Rabbits already have a bit of cuteness, but when they’re small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, it only increases that level of charm. It’s hard to resist the big, wide eyes paired with their little round furry bodies.
We have listed the 10 smallest rabbit breeds in the world. They all weigh under 6 pounds. While these adorable little bundles look similar, they come in a variety of different colors, coat types, and temperaments. Most of the rabbits on our list make excellent and popular pets as show rabbits, recognized by the ARBA (American Rabbit Breeders Association).
10 Smallest Rabbit Races in the World:
1. Columbia Basin Pygmy
Weighing less than a pound in adulthood, the world’s smallest rabbit breed is the Columbia Basin Pygmy. Found only in a small area of Washington State, this rabbit is also one of the rarest rabbit breeds in the world. After being declared extinct in the wild in the 1990s, biologists managed to capture 16 of the last few dozen rabbits in existence. Today, the Columbia Basin Pygmy rabbit breed now numbers in the hundreds. While these rabbit breeds are not available as pets, they are kept in captivity at the Oregon Zoo, which was the first zoo to successfully breed Columbia Basin Pygmy rabbits.
2. English Angora
The English Angora rabbit breed weighs between 5 and 6 pounds and resembles a small round ball of fur. Their wool and silk coats, which cover every part of their compact body from their ears to their feet, come in a variety of different colors and are often sought after for spinning. One of the oldest domestic rabbit breeds, the English Angora hare hails from the territory of Turkey. With a lifespan of seven to 12 years and a docile and sociable temperament, the English Angora rabbit breed is great as a show rabbit or as a pet. It is one of the four Angora breeds recognized by ARBA.
3. Dutch Dwarf
One of the smallest rabbit breeds in the world, the Netherland Dwarf grows up to weigh between 1 pound and 2½ pounds. These compact little rabbits have short necks with heads as big as their bodies, large eyes, and small erect ears. They have thick, shiny, short coats that come in a variety of colors. The Netherland Dwarf has become one of the most popular rabbit breeds in the world and is recognized by the ARBA as a show rabbit. Despite their sweet nature, the Netherland Dwarf was not suitable for small children. They have a nervous temperament, are shy and tend to be persistent.
Despite its name, the Polish rabbit breed traces its origins to England and not Poland. This small breed of rabbit, weighing between 2.5-3.5 pounds, has a round body covered with short, soft fur, a flyback, large eyes, and small, erect ears. Popular as a show rabbit, the Polish rabbit breed is recognized by the ARBA in six color varieties. Polish rabbits make lovely pets who love to be picked up and remain affectionate throughout their five to six year olds. This calm and friendly rabbit breed can live longer, eight to 10 years, if they are spayed or neutered.
5. Hototo dwarf
The Dwarf Hotot rabbit breed is easily recognizable by its pure white fur, contrasting its black eye markings that resemble eyeliner. Weighing only 2.5-3.5 pounds, the Dwarf Hotots has short ears and a glossy, dense rollback coat. Dwarf Hotots were developed in Germany by combining the Blanc de Hotot with a dwarf breed. Popular as a show rabbit, this breed has been recognized by the ARBA since 1983. Dwarf Hotots are sweet, cheerful, and energetic. As pets, once they get used to being handled, they are affectionate and friendly.
6. lion head
Native to Belgium, the Lionhead rabbit breed gets their fitting name from the lion-like woolen fur that wraps around their high head and neck area. With short, furry ears and a compact, upright build, this little rabbit breed weighs under 4 pounds. Lionheads have thick fur that comes in a variety of colors. One of the most popular pet rabbit breeds, the Lionhead has a friendly personality, energetic disposition and friendly nature that is tolerant of children. As a show rabbit, in 2018, a Lionhead was awarded the Best in Show award at the ARBA Convention.
7. American Fuzzy Lop
Weighing 3-4 pounds, The American Fuzzy Lop is a small rabbit with a flat “bulldog” face and ears that curl to either side. They have a stocky body with a broad chest. Known as “The Head of Fancy,” the American Fuzzy Lop has a wool coat that comes in a variety of colors and can be collected and spun into yarn. These grumpy, playful and active rabbits make great pets if given the right care. Popular as a show rabbit, this breed is recognized as a breed by the ARBA.
8. Jersey Wooly
Ranging from 1 pound to over 3 pounds, the Jersey Wooly is one of the smallest rabbits in the world. This rabbit breed was developed by Bonnie Seeley, who performed crossbreeding to create a small rabbit with fluffy fur. The Jersey Wooly has a compact build, erect ears, and a square head that is often and affectionately described as the “Mug Head.” Their short hair comes in a variety of colors. Recognized by the ARBA, this rabbit breed is popular as a show rabbit or as a pet. Jersey Wooly rabbits are gentle because they don’t like kicking or biting their handlers.
9. Holland Lop
Developed in the Netherlands as the smallest of all lop-eared breeds, the Holland Lop weighs only 2 to 4 pounds. They have a stocky body shape, large head, and long truncated furry ears that flare at the bottom. Their furry rollback coats come in a variety of colors and are dense, medium length, and soft. One of their most unique characteristics is the “crown” of fur along the back of their head. Lively, curious and sweet, Holland Lop make excellent pets who love fun interactions. As show rabbits, they are one of the five most popular breeds in ARBA.
10. Britannia Petite
With a fully curved body, the Britannia Petite rabbit breed resembles a small rabbit, weighing just over 2 pounds. They have narrow heads with large eyes and pointed, erect ears. Their short, soft coats are available in a variety of colors. As a show rabbit, the Britannia Petite is one of the smallest rabbit breeds recognized by the ARBA. However, this rabbit breed is best suited in competitions involving jumping obstacles due to its active and energetic temperament. As pets, Britannia Petites tend to bite and can be very tense. Not for the inexperienced owner, these rabbits need plenty of time outdoors.
- You may also be interested in: How Long Do Dwarf Rabbits Live? (Average & Maximum Age)
Featured Image Credit: Esi Grünhagen, Pixabay