This post has been brewing for a while and we have decided to set the record straight about the dwarf saga in South Africa.
We recently received a phone call from a well known pet shop in KZN. The owners (who we know), got one of their managers to call instead of popping around to chat to us. They were upset as one of their clients had come to us with their bun (for a health check and nail clipping) and we had said that it wasn’t a dwarf rabbit (which it was supposed to be).
We have had numerous rabbits surrendered to us that have been purchased at this pet shop (5 in the last 7 months), none of them have conformed to the breed standards.
We were then informed by the pet shop manager that we are supplying the incorrect information to people and there are in fact 2 separate Dwarf breeds in South Africa, the Netherland Dwarf and the Standard Dwarf!
Adult Netherland Dwarf Buck
We of course almost collapsed laughing! Trying to explain that this was totally incorrect was to no avail. As registered, accredited breeders who are active members of a rabbit club – one would think that we may know a bit more about what breeds are in South Africa.
However according to the person calling me, the pet shops have decided on differentiating the Dwarf breeds to make sales easier. When we asked what the difference was between a Netherland Dwarf and a Standard Dwarf, this was the answer – “A Netherland Dwarf weighs between 500g and 1kg and a Standard Dwarf weighs up to 2.9kgs”
Firstly according to our breed standards (our rabbits are judged according to the British Rabbit Council standards) a Netherland Dwarf adult weight should be between 900g and 1.1kgs. Any rabbit weighing 2.9kgs can not be considered a dwarf!
It’s all very well having a chuckle about this and fobbing it off as idiotic but sadly it’s you the consumer and potential bun owner that gets ripped off.
Standard Dwarf rabbits are a mixed breed rabbit, most certainly not Dwarfs at all.
Purchasing rabbits from pet shops, supports backyard breeders who are only in it for the money. Rabbits are often inbred, have behavioural issues and often health issues.
Please do your research prior to purchasing a rabbit, they are exotic pets and do require special care.
Adult Netherland Dwarf Doe, she won 1st and Best of Breed at this year’s Royal Agricultural Show