What to Know About Dwarf Rabbits


In this Article

  • Get to Know Netherland Dwarf Rabbits
  • Dwarf Rabbit Personality
  • Dwarf Rabbit Lifespan
  • Dwarf Rabbit Diet
  • Dwarf Rabbit Facts
  • Is the Dwarf Rabbit Right for You?

If you’ve ever considered getting a small pet that’s not a cat or dog, you may have considered a rabbit. Rabbits are small, fluffy, and generally easy to care for. Small rabbits, like Netherland dwarf rabbits, may seem like a particularly good choice. 

Of course, before you add a dwarf rabbit to your family, there are some things you should know about them. 

Netherland dwarf rabbits have round, compact bodies. You can identify them by their large heads, short necks, and short ears that stick up instead of flopping over. These petite rabbits only weigh between 1 ¾ and 2 ½ pounds. They can have a bit of an attitude, as well as a tendency to nip. However, their energetic nature and excitability make them sweet companions for adults, so they are popular pets all around the world.

Get to Know Netherland Dwarf Rabbits

Netherland dwarf rabbits carry the dwarf gene, giving them compact bodies. These petite rabbits are the smallest of all rabbit breeds. 

The Netherland dwarf rabbit was originally bred from the Polish rabbit and eventually became a distinct breed. After the Second World War, they were recognized as a distinct breed and spread to other countries. Now, they’re one of the most popular fancy breed rabbits, along with the Dutch and English, particularly following 1969, when they obtained official recognition from the American Rabbit Breeders Association.

Netherland dwarf rabbit characteristics. These rabbits have large heads with bold, bright, round eyes. They have small, straight-furred tails.

These rabbits have dense, glossy fur that comes in the following colors: 

  • White
  • Sable
  • Black 
  • Brown
  • Smoke pearl
  • Chinchilla

Dwarf rabbit size. As its name implies, the dwarf rabbit is very small. The average adult Netherland dwarf rabbit weighs around two pounds. This adorable rabbit comes in different varieties, but its small stature is a given.

Dwarf Rabbit Personality

This may be surprising, but Netherland dwarf rabbits can have similar personalities to cats and dogs. You’ll find the Netherland dwarf rabbit to be playful and energetic, though this can lead to destructive behavior if they don’t get enough exercise and playtime. Fortunately, this breed is trainable and can learn good behavior and habits. 

The Netherland dwarf rabbit can be shy and nervous when you first bring them home. However, you’ll see their sweet temperament shine after they get to know you. Quickly forming a bond with your dwarf rabbit is good for them and you.

Like dogs and cats, rabbits need socialization. Letting them interact regularly with other people can help keep them from getting nervous and biting. A comfortable, well-socialized rabbit makes a good companion.

Dwarf Rabbit Lifespan

There’s a lot of variation in a rabbit’s lifespan, which will depend on factors like size, diet, health conditions, genetics, and overall care and handling. 

A typical rabbit has a lifespan of about six years, but the Netherland dwarf rabbit can live between 10 and 12.

Dwarf Rabbit Diet

When feeding your rabbits, you should consider their size, age, and activity level. In addition to regulating serving sizes, bear in mind that what you feed your rabbit is very important. The Netherland dwarf rabbit needs different foods in its diet based on its age. 

The Netherland dwarf rabbit has a sensitive digestive system and needs fresh, high-quality rabbit pellets. It would also be best to supplement your rabbit’s diet with vegetables and fruits. If you’re adding supplements to your dwarf rabbit’s diet, though, make sure these don’t account for more than 15% of their diet. This can actually cause weight gain and be more harmful to your pet than helpful. Additionally, giving your dwarf rabbit too much lettuce and cabbage can cause diarrhea. 

It’s equally important to keep fresh water in your rabbit’s cage. They need constant access to water. 

Hay is also an important part of the dwarf rabbit diet. Hay should make up at least 70% of your rabbit’s diet. It is good for their digestive system and helps wear down their teeth to prevent dental problems.

Dwarf Rabbit Facts

These small, adorable rabbits are surprisingly complex. Here are some more facts you need to know about the Netherland dwarf rabbit: 

  • The dwarf rabbit runs about three miles a day in the wild. This means these little pets need a lot of exercise throughout the day.
  • Make sure you have a playpen set up or a safe, enclosed space outside where your rabbit can run around freely. This will help reduce stress and anxiety, reducing the risk of bites. 
  • Like dogs and cats, the Netherland dwarf rabbit needs toys to play with. Stop by your local pet store and pick up some rabbit-friendly toys before you bring your new pet home.

Is the Dwarf Rabbit Right for You?

A dwarf rabbit can make a wonderful pet with the right training and socialization. The Netherland dwarf rabbit is recommended for adults of all ages. They will do well in a home or apartment as long as they get a chance to run around. 

A dwarf rabbit doesn’t make the best pet for children because they tend to nip. They are also very small and can be fragile. If they are handled roughly or dropped, they can get hurt and become scared, causing them to act out.

If you’re thinking of getting a dwarf rabbit, you might want to consider also getting a second one. They’re social animals and enjoy living with other rabbits.

Show Sources

Animal Corner: “Netherland Dwarf Rabbit – Top Facts & Breed Guide.” “Netherland Dwarf Rabbit | History, Basic Health, Characteristics.”
LVMA: “Biology of the Rabbit.”
Ohio 4-H Youth Development: “ARBA Rabbit Breed Profiles.”
PDSA: “Netherland Dwarf.” “Smallest Rabbit Breeds: (Mature weight less than 4 pounds).”

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