What breed of rabbit would be good for a

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by crystalniche, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. crystalniche

    crystalniche Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2005
    6 year old's first rabbit? She wants a bunny and her parents agree and will supervise her with it at all times. They will oversee the care and feeding of the bunny. I don't have any shorthaired bunnies or I would give her one of mine. All my shorthaired bunnies are old and she wants a young one. My younger ones are all fuzzy lops and we don't think an angora would make a good first bunny. What breed would you recommend?
  2. smokie

    smokie Well-Known Member

    May 26, 2005
    mini rex, or dutch make great pets and dont get too big. and are useually well tempered.

  3. lsy1111

    lsy1111 Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Mini lops are good tempered, come in lots of colors, and are really cute with the lop ears! They are not as active and nervous as dwarfs are, but get a little bigger, about 6 pounds maybe. Mine are pretty laid back and very sweet.
  4. trixiwick

    trixiwick bunny slave

    Jun 9, 2004
    Southeastern PA
    One vote here for Netherland Dwarfs. They are cute as buttons, readily available and inexpensive, and (in my experience, at least) pretty sturdy and non-timid, good for a child to play with.

    Or you could just take her to an animal shelter and let her pick someone who is obviously friendly and relaxed around people.
  5. Reauxman

    Reauxman Well-Known Member

    Sep 14, 2002
    I'd stay away from Netherland Dwarfs. I bred them for several years and know them to be jumpy and often just plain mean. If you want a smaller rabbit as an alternative to the ND I'd go with a polish. If you wanted a little bigger, a havana or mini rex. Havana are very docile and very nice rabbits, but only a few colors when put against MR. Also, if you can get ahold of some mini satins, they are nice as well, laid back.
  6. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 18, 2002
    Let's see if I can help out a bit, here, in deciding a good breed for a 6 year old.

    First off, the "tiny" breeds are most often requested because people mistakenly think that "small" equals "easy to handle." This is not necessarily true! Now, before you small breed producers get up in arms over this statement, please finish reading what I have to say, first.

    "Nasty" and "nervous" are common traits with the tiny breeds, and this is perfectly normal because.... it is a SURVIVAL trait for the very small breeds! You will find this same trait with other animals, as well (consider the Bantam Roosters and Shetland ponies). But, all is not lost, as many producers of the small dwarfed breeds will cull on disposition problems to the point where they can pretty much guarantee that they do not have any "nasty" lines in those breeds. When shopping for a pet bunny, it is always *very* important to always ask the breeder if they cull on disposition problems!

    It is also common knowledge that, the larger the breed, the more laid-back the rabbit will be. Just remember, however, there will *always* be the exception to the rule, so "nasty" can be found in every breed without exception.... some breeds more than others, though.

    The small breeds I chose to compliment my own business for pet sales were Mini Lops and Mini Rex. I did not wish to go below 4-1/2 lbs. in mature size, just to be on the safe side. Even so, I maintained a line of show Mini Lops, and pet Mini Lops, with different culling priorities. Disposition was sacrificed in favor of body type on the show line and could be sold *only* to experienced breeders and exhibitors.

    To be quite honest, the one breed I found to make the best pets were French Lops! Yes, they are large, which only means they can tolerate a lot more mishandling from youngsters in a more amiable manner. These bunns don't even much care about "proper" handling.... tots can pick them up by wrapping their arms around their midrift and literally drag them around.

    Personally, I do have a pet Ruby-Eyed White Netherland Dwarf buck who lives in my office. Although he came from a breeder well known for culling on dispositions problems, it took him a whole year to finally "settle in" and become very tame. But hey.... each one is different, eh?

    Pat Lamar
    Professional Rabbit Meat Association
    Chairperson, ARBA Commercial Department Committee
  7. TerriA

    TerriA Well-Known Member

    Oct 13, 2004
    I raise French, English angoras (and crossbred of these 2), Jersey woolies, and American Fuzzy Lops. I got into JWs for my 5 yr old granddaughter to show at 4H next year.

    I "fell into" the AFLs. Of the 3 I got, one buck and one doe are absolutely the most loving of all the bunnies. These were all over a year old and must have been handled frequently when they were younger.

    The JWs are not that friendly... they are "ok" but NOT cuddly! I will be breeding some this fall and hope the offspring will be much NICER with people.

    I have several FRIENDLY FAs but they are on the bigger side. Fine for petting (and easier to groom than the English Angoras). An adult would need to lift them since they can weigh 8-11 pounds each.

    Most of these were bought from other people. I have noticed the ones I have raised myself are the sweetest temperments (maybe because I handle them so regularly with grooming and petting??). English are VERY sweet.. but very fine boned compared to French angoras (5-7 pounds each) and much more difficult to groom (unless you just keep the wool clipped down short- but then they don't LOOK like an EA should <G>). The finer boned EAs would not take much rough handling like a child would give them. I think they would be more prone to broken bones or sprains.

    Bottom line, it depends on the rabbit themselves as far as temperment. I think if you get a nice 2-3 month old rabbit (minimum of 8 weeks!!!!!!!)and handle it gently after the first couple of days alone to "get used to the place", you will be happier than getting one that has NOT been handled or groomed regularly. I would look for a nice small sturdy breed that YOU or your daughter fall in love with.

  8. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

    May 10, 2002
    Oh Terri,

    I get my JW's from a couple in Neveda, up by Reno (about a 12 hour drive for me) and they are just the sweetest, cuddliest bunnies!

    what they do is handle them from the moment they are born. They take each one out and hold it to their face, cradle them in their hands and just love on them! every kit gets handled the same. They say just a minute each day makes all the difference.
  9. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    When I was younger, I had a large meat-type rabbit and I got scratches on my bare legs whenever I held her on my lap. Rabbits WILL jump down, and I often wore shorts.

