rhinelander rabbit

Rhinelander Rabbit Breed Information

Rhinelander rabbits are known for its flashy markings of orange and black, or fawn and blue. The markings on a Rhinelander are typical of the butterfly marked breeds. Rhinelanders also known as a running breed meaning they move about the show table instead of being statically posed. One other thing, they are actually considered a rare breed in the United States.

rhinelander rabbit


The Rhinelander Rabbit originated in Grevenbroich, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany by Josef Heinz and was first shown in 1902. The breed is a crossed between a Harlequin buck and a Gray Papillon type doe. The buck had the exact markings that the Rhinelander would come to be known for today. Next, another crossed been done between Harlequin buck and a Checkered Giant doe resulting a desired markings. Then, the buck from the first litter (Harlequin + Gray Papillon) mated with doe from the second litter (Harlequin + Checkered Giant) to create what we have now, the Rhinelander.

In 1923, the breed are imported into the United States and a year later they are imported into Netherlands and England from their origin country. However, their numbers dropped due to World War II. They are only introduced back into United States in 1972 and 3 years later (1975), American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) accepted Rhinelander as recognized breed.



The Rhinelander has a trim athletic body type, with the body being the same width from shoulders to hip. As stated by ARBA, the breed have light arch and a shorter leg than Checkered Giant. It also been stated that they have enough length of leg to show daylight underneath their body, thus allowing the animal to move easily and gracefully.

The Rhinelander is known for its distinctive coat pattern and for its “butterfly markings” which cover the nose and upper jaw. They only weigh about 3 to 5 kg (6.5 to 10 pound). Their fur is short, soft and dense, enough to feel that plushy coat. With short fur, it is easy to groom the Rhinelander and it also mean the breed are low maintenance. Brush weekly or bi-weekly and prepare to brush everyday on shedding season to prevent the breed or any breed to ingest their own hair. Do not attempt to bathe them as it could result stress to them and lead to cardiac problems.

  • Weight: 3 to 5 kg
  • Coat length: Short, soft and dense
  • Color: White with Orang/Yellow and Black marking or Fawn and Blue
  • Pattern: Butterfly marking on the back


The Rhinelanders are docile and can be wonderful pet for first timer. Thats not all, the breed also an ideal choice for seniors, singles or family with children of any ages. Just like any other breed, they need some times to show their true faces. Treat them kindly and they will company you for days.

The breed also the same as other rabbit type, they need a little bit of patient when it comes to training them. Many owners have found success in potty training them by placing several litter boxes across their home.

  • Lifespan: 5 to 8 years
  • Active: Medium
  • Intelligent: Medium

Health Treatment

Rhinelander rabbit are no more than a common domestic rabbit. 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
  • Parasite: Ear mites and worm

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