Choosing the right rabbit for you and your family can be a very exciting process. There are currently over 40 recognized breeds of rabbits. Many of the breeds have multiple varieties and colors. Rabbits range in size from 2 pounds to over 10 pounds. So the choices are very abundant.
Many breeders give different answers regarding the preferred gender for a pet rabbit. This is compounded by the individual temperament of the rabbit. Often a doe (girl rabbit) that is not spayed, can become territorial was she reaches maturity. She may nip at you when reaching for her or even her food or water dishes. Some does will eliminate that aggression when a familiar face does the feeding on a daily basis. Some does we've found to be non-aggressive, and yet others can become territorial towards everybody, but that is very rare. If you do not plan to breed your rabbit, and you want a doe, it is best to have her spayed to help reduce the chances that she may protect her den.
Bucks present a different problem all together. Bucks generally are not aggressive. However, spraying can be a problem. When the buck reaches maturity he may start to spray his urine everywhere to let the whole world know he is ready for a mate. Again, not all bucks will do this, and typically the ones that do, will only do so for a short period of time. This problem can be eliminated by having the buck neutered.
Grooming is another consideration. The wool breeds such as angoras and jersey woolies require extra work in grooming. All rabbits need a good routine of grooming by their caretaker, but the wool breeds require more time because of the nature of their fur type.
The best way to see and find out about rabbits is to attend a rabbit show. At the rabbit show you will find many breeders and most of the breeds of rabbits. To find a show near you visit our calendar page and search for a show in your state.
I would not recommend buying a rabbit without first seeing it, nor would I recommend purchasing a rabbit from a pet store. It would be in your best interest to find a breeder in your area of the breed you think you would like. Visit with that breeder. See what the conditions are in the barn. Ask if you can hold a rabbit. Watch the rabbit's reaction to their cage being opened. Rabbits that love attention, will immediately come to the door, some will even make happy grunting type noises. Other rabbits will immediately go to the back of the cage. If a rabbit moves to the back its probably not a good rabbit for you.
Most of all have fun. Enjoy your search for that perfect rabbit. There are many sizes colors and choices and finding the fit for you can be time consuming but will be very rewarding in the end.
Rob Usakowski is owner of Three Little Ladies Rabbitry which is run by his wife Cathie and their three daughters. Visit their site Three Little Ladies Holland Lops for lots of rabbit raising information for both pet owners and breeders alike.