s are traditionally show
rabbits due to their unique
markings. Because of their size they are not very good for meat
The first spotted rabbits were recorded in the 15th century in Holland, although the marking patterns characteristic of the Dutch originate among breeders in England in the 1860's.
Dutch Rabbits are a common breed of rabbit, one of the most popular pet rabbits on the market today, but they are particular to show. The requirements for markings are very exact. They come in white with either black, blue, brown, tortoishell or yellow (yellow is not recognized by the American Rabbit Breeder's Association). The ideally marked rabbit should have white feet, and the front half of it's body should be white. The back should be colored, as well as the ears and the sides of the face. The body of the rabbit should be compact, it's ears should be long and erect (i.e. not lop-eared). They usually wiegh about 5 lbs.
An important thing to be aware of if you intend to breed Dutch rabbits, a female's first litter should be born before she reaches one year old, ideally between 5 and 6 months, because after one year the pelvic bones fuse, and it would be impossible for her to give birth naturally after that.
A good Dutch rabbit is energetic and sociable. They have been bred for a long time (possibly since the 1500's) and are typically compatible with humans. A bad Dutch can be very jumpy and wary, all rabbits can get sort of skittish. A well-adjusted rabbit has been given ample opportunity to play and has had lots of contact with humans.
Those of you who have read my other rabbit nodes know that I am suspicious of the personality of a rabbit that has been bred small, as in my experience they can be real bastards. Although I am not a Dutch expert by any means, as far as I know they are fairly sociable and gentle, despite their size.