The Lionhead rabbit breed is one of the newest breeds accepted by the ARBA. Belgian breeder Ronny de Clerq began breeding Lionheads in the 1970’s from a genetic mutation that causes the growth of a long “mane” around the head and sometimes around the legs and rump of the rabbit. Through a selective breeding program the mutation was developed and perfected until the Lionhead rabbit was created. This unique breed was imported to the United States in 2000. A year later, in 2001, the North American Lionhead Rabbit Club was organized, and thus, the Lionhead began taking America by storm. Over 200 rabbits competed at the club’s very first show, held in 2003.
The Lionhead is a small breed of rabbit, weighing 3-3/4 pounds. A compact, medium build with a short, broad and well-rounded body is desired. Upright ears and soft, medium length body hair and a soft mane of wool (2-3 inches long) is what makes the Lionhead truly unique and adorable!
Lionhead’s require more grooming than a typical rabbit. Regular brushing is necessary to prevent their mane from matting. A comb like the one pictures is a great tool to help
you keep your lionhead sleek and mat free! Sometimes lionheads manes get so long it covers their eyes. I personally will snip the bunnies bangs just so they can see. Remember, you are not supposed to give bunnies baths, but sometimes when your hair is as long as a lionheads, they need a little cleaning! In the event that your bunny gets dirty, it is best to spot treat the area with a damp towel.
All of Ellie’s Rabbity Lionheads come with birth certificates or full pedigrees upon request. All lionheads come from prominent breeding lines including lines from the world famous Aspen Leaf Rabbitry which regularly produces Champion Lionheads on the rabbit show circuit. Any Kits sold from Ellie’s Rabbitry would be great 4-H show prospects. Occasionally I produce potential ARBA show prospects as well. Keep in mind, not all colors are accepted by the ARBA and considered showable. Some of my favorite varieties and colors I produce like harlequins and Vienna marked bunnies are not showable.
Lionheads are a hardy breed and can be kept outdoors or indoors. If you choose to have an outdoor lionhead, remember to monitor your bunny closely in the summer heat. All that fluffy mane wool can get hot in July!
Meet Some of our Lionheads
Patsy - Sable Point Doe
Lulu - Vienna Black Tort Doe
Opie - BEW Sire
Wynona - Blue Tort Doe
George Jones - Black Vienna Buck