ⓘ List of rabbit breeds


ⓘ List of rabbit breeds

As of 2017, there were at least 305 breeds of domestic rabbit in 70 countries around the world. A rabbit breed is a distinct variety created through natural selection or, more often, though selective breeding for specific characteristics, including size, fur, feed conversion ratio, climate adaptability, or temperament. Groups such as the American Rabbit Breeders Association and the British Rabbit Council coordinate and standardize the desired qualities of their recognized breeds, through promotion and exhibition. Each rabbit breed is considered to benefit when a reputable breeder strives to emulate the purpose for the breed, often defined by the individual breed standard by which it may be judged. The global diversity of breeds reflects the breadth of the rabbits unique qualities. Listed below are 191 of the worlds modern-day rabbit breeds.


1. Scope

The table of modern-day rabbit breeds includes those that are:

  • recognized as "in development" for potential formal recognition as judged by multiple authoritative sources, or
  • recognized as a distinct breed that resulted from natural selection as judged by pertinent authoritative sources.
  • recognized as a distinct breed by ARBA, the BRC, or another countrys established organization for the national promotion of rabbit breeds,

Rare breeds are denoted with pink highlighting.


2. Terminology

Confusion sometimes arises regarding the name of a rabbit breed versus the name of a rabbits color/pattern or fur type. For example, Harlequin is the name of a breed whose color/pattern is known as harlequin. The harlequin color/pattern is found now in a different breed of rabbit: the Tri-Colour Dutch, also known as the Harlequin Dutch. Such evolutions in terminology pertain also to some fur types, where for example the Rex breed has rex fur, one new variety of which appears in the unusually "rexed" Astrex rabbit breed.

It is sometimes difficult to ascertain which came first, the breed name or the color/pattern name or fur-type name. What is certain is that in such situations the two at some point were synonymous but subsequent developments in other breeds likely hinging on similar genetic changes have caused the terms to diverge.

The definition of a distinct breed relies on clusters of complex individual gene-sets - clusters that may include the gene-set for a body type, the gene-set for an ear type, the gene-set for a color/pattern, and/or the gene-set for a fur type. The determination of when a group of rabbits is considered to have become a new breed as a result of overarching genetic distinction is left, in the following table, to the authority of ARBA, the BRC, or other reputable source.


3. Extinct rabbit breeds

Certain rabbit breeds, though now extinct, contributed strongly to the development of a modern-day breed. Little may be known of the extinct breed and in some cases the only records are extracts in old breed books.