Scientific Name: Oryctolagus cuniculus
Netherland dwarf rabbits are one of the most popular rabbit breeds kept as pets. They are called dwarf rabbits because they tend to be much smaller than other breeds. This makes them ideal pets because they require less living space and also eat considerably less than their larger relatives. These domestic rabbits are very popular at rabbit shows as well.
STATUS: Netherland dwarf rabbits are very common household pets and are therefore not threatened. The wild populations of Oryctolagus cuniculus, however, are listed as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. They suffer from habitat loss and disease, but their main threat is humans; they are considered pests and as a result are often killed.
HABITAT: This breed of domestic rabbit is kept as a pet in people’s homes. It originated in the Netherlands, but it can now be found in the United Kingdom as well as the United States.
DIET: This rabbit’s diet consists mainly of fruits and vegetables. Domestic rabbits are known to have weaker digestive systems than wild rabbits, and therefore they cannot handle large amounts of leafy vegetables at a time.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: These small creatures live up to their name, typically weighing no more than three pounds. Full grown adults are comparable in size to infants of other rabbit breeds. Their heads tend to be somewhat large compared to the rest of the body, but their faces are round and shortened. They have large eyes and small ears that sit on the top of their head. This breed of rabbit can be found in a wide variety of colors.
See Spot hop.
When breeding first began with Netherland dwarf rabbits, they were known to have an aggressive nature. This was mainly a result of the original breeders using wild rabbits; therefore as time went on, and future generations became domesticated, this breed became much more docile. Similar to a pet dog, people have litter-trained their dwarf rabbits, as well as taught their rabbits to respond to their names. This dog-like behavior has made the Netherland dwarf rabbit a popular choice for a pet.