Lion Head Rabbit: Everything You Need To Know

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Lion Head Rabbit: Everything You Need To Know

Brief facts about the lion head rabbit :

  • Size: Small / Mini
  • Weight: 2.2  – 4 Pounds
  • Average life: 7-10 years
  • Body shape: Compact
  • Suitable for: Singles, seniors, houses/apartments, families with children, domestic rabbits
  • Temperament: friendly, affectionate, energetic
  • Comparable breeds: Dutch dwarf rabbit, Swiss Fox

History of the breed and origins 

The origins of the lion’s head rabbit go back to Belgium when breeders decided to mate a Swiss Fox with a Dutch dwarf rabbit; the result was a rabbit with a genetic mutation that caused a thicker coat to appear around the head and flanks thus becoming known as the “mane” gene.

The lion’s head rabbit’s mane is the result of a genetic mutation.

General description

Lion Head Rabbit: Everything You Need To Know

The lion-headed rabbit has a mane around its head just like the lion, hence its name. They have a prominent head, a compact body that should not exceed 4 pounds in weight, and ears between 1.9-2.5 inches in length.

Fur

The fur of the lion’s head is what makes them proud as well as the mirror of their state of health, to keep it soft and shiny it should be brushed at least once a week while during the moulting period it should be brushed daily.

There are two types of ” mane ” in the lion’s head rabbit breed: the single mane (tufts, thin around the head, ears, chin, and sometimes on the chest) or the double mane (like the single mane but much thicker and also present on the hips for this reason some call it “skirt”). The length of the mane around the head usually does not exceed 2 inches.

Colors

According to the ARBA (American Rabbit Breeders Association) standards, lion head rabbits can be: black, chocolate, blue, tortoiseshell, point blue, white with blue eyes, ruby ​​eyes, agouti chestnut, seal, silver marten, smoke pearl, pointed white, sable point and siamese sable; they do not show particular signs according to ARBA standards.

As soon as it is at ease, this rabbit relaxes in its den by cleaning its fur with its paws.

Necessary care

lion head rabbit

To see their personalities blossom, lion head rabbits need a long time outside their enclosures to explore and form a lasting bond with their human families. We recommend keeping these bunnies in an indoor enclosure as outside they would be too exposed to the elements (rain or sun) and predators.

Their inner enclosure should be made of wire, be large enough for them to stretch out, and hold a toy or two on a plastic bottom. The bottom should be covered with good quality shavings (some prefer to use small amounts of horse bedding), cleaned daily where necessary and replaced completely weekly.

Their diet should be mainly hay-based (70%) and the rest based on pellets and fruit safe for rabbits, especially green leafy vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables can also be used as incentives or treats whenever the rabbit completes a task or obeys a command (such as sitting down, standing still, or using the litter box).

Adult rabbits can eat about 1/4 cup of high-fiber pellets every day for every 4 pounds of weight, take this into account when feeding as lion’s head rabbits are relatively small.

Health

Like any rabbit breed, there are some health issues that should be monitored regularly in order to breed a happy and healthy rabbit. A rabbit’s teeth, for example, never stop growing and can only be kept at bay with a diet rich in the hay.

If the rabbit is not eating enough hay, its teeth may become too large and affect the face and jaws. To avoid this, make sure the rabbit’s diet contains 70% hay (like thyme) and periodically check the mouth to make sure that the teeth have not grown too much.

Also, pay attention to ear mites that can proliferate in the ears of your lion’s head, you will notice that the rabbit scratches one or both ears more than usual and may even lose hair in the surrounding area; if you suspect it has ear mites take it to the vet as soon as possible.

Most domestic rabbits fall victim to the E. cuniculi parasite, which is short for Encephalitozoon cuniculi. this parasite usually does not cause problems but if the rabbit is excessively stressed it could become harmful.

Symptoms include: tilted head, paralysis, excessive urination, and decreased vision; consult your vet to find out more about this parasite or if you suspect your rabbit is suffering from it.

