Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Netherland Dwarf: Smallest Of All Rabbit Breeds

The Netherland Dwarf: Smallest Of All Rabbit Breeds

Have you ever chanced upon a pet shop with tiny Rabbits? Without looking at the labels, its almost inevitable that a few of us may start pondering if some of the tiny buns were actually young baby Rabbits. It is a plausible guess, but what you have been looking at might have also been the smallest domestic Rabbit breed in the world— the Netherland Dwarf bunny!

The Netherland Dwarf

Fondly abbreviated NDR amongst the Rabbit fanatics, this rabbit breed hails from Holland, Netherlands. NDRs were originally bred from the Polish Rabbit, and continued being perfected by Dutch Fancier Jan Meyering and close associates before 1940’s. Their efforts provided the Netherland Dwarf breed with a variety of colours and it's signature dwarf size.
What is the smallest breed of Rabbit
Interestingly, this popular domesticated Rabbit breed we know of today is said to have almost gone extinct during the World War II! With a remaining of 17 Netherlands Dwarfs that survived, their offspring were later on exported to England, followed by the United States of America in the 1960’s— where the Netherland Dwarf was recognized as an official breed in 1969 by the ARBA (American Rabbit Breeder’s Association).

Appearance Of A Netherland Dwarf Rabbit

Features — The Netherland Dwarf Rabbit has a never-ageing-baby-like appearance, stealing hearts with large eyes on a rounded head. They also sport small, upright ears stand atop their heads.

Size — An adult Netherland Dwarf can weigh from 500g to 1.6 kgs, and have a lifespan of 7 to 12 years.

Coat — Short to Medium in length coat of thick, dense, soft fur that requires minimal grooming.
Netherland Dwarf Rabbit breed
Colours — Since this breed was perfected back in 1940’s, the Netherland Dwarf Rabbit can be found in various colours, like Black, Blue, Steel, Onyx, Chocolate, Himalayan, Chinchilla, Orange, Fawn, Sable, Silver, Chestnut, and Pure White with Ruby or Blue eyes.

Grooming Requirements Of A Netherland Dwarf

Rabbits in general are fastidious creatures when it comes to keeping themselves clean, and it is highly advised against giving them a bath in water. Water baths could be very stressful for Rabbits, and they are also very susceptible to cold. If you absolutely have to clean off soiled areas (if they have bad toilet habits), use a damp cloth to spot clean those areas, including paws. Towel dry them very thoroughly after.
Pretty Rabbits
Regular brushing with a soft bristled brush would go a long way when they shed a little more than usual, going with the natural direction of the fur to avoid damaging their fur and skin. It is also important to check that they do not have overgrown nails, use a clipper if you realize your bunny’s nails getting too long.

If you are unsure of how to perform these tasks, approach your trusted Groomer and Veterinarian for basic advice that could go a long way!

Dwarf Body, Big Personality

Early Netherland Dwarfs were known to be grumpy, wild and temperamental for a rabbit of this size. These behavioural traits made them a poor choice for a house pet. But generations of selective breeding has made the Netherland Dwarf bunnies today a unique character for the right owners.
Rabbit Toast
NDRs are playful and curious, and often reported to seek human attention at times. It is also possible to litter train this breed of rabbits. Spurs of spunky behaviour might surface once they're comfortable— a Netherland Dwarf rabbit’s unique quality that makes them so whimsical.

Housing And Feed

Hygiene — It is extremely important to keep your Rabbits home clean. Regular change of food, water, bedding and litter is needed. Clean out their litter trays daily, and check for any soiled bedding— you don’t want your bunnies to be sitting in their own waste, that could lead up to serious infections.

Litter — If you chose wire flooring, make sure you have a solid area for the bunnies to rest their feet. If you have a solid flooring cage or living space, ensure your bunnies are litter trained, you can do so by introducing a litter pan— filled with litter (i.e. wood based pellets) use feeding hay to entice them.

Bedding & ToysAvoid Pine and Cedar wood, for they cause respiratory problems for small Pets and animals.  Also provide them with toys and ample space to roam about and explore. Wooden chew toys are handy to prevent their teeth from getting overgrown.
Netherland Dwarf rabbit eating raspberry
Feed — Hay has multiple uses, it is also an important, staple food source for rabbits. Invest in quality hay to provide your Rabbits with sufficient fiber, aside from food pellets and greens. Note to only introduce greens to rabbits above 8 weeks of age. Fruits can also be given in tiny proportions as an occasional snack or treat.

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Holding a Netherland Dwarf rabbit
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