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.
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BRC Standard Of Perfection
Type & Weight…40
History Of The Alaska Rabbit
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.
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.
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.
There’s only one variety of Alaska – the black one!
Size, Weight, Shape & Ears
The Alaska rabbit is classed as a medium-sized rabbit.
3.17 kgs to 4.08 kgs
7 lbs to 9lbs
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).
The ears are short, stand up straight, and are broad and rounded at the ends.
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
Satin / Short
This should be free from molting and a richly intense black color, with a dense, soft, silky texture.
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!
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!
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.