Spayed female lion heads have a lower risk of developing uterine cancer so it is a good idea to spay them from four months on, while baby males can be neutered as early as three and a half months.

Temperament / Behavior

lion head rabbit

This breed is energetic, affectionate, and loves to play very much; these bunnies are wonderful pets perfect for families, they love to be picked up, held, and stroked as often as their humans want!

They enjoy wandering around their little room chasing their human friends for fun and love having lots of chewable toys and balls. Their small size makes them perfect family pets in apartments and homes as long as they have plenty of free time outside their enclosures so that they can play and connect with their human family.

As soon as it’s at ease, this rabbit relaxes in its den by cleaning its fur with its paws, it enjoys playing and wandering wherever you put it but it will also turn into a happy “little dog” when watching television after a hard time working day. Their sweet temperament makes them perfect pets for couples, singles, seniors, or retirees who want a pet.

Rabbits are a little more difficult to get used to the litter box than dogs and cats but you can do it, they tend to go to a particular corner of their enclosure so they will associate any material used in that corner with the ideal place for the needles; try to place more litter boxes in different corners of your home, taking care to reward the bunny every time he goes to the right place.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Lion Head rabbit look like?

The Lion Head rabbit is a small rabbit that has a very compact and rounded body. Typically, these rabbits can have coats of many different colors and patterns. They differ from other rabbits thanks to their mane, which resembles that of a lion. That is why they are also called ” lion rabbits “.

How much does a Lion’s Head rabbit usually weigh?

Their weight is usually between 5 to 7 pounds. The equivalent of their cousin’s dwarfs rabbits.

Why do they have a mane?

The Lionhead rabbit possesses a mane gene, which makes their coat look similar to the mane of a lion.

How Long can lion head rabbits get?

The Lionhead rabbit can grow to about 7-9 inches and its ears are usually about 1.5 to 2.6 inches long. Their manes, on the other hand, grow up to about 2-3 inches.

Why do some rabbits have a double mane?

There are Lion Head rabbits that have a double mane due to their genetic makeup. The two mane genes allow it to have a coat that also covers the hips also known as a “skirt”.

Why do others have a single mane

Single-maned Lionhead rabbits have only one mane gene. Their manes may shrink with aging.

When can they be considered adults?

Normally after six months they can be considered adults. After they have grown, their weight should be monitored, preventing them from gaining weight

What about their fur, does it differ from that of other rabbits?

No, their fur is comparable to that of other rabbits. The only major difference is that the Lion Head rabbit has a mane that resembles that of a lion.

Do they suffer from loneliness?

Lionhead rabbits are not animals that need a strong social connection with their owners. They love to receive attention, and it is very likely that they will feel lonely after a period of not receiving that attention.

Do children and Lionhead rabbits get along?

Yes, they get along well. Lionhead rabbits have a friendly temperament and are tolerant of children. However, keep in mind that expert and adult management is required. It can happen that when a child gives too much attention to the rabbit, the animal gets slightly irritated. Be sure to teach children how to handle Lionhead rabbits.

Could a Lion Head attack me?

This is very unlikely, but it could happen. When this happens, it is probably due to the rabbit feeling insecure. When they feel insecure, they may show signs of aggression towards their owners. Some possible explanations are:

  • Lack of good care;
  • The rabbit is in pain or maybe sick;
  • The rabbit has never learned to socialize with people or other rabbits;
  • Aggression could also be due to their personality.

How do I manage aggression?

If your rabbit continues to show signs of aggression or attacks you regularly, you should start making some adjustments. For example, making changes in daily care, providing more / less attention, and seeing if there are any changes in behavior. Also, check their environment. Normally, aggression is created from the moment they feel insecure.

How do I know when It’s aggressive?

If they are aggressive and are planning to attack you, they will most likely grunt and their ears will be placed backward. In this case, stop stroking the rabbit and take some distance.

How do I take care of my Lion Head rabbit?

