Mini Plush Lops have soft velvet fur that doesn’t shed like other Lops! They will molt twice a year but once the molt is over there is no excessive shedding. This, along with the fact that they don’t produce dander like other common pets, can make the Mini Plush Lop a better choice of pet for those who suffer from allergies to other animals. They have a sweet disposition, stay small and have cute floppy ears. They’re the perfect little bunny!
Mini Plush Lop Breeding Program
Devie D’Anniballe from Ohio was the creator of the Mini Plush lop. She had a vision of the perfect rabbit and with her knowledge, disciplined selective breeding program and span of over 12 years, she finally had a bunny breakthrough and started producing what is now the real and true Mini Plush Lop.
It all started in 1995 when Mrs. D’Anniballe and a few other breeders shared the same vision. All loved the personality and lopped ears of the Holland Lop and the soft coat of the Mini Rex. They decided to start a breeding program to try to create a rabbit that combined these traits, but it wasn’t easy. The Holland Lop was the desired size as well as the desired body type. The Mini Rex was added for massiveness and fur type. Unfortunately after two years of this breeding combination Mrs. D’Anniballe and the other breeders still weren’t producing what they desired. The rabbits ears would not drop, making them look too much like a Mini Rex and their bone structure became too fine. Mrs. D’Anniballe’s co-breeders decided it couldn’t be done and quit the program, that’s when Devie D’Anniballe went solo and took matters into her own hands.
She added 3 pound Mini Rex’s with excellent coats to a Mini Lop. This gave the desired body type and caused the ears to fall, but the rabbits were too big. Only the doe’s that were created from this breeding were kept for future breeding. Mrs. D’Anniballe already had Holland/Mini Rex crosses she was partially satisfied with so she used those bucks to breed with her Mini Lop cross Doe’s to bring down the overall size. Only the doe’s from that combination were kept. At some point Netherland Dwarfs were added to the mix to bring the size down even more. All of the rabbits were bred only one time. If the doe’s had litters and raised them, two does were chosen out of those litters and the rest were culled from the herd. Only one or two bucks were chosen to be breeding bucks out of several litters and the rest were culled.
Eventually her barn was sectioned off, one section for brood doe’s to have litters and another section for the resulting doe’s from those litters. Once they produced two doe’s they were culled from the herd. Another section was specifically for bucks that were kept for observation and breeding. After several years new things appeared within her herd. Eventually Dillon was born and he was very close to what Mrs. D’Anniballe had been striving to produce. She discovered that if Dillon was bred to a Holland Lop and then the doe’s were bred back to Dillon, it created the perfect Mini Plush Lop.
Mrs. D’Anniballe created the standard for the Mini Plush Lop, it includes: 4 pounds or less with small compact bodies, wide faces with short muzzles, long heavy lopped ears like a Mini Lop and a velvet coat similar to a Mini Rex.
Different percentages of each breed were carefully selected and bred over a 12 year span. Only the finest of each breed were chosen to participate in the breeding program and only the best qualities of each breed shine through in a True Mini Plush Lop. If a rabbit is not a direct decedent of the D’Anniballe herd, it is not a true Mini Plush Lop.
Devie D’Anniballe passed away in 2010. The Mini Plush Lop is mentioned in Mrs. D’Anniballe’s obituary here: Devie L. D’Anniballe Obituary
The Netherland Dwarf was used for size, the Mini Rex was used for fur type, the Holland Lop was used for body type and temperament and the Mini Lop was used to help drop the ears or widen the “crown.”
Because of the four breeds used to produce the Mini Plush lop, the possibilities in colors and varieties are endless!
After years of selective breeding and literally thousands of rabbits later, the Mini Plush Lop was finally created. The perfect “Story Book Bunny” is what their creator Devie D’Anniballe affectionately called them. There are standard sized or “Large Sized” Plush lops in Europe, but the American made Mini Plush Lop is the smallest of the two breeds. Mini Plush Lops are not accepted into the ARBA.