Breeds FAQ

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Main article: Breeds

What is the difference between a rollback and flyback coat?

When you rub a rabbit the wrong way, the fur of a flyback coat should "fly" immediately back in place. On the other hand, the fur of a rollback coat usually stands up more and should "roll" more slowly back in place. The rollback coats have a denser and thicker undercoat while a flyback coat lies closer to the body and has more thicker guardhairs.[1] Rollback fur is longer than flyback fur.[2]

What are the differences between a Polish and Netherland Dwarf rabbit?

The Netherland Dwarf is a breed that is descended from the Polish rabbit. The Netherland Dwarf is a true dwarf with a single dwarf gene while the Polish does not carry any dwarf genes.

While the two breeds are often confused, there are a couple of distinctive differences between the two breeds.[3]

  • The Polish can be up to 3.5 lbs for show, while the Netherland Dwarf can only be up to 2.5 lbs. However, either breed can weigh from 1.5 - 4.5 lbs.
  • The Polish have a flyback coat while the Netherland Dwarf has a rollback coat.
  • The Polish is built like most compact breeds with the shoulders narrower than the hips. The head should not sit high on the shoulders. The Netherland Dwarf is built to be the same width at the shoulders and hips and are shown sitting upright with the head held high.
  • The ears of a well-bred Polish should touch from base to tip. The Netherland Dwarf has erect ears, but they do not have to touch from base to tip.
  • The head of a Polish should be wide between the eyes and taper to a slightly narrower muzzle while still be short and have round cheeks. The face of a Netherland Dwarf is round and flattened.[4]

Why does my purebred Holland Lop have long fur?

Some purebred Holland Lops may have long woolly fur more like an American Fuzzy Lop, technically a different breed. This is because Holland Lops can carry the l locus wool/Angora gene. A Holland lop with two recessive wool genes (ll) is a fuzzy Holland. Fuzzy Hollands tend to have longer wispier fur than American Fuzzy Lops.[5]

A fuzzy Holland. source

Why does my purebred Rhinelander rabbit have harlequin-colored fur? =

The color of a purebred Rhinelander rabbit is a broken tricolor, genotype (aa B_ C_ __ ejej Enen). A harlequin coat color is genotype ejej with no broken gene (enen). As a result, if a Rhinelander rabbit fails to inherit a broken gene from its parents, it will have a harlequin coat instead.[6] These rabbits are called Rhinelander sports.

A Rhinelander sport rabbit with a harlequin coat. source

Why does my purebred Hotot rabbit look like a Dutch or broken colored rabbit?

The Hotot markings are made from a combination of the Dutch (Dudu) and English Spotting (EnEn) genes. These mismarked rabbits can still produce properly marked kits. The full genotype of a show Hotot rabbit is aa B_ C_ D_ E_ EnEn Dudu.[7]

Further reading


  1., Roll-back or Fly-back?
  2. Mosaic's Rabbitry, Rabbits by Fur Type. Accessed Jan 12, 2016.
  3. Dorothy Pohorelow, Polish vs Netherland Dwarfs
  4. USA Rabbit Breeders List, Polish Rabbits
  5. The Nature Trail, Laurie Stroupe, Fuzzy Holland Lop Genetics - The Wool or Length Gene L. Accessed Jan 12, 2016.
  6., E Locus Rabbit Colors. Accessed Jan 12, 2016.
  7. DebMark Rabbit Education Resource. (1998). The Hotot Rabbit. Retrieved 27 Jun 2019 from