Mini Lion Lop

About  Rabbits - Breeds ~ Rabbit TypesFull Breeds List ~ Mini Lion Lop

To help understand the Miniature Lion Lop, the breed details are divided in to the following categories:

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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.

Breed Name
of Origin
Miniature Lion Lop

BRC Standard of Perfection

Type... 25 points 

Coat... 20 points

Mane... 20 points

Head Ears Crown... 20

Colour... 10 points

Condition... 5 points

Total Points....100

Full BRC Standard of Perfection

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History of the Mini Lion Lop

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.

Further Development
Lionheads have also been put to Dwarf Lops to create a Dwarf Lion Lop.

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Mini Lion Lop Varieties

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...

Dark Sable Mini Lion Lop
Broken Miniature Lion Lop

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Size, Weight, Shape & Ears

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. 

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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:

  • White (red- or blue-eyed)
  • Opal
  • Iron grey
  • Orange
  • Light Siamese sable
  • Medium Siamese sable
  • Dark Siamese sable
  • Siamese smoke
  • Steel
  • Beige
  • Chocolate
  • Seal-point
  • Blue-point
  • Butterfly pattern
  • Black - A deep solid black, carried well down hair shaft with blue/black undercolour. Eyes dark hazel or black.
  • Blue - Deep or medium slate blue carried well down hair shaft with slate blue undercolour. Eyes dark blue.
  • Agouti - Rich chestnut top colour with black ticking over an intermediate orange band with dark slate undercolour. Ears laced black. Eye circles, belly and undertail white with slate blue undercolour. Pale top colour a fault. Eyes deep hazel.
  • Sooty Fawn - Even shade of orange/fawn to carry well down hair shaft to a blueish white undercolour. Ears, belly, undertail to be blueish black (sooty), cheeks and flanks to be shaded/topped with sooty tips. Eyes hazel.
  • Fawn - Bright rich fawn free of black/blue guard hairs, shading to a white undercolour. Chest to match flanks. Eye circles, inside of ears, underside of jowl, belly and undertail to be white. Black/blue guard hairs to be considered a serious fault. Eyes hazel.
  • Black Fox - To be an even jet-black with undercolour as dark as possible extending to the skin. The chest, flanks and feet to be well and evenly ticked with silver-tipped guard hairs. Any extension of the ticking up the side and/or over the back to be considered a beauty and not a fault. The eye circles as neat as possible, a pea spot in front of the base of each ear. Inside of ears, line of jaw, underside of tail and belly all to be white, undercolour permissible. Triangle to be white but as small as possible. Eyes brown or grey.
  • Black Otter - Body colour to be lustrous black, uniform throughout, with slate blue undercolour to reach skin. The belly and underside of the chin and tail to be creamy white with blue or white undercolour, to be divided from the body colour by a distinct border of tan. Nostrils and nape of neck to be tan. Eye circles and inside ears to be fawn. Chest to be a mixture of black and tan, merging with the main body colour. The fore feet on the front shall be predominantly black, the tan border between belly and flanks shall be continued down to the hind feet. Faults - brown or rust tinge to the body colour. White or tan hairs other than in the patterned area. Grey belly surface. Eyes brown.

Note: The colour standard for the Otter is based on the Otter Rex, the remainder are all based on the Dwarf Lop standard.

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Fur Type / Coat

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'.

  • The mm would be a rabbit with no mane (so this would be a Mini Lop).
  • The Mm would be a rabbit with a single mane.
  • The MM would be a rabbit with a double mane.

So some possible outcomes may be:

  • mm × mm = 100% mm, so all Mini Lop offspring in the litter.
  • mm × Mm = 50% mm and 50% Mm, so half Mini Lop and half single-maned Mini Lion Lop offspring in the litter.
  • mm × MM = 100% Mm, so all single-maned Mini Lion Lop offspring in the litter.
  • Mm × Mm = 50% Mm, 25% mm, and 25% MM
  • Mm × MM = 50% Mm and 50% MM
  • MM × MM = 100% MM

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.

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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.

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The Mini Lion Lop was created as a domestic pet rabbit and a show breed.

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Breed Status

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.

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Rabbit Care & Handling

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.

Disease Vaccines
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…

  • 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

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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