lionhead rabbits

Lionhead Rabbits Growing In Popularity, Still Not Recognized By Breeders Association

Lionhead rabbits may not be recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association just yet but that doesn’t mean that the animal isn’t growing in popularity. A recent bunny beauty contest in Shelbyville, Indiana, featured several Lionheads.

The 2013 Shelby County Fair’s 4-H Rabbit Show featured five different breeds including a couple of Lionhead rabbits.

According to, the unique breed is already a recognized breed in England but it has not been formerly recognized by the ARBA. The bunny can be shown at ARBA shows but the rabbit is not eligible for the Best In Show award. That could change soon, however, as several animal owners are pressuring the ARBA to recognize the lionhead.

There are currently 14 COD varieties but only 2 are allowed in presentations. Most contests will allow all varieties, however, since Lionhead rabbits are becoming so popular. writes: “At this time, ARBA sanctioned shows are only required to accept Lionhead entries in the 2 varieties which have passed presentation (Tortoise & REW), however most shows continue to allow all COD varieties due to the breed’s enormous popularity.”

The ARBA will take another look at the breed this October at a convention in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Here’s a video about the breed.

The Lionhead Rabbit first appeared in Belgium after breeders tried to cross a long coated dwarf rabbit, a miniature Swiss Fox, and a Belgian dwarf. A genetic mutation occurred and the Lionhead, with a fluffy wool mane around its head, was born.