To help understand the Miniature Lion Lop, the breed details are divided in to the following categories:
The Mini Lion is recognised by the BRC (British Rabbit Council) but is not included as a breed by the ARBA (American Rabbit Breeders Association).
It is also known as the Miniature Lion Lop and is a miniature version of the Lionhead rabbit.
Miniature Lion Lop
Type... 25 points
Coat... 20 points
Mane... 20 points
Head Ears Crown... 20
Colour... 10 points
Condition... 5 points
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The mini lion lop is a very new breed, developed in the UK in early 2000 by breeder, Jane Bramley.
The Mini Lion Lop shares many of the same features as the Mini Lop apart from the very distinctive 'lion' type mane. It is also has much more fur on the chest.
The Mini Lion Lop was created with a Lionhead rabbit, Mini Lops and Lionhead/Mini Lop hybrids.
The Lionhead itself was developed in Europe following a genetic mutation giving the rabbit a longer-haired breed with a striking mane and bib. As the gene that gives the animal its distinctive Lionhead characteristics is dominant, breeding a pure-bred Lionhead with another rabbit will produce an animal with a mane and a bib. This was the first major gene mutation in rabbits since the Satin gene in 1932.
Thanks to Jane's dedication and hard work the mini lion lop was accepted by the British Rabbit Council in 2006.
Lionheads have also been put to Dwarf Lops to create a Dwarf Lion Lop.
Originally, the Miniature Lion Lops were only available in a few select colours, though the standard has since been expanded to accept several other varieties.
At this time, the recognised colours of the Mini Lion Lops include agouti, black, blue, fawn, sooty fawn, black fox, black otter, orange, white (blue-eyed or ruby-eyed), Siamese sable (light, dark and medium), opal, Siamese smoke, steel, beige and butterfly (what would be known as a "broken" in the United States).
For more on colours - see below...
The Mini Lion Lop is a dwarf breed - Ring size K
Adult Weight: Ideal 3.4 lbs, 1.5 kgs.
Maximum 3.8 lbs, 1.60 kgs.
The overall shape should be bold thickset and firm. The body should be short, broad and well muscled with little visible neck.
The well muscled rump is short and well rounded. The chest is broad and deep with curved sides where it meets the shoulders which are broad and strong.
The front legs are short and
straight. The hind legs are short, strong, powerful and carried parallel
to the body. The tail is straight and well furred. A small dewlap is
permissible in adult does but not desirable.
As the head is important to the shape of the ears I shall describe it here too.
The head is bold, broad and well developed. The profile of the head is strongly curved with a good width between the eyes, full cheeks and a broad muzzle. The eyes are bold, bright and large.
The basal ridge of the ears should appear prominent across the top of the skull to form the crown.
Ears should be broad, thick, well furred and rounded at the ends. They should be carried close to the cheeks giving a horseshoe like outline when viewed from the front.
The inside of the ears should not be visible from any angle when carried correctly.
Mini Lion Lop fanciers are still currently working on getting all the colours standardised, because the Breeds Standards Committee have not allowed all colours that are accepted by other lop breeds, to be accepted within the Mini Lion Lops.
Fanciers are having to present to the Breeds Standards Committee, colours that are already shown in other lop breeds, to get them standardised within the breed. Three generations (with a minimum of two specimens in each generation) of show-quality Mini Lion Lops are required in the colour the breeder(s) wish to be accepted.
Colours currently accepted are:
Note: The colour standard for the Otter is based on the Otter Rex, the remainder are all based on the Dwarf Lop standard.
The coat should be dense and of good length, roll back with an abundance of guard hairs.
Legs and pads to be well furred. A small amount of extended fur around flanks is permissible on under five months exhibits.
The mane should be between 2-3 inches in length to form a full circle around the head, extending to a 'V' at the back of the neck falling into a fringe between the ears.
The mane gene is dominant, therefore, both parents do not need a mane to pass it on to offspring; however, one parent must have a mane. It cannot be "carried" by Mini Lops. There are two genes involved – 'M' and 'm'.
