You may be surprised to know this, but the world of fancy rabbits (or show rabbits) is fairly new. It started in the 19th Century. Up until that point, most people saw rabbits as nothing more than a source of meat or fur. Then the English Spot Rabbit came along.
Where Did English Spot Rabbits Came From?
Until the English Spot Rabbit came along, nobody really kept detailed logs of their breeding activity. All that mattered is that they were producing rabbits that produced a good amount of meat or fur.
Most breeders didn’t really care about what went into their breed, as long as they were furthering the breed.
Then the English Spot Rabbit came along. In the latter half of the 19th Century, the Victorians were starting to look for status symbols. One area that was very popular for these status symbols were pets.
People wanted better and better looking pets. As a result, breeders started to produce rabbits that looked good, and were brilliant for show. The English Spot Rabbit was one of the first of them.
Of course, nobody was making notes about what went into the breed, they were doing the same as when they were developing the fur and meat rabbit breeds.
They just wanted something that looked good.
About the only rabbit breed that we are almost certain went into the English Spot Rabbit is the now extinct English Butterfly. Everything else would be guesswork.
Of course, the breed started to become popular very quickly, and it has maintained that popularity in rabbit shows. You will now find it often shown off in both the United Kingdom and the United States.
The Look of the English Spot Rabbit
The English Spot rabbit is available in a variety of different colors:
Show quality English Spot rabbits will need to have six different markings, and they will all need to be in the right place. Only 50% of English Spot rabbits will be born with these markings:
- Spots on the cheek
- The ears must be a solid color
- A marking that runs the length of their back. This is known as the herringbone marking
- A butterfly shape on their nose
- A chain of spots on their sides
- Circles around their eyes.
Outside of the fur, this is a rabbit that has an arched back. This means when it stands, the front paws will be held ever so slightly off of the ground.
Due to this arch, during rabbit shows, there will be a whole segment on having the rabbit run from one side of a table to another. This is the only way for the judges to properly judge the look of this breed.
The English Spot is a medium-sized breed, averaging 5 to 8 pounds in weight.
English Spot Rabbit Lifespan
The average English Spot rabbit lifespan is from 5 to 8 years. Since there are not any real health issues related to this breed of rabbit, it is likely that your rabbit will live on the upper end of the spectrum.
You just need to ensure that it consumes a nice, healthy, and balanced diet!
As a Show Rabbit
If you see the English Spot being bred, then 90% of the time, it is going to be bred with the intention of showing it off. Obviously, not all rabbits will make it to a show.
Since the competition for these shows is going to be incredibly tough, the breeder will only be taking the very best of their specimens.
You will be able to find rabbit shows for the English Spot in most countries that have rabbit breeding clubs. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if the English Spot was the very first breeding club most countries had.
However, as you may have guessed, the bulk of the shows are going to be happening in England, with a few happening in the United States.
If you are new to breeding rabbits, then do not expect to be competitive in rabbit shows any time soon. In fact, the only way you are going to be competitive is if you have paid an incredibly large sum of cash for your rabbit.
Breeding English Spot Rabbits
This is a tough rabbit to breed for show purposes.
The main reason why it is so tough is that not all bunnies are going to come out of a ‘show quality’. The rabbit shows are pretty specific about what sort of spots they want on their rabbits.
Only 50% will be born with the required spots. 25% of them will be born with spots, but not of a show standard, and 25% will be solid color rabbits.
The rabbits that fail to reach show standards are often sold as pets.
The main way breeders make money with the English Spot Rabbit is producing show quality rabbits, preferably award winning, and then selling their offspring.
Since the English Spot Rabbit is such a popular breed for shows, this is a fantastic money maker once you have a decent breeding stock.
The English Spot Rabbit Personality
Surprisingly, the English Spot isn’t really raised as a pet all that much. Obviously, there are people out there raising this breed for pet purposes, but the bulk are raised simply for breeding.
However, they are a surprisingly good pet breed.
The personality of the English Spot is friendly, as most rabbits of this size are going to be. Although, since it is a bit smaller than some breeds, it is going to be timid.
This means that you may not want to raise this rabbit in a home with a dog or a cat. Certainly not if either of these are ‘playful’, because they will injure the rabbit.
Due to the shorter hair of the English Spot, they do not do well when raised outdoors.
They can be, but in the winter months they can get a bit cold and some may need to be brought indoors. The short hair can actually work to your benefit indoors.
This is a rabbit breed that does shed, but you are not going to see the hair that it sheds the majority of the time!
No matter where you are raising them, you have to remember that this is a very, very active rabbit. It bounces around a lot. This means that it needs to have a lot of space available and to be allowed out of the hutch for at least 2-3 hours per day.
Other than this, there are no special considerations when raising this rabbit breed. There are no health issues, and it just needs a standard rabbit diet.
English Spot Rabbit For Sale
You may try to find an English Spot rabbit for sale in your local pet store, however it is always a better idea to buy it from a professional rabbit breeder.
In the following sites you will find English Spot rabbits for sale near you. The lists contain rabbit breeders from all across the US.
List of breeders in the United States.
Find an English Spot rabbit breeder on the Rabbit Breeders site.