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About the Breed

Body Type

The general type of the Dutch rabbit should be relatively rounded and balanced throughout. It should start from behind the head, over the shoulders to the highest point of the loin and rounding off over the hindquarters. The shoulders should remain well rounded. Regardless of whether it is a small or large Dutch they should remain well rounded.


Black Dutch should have a dense, uniform jet-black, very glossy, running deep toward the skin, blending into a slate blue undercolor next to the skin. Black Dutch must have dark-brown eye color. Faults of the black color would include white hairs, frostiness, brownish/rust.
Blue Dutch should have a uniform medium-dark blue, very glossy, running deep towards the skin, to blend into a slate blue undercolor next to the skin. The eye color must be blue-gray. Faults of the blue color would include white hairs, smoky blue, silvery blue, or lilac shadings.
Chinchilla Dutch The suface color on top and sides of the body is to be pearl white ticked with black. There is to be a black band at the top of the intermediary band. The intermediate band is to be well-defined pearl white over a dark slate blue undercolor. The belly should display a white surface color, with a slate blue undercolor. The belly should display a white surface color, with a slate blue undercolor, extending from inside the rear legs over the belly to the undercut. The top of the tail is to be black sparsely ticked with white. Ears are laced in black. Eye circles are desirable. Eyes - dark brown preferred, blue-gray permissible.
Chocolate Dutch should be a very glossy, uniform, dark chocolate brown running deep towards the skin, blending into a bluish dove under color next to the skin. Eyes must be a dark-brown, a ruby cast is permissible.
Gray Dutch color is to have an agouti pattern, showing distinct bands of color. Colors on the hair shaft should be slate blue at the base, followed by medium tan, then a thin charcoal brown band, finishing with a lighter tan band. Colored portions of the body should be uniformly dispersed with black guard hairs. Narrow black lacing on the ears is desirable. Eye circles should be narrow and tan in color. The belly should display a white or cream surface color, with a slate blue undercolor, extending from inside the rear legs over the belly to the undercut. The undercut is determined by blowing into the fur. Eyes to be dark brown. Faults include brassy tinge, white hairs, light surface color on body. Lack of uniform disbursement of black guard hairs. Disqualifications would include absence of intermediate ring color over the colored portion of the body. Absence of slate blue under color on the belly.
Steel Dutch the entire colored portion of the body is to be black, with a uniform disbursement of off-white or cream coloration on some of the hair tips. Undercolor is to be a slate blue, carried as deep towards the skin as possible. Surface color of the under portion of the tail, belly, and inside of hind legs are to be as near the body color as possible. Crotch marks are accepted. Eyes-Dark Brown. Faults would include lack of steel coloration over the back; brassy or yellow appearance; white hairs in colored sections. Disqualifications include ring pattern over the back or upper sides. White underside of tail.
Tortoise Dutch color is to be a bright, clean orange, blending into smokey-blue shading over the lower rump, and carrying well down the haunches. The top color should carry down into the under color, blending into a dark cream color next to the skin. Upper portion of tail color should match top body color. The shadings on the head should be the darkest at the whisker bed, blending into lighter shadings on the jaws, darkening again at the ear base, and blending up the ears to match body color. The smoky blue shading is to include the underside of the tail. Eyes to be Dark Brown. Faults include white hairs, smut or smudge, throughout the orange color, lack of bold shadings, underside of tail light in color. Disqualifications include the absence of shadings.


It is important that the markings of the Dutch are to be clean and clear, distinct, and free of drags of opposite color.

Cheeks are to be well rounded and carried around the whisker bed, but not into it. Faults include the cheeks being hooked (i.e. not well rounded and coming sharp to the jaw bone), meeting the line of the neck, or dragging into the mouth or throat. Faults also include the cheeks being to high, whether above the whisker bed or appearing as eye circles.
The blaze is the marking along the face. It should be in a wedge shape and about medium width. The blaze should cover the nose, whisker bed, and tapering up to the ears. Although, there are no additional points added, it is desirable to have a hair line (where the blaze goes between the ears and connecting to the neck marking).
The neck marking is the white part on the collar behind the ears. It should be a clean and wedged shape marking. An animal with no or full neck marking is not disqualified, but is faulted. Dirty necks (where it is not a clean shape) will be faulted.
The saddle marking is point on the upper body where the white fur meets the colored fur. This should begin just behind the shoulders and create a perfect circle around the body.
The undercut is the marking on the underbody that connects to the saddle. It should create a perfect circle and should be close behind the forelegs, but touching them. It is a disqualification if the body color extends past the elbow joint of the forleg.
On the hind feet, the stop markings should be well rounded. There should be white from the toes to about one third of the length of the foot, where the color fur begins. Disqualifications include if the color fur of the marking runs completely and between the toes. The toes can be separated for identification of the split stop.

General Information

The Dutch Rabbit is a very gentle and a well dispositional animal. They make a make a great rabbit for the beginner to the well advanced exhibitor.

The senior (over 6 months) weight should be between 3 1/2 lbs to 5 1/2 lbs.

Every rabbit raiser has their own preference on what pellet to feed. It is, however, important to feed a high quality pellet (i.e. Heinold®, Purina®, Nutrena®, etc.). Supplements, again, are the owner's preference. It's very important that any rabbit gets Timothy Hay in their diet on a daily basis. Timothy will help prevent intestinal obstruction. Fresh water on a daily basis is an important key in maintaining a healthy and conditioned rabbit.
The gestation period for a Dutch rabbit is usually between 28-32 days. Average size of litter is around 6 kits. Kits are born blind and eyes will open anywhere between 7-14 days.
All rabbits require a well ventilated area to help prevent disease (i.e. pasturella). Dutch are a relatively small breed and don't require a very large cage, usually 24"x24" is a good sized cage.
When purchasing a Dutch rabbit, it is important to keep in mind the purpose of the rabbit you are about to buy (i.e. breeding, showing, pet). No matter what the purpose is, it is very important to keep the health of the rabbit in mind and do a good examination on the rabbit first. Check the teeth for any signs of malocclusion (long, lower incisors extending in front of upper incisors, etc.) teeth problems are hereditary and it wouldn't hurt to see the sire & dam's teeth (if applicable). Check the ears for any dirt that may resemble ear mites. It is extremely important to look at the nose, eyes, and forearms, for any evidence of a cold or upper respiratory infection. For a show or breeding rabbit, it is important to look at the bone structure of the animal. Check the hind legs for straightness and there is no evidence of cow hocks (where the hind legs are turned so the toes are pointing outward). Check for pinched hindquarters (where the hindquarters taper towards the tail and are not well rounded). Check vent, especially a buck to be sure both testicles are noticeable. Check toe nails and eye colors to be sure it is the appropriate color via the Standard of Perfection, which can be purchased on the website for ARBA, it is listed under publications. If it will be your first show or breeding rabbit you purchase, it helps to have the Standard of Perfection with you as a reference to what you want. Remember, there may be no such thing as a perfect Dutch, but there is a difference between a good and a bad Dutch.

If you are interested in showing or raising Dutch, feel free to contact your board representative or ADRC member for further information.

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