Netherland Dwarf Rabbits: Care, Lifespan, Breed info, and FAQs!

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If you’re looking for a unique pet to bring a bit of liveliness to your home, consider the Netherland Dwarf rabbit. These tiny creatures are cute, cuddly, active, and full of bold personality.

Netherland Dwarf Rabbits

Netherland Dwarf rabbits are a unique breed that will give your home extra excitement and personality. This breed of rabbits was honed over multiple generations to perfect both its petite size and its friendly nature.

While Netherland Dwarf rabbits can seem skittish at first, end even hesitant around loud noises, once they become comfortable in a new location, they quickly become part of the family.

These bunnies are actually quite active and their small frames are quite comical as they dart around a room. After a long spell of activity, they are more than happy to curl up and snuggle, giving you the best of both worlds.

What is a Netherland Dwarf?

A Netherland Dwarf rabbit is a very small, domestic bunny that is perfect for households. It has a compact body with an oversized head and large eyes, making it quite adorable.

Netherland Dwarf Rabbit Breed History/Origin

While some domestic rabbits have their origin by pure chance, Netherland Dwarf rabbits were purposefully engineered.

Beginning in the early 20th Century, Dutch breeders worked over generations to breed pure white Polish rabbits until a lineage of very tiny rabbits emerged.

While the optimal size was eventually acquired, due to mixing with wild rabbits, this dwarf breed took on some wild and aggressive behaviors.

However, by mixing wilder Netherland dwarf rabbits with more domesticated rabbis with dwarf genes, the breed that we know and love today is quite docile.

Netherland Dwarf Rabbit Characteristics

Coat

Netherland Dwarf rabbits have a lovely coat that has a short to medium length. It is easy to maintain and does not need a lot of grooming.

Colors

The original coloring of Netherland Dwarf rabbits was pure white. Over time many more colors have been accepted by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). Colors include blue, chocolate, tortoiseshell, fox, orange, and a dozen others.

Health

As far as domestic rabbit breeds go, Netherland Dwarf rabbits have minimal health complications, making them perfect for those shy about dealing with any health scares.

Like all rabbits, Netherland Dwarf rabbits have teeth that grow continuously. With a proper diet, their teeth should file down on their own without any concerns.

However, during growth spurts, the bottom incisors and top incisors won’t always match up which can delay grinding down.

If this goes uncorrected, your rabbit can run the risk of having its teeth protrude right into its gums.

A visit to your veterinarian should help with any dental issues.

Temperament/Behavior/Personality

Netherland Dwarf rabbits can start off quite timid. They do not like loud noises or unexpected movements. You will want to give your new rabbit a lot of time to get used to its new surroundings.

However, with a bit of patience, once your new rabbit becomes accustomed to its surroundings, it will become quite a loving pet. You can expect lap cuddles and affectionate behavior.

Make sure you schedule a lot of physical activity for your Netherland Dwarf rabbit.

When not cuddling, this breed is extremely active. Playtime and running time are essential to keeping your new pet happy and healthy.

Lifespan

Netherland Dwarf rabbits can live between 10 and 12 years. This is quite a remarkable lifespan given the rabbit’s very tiny size.

Weight

One of the smallest domestic rabbit breeds, Netherland Dwarf rabbits weigh between 1.1 and 2.5 pounds. Generally, female rabbits are slightly larger than male rabbits.

Care

Netherland Dwarf rabbits are very small in size. They have more delicate digestive systems and so you will need to monitor what they are eating and how they are expelling it.

Schedule an annual visit to the veterinarian for a general wellness checkup. Be sure to check for any issues as you perform weekly grooming, just in case.

Grooming

While longer hair domestic rabbits need more upkeeping, Netherland Dwarf rabbits are quite low-key. A quick once a week brushing is all that is needed to keep their coat nice and fresh.

You might want to add more brushings in the spring when their coat begins to shed. This is to prevent the build-up of hair in their intestines and to also keep the rabbit hair around your home to a minimum.

Housing

Cage Size

Despite their petite size, Netherland Dwarf rabbits still need plenty of space to live in. Their cage should be at least 18 x 24 inches in height. However, the larger the better so that they can play and run around inside.

Type of Cage Bottom

Wood is preferable for a cage bottom so that your rabbit has a softer place to walk on. Wire bottoms are ok but there should always be a spot of no wire so that sores don’t develop.

Feeder

Rabbits are messy eaters. It’s preferable to have a feeder that is attached to the side of the cage so that nothing becomes overturned as your rabbit is moving around.

Waterer

The same goes for your rabbit’s waterer. Instead of placing a bowl of water in the cage, find a waterer that attaches to the side of the cage to prevent any spills.

Location

Small rabbits, such as Netherland Dwarf bunnies, need to be kept warm. When placing your cage, find a spot that isn’t near any drafts. A warm, central spot in the house is ideal.

You will also want to avoid direct sunlight from windows or doors. Sunshine through glass can provide hot spots and if there is no way to escape the area, your rabbit will be very uncomfortable.

Cleaning

Thankfully, Netherland Dwarf rabbits are easy to litter box train. They like to go in the same spot so provide a tray of litter and empty it of droppings as you see.

For bedding, use straw or hay. You should give the entire cage a thorough cleaning at least once a week.

What can Netherland Dwarf Rabbits Eat?

Like most rabbits, 70% of a Netherland Dwarf rabbit’s diet should be premium fresh hay. The remaining 25% should be made up of fresh fruits and vegetables. Leafy lettuce, crunchy carrots, and sweet apples are all tasty treats for your bunny.

While you can start with alfalfa pellets instead of hay for a baby rabbit, once they around six months, hay should take over.

Alfalfa pellets should still play a part in your rabbit’s diet; just make sure it is coming from the 70% hay figure and not the 30% fresh produce figure.

Conclusion

A rabbit is a great idea if you are considering a new pet for your home.

While Netherland Dwarf rabbits aren’t best for little kids, their sweet temperament and cuddly size will make a great addition to a family wanting to put in a bit of love and patience.

A lionhead rabbit or rex rabbit might be more in line – they are both great options for pets.

Related Questions

Do Netherland Dwarf rabbits make good pets?

If you like cute, cuddly, and petite, then yes, Netherland Dwarf rabbits make good pets. This breed is a bit more skittish than other domestic rabbit breeds. They are also a lot smaller, so more delicate. There are all kinds of pet rabbits, and this particular breed will add a lot of interest in your home.

Are Netherland Dwarf rabbits cuddly?

It might take a bit more effort and patience, but if you show your new Netherland Dwarf rabbit that they are a part of your family, they will become cuddly.

These bunnies want to be affectionate, but they are also easily frightened. If you sit long enough, though, there’s a good chance you’ll have a rabbit occupying your lap for some cuddles.

How much is a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit?

Netherland dwarf rabbits can cost between $30 and $90. This is a bit more expensive than other domestic rabbit breeds. You can find pet rabbits either through rabbit breeders or through Classified advertisements.

Whichever route you decide to go with, be sure to do your homework.

Visit the breeder to ensure they take good care of their rabbits. Also, check your rabbit’s health records so there are no surprises.

Are Netherland Dwarf rabbits aggressive?

Netherland Dwarf bunnies make excellent pets because of their docile behavior. These bunnies are small in size and make for the perfect lap companion.

Are Netherland Dwarf rabbits good with kids?

While Netherland dwarf rabbits are popular domestic pets, they are not always recommended for children.

They are docile but are also skittish.

Loud noises and sudden movements will scare them.

If you are set on attaining a Netherland Dwarf rabbit for your family, you might want to find an older bunny. This way you can find one with a more boisterous personality.

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