Dutch Rabbit

The Dutch Rabbit is a friendly rabbit with a distinctive bi-colour coat. This breed of rabbit makes an ideal family pet.

Size and weight of the Dutch rabbit

The Dutch rabbit is a reasonably large rabbit weighing on average 2-2.35 kgs

Colour varieties of the Dutch rabbit

The Dutch rabbit comes in a variety of the bi-colour combinations including:

  • Blue and white
  • Black and white
  • Yellow and white
  • Tortoiseshell and white
  • Grey and white

Country of origin

The Dutch rabbit was developed in Britain from Belgian rabbits.

Time of original development

The 19th century.

Dutch rabbit breed introduction and overview

In spite of its name, the Dutch rabbit breed was developed in the UK and from Petit Brabancon rabbits imported from Brabant in Belgium. The breed was originally developed for its meat. Today’s bi-coloured robust, medium sized rabbit with its upright ears is tolerant and easy to handle

Habitat and feeding requirements of the Dutch rabbit

This active and easily bored rabbit needs plenty of exercise and  space to move around and and a hutch that is large enough for it to stretch to its full height and length in all directions. Even a house Dutch 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 Dutch rabbit make a good pet for smaller children?

Despite their ‘cute’ appearance rabbits are not ideal for very small children to handle unless they are closely supervised together. Rabbits should be socialised young to human company and young children should be taught  how to hold a rabbit properly, so that it feels secure. If any rabbit becomes frightened, the rabbit’s desire to escape means that its powerful back legs can injure the human handler and can cause the rabbit to be dropped and injure itself.

Having said this, this robust, friendly and inquisitive rabbit, is easy to handle and is ideal as a family pet. It is therefore a very popular companion breed. This is a rabbit that will tolerate even smaller children, as long as they are gentle (and supervised). This is an ideal breed to keep as a house rabbit, it can move around easily in the home, but does not find it too easy to squeeze into tight spots that you cannot remove it from. This breed can be trained to use a litter tray. Your Dutch rabbit will need plenty of toys and stimulation and regular access to run outdoors in a run, as it bores easily.

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 Dutch rabbit

The short coat would benefit from a brush with a soft brush once a week more during 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 Dutch rabbit

This rabbit is a reasonably healthy breed being not to large nor too tiny and with shortish length fur. As with all rabbits, however, check that its bottom is clean of any debris and is kept dry to avoid the danger of flystrike. Keep your rabbit at the correct weight so that it can move easily to groom itself.

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 Dutch rabbit

A healthy Dutch rabbit can expect to live between 7 – 10 years and sometimes longer.

Estimating how much it will cost to keep your Dutch rabbit

A pedigree Dutch rabbit will cost around £20.

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 (including the initial outlay). See our article on working how much it costs to keep a rabbit.