Velveteen Lop Breed History/Origin
The Velveteen Lop is a newer rabbit breed that was actually named after the famous rabbit in The Velveteen Rabbit, a children’s story by Margery Williams. According to the Velveteen Lop Rabbit Club of America, Virginia Menden started to develop this unique breed in 1990. Her goal was to mix a mandolin body type with Mini Rex fur. She also wanted the breed to showcase lop ears and weigh around 4.5 pounds, so she bred the Mini Rex with the English Lop. Other breeders followed in Virginia’s footsteps, but the breed is not yet recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA).
One of the standout features of the Velveteen Lop is the ears.
The Velveteen Lop features a mandolin shape, and the top line of the body should also have a definite arch that begins around the back of the rabbit’s shoulders and reaches the highest point over the hips before sweeping in a rounded and full shape to the base of the animal’s tail. When you look at this breed from above, you should also note that its sides will taper a bit from the shoulders to the hindquarters. The shoulders, midsection, and hindquarters should be well-developed, and the chest should be rounded and full. Also, dewlaps are allowed.
The head should be wedge shaped. The cheeks can be anywhere from wide to moderately full, and the muzzle could be tapering to wide. The skull is medium in length and there is a curvature when you view the head from the profile. The neck should be short as well.
One of the standout features of the Velveteen Lop is the ears. These should be carried low on the rabbit’s head, and there should not be a noticeable crown. They should also hang close and loose, and the ear opening should face the front rather than be turned towards the rabbit’s head. Ear length should be at least 15” from one tip to the other. The width should be about a quarter of the length, and the overall length should be in balance with the rest of the body. Also, the ears are pliable, smooth, and soft, and the tips should be rounded and wide.
Finally, the legs should be short to medium in terms of length, and they should also be parallel and straight with the rest of the body. They should also be medium boned, and the toenails could be dark or light.
The fur of a Velveteen Lop should be upright, short, straight, and dense. The ideal length is 5/8”, and the fur should be the same texture and length all over the body. The rabbit’s guard hairs should not protrude noticeably, and they should be evenly distributed and plentiful. The fur should also appear lustrous and plush, and it should be springy and smooth to the touch.
When it comes to grooming, the goal would be to keep the fur clean, and you can achieve that by brushing your rabbit at least once every day. This will serve to remove dirt and loose fur. Because the ears are long, it is also important to keep them clean.
The colors of the Velveteen Lop’s fur and eyes should conform to any one of the Lop Color Guide descriptions. You should notice a nose marking, solid colored ears, and a dark circle that surrounds each eye. The color line begins behind the rabbit’s head, specifically on the shoulders, and it should sweep to the lower hips. The legs and feet should be white, though there are exceptions when it comes to elbow spots.
This breed is not yet recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA).
Your Velveteen Lop should receive a diet that consists of 5% treats, 5% pellets, 10% vegetables, and 80% hay. Always provide fresh, clean water.
In addition to a large cage, you should give your pet the opportunity to exercise and roam freely, particularly in areas where he can access some fresh air and sunshine.
If you are planning on keeping your Velveteen Lop outside, only do so when the weather is warm, and be sure to bring your pet inside for the majority of the time. If your pet’s ears get wet when the weather is cold, they can become frostbitten, and these animals can be susceptible to extreme temperatures too.
To protect your pet from outdoor dangers, you can use exercise pens, lawn enclosures, and extension hutches to create a safe space.
Velveteen Lops could be susceptible to viral infections and colds. You should avoid exposing your pet to drafts or sudden changes in temperatures. You should also check for signs of conjunctivitis, ear mites, and intestinal problems like bloat, coccidiosis, and hairball obstructions. Keep in mind, too, that any type of stress can lower your pet’s ability to resist sickness.
Velveteen Lops can be playful, but they are also docile and calm.
This rabbit breed is known for being affectionate and having a mild temperament. Velveteen Lops enjoy receiving plenty of attention, so interacting with your pet is important. These rabbits are also social, and they are typically easy to handle. They can be playful, but they are also docile and calm.
Photo credit: FrozenTime/Bigstock; Chelsea188/Flickr; Amy Youngs/Flickr