Caring for a Lion’s Head rabbit is like caring for a more common rabbit with just some extra care as they have manes. Make sure you brush them daily. Nutrition is of great importance to keep its coat healthy. Strictly follow the diet recommended by your trusted vet. Always remember to provide fresh water and hay and of course to clean the hutch regularly.

Is it easy to care for a Lion’s Head rabbit?

All pets require some attention from their owner. Even a cat needs to be fed daily. The same goes for Lion Head rabbits. You will definitely have to spend some time each day feeding and brushing the rabbit. Also, you will need to clean the cage every week. In exchange for these efforts, you will have the opportunity to keep an amazing pet with you.

Do their manes require care?

Yes, the mane is what sets the Lionhead rabbit apart from the more common ones. It requires more attention as it can easily knot if it is not groomed and brushed enough. Remember to brush them at least three or four times a week. You have to be really careful when cutting the manes, it is advisable to buy special scissors at the trusted pet store or contact your veterinarian.

What diet should the Lionhead rabbit follow?

It depends on the age of your rabbit. Young rabbits should be fed twice a day taking care not to overfeed them. This is especially true for fruits, which could cause diabetes. Always make sure they have an unlimited supply of fresh water and hay.

What shouldn’t they eat?

Yogurt treats are prohibited, they are very unhealthy and could cause serious health problems in your rabbit. Never feed them lettuce and potatoes, rabbits don’t really like lettuce. Be very careful with the vegetables and that the rabbit does not have access to the flowers in the garden or on the balcony. Lionhead rabbits are very fond of carrots.

What should he eat?

The staple ingredient of a Lion’s Head diet is hay, make sure they always have some available. Hay should be replaced regularly so that it is always fresh and has a sweet smell. In addition to the bowl always full of water, rabbits like products that contain fiber and especially carrots, but also freeze-dried grass.

What should a Lion Head bunny eat?

The Lion Head bunny should be fed with fresh hay and freeze-dried grass.

What about their hygiene?

In general, rabbits can be seen as very clean pets. Consequently, it is not necessary to bathe it. As long as they are healthy, there is no reason to wash them. If your Lion’s Head smells bad, contact your veterinarian right away.

Do they suffer from any pathology?

No, they do not suffer from particular pathologies. However, some experts say they are more prone to dental disease than other rabbit breeds. If your rabbit doesn’t eat enough hay, they may be suffering from dental problems. If you suspect that your rabbit has dental problems, contact your veterinarian, most likely they will be able to fix everything.

Should I vaccinate my Lionhead rabbit?

Yes, the vaccine is recommended to ensure their health. Vaccinations for viral hemorrhagic disease and myxomatosis are strongly recommended by experts.

My Lion Head is pregnant, how do I take care of it?

If this is your rabbit’s first experience, contact your veterinarian for detailed advice. Make sure the rabbit has enough living space so that it can move freely. Also be sure to provide enough hay, grass, and fresh water.

How can I be sure of pregnancy?

The first sign that should not be underestimated regarding pregnancy is the mantle. The Lionhead rabbit during pregnancy will lose its fur. Within about thirty days it will give birth. Make sure it’s completely alone when this happens. Other male rabbits may decide to eat the young.

How many bunnies can I expect?

It depends, on average you can expect around five Lionhead puppies per pregnancy.

My Lion Head keeps shedding fur, what’s wrong?

Watch this behavior carefully for a couple of days, it is possible that there are other reasons besides pregnancy. If it was really pregnant, it is possible that within thirty days of the loss of fur it could give birth.

How much does a Lion Head rabbit cost?

The price differs a lot, it depends on where and who you buy them from. The average price range is between 20 and 30 dollars.

Is my rabbit a male or a female?

You can easily find out if you have a male or a female just by looking under its stomach.

What is the average lifespan?

The average is around eight years, but this is highly dependent on their diet and the medical care they received during their lifetime. Providing your rabbit with healthy food will greatly increase its life expectancy.
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About Amanda

Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..)

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