not originate in their present form in nature. They were bred in the 1960’s by combining Netherland Dwarfs, French Lops, and Mini Lops. They were accepted by the American Rabbit Breeders’ Association in 1979. Today Holland Lops are one of the most popular breeds with rabbit fanciers.