Sometimes confused with the Netherland Dwarf, the Polish rabbit breed is believed to have originated in either England or Belgium with the original breed being produced for meat production. The Polish rabbits seen today are more conformed to the rabbits that were bred in Germany. Weighing under 3 1/2 pounds when full grown, this compact breed has been dubbed "The Little Aristocrat" by the American Polish Rabbit Club.
Accepted colors of the Polish rabbit breed include black, blue, chocolate, blue-eyed white, and ruby-eyed white. The broken variety was approved by the American Rabbit Breeder's Association (ARBA) in 1998. For show rabbits, the blue variety should not have a frosty appearance to the coat. The unique coat of the Polish breed has a glossy appearance that will appear shiny and will exhibit the flyback coat.
Sometimes referred to as the American Polish, this breed has a full yet short head that appears to have a slight curve which is quite different than the round-shaped head of the Netherland Dwarf. The ears of the Polish breed are also shorter than the Netherland Dwarf which shouldn't exceed three inches. The body of the Polish rabbit breed will be well-rounded at the hips and will be wider than the shoulders.
The English also have a Polish breed rabbit but was renamed Britannia Petite in the United States. Because the American Polish was already accepted into the American Rabbit Breeder's Association (ARBA), the English Polish breed was changed to distinguish the two breeds. The English Polish and the American Polish breeds are similar but do have general differences in their coats and body shapes with the Britannia Petite being the smaller of the two breeds.
The American Polish is extremely popular in the show ring but has also become a popular breed as a house pet. Their small size makes this breed easy to handle and care for. Known to have a docile nature, the American Polish can be timid when first introduced into the home but with proper human interaction, the Polish breed become quite accustomed to the pet life.
The Polish have quite the personality which requires keeping them entertained. They are active and have even been described as high-strung. Because of their small size, they are extremely popular as a pet for children but caution should be used as they are easily dropped. They require normal rabbit care with regular grooming and feeding. The Polish breed rabbit tend to be affectionate and quite intelligent, making this breed a top choice for the show ring and as a house pet.
THE RABBIT HANDBOOK BY Karen Gendron, copyright 2000.