Netherland Dwarf Rabbit | History, Basic Health, Characterstics


History of Netherland Dwarf Rabbit

Netherland Dwarf Rabbit was developed in Holland from the Polish rabbit, but the selection of the breeding stock was such that there should be little relationship between the two breeds.

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Their development as a separate breed started before the last war but was interrupted by the German occupation of Holland, and it was not until 1950 that Netherland Dwarfs were introduced into this country. Since that time they have become very popular, and in fact, they are the most popular of fancy breeds except for Dutch and English.

They have now been produced in several colors, including white (the most popular) sable, black, brown, smoke pearl, and even chinchilla. The Netherland Dwarf is entirely an exhibition rabbit and undoubtedly makes the best pet for a small child, being cobby and compact and so small as to be easily handled. The breed suffered initially from poor breeding characteristics, but this problem is rapidly being overcome. ‘The maximum weight is 2z lb. as an adult.

The Netherlands Dwarf is the cutest rabbit breed that comes in almost thirty-six different varieties. Its specialty is that it remains small in size and appears adorable. That’s why most of the popular shows extensively display the Netherlands Dwarf rabbit. People purchase these varieties on a large scale to cage them as pets.

This rabbit breed is a popular bunny in Europe where it is famous as ‘European Pole’. It is a domestic rabbit that originated in the Netherlands. You can sterilize it to avoid its behavioral problems. For this, it is advisable to apply neutering or spaying to your rabbit as soon as it attains 4 months of age.

Origin of Netherlands Dwarf Rabbit:

Netherlands Dwarfs were developed in Europe. This breed is believed to be based on British Polish breeds. These dwarf rabbits were earlier seen in Holland and that’s why they got the name ‘Netherland’ Dwarf rabbits. This breed was also famous in the United States in 1969.

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Characteristics of the Netherlands Dwarf Rabbit

  • It is usually smaller in size than most rabbit breeds
  • The Netherlands Dwarf weighs approximately 500 g to 1.6 kg (1.1 lbs to 3.5 lbs)
  • Netherland Dwarf rabbits are happy and friendly creatures that settle down easily
  • These are compact creatures that possess short little ears that stand up straight
  • The fur of Netherlands Dwarf rabbit is short, thick, elastic, and shiny
  • This breed usually comes in different colors like black, blue, chocolate, lilac, lynx, opal, otter, silver marten, tan, fawn, steel, white red-eyed and blue-eyed

Behavior and Diet of Netherlands Dwarf Rabbit:

The behavior of Netherland dwarfs is similar to dogs or cats. With training, it is possible to easily imbibe good habits in them. Generally, this rabbit is playful, wild and of poor temperament. But things like selective breeding and good companionship make it gentle and pacifies its activities.

As far as the diet of Netherland dwarf is concerned, it is advised to give food according to its age. When fed excessively with lettuce and cabbage, its sensitive digestive system causes health problems like ‘diarrhea’. It is unsuitable to give such kind of diet for the dwarf rabbits before six months of age. Adults can be fed with fresh and good quality rabbit pellets, vegetables and fruits.

Proper percentages of protein, fiber, and fat have to be balanced to maintain minimum rabbit nutrient requirements. For example, it requires 14% crude fiber, 2% fat, and 12% protein. The pellet must be higher in fiber i.e. up to 18-20%, lower in protein i.e. 14-15% and fat must be up to 2-3%. It is important to maintain each individual to stay away from malnourishment or over nourishment.

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Breeding of Netherland Dwarf Rabbits:

There are two types of Netherlands Dwarf Rabbits: The ‘true’ dwarfs and the ‘false’ dwarfs. The true dwarfs preserve the customary dwarf features and are used as a show animal, while the false dwarfs appear larger and posses’ long ears and are used for mating.

Mating between two ‘true’ dwarfs inherits double dwarf genes in at least one of the litter known as ‘peanut’. These are sluggish, small-sized, round-headed and possess strained hindquarters. It is a wide assumption that the peanuts are born with underdeveloped digestive tracts and die before they are 3 weeks old.

Whereas if the Netherlands Dwarfs are bred to a quality false dwarf doe, it eliminates the probability of peanuts and gives rise to good quality litters. Thus, it remains the best rabbit pet that anyone could ever ask for.


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