Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The English Lop Rabbit: Ancestors Of Lop Ear Rabbits

The English Lop Rabbit: Ancestors Of Lop Ear Rabbits

Whenever we see a Lop Eared Rabbit we reminisce of a familiar childhood character, Dumbo the elephant and his struggles with his unusually large ears. We can’t help but share the same love for large droopy ears on a rabbit. Even though they look sad, they are actually quite a playful bunch. But do you know where and which breed it all started with? Let’s find out!

The English Lop

The English Lop Rabbit is the first breed of lop eared rabbits in the world, and also one of the oldest domestic breed of rabbits. They were first developed in England during the 19th century throught selective breeding, for the purpose of increasing popularity of rabbits as household pets, instead of for wool, fur and meat production.

english lop rabbit standing up

The following of French Lops was developed by breeding a Flemish Giant (one of the giant breeds of rabbits!) and English Lop, and the dwarf sized Lop ear breed Holland Lop was bred from a French Lop and Netherland Dwarf. As breeders took notice of the English Lop Rabbit, so did the demands for “fancy small pets", all during the Victorian Era.

Fun Fact      The long, huge ears of the English Lop Rabbits were said to help them better adapt them in the harsh climates of Algeria, North Africa. The large ears lose body heat and kept those Lop eared bunnies cool.


An English Lop is a relatively large rabbit, with adult Females weighing from 4 to 6 kilograms, and adult Males 4 to 5 kilograms. They have a medium build body the shape of a mandolin, rounded hinds and sloped back. Broad head that sits low, and the most distinctive feature of them all, long, forward facing, silky furred ears.
english lop rabbit ears

Their ears should be broad in the middle, and rounded at the ends. Most English Lop Rabbits have ears that measure tip to tip at 60 to 70 centimetres when panned out, longest amongst all lop eared Rabbits! Colours of the English Lop includes White, Black, Fawn, Sooty-Fawn, Blue and Broken with White.


This breed of Rabbits are known to be very curious, playful, friendly and also laid back, they are said to be the “Dogs” of The Rabbit world because of their docile and friendly nature. 
english lop rabbit cute face

However, handling of all rabbits should be closely monitored especially with a child, Rabbits can be skittish or aggressive when they are stressed. Read more about Rabbit’s behaviour here.


Due to their large ears, the English Lop requires a bit more attention on cleaning of their ears as they are more prone to infections. Nails should constantly be checked upon to make sure they are not long, to prevent accidental damage to their soft fragile ears. Rabbits are great at self-grooming, but do check them for any stuck debris on their fur and vent and clean out soiled hay. 

english lop rabbit outdoors
English Lops have short, soft roll-back fur that is not difficult to maintain, brushing once a week should do the trick. You may use a damp cloth to spot clean areas that require cleaning. Ensure your rabbit is completely dry after.

Housing and Food

It is advised that their houses have solid flooring, due to their sensitive feet that tends to develop sores. A good thick bedding of hay is recommended, always ensure that the bedding and litter trays are clear of faecal waste that are hard (rabbits are known to eat their first batch of softer faecal matter because they are packed with nutrients). Provide a good sized cage that your English Lop Rabbit can move about in and not step on their own ears! Additionally, a nice hiding spot could work as a shade and sleeping area, away from drafts as they are rather vulnerable to cold.
english lop rabbit eating
Just like other rabbit breeds, a good mixture of commercial food pellets and quality hay should be in an English Lop’s diet, coupled with occasional treats of fruits and greens in tiny portions. Avoid store bought treats with high sugar and starch content. Wooden toys are a necessity for every rabbits, as they aid in preventing a rabbit’s teeth from overgrowing, which can cause a lot of discomfort and pain.

Owning An English Lop In Singapore

Though English Lop Rabbits are available in Singapore, they are rarely kept as pets in other countries due to size and extra requirements for their vulnerable large ears. But they make good, fun, and friendly pets that are suitable for somebody with patience and commitment. As all breed of Rabbits and animals as pets, responsibility and commitment go hand in hand, especially for Rabbits. 
A Binky In Action
Being preyed upon in the wild, it is in their nature to be wary and it requires some time to gain that trust. When you have established that bond with your Rabbit and they completely feel safe and happy, you’d be lucky enough to see loads of binky moments in their lifespan of 5 to 7 years or more, with proper care. J  

Adopt Don't Shop

Before purchasing a pet, always check out our local Animal Shelters for more available options. Rabbits are one of the most commonly abandoned pets in Singapore, and they consist of various breeds and varieties. You could be providing a Rabbit with a forever home and gain a rewarding, fun, and loyal friend in return.

You might also be interested in:

Your Stories Can Be Heard Too

Do YOU own an English Lop? Your voices are important to us and the Pets community! Our readers are encouraged to share their  Pet-related reviews of a place and its services, experiences, even lifestyle tips and tricks to better our Pets lives, on our platform, one paw at a time. Be a part of an educational and informative Pets community because at ThePetsDialogue, your voices could make a huge difference.
rabbit with flowers

Write to us at today!

Our website is a work in progress, however, if you did find our articles interesting please do feel free to share! For more Pet care tips and other Pet-related articles, head to 


This article was written with informational purposes, as you know, we’d love to share our collective research and experiences as fellow Pet owners and lovers. It is not meant to alternate in any way as advice or diagnosis of Professionals.

ThePetsDialogue claims no credit for images posted on this article unless otherwise displayed/stated. All rights go to respective owners as mentioned. If you do not wish for your image(s) to appear here do drop us an e-mail and it will be removed promptly. If you do wish to use any of our original published information, you are welcome to contact us!