Photo by Nature'sAura
Lionhead - Breed Profile:
Origin: Possibly Belgium
Appearance and coat descriptionThe Lionhead is an extra small rabbit with a mane as the breed's most distinctive feature. Depending on the set of genes a Lionhead gets, it can have a double mane (2 mane genes), a single mane (1 mane gene), or no mane (0 mane genes). In single-maned rabbits, long hair forms a full circle around the bunny's head, ears, chin and, sometimes, its chest. Double-maned Lionheads have a regular mane of wool around the entire head. Some of them have "transitional wool" around the hindquarters, tail and their hips, which is sometimes referred to as a "skirt". The latter is considered undesirable for show purposes, but not on the tail. Lionheads with no mane can still make wonderful pets but they are not used for breeding. The allowed coat patterns and colours are solid, shaded, agouti, red, tan, broken, harlequin, pointed white, and steel.
The hair texture in Lionheads is soft, silky, and a bit wavy. Guard hair is present but it should never give the coat a coarse feeling. The Lionhead rabbit requires more frequent brushing than a regular shorthair bunny of such a small size.
The body is stocky, compact, and short. The head is bold, with good width between the eyes. The neck is scarcely visible. The upright ears are set on the top of the head, with a strong ear base and good substance. The tips are short and well-rounded. The ear length should not exceed 3,5 inches.
The rabbit's weight is usually 2,5 to 3,5 pounds.
TemperamentTheir temperaments can vary from rabbit to rabbit, but generally Lionheads are known to be rather calm, docile and friendly. They can make great loving pets. However, they do tend to act conceitedly at times. Therefore, this breed is not recommended for first time rabbit owners but rather for more experienced ones. Remember that any rabbit's personality is 95% breeder and handler, and 5% genes, which means that if the animal is handled correctly from the very beginning, it will become a lovely, amiable pet.
Lionheads are easy to breed and are good mothers able to foster kits from other litters and even from other breeds.
Health and hutchEpilepsy is a common health concern in the English Lionhead bloodlines. Additionally, these rabbits can suffer from the same health problems as other breeds: overgrown teeth, flystrike, mites, lice, fleas, diarrhoea and infections. The minimum size for a hutch is 4 inches (120cm). In addition, a larger area is needed for exercise. It is important that your rabbit has the room to stretch in any way it wants. A rabbit hutch that's too small can affect your rabbit's health - causing spine problems, muscle wastage and obesity.
The average lifespan is 7 to 9 years.
Other interesting factsThe Lionhead is a relatively new breed of rabbits originated possibly in Belgium by crossing the Swiss Fox with a Belgian Dwarf, and later crossing with a wool type breed. An alternative belief is that the Lionhead originated in Europe as a mutation of the Dwarf Angora Rabbit. The Lionhead rabbit was imported into the USA in the late 1990s. As this breed is very new, it is never possible to tell what your rabbit will look like till it grows up. More pictures of this breed can be found here: 15 Adorable Lionhead Rabbits
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