About Mini Plush Lops
" The Perfect Storybook Bunny"
The American Mini Plush is a unique, very rare specialty breed created by Devie D’Anniballe in the 1990’s in Ohio.
Today, only a handful of qualified breeders have direct descendants of the D’Anniballe herd. Because they are few in numbers and their popularity is growing, many people are trying to create their own version of the breed.
Unfortunately, these new versions are not of the same quality as Devie’s founding herd that took her over 12 years and a vigorous breeding program to create. Ellie’s Rabbitry is proud to have several undiluted pure lines from Devie’s original stock as well as some imported European Plush Lops from a show participating breeder named Christine Toyer, owner of Malvina Lake Rabbitry in Luxembourg. Europe has had their own version longer than
America has. Although they differ slightly, they both share the best traits – personality and fur quality.
The American Mini Plush Lops are on average a 3 to 4.5 pound ball of fur, not hair. Unlike a traditional rabbit’s hair coat, the Mini Plush Lop literally feels like silky velvet. Their coats are very short, dense and lustrous and feel similar to a plush blanket or pillow, hence the name! Mini Plush lops are docile, sweet, curious and social. When the time is taken to properly bond with a Mini Plush Lop, they truly enjoy your attention and affection. They are a great breed for families with children. Because my rabbits are raised around dogs and cats, they do very well being introduced to families with other pets.
Something exciting about a Mini Plush lop is their lack of excessive shedding like other rabbit breeds, making it an ideal house rabbit. Mini Plush Lops will molt twice a year, and shed very minimally if at all the rest of the time. 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 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 got its small size from D’Anniballe introducing some high-quality Netherland Dwarfs dozens of generations back when the breed was in its first stages of development. 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
Over twelve years of a selective and intensive 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 approximately 12 years, she finally had a bunny breakthrough and started producing what is now the real and true American Mini Plush Lop.
It all started in the early 90’s when 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 and create a rabbit that combined these traits, but it wasn’t easy. The Holland Lop was the desired size as well as the closest to the desired body type. The Mini Rex was added for fur type. Unfortunately, after two years of this breeding combination 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 stopped participating in the breeding 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 breeding.
After several years new things appeared within her herd. Eventually, Dillon was born and he was very close to what 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 Mini Plush Lop she had been envisioning. She affectionally called her creation “the perfect storybook bunny.” D’Anniballe created a simple, not very detailed 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 and a velvet coat similar to a Mini Rex. As of today, a more detailed Standard of perfection has been written by the handful of breeders with pure lines striving to further perfect preserve the breed.
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
Although the Mini Plush Lop has not been presented to the ARBA to be an accepted breed, it is still important to have a "Standard of Perfection" to reference to in creating consistent, quality offspring.
MINI PLUSH LOP
STANDARD OF PERFECTION
Mini Plush Lop Standard of Perfection
All Colors & Patterns Acceptable
To be entered and shown in two classifications of:
Broken Pattern & Solid Pattern, White Eared, and Vienna
Color & Markings…..…5
Total Points …………….100
CLASSES & WEIGHTS
Senior Bucks and Does–6 months of age & over, weight not over 4.5 pounds.
Junior Bucks and Does–Under 6 months of age. Minimum weight 3 pounds.
NOTE: No animal may be shown in a higher age classification than its true age.
NOTE: Mini Plush Lops can be posed naturally seated with front feet firmly planted or with forelegs pressed down flat with feet positioned directly in line with the eyes. When ideally posed and viewed from the front, the legs should be sturdy and straight with neither cobby short legs or tall thin fine boned legs. The chest should appear proud & prominent but not overly exaggerated or resemble a bulldog like stance. The Mini Plush Lops overall body type should exhibit balance, be round, short, sturdy and compact. A longer middle section is undesirable. The coat is short, dense, silky and the shaft is a bit longer than the Mini Rex, but does not lack in luster, softness and shine.
