What Are the Best Rabbit Breeds for Beginners?

Are you planning on getting a pet rabbit but not sure which breed is best for you? If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to choose a breed that is relatively easy to care for. Moreover, it would be best if you went for a rabbit breed with a friendly personality and not prone to many health issues.

Some rabbit breeds are easier to care for than others. For example, Rex rabbits have short, dense fur that is easy to groom, while Angora rabbits have long, silky fur that requires regular brushing.

Similarly, while all rabbits are susceptible to health problems, some breeds are more prone to certain conditions than others. So, as a beginner, you would want fewer vet visits and more quality time with your pet.

In this article, we look at the most common rabbit breeds that make excellent pets for beginners. So, let’s get started.

Varieties of Domestic Rabbits

Domestic rabbits have a diverse world, with a long list of breeds. There are numerous varieties within these breeds. From the fragile two-pound Netherland Dwarf to the huge twenty-pound Flemish Giant, these rabbits are available in all sizes, colors, and shapes. Along with these, the bunnies have their own needs and temperament.

The American Rabbit Breeders Association, with over 20,000 members globally, has declared almost 50 domestic rabbit breeds. This group handles all aspects of the rabbit industry and also hosts a yearly national convention where competitions are held for rabbit owners to display their rabbits.

The association has stated that judging these animals by breed is based on different standards. Every breed has its own eye color, weight requirements, and personality traits. It’s like dealing with dog breeds with different standards for every breed.

The complexity of the matter is that rabbit enthusiasts try to develop new breeds regularly with color variations through selective breeding practices. The Netherland Dwarf breed only comes in 30 different colors, so you can imagine how diverse the properties of each breed are.

However, before choosing a rabbit breed, don’t forget to research the health problems these rabbits might be prone to. For example, Netherland Dwarfs are prone to dental problems, while Mini Lops are susceptible to ear infections. Find a breed that is relatively healthy and doesn’t have too many known health problems.

Rabbits also have unique personalities, just like people. Some breeds are known for being more active and playful, while others are more laid-back and easy-going. Think about what kind of personality you’re looking for in a pet rabbit, and choose a breed accordingly.

It is not easy to say that a single breed is good enough as a pet. Interestingly, many rabbits you see at pet stores on sale or are up for adoption at animal shelters are recognized as “mutts” or breed mixtures. However, certain kinds of rabbits are ideal for keeping pets, depending on their size, needs, and temperament.

The temperament of the rabbit depends on the treatment they get from others. Bunnies also require socialization to be comfortable and pleasant around people like dogs and cats.

So, now that you know how many rabbit breeds and varieties are available, let’s look at a few that may be the most suitable for beginners or first-time rabbit owners.

The Best Rabbit Breeds for Beginners

1. The Holland Lop

Some rabbit breeds are known to be friendlier than others, and they also behave differently. The Holland Lop, for instance, is known as one of the friendliest breeds. They are relatively small, having an average weight of between 2 and 4 pounds. This means that they require a smaller cage and less food than other rabbit breeds, which can be economical as a pet.

They have a muscular but compact structure despite being small in size. They are quite strong and can sustain a lot of pressure than expected. This doesn’t mean they don’t need extra care because of their small size. They are very delicate compared to other breeds.

The Holland Lop rabbit was first bred in the Netherlands in the early 1900s. The goal was to create a small, lop-eared rabbit that resembled the English Lop. The American Rabbit Breeders Association officially recognized the breed in 1979. Holland Lops are one of the smallest lop-eared breeds, weighing around 4 pounds. They are available in various colors, including black, blue, chocolate, lilac, orange, cream, and white.

Holland Lops are social animals and do best when they have another rabbit or animal friend to interact with. If you can only have one rabbit, make sure to provide plenty of toys and enrichment activities to keep them stimulated.

Also, remember that Holland Lop rabbits love to chew on objects. They need plenty of chew toys so they cannot chew up your furniture and other personal belongings.

Generally, these rabbits are friendly and love families. Males are considered shyer than females. The females are also less messy than the males but would most likely chew your things.

Holland Lop bunnies require the same attention and care as other rabbits. However, they need fewer and smaller things according to their tiny structures.

They also need access to fresh water, often along with hay. They need a regular diet, including fresh veggies and rabbit pellets. Their diet is almost the same as other rabbits but smaller in quantities. They can be easily trained and won’t cause much trouble for you.

Holland Lop rabbits are one of the easiest to take care of. They are mostly easy-going and quite friendly, which makes them suitable for families. They also have fewer health problems, and most stay healthy all their lives. But, these rabbits require specialized cages and food. It would be best if you also had enough time to make them exercise out of their cage and provide them with a proper rabbit diet. This breed shouldn’t be left alone in its cage for days. They are active and must drain their energy outside by hopping, playing, and running around.

2. The Belgian Hare

The Belgian Hare is a domestic rabbit breed that comes through selective breeding. These rabbits are very beautiful and very intelligent. Due to their beauty and intelligence, these are very popular pets. Just like any other pet, Belgian Hares need special care and attention.

