Alaska Rabbit

The Alaska Rabbit is a medium sized rabbit that is only recognised in black. It originates from Germany.

Size and weight of the Alaska rabbit

The Alaska rabbit is a medium sized rabbit weighing between 3.2 and 4.1 kgs.

Colour varieties of the Alaska rabbit

The Alaska rabbit is recognised in black only.

Country of origin

The Alaska rabbit was developed in Germany in the 1920s.

The Alaska rabbit breed introduction and overview

The Alaska rabbit was actually developed in Germany using the Argente and Himalayan rabbit in an effort to create a long black coat with white guard hairs to mimic the coat of the Alaskan Fox whose pelt commanded a high in those days. In fact the white guard hairs were impossible to produce consistently and the rabbit became the rich black coated rabbit  that it is today.  The Alaska rabbit was introduced into the UK soon after their development,  then became extinct  until re-introduced in 1972.

The Alaska rabbit is stocky and plump with no visible neck. The fur is black and shiny on the face, but black and matt on the belly, near the skin, the fur is a dark slate colour. Males are heavier than female rabbits  and females may have an extra roll of fur around the neck (a dewlap). The ears are upright and quite broad and rounded to compared to other rabbits.

Habitat and feeding requirements of the Alaska rabbit

This medium sized rabbit needs plenty of space to move around and exercise, and a hutch that is large enough for it to stretch to its full height and length in all directions. Even a house Alaska Rabbit should have the opportunity  to have a good run and explore in a safe place outside.

Feed a standard rabbit diet to ensure good digestion, avoid obesity and give proper wear on the rabbit’s continually growing teeth.

Does the Alaska rabbit make a good pet for smaller children?

Please note that, despite their ‘cute’ appearance,  rabbits are not ideal for very small children to handle unless they are closely supervised. Rabbits should be socialised at an early age and young children should be told how to hold a rabbit properly. If any rabbit becomes frightened, its natural reaction is to try and escape, and its powerful back legs can injure the human handler and can cause the rabbit to be dropped and injure itself.

Alaska rabbits are non aggressive so would be fine with younger pet lovers who are gentle. This breed is both outgoing and affectionate, so rewarding to interact with.

Always keep your rabbits safe from dogs and cats who may harm them. Even where pets ‘get on’, they should be supervised when together and you must ensure that your rabbit is not stressed by being exposed to other family pets or people.

Grooming requirements of the Alaska rabbit

The coat needs a good brush at least once a week, more during periods of  moulting. Additionally, as rabbits’ teeth keep growing throughout their lives, eating the right food will help to keep the teeth properly ground down, but you do need to check, on a frequent basis, that this is happening properly, or your pet may need to have its teeth ground down by the vet.

Health issues in the Alaska rabbit

The Alaska rabbit is a generally healthy breed of rabbit. As with all rabbits, however, check that its bottom is clean of any debris and is kept dry to avoid the danger of flystrike.

Teeth and also toe nails should be checked frequently to ensure they are not growing too long.

Female rabbits should be neutered if you do not intend to breed from them to avoid cancers in later life. Males will become less aggressive if neutered too.

As with all pedigree pets, it is very important to obtain a young rabbit or rabbit kit from a reputable source where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding any inherent problems found in the breed.

Average lifespan of the Alaska rabbit

A healthy Alaskan rabbit should expect to live between 7 – 10 years and sometimes longer.

Estimating how much it will cost to keep your Alaska rabbit

Expect to pay around £20 for a pedigree Alaska rabbit.

While the initial cost of a pedigree rabbit may seem very low compared to pure bred dogs or even cats, the costs of the following items and procedures make the cost of owning a rabbit mount up:

  • Buying a sufficiently large hutch and run
  • Specialised feeding and bedding
  • Annual inoculations
  • Neutering
  • On-going dental care
  • Insurance

Rabbits should also be kept in pairs. It is estimated that two rabbits together could cost around £1800 a year throughout their lives. See our article on working out how much it costs to keep a rabbit.