Best Pet Rabbit Breeds - Which rabbit breed is best as a pet?

Rabbits are adorable and sociable pets, and you will have fun watching them leap on your lap and stroking them. However, before you bring that rabbit home, you have to make sure that it is the right breed for your family. In this article, we have compiled a list of the 10 best rabbit breeds to help you make that choice.

Top 10 Pet Rabbit Breeds

1. Himalayan rabbit

himalayan rabbit
photo by wolfycherryfriends on instagram

You can easily spot a Himalayan Rabbit because of its unique dark markings on the ears, tail, and feet. The fur on its body is white, and the nose has an egg-shaped mark. It is medium sized, as it weighs 5lbs when fully grown. Because of its short fur, it cannot withstand the winter cold, so you should make arrangements to transfer it indoors during winter.

The Himalayan is a gentle rabbit, and it’s very calm even when the kids handle it roughly. No specific health conditions are known to affect this breed, so it’s easy to care for it. We highly recommend this breed for your kids to cuddle and play with them.

2. Dwarf Hotot

Dwarf Hotot
photo tobinha on instagram

The Hotot is a small breed with unique coloring, and they are famous for the dark coloring around the eyes and their all-white coat. Their ears are upright and they only weigh less than 3lbs; also they have a lifespan of 8 years. You can keep them in small cages because of their small size. When feeding them, make sure they don’t overeat. You have to monitor their food rations. This breed often suffers from malocclusion; one way to avert this problem is to feed the rabbit on fibrous food, which encourages the wearing down of their teeth.


The Hotot rabbit breed is friendly and outgoing, which makes it a great pet for children. They need frequent interactions and handling, but due to their active nature, you should let them down at times because they need to run often. If you are looking for a rabbit that can interact well with your kids, good for cuddling and docile, then go for this breed.

3. Mini-Lop


One distinguishing feature about the Mini Lop is the large head and the long thick floppy ears. Also, it has a round body, and the fur is patterned in a variety of colors. They weigh 6lbs and they have no specific health concerns. The Mini Lop has a lifespan of 10 years, so you have to plan your finances to cater for this rabbit throughout its lifespan.

This bunny is playful and cheerful, and it can also be trained. They enjoy being cuddled; that’s why it is best for children to interact with it. You occasionally need to let it out of the enclosure, as it likes to forage on the nearby fields. This breed also enjoys playing with toys so that you can drop a toy or two inside the cage for intellectual stimulation. If you prefer a trainable bunny, one that you can teach a few tricks of your own, then go for the Mini Lop rabbit breed.

4. Netherland Dwarf

Netherland Dwarf

The Netherland Dwarf is a small rabbit with small and short ears. They weigh 2.5lbs and they have a lifespan of 12 years. These bunnies are susceptible to malocclusion when young, that’s why proper feeding of the rabbit with fibrous feeds such as grasses and hay are recommended. When purchasing this bunny, look at the dental alignment first so that you don’t end up buying a rabbit with malocclusion.

In terms of their personality, they are timid in crowded places. If you have a bunch of kids, then this breed will not be best for you. It needs a quiet environment and lots of cuddling and stroking so that they feel safe. You also need to let them out of the cage often, as they like exercising a lot. It makes a great companion for an adult, who is bedridden, or with a disability.


5. Lionhead

lionhead rabbit

The Lionhead is a crossbreed between the Swiss Fox and the Netherland Dwarf. The long fur around their ears resembles a lion mane, which makes it unique. It weighs 3.5lbs and has a lifespan of 10 years. The long hair needs to be groomed daily, as the fur can easily get tangled in objects as it runs around the house or outdoors. There are no specific health issues with this breed, other than the general illnesses of most rabbits.

This bunny loves to be picked up and carried, also the appearance will excite your children, that’s why we recommend this bunny for families full of children. The Lionhead loves interacting with kids and adults alike. They are also very affectionate, and once they are familiar with you, they will follow you around the house just like a dog. Even though they require a little extra grooming due to their fur, it is one of the best pet breeds for your kids, due to its interactive nature.

