Lionhead rabbit get its name from the distinctive wool mane. The mane is the result of a genetic mutation between a Swiss Fox and a Netherland Dwarf. Their unique look makes them very popular show rabbits, as well as domestic pets. The Lionhead rabbit grew famously in Europe and then United States in the late 1990s.
The Lionhead rabbit originated from Belgium. As stated above, this genetic mutation rabbit gain fame in Europe first and then found their way to the United States in the 1990s. In United Kingdom, British Rabbit Council (BRC) recognized the Lionhead breed since 2002 and in 2013, American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) accepted Lionhead in two colors, Tortoise and White (red eyes).
A Lionhead rabbit pride and joy are their long fur-coat. In order to maintain its long, soft fur, they need to be brushed weekly during non-shedding season but when shedding season comes, these rabbits go through a molt and need their daily brushing. This to avoid rabbit to ingest fur and causing a blockage in the digestive system.
There are two kinds of mane types that the Lionhead rabbit breed can have due to the number of genes. They can feature a single mane (one mane gene) or a double mane (two mane gene). The length of their wool around their heads usually does not exceed 2 inches. The only to differentiate single or double mane is when Lionhead is born. A double mane Lionhead have a V-form around their flanks while single mane will look like a common rabbit directly after birth.
A single mane will have long fur coat be around its head, ears, chin and sometimes on the chest and rump. This is the product of a purebred double mane mix with another breed in order to strengthen particular traits or to make a new set of color and pattern into the breed. A double mane have a thick mane of wool encircling the head and sometimes have wool on their flanks.
- Weight: 1.36 kg
- Coat length: Long , single maned or double maned
- Color: Black, Chocolate, Blue, blue point, Blue-eyed White, Ruby-eyed White, Chestnut Agouti, Seal, Silver Marten
- Pattern: Tortoise, Seal, Smoke Pearl, Blue Point, Siamese Sable, Sable Points, Smoke Pearl, Pointed White
Attitude and Behaviour
Lionhead is a friendly and well mannered pet, although they can be quite skittish if they don’t feel safe. They need plenty of time to explore and bonding in order to see that friendly face. It is possible to train a Lionhead as they are very smart creatures. They also considered as an intelligent rabbit, which you can train easily to come, eat and even litter trained,. Thus make them a suitable house rabbits. Like any other rabbits, if the Lionhead is treated kindly and full of love, they make great family pets. However, as they can be unpredictably aggressive when frightened or stressed, experts say they aren’t suitable for families with small children.
- Lifespan: 7 to 9 years
- Active: Low
- Intelligent: High
Care and Treatment
Lionhead rabbit are no more than a common rabbit. Although they are healthy and simple to care for compared to other rabbits. You should considered taking it to the veterinarian. There are no cases of this breed had genetic diseases been reported but they still can suffer from other rabbit symptoms. Rabbit breeders have done more then they could to make this breed healthier and less genetic disease. Some of the illnesses seen in this breed is:
- Dental disease: Overgrown teeth, can change alignment of the mouth
- Respiratory tract disorder: Upper teeth and gums become inflamed (lead to sinus infection).
- Spinal injury: Injured when it uses its hind legs to kick out or dropped.
- Gastrointestinal disorder: Gastric stasis can occur when their gut stops working or blocked, creating a build-up of gas and bacteria that causes bloating
- Parasites: Cheyletiella mites can cause itching and hair loss, easily treated by vet
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