Everything You Need to Know About the Lionhead Rabbit

Posted by Katherine Ripley
Nature'sAura - C.McKee/Flickr

The Lionhead rabbit is known for being friendly and outgoing.

The Lionhead rabbit breed is relatively new, only accepted by the American Rabbit Breeders Association in 2013. The breed originated in Belgium, where it is rumored that a rabbit breeder was trying to create a long-coated dwarf rabbit, and ended up with what is now the "mane" gene mutation by accident.

The Lionhead gets its name because it has a wool mane, like a lion's, encircling its head.

Lionhead rabbits came to the United States in the 1990s. They have become very popular pets in the United States because of their outgoing personalities. They come in a variety of different colors, and their manes can be different thicknesses, but pretty much all of them are friendly, lovable companions.

Lionheads are also very intelligent, and can be trained to understand basic commands, like "come," "eat," and "play."

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General Appearance

Lionhead rabbits are small with compact bodies, prominent heads, and of course, a lion-like main around their necks. They come in all different colors.


The Lionhead rabbit weighs between 2.5 and 3.75 pounds, making this a small breed. Their bodies are medium-boned and their legs are of medium length, in proportion to the body.


Lionhead rabbits have a medium-length coat. Some Lionheads also have longer fur on their chests, cheeks, and flanks, in addition to the mane that distinguishes the breed.


A Lionhead rabbit's mane is usually thick, woolly, and soft, with some crimping. Single-maned rabbits, who have only one copy of the mane gene, probably will not be able to keep the mane their whole lives. Double-maned rabbits, who have two copies of the gene, have thicker manes that will probably last their entire lives.


The Lionhead rabbit has a prominent head with a well-developed muzzle. Their heads are broad and slightly rounded.


Lionhead rabbits have short wide ears that stand upright.


Lionhead rabbits are lively, playful, and friendly. They can become frightened and even aggressive if they are not handled properly, but they are generally good-natured, and you can easily gain their trust by showing gentle, loving attention.

In-Story image: Flickr/The.Rohit

Everything You Need to Know About the Lionhead Rabbit