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What do people look for in a pet rabbit?

A place to discuss the particular challenges and ethical issues facing the breeder of pet rabbits today.
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What do people look for in a pet rabbit?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby a7736100 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:21 am


For me it's personality, feel of the fur, appearance. Of course no one wants biters.

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Re: What do people look for in a pet rabbit?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Zass » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:59 pm


Personality for sure. I personally believe that hormonal, biting rabbits should have no place on the pet market.

Size means a ton, with smaller usually meaning better, but not always.
Often I see pet breeders with 2-3 tiny breeds and then Flemish giants to meet the opposite demand. :lol:

Fur texture and overall cuteness are important I think, but only when people are selecting them from a variety, otherwise, most pet people seem pretty OK with taking whatever is available.

I think, low maintenance and overall good health SHOULD be huge factors, but they are often considered of least importance.

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Re: What do people look for in a pet rabbit?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:21 pm


having associated with far more "pet rabbit people" than I would ever choose to-- I am still baffled by that question... so i will say-- good luck
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Re: What do people look for in a pet rabbit?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby akane » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:45 pm


Finding ND that don't take chunks out of you but still have anywhere near the type and size people want and mini rex that don't have hormone swings in the does was difficult. There's a reason a lot of people go to flemish giants but unfortunately it's hard to convince any of the people interested in flemish that other large breeds can be the same or medium breeds that haven't had personality ignored for looks. Aside from that odd colors are often sell well but the occasional person wants a wild cottontail looking rabbit. Usually they have not looked at a cottontail in much detail and any chestnut along with some darker reds fulfill what they want. Occasionally people wanted the mini rex fur type but I didn't find anyone really cared about fur quality comparison beyond color aside from those looking for a specific major coat difference. I make sure to pay attention to health history along with current appearance of the individual even though it's not the first thing people will ask about when buying a pet.
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Re: What do people look for in a pet rabbit?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby LittleFluffyBunnies » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:17 am


I breed and sell for the pet market, that being the only market where I live at the moment. The majority of people are looking for a small rabbit, the smaller the better. Second importance is temperament. They want to know it’s tame, they don’t want a biter, they want it to be friendly and cuddly. Third is fur. While some people prefer short fur so they don’t have to groom, most of them prefer woolly fur. Fourth is color. Most people don’t care, but if there is an option, striking colors(broken or marked) are popular. Lots of people also like grey varieties. Black, unless it is broken or heavily marked, isn’t popular.
From my perspective, I look for a healthy rabbit with good temperament, with an attractive color and/or fur type.
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Re: What do people look for in a pet rabbit?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby ozemba » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:46 pm


In my experience, albeit short so far, people want a cute rabbit they are generally more picky about boy/girl than they are color. So far I have sold my tricolors first, then the broken, then the torts and harlequin. People like rabbits with white and color on them around here I guess.

The second thing people are looking for is a small rabbit, I would say that a majority of my rabbits so far have gone to "inside bunny" homes, and people don't think they want big rabbits for that.

Third is personality, which my Hollands are all pretty sweet natured, so I don't have issues with that.

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Re: What do people look for in a pet rabbit?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Rosalaun » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:52 am


I work in a pet shop so this is my experience from that, rather than my private breeding, and naturally it may be different given the countries! About 75% of the rabbits we get in are the rejects from show breeders, so there are a fair few good quality rabbits, but buyers are looking more for 'cuteness' factor so the better standard rabbits aren't the first to go. In terms of breeds we sell plenty of Netherland Dwarves with the smallest rabbits nearly always selling first. For local private breeders the lops are a current fad, again dwarf/mini type, with lion lops and anything 'fluffy' selling for £40-60. In terms of cost we sell ours for £30 and give less than half to the breeders, so usually with expensive breeds the breeders prefer to pay the upkeep and keep for longer than sell for less. Rex types are less common, but when we do get them in they sell pretty well, mainly because they are a 'nice change' from the fluffies - I think if we had too many in a row we may struggle a little more.

