Meet The Lionhead

Did you know that there are more than 50 different bunny breeds? While they are all super cute, one of the most adorable is definitely the Lionhead. These charming little bunnies get their name because of the ruff of fur around their necks, which resemble lions’ manes. In this article, a Lexington, KY veterinarian discusses this popular breed.


The Lionhead family tree is a bit of a mystery. It’s known that the Lionhead originated in Belgium, and was developed as a cross between dwarf breeds. However, no one seems to be quite sure just which dwarf breeds those were. The Swiss Fox and Netherland Dwarf are two possibilities, but neither can account for Floppy’s cute collar. The iconic ‘lion’s mane’ from which the breed gets their name came from a gene mutation. That specific gene is now known as the ‘mane gene.’


The lionhead is a small bunny: they usually are about 8 to 10 inches long, and weigh under 4 pounds. They come in quite a few colors: the American Rabbit Breeder Association recognizes Tortoise (Black, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac), Ruby Eyed White (REW), Chocolate & Seal, and Siamese Sable as acceptable in its official standards.


Lionheads are usually very friendly, though some are a bit shy. They tend to do well with children, and also often get along with cats and dogs. Though Lionheads rarely bite, some of them don’t care to be held, and may scratch or struggle when picked up. Aside from that, Floppy is quite playful, and needs lots of playtime and interaction. 


Lionheads are quite friendly and sociable. They do best if they have another bunny to hang out and play with, as they get lonely without any pals. It’s worth noting that their roommates don’t necessarily have to be the same sex, as long as both bunnies are fixed.


Like any other pet, lionheads need a good diet to stay healthy. Floppy can have pellets for her main meals. She’ll also need plenty of fresh Timothy hay. Your furry friend can also have small amounts of safe fruits and veggies a few times a week. As far as grooming goes, your furry friend will need to be brushed frequently. This is particularly important with longhaired rabbits. Ask your veterinarian for specific care tips.

Do you have questions about bunny care? Contact me, your Lexington, KY veterinarian, today!

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