American Rabbit

About  Rabbits - Breeds ~ Rabbit TypesFull Breeds List ~ American Rabbit

To help understand the American rabbit, the breed details are divided in to the following categories:

The American rabbits are not recognised by the British Rabbit Council (BRC) but the ARBA (American Rabbit Breeders Association) has a standard for the American Blue & White rabbits.

The American is also known as the American Standard Breed and the American Blue Standard was originally known as the German Blue Vienna.

The American's breed slogan is "Established as a Classic".

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Breed Name
of Origin
American Blue
United States
American White
United States

ARBA Schedule of Points

General type...55

  1. Body...40
  2. Head...5
  3. Ears...4
  4. Eyes...1
  5. Feet and Legs...5
  6. Tail...0




Total points...100

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History of the American Rabbit

The American was originally accepted into the ARBA as a 'Blue' rabbit, and historically has been characterized as having the deepest, darkest fur of all blue or grey rabbits.

The American (also known as the American Standard Breed) was originally introduced in 1917. The American Blue Standard (originally known as the German Blue Vienna, renamed after World War I) was developed in Pasadena California by Lewis H. Salisbury and recognised as a breed in March of 1918. It was the original specimen of the American Breed.

Its bloodlines are hazy as Mr. Salisbury did not publish the types of rabbits used to breed the American Blue. Various breeds of blue rabbits existed in America at the time, and because of the blue colour and mandolin shape of the body, it is guessed that its bloodlines come from one or more of the Blue Flemish Giant, Blue Vienna, Blue Beveren, and Blue Imperial.

The American White Standard, the second of the American Breed, was introduced in 1925 after breeding white “sport” offspring of the Blue variety with White Flemish Giants.

Neither the Blue nor the White variety of the American Standard seems to have been exported to Europe as other breeds have been. This is probably due to the fact that Europe already had many beautiful blue breeds of their own development.

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American Varieties

A 'Blue' & a White variety only.

The white variety, named the American White Rabbit was recognized in 1925. It was developed by selecting white sports rabbits, and adding in the red-eyed white (albino) Flemish giants in to the bloodline. Blue-eyed whites have appeared, but they are considered sports rabbits in the American breed and can not be exhibited at rabbit shows.

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Size, Weight, Shape & Ears

The American is classed as a large sized rabbit.

The Senior Bucks should weigh 9 to 11 pounds with an ideal weight of 10 pounds. Senior Does should weigh 10 to 12 pounds with an ideal weight of 11 pounds. Intermediate Bucks should not be over 10 pounds, and Intermediate Does should not be over 11 pounds. Junior Buck and Does should not be over 9 pounds.

Note - if you are showing a Junior Buck or Doe, they should not weigh under 4 ½ pounds.

The breed standard for the American calls for a mandolin or semi-arch shape and a long loin. When shown, this shape calls for a slightly different posing posture than for commercial form rabbits, in order to best display the length of body and modified point of highest arch over the hips.

The head is to be well shaped and rather narrow with the ears, proportionate in length, tapering to a point.

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The colour at its best is "uniform rich, dark slate-blue, free from white hairs, sandy or rust colour".

A white variety named the American White was recognized in 1925. It was developed by selecting white sports (mutants), and adding in white red-eyed white (albino) Flemish giants in the bloodline. It is an albino variety of rabbit (otherwise known as red-eyed white) - while blue-eyed whites have appeared, they are considered sports in the American breed and can not be shown.

The Blue Pearl (formerly called Frosties) are a genetic colour fault found in some bloodlines of Americans. It is believed to be caused by chinchilla colour gene and non-extension colour genes. Blue Pearl are removed from the breeding program. But they are very beautiful.

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Fur Type / Coat

Normal / Flyback / Short

should be free from moult and good deep colour, free from any stray coloured hairs, with dense, soft, fine , silky texture. (Flesh firm and solid).

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The American, both the Blue & White varieties are noted for their lovely docile temperaments and very good mothering abilities.

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Originally intended as a meat and fur rabbit, a good American is large and hard to ignore on the show table.

Not just a historical curiosity, with some breeding care, the American can be a large and hardy animal, with large litters and fast weight gain potential.

The reason it has survived for almost 100 years is because of the
potential that was developed by Lewis H. Salisbury. The potential is in there, waiting to be tapped by the breeder of the beautiful American.

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Breed Status

Rare Breed Status

The Imperial Blue is classified as an extinct breed, and the Vienna Blue can no longer be found in America. The American Standard Breed is slowly becoming extinct and gradually being replaced in popularity by the New Zealand and Californian breeds.

In 2005, when rabbits breeds were added to the American Livestock Breed Conservancy, Conservancy Priority List, Americans were listed among the rarest 'Critical' category. The White variety was especially in danger of being dropped from the ARBA's active role in 2004, due to lack of representation at the annual ARBA convention.

Since then, the American has undergone a resurgence in population, and in 2012 ALBC shifted the American Rabbit from 'Critical' to the less-endangered 'Threatened' category. Among the significant events leading to the revival of the breed was the dedicated effort of breeders to ship breeding stock across the United States and the discovery of a line of White American Rabbits among a Hutterite farming community in Alberta, Canada.

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American Rabbit Care & Handling

Here is a list of resources to help you care for your rabbits…

  • The Ultimate New Rabbit Checklist - The best place to start if you are thinking about raising any breed of rabbit.
  • How to Raise Rabbits – information and resources on the subject of raising pet rabbits.
  • Breeding Rabbits – more about how to successfully breed rabbits for fun, showing, or profit.
  • Rabbit Supplies – find rabbit supplies and equipment at astounding value.
  • Rabbit Health – up to date information & resources for ensuring your rabbit is in the best health.
  • Rabbits Diet - Extensive info about hay, water, safe foods, treats, weight management & FAQs on diet.

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Breeders, Clubs & Organizations

Breeders of the American Rabbit National Specialty Club - Formed in 2009, Breeders of the American Rabbit N.S.C., holds the charter from the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) as the national speciality club charged with preserving and promoting the American breed.

American Livestock Breeds Conservancy - founded in 1977 the ALBC works to conserve rare breeds and genetic diversity in livestock.

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