Recognized by the British Rabbit Council, the "royal" Lionhead rabbit's mane is everything.
The Lionhead rabbit is a relatively newcomer in the United States, but quickly gaining popularity among rabbit fanciers. And it's easy to see why, the Lionhead bunny has a magnificent wool mane that makes this small rabbit so very unique and unlike any other. (It's SO fluffy!)
The rabbit breed has European roots as they originated from Belgium; the domestic rabbit was then imported to the United States in 1998. The Lionhead breed was ultimately recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) in 2014.
Appearance of Lionhead Rabbits: What About This Mane?
The Lionhead Rabbit came about when Belgian breeders were looking to develop a dwarf rabbit with longer fur. They ended up crossing a Netherland Dwarf rabbit with a Swiss Fox rabbit, and the result is the insanely floofy Lionhead Rabbit. This breed has a genetic mutation causing the rabbit to develop a long fur mane around the head, and sometimes on the flank area; Hence, the name 'Lionhead'. This gene mutation is now known as the 'mane' gene.
The Lionhead just cannot get any cuter. They have soft, wooly, medium-length fur with a round compact body and straight ears. They are tiny little fluff balls, weighing at around three pounds at full size. This small and fluffy pet rabbit of course comes with an oh-so-glorious mane that can be either a double mane or single mane: In double-mane Lionheads, the fur is thick and pronounced, especially around the head and hindquarters area. In single-mane Lionheads, the mane is thin and wispy and will typically disappear as they age.
Lionhead rabbits comes in many colors under the rainbow, including black, blue, tortoise, ruby-eyed white, chestnut, sable point, Siamese sable, and lilac among many others.
Temperament and Care
Lionhead rabbits are docile, friendly, and playful. They make wonderful pets, but they might not be the best choice for first-time owners, especially those with young children. This rabbit breed can be easily frightened as they are quite timid and skittish if they don't feel safe. However, they are an intelligent breed and can be trained to understand basic commands such as come, play, and eat.
One thing is for sure - Lionhead rabbits have a lot of hair. Hence, grooming is a must for this out-going rabbit: two or three times a week should do the trick. They also need a healthy diet consisting of fresh clean water, daily feedings of high-quality pellets, and an unlimited amount of Timothy hay.
These adorable little guys can live up to seven to nine years.
Do you find the Lionhead rabbit as cute as we do? Do you live with a Lionhead? Let us know in the comments!