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Home > Rabbits > Sallander Rabbit: Care Guide, Varieties, Lifespan & More (with Pictures)

Sallander Rabbit: Care Guide, Varieties, Lifespan & More (with Pictures)

Sallander Rabbit in White background

The rabbit world is vast—you’ve got your popular, common family companion bunnies, like Lionheads and Mini Lops, and you’ve got lesser-known breeds like the Sallander.

This gorgeous yet mysterious rabbit hails from the Netherlands, where the breed was created in 1975 by crossing Chinchilla rabbits with the Thuringer rabbit, a German breed. Read on to get to know the rare Sallander rabbit better and what it’s like to care for one.

Breed Overview




3.5–4 kg


7–10 years

Similar Breeds:

Thuringer, Chinchilla

Suitable for:

Gentle and patient rabbit owners, confident handlers


Good-natured, lively, may be skittish, especially when young

The Sallander has a medium-sized, stocky body with a dense and silky pearl-colored coat. The coat contains black-brown guard hairs, which adds a light charcoal shade, particularly around the face, ears, sides, belly, chest, and legs. The hindquarters and shoulders are well-rounded and sturdy, and the body feels firm rather than light and fragile, as is the case with some rabbit breeds.

Sallander Rabbit Breed Characteristics



How Much Do These Rabbits Cost?

The Sallander is a rare breed that was introduced to the UK in 1994. The UK aside, it’s very difficult to find Sallanders outside of the Netherlands, so how much they currently cost is a bit of a mystery. However, we came across a previous ad listing in the UK for Sallander kits (babies) that have since been rehomed, and they were being sold for £50, which is about $60.

That said, the listing was expired, and the price could be much more depending on the breeder. Your best chance of finding more information about where to get a Sallander is likely by checking out social media groups that specialize in rare rabbit varieties, like the Rare Varieties Rabbit Club, or a rabbit forum where you can get advice from other rabbit owners. You could also try looking for rabbits to adopt.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Sallander Rabbit

Sallander rabbits are known for being a mix of energetic, lively, and good-natured with a hint of skittishness, though this is pretty common among rabbits as they’re quite nervous animals by nature—a trait that stems from the fact that they’re prey animals. Like other breeds of rabbits, Sallanders need to be properly socialized to increase their confidence and get them comfortable with handling.

Do These Rabbits Make Good Pets?👪

With a gentle, patient, and confident handler committed to socializing them, Sallander rabbits can be loving and playful family companions. One thing to be aware of, however, is that rabbits have fragile backs, which means they shouldn’t be picked up by small children—only adults or older children who know how to handle them properly and support their weight.

Sallanders must always be handled and picked up confidently and carefully to prevent them from jumping out of your hands and hurting themselves.

Sallander Rabiit Blue Background
Image By: Sallander Rabbit, Photos by Lisa Selvaggio. Copyright © 2023 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.

Does This Rabbit Get Along with Other Pets?

Rabbits are social animals and do best in pairs or groups with other rabbits to help ward off loneliness and boredom. A lot depends on the rabbit’s personality in this regard; while some will happily live in a group of three or four rabbits, others prefer just being in a pair.

As for whether a Sallander will get along with other animals in your home like cats and dogs depends on how well-mannered they are. Some rabbits get along fine with non-aggressive cats and dogs, but more rambunctious or dominant cats and dogs might not be such a good match.

Divider-rabbit2Things to Know When Owning a Sallander Rabbit

Food & Diet Requirements🥕

A rabbit’s diet is largely made up of hay, which they should always have access to. Quality hay helps keep a rabbit’s digestive system working as it should and wears down their teeth, and they should be given at least a bundle of hay matching their body size to eat on a daily basis.

In addition, your Sallander’s diet can be supplemented with small portions of leafy greens, like bok choy, baby greens, broccoli, and rabbit pellets (pellets should only make up 10% of the overall diet). Fresh water should be available at all times.

Habitat & Hutch Requirements🏠

Your Sallander rabbit’s hutch should be approximately four times bigger than they are at a minimum—emphasis on “at a minimum”. You can certainly go for a hutch larger than this if possible. If you have two rabbits, you’ll need to get a hutch twice as big as a single-rabbit hutch.

The hutch should be roomy enough for your rabbit to move around comfortably, lie down, and stand up inside. Rabbit hutch essentials are food and water bowls, a litter box, a hiding box, and enough space for a daily bundle of hay. It should also be well-ventilated and in an area not too cold, drafty, or hot.

