The Alaska is recognized by the British Rabbit Council (BRC) and was included as a breed by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) but has since been dropped due to a lack of popularity.

Breed NameBRC CodeARBA CodeCountry of Origin
AlaskaN1Germany

BRC Standard Of Perfection

Type & Weight…40

Color…40

Coat…20

Total Points…100

History Of The Alaska Rabbit

Origins

Despite the name, the Alaska rabbit doesn’t come from the cold extremities of North America. They were actually first developed in Germany and descend from Argente and Himalayan rabbits. 

Creation

A German rabbit judge, Max Gotha, and a fellow German rabbit breeder created the Alaska to mimic the popular Alaskan Fox, which was very popular in the 1900s fur trade, earning big dollars at the time.

They wanted to create a rabbit with a pitch-black coat and long white guard hairs, resembling the popular Alaskan Fox believing they would have a good market for their rabbit pelts.

Unfortunately, the genetics rarely go according to plan, so instead of getting a black coat with the long silver hairs, they got an intensely black coat with shiny black guard hairs.  

Development

In 1907, the first Alaskan rabbits were exhibited at a rabbit show in Europe and the breed quickly gained recognition.

Years later, Gotha took the Alaska rabbit to Canada and eventually into the United States, where they became recognized as a breed during the mid-1970s. Alaskan rabbits were extinct in Britain and were reintroduced in 1972.

Their recognition in the US was short-lived, and they were dropped from the ARBA registry in favor of the Havana rabbit. in the 1980s. The breed has yet to make a comeback in the United States.

Alaska Varieties

There’s only one variety of Alaska  – the black one!

Size, Weight, Shape & Ears

Size:

The Alaska rabbit is classed as a medium-sized rabbit.

Weight:

3.17 kgs to 4.08 kgs

7 lbs to 9lbs

Shape:

They have a well-rounded and balanced body with a solid block type and, while not as compact as other breeds, they have good bone development for their size.

Bucks are usually heavier than does, who tend to have more delicate features and are permitted to have a dewlap (a roll of skin at the neck, often giving the appearance that the rabbit’s head is resting on a cushion of fur).

Ears:

The ears are short, stand up straight, and are broad and rounded at the ends.

Color(s)

The Alaska rabbit only comes in one color – black.

The under-coat is a deep slate blue and turns jet black the closer it gets to the skin.

The belly and pads of the feet are often a matte black, the top and sides of the Alaska rabbit are vibrantly colored, the fur being silky and lustrous black, with a glossy sheen.

The Alaska should have all-dark toenails and dark brown eyes; while a couple of white hairs sprinkled into the fur are permissible, an abundance of stray white hairs are a flaw and white spots or patches are a disqualification.

Fur Type / Coat

Fur:

Satin / Short

Coat:

This should be free from molting and a richly intense black color, with a dense, soft, silky texture.

Personality

The Alaska rabbit has a well-tempered behavior and non-aggressive, making them a great choice for pet owners. 

They have an outgoing personality, are gentle, very loving, and will love to spend hours at a time with you!

Purpose

Originally intended as a fur rabbit, to mimic the coat of the Alaskan Fox, it is still a beautiful breed that is a popular show breed in the UK.

Their fur is really rather something to behold. If you ever get the chance to stroke one of these beautiful rabbits, you’ll see exactly what I mean!

Breed Status

Although not re-instated as a breed in the US yet due to its unpopularity (unpopular according to the ARBA, that is), the Alaska rabbit is not a rare breed and I’m sure there are quite a few Alaska breeders around the world.

Let’s help get them back up the popularity charts and let us know if you are a breeder!

Rabbit Care & Handling

Here is a list of resources to help you care for your rabbits…

  • New Rabbit Checklist – General knowledge if you’re just getting started.
  • Breeding Rabbits – The best place to start if you are thinking about raising any breed of rabbits.
  • Pet Rabbit Guide – Information and resources on the subject of raising pet rabbits.
  • Health Guide – Up-to-date information & resources for ensuring your rabbit is in the best health.
  • Diet & Exercise – Extensive info about hay, water, safe foods, treats, weight management & FAQs on the diet. 

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Miranda Hawkins
Miranda currently lives just outside Colorado Springs, Colorado with her husband, 8-year old son, and what she lovingly calls her “zoo.” Miranda grew up in the Midwest and always had animals around while growing up. After graduating from college, she married her husband Sam and they moved to the mountains of Colorado where Miranda became very involved with the regional rabbit rescues.

Currently, her “zoo” includes two dogs, one rambunctious cat, and three indoor rabbits. Oliver, a delightful Black Otter Holland Lop, and Juniper, a gorgeous Opal Satin Angora, are a bonded pair and have been together for three years.

She had the pleasure of adding an energetic Fawn Flemish Giant to her family one year ago, named Sir Gregor. He had been abandoned outside a pet store and was put up for adoption. Miranda feels very blessed to have this lovable lagomorph living amongst her family and is a strong advocate for educating people about rabbits and how special they truly are.

Miranda has put together a team of rabbit lovers and breeders from across the country and hopes you will find the information and resources on the JustRabbits.com site beneficial. She loves to hear from her readers and looks forward to seeing many more people become loving responsible bunny parents.