Holland Lop Personality
by Sylvia Hess
During my years of raising my own Hollands and clerking behind the show tables, I have noticed that they seem to have about three different types of personalities. For this article I am going to give them fictional names of Twang, Cuddles, and Boring. Some Hollands have multiple personalities depending on their environment and will show traits of all three.
Twang is hyperactive or high strung. This rabbit forms an image in my mind of a tightly strung line that goes twang if you tug on it. At home they pace constantly, even when they are in over-sized cages. The buck tends to take great delight in urinating on anyone and anything and some breeders feel that these are more sexually aggressive males. As for myself, I find no correlation between sex and going to the "bathroom". On the show table they tend to be difficult to contain in the showing coop. They escape often and race up and down the table like they had a greyhound after them. Judges must spend much more time attempting to pose them. Some do have very fine type and can be used in a well-planned breeding program. I feel they should not go to pet homes however as they are the ones who could become biters if not properly cared for.
Cuddles is in my opinion the ideal Holland Lop personality. Most of us think of our Hollands as cute and cuddly. This is an alert animal, aware of, and interested in all that is going on around it. Cuddles would rather be petted then fed and comes eagerly to you when you open the cage door. They like to be held and give rabbit kisses and cuddle under your chin. They make the ideal pet rabbit. The Cuddles doe generally makes a good mother and does not get upset when you tend to her and the babies. The bucks have a lovingly aggressive method of breeding rather than a "wham, bam, thank you ma'am" approach. On the show table they will sometimes take a stroll, or attempt to influence the judge by stretching up and trying to kiss them. They will stay in a show pose for a limited amount of time but then are overcome by curiosity regarding the rabbit next to them etc. They have a friendly extroverted personality.
Boring does not need to much explanation for the name. Boring does not need a large cage as they hardly ever move. Boring does however have the best personality for showing as they can maintain a show pose forever. A nicer name would be Laid Back, but they are boring. They do not stress out as much as Twang or even Cuddles can during a show, but if they do, they do it quietly. Some breed rapidly enough and others (especially does) never breed. Boring bucks usually rouse themselves enough just for breeding. These Borings often become Champions and I have a few of my own breeding.
By now you have probably figured out that I believe Twangs should be bred to Borings in hopes of Cuddles with a dash of Boring on the show tables! Twangs make me nervous though and I don't keep the few I get. Any rabbit can become a biter of course if it is raised in a poor environment or mistreated, aside from the hereditary factor.
This has been MY experiences and opinion on Holland Lop personalities. I would like to see more emphases put on how the rabbit conducts itself on the show table and I feel that the majority of Holland breeders prefer the Cuddles personality, I know the pet buyer would!
HLRSC Official Guidebook - 5th Edition 2002