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The 5 Most Child-Friendly Rabbit Breeds

Cute, fluffy, adorable, and everywhere, rabbits are among one of the most popular animals around the world. From watching Bugs torment Elmer Fudd on Saturday mornings, to seeing rabbits scamper across neighborhood yards you would be hard pressed to never had thought about owning one as a pet.

The 5 Most Child-friendly Rabbit Breeds

As with all animals there are several different types, and breeds available. The rabbit is no different. Rabbits come in all different shapes, sizes, fluffiness, and colors, but what breeds are the most child-friendly?

Here are the 5 Most Child-Friendly Rabbit Breeds:

  1. The Chinchilla
    1. Standard
    2. American
    3. Giant
  2. The Himalayan
  3. California White
  4. Havana
  5. Japanese Harlequin

#1 The Chinchilla – An Overview

The chinchilla rabbit, similar to the actual chinchilla animal but only in color. The chinchilla rabbit only shares the color of the rodent variety pet. Popular and cute the chinchilla is a great pet for a family and is even available in a few different breeds.

There are three breeds that seem to be the most popular;

  1. Standard Chinchilla
  2. American Chinchilla
  3. Giant Chinchilla

To get a complete understanding of each one let’s take a more detailed look at what is available.

#1.1 Standard Chinchilla

History

The first breed we’ll take a look at is the standard chinchilla. These little guys originate from 1919 in France. With the unique coat color these rabbits became an instant hit especially in America. This would also lead to developing larger breeds which we will get to later.

Size

Coming in at around a medium size this rabbit will grow to be about five to seven pounds. They share a grey colored coat just as chinchilla’s have. These rabbits are a good choice with families having older children.

Care/Health

Standard chinchillas have an intelligent and curious demeanor. They are also rather friendly making them a very good choice for everyone really. Their diet consists of mostly hay, however fruits and veggies are an acceptable source of food just not too much. The latter is more a rewards or treat system for your bunny.

The standard chinchilla can suffer from health related issues such as overgrown teeth and ear mites. You should check their ears once every two to three weeks to be sure they are doing ok. Overgrown teeth can be avoided by making sure your standard chinchilla eats enough hay. However if your rabbit develops this issue a quick trip to a quality vet can fix it.

Habitat

Be sure to have the appropriate habitat for the standard chinchilla as well. Although only a medium size these guys need plenty of space to romp and play, as well as to stretch themselves out and be comfortable. Many owners can go to their local pet store to buy a cage or some DIY people choose to build their own habitats.

Also recommended and really needed is to let your rabbit out for several hours everyday. This is critical to their social develop allowing them to explore their environment. Also to socialize with other people and animals will help make them more comfortable and happy.

Conclusion

The standard chinchilla is smaller than the American, and Giant breeds that share this little guys space. This makes it a great choice among families as they are easier to pick up and pet. Their small size is also good for people dwelling in small homes, or apartments. Lastly the standard chinchilla’s smart and curious make it a great rabbit to train, even to use a litter box.

Although a great choice in rabbits they are not the only one. Next we’ll move on to the American chinchilla.

#1.2 American Chinchilla

The American Chinchilla, a representation of liberty, freedom, and justice, well that might be getting carried away. Actually a variation to the chinchilla breed this rabbit is much like the standard chinchilla but different as well. ‘Merica’s rabbit is just as soft, fluffy, and a great option for families looking for a good pet to share with their children. Let’s dive in and take a look.

History

These rabbits originally appeared in France for the first time as well. America wouldn’t accept it as a breed until 1924. Being a larger rabbit it was an instant hit among breeders and would take the fur trade by storm as well. Thanks to their beautiful coat and well a cute but large bunny how could you go wrong?

Size

Larger than its counterpart the standard chinchilla, the American Chinchilla can grow to be between 9 to 12lbs. They can live for 5 to 8 years and are a great choice for kids. Having the same coat also helps to make them a staple among breeders. It also helps that they are among the most gentle and docile rabbits in the business.

Care/Health

American chinchillas can do well in many environments. Their fur coat needs little to no maintenance and they can live in both indoor and outdoor climates. Owners of these rabbits just have to be sure either temperature is not extreme, and to also keep them protected from potential predators.

Just like other rabbit breeds these guys also need a healthy amount of hay in their diet. They can eat other foods as treats as well but to avoid potential overgrown teeth it is recommended that their diet is at least 70% hay. The other benefit to American chinchillas is typically no issues with their fur, as it is not subjected to these hereditary problems other breeds can suffer from.

Habitat/Training

With these rabbits being so large they need plenty of space to be happy. They are not recommended for owners living in apartments as indoor cages must be big enough for these guys to stretch out. They make good pets for older children as they can be as comparable to a medium sized dog.

Rabbits are difficult to potty train but like anything with enough time and patience it can be done. Reinforcing good behavior with treats, as well as having things everywhere and nearby will help your rabbit to learn a routine both of you can be satisfied with. Also these rabbits enjoy playtime as well so having toys, and letting them out to enjoy their surroundings is just as import also.

