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Belgian Hare - Breed Profile:
Appearance and coat descriptionThe Belgian Hare rabbit is known for its resemblance to a hare. The body is long, fine, and muscular, with a distinctively arched back and well-rounded hind quarters. The front legs are thin, long, fine-boned, and perfectly straight. The tail is carried in line with the backbone. The eyes are hazel. The ears are long and open. The short dense coat is usually rich chestnut, with black hairs interspersed evenly and with a wavy appearance. Belgian Hares are also found in black and tan, solid black and red-eyed white, although these colours are not accepted by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). If kept clean, this breed requires little grooming other than an occasional rub over to remove dead hair. In shedding periods the coat benefits from a good combing every other day.
The weight averages 6 to 9 pounds.
TemperamentThe Belgian Hare is one of the most intelligent and energetic rabbits. They can be trained to learn their name and are more intelligent than many other small animals such as guinea pigs and hamsters. Belgian Hares can even be trained to go to the toilet in a specific area, which makes cleaning up after them much easier. This breed is generally friendly and good-natured, especially if given enough room and opportunity to exercise. Highly inquisitive, Belgian Hares enjoy toys and other activities to keep themselves busy. Most active in the morning and at night, they generally sleep during the day. This breed may not be very suitable for children because of its size and speed. It is rather a specialist breed, therefore may not become an ideal pet for everyone.
Health and hutchBelgian Hares have a very high metabolic rate, so they may require more food and more consistent feeding than other pet rabbits. Moreover, Belgian Hares have quite delicate stomachs, which may cause diarrhoea or other health problems. When you give them fresh fruits and vegetables, make sure they are added to the diet one vegetable (fruit) at a time. As this breed loves to run and jump, its hutch should be large enough to allow this. An ideal size is 6x2x2 ft. The extra length will always be appreciated by your rabbit, whereas the width is not so crucial. Nonetheless, the hutch width should not be less than 20 inches, no matter how long it is.
On average, the Belgian Hare's lifespan is 5 years and more.
Other interesting factsThe Belgian Hare was bred in Belgium in the 19th century and brought to England in 1874. Fourteen years later, the breed arrived in America, where it became immensely popular in the rabbit show world.
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