There are about 50 rabbit breeds across the world but only a few of these breeds are Indian or found in India. Rabbits are cute and cuddly and prove to be loving, warm, and fun companions for humans, when cared for well. They are, however, not suitable for very young children and it is important that there is an adult to supervise the routines, food, and behaviour of the pet rabbit. In this exposition, we will cover the characteristics of the Indian breeds. 

Lionhead Rabbit


These are a popular breed and get their name from the mane-like fur surrounding their cute head. Given their genteel and obedient nature, they can be quickly trained. They are also highly intelligent with a delightful ‘personality’, adding to the cuteness of their tiny size. These cuties weigh between 1.3 to 1.7 kgs. 

Blanc de Hotot

These black-eyed cuties are tiny and compact but are relatively heavier in weight. The males weigh between 3.6 to 4.5kgs, while the females weigh between 4.1 to 5.0kgs. These cuties have a friendly and pleasant demeanor, which makes them a loving and good choice for a pet.


New Zealand White

While rabbits must not be left entirely under the care of children, this particular breed is calm and mild-mannered and makes for a great pet for kids. They are a strong breed, as also intelligent, easy to train and be taught tricks. 


English Lop

The most distinguishing feature of this breed is the long flowing round-ended ears, that reach the ground. Their heads are large (obviously balanced to support those oversized ears). It is important to check that their front feet are straight and not bent and that the tail is not curved or turned but should be straight. 

Soviet Chinchilla

The special trait of this rabbit breed is their dense fur – in fact, of all living things on land, this breed of rabbit has the densest fur! However, this is a delicate breed that falls ills quite often and hence requires very gentle handling and focused care. 

Rex Rabbit

These rabbits are good-lookers amongst rabbits – often being described as gorgeous or handsome! Their coat is smooth and extremely soft and given their affectionate demeanor, they make perfect additions to a human household.


English Spot

So irresistible with their ‘dalmatian-like’ spots and markings on their cuddly bodies, these medium-sized cuties are fun, curious, and make great pets. Their fur is the flyback variety and these hopping bundles of cuteness come in a range of colors – black, chocolate, lilac, blue, grey, gold, and tortoise colored. Their long front legs ably support their fully arched body, allowing them to move fast. 


Dutch Rabbit

These furry delights are tiny and round – looking like little balls of fur hopping around! They weigh between 1.6 to 2.5kgs and the distinctive markings make them truly captivating and popular. These white markings make them easy to identify, and these cuties are actually of British descent. 


Dutch Dwarf Rabbit

Given their name you would guess that these are tiny bundles of fur – weighing between 0.91kgs to 1.13kgs. They naturally come in a variety of colors. These little cuties are initially shy and timid, but with the right care and socialization are quite energetic and easily excited. They prove to be loving and adorable companions, who love to be with their humans. 


Satin Rabbits

One look at these cuties and you know why they are given the name Satin Rabbit – their coat shines like satin. These beautiful rabbits are mild, friendly, and adjust well – they can weigh up to 4.98kgs. The sheen of their coats comes from the fact that the hairs are transparent and hence exceptionally reflect light. Their friendly and gentle temperament makes them good for a home with children. 


Himalayan Rabbit

Amongst the oldest breeds, these rabbits are known to have originated in the mountainous regions of the Himalayas. These cuties are friendly and mellow, making them perfect companions for humans. There are some really interesting facts about this breed. Baby rabbits of this breed are born completely grey or white – their cute markings develop as they become older. Further, their fur darkens if the rabbit is cold or touches something cold. They can either develop a new dark mark or an existing mark can become darker or larger. The coat that touches the cold surface would get dark hair. Strangely, the reverse of these reactions occurs when the rabbit is exposed to hot surfaces/heat. Instead of dark hairs, white hairs appear on the exposed areas – this is called Frosting. 

British Angora

The fur of this rabbit is soft and woolly and they look very cute with their extra furry faces, feet, and ears. These cuties can weigh between 2.0 to 3.5 kgs and have a gentle demeanor. However, their dense fur needs grooming at least twice a week. 


Harlequin Rabbit

This breed has two kinds – the magpie rabbit and the Japanese harlequin. They weigh between 2.72 to 3.62kgs. While the magpie variety is usually white, combined with either black, blue, lilac, or chocolate, the Japanese harlequin is usually orange-colored, combined with black, blue, lilac, or chocolate. The markings also range from bars and bands or a combination of both. Both types of harlequin rabbits are medium in size, with mid-length ears and rounded heads. 


Havana Rabbit

This adorable breed has a bright shiny coat with an almost perfect body! They come in five colours - chocolate, lilac, black, blue, and broken. These cute natured balls of fur can weigh anything between 2 to 2.9kgs, and their mild and sweet nature makes them perfect pets.

Finally:
 
There is a misconception that rabbits require less care and commitment. On the contrary, given their delicate size and body, they require a lot more care than a pet dog or cat. Rabbits live long (over 10 years at times), and hence one should decide to get a rabbit only when ready to make this long-term commitment and take on the responsibility.