So some possible outcomes may be:
Double-maned Mini Lion Lop kits are easily recognisable. They are often informally referred to as "gremlins", because of their appearance. Compared to a single maned kit, there is a large difference. "Gremlins" tend to have a V shape on the back, where the fur starts to grow.
Miniature Lion Lops in general live a lot longer than some of the other larger breeds. It's not uncommon for a mini lion lop to live in to their teenage years if their diet and environment is of the best standard.
Indoor lion lops have been known to live until they are 17 years old!
However, this breed has a very delicate heart and can suffer with early heart attacks and strokes, despite an excellent diet.
Mini Lion Lops are mostly even tempered and friendly rabbits. They can be very lively too and are very active, thriving on playing, attention and company.
They must have plenty of opportunity to explore outdoors with toys too, such as cardboard tubes, boxes and even noisy cat toys. Like most rabbits, Mini Lions are much happier with another rabbit friend to play, groom and be friends with.
Note: The breed is still under development and their temperaments can vary depending on the lines and the breeds used to develop them.
The Mini Lion Lop was created as a domestic pet rabbit and a show breed.
Mini Lion Lops are fast becoming very popular, especially in the UK. There are quite a few UK breeders now, however they are still under development so make sure you check the breeding history of your mini lion lop before you buy from a breeder.
Like all rabbits, the Mini Lion Lop can develop dental problems, but this breed is actually prone to dental disease. Their teeth should be checked regularly for signs of overgrowth and their diet should include fibrous vegetables that will help keep their teeth down. Enamel spurs and overgrown molars can prevent them from eating properly and can cause abscess injuries in the mouth so it’s vital that the teeth are kept in good order.
Avoid overfeeding. An overweight bunny can find it difficult to groom themselves and if fur is allowed to become soiled with urine or faeces it can attract flies. These flies lay eggs in the fur and the maggots can burrow into the rabbit’s flesh, causing painful open wounds that will require veterinary attention.
All rabbits should be vaccinated against Viral Haemorrhagic Disease and Myxomatosis and should be treated regularly for fleas, ticks and worms. It’s also worth considering spaying any non-breeding females in order to prevent uterine cancer, which is common in all female rabbits.
If your rabbit is going to live outdoors their house must be large enough for them to hop at least 3 decent sized hops (surprisingly this can be up to 6 foot for this breed) and be tall enough for them to stand upright on their hind legs. It should be completely weather and waterproof and positioned out of direct sun and wind. The hutch should have shavings and straw on the floor and should also provide a covered area where the rabbit can nest. The hutch must be cleaned out completely once a week and droppings must be taken out every day. A hutch or house should not be the ONLY area where they live.
Regardless of whether your Lop is going to live indoors or outside, They should have access to a LARGE exercise area when they are at their most active - early morning and late evening. A very large run or secure area of garden will allow them the opportunity to stretch their legs and indulge in their love of exploration.
If they are to live inside they can be easily taught how to use a litter tray. They must be provided with an area where they can retire to, hide away and relax completely. A dog crate or indoor cage is ideal but if they are given free run of the house (like cats and dogs are afforded the luxury of, so why not rabbits?) then they will usually find their favourite place, usually under a bed or behind a sofa etc. Just make sure all wires, cables and anything precious are out of the way and off the floor. Be aware that the rabbit could be near your feet, as they love being close to you, and take care not to step on them when you are moving around.
This should include good quality hay, rabbit pellets and lots of fibrous green leaves and vegetables like kale, cabbage, carrot tops and dandelions with constant access to fresh, clean drinking water.
It’s also worth making sure you know how to pick up and hold your rabbit correctly. Rabbits can struggle and panic if they’re held incorrectly. They’re stronger than they look and can injure their backs if they fall incorrectly or can give you a nasty scratch in their efforts to escape.
Here is a list of resources to help you care for your rabbits…
Mini Lion Lop Rabbit Breeders – locate Mini Lion Lop breeders using the online rabbit breeders directory, search or submit your own rabbitry.
LLUK - UK National Lion Lop club, devoted to the furthering of the breed, founded and chaired by Jane Bramley, the fancier who first pioneered the breed.
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