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Rhinelander Rabbit: Facts, Lifespan, Traits & Care (With Pictures)

rabbit eating_ Beachbird, Shutterstock

The Rhinelander rabbit hails from Germany, where they were developed in the early 1900s by a man named Josef Heintz. These rabbits made their way to the United States in the 1920s, where they have been popular household pets ever since. They are recognized by the American Rabbit Breeder’s Association.

These soft, lovable rabbits are outgoing, curious, and interactive with their human and animal family members. They are generally easy to care for and groom, making them an excellent pet choice for children and adults alike. Are you considering adopting a Rhinelander rabbit of your own? Keep reading to learn all there is to know about caring for this breed.


Quick Facts About Rhinelander Rabbits

Species Name: Oryctolagus cuniculus
Family: Leporids
Care Level: Moderate
Temperature: 65 to 85 degrees
Temperament: Curious, interactive, patient, loving
Color Form: White with butterfly markings
Lifespan: 5-8 years
Size: 6-10 pounds
Diet: Hay, pellets, fruits, vegetables
Minimum Tank Size: 6 feet by 3 feet
Tank Set-Up: Cage, bedding, food and water bowls, toys
Compatibility: High

Rhinelander Rabbit Overview

Rhinelander rabbits are active and outgoing, so they need plenty of room to hop around and play during the day. They can live alone or with other rabbits; either way, they will thrive if they get daily attention from the humans they are living with. This medium-sized breed has long, upright ears that make them look alert.

These rabbits are talkative and will squeal in excitement when someone shows up to visit them. They are also known for purring, similar to a cat when they are feeling content. Their arched body keeps their bellies off the ground whenever they sit down.

These are hardy rabbits that do not succumb to illness or disease easily. They have to chew to keep their teeth from growing too long, and they have been known to chew on furniture and other household belongings when left to move about the house unsupervised.


How Much Do Rhinelander Rabbits Cost?

The average Rhinelander rabbit sells for between $40 and $60, but pricing could be a little lower or higher depending on the breeder’s location and the pedigree of the rabbit in question. The cost of an initial vet visit and vaccinations should also be factored into the overall cost of a Rhinelander rabbit.

Typical Behavior & Temperament

The Rhinelander rabbit is curious, active, and outgoing. They enjoy spending time with other rabbits and human companions, and they love to play with interactive toys and balls. Although they are so active, these rabbits have a mild and loving disposition, making it easy for people to interact with them.

They enjoy the great outdoors, so rabbits that live indoors should have opportunities to freely explore the yard under supervision. Rhinelander rabbits can be litter trained like cats, but the training process typically takes several days, if not weeks, to complete. Patience is key here!

Appearance & Varieties

These rabbits have white bodies with what is referred to as butterfly markings on the body, ears, and head. The markings are usually black and orange or black and bluish grey. They have dense, thick fur that is soft to the touch. Rhinelander rabbits have arched backs and elongated ears that stand erected over the head. Their limbs are long and lean and their eyes are wide and alert.


How to Take Care of a Rhinelander Rabbit

Caring for a Rhinelander rabbit entails making sure that they have a safe habitat to live in, feeding them healthy food daily, giving them plenty of opportunities to exercise, and taking them to the vet for regular checkups throughout the year. Here are a few specifics.

Habitat, Cage Conditions & Setup

Rhinelander rabbits need an enclosed habitat to live in for their safety. They should have an enclosed living space of at least 2 by 4 feet in size. Additionally, they should have access to an attached run that is at least 2 by 6 feet in size. Therefore, their total enclosed habitat should be at least 4 by 10 feet.


Your rabbit’s living space should be covered with bedding made of shredded newspaper, wood shavings, or commercially produced materials, such as reclaimed paper fiber. The bedding helps control odors and keep the space clean and dry as time goes on. Bedding should be changed at least once a week. There is no need to maintain bedding in their exercise area.


Rabbits are most active at dawn and dusk. They do come out to play during the day, but they spend most of their time resting. They typically sleep through the night. Therefore, a nightlight may need to be left on in the room where your rabbit’s habitat is set up during the early morning and evening hours. Otherwise, they need no special lighting accommodations.


What to Feed Your Rhinelander Rabbit

Approximately 70% of this rabbit’s diet should be made up of hay and/or commercial pellets of grass and alfalfa. Their diet should be rounded out with a variety of daily vegetable offerings that include carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, and leafy greens. Fruits such as berries, bananas, and melon pieces can be offered as snacks occasionally.

Keeping Your Rhinelander Rabbit Healthy

These rabbits are generally healthy and are not predisposed to any serious health problems. However, they do need vaccinations and regular veterinarian visits to ensure good health as they age. Making sure that they get the right food every day and spending quality bonding time with them is also important for good health.

Do Rhinelander Rabbits Get Along With Other Pets?

Rhinelander rabbits do enjoy the company of other rabbits, and they can learn to get along with animals like cats and dogs if they can start socializing with them from a young age. Other small animals, like hamsters and guinea pigs, are typically tolerated too.


Are Rhinelander Rabbits Suitable for You?

If you are looking for a loveable, outgoing pet to spend time with that is also generally easy to take care of, a Rhinelander rabbit may be the right option for your household. They are affordable to buy, commercial food is readily available for them, and when it comes to grooming, they require no more than an occasional brushing. However, they do enjoy and expect a great deal of attention every day, and they can be a little stubborn when it comes time to train them. Overall, these are beautiful pet rabbits that deserve consideration by any family looking to add an animal to their household dynamic. Do you plan to buy a Rhinelander rabbit as a pet? Why or why not?

Featured Image Credit: Beachbird, Shutterstock

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