The hutch should never be kept in direct sunlight. If your rabbit’s hutch is outdoors, make sure the rabbit is comfortable and is kept safe from extreme temperatures and potential predators.

Sallander Rabbit in Cage
Image Credit: Sallander Rabbit, Photos by Lisa Selvaggio. Copyright © 2023 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.

Exercise & Sleeping Needs🐇

In addition to a hutch, you’ll want to prepare an exercise pen or area for your Sallander to hop around freely inside. Rabbits need to be able to roam freely in a secure area for a minimum of four hours on a daily basis, but it’s even better if unlimited access is possible.

That way, your rabbit can come out and explore whenever they feel the need to stretch their legs. Kit the exercise enclosure out with toys and hiding spots to keep them entertained.

As for sleeping arrangements, rabbits are crepuscular, which means their highest activity levels are at dusk and dawn, so your Sallander will likely sleep for several hours during the day.

Training 🥎

It’s always a great idea to litter-train rabbits, as the consequence of not doing so is that you may end up with little poop pellets and pee spots here, there, and everywhere. You can train your rabbit to use a litter tray by making it easily accessible and placing it in an area they frequently like to do their “business”.

Pop a hay rack by the litter tray so your rabbit can munch at the same time—they actually like to do this—and encourage further use of the box by offering little treats every time your rabbit uses it. The most important thing is to be patient. Your rabbit will have accidents while they’re learning to use the box, and this is normal.

With patience, consistency, and lots of encouragement, they should soon start to get the gist. If you don’t have any luck, try putting the box in a different area or switching to a box that’s easier for the rabbit to access.


The Sallander rabbit has a short, smooth, and silky coat that should only need to be brushed twice weekly, but you can do it more if your rabbit enjoys it. Ask your breeder or adoption organization what they would recommend in terms of frequency.

It’s also important to clip their nails to prevent them from getting long, curled over, and potentially uncomfortable for your rabbit. Check the nails every week to see if it’s time for a trim.

Lifespan and Health Conditions🏥

With proper care, domestic rabbits can live for up to around 12 years. To increase the chances of a long and happy life for your rabbit, it’s crucial to keep them in a comfortable, stress-free, enriching, and clean environment and provide them with a quality diet.

It’s not known which health conditions are linked to Sallander rabbits specifically, but here are some common rabbit health conditions to watch out for:

Minor Conditions
  • Mildly irritated and/or dry skin (this is uncomfortable, but can typically be easily treated by a vet if you seek help before it gets worse)
Serious Conditions
  • Dental disease
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Head tilt caused by ear and brain infections
  • Gastrointestinal stasis (impaction in the stomach)
  • Uterine tumors (unspayed female rabbits)


Male vs Female

There aren’t really any distinguishing physical features to tell does (females) and bucks (males) apart, except, of course, the genitalia. Personality is also dependent on the individual rabbit, though there are certain unsavory behaviors that unspayed or unneutered rabbits may display.

Unneutered males may display behaviors like urine spraying, tail flagging, and nuzzling when they’re trying to gain a female’s attention. They may also be more territorial and aggressive than usual.

As for unspayed females, they may also display unusually aggressive behavior like growling, scratching, or biting. This can be directed at other rabbits or even humans. For these reasons, it’s worth considering getting your male rabbit neutered and your female rabbit spayed.

Neutered males and spayed females can live together harmoniously and tend to bond more easily than rabbits of the same gender living together, though many same-sex rabbit pairs get along perfectly well, too.

The 3 Little-Known Facts About Sallander Rabbits

1. Their Name Comes from a Dutch Region

The breed was named after the Salland region, a Dutch region in which the Sallander rabbit was first bred and developed in 1975.

2. Sallander Rabbits Are Recognized by the Rare Varieties Rabbit Club

Though not recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association, one club—the Rare Varieties Rabbit Club based in Leeds, UK—does recognize the Sallander.

3. Sallander Rabbits Often Appear in Rare Varieties Rabbit Club Shows

The Rare Varieties Rabbit Club often shares photos of Sallanders taking part in its shows on its Facebook group and even taking home rosettes on occasion.


Final Thoughts

The sweet-natured Sallander rabbit is a real head-turner, but getting your hands on one can be very tricky due to this breed’s rarity, especially outside the Netherlands and the UK. If you’re thinking of bringing a rabbit home, you might want to consider checking out rabbits currently up for adoption. You’re sure to be spoiled for choice by rabbits in all shapes, sizes, and colors looking for a loving home.


Featured Image Credit: Sallander Rabbit, Photos by Lisa Selvaggio. Copyright © 2023 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.

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