There are hundreds upon hundreds of types of rabbit communities on social media. On YouTube and Instagram, rabbit-centric content and Instagram accounts are also numerous and they all feature the cutest breeds of rabbits on earth. People have surely mastered the art of the rabbit aesthetic because quite honestly, photogenic rabbits are on the rise in recent years.
However, there is one organization that is considered the go-to organization for all rabbit information and breeds.
The American Rabbit Breeders Organization or ARBA is a United States organization that aims to promote domestic rabbit breeds as well as the cavy fancy. The organization has existed for 100 years and traces its roots back to the 1900s.
ARBA’s history can also be traced back to the National Pet Stock Association when Belgian Hares became very popular. Throughout the years the organization has expanded to include domestic rabbit breeds when they also gained traction with the general public.
Currently, ARBA advocates community and partnership with different breeders in the rabbitry industry to promote responsible and standard breeding practices for rabbits.
They also currently boast over 2,000 members with numerous events and fundraising activities aimed to boost scientific study and knowledge of the different types of rabbit breeds.
What are the breeds recognized by ARBA?
There are currently 50 rabbits breeds recognized by ARBA. In the table, I listed them all plus the Cavy which is a guinea pig but is part of the ARBA advocacy. Each breed also comes with a short description if you want to know what makes them special among the rest.
|American||12 lbs||5 to 10 years||The American rabbit is one of the earliest breeds to be recognized by ARBA. However, This breed is already considered critically endangerd by the Livestock Breed Conservation. The American Rabbit has a semi-arched body with a muscular and sturdy frame. They come in two coat varieties and are considered to be generally well-mannered and docile.|
|American Chincilla||12 lbs||5 to 8 years||The American Chinchilla is another breed of rabbit that is in danger of extinction. it was first introduced into the world in 1919. This rabbit breed is an ancestor to many known rabbit breeds today and is one ofthe three Chinchilla breeds recognized by ARBA It has an incredibly soft coat with a grey-blue undercoat|
|American Fuzzy Lop||4 lbs||5 to 8 years||The American Fuzzy Lop is a dwarf rabbit breed known for its soft fur that is actually a type of wool. This breed has been recgonized since 1989. It has lop ears and huge head characteristic of dwarfism . This brred is a direct of the descendant of the Holland Lops and is famous world wide for its cute features and sweet disposition|
|American Sable||9 lbs||5 to 8 years||The American Sable is a breed of rabbit introduced in the 20th century and is a descendant of the Chinchilla. Its defining features its fur that has an ombre quality of brown to it.|
|Argente Brun||11 lbs||8 to 10 years||The Argente Brun is one of the three Argente Rabbits recognized by Arba. They are also one of the oldest French show rabbits. This rabbits also leans towards the heavy and bigger size of rabbits but this never deterred their popularity.|
|Belgian Hare||9.5 lbs||7 years||The Belgian Hare is one of the oldest rabbits in America. They are brought about by selective breeding, it is because of this thay they look distinctively like a hare with their long limbs.|
|Beveren||12 lbs||5 to 10 years.||The Beveren Rabbits hails from Belgium and ever since then enjoyed a their popularity. it is a large rabbit breed with a mandolin shaped body and V-shaped ears. They have a short luxurious coat and is well-known for their well-mannered disposition making them the pet of choice for many rabbit owners.|
|Blanc De Hotot||11 lbs||7 to 10 years||This milky white rabbit traces its roots all the way back to France. They are best known for their pure white coat and their distinct eye markings around their eyes.|
|Britannia Petite||2.5 lbs||6 to 10 years||The Britannia Petite is another rabbit with the dwarf gene. It is known as "Polish" in the UK. It is also one of the smalles rabbits in the world. They have shorts ears and head that is bigger than their body. This breed is known for its energy and is recommended fo have loads of daily excercise|
|Californian||10.5 lbs||5-9 years||This breed is als known as the "Cal" born and bred in California , this breed is characterized by its all white coar and markings in its nose, ears, tails and feet. They have a plump, dense body and are known to be very strong.|
|Cavies||2.6 lbs||4 to 8 years||The Cavy is often called a guinea pig but this is a recognized breed of rabbit for ARBA to promote its ethical breeding.|
