Breed: Netherland dwarf lop
Description: This red-eyed white Netherland dwarf mother rabbit is rather long in the body, but when mated with the right of buck it produced typical Netherland dwarf bunnies. The Netherland dwarf breed has contributed to the formation of the dwarf breed has contributed to the formation of the dwarf lop. The dwarf lop rabbit resembles a cuddly puppy and it is a very manageable pet. Agouti is the most common color in the dwarf lops.
The Netherland dwarf is the miniature of the rabbit fancy. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in popularity. It makes an ideal pet for small children. Although the breed is noted for its bad temper, especially among the bucks, the adult dwarf doe is a most docile animal and usually makes a grand pet.
The advantages of rearing such a small breed are obvious: the amount of space needed to house a good-sized stud is minimal; feeding costs can be kept in proportion; and handling is a much easier task for the novice. A dwarf must never be handled by the ears, which are not large enough to get a good grip on when lifting the animal unless the weight is supported by the free hand. Here, too, It was welcomed with open arms and soon became one of the most popular fancy rabbits.
The ideal shape of the dwarf is that of a round ball. A long body detracts considerably from the short, cobby type called for in the standards; therefore the most points are allotted to type.
The head should be as round as possible and as wide as it is long. Many very good specimens appear almost flat-faced because they excel in broadness of the skull. The ears should not be more than two inches in length. They should be carried erect, though they need not touch all the way up as they do in the Polish. They should, however, be rounded at the tips and well-furred. Any crossing of the ears is a serious fault and is called scissor-cared, The eyes are perhaps the most appealing feature of the dwarf They should be as round as possible, big and bright. The body should be short and cobby, with no inclination to be racy or long in barrel.
On the exhibition table, the dwarf should pose similar to the Polish rabbit. The dwarf should not sit bolt upright, but should certainly keep its head and shoulders clear of the table to show off these points to the best advantage. Some schools of thought believe that the dwarf should not pose at all. But posing comes naturally to the dwarf and it should not be discouraged if it adds to the attractiveness of the breed. Young dwarfs can be taught nto pose, but they should never be bullied during training or they will become nervous on the judging table and be difficult for the judge to handle. The dwarf bone is fine. The straight, short front legs make the controversy over posing more complicated. With short front legs, it may be difficult for the dwarf to sit well. Yet, if the legs are in proportion to the size of the body, there should be no problem.
Another attractive feature of the dwarf is the beautiful quality and texture of the coat. In this regard it is comparable with the best fur rabbits. The fur should roll gently back when stroked against the lie of the coat, returning to its natural position slowly and deliberately. Thin-coated dwarfs have a harsh coat which is inclined to be flyback.
The novice who desires a rabbit that is bred in a wide spectrum of colors can not do better than the dwarf. It is bred in almost every color and pattern known in the domestic rabbit. The most
popular perhaps, is the red-eyed white. The color of the red-eyed white should be white as driven snow. Any yellow cast or stains should be avoided. Only regular cleaning of the hutch will keep the red-eyed white dwarf in a good condition for showing. Although the blue-eyed white is much less popular than its redeyed counterpart, it is seen occasionally.
The next most popular color is the sable in either Siamese or marten pattern. The Siamese sable is a shaded self as is the smoke pearl Siamese, its recessive counterpart. The marten is a patterned sable that carries the tan pattern replaced by white. White hairs in the Siamese sable are a fault. They occur mostly on the undersides of all four feet, under the arm pits, on the chest and occasionally on the body and on the underside of the tail. It is allegedly the use of red-eyed whites in the sable breeding pen that causes these white hairs. The most common fault in the sable is lack of length and depth of the saddle. A good saddle should begin at the nape of the neck or just behind it. In poorly marked specimens the saddle does not begin until half way down the back; instead of gradually shading to the flanks, it stands out in contrast to the sides of the animal. In marten sables, the circle of white around the nose is often frosted, which indicates the presence of white hairs around the edge of the circle, giving the nose marking a smudged look.
In all other colors the dwarf compares favorably with similarly marked rabbits of other breeds. The Himalayan, which is the newest of these colors, is constantly being developed with regard to nose markings, stockings and density of color in the points. Early specimens were badly colored on the points and often had bad dwarf type. Although it would be impossible to detail all the known colors of dwarf, those mentioned are the most popular and those most often seen at exhibitions.
Early dwarfs were somewhat hard to breed; this was perhaps largely due to the small size of the doe which resulted in difficulty in passing her young at birth. The problem has been overcome and the dwarf is now usually a free breeder. Another fault in the earliest dwarfs was malocclusion of the front teeth which caused the teeth to cross (misaligned) and in some cases grow out from the front of the mouth. Although it has nearly been eliminated, it does appear occasionally in specimens that excel in head shape and broadness of the newly-weaned youngsters, which makes them very popular as a commercial meat rabbit as well as a good laboratory rabbit.
Many large white rabbits are mistaken for New Zealand whites because of their size. All the New Zealand breeds have a rather harsh coat that resembles flyback features when stroked.