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Dutch Rabbit: Facts, Lifespan, Behavior & Care (With Pictures)

dutch rabbit beside a flower vase

The Dutch rabbit is one of the 10 most popular rabbits in the world. It has a unique color pattern that is easy to recognize and is available in several colors. Though its name suggests otherwise, England is where the Dutch rabbit originates. An older rabbit breed called the Petit Brabancon would often have the Dutch rabbit’s telltale markings, so breeders separated them and created the Dutch.

Join us while we take an in-depth look at this unique breed.


Quick Facts About Dutch Rabbit

Species Name: Oryctolagus cuniculus
Family: Lagomorpha
Care Level: Moderate
Temperature: 40–70 degrees Fahrenheit
Temperament: Calm, energetic, sociable
Color Form: Dutch pattern, several colors
Lifespan: 5–10 years
Size: 3.5–5.5 pounds
Diet: Grass, plant shoots, herbs
Minimum Tank Size: 2 x 2 x 2 feet
Tank Set-Up: Water bottle, feed bowl, bedding
Compatibility: Friendly

Dutch Rabbit Overview

The Dutch rabbit is one of the oldest domesticated rabbit breeds in the world. It’s been available since the 1850s when breeders created it out of the Petit Brabacnon bred. They were breeding this original breed as a food source when they noticed many of them had distinct Dutch markings. They began to breed rabbits with this color pattern separately and created the Dutch breed. It quickly grew in popularity as a pet, and breeders started exporting them around the world.

black white dutch rabbit
Image Credit: Xaya, Pixabay

How Much Do Dutch Rabbits Cost?

You can expect to pay between $30 and $90 for your Dutch rabbit depending on the color and your location. Show class rabbits will cost a little more than others, and if you order one from a breeder because you want a specific color, you will also need to pay a bit more. Since the Dutch breed is inexpensive, you can often find them in the pet store at a reduced cost.


Typical Behavior & Temperament

Dutch rabbits are friendly animals that enjoy people’s company and get along well with any children you have. It’s an active breed, so it will require several hours outside its cage each day to get the exercise it needs to stay healthy. It gets excited when it’s happy, and it’s not unusual to see them jumping and twirling once you let them out.

If you leave your rabbit too long in its cage, it can get bored and even get depressed.

Appearance & Varieties

The Dutch rabbit has a unique appearance with two colors. It will have one of several standard colors along with white. It has dark ears, and the color stretches down onto the face and covers both its eyes. A wedge of white is over the nose and arrives at a point at the top of the head. The back half of the body has color, and there is a clearly defined line that separates the color from the white fur at nearly the center of the body.


The colors you can find in a Dutch rabbit include black, blue tortoise, chocolate, steel, and brown grey. You can also find yellow, and harlequin colored rabbits, but you seldom see yellow in the United States, and the harlequin is not a standard color.

dutch rabbit on floor_
Image Credit: koonphoto, Shutterstock


How to Take Care of a Dutch Rabbit

Habitat, Tank Conditions & Set-up

The Dutch rabbit is usually only about four pounds, so it doesn’t need too big of an enclosure compared to some other breeds. We recommend a cage at least two feet wide by two feet long. It should also be about two feet high, so your rabbit will have enough room to move around. However, if you have the budget and space in your home, we recommend getting the largest cage you can. You will also need to provide your pet with several hours outside the cage each day to get the exercise they need.

Bedding or Wire Bottom

You can use any flooring that you want. The wire floor allows the waste coming from your rabbit to fall through to a catch tray below. This set-up is easy to clean because you can pull out the catch tray and wash it off. However, the wire floor is hard on your rabbit’s feet and can even cause injury, so a soft bedding material is what we recommend. Bedding will require much more work to clean because you will need to replace it continuously, but your rabbit will thank you.

Do Dutch Rabbits Get Along With Other Pets?

Dutch rabbits are extremely gentle and get along well with other pets. It often prefers to have a companion rabbit to share life with, and many experts believe they live longer. They usually prefer the company of other pets as well, but many dog species have instincts to hunt rabbits that could be hard to overcome even with early socialization. Cats are another pet that could attack and injure the rabbit, so it may be better to avoid these pets if you intend to keep a Dutch rabbit in your home.

dutch rabbit on the grass
Image Credit: A Britton, Shutterstock


What to Feed Your Dutch Rabbit

Clean, fresh hay and grasses like timothy hay will make up about 70% of your rabbit’s diet. Your rabbit will need the hay to keep its ever-growing front teeth are under control. The rest of its diet will consist of leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, and rabbit pellets.

Keeping Your Dutch Rabbit Healthy

Dutch rabbits are healthy animals with a long lifespan, and they are low maintenance.

GI Problems

The gastrointestinal system in your Dutch rabbit is sensitive, and it can go off track. The best way to keep your rabbit’s digestive system in check is only to provide them with recommended foods like timothy hay, grass, fruits, vegetables, and rabbit pellets.


Obesity is another problem that can affect your rabbit’s health. It’s easy for your rabbit to get overweight if it doesn’t get enough exercise. Make sure your pet receives a few hours outside the cage each day and limit the treats you give, especially if they are high in sugar like many fruits.

Respiratory Disease

Another problem common to the Dutch rabbit is respiratory disease. Many people call this disease snuffles, and it can cause your rabbit to have watery eyes, a runny nose, and frequent sneezing. Traveling, frequent temperature changes, stress, and exposure to infected animals are the main causes of respiratory disease.


You can breed a male and female rabbit easily because they are quite promiscuous. However, most experts recommend against it because you can quickly have more rabbits than you know people that want them. Since the Dutch rabbit is so popular, it’s easy to find them at the local pet store for a low cost, so there is little need to breed them. Not getting them fixed can also lead to health complications later in life, especially the females.


Are Dutch Rabbits Suitable for You?

Dutch rabbits are friendly and low maintenance. They are inexpensive, great for children, and have a long lifespan. They are also easy to find at the local pet store, so there is usually no need to contact breeders or find someone selling one. We recommend getting two, but not for breeding, for companionship to help them both live longer.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over this guide and found the information you need. If we have convinced you to give one of these rabbits a try, please share this guide to the Dutch rabbit on Facebook and Twitter.

submit a pet pk rabbit

Featured Image Credit by: ABeijeman, Pixabay

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