The Polish rabbit is not a dwarf breed of domestic rabbit since they lack the dwarf gene, most often bred by fanciers (as opposed to hobbyists) and commonly exhibited in rabbit shows. Despite its name, the Polish rabbit likely originated in England, not Poland. The breed known in the UK as Polish is the breed known in the US as Britannia Petite. The breed known in the US as Polish is unknown in the UK.
Despite its name, the Polish Rabbit breed has its origin in England and it may have been offspring of an albino Dutch rabbit. In the early 1800s, a few white rabbits of small sized (and probably mixed origins) popped up in England and breeders began calling them “Polish”. It is thought that it was developed by breeding a Dutch and Himalayan rabbit dating back to the 1600s. By the 1900s, they were one of the most popular meat breeds in Europe, especially in Belgium.
What is a Polish Rabbit?
Polish are a small, compact breed with a finely-built frame, and large bold eyes. Their best trait is their personality. They are also gentle, loving, intelligent, cuddle-bunnies. Because of this, they make excellent pets for children as well as for those individuals with coordination-difficulties. Interestingly, they are the most popular breed used by magicians for performances. They are also wonderful as exhibit animals for 4-H kids, and as pets for those who live in apartments, as they don’t require a vast amount of space.
It might come as a bit of a surprise given the number of breeds in the Polish rabbit’s heritage, but unlike the Netherland Dwarf—the other super-small and highly colorful breed of the rabbit world—Polish rabbits are not found in very many colors.
Although the Netherland Dwarf is found in more than two dozen color varieties, the Polish is only recognized in six. Ruby-Eyed White was the only color to be recognized in the early years, being accepted more than 100 years ago, and in the decades since then, Black, Blue, Blue-Eyed White, Broken and Chocolate have joined the lineup of Polish colors.
The Polish rabbit is compact, short and round in appearance. They have short ears and have a short head with full cheeks and bold eyes. They have short and fine hair. The Polish rabbit come in a wide variety of colors. The color varieties are agouti, black, blue, broken pattern, chocolate and white (red or blue-eyed). Previously only the white Polish rabbits with red eyes were recognized. But today, most of the color varieties are recognized by the breed standard.
- They have large expressive eyes with a fully grown weight of up to 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg) with the ideal weight being 2.5 lbs (1.1 kg)
- The Average life span is 6 to 8 years but longer if Neutered or spayed and any life expectancy is dependent on care and diet.
- British Polish rabbits are very petite with a maximum weight of 2.5lbs (1.1 lbs)
Polish rabbit images