The breed is so new that it’s not considered a “fully” official breed of domestic rabbit… Yet!
We say ‘yet’ because currently in England the breed, Lionhead Rabbit, is legitimate. It’s an official breed, a full-blown craze amongst bunny-breeding circles, with an actual guideline of standards. Just like dogs that are considered pure-breeds have an assigned standard of what the particular breed should look like, there are also guidelines for rabbits. Yes! There are rabbit shows just like there are dog shows. Where the best-looking of the best-looking bunnies go to strut their stuff and say to the world, “Love me! Don’t judge me!” Nevertheless they are judged with utmost scrutiny. But it’s ok, the bunnies in these competitions have nerves of steel except for the occasional ‘Divas’ of course
The BRC (British Rabbit Council) has certified the breed. However, in the United States of America the ARBA (American Rabbit Breeder’s Association) is still awaiting the presentational phase of breed certification to come to completion. The whole ordeal takes about 6 years, and official breeders must go before the grandiose council to humbly but proudly present before them the little Lionhead. The breeder’s must do this continuously for 5 years in order to show that this breed is here to stay and wasn’t just one of those cute little acts of randomness.
The breeders that breed the rabbits are said to be ‘CoD’ holders, which means ‘Certificate of Development.’ There are only a handful of these certified breeders in the United States. After all, it is understandable that a breeder must take great care when breeding these beautiful creatures in order to avoid harming any of them. Introducing genetic variation but at the same time heightening/amplifying the desired phenotype (a genetic term for physical trait) is something that takes strategy and patience. The British Rabbit Council (BRC) has a superb index of all the acceptable standards for many, if not all, of the domestic rabbit breeds. The lionhead rabbit is considered a member of the ‘Fancy’ category. Ooh-la-la indeed. Check out the requirements (they’re kinda cute to read) for the perfect traits of a lionhead rabbit.
Lookout for the next post coming very soon! Lots of pics on double manes, single manes, and all sorts of fluffiness