You may think the Belgian Hare is a hare and not a rabbit. But that’s not true. Since this rabbit has a long, slender body and sleek fur like a hare, it is known as the Belgian Hare.

These rabbits are known for being very active and playful, which makes them great pets for families with children. Despite their name, Belgian Hare rabbits are not from Belgium but developed in England in the 19th century.

The Belgian Hare is considered an ideal pet breed because they are relatively easy to care for, but there are a few things to keep in mind to keep them healthy and happy. First, these bunnies need a diet that is high in fiber in order to keep their digestive system healthy.

Second, these rabbits need plenty of exercise in order to stay active and playful. And finally, they need to be groomed regularly to keep their fur sleek and shiny. By following these simple care tips, you can enjoy the company of your Belgian Hare for many years to come.

They are considered the only rabbit breed having a rich red or chestnut coat. You can also say that this rabbit will stand out amongst other pets. They can also respond to their names when they are called out for food. That is why they make excellent pets for first-time owners or beginners.

One negative aspect of their personality is that they are nervous and skittish. They are not aggressive, but they may kick if they are handled incorrectly. They would also run excessively to burn the nervous energy inside their bodies. Due to their nervousness and energetic behavior, these are suitable for outdoor living and would not be best for living inside an apartment.

Belgian Hare rabbits are large rabbits that need big and open enclosures. If the Belgian Hare is pregnant, the cage would have to be larger in size. With a large enclosure, it is also recommended to keep the cage outside. If their habitat is an inside cage, they will not have enough space to hop or jump. It is not advisable to keep a Belgian Hare as an indoor pet.

If you decide to keep the cage outside, you must also ensure it is protected from predators. You must raise the cage high up from the ground and close it with fine mesh. This will make sure that the predators stay away from the rabbit inside.

Hay should make up the majority of your Belgian Hare’s diet, as it is high in fiber and low in calories. Fresh vegetables should be given to your Belgian Hare daily and include carrots, broccoli, and spinach. A small number of pellets should also be given to your Belgian Hare, but they should not make up more than 10% of their diet. By following this diet, you will help keep your Belgian Hare’s digestive system healthy and prevent problems such as obesity and gastrointestinal issues.

3. The Checkered Giant

This rabbit is a unique and interesting animal. It is a large rabbit, in fact, one of the largest rabbit breeds that are covered in black and white fur. The Checkered Giant rabbit is a popular pet because of its easygoing nature. These rabbits are also used in research to study the breed’s characteristics and how they differ from other rabbits.

The Checkered Giant rabbits weigh roughly 13 pounds and are ideal for couples or seniors needing a companion. This rabbit breed is more independent than the rest and is also less affectionate but is still gentle and curious. It has been seen that they might exhibit aggressive behavior due to a few reasons. So, if you plan on keeping them as pets, you should be aware of these reasons.

These rabbits are naturally territorial animals. This means they will defend their territory, even if it is just a small cage. This can lead to aggression towards other animals and humans. They may also become aggressive if they feel threatened or scared. For example, if a child tries to pet a Checkered Giant rabbit, the rabbit may feel threatened and lash out.

That doesn’t mean Checkered Giants are not friendly and playful. You just have to adjust to the fact that they might like human affection but would not crave it. They are also very active and need plenty of space to hop and jump.

When they are kept in small cages, they may become frustrated and take out their aggression on other animals or humans. Additionally, small cages can make it difficult for these rabbits to get the exercise they need. This can also lead to frustration and aggression.

Though they are happy staying outdoors, they are also comfortable living indoors. You should allow them to move freely around the house for a few hours daily.

When you look for a Checkered Giant’s hutch, it is always best to look for something big. Since the breed is very active, it needs plenty of space to jump and hop around. You must ensure that the cage is at least four times bigger than the rabbit. Hutches having multiple stories are best as they provide extra space.

The hutch should have a solid floor instead of a mesh one. Otherwise, your rabbit may get feet sores. For added comfort, you can place horse hay on the bottom. Clean the hay for any rabbit droppings and replace them every week.

4. The French Lop

If you love bunnies with floppy ears, you will simply adore French Lop bunnies. The French Lop rabbit is a popular breed known for its large size and friendly personality. This rabbit breed is originally from France, one of the world’s most popular breeds. French Lop rabbits make great pets and are also popular show rabbits.

Though they originally were developed as meat rabbits, the French Lop has an adorable personality and a distinct appearance that makes them one of the most favorite home pets and rabbit breeders. Whether you want a rabbit as a home pet or just for breeding, the French Lop is the ideal choice.

French Lop rabbits are very noticeable due to their large size. They weigh roughly around 12 pounds.

It would be interesting to note that they have very large ears like other Lop breeds. The French Lop breeds have their ears drooping just below their chin, setting a new standard for lop-eared length in the Lop breed. These rabbits are less prone to injuries by stepping on their own ears and are much easier to handle than the English Lop.

These are available in a minimum of eight color groups ranging from black to white, and all that comes in between; are available in various coats. They need clean water with a regular supply of timothy hay for good health. According to their size, they need more food to survive, along with more energy to move around.

