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Sallander Rabbit

Nicole Cosgrove

June 30, 2021

In the wonderful world of rabbits, there’s a spunky little bunny who belongs to the Sallander family. If you haven’t heard of this breed, you aren’t alone. Indigenous to Holland and popular in the UK and Netherlands, US bunny fans are starting to get to know this breed.

If you are curious about the Sallander rabbit, this article will cure your inquisitiveness. We have answers to your questions about their care, health, diet, and husbandry. Plus, you’ll find all kinds of pictures to ooh and ahh over as you go.

Keep scrolling below to also find out this rabbit’s personality quirks, and whether or not this particular breed is right for you. Although they may be “squeeze the cheeks” cute, not every breed is right for everyone.

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Quick Facts about the Sallander Rabbit

Species Name:  Sallander
Family:  Rabbit
Care Level: High. Not recommended for novice owners or families with young children.
Temperament:  Skittish, lively, energetic, active
Color:  Various shades of gray
Lifespan: 7 to 9 years
Size:  Medium, 6 to 10 lbs
Diet:  Hay, pellets, veggies, water
Minimum Cage Size:  Four times the size of the rabbit
Cage Set-Up: Plenty of hay with a litter box. No direct sunlight, and protected from the elements. Secure, quiet, and safe location.
Compatibility: Can bond with other rabbits, but should be kept separate from other pets.

Sallander Overview

Sallander rabbits are frisky, full of spunk, and can be a handful at times for their owners. Although they are on the smaller side, they can be quite strong but not overly aggressive. That being said, they also do very well if they are brought up with a single owner. They can be very affectionate with you, plus they form tight ties with other bonded rabbits.

One of the most remarkable aspects of this breed is its coat. They are gray with light (almost white) gray on the upper portion of their body that hombre down into dark gray on their belly, flanks, and cheeks. This bunny also has unique patterns. The kit’s fur appears to be painted on.

When it comes to their caring, they are very similar to other rabbit breeds. They require a good size cage that is protected from the elements and predators. They can be kept indoors or outdoors, and rabbit-proofing is essential if you wish to let them roam about your house. Sallanders should also get regular check-ups, eat a healthy and varied diet, and have some mental stimulation to be happy and healthy.

Beyond their basic care, you have to be careful while holding this little guy. They are not a fan of being pet, and they are good at escaping your arms. This is one good reason why you should keep them separated from dogs and other pets they could get into a scuffle with.

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How Much Do Sallander’s Cost?

How much a Sallander will set you back doesn’t have a clear answer. As they are mostly found in the UK or the Netherlands; it can be expensive to have one in the United States. What’s more, they are also considered to have “rare fur” according to the British Rabbit Council which can increase their cost.

At the time of this post, Sallanders are not recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). That doesn’t mean you can’t find one stateside, however. That being said, the cost (regardless of where they come from), can be a couple hundred to a thousand.

When considering the cost, you also want to calculate things like cages, food, vet visits, and other rabbit necessities that you will need. This can often add up to a considerable amount; some of which will be an ongoing.

Typical Behavior & Temperament

Sallander rabbits can be affectionate and loving toward their owners if they are handled at a small age consistently. Still, though, they are not the biggest fan of being held or pet. While they are not the largest rabbit, they can be stronger than they look. Not to mention, they can exhibit aggression when they wish to get away.

Other than that, this little guy likes things calm. He is very happy to eat his hay and relax. They are typically feisty, alert, and a bit rambunctious. They can also be bold, spunky, and playful. They like to roam around the house. If kept outdoors, you want to let them explore their surroundings, as well, with a fenced-in area and constant supervision.

Appearance & Varieties

This breed is a small to medium size rabbit that will grow to be about six to ten pounds. They have a stocky, rounded body that is muscular and cobby. Their neck is barely visible below a robust head and broad muzzle. They also have wide, long ears that can be anywhere from four to five inches. Depending on the family, they can be either pricked or flopped.

You will also find Sallanders to have bright eyes that are bold and alert. They have a very muscular body and shorter yet strong legs. This is all accompanied by a small cotton-tail. Their nails are either a dark gray or horn color. Their eyes are also darker in tone. Overall, they have a compact, squat build.

Fur

The most unique and striking part of this rabbit is the fur. The average Sallander has fur that is short to medium and dense. It is also very soft. That is not what sets them apart, however. The coloring of this bunny is where they shine.

As kits, the swirling pattern of the fur gives them a “painted-on” look. As they grow into adulthood, they develop a hombre look, with the lightest fur on their back and top of their head. It darkens as it moves lower with the opaquest fur on their belly, legs, and cheeks. Their ears can also have the same pattern.

Sallanders are gray, but within the gray sphere, there is a lot of diversity. The gray can look almost white at times, dark to almost black, and warmer to the point it appears brown. The most dominant feature is the progression from light to dark, though. They can also show horn coloring.

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How to Take Care of Sallander

Taking care of a Sallander rabbit is similar to caring for any type of bunny, but there are still some differences. Below we have outlined their cage requirements, diet, health care, and more.

Habitat Conditions & Setup

A Sallander rabbit needs to be kept in some type of enclosure. You can use a cage, dog crate, or any structure you can build as long as it is secure.

Cage

The size of the enclosure should be four sizes bigger than your rabbit. At a minimum, you want to line it with hay so they can eat and snuggle in it when they feel cold. If you plan to keep your pet inside, an open concept crate is ideal to give them plenty of air. Outdoor cages benefit from both an indoor and outdoor area if you live in cold climates.

