Do Lionhead rabbits bite?

So magnificent and extraordinary is the Lionhead rabbit, she can scarcely be believed. Actually, this dashing bunny has a mane! This bunny is not only cute, but also sweet and very fluffy. It adapts well to family life with the Lionhead bunny.

FAQs on the Lionhead Rabbit

The most famous and frequently asked questions our readers have about the Lionhead Rabbit.

How long is the Lionhead Rabbit going to live?
Do they need haircuts for Lionhead Rabbits?
How much does it cost for a Lionhead Rabbit?
Do the Lionhead Rabbits love cuddling?
Will they bite the Lionhead Rabbits?
What’s the size of The Lionhead Rabbit?
What’s in this Lionhead Rabbit Guide
Where the Rabbit of the Lionhead comes from
Rabbit’s Lionhead appearance
Temperament of The Lionhead Rabbit
Health and Treatment of the Lionhead Rabbit
Rabbit’s Lionhead Lifespan
Lionhead Rabbit Treatment Facilities
Close breeds to the Rabbit of Lionhead
Is the Rabbit of the Lionhead right for me?
What is Rabbit of the Lionhead?
Lionhead Bunnies

Lionhead rabbits are one of our rabbit breeds, which are less commonly kept.

In 2016, a small straw survey of individuals buying rabbits in the UK found that just 2.5 percent of the bunnies being purchased were Lionheads.

Unsurprisingly, their name derives from the long, thick ruff of fur that surrounds their body, like a lion’s mane.

They are often often referred to as a rabbit of the Lion, a rabbit of the Lion Hair, or a rabbit of the Lion Mane.

Also the most hirsute lionhead bunnies have a long fur skirt around their middle.

We’ll find out why, a little later, some Lionhead bunnies are hairier than others.

Where the Rabbit of the Lionhead comes from
There are some conflicting stories about the parentage of the Lionhead bunny’s first infant.

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All we know for sure is that two rabbit breeds (possibly a Swiss Fox and a Belgian Dwarf, but we will never know for sure) were mixed at some point in Europe, and a startling genetic mutation was thrown up: the kittens had short coats around their heads, with long manes.

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The mutation was dubbed the Mane mutation, and the rabbits became an immediate success with the new look.

In 2000, the first Lionhead rabbits in America arrived in Minnesota and became part of a breeding programme on this side of the pond to develop the breed.

The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) recognised the Lionhead in 2013, and the National American Lionhead Rabbit Club (NALRC) is still lobbying today to obtain more recognition for their beloved race.

So, before you bring one around, what do you need to know?

Rabbit’s Lionhead appearance
Knowledge Center for the Lionhead Rabbit Breed: Discover The Lionhead Bunny

While the mane is the most distinctive, let’s look at some of the other physical characteristics of this breed.

Rabbit Lionhead scale
Lionhead rabbits grow just 8-10 inches tall and are a diminutive breed.

The breed standard introduced by the Association of American Rabbit Breeders puts the maximum weight on show bunnies. Three and three quarter pounds are the maximum permitted Lionhead rabbit size.

Compare the common breeds of American and Chinchilla, which range from 9lb to 12lb, and you’re actually looking at a very small bunny!

Colors of The Lionhead Rabbit
For pedigree lionhead bunnies, there are six known shades, with exotic names like “siamese sable” and “smoke pearl.”

They are almost every shade of grey and brown!

That doesn’t mean there aren’t other colours available.

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In all kinds of hues, like rich yellow shades that are highly evocative of their big cat namesakes, non-pedigree lionhead bunnies come!

“Points” on lionheads are also a common feature where the tips of the ears and nose are darker than the rest of the coat.

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Coat with Lionhead Rabbit
When are Lionhead bunnies having their great coats?

By inheriting one or two copies of the genetic mutation of Mane (from one parent or both parents respectively).

A baby Lionhead bunny who inherits only one copy of the mutation of Mane will have a wispier mane that can vanish entirely by the time it reaches adulthood.

For life, a baby Lionhead bunny with two copies of the mutated gene has a dense, full mane, and also sometimes a skirt.

They should already know how many copies of the Mane gene per parent bunny has when you visit a Lionhead bunny breeder, and what proportion of their kittens are likely to inherit two copies of the Mane mutation.

Rabbit Lionhead Facts
We know, therefore, that the lovely mane is the product of a genetic mutation.

It turns out that this is an unusual, dominant mutation that expresses itself.

That’s why the bunnies still have a mane, but a little less than those with two versions, with just one copy of the gene.

If the mutation were recessive, then the bunnies wouldn’t have a mane at all with just one copy.

Temperament of The Lionhead Rabbit
Lionhead rabbit fans boast of being sweet, laid back and well-mannered with a Lionhead bunny personality.

They enjoy human business and develop affectionate bonds with their owners.

In the company of at least one other rabbit, they excel, although it can take time for a new pair to bond.

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And with a bit of patience and preparation, they are definitely intelligent and capable of learning basic commands.

They also have an outstanding reputation with children, and as animal-assisted therapy animals, some even have successful careers!

A lion bunny will get bored and frustrated without room, toys, and companionship, just like any intelligent and sociable animal.

So make sure you have time to chat with you every day, Lion Haired Rabbit.

Will they bite the Lionhead Rabbits?
In spite of their overall friendly nature, they can bite if overstimulated or intimidated. Rough handling by children, being a prey animal, can stimulate a fear response and defensive biting. In a household with young children, supervising and educating the children on how to treat a bunny is very important.

This can be avoided much of the time by proper socialisation and instruction of those handling the rabbit.

Ensuring that the bunny is well-cared-for, regularly exercised, and socialised (and neutered) would also help prevent violent behaviour from developing.

A neutered male and a spayed female could be the easiest combo. Two males are more likely, but not always, to clash for dominance.

Lionhead Rabbits Taming
As they are a prey animal, Dwarf Lionhead rabbits can be terrified if they have grown up without domestication.

It’s not that difficult to tame a rabbit, but it helps to understand their body language so much.

Your body language, as a prey animal, has to be different from when you deal with predator species, such as cats and dogs. If you keep this in mind, a happy bunny and a happy connection will go a long way.

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