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New Zealand Rabbit

New Zealand Rabbit Pet Profile

Size Medium
Weight 6-7 pounds (4-5 kg)
Fur Short
Maintenance Low
Personality Loving, friendly, calm
Lifespan 5-8 years
Suitable for Beginners and experienced owners
Origin USA
Indoor Yes
Outdoor Yes
Special characteristics Large and heavy
Similar breeds Belgian Hare, Flemish Giant, Californian Rabbit

New Zealand Rabbit Photo: Kirill Gorlov/


New Zealand Rabbits are medium-sized rabbits with fluffy, soft, shiny fur. Despite the name, these buns aren’t from New Zealand at all - they’re from the USA. New Zealand Reds and New Zealand Whites are the best-known variations. They look like big snowballs! These pets have plenty of power, especially in their hind legs, but they are thankfully very docile.


Despite their size, New Zealands aren’t wild ruffians, but very peaceful, happy, even-tempered and calm rabbits. They’re very intelligent, so you can even teach them little tricks. Of course, it won’t work quite as well with rabbits as with dogs, but there are rabbits that can do 20 tricks in one minute. Really! One rabbit is featured in the Guinness Book of World Records (2018). It wasn’t a New Zealand, but it just goes to show how incredibly clever these little animals are! And who knows? Maybe the next rabbit to break this record will be a New Zealand!


New Zealand Rabbit Photo: Ant Lees/Shutterstock

Health and Care

You don’t really need to worry much about grooming New Zealand Rabbits. Their fur is low-maintenance and they’re not particularly vulnerable to certain diseases.



New Zealands have short, thick and dense fur.


Their bodies are round.


Their upright ears are rounded.



New Zealand Rabbits are one color: red, white, black or blue. Some animals are also spotted. New Zealand Reds have an unusually intense, bright red-yellow fur. New Zealand Whites are true albinos and have red eyes.

History and Origin

New Zealand Rabbits come from California, USA. This is, of course, at odds with their name. It is thought that the breed comes from rabbits imported from New Zealand but cross-bred in the USA. But we don’t really know anything more. One thing’s for sure, the breed was bred from Belgian Hares and Flemish Giants. The first New Zealand Reds arrived in 1913, and New Zealand Whites date back to 1917. They are one of the few breeds to spread to other countries from the USA rather than the other way around.


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