Whether indoors or out, you want to ensure the enclosure is in an out-of-the-way area that is protected from the elements, predators, and doesn’t get direct sunlight. The cage should be secure, so they can’t escape, as well. You also want to keep them away from dust and fumes.

Note: Rabbits that will be kept outdoors need to be introduced to the environment young. It is not advisable to put a primarily indoor bunny outside when they are not used to it.

Cage Accessories

Besides the hay, there are a few other necessities you want to include in your Sallander setup. First is a litter box. Most rabbits acclimate easily to using a litter box, though they may still go in their hay. You also need to provide them with plenty of clean water, and food dishes for their veggies and pellets.

A few other things you can add to their environment are toys, ramps, and burrows. Rabbits like mental stimulation and toys can keep their teeth healthy. Giving them ramps and other hidden spots allows them to explore. This doesn’t necessarily have to be in their cage, either.

Sallanders, like most rabbits, benefit from roaming around the house freely, but you need to rabbit-proof by removing wires, dust, and anything you don’t want chewed or anything that could hurt them. Many owners prefer to create a closed-in area for them to hop around and play.

Do Sallanders Get Along with Other Pets?

Sallanders typically don’t get along well with other animals, but that doesn’t mean it never happens. That being said, animals that are brought up as babies together can often have great luck. For example, kittens and kits can grow up together peacefully. Beyond that, you want to keep other pets secluded from your Sallander.

Other Bunnies

Bonding two rabbits is a great thing to do for your pet. In the wild, they live in colonies with other bunny-friends and family. That being said, adopting another Sallander doesn’t mean they are going to bond. You have to introduce them slowly, and it can take time for them to get accustomed to each other.

There is also the possibility that the two rabbits will never get along. If that ends up being the case, you will have to keep them housed separately, though they can be kept close. If you successfully bond two Sallanders, it can help them live longer; plus, they typically bond for life.

What to Feed Your Sallander

What you feed your Sallander is pretty standard for most rabbits. They require four basic dietary staples that you should have on hand at all times. Take a look below.

  • Water: Rabbits should have an unrestricted supply of fresh water at all times. Although you can provide them with a water dish, it’s likely to get knocked over and spilled. Instead, use a water bottle that attaches to their cage.
  • Hay: Hay is an important part of your pet’s diet. They not only sit in it, cuddle in it, and occasionally poo in it, they also eat it. In fact, many rabbits like nothing more than a lazy afternoon eating and pooping in their hay. That being said, you need to provide them a variety of high-quality hay. It should be changed often to keep it clean; plus, check for signs of mold.
  • Pellets: Pellets of good quality should also be provided. Your Sallander should only get a small amount; about ⅛ cup daily. Also, steer clear of pellets with a lot of nuts which are not the healthiest for your rabbit.
  • Vegetables: Your Sallander should also be fed a healthy salad daily. Concentrate on veggies such as bok choy, mustard greens, broccoli, and other dark green, leafy vegetables. Stay away from iceberg lettuce, stringy veggies like celery, and high fat and sugar items like carrots (though they can be given as a treat). If you want to be fancy, add pellets to the top of their salad like croutons.

Keeping Your Sallander Healthy

Although your rabbit’s diet is important, there are other things you need to consider to keep them healthy. Take a look at these care requirements below.

  • Stress-Free: A Sallander’s constitution is delicate. They need to have the most stress-free environment possible without a lot of noise and activity. Barking dogs, shrieking kids, and loud stereos give your pet anxiety affecting their health.
  • Dental Care: Overgrown teeth are another problem. Check them regularly for any issues. You can provide them with toys and hard vegetables to gnaw on, as well.
  • Vaccinations: This is another important health requirement. Besides flea, tick, and worm prevention, make sure they’re protected from Viral Hemorrhagic Disease (VHD) and myxomatosis.
  • Obesity: Weight gain is a problem with rabbits. It prevents them from cleaning themselves along with other ailments. When your Sallander is unable to keep tidy, they become susceptible to flystrike. If you notice they’re getting beefy, cut down on veggies/pellets that are high in sugar and fat. Also, let them romp around and play outside their cage.
  • Spay and Neuter: Unless you are planning to breed your rabbit, you should have them fixed. Doing so can extend their life, and it prevents illness that could affect them later in life.

Breeding

If you plan to breed your Sallander, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it is not recommended if you’re a novice rabbit owner. Beyond that, take a look at these considerations.

  • Breeding creates overpopulation
  • There is additional expense especially
  • You will need to find appropriate homes if you plan to adopt them out
  • Mixing bloodlines can cause health defects.

If you have the above covered, there are some basic breeding principles you should know. For example, crossing bloodlines can cause issues, though you can cross-breed and produce healthy kits. We suggest doing your research before mating.

Age

Rabbits are typically ready to procreate from a very young age, but it’s not always good for their well-being. Instead, wait until they have reached their full body size. For Sallanders (medium-sized), they should be at least six months old or 6 to 11 pounds.

Mating

When mating the two, you need to bring the doe to your buck’s cage. Doe’s that are sexually mature are very territorial. They can harm your buck if they find them unexpectedly in their environment.

Two signs that the mating has been successful are a lift of the doe’s tail followed by the buck falling on his side. Once the deed is done, return your doe to her enclosure.

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Are Sallanders Suitable for You?

If you are a knowledgeable bunny handler that has a quiet, secluded space for rabbit rent, this breed could be right for you. Keep in mind, while the care of this animal is very similar to other rabbits, they are not fond of cuddling, and holding them can be difficult. What’s more, you need to have a tranquil space for them to live.

We hope that this article has answered all of your Sallander rabbit questions, and it has helped you determine whether this breed is right for you.

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Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.