|Champagne d’Argent||12 lbs||6 to 8 years||This breed is also called the Silver Rabbit because of its fur that that silver tips, Lke the wine this breed hails from Champagne, France. It has broad shoulders and medium ears that sit upright on its head.|
|Checkered Giant||11 lbs||5 to 8 years||This breed celebrated its 100th year of being "Rabbit Beautiful" This is one of the giant breeds and is considered to be a running breed as well. It is very distinctive with its full-arched body and body markings.|
|Cinnamon||11 lbs||5 to 8 years||Cinnamos rabbits are known for their rust colored coat just like Cinnamon. They are also notorious for being able to product large numbers of ltiters. They have smoke greay bellies and black markings on their ears.|
|Creme d’Argent||11 lbs||7 to 9 years||The Creme d’Argent is one of the rarest rabbit breeds. Its coat has is creamy white with a tinge of orange undercoat. This breed is already extinct in the entire world except in the United States.|
|Dutch||5.5 lbs||5 to 10 years||The Dutch rabbit is one of the most recognizable breeds of rabbit in the world They have distinct coat because it's lower half is a different color than its white upper coat.|
|Dwarf Hotot||3 lbs||7 to 12 years||This is another dwarf breed. The Dwarft Hotot has frosty white fur and dark eye markings. They are knwon as "Eye of the Fancy"|
|Dwarf Papillon||3 lbs||7 to 12 years||The Dwarf Papillion is ARBA's 50th recognized breed. It has its origins in Gernany and was previously known as Zwergschecken. The breed was recognized by Arba last 2020|
|English Angora||7.5 lbs||5 to 8 years||This is one of the four Angora breeds recognized by ARBA. This breed has a compact body with silky soft and luxurious wool|
|English Lop||11 lbs||5 to 8 years||The English Lop has the longest ear in any rabbit breed. They are also the original lopped rabbit. This breed has a wide nose and a big head.|
|English Spot||8 lbs||6 to 8 years||The English Spot hails from England and is known for its distinctive markings. The breed is famous for its butterfly shaped markings on its nose. This is also considered a running breed and would need lots of space for running.|
|Flemish Giant||20 lbs||8 to 10 years||The Flemish Giant is the biggest and heaviest of all rabbit breeds. This breed also coined "Gentle Giant" was first introduced during the "Great Rabbit Boom". This breed is so large that it is often mistaken for a small dog. It can also grow as long as a small toddler.|
|Florida White||6 lbs||5 to 8 years||The Florida White is a breed that has come a long way. It was first used as a lab animal but has won the ARBA Convention Best in Show. This rabbit breed was officially recognized in 1987 by ARBA Judge Orville Miliken and has since then stolen the hearts of bunny lovers everywhere.|
|French Angora||10.5 lbs||7 to 12 years||Another of the four Angora breeds recognized by ARBA, this breed is still as popular as ever with its soft and luxurious wool and its sweet disposition|
|French Lop||3.6 lbs||6 to 8 years||The French Lop made its debut in the United States in 1971. This breed is characterized by its large droopy ears that hangs below its jaws. This breed is heavy because of its massive, well-built body.|
|Giant Angora||5.5 lbs||7 to 12 years||The Giant Angora is the largest of the four Angora breeds recognized by ARBA. This breed is also a wool producer likes its cousins and has fur that consists of three fiber types: Underwool, awn hair and awn fluff.|
|Giant Chinchilla||16 lbs||5 to 8 years||The Giant Chinchilla was bred to provide pelt that is similar to that of the Chinchilla. This breed also goes by the name "The Million Dollar Rabbit" because when it was first introduced, its fur became so popular that there was constant demand for them.|
|Harlequin||9.5 lbs||5 to 8 years||Harlequins come in two variaties: Japanese Harlequin and the Magpie Harlequin. This breed traces its roots back to France and is known for its distintive coat that has a marked split from each side.|
|Havana||6.5 lbs||7 to 12 years||The Havana is another breed that was orignally bred for its fur. The fur of this breed is also known as "Mink of the Fancy". Today, this compact breed is a star of any show.|
|Himalayan||4.5 lbs||9 to 15 years||The Himalayan Rabbits goes by many names such as the "Black Nosed Rabbit" and the "Egyptian Smut". This breed has a cylindrical type of body and is considered to be a challenging breed for owners.|
|Holland Lop||4 lbs||7 to 10 years||The breed was first originated by Adriann De Cock of the Netherlands. This breed was officially recognized by ARBA last 1979. This breed is one of the most popular breeds in the United States mainly due to its compact body and large droopy ears.|
|Jersey Wooly||3. 5 lbs||7 to 10 years||This breed has a distinctive mug head and a soft wooly coat. The breed was first developed by Bonnie Seely in 1988. This breed enjoys massive popularity in the US and around the globe.|
