Mixed rabbit is actually classified as a breed

by Hannah

Bella's face

Bella's face

I got my bunny off craigslist for 25$. Her mom was a Mini Rex/Mix and her dad was a Rhinelander. For awhile I thought that she was a harlequin but I checked out your site and found to my surprise that she is a Golden English Spot. She is the sweetest bunny ever. If all English Spots are like her then I definitely recommend them.

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May 13, 2019
by: Anonymous

Can I show mixed rabbits at the fair?

***** Karen Sez *****
You can do showmanship with a mixed rabbit, but there is no way to enter a mixed rabbit into Breed competition. But, if the fair offers a "pet" competition just for fun, that might be an option for your bunny?!

Mar 14, 2018
My rabbit is Mixed
by: Grace Annya

My rabbit is a mixed breed as well that has almost identical markings to the rabbit shown above. My rabbit is awesome and has no health problems even though it is a "purebred" and doesn't fit the "Standard of Perfection" but she is perfect to me.

Aug 14, 2017
Not a breed at all
by: ARBA Member

A mixed breed rabbit is not a recognized breed. There are 48 breeds of domestic rabbits recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association and none of them are called "Mixed Breed." Randomly mixing two breeds to create a litter of mixed mutt rabbits that likely will have numerous health problems is irresponsible. There is a very specific process for admitting new breeds that is outlined on pages 19-23 of the 2016-2020 Standard of Perfection.

***** Karen Sez *****

Thanks for weighing in, ARBA Member. What I think the original poster was saying (which you are responding to) is that she found a purebred rabbit breed that looks exactly like her mixed breed rabbit, and she was excited enough about this to take the time to post on Raising-Rabbits.

This of course does not turn her mixed breed rabbit into a purebred rabbit by any means. It could be that the pet owner actually thought that because her pet kind of matched the brief description, size, and shape of an English Spot presented here, she may have actually believed this meant her pet could be a purebred. I hope she now stands corrected.

Rhinelanders do not English Spots make, of course. In this mixed rabbit, the mini rex genetics corrupted the Rhinelander genes to produce a rabbit of the size, color, and hint of English Spot pattern, resulting in the owner jumping to conclusions. No, it is not an English Spot. If you look closer, you’ll see that the body type is incorrect for English Spots, and the spotting is incorrect on several levels. Any rabbit judge would disqualify this rabbit were the owner to attempt to show it as an English Spot. But it DOES look kind of like an English Spot! It could be easy for the pet owner to make this erroneous assumption.

If one is interested, s/he can check the ARBA Standards of Perfection, though copyrights prohibit me from posting standards on the Raising-Rabbits website. You can, however, go to the ARBA website and obtain a copy for a reasonable price.

FYI: Randomly mixing two breeds to create a litter of mixed mutt rabbits is NOT likely to result in rabbits with numerous health problems. It IS likely to result in hybrid vigor, not a bad thing. If, on the other hand, all the breeding rabbits are highly inbred from siblings mating siblings or parents mating offspring for generations, for example, then yes, the likelihood of major health problems rises exponentially with each generation.

By the way: there is one very good reason why a reputable rabbit breeder might wish to mix rabbit breeds on purpose, and that would be due to a particular need or want for the qualities that the mixture will bring. An example is the Holland lop rabbit. People loved the look of the gigantic French Lop rabbit, but decided the size was too big. In 1949, a breeder in Holland began mixing French Lops and Netherland Dwarfs in a dedicated breeding program to create what is now the second most popular pet rabbit breed, the Holland Lop.

The genetics for every single broken (spotted) rabbit of every breed that offers a broken (spotted) variety, go back to the English Spot. Back in the day, English Spots were added to dozens of breeding programs for the sake of that single broken gene. The offspring were then bred back into the herd of purebred rabbits. Over time, this yielded spotted purebred rabbits with the size and body type of the breed in question, but with colored and white coats. Every once in a while, the remnants of the English Spot pattern show up, as in the mixed breed rabbit pictured above.

Of course, this is a far cry from throwing two different rabbits together just to see what they might produce. I am not an advocate of mixing rabbit breeds 99 times out of 100, although I admire those old-time breeders who did mix and (carefully!) match breeds and thereby contributed to our 49 different now-purebred rabbits. (And a hundred more breeds if you count the international ones.) But at this point, I’m not sure how many different ways the various breeds can be mixed to create something new. Today, it is best to find a breed you really like and then raise and enjoy purebred representatives of that breed. (You’ve got lots of breeds to choose from.)

Lastly, here are some excellent resources on the various rabbit breeds:

Domestic Rabbit Breeds: A Kaleidoscope of Variety

Rabbit Breeds: The Pocket Guide to 49 Essential Breeds

Oct 23, 2011
Still a Mutt
by: Anonymous

Not a breed, still a mix even if she looks like a particular breed.

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