    For my kids, I bought a mini and there were MUCH fewer scratches! :goodjob:
  10. Lilandra

    Lilandra talk little, listen much

    Oct 21, 2004
    Ya'll forgot the flemish giant... we raise these and my daughter, who has a high and loud voice, can handle them without any trouble. She is rather skittish about being scratched and her does are super with her. She drapes them over her arm like you would a blanket or stuffed toy and they are just fine with it. She has a 20 lb doe that doesn't like to be held, but loves to walk on a leash and be petted. These rabbits are too big to be over-loved like some could.

    the only caution i would say is to get a good breed... there are alot of poor flemishes out there and crosses that you can't be sure of their health or temper.

    good luck!
  11. bojay

    bojay Active Member

    Jun 25, 2005
    I have to agree with the post above who said their amfuzzylops were the sweetest for little kids.

    I've ended up with a whole bunch of them for the very same reason. I've got two little kids aged 8 and 3 who get along famously with them.

    The bigger rabbits are too heavy for them to handle and the smaller ones we have (hollands) are just too scratchy.

    An American Fuzzy Lop is my recommendation. When they're young, they need grooming, but the older ones are just as sweet and hardly need any grooming at all. I haven't met a fuzzy who didn't behave like butter on a warm summer day.
  12. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

    Feb 11, 2005
    The breed doesn't seem to be as important as the individual. We raise Californians and Creme D'Argents, and while both breeds seem to be calm and easy-going, you can tell which ones were handled a lot and which ones weren't. None of them are "vicious" though. A good disposition and lots of gentle handling is what's important to make a good pet. I would suggest a young adult buck that's friendly and well-socialized.
  13. Rosarybeads

    Rosarybeads Well-Known Member

    Oct 21, 2004
    I second the American Fuzzy Lops and Jersey woolies. I was in the pet rabbit business for years, had different stock from different places, and out of the rabbit breeds I had, this was my experience (I will go down in size, starting at largest that I have experience with). Please keep in mind that usually meanness is based upon the parent, if the Mom is mean, she will tend to pass it the babies. You want a calm, sweet rabbit, make sure the mother is the same, and you will have a good chance of baby being the same:

    New Zealands: Generally wild, not all, but unless handled ALOT, they are wild, and they are strong when they kick!

    Mini-Lop: USUALLY are very sweet and laid back, but they are still pretty large for a 6 year old, in my opinion.

    Dutch: Can be very high-strung, but then sometimes are real sweet too. They are harder to handle since they have less of a scruff and are more solid, so they can be hard to hold.

    American fuzzies and Jersey Woolies: Both seem very sweet and laid back. I did have one mean one, but that was when she was bred, and overall they seem very sweet, if they aren't mean they are dolls. You do have to keep them groomed, so it depends on the 6 year old, if she would do this or not. If you don't they do get "clumped up", but it won't kill them either. :)

    Holland Lops: Can be a bit high strung. I haven't had many that are mean at all, so if you get a young one and tame it, it should be a sweetheart. I've had many a holland lop that I took the time with, that was one of the best bunnies around, and the petshops highly recommended these for pets.

    Mini-Rex: They are all over the board, some can be sweethearts, they can be mean if it is in their line, etc... They do have a bit sharper nails, so they will scratch easier, but they are minor scratches when they do because their nails are not as thin (think cat versus dog). I LOVE their fur, the softest thing alive. If you can get one from a nice mommy and spend time with it, I would recommend this breed the most. They have less fur to fly around too, because it is shorter than other breeds.

    Netherland Dwarf: Pretty much the smallest common breed, but they do have a tendency to be mean. Not all, mind you, but even from does who were sweet I would get mean bucks. All the petshops acknowledged that they tended to have this trait in them too, no matter where they got the babies from. They are very small, though! I did have does that were real sweet as babies, and "friendly", and I would befriend them to discover as they got older that they then were mean. I don't see a connection between genetics and behaviour, it just seems like the breed, so is kinda hit and miss.

    Anyhow, overall, out of the pet breeds, I would recommend the mini-rex or holland lop, and the woolies if she would like to brush them. Let us know what you end up choosing! :)
  14. dixonsrabbitry

    dixonsrabbitry Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2005
    It really depends on ersonal preferrence. I would say hit up a local arba show so your kid can chose the breed he/she likes the best.

    Personally I find florida whites and standard chinchillas to make excellent pets. Both have pretty decent dispositions. The floridas are a little more hardy, and are more of a meat rabbit. The chins are very laid back.

    Mini rex, newzealands(large breed), cals(large breed), standard rex, french lops are also good to name a few. :) I wouldnt really recomend a minim lop unless you get some more experience with bunnies. The ones I had were a tad on the mean, and tempermental side.
  15. doninwis

    doninwis Active Member

    Jul 14, 2005
    I've often had this same question posed to me. The usual reply is to get one of those cute stuffed ones from the toy store. I have found that a six year old is usually living in a dream world when it comes to owning and maintaining a live animal. If the parents are really interested in getting a pet for the child, then the parents should concider what breed they would be interested in keeping, and for what purpose. That's the way it's going to be in the long run.

    I've raised several breeds over the years, and started because of the kids. Guess who lasted the longest. Yup, it was good ol dad. There will be those bad apples in everybreed, and you can find excellent rabbits in even the worst of breeds. It really depends on the personallity of the person who is managing the pen.

    Kids are kids. Pets are great while they are a new idea. By summers end, they have been replaced by a new idea. At six, it's probably a new pair of shoes with "sponge bob square pants" ,or "Dora the explorer" on them.

    Just my opinion