6. Jersey Wooly

Jersey Wooly
Photo teacuprabbitry on instagram

This bunny is a cross between the Netherland Dwarf and the French Angora. The heads are bold and square, which gives it a unique appearance. The ears are short and small, and they only weigh 2lbs due to their small size. They only need a small sized cage, and a lot of grooming, since they are wooly. That’s why they are at a higher risk of suffering from a wool block.

The Jersey wooly bunny makes an excellent pet for cuddling, because of their wooly nature, in addition to their docile personality. The rarely bite or kick your kids, which makes it best suited for playing with kids. The wooly coat also enables it to withstand winter, even if the cage is outdoors. We recommend this bunny for your kids, due to its docile nature and small size.

7. Mini Satin

Mini Satin
Photo by inarizushidon on instagram

The Mini Satin has a shiny coat with many colors and patterns, and the shiny brown color is synonymous with this breed. The head and the body are round in shape, and it weighs 3.5lbs. Because of its small size, you can purchase a small cage or enclosure, which saves space if you live in a small apartment. No specific conditions are known to affect the Mini Satin rabbit breed.


The soft, shiny coat of fur makes this breed ideal for cuddling and stroking, in addition to their friendly and calm nature. They quickly become accustomed to children, but you should exercise restraint since some of them can be temperamental if handled roughly. If your kids are rough with pets, then you should go for a more docile bunny breed.

8. Mini Rex

Mini Rex

You can easily spot this breed because unlike most rabbit breeds, the Mini Rex fur sticks out, as opposed to lying flat on the body. They have short necks, and the ears are long and erect. The fur is dense, and you can quickly feel the velvety undercoat. You will also notice that they have rounded backs, and they weigh 3.5lbs when fully grown.

They are also extremely friendly and calm, and when they become familiar with the kids, they will follow them around to cuddle. The Mini Rex is docile, and will never bite when handled roughly, except for the occasional squirm when the kids cuddle it tightly. One advantage of this breed is that it needs less grooming due to its short fur and that no specific health conditions are affecting this breed. We highly recommend this breed for your kids, due to its calm nature.

9. Harlequin

harlequin rabbit
Photo by zoo_caldwell on instagram

The Harlequins are known for their distinctive coatings and their broadheads. The body markings come in many colors and are either bars or bands. The ears are long and floppy, and they are more prominent as they weigh 9lbs when fully grown. The average lifespan of this bunny is seven years. Also, no specific health conditions are affecting this breed.

This bunny likes socializing and playing, which makes it a great play companion for kids. You should also designate a play area for the rabbit, as they tend to be very active. The cage should be big enough for it to exercise often.

10. Standard Chinchilla

Standard Chinchilla

The Chinchilla is a cross between the Himalayans and the wild rabbits. They have a plump body, as they weigh 7lbs when fully grown. Also, they have short and soft fur, and the ears are erect. The Chinchilla is highly susceptible to ear mites, so you should always be on the look-out. They have a lifespan of 8 years.

This breed is famous as a pet breed because of its docile and calm nature, and the Chinchilla loves being cuddled. Since the fur is short, it is easy to care for the Chinchilla as it requires no grooming. We recommend this breed for families with children.

Finally, so what breed of rabbit makes the best pet?

We highly recommend the Himalayan rabbit breed, because it is one of the most laid back and calmest rabbit breeds, out of the ten popular breeds listed above. They will always seek your attention, like following you around and jumping on your lap to be cuddled. The kids will have fun with this pet, and it won’t scratch or bite the kids, even when handled roughly. The Himalayan rabbit is best suited for indoors, as you can train them to use the litter tray, which is a good trait for an indoor rabbit breed. But, whatever the breed you go with, you must know how to care for your rabbit and also how to pet them to ensure that it’s comfortable and happy.

References and further readings:

  1. Lynn M. Stone, Rabbit Breeds: The Pocket Guide to 49 Essential Breeds,(book)
  2. ARBA, Recognized Breeds
  3. BRC, Mono Breed Standards Book


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