Brief facts about the lion head rabbit :
- Size: Small / Mini
- Weight: 2.2 – 4 Pounds
- Average life: 7-10 years
- Body shape: Compact
- Suitable for: Singles, seniors, houses/apartments, families with children, domestic rabbits
- Temperament: friendly, affectionate, energetic
- Comparable breeds: Dutch dwarf rabbit, Swiss Fox
History of the breed and origins
The origins of the lion’s head rabbit go back to Belgium when breeders decided to mate a Swiss Fox with a Dutch dwarf rabbit; the result was a rabbit with a genetic mutation that caused a thicker coat to appear around the head and flanks thus becoming known as the “mane” gene.
The lion’s head rabbit’s mane is the result of a genetic mutation.
The lion-headed rabbit has a mane around its head just like the lion, hence its name. They have a prominent head, a compact body that should not exceed 4 pounds in weight, and ears between 1.9-2.5 inches in length.
The fur of the lion’s head is what makes them proud as well as the mirror of their state of health, to keep it soft and shiny it should be brushed at least once a week while during the moulting period it should be brushed daily.
There are two types of ” mane ” in the lion’s head rabbit breed: the single mane (tufts, thin around the head, ears, chin, and sometimes on the chest) or the double mane (like the single mane but much thicker and also present on the hips for this reason some call it “skirt”). The length of the mane around the head usually does not exceed 2 inches.
According to the ARBA (American Rabbit Breeders Association) standards, lion head rabbits can be: black, chocolate, blue, tortoiseshell, point blue, white with blue eyes, ruby eyes, agouti chestnut, seal, silver marten, smoke pearl, pointed white, sable point and siamese sable; they do not show particular signs according to ARBA standards.
As soon as it is at ease, this rabbit relaxes in its den by cleaning its fur with its paws.
To see their personalities blossom, lion head rabbits need a long time outside their enclosures to explore and form a lasting bond with their human families. We recommend keeping these bunnies in an indoor enclosure as outside they would be too exposed to the elements (rain or sun) and predators.
Their inner enclosure should be made of wire, be large enough for them to stretch out, and hold a toy or two on a plastic bottom. The bottom should be covered with good quality shavings (some prefer to use small amounts of horse bedding), cleaned daily where necessary and replaced completely weekly.
Their diet should be mainly hay-based (70%) and the rest based on pellets and fruit safe for rabbits, especially green leafy vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables can also be used as incentives or treats whenever the rabbit completes a task or obeys a command (such as sitting down, standing still, or using the litter box).
Adult rabbits can eat about 1/4 cup of high-fiber pellets every day for every 4 pounds of weight, take this into account when feeding as lion’s head rabbits are relatively small.
Like any rabbit breed, there are some health issues that should be monitored regularly in order to breed a happy and healthy rabbit. A rabbit’s teeth, for example, never stop growing and can only be kept at bay with a diet rich in the hay.
If the rabbit is not eating enough hay, its teeth may become too large and affect the face and jaws. To avoid this, make sure the rabbit’s diet contains 70% hay (like thyme) and periodically check the mouth to make sure that the teeth have not grown too much.
Also, pay attention to ear mites that can proliferate in the ears of your lion’s head, you will notice that the rabbit scratches one or both ears more than usual and may even lose hair in the surrounding area; if you suspect it has ear mites take it to the vet as soon as possible.
Most domestic rabbits fall victim to the E. cuniculi parasite, which is short for Encephalitozoon cuniculi. this parasite usually does not cause problems but if the rabbit is excessively stressed it could become harmful.
Symptoms include: tilted head, paralysis, excessive urination, and decreased vision; consult your vet to find out more about this parasite or if you suspect your rabbit is suffering from it.
Spayed female lion heads have a lower risk of developing uterine cancer so it is a good idea to spay them from four months on, while baby males can be neutered as early as three and a half months.
Temperament / Behavior
This breed is energetic, affectionate, and loves to play very much; these bunnies are wonderful pets perfect for families, they love to be picked up, held, and stroked as often as their humans want!
They enjoy wandering around their little room chasing their human friends for fun and love having lots of chewable toys and balls. Their small size makes them perfect family pets in apartments and homes as long as they have plenty of free time outside their enclosures so that they can play and connect with their human family.
As soon as it’s at ease, this rabbit relaxes in its den by cleaning its fur with its paws, it enjoys playing and wandering wherever you put it but it will also turn into a happy “little dog” when watching television after a hard time working day. Their sweet temperament makes them perfect pets for couples, singles, seniors, or retirees who want a pet.
Rabbits are a little more difficult to get used to the litter box than dogs and cats but you can do it, they tend to go to a particular corner of their enclosure so they will associate any material used in that corner with the ideal place for the needles; try to place more litter boxes in different corners of your home, taking care to reward the bunny every time he goes to the right place.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the Lion Head rabbit look like?
The Lion Head rabbit is a small rabbit that has a very compact and rounded body. Typically, these rabbits can have coats of many different colors and patterns. They differ from other rabbits thanks to their mane, which resembles that of a lion. That is why they are also called ” lion rabbits “.
How much does a Lion’s Head rabbit usually weigh?
Their weight is usually between 5 to 7 pounds. The equivalent of their cousin’s dwarfs rabbits.
Why do they have a mane?
The Lionhead rabbit possesses a mane gene, which makes their coat look similar to the mane of a lion.
How Long can lion head rabbits get?
The Lionhead rabbit can grow to about 7-9 inches and its ears are usually about 1.5 to 2.6 inches long. Their manes, on the other hand, grow up to about 2-3 inches.
Why do some rabbits have a double mane?
There are Lion Head rabbits that have a double mane due to their genetic makeup. The two mane genes allow it to have a coat that also covers the hips also known as a “skirt”.
Why do others have a single mane
Single-maned Lionhead rabbits have only one mane gene. Their manes may shrink with aging.
When can they be considered adults?
What about their fur, does it differ from that of other rabbits?
Do they suffer from loneliness?
Do children and Lionhead rabbits get along?
Could a Lion Head attack me?
This is very unlikely, but it could happen. When this happens, it is probably due to the rabbit feeling insecure. When they feel insecure, they may show signs of aggression towards their owners. Some possible explanations are:
- Lack of good care;
- The rabbit is in pain or maybe sick;
- The rabbit has never learned to socialize with people or other rabbits;
- Aggression could also be due to their personality.
How do I manage aggression?
How do I know when It’s aggressive?
How do I take care of my Lion Head rabbit?
Is it easy to care for a Lion’s Head rabbit?
Do their manes require care?
What diet should the Lionhead rabbit follow?
What shouldn’t they eat?
What should he eat?
What should a Lion Head bunny eat?
The Lion Head bunny should be fed with fresh hay and freeze-dried grass.