Mini Plush Lops are a 2-4 pound ball of fur, not hair. Unlike a traditional rabbit’s hair coat, the Mini Plush Lop literally feels like silky velvet similar to a Mini Rex rabbit. Unlike the Mini Rex rabbit, the Mini Plush Lop is smaller and has floppy lopped ears just like a Holland Lop. Something exciting about a Mini Plush lop is its lack of excessive shedding like most rabbit breeds, making it an ideal house rabbit. Mini Plush Lops will molt twice a year, but after the molt is over, no excessive shedding! They also don’t produce dander like a dog, making them a much better choice for those who may be allergic to other animals.
Mini Plush lops are very docile and sweet. They are happy to sit in your lap and watch TV with you or curiously hop around your house. Mini Plush Lops love to play! You can give them small kitten balls or even an empty toilet paper roll to toss around. They also do well in an outdoor hutch with proper outdoor care if you’re not interested in having an indoor rabbit. But, they always do best indoors. The Mini Plush Lop is an excellent children’s pet because they are small and gentle especially if you spend time with them every day. Because of their small size they are inexpensive to feed. Like all rabbits they rarely make any noise unless they are hurt or feel in danger.
Mini Plush Lops are not simply a cross between a Mini Rex and Holland Lop like many believe, a true Mini Plush Lop has a total of 4 combined breeds including one of the smallest rabbit breeds the Netherland dwarf. The Mini Plush lop gets its small size from introducing some high quality Netherland Dwarfs dozens of generations back when the breed was in its first stages of evolving. Carefully planned percentages of three other breeds were selectively bred over a 12 year period of time from only the highest quality stock of each breed to inherit their small size, plush velvet coat, floppy ears and laid back and friendly personality.
Mini Plush Lop Breeding Program
Devie D’Anniballe from Ohio was the creator of the Mini Plush lop. She had a vision of the perfect rabbit and with her knowledge, disciplined selective breeding program and span of over 12 years, she finally had a bunny breakthrough and started producing what is now the real and true Mini Plush Lop.
It all started in 1995 when Mrs. D’Anniballe and a few other breeders shared the same vision. All loved the personality and lopped ears of the Holland Lop and the soft coat of the Mini Rex. They decided to start a breeding program to try to create a rabbit that combined these traits, but it wasn’t easy. The Holland Lop was the desired size as well as the desired body type. The Mini Rex was added for massiveness and fur type. Unfortunately after two years of this breeding combination Mrs. D’Anniballe and the other breeders still weren’t producing what they desired. The rabbits ears would not drop, making them look too much like a Mini Rex and their bone structure became too fine. Mrs. D’Anniballe’s co-breeders decided it couldn’t be done and quit the program, that’s when Devie D’Anniballe went solo and took matters into her own hands.
She added 3 pound Mini Rex’s with excellent coats to a Mini Lop. This gave the desired body type and caused the ears to fall, but the rabbits were too big. Only the doe’s that were created from this breeding were kept for future breeding. Mrs. D’Anniballe already had Holland/Mini Rex crosses she was partially satisfied with so she used those bucks to breed with her Mini Lop cross Doe’s to bring down the overall size. Only the doe’s from that combination were kept. At some point Netherland Dwarfs were added to the mix to bring the size down even more. All of the rabbits were bred only one time. If the doe’s had litters and raised them, two does were chosen out of those litters and the rest were culled from the herd. Only one or two bucks were chosen to be breeding bucks out of several litters and the rest were culled.
Eventually her barn was sectioned off, one section for brood doe’s to have litters and another section for the resulting doe’s from those litters. Once they produced two doe’s they were culled from the herd. Another section was specifically for bucks that were kept for observation and breeding. After several years new things appeared within her herd. Eventually Dillon was born and he was very close to what Mrs. D’Anniballe had been striving to produce. She discovered that if Dillon was bred to a Holland Lop and then the doe’s were bred back to Dillon, it created the perfect Mini Plush Lop.
Mrs. D’Anniballe created the standard for the Mini Plush Lop, it includes: 4 pounds or less with small compact bodies, wide faces with short muzzles, long heavy lopped ears like a Mini Lop and a velvet coat similar to a Mini Rex.
Devie D’Anniballe passed away in 2010. The Mini Plush Lop is mentioned in Mrs. D’Anniballe’s obituary here: Devie L. D’Anniballe Obituary
Below are photos of the 4 rabbit breeds combined to create the Mini Plush Lop: Different percentages of each breed were carefully selected and bred over a 12 year span. Only the finest of each breed were chosen to participate in the breeding program and only the best qualities of each breed shine through in a True Mini Plush Lop. If a rabbit is not a direct decedent of the D’Anniballe herd, it is not a true Mini Plush Lop.
Netherland Dwarf Holland Lop Mini Rex
The Netherland Dwarf was used for size, the Mini Rex was used for fur type, the Holland Lop was used for body type and temperament and the Mini Lop was used to help drop the ears or widen the “crown.”
Because of the four breeds used to produce the Mini Plush lop, the possibilities in colors and varieties are endless!
An example of endless possibilities includes one of my breeding doe’s named Pearl, she is a beautiful smoke pearl who happens to have the astrex gene, making her fur appear crimped or wavy. This is a very desirable and unique trait making Pearl extra special!
You can find a photo of Pearl under the “Photos” tab.
