To help understand this lovely Lop, the breed details are divided in to the following categories:
This lovely breed is recognised by the BRC (British Rabbit Council), but not the ARBA, (American Rabbit Breeders Association).
It is also known as the 'Mini Lop' in the US.
(Not to be confused with the 'Miniature Lop' in the UK.)
Head & Crown....20
Colour or Pattern...10
Created in Germany, working to a specific breeding plan, the developers wanted to create a medium sized lop. Medium in comparison to the popular French Lop weighing in excess of 10lb and the Holland Lop (to become known in Britain as the Dwarf Lop) weighing at between 4 & 5 1/2 lb.
So they started to breed French Lops and Netherland Dwarves together. In order to increase vitality, other breeds were introduced at a later stage that gave the German Lop its distinctive long 'Roman' nose.
An international show in Saarbrucken, West Germany, in 1960 saw the German Lop on the show bench for the first time and it was officially recognised in 1970, standardised and given the name Deutsche Klein Widder. It was imported into Holland in 1972, standardised in the Netherlands in 1976 and Switzerland in 1984.
In the 80's, Evelyne Van Vliet bred German Lops in Holland and along with the late Dave Cannon, she arranged for the initial stock to be imported into Britain. Stock arrived in Great Britain on the 23rd April 1987, and came out of quarantine on the 23rd October. The initial stock was agouti’s, and were immediately adopted as an unstandardised variety by the Rare Varieties Rabbit Club, and the classes were staged at their stock shows. Evelyne and David started to show and other fanciers, namely Malcolm and his late wife Diane Powell, Christine and Bill Brake (Driftwood Stud), Janet Bee, Clarice Pell and Annette Pollock (Clarinette Lops) and Sheila Burrows (Sentinael Stud), were soon attracted to the Germans. Blacks, Steels and Butterflies were imported between 1987 and 1990, followed by whites in 1993. Sooty Fawn and Chinchilla have been imported more recently.
The breed was recognised in Britain in 1990 and the German Lop Club was formed. Popularity has increased to the point now where they are the third most popular lop (behind the Miniature and the Dwarf Lop) to be exhibited at the Bradford Excel Championship Show and are consistent winners at Open Shows throughout the country.
Solid pattern and Broken pattern
There are some colours that are not currently recognised at the moment including harlequin, otter, silver marten, blue seal, broken pointed white, chocolate or blue point.
This Lop is classed as a large sized rabbit. (Ring size L)
One of the larger of the lop breeds, the German weighs in at between 6lbs 8oz (2.95Kg) and 8lbs 8oz (3.86Kg).
Very cobby, massive and muscular. The neck should not be visible. Ideally it should be equally as broad in the shoulder as the hindquarters. From a short nape the line of the back should rise in a slight curve to a well-muscled rump which should be short and well rounded. The front legs are short, straight and thick. The hind legs should lie parallel to the rump and not jutting out when resting. A dewlap in does is permissible.
The ears should be broad, thick and of good substance, they rise from a strong ridge called the crown on top of the head, carried closely to the cheeks, with the openings turned inwards. The ears should hang down straight just behind the eyes without either being carried forwards or backwards. Ear length, measured across the skull minimum 27.96cm - maximum 35.5cm. (11- 14in maximum).
All recognised colours are accepted as well as the butterfly pattern. The recognised colour groups are:
The fur is of normal length, very dense with strong guard hairs.
On average German Lops live for up to 12 years. It's not unusual to have teenage Lops, especially when kept as indoor pets.
As with all rabbits, they have individual personalities and it's difficult to generalize when talking about 'personality'. However, the majority of German Lops are known for having being a quiet rabbit and is a little aggressive in comparison to other rabbits. But having said that you may find one that goes against this and could be completely the opposite!
The German Lop can be very lively at times and other times very still and calm.
The females make very good mothers and can be bred from seven to eight months onwards. The number of babies in litters range from four to eight. Females are more productive in comparison to other lop breeds producing more kits in each litter and falling pregnant more often too.
Kits reach their minimum adult weight easily within sixteen weeks. After sixteen weeks they are satisfied with a small yoghurt carton of rabbit mixture, good hay, and water. Obviously greens and roots can be supplied at the same time.
German lops were created as a show rabbit, they are good for showing successfully for a few years. They were also bred to meet the demand of lops being a popular domestic pet.
If the current trend continues there can be little doubt that this
powerhouse of a lop will attract even more followers. Although
they have not spread widely across the globe it would
appear that their future is certainly safe in Britain. Their popularity is increasing year on year. You would probably find a dedicated breeder not too far from you!
Like the French Lop, German Lops have a very ample undercoat with a dense coat that is slightly longer than the coat of the other lops. With their dense, slightly longer than normal coat, there can be problems at moult time. Because of their dense, longish coats, they are better housed outside, even if it is only during the moult season, to aid the rapid clearing of the coat.
Because of their pleasant nature they can very easily be overfed, which means they may have difficulty grooming and cleaning
themselves and are therefore more susceptible to fly strike.
Overweight does are much less likely to carry live babies and are generally more likely to fall prey to all manner of diseases. It must therefore be a priority of German Lop breeders to keep their lops lean and fit and not fall for their wonderful disposition and overfeed them.
Whilst there are a few coloured exhibits with dark feet i.e. the blacks, blues and sooty fawns the majority of the popular colours of German Lops being exhibited have white or light feet. This means that the German Lop exhibitor must perfect the art of keeping their show lops clean so that they can be presented to the judge in immaculate condition.
There are numerous ways of cleaning white or light coloured feet, and every exhibitor has their own secret method. Of course the easiest way is to prevent them getting dirty in the first place. This can be easier said than done, but the novice exhibitor must adapt their maintenance regime to achieve this standard of cleanliness in their exhibition stock.
Because it is mostly only bucks that are shown as adults (bucks are generally cleaner than does), with a little ingenuity and some extra work the show buck can be kept clean. Show bucks should be kept on wood shavings to prevent them getting sore hocks, therefore it is imperative that a regular supply of ‘white’ shavings that do not contain colouring or dye is provided.
If the hutch is thoroughly cleaned out on a regular basis, say once a week, then all that is required to prevent those white feet getting stained is to add a thin layer of fresh shavings each day and to remove the toilet corner every two or three days.
As they are such good breeders and raise large healthy litters, anyone breeding them should make sure that they have a suitable outlet for their surplus stock.
Here is a list of resources to help you care for your rabbits…
German Lop Rabbit Breeders – locate German Lop breeders using the online rabbit breeders directory, search or submit your own rabbitry.
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