HEAD - Points 20: When viewed from the front, the head is to have moderate width, which begins at the base of the ears and carries down between the eyes with a shorter wedge shape and prominent full muzzle area giving the appearance of almost a pear-shaped face with the muzzle only being slightly wider than the forehead. When viewed from the side, the head is a shortened, flat wedge shape with defined forehead from the base of the ears, to a slight flattening between the eyes and the muzzle and then to continue rounding from the lower portion to the muzzle to the neck. The eye is to be bright, large, and almost exaggerated in size. The head is to be balanced & bold in appearance and set level to the shoulders. The size of the head is to be in proportion to the size of the body.
Faults: Severely Pinched muzzle; excessive width between the eyes; head too big or small to balance with the body. Long, face and lack of roundness in muzzle. Fault severely for long muzzles & head or apple shaped heads.
EARS - Points 8: The ears should lop vertically on both sides of the head from a strongly defined and properly positioned crown. The ears should hang closely beside the cheeks, with the openings turned towards the head. When viewed from the front, the tips of the ears should point slightly outwards at a slight angle. The ears should be thick, well furred, wide and rounded at the tips. The ears should hang just behind the eyes and extend no more than 2 inch below the jaw line. Ear width should balance with the size of the head and body with length being slightly longer.
Faults: Pointed tips, extra wide, thin or folded ear; poor ear carriage or placement; ear lengths that are shorter than the jaw line, or longer than 2" past the jaw line. Missing, torn, or notched ears. Having heavy control of ears and able to lift erect.
CROWN/FEET/ LEGS - Points 25: The crown should be a more subtle defined ridge consisting of both cartilage and prominent, dense fur which appears to sit equal to the top of the head. The crown should wrap from just behind the top of the eye, up over the top of the head, and down just behind the top of the other eye. Proper side to side width of the crown allows the ears to lop vertically. Proper front to back width of the crown positions the ear just behind the eye.
Faults- Extremely strongly & defined crown; narrow side to side or front to back crown width landing to helicopter ears; crown not positioned just behind the eye (slipped crown.)
Faults: Mismatched toenails on solid-colored rabbits. Fault severely for long legs, narrow legs, extra thick short & coby legs, bow legged, toes pointing outward or inward. missing toes or toenails
BODY - Points 25: The general aspect of the body is bean shaped, well balanced, and carried off the table with pronounced shoulders and round full loin. The shoulders and chest should be balanced and appear proud and not exaggerated. The width of the shoulders should be tapered slightly, in relation to the hindquarters. The hindquarters should be broad, deep, full, and well rounded. The animals is to be medium muscled, short-coupled and balanced in length, width, and depth. Dewlaps are permitted in does. Tail to be straight & full
Faults: Long, thin or cob style body; short or high shoulders; chopped, pinched, or undercut hindquarters, flatness over the hips. Boney or lack of fullness. Faults for severely short or wide body or missing tail.
FUR - Points 2: (Rollback) The fur is to be velvety soft, dense with rex type fur, but with a slightly longer shat than a rex. However, the slightly longer shaft does not lack the silky, soft, dense springy texture than that of a rex. A mini plush lop should have a shiny, lustrous coat. The fur is to be approximately 1/2 inch in length and have moderate bounce back when stroked from shoulders to over the loin.
Faults: Disheveled, dull fur. Showing texture and not exhibiting a smooth coat. Bristly tipped. Lacking in bounce back when stroked.
COLOR & MARKINGS - Points 5: All colors are recognized in the Mini Plush Lop Color Guide descriptions. The Solid pattern classification includes all recognized colors within the recognized groups. The Broken pattern classification includes all recognized colors within the recognized groups in combination with white. Also, acceptable modifiers are White Ear gene, Vienna, and harlequin.
Broken patterns: less than 20% color
Solid pattern animals–Faults are as specified under each color description.
Disqualifications from Competition–Broken pattern animals–The complete absence of nose markings, ruby colored eyes in BEW