|Lilac||8 lbs||8 to 12 years||This breed of rabiit is rare and is on the watch list by the Livestock Conservancy. The breed is well known for its pinkish gray soft fur. This breed comes only in coat color|
|Lionhead||3.75 lbs||7 to 9 years||This breed's distinctive characteristis is the fur that circles its head like a mane. Lionheads can be singled maned or double maned. This breed is one of the most popular breeds in the United States.|
|Mini Lop||6.5 lbs||7 to 14 years||The Mini Lops were first called Klein Widderand when it was first bred in 1970. The breed changed its name to its current and was recognized as an official breed ten years later in 1980. The breed is also known for its round head, compact body, fluffy fur and droopy ears.|
|Mini Rex||4.5 lbs||7 to 8 years||The Mini Rex is a new breed that is constantly on top of ARBA rabbit shows. The breed was developed in 1984 and was recognized in 1988|
|Mini Satin||4 lbs||5 to 8 years||Another failry new breed, the Mini Satin was recognized in 2005. The breed was first called the "Satinette". The breed currently comes in 16 coat colors|
|Netherland Dwarf||2.5 lbs||7 to 10 years||The Netherland Dwarf is one of the cutest, most popular rabbits around the world. It has a large head and compact body. It can also fit in the palm of your hands. This breed is also one of the most affectionate breed of rabbits.|
|New Zealand||12 lbs||5 to 6 years||The New Zealan has won so many ARBA Breed shows. The breed is actually bred first in the United States and did not originate from New Zealans. They are best known for its white fur and ruby eyes.|
|Palomino||11 lbs||5 to 8 years||The Palomina was an instant hit when it debuted in 1957. The Palomino has two varieties: the Golden and the Lynx. They are also named after the Palomino color of their coats.|
|Polish||3.5 lbs||5 to 8 years||The Polish Rabbits have mysterious origins. They are small in size but do not have the dwarfism gene and are therefore not considered as dwarf breed. Polish Rabbits are also extremely popular as they are the breed of choice for magicians. Yes, polish rabbits are almost always pulled out of a magician's hat.|
|Rex||10.5 lbs||5 to 8 years||The popularity of the Rex rabbit is due to a gene mutation that gives it its distinctive velvet-like coat. The Rex rabbit is also one of the most intelligent rabbit breeds and are known as "King of the Rabbits"|
|Rhinelander||10 lbs||5 to 8 years||The Rhinelander has an arched body and is famous for its body markings. This breed originated in Germany and were recognized as a breed in 1924. This is also known as a running breed|
|Satin||11 lbs||5 to 8 years||The Satin Rabbit is another result of a gene mutation. The first satin was part of a little of Havanas. They are lovingly called as part of Team Sheen because of the distinct feel of their fur.|
|Satin Angora||9.5 lbs||7 to 12 years||This breed became official in 1987. They have a commercial type of body and have wool instead of fur.|
|Silver||7 lbs||7 to 10 years||The Silver rabbit is one of the oldest domestic rabbits breeds that dates back to the 1500s. It is believed that the breed was first introducted by Sir Walter Raleigh. The distintinctive feature of the breeds is its silvery white guard hairs mixed into the color of its fur.|
|Silver Fox||12 lbs||7 to 10 years||The Silver Fox is the third breed to be devleoped in the United States. They have standing fur with silver tips. It is also once called the American Heavyweight Silver.|
|Silver Marten||9.5 lbs||5 to 8 years||Also called "strange little black rabbits" the silver marten was another outlier in a litter of chinchillas. Today, the breed is recognized all on its own and enjoys massive popularity.|
|Standard Chinchilla||7.5 lbs||5 to 10 years||The Standard Chinchilla is one of the most popular rabbits when it was first bred in 1920s. They were highly valued for their fur. However, not that they are consideres as companion pets they enjoy modest fame with enthusiasts and bunny lovers.|
|Tan||5.5 lbs||8 to 10 years||The tans were first discovered as wild rabbits in the 1800s. They were domesticated and their progeny became the Tan breed that we know today.|
|Thrianta||6 lbs||5 to 10 years||The Thrianta hails from Sweden and was the first new breed recognized by ARBA since 1988. It was officially recognized last 2005. They are also called the "Fires of the Fancy"|
How do I become a registered breeder for ARBA?
To become a registered breeder of ARBA one has to become a member. Membership to the ARBA is not a tedious process you only have to love rabbits!
There are currently over 2,000 members of ARBA and they are still growing. These members all come from different nations around the globe and they have come together to form a community with advocacy to educate people on the responsible breeding and ownership of domestic rabbits.