Why aren’t rabbits more popular pets? Let me tell you why they should be!
Cats, dogs and goldfish have always been considered Americas “Most popular pets,” but sometimes I have to wonder, why? Dogs are very smart and love human affection but there are so many people that say “My son wants a dog but I don’t want to have to deal with barking and walking around the yard picking up after it.” These are both valid points, perhaps implying that a dog might be too much maintenance for some.
Cats are beautiful and very popular pets. They are independent, especially if outdoors. But they shed so much in the house and they often times are so independent that they don’t even crave attention, making them more of just another mouth to feed rather than a companion.
Fish are lovely for those of us who only want to deal with them every other week or so when the bowl starts turning green. They are super easy to feed and cheap! BUT, you can’t pet them, hold them, or teach them tricks. So really, what good is a fish?
Fortunately I have discovered the perfect pet, the one that doesn’t bark and you don’t have to go on a scavenger hunt to find its poop, sheds less than cats, likes human affection, cheaper than dirt to feed (almost,) you can teach them things like a dog, and you can pet and cuddle them and they love it! It’s a RABBIT! But not just any rabbit. Most rabbits shed…a lot. But, the Mini Plush Lop has fur, not hair! Making them shed much less and they don’t produce dander like a dog does. Sounds pretty good right??
Not only can you pet your Mini Plush Lop without feeling like you have double stick tape on your hand that you rubbed all over your shedding cat, they also hardly make a sound!!! This is a huge deal, not only to me but anyone that lives in an apartment, has grumpy neighbors or just likes peace and quiet. Fish make more noise than a rabbit because we have all heard how annoying those water filters are!
I hate so say this America, but Europe has the pet thing all figured out. Did you know for the last 60 years rabbits have been in the top three most popular pets in the UK? In 2010 there were over 1 million bunny pets and their numbers are steadily increasing.
Mini Plush Lop Conveniences and Pros
A 50 pound bag of rabbit feed can be bought for less than $20 at a local feed store. When your Mini Plush Lop only weighs 2 pounds, a 50 ib. pound bag a looooong way!
You don’t have to buy flea and tick medicine like you do a cat or dog, you don’t have to take Mini Plush Lops for walks and you don’t have to take them to the groomer. Mini Plush lops will nap in your lap just like a cat or dog and along with other bunny breeds, you can even teach them to do agility courses! Now you’re impressed. But there’s more!
Think of the softest dog you have ever pet. What if I told you a Mini Plush lop is way softer? I don’t know of any dog that has a coat of velvet like a Mini Plush lop! Now imagine sitting on your couch watching your favorite television program and eating a bowl of popcorn with a little round warm ball of velvet sitting in your lap relaxing with you. It’s not begging you for popcorn, it’s not licking your face and it doesn’t have bad breath. It’s not even digging its claws into your leg like a cat! By now I hope your also wondering why Mini Plush Lops aren’t a more popular pet!
Did you know?
Many people simply associate rabbits with rodents assuming they aren’t intelligent and just sit in a cage all day and do nothing. Most don’t think they live very long and most also think they are strictly outdoor pets. This all couldn’t be farther from the truth!
Mini Plush Lops and their other rabbit relatives are far more
intelligent than people give them credit for. Mini Plush Lops and other rabbits can be trained to use a litter box so they can live in your house with you! There is even such a thing as rabbit agility. You can teach a RABBIT to do agility jumps! If you practice you can even teach your Mini Plush Lop to walk or hop on a leash. Rodent is simply referring to a mammal that has constantly growing incisor teeth, it has nothing to do with intelligence or longevity. A Mini Plush Lop can live almost as long as a dog! An indoor well taken care of spayed or neutered Mini Plush Lop on a good diet has the potential to live up to 12 years!
Did you know rabbits do much better in pairs? Just like humans, everyone prefers a buddy. They make great companions that will play and enjoy each others company. A pair of spayed or neutered rabbits will perform “allgrooming” which is when the two will simultaneously lick, and groom each other, just like cats, dogs and primates.
Just like dogs wag their tail, Mini Plush Lops and other rabbits also have their own happy language. A happy or excited Mini Plush Lop “binky’s.” This entails running, jumping in the air, twisting their body while in flight and simply being a joyful rabbit! Many have never heard of such a behavior in rabbits which is totally understandable. When you’re stuck in a cage all day, you don’t have a lot to be excited about. This behavior is mostly seen in inside rabbits that have space to roam and interact with their humans. It is also commonly seen in baby or young rabbits when playing with each other.
Although Mini Plush Lops don’t make hardly any noise, they still communicate…a lot! To warn other rabbits or if they feel in danger they will thump their feet. If they want to show affection they will make a very quiet hardly noticeable low humming noise. To show being content or relaxed they will groom themselves or lay down on their sides to nap.
As you can see Mini Plush Lops and rabbits in general are probably a lot more interesting than you may have thought and certainly much better pets than you probably assumed. So next time your son or daughter wants a dog or cat, recommend a rabbit instead! Or, if you’re itching for something cute and sweet but don’t want to fork out a lot of money to maintain a dog or want something that doesn’t shed as much as a cat or want something way more exciting than a fish, consider a Mini Plush Lop. You won’t be disappointed!
Breeder of True Mini Plush Lops, Lionheads & English Angora’s