This lovely breed is recognized by the BRC (British Rabbit Council), but not the ARBA, (American Rabbit Breeders Association).
It is also known as the “Mini Lop” in the US.
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BRC Standard Of Perfection
- General Type….30
- Head & Crown….20
- Color or Pattern…10
Created in Germany, working to a specific breeding plan, the developers wanted to create a medium-sized lop. Medium in comparison to the popular French Lop weighing in excess of 10lb and the Holland Lop weighing between 4 & 5 1/2 lb.
So they started to breed French Lops and Netherland Dwarves together. In order to increase vitality, other breeds were introduced at a later stage that gave the German its distinctive long “Roman” nose.
An international show in Saarbrucken, West Germany, in 1960 the German was shown for the first time and it was officially recognized in 1970. It was imported to Holland in 1972. It was later standardized in the Netherlands (1976) and Switzerland (1984).
In the ’80s, Evelyne Van Vliet bred German Lops in Holland and along with the late Dave Cannon, she arranged for the initial stock to be imported into Britain. Stock arrived in Great Britain on the 23rd of April 1987 and came out of quarantine on the 23rd of October. The initial stock was agouti’s and was immediately adopted as an unstandardized variety by the Rare Varieties Rabbit Club, and the classes were staged at their stock shows.
The breed was recognized in Britain in 1990. Popularity has increased now so that they are the third most popular lop Bradford Excel Championship Show and are consistent winners at Open Shows throughout the country.
Agouti German Lop
Solid pattern and Broken pattern
There are some colors not currently recognized including the silver marten, harlequin, broken pointed white, otter, blue seal, blue point, and chocolate.
Learn more on Colors below…
Size, Weight, Shape & Ears
This Lop is classed as a large-sized rabbit.
One of the larger of the lop breeds, the German weighs in at between 6lbs 8oz and 8lbs 8oz.
Very cobby, massive and muscular. The neck should not be visible. Ideally, it should be equally broad in the shoulder as the hindquarters. The line of the back rises in a slight curve to the short, round rump. The front legs are short, straight and thick. The hind legs are parallel to the rump. A dewlap in does is permissible.
The ears are thick, rise from the crown of the head and lie close to the cheeks. The ears should hang down straight just behind the eyes.Ear length is a minimum of 11 to a maximum of 14 inches.
Orange German Lop
All recognized colors are accepted as well as the butterfly pattern. The recognized color groups are:
Agouti: chinchilla, opal, and chestnut agouti.
Broken: white with colored spots, tricolors or patterns.
Self: blue, black, lilac, chocolate, ruby eyed white (REW), and blue-eyed white (BEW).
Ticked: gold-tipped or silver-tipped (black/blue/chocolate/lilac) steel, silver fox, sable or smoke pearl steel.
Shaded: seal, tortoise, sable point, smoke pearl, sable, and frosted pearl.
Wideband: cream, red, orange and fawn.
Fur Type / Coat
The fur is of normal length, very dense with strong guard hairs.
Average Life Span
On average German Lops live for up to 12 years. It’s not unusual to have teenage Lops, especially when kept as indoor pets.
As with all rabbits, they have individual personalities and it’s difficult to generalize when talking about “personality.” However, the majority of German Lops are known for having to be a quiet rabbit and is a little aggressive in comparison to other rabbits. But having said that you may find one that goes against this and could be completely the opposite!
The German Lop can be very lively at times and other times very still and calm.
The females make very good mothers and can be bred from seven to eight months onwards. The number of babies in litters range from four to eight. Females are more productive in comparison to other lop breeds producing more kits in each litter and falling pregnant more often too.
Kits reach their minimum adult weight easily within sixteen weeks. After sixteen weeks they are satisfied with a small yogurt carton of rabbit mixture, good hay, and water. Obviously greens and roots can be supplied at the same time.
German lops were created as a show rabbit, they are good for showing successfully for a few years. They were also bred to meet the demand of lops being a popular domestic pet.
If the current trend continues there can be little doubt that this
powerhouse of a lop will attract even more followers. Although
they have not spread widely across the globe it would
appear that their future is certainly safe in Britain. Their popularity is increasing year by year. You would probably find a dedicated breeder not too far from you!
Rabbit Care & Handling
German Lops have an ample undercoat with a dense coat that is slightly longer than the coat of the other lops. With their dense, slightly longer than normal coat, there can be problems at molt time. Because of their dense, longish coats, they are better housed outside, even if it is only during the molt season, to aid the rapid clearing of the coat.
Because of their pleasant nature, they can very easily be overfed, which means they may have difficulty grooming and cleaning themselves and are therefore more susceptible to flystrike.
Overweight does are much less likely to carry live babies and are generally more likely to fall prey to all manner of diseases.
Whilst there are a few colored exhibits with dark feet i.e. the blacks, blues, and sooty fawns the majority of the popular colors of German Lops being exhibited have white or light feet.
There are numerous ways of cleaning white or light-colored feet, and every exhibitor has their own secret method.
Because it is mostly only bucks that are shown as adults (bucks are generally cleaner than does), with a little ingenuity and some from extra work the show buck can be kept clean. Show bucks should be kept on wood shavings to prevent them from getting sore hocks, therefore it is imperative that a regular supply of ‘white’ shavings that do not contain coloring or dye is provided.
They are good breeders and yield large litters that are normally very healthy.
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.