The Netherland Dwarf rabbit obtained its name from Holland where it is believed to have originated. This small breed of rabbit was developed over time in Europe based around the British Polish breeds of rabbit which may have been bred with smaller wild rabbits. The Netherland Dwarf also known as "The Gem of the Fancy" became a recognized breed in the United States by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) in 1969 and has become one of the most popular breeds found at rabbit shows.
This breed of rabbit weighs under 2 pounds, making it a wonderful companion to those who don't have the space for larger pets. The petite body of the Netherland Dwarf has shoulders that are the same width as the hindquarters with a rounded and high-set head. The ears should stand erect and ideally should be no longer than two inches.
The Netherland Dwarf rabbit is the smallest of all rabbit breeds but are very similar to the Polish Dwarf breed. The colors of the Netherland Dwarf vary with 36 colors accepted by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) which include:
* Siamese smoke pearl
*Tan group (black, blue, chocolate, lilac)
*Marten group (black silver, blue silver, chocolate silver, lilac silver, sable, smoke pearl)
*Otter group (black, blue, chocolate, lilac)
*Himalayan group (black, blue, chocolate, lilac)
The Netherland Dwarf is known to have a higher occurrence with dental problems including malocclusion than other breeds. And as with all dwarf breeds, the Netherland Dwarf should be housed indoors as it is more susceptible to high and low temperatures. Regular weekly grooming is generally all that is needed for this breed except during shedding season when extra grooming may be required. The Netherland Dwarf does not require a special diet but will not need as much food as their larger counterparts.
The personality of this dwarf breed is considered very friendly until it becomes older. Some owners of the Netherland Dwarf have reported behavioral problems with their rabbit and recommend either having them spayed or neutered unless you plan on breeding your rabbit. Many times the Netherland Dwarf will become quite calm again after being bred.
Many owners of this breed have described the Netherland Dwarf as a spunky breed with high-strung temperaments. Because of their compact size, the Netherland Dwarf is generally an ideal pet for those with limited space but who also have some experience with rabbit behavior. This wonderful miniature breed is popular with both pet owners and as a show rabbit but is not considered a meat production rabbit because of its size. Like with many other small breeds of rabbits, the Netherland Dwarf is considered a fragile breed and may not make a fit pet for young children.
THE RABBIT HANDBOOK by Dr. Karen Gendron, copyright 2000.