Members also enjoy free perks! Membership to ARBA also has its perks. All members will be able to get the following :
- Membership Card: To flaunt off your official membership to the largest community of rabbit lovers in the United States
- Domestic Rabbits, a bimonthly magazine: To get the latest news and developments about the Rabbitry industry.
- Official Guide Book, a 240-page book on raising rabbits: A comprehensive guide to being the most responsible bunny breeder/owner yet
- ARBA Registration and Grand Champion Programs: For you to submit your pet bunny or cavy to be recognized by ARBA judges as standards of the breed.
Membership to the organization also comes at a fee but they also offer savings for when you register as a family. Also, members of the organizations will be able to register their pets or their rabbitry to be recognized by ARBA.
This will also earn your rabbitry credence as prospective pet owners would lean towards buying from ARBA recognized breeders because they are sure that their rabbits are healthy and raised to par with the standards of responsible breeding.
What are some of the breeds that are not recognized by ARBA?
Note that the ARBA list is not a definitive list of all the breeds of rabbits. Some rabbits exist that are also popular that is not recognized by the ARBA Committee.
Some of these rabbits however are recognized in the UK by the British Rabbit Council (BRC). I listed five of the interesting rabbit breeds that are not registered in ARBA but are official rabbit breeds in the BRC.
Alaskan Rabbits are affectionate and very well-mannered. As their name suggests, they originated from Alaska and were bred by crossing different rabbits breeds such as the Havana, Dutch, Himalayan, and Champagne d’Argente. The breed was originally bred in the hopes of breeding a rabbit whose fur would mimic that of the Alaskan Fox.
Alaskan Rabbits have rounded bodies and are not as compact as other rabbit breeds. Instead, they are described as muscular, dense, and solid. Females are also characterized by having dewlaps. Alaskan Rabbits also come in one coat color: black, It has a luxurious, soft fur that is described as glossy and silky.
Alaska Rabbits weigh approximately from 7 to 9 lbs making it a medium to a large rabbit. It can also live from 7 to 10 years.
This is probably one of the cutest rabbit breeds to ever exist. The Astrex Rabbit is also called a Rex Atrex because they are essential rex rabbits but with a more interesting kind of fur.
Astrex Rabbits have curly soft fur that is irresistible. They look like bunnies straight out of a fairy tale. They can also weigh a lot because when fully grown this breed weighs anywhere from 6 to 8 pounds. I like to call this breed the poodle of the Rabbit World because their fur is similar.
Astrex Rabbits have a wide head and a commercial type of body. They are also known to have fur that feels like velvet. Thus, adding to the irresistible charm of the breed.
The Beige Rabbit is another breed that is not recognized by ARBA but is registered as an official rabbit breed for the BRC. This is a rare type of rabbit breed and not much is known about its origins.
One this is obvious though, the coat color of this breed is the reason for its name. The Beige rabbit has silky soft fur that is light brown. They are also characterized by slate or blue shadings across their bodies.
Yup, you’ve guessed it right Dalmatian Rabbits are called as such because of their spots. They are also called Rex Dalmatian Rabbits because they share characteristics with the Rex Rabbit.
It’s one of the most unique types of rabbits that are recognized by ARBA.
You can find the spots of Dalmatian Rabbits around their eyes, ears and are scattered across their body. However, what is more, interesting about this breed is that their spots can come in many colors! Dalmatian rabbits can come with spots that are colored black, blue, and even orange.
This breed is extremely popular in Europe especially in France where it originated. It is a no-brainer as to why. It’s always great to own a Dalmatian and even better if you are not a fan of barking, then this breed is perfect for you.
Giant Papillon Rabbit
The Giant Papillion Rabbit is a massive rabbit breed. It can weigh more than 10 pounds and can live from 4 to 7 years. If you can infer from the name, Giant Papillons are also known as “Giant French Butterflies”
This breed traces its origins back to France by crossing spotted hares with other rabbit breeds. This massive rabbit is characterized by its full-arched body and spots.
The coat of the Giant Papillon is white with markings on their nose, ears, spine, and tails. Their nose markings are shaped like that of a big butterfly. The Giant Papillon also closely resembles the Checkered Giant that even rabbit experts find it hard to tell them apart.
There are so many types of rabbits for any personality of a pet owner. They come in solid coats, they come with spots and they come with the most interesting color combinations.
One thing remains constant across the breeds though and this is their sweet disposition and their willingness to trust and provide unwavering companionship to those humans they have come to know as family.