They also require dark leafy greens daily to help them keep their vitamin and mineral levels up to the mark. Some petite rabbit breeds would only thrive on hay, but the larger ones would have less hay if they consumed other foods.

French Lops are quite gentle and have an amazingly calm attitude toward everyone. They mostly love to engage in everyday activities like lounging and relaxing. Though they are very safe to keep indoors due to their large back feet size, they may not be suitable for small children.

French Lop makes an ideal pet with a very pleasant appearance, gentle nature, and an exclusive variety of coat colors. If you have space for a French Lop, you should definitely go for it. It will repay you with immense love, affection, and companionship for many years to come.

5. The Mini Rex

The Mini Rex is a small rabbit breed known for its calm and gentle personality. These rabbits are very easy to handle and make great pets for first-time owners. They are also relatively low-maintenance and do not require a lot of space.

However, Mini Rexes can be prone to health problems, so you should take extra steps in their care. It has been seen that large rabbits make the best pets for beginners as they are easier to care for, but that doesn’t mean you cannot keep small rabbits like the Mini Rex as pets.

One of the most crucial things to remember when caring for the Mini Rex rabbit is their diet. Don’t feed them on anything other than fresh hay, green vegetables, and pellets. Their digestive systems are not designed to process high-sugar foods, and they might develop serious complications with foods they are not supposed to eat.

Another thing to remember when caring for the Mini Rex is exercise. These rabbits are very agile and need plenty of exercise to stay healthy. One way to provide exercise for your mini rex rabbit is to let them out of their cage to run around for a few hours each day.

If you have a backyard, that’s even better! Just make sure the area is safe and secure, so they can’t escape. Another way to provide exercise for your mini rex rabbit is to give them toys to play with. Some good toys for mini rex rabbits are tunnels, balls, and chew toys.

How to Choose the Best Rabbit Breed?

Now that you know which rabbit breeds make excellent pets for first-time owners, it’s time to choose. Your choice will largely depend on your goals.

Do you want a pet to cuddle and play with, or are you looking for a show rabbit? Second, what kind of environment will your rabbit be living in? Do you have a large backyard for them to run around in, or will they be confined to a small indoor cage? And finally, what kind of personality are you looking for in a rabbit?

It would be best to answer these questions before deciding on a rabbit breed to keep. If you’re looking for a pet rabbit, a few breeds stand out above the rest, and we have already discussed their traits.

In summary, the Holland Lop is a small breed known for being friendly and easy to handle. The Mini Rex is another popular pet breed known for being very affectionate. The Netherland Dwarf is a small breed known for being playful and active.

The French Lop is another large breed known for its thick, fluffy coat. All these rabbits have diverse personalities, and most of them are easy to care for. All you need is a good amount of space for the bunny to hop around, a high-quality diet for the pet, and some basic knowledge about certain health issues your bunny might be prone to.

One important aspect we may have overlooked earlier is deciding whether you want to keep the rabbit indoors or outdoors. If you’re looking for an indoor pet, knowing whether the rabbit will be comfortable and happy living inside your home is important. Some factors to consider include the size of the rabbit, the amount of exercise the rabbit needs, and whether the rabbit is likely to be calm or active.

Usually, low-maintenance and small breeds of rabbits make good indoor pets. If you want to know which breed fulfills all these criteria and will be the ultimate best choice, the answer is the Holland Lop. These rabbits are small, easy to care for, and best for families with kids. They are also an excellent choice for indoor living as they don’t require a lot of exercise and are generally calm and gentle in nature.


There are over 50 breeds of rabbits recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA), so it can be daunting to try and choose the right one.

All kinds of domestic rabbits have the ability to be relatively good pets. Some larger breeds, like the Flemish Giant, are considered very affectionate and friendly. Other breeds, such as the Checkered Giant, are quite active and need plenty of space to move around. When you are looking to choose a rabbit as a pet, you need to do thorough research before considering that breed as your pet.

The things that you need to focus on include the size of the cage that the rabbit needs. You also need to check whether the rabbit needs to be groomed and how active the breed is.

Another important aspect you need to cover is whether or not the rabbit can stay on a mesh floor, as it is easier to clean the cage due to the rabbit’s droppings falling into the tray underneath. However, some breeds of rabbits will develop foot sores on their feet if kept on a mesh floor. They require a solid floor that requires more cleaning.

The different varieties of rabbit breed ideal as home pets have been discussed in detail. Some breeds differ based on their structure, nature, and habits. If you are looking for an ideal home pet, you must first research before taking on a big responsibility.

Though rabbits are very easy to take care of, they may be a lot of work at times, especially when it comes to cleaning and giving them time. Some breeds are so active and energetic that they require your time to play with them. They are constantly looking for their favorite activities that keep them engaged all day long.

Before keeping a rabbit, you need to understand the various rabbit breeds first and then decide according to your own requirements. Every breed has a different behavior; it also depends on how much space you can give your rabbit to move around. Rabbits are not very fond of staying in their enclosures but would rather hop and jump around in open areas.

Provide your rabbit with the facilities to stay safe and comfortable in your home. If you are careful enough with your bunny, she will be happy living with you, and you and your entire family will also have a great time.