Breed: Himalayan
Description: The ears should be as short as possible, but well-coloured without any presence of rusty shade or white hairs. Good-coloured ears are usually well-covered with fur; bad-coloured ears seem to have a bare edge along the entire length of the ear.

The Himalayan’s tail is carried well tucked in; it should be coloured underneath as well as on top. The Himalayan’s eye is a sparkling pink colour. Any paleness in the eye detracts from the bright appearance and makes the rabbit look sullen. The pelt should be smooth in texture, short and as pure white as possible without any yellow tinge or cast

The Himalayan has been known by a number of other names. In eastern Europe it was called the “Russian” and later was known as the “Egyptian Smut.” The Himalayan’s origin is rather obscure; it probably originated in China, where there were once thousands of this breed.

The Himalayan first came to the West as a zoological oddity known as “the black-nosed rabbit from China.” It is truly an international breed that can now be found in almost every country in the world.

The Himalayan is a white rabbit with coloured extremities: the ears, nose, feet and tail are coloured. The colours recognised in the standards are black, chocolate, blue and lilac.

The Himalayan gene is dominant to true albino, but it is recessive to all other genes. The young are born with a greyish cast all over the body that gradually decreases until they are pure white. The appearance of coloured extremities occurs at the age of three to four weeks. The colour is initially very pale; as the rabbit molts it becomes more definable.

Extremes of temperature have a drastic effect on the amount of colour present on the young Himalayan. The colder the air temperature, the more colour. In really cold conditions, many youngsters develop body and eye stains-patches of colour appearing around the eyes and any part of the rabbit’s body. These stains are considered a fault when the rabbit is judged at a show.

The Himalayan type is one of sleek gracefulness, sometimes described as snaky. The head is long and pointed, the ears held erect and pointed at the tips, the body is long and slender with fine bone. The handset are also fine in bone and carried well tucked under the haunches.

The markings are more important than type in judging the Himalayan. The nose smut should be carried well up the face to a point between the eyes. A good sound colour without a brownish tinge, putty nose or any other white hairs is essential. The leg markings are known as stockings and should be carried well up to the elbow joint on the forefeet and beyond this on the hind feet. A common failing is that the limbs are usually less well-coloured than any other coloured part of the Himalayan.

Docile by nature, the Himalayan makes an ideal rabbit for the novice. It can even be kept as a child’s pet without fear of the animal biting its young handler.