The Lionhead rabbit originated in Belgium and is now being bred here in England it has been here now for approximately four years.
It is reported to have been produced by breeders trying to breed a along coated dwarf rabbit by crossing a miniature Swiss Fox and a Belgian dwarf, Although I also believe that in some cases the Jersey Woolie was used in the breeding.
The Lionhead seemed to have been more popular than the long coated dwarf, and so breeders carried on this trend in breeding
them intentionally, and so came what we know today as the Lionhead rabbit.
It eventually found its way to England and here this still relatively new breed, was taken on by many dedicated breeders, who are now making this one of the most popular new breeds around.
The Lionhead makes a lovely pet as well as a show rabbit , and is very well tempered & friendly, enjoying plenty of attention and fuss, but not requiring a massive amount of grooming, as the mane does not tend to matt up nearly as much as normal long hair in a rabbit.
The coats of the Lionhead should be short and roll back with little or no long hair on the flanks. short well furred ears, but not at all furnished (i.e. no long hair on the ears).
The Mane should be long and pronounced as this is the most important part, and should NOT be short and wool like. The body and type short and cobby, weight is around 3Lb up to 3Lb.12 ounces.
The doe\'s are excellent mothers and will rear large litters, making wonderful nests by pulling out lots of belly fur as well as in some cases, some of their beautiful mane, it also seems that a does mane will lessen in breeding and moulting, and this may take some time to grow back, so patience is needed.
Some does will lose their manes all together when they reach adult age, if possible, it is better to breed from does who keep full manes as they will then me more likely to pass this trait onto their own off spring. Although Real Lionesses are not maned,
the Lionhead rabbit doe should have a mane, although it is often not as profuse as the bucks.