Conclusion

With the American chinchilla being so large they are a good choice for families and rather popular. Up next we’ll talk about the behemoth of the breed, the Giant Chinchilla.

#1.3 Giant Chinchilla

The big kahuna of the chinchilla line. The heavy weight of fluffy and cuteness. The Giant Chinchilla is a large rabbit in its own right and seriously who wouldn’t want to hug a big ball of fluff? As with the others, let’s take a deeper look at this gentle giant, well in rabbit terms.

History

The giant chinchilla hit the scene in 1919 and was a huge success. Thanks to their even more gorgeous coat it was hugely popular from the beginning while everyone was trying to produce the American chinchilla one guy named Edward Stahl wasn’t satisfied with either size and went on to produce this big guy. They were accepted by the American Rabbit Breeders Association in 1928.

Size

The Giant chinchillas size is considered to be in the category of giant, hints the name. They can range anywhere from a whopping 12 to 15 lbs, pretty big for a rabbit eh? Their life span ranges from seven to ten years. They are playful, docile, and gentle making them perfect for families.

Space

Due to their large size these guys need larger homes. They can certainly be kept indoors or out but when the weather differs too much they should be brought inside to help protect them. Also being this large they are not ideal for smaller housing situations.

Care/Health

These rabbits differ in their coats having the only “flyback” fur style. They will heavily shed a couple of times a year and to keep their coat healthy it is recommended to brush them every few weeks. Giant chinchillas do not typically suffer from any hereditary diseases making them a bit easier to care for. However problems can always develop if proper care is not maintained.

Like with other rabbits the Giant chinchilla’s diet is mostly hay with anything else being on special occasions, or as a treat for good behavior. Being sure to feed them correctly will help to keep them living happy and healthy lives.

Giant chinchillas enjoy play time as well. They are a bit more curious than others so if letting them out indoors be sure the room is safe for them. Like a two-year old they will explore everything including wires so their safety is important. It is acceptable to let them explore outdoors as well but always remain aware of potential predators looking for an easy meal.

What to Consider

Giant chinchillas being larger make them a great pet for some. Sometimes you just need a pet that leaves an imprint in your lap and these guys are no different. Child will enjoy how gentle they are and the pretty coat these rabbits have. Also with carrying for them the education of taking care of one of these gentle giants, again by rabbit standards.

Himalayan rabbit
By SableSteel – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

#2 The Himalayan

The Himalayan rabbit, an old rabbit breed for sure. Cute and tiny little guys these rabbits are definitely suited for families. They are easily recognized by the following characteristics

  • cylindrical shape
  • white fur,
  • color only on their nose, ears, and “boots.”

Definitely one of the all star rabbit breeds and worth taking a better look.

History

These little guys have been around for so long even God himself has no idea where they came from. Well that’s not true but they have been around so long that there really is no proof they originated in the Himalayas. Even though the history may have been lost, what we do know is they did hit the scene around 1900 in America and was a breed recognized early on.

Size

Himalayan rabbits are in the small to mini size grouping. Only growing to about two and a half to five pounds. Their life span is typically five to eight years helping them to make plenty of memories for both children and their families. Their cylindrical body shape is one of the most unique features and even when fully stretched out their feet will remain grounded.

Habitat

Younger Himalayan rabbits are sensitive to cold so if cold climates are a thing keeping an eye on when to bring them in is recommended. Even older rabbits may have their fur darken in response to colder temps. Wth beings smaller these rabbits do not require large enclosures but you still want to be sure there is plenty of space for them.

Care/Health

Himalayan rabbits are among the easiest to take care of as well. Their diet also consists of hay, and with regular checkups they can live happy and healthy lives. They are not as at risk for other diseases either that some other rabbit breeds can get.

With their small size they are perfect for younger kids to hold. It is good practice to let this little guy out to play and socialize as well due to it being healthy for both their temperament and younger kids. They will play and explore just as much as any other little one will, just keep an eye on them as well due to being vulnerable to predators.

Like with any other breed they can be potty trained but it will require patience as well. These guys may develop a this is my room, not your room attitude which translates to I can go wherever I please type mentalility. Himalayan owners however will do well to just gently and firmly continue to teach and eventually they’ll get it.

What to Consider

Cute, small, fluffy, and available in different colors make these rabbits a great choice. They can live just about anywhere and have been around forever. If you’re looking into a rabbit for your family, parents, grandparents, or even children the Himalayan rabbit is most certainly a solid choice.

#3 California White

The California White rabbit is known for being typically white, with some having chinchilla like markings has been around for quite some time as well. A sizeable rabbit and a breed that was developed more for the meat rather than being a pet back in the day. However they were well liked and accepted among the pet trade.

History

California White’s history is mainly cross breeding a few different rabbit breeds to create them. Introduced to America as a breed of rabbit in 1928, it would take eleven more years to officially be recognized. California rabbits are immensely popular being a top contender for being the most saught after breed.

Size

Coming into this line up it is considered one of the larger breeds of rabbits. California whites can range from eight to ten and a half pounds. Their life span is five all the way up to ten years. Allowing for plenty of time to be considered part of the family.

