What breed is my bunny? - A Rabbit Identification Key
Many new rabbit owners are unsure as to what breed their new companion might be. Or maybe you've seen a bunny at a rabbit show or at a pet shop or rescue, and wonder what breed it is. We hope that by working through the questions in this key, you might be able to at least narrow your choices down to a few, and maybe be able to identify the exact breed.
With forty-eight breeds recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA), and other unrecognized breeds, it can often be difficult to tell just what a rabbit's breed is, even if it is a purebred. If the bunny came from a pet shop or a rescue or shelter, rather than from a breeder, it's entirely possible that it isn't any particular breed at all - it could be a mix of many different breeds, the rabbit equivalent of a "mutt". That's OK - he or she can still be a wonderful friend if the best you can do is just decide on the identification of "cute bunny".
This key will present you with a series of questions. By clicking on the best answer to each question, you will be led from branch to branch down a "tree", until you reach the "leaves" - the threads on individual breeds. Be sure to check all the possible answers before choosing one, and when you reach a "leaf", you should also check out the notes on the bottom of the page indicating other breeds which might be similar to the one you're looking at. Note that we're starting with only the ARBA-recognized breeds - other breeds may be added as time goes on.
Ready? Let's get started.
What sort of ears does your bunny have?
Do the ears hang down?
Those are called "Lop Ears" - click here to go to "LOP EARS".
Do the ears stand up, like, well, "rabbit ears"?
If so, click here to go to "UPRIGHT EARS"
If one ear is up and one down, or the ears stick out sideways, that's called "Helicopter Ears":
That usually means your bunny is a young Lop (or a mix including Lop). Click here to go to "LOP EARS".
NOTE: This rabbit identification key is locked - if you have any comments, questions or corrections, please click here to post them to the comments thread in the Announcements and Support forum or send MikeScone a private message.
All photos in the "What breed is my bunny?" key are Copyright 2013 Mike Brown (except the "helicopter ear" picture above, used by permission).