We had a litter of Dutch brought in that didn't sell for around 5 months (lovely playful/friendly rabbits), while a good 5-6 litters of Nethies sold in the same time frame, same story with the full sized Blanc de Hotots - just too big and not the most exciting colours. Temperament wise we do work with rabbits as far as possible, and usually stomping and initial fear is sorted before they're sold (often come in with little handling), but it is difficult to judge personality when they often stay for less than a week. The very rare biters get sent back to the breeders. Really in the shop buyers just look for rabbits that aren't too difficult to catch and sit still when picked up.

Colour... solid white and black are not popular, pink eyes are usually the last to sell, blues are 'in' at the moment, as are anything broken and harlequin. Buyers appreciate mixed colour litters so they have more choice and can select a pair that are easy to tell apart.

And finally sex isn't a huge deal either - if people come wanting a pair and we have a pair of bucks and a single doe left, they will take the pair (with appropriate warnings about neutering and possibly splitting them up if they get territorial). Often it's the children that are more determined to have a particular sex than the adults are!

Overall I'd say in general over here they're mainly looking for tiny rabbits with round faces and big eyes, fluffy preferred, mixed colours, that stay still for the brief period they meet the rabbit.

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Re: What do people look for in a pet rabbit?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby akane » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:18 pm


While people sometimes ask about gender they usually aren't very set when they talk to me. Sometimes they wouldn't even know yet and would ask my opinion of gender differences. Some did want to have the rabbit neutered which is easier on bucks than the surgery for does but I did suggest it more often for does. Although, the nearby low cost clinic has added rabbits with a set price of $40 now since the farm vets I knew of have quit doing small animal surgeries. Generally though while some asked for gender first if you told them about personality and how the genders tended to be equal or different in a given line they usually quickly went to color or temperament first and immediately quit caring about gender over one or both. Most are fairly clueless about rabbits and had done little research with just a friend having had a rabbit or read one or 2 house rabbit sites before deciding to look for one. A little info on what the ones I had were like would quickly change assumptions.

Some did choose a large rabbit in the end and a few times if I knew it was someone with a farm mentality that would not have issues with typical raising of livestock I had people just wandering the colonies or their kids doing so while they talked to me and it always came down to the rabbit they liked the color of and could go scoop up without little, hyper humans spooking it. The person I was getting champagne d'argent and my blue line of mini rex from by the wisconsin/iowa border was actually stopping mini rex breeding for only his flemish because with his advertising and people talking up his rabbits as pets he was selling more flemish in his area to pet owners than small rabbits. Even adults with no children wanted them. Put a little info out there and you do often get a change in requests but if I didn't have mini rex and netherland dwarf listed I probably wouldn't have gotten half as many initial contacts. They just often didn't leave with what they started out trying to find a breeder of and far more of them were happy than those that didn't discuss it at all and simply took what they initially asked for.

Now pet stores will only take young, guaranteed small rabbits. They weren't even happy with my netherlands because the nicer temperaments I kept grew too fast for them and I didn't ask the pet store if they had space unless I had some left at 12weeks old. I was separating gender for them but they wanted to throw 12-16week olds in the same pen and after 2 or 3 times of how well that worked they wanted me to pay them to take them. I'd give them for free to not put down nice temperament rabbits I didn't really have a good use for but I was not going to pay them to then sell them for $40. Most had the same pedigrees and would have done fine on a show table if they weren't unrecognized colors so I wasn't breed far from type or random size results. I found everything of recognized color around here were horrible temperaments when grown and I was not going to put those out there like their contracted breeders were. All the pet store did with the ones that would try to breed or argue in their pens was stick pairs into cages and then sell them as an entire setup at full price anyway. Aside from increasing the different cages they cleaned and water bottles they changed for a short time they made as much in the end. If not more depending what cage setup they talked people into buying with the rabbits.
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Re: What do people look for in a pet rabbit?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby RebelScumHan » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:49 pm


In my experience: lop ears, endearing personality, preferably female (to prevent spraying issues), pretty colors. Either very small or very big breed.
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