10 Top Rabbit Breeds to Keep as Pets

rabbit breeds illustration

Illustration: The Spruce / Chloe Giroux

Rabbits come in an array of colors, sizes, shapes, and coat types. The subtler differences among rabbit breeds are mostly of interest to those who show their animals, while the average owner is free to select their favorite look and temperament. Rabbits tend to be social and playful animals, and they can make very loving pets. Here are 10 types of pet rabbits you'll often find in people's homes.

Tip

Rabbits in pet stores or up for adoption are not necessarily going to be purebred. But that in no way affects their quality as a companion animal.

  1. Angora

    There are five main angora rabbit breeds: the English, French, German, giant, and satin angora. They vary a bit in size and appearance, but they’re all known for their luxurious, wooly coats. Due to their coats, these rabbits have somewhat high-maintenance grooming needs to prevent them from ingesting their fur and causing blockages.

    Breed Overview

    Length: 1 foot

    Weight: 5 to 7 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Long, silky fur; often white (English angora)

  2. Dutch

    The Dutch is one of the most popular rabbit breeds both as a pet and for show. These rabbits are typically friendly and docile, and they love to play. They also thrive on socialization and might become depressed if they have to spend lots of time in a cage. Caretakers should interact with their rabbit for at least a few hours each day.

    Breed Overview

    Length: 8 inches

    Weight: 4 to 5 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Front of face, body, and back feet are white; rest is colored

  3. English Spot

    Selective breeding created the distinctive colored markings on the English spot. This breed has been a show rabbit for more than a century, which has helped it to become very comfortable around humans. It tends to be friendly and easygoing with just a little bit of spunk to keep things interesting.

    Breed Overview

    Length: 1 foot

    Weight: 5 to 8 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Long, arched body; white with black, blue, chocolate, gold, gray, lilac, or tortoise

  4. Flemish Giant

    Flemish giants are the “gentle giants” of the rabbit world. This massive breed can tip the scale at over 20 pounds, yet it tends to be very sweet and docile. You might even see these rabbits cuddling up to other household pets, including dogs and cats. They also tend to do well around children.

    Breed Overview

    Length: 2 feet

    Weight: 15 to 22 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Heavy build; colors include black, blue, fawn, light gray, sand, steel gray, and white

  5. Hotot

    The blanc de Hotot is a white rabbit with distinctive black rings around its eyes that look like bunny eyeliner. It also comes in a dwarf variety that weighs about 3 pounds. These animals tend to be sweet and playful. They are appropriate for first-time rabbit owners, as well as children. 

    Breed Overview

    Length: 1 foot

    Weight: 8 to 10 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: White with black eye rings; rounded body

  6. Lionhead

    Even though it is petite, you can’t miss a lionhead rabbit thanks to its distinctive mane of fur that extends roughly 2 inches around its head. To make sure these rabbits stay soft and free of matts, they require at least a weekly brushing. And during shedding periods, a daily brushing might be necessary. 

    Breed Overview

    Length: 8 inches

    Weight: 3 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Compact, rounded body; wooly mane; colors include tortoise, white, and chocolate

  7. Lop

    Lop-eared rabbits are a favorite for their large, floppy ears. There are several varieties, including the English, French, and mini lop. Some lops can be rather inactive, making obesity an issue. So it’s important to offer them enough space to exercise, provide them with toys, and feed them a healthy diet.

    Breed Overview

    Length: 1 to 2 feet

    Weight: 12 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Large, floppy ears; colors include black, fawn, blue, white, and brown

  8. Netherland Dwarf

    The Netherland dwarf is a very petite rabbit with a brachycephalic (or short) face. Its ears also are quite small compared to its head size. These rabbits tend to be quiet and sweet, though some are a little skittish. They are not recommended for small children, as they require a patient and gentle touch.

    Breed Overview

    Length: 8 inches

    Weight: 3 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Short ears; compact body; large head; colors include black, blue, chocolate, lilac, and fawn

  9. Polish

    Polish rabbits are small, but they are not technically a dwarf breed. That’s because they have well-proportioned ears and bodies and a non-brachycephalic head. They tend to be calm, friendly, and suitable for most experience levels. But because of their size, they might be too fragile for families with young children.

    Breed Overview

    Length: 8 inches

    Weight: 2 to 3 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Very short ears; colors include black, blue, chocolate, and white

  10. Rex

There are multiple rex rabbit varieties, including the mini rex that only weighs around 4 pounds. These rabbits often are playful and affectionate, and they sport a plush, velvety coat. But despite their coat density, they actually don’t require much grooming from their caretakers. With daily interaction, they can become quite attached to their caretakers, enjoying petting and cuddles.

Breed Overview

Length: 1 foot

Weight: 8 to 10 pounds

Physical Characteristics: Round body; broad head; upright ears; colors include black, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, and white