Habitat

While most rabbit breeds only require short blocks of time outside their enclosures the California White is a bit different. In order for them to be a rabbit of unique personality traits they require quite a bit of time outside their enclosure to play, roam, and explore.

These rabbits can do well in both outdoor or indoor situations but are larger so they will require enough space to be truly comfortable. Other than being exposed to a handful of elements they can stand up to just about anything including snow thanks to their thick coats.

Care/Health

As previously mentioned these rabbits are no different when it comes to their diet either. Ensuring they have high quality hay available is a good diet to stick to for these guys as well as any other rabbit for that matter.

California white rabbits are also not as vulnerable to any other diseases or health related issues. Good practice though, owners should keep an eye on them as typical rabbit issues like overgrown teeth can develop into and issue. However with a good and constant check up anything serious can be avoided.

California rabbits are popular because with enough care and time spent playing with them they can be trained to do a number of things like any other pet. They love to play but will also cuddle when the mood suits them. With the right patience they can even be litter trained.

What to Consider

California rabbits are cute, and a good fit for many people. These rabbits will love you just as much as you love them and bring many happy moments to you and your family. Kids will enjoy their playful demeanor and when the time is right cuddling around enjoying life like only rabbits can.

havana rabbit
By Mjm91 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

#4 Havana

Havana rabbits, named for having a similar color scheme to the cuban cigar rather than actually being from Cuba, are fine rabbits indeed. Playful, compact, and will stay around a medium size make them perfect for families to add them to their homes. Havana rabbits definitely have a place on this list, take a look.

History

Introduced in 1916 the Havana rabbit is recognized by four color types. It has taken quite a few decades for each one to be recognized with the most recent one being in 2008 when the American Rabbit Breeder’s Association welcomed the broken color scheme into the line up.

Size

Havana rabbits are considered a medium size rabbit. They can reach four and a half to six and a half pounds. The life span of the Havana five to eight years. They have a round body shape making their small size perfect for many families.

Habitat

Havana rabbits will do well in both indoor and outdoor situations. They do love lots of time outside the cage to play and stretch out, as well as some time in the sunshine. Havana rabbits love to run around indoors, and may even decide to hop around. Given the chance to come to you on their own terms they will bond and love their family as much as the family loves them.

Care/Health

Their fur coats do not need much in the way of maintenance. Spot cleaning them is usually good as their coat will stay in shape on its own. They are also capable of shedding but regular brushings will minimize this risk to almost non-existent.

As with many of the other bunnies on the list these guys are trainable. Through time, and patience they can learn to do many things. As mentioned, just be sure to have plenty of litter boxes on hand and a good rewards system in place to help your furry friend to learn and grow.

What to Consider

Havana rabbits are cute pets to have a round. They are not energetic but not lazy either. Making them a perfect mix for not only families with any children, but seniors as well. A Havana bunny could be just what you need to add to your lives to make everybody happy.

#5 Japanese Harlequin

Harlequin rabbits follow the trend of being a child friendly bunny. This larger rabbit is an interesting one, with an even more interesting color scheme. Either way a fine rabbit to add to the list.

History

Introduced in the 1920s to America, the harlequin was once known by the Japanese rabbit but that name was dropped during World War 2. The harlequin is actually comprised of two breeds, the japanese version which is usually orange combined with many colors, and the magpie harlequin which is comprised of white and then other colors added in. There are many different combinations available and the color scheme does matter if you plan to have this rabbit as a show pet as well.

Size

Harlequin rabbits are considered a medium to large breed. The typical rabbit will grow to be between six and a half to nine and a half pounds. These guys can live from five to eight years with proper care.

Habitat

Their environment much like the other rabbits on this list help in its growth and development. Harlequins love to be let out and socialize with their human families and will grow a connection with them over time.

Care/Health

Their fur is easy to take care of and they are not known to have any more or less health concerns the typical rabbits do. They also have a similar diet and are trainable like other rabbits. Making them a good choice due to low concerns.

What to Consider

These bunnies are a unique breed but can provide years of love for the kids. In most cases they will give you no more trouble than any other breed and will ultimately come down to your own preferences of color and temperament. As well as the space you have beings these guys are a bit bigger than the others.

rabbit 1 1

Commitment

The bunnies on this list are a great addition to any family with kids. They will work in other situations as well and are definitely cute and fluffy to the max. Everyone should keep in mind the time, commitment and investment prior to taking on these or any other pets for that matter.

Also, remember to check your local shelter, you never know when a little guy is sitting in a cage somewhere hoping to be rescued. Maybe you can be that family.

Other things to take into account are cages, or enclosure materials, these can rack up the costs and are definitely needed for the well being of your rabbit. Also some toys so your bunnies don’t become board and decide to chew on your shoes. Just keep in mind some of these things so you can make a well rounded decision

Conclusion

This has been the 5 most child-friendly rabbit breeds. Hopefully you can find inspiration and make a great decision for you and your loved ones, or perhaps as a great gift to someone you know. Either way adding any of these rabbits to your family will most certainly keep your house a hoppin.

If you would like to research more Pet Guide has a phenomenal resource and search function. Happy bunny hunting, well the nice way.

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