Have you ever heard of a rabbit called a “lion head”?
It means “lion? head?” when translated directly, but the name gives the impression that it might be powerful! Some people might think that.
But in fact, it’s a cute rabbit that looks like a small male lion! In Japan, there are not many opportunities to see lion heads.
Would you like to take a peek at their hidden secrets?
～ Basic information. ～
Country of origin Belgium.
Senior / male, female More than 6 months and less than 1.7 kg Ideal weight 1.58 kg.
Junior / male, female Less than 6 months Maximum weight 1.47kg Minimum weight 0.68kg.
※American Rabbit Association (ARBA) Standards.
The breeder who lived in Belgium is said to have crossbred the “Swiss Fox” rabbit breed with the Netherland Dwarf and small Angora breeds through interspecific hybridization, and the rabbit born by mutation was said to be the beginning of the Lion Head.
Yes, that mane-like fur was born suddenly in a strange form without inheriting from anyone else.
After that, the rabbit with a strange appearance went to England and was repeatedly crossbred with small breeds and wool types, and the European version of Lion Head was born.
And time passed, and now that European version of Lion Head has gone to America and has been improved through breeding, and it is said that the current Lion Head has finally been completed.
It was only officially registered as a breed by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) in 2014, so the history of Lion Head is still short. However, it can be said that it is a very exciting breed to see how it will grow in the future.
Lion Head’s Q&A.
Where does the Lion Head name come from?
Although the details are unclear, it is believed that it was named Lion Head because it looked like a male lion.
What are the color variations of the Lion Head?
■Types of body colors.
・Agouti (one hair is divided into three or more colors).
・Self (the overall color is almost monochrome).
Black, blue, chocolate, etc.
・Tan (two colors exist).
Black otter, etc.
・Shaded (the color of the ears, nose, tail, and feet is dark and gradated).
・Broken (the base color is white and there are spots).
■Types of eye colors.
There are brown colors.
Lion Head is only a long-haired breed.
What does a Lion Head look like?
It has a round head and short ears, and its body is called compact.
And the biggest feature is that it has a mane like a male lion growing around its neck.
This long fur is called “mane” and has a fluffy texture like wool. The short hair other than the mane is of the rollback type.
Although it is a small rabbit, it has surprisingly good meat on its back and chest and is solid.
Tell us more about Lion Head’s main!
Main, which looks like a lion’s mane, actually has three different ways of growing.
・Double main (long hair grows around the face and around the side belly).
・Single main (only long hair grows around the face).
・No main (no long hair grows around the face or side belly).
The most ideal growth among these three is single main. Also, no main cannot participate in rabbit shows.
However, no main also has an important role and it is said that “when double main and no main are crossed, children are highly likely to become single main.”
By the way, the way long hair grows is determined by the number of mane genes.
If you have two genes, you will have a double main. If you have one gene, you will have a single main. If you have zero genes, you will have no main.
How long does it take to buy a Lion Head?
It costs about 30,000 to 70,000 yen. The circulation of Lion Heads is small, so the price is a little higher than other rabbits.
Also, rabbits that have the potential to win at rabbit shows are called “show types,” and rabbits that are fine to keep at home are called “pet types.” However, if you have a show type Lion Head rabbit, it may be a little more expensive.
I want to know more about Lion Head’s personality!
They are friendly and active. They can be a little timid, but they are also affectionate and may express their desire to monopolize their owner!
It is recommended for those who want to have a lot of skinship with rabbits. Lion Heads are smart, so they are easy to train and keep.
Males are relatively easygoing and affectionate, but they also have a strong territorial awareness.
On the other hand, females are a little moody and have a so-called tsundere personality, so there seems to be a big difference between when they want to be pampered and when they don’t.
Of course, there are individual differences in personality, so it is best to keep this information as a reference only.
※When keeping animals as pets, it is necessary to follow the laws established by each country.
What are the diseases that Lion Head is susceptible to?
Lion Heads are susceptible to “rabbit gastrointestinal syndrome (RGIS)” and “malocclusion.”
①Rabbit digestive syndrome.
It used to be called “hairball disease.” Rabbits may accidentally swallow hair after grooming.
If the swallowed hair comes out with feces, there is no problem. However, if a large amount of hair clogs the digestive tract, it can cause loss of appetite or inability to defecate.
At that time, it was called hairball disease because the cause was fur. However, recent research has shown that it is not only fur that clogs the digestive tract. To make it easier to understand, it is now called rabbit digestive syndrome.
Since this disease is said to affect almost all rabbits, the prevention methods are to feed them fiber-rich timothy (grass), exercise them, give them enough water so they don’t become dehydrated, and brush them moderately.
Since rabbit teeth continue to grow throughout their lives, they can usually prevent excessive tooth growth by eating chew toys or fiber-rich food. However, for some reason, the teeth may not be properly worn down and the bite may become misaligned.
If the teeth are in poor condition, it can cause loss of appetite or diseases such as nasolacrimal duct stenosis. Therefore, if you have any concerns about your rabbit’s teeth or eating habits, it is recommended that you consult a veterinarian.
What is the lifespan of a Lion Head?
It is said to be about 5 to 10 years old, which is about the same as the average lifespan of a typical rabbit.
NORTH AMERICAN LION HEAD RABBIT CLUB