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Swedish Hare

Breed Characteristics

Pet Suitability

1 paw - breed exhibits the least amount of this characteristic
5 paws - breed exhibits most amount of this characteristic


Swedish Hare

Origin The Swedish Hare and the Elfin rabbit, were developed simultaneously in Sweden and the United States, specifically for outstanding performance at sporting events for rabbits. Rabbit hopping and Rabbit Agility have become popular and a more competitive animal was desired. In Europe and the United States, breeders began to organize and working standards were in development by 2008. In October 2011, the Elfin rabbits in the United States officially became Swedish Hares.
In Sweden, the landrace breed called the Gotland Rabbit, although rare, was admired for its good temperament and strong bodies. The Gotland rabbit also comes in all colours with many individuals possessing an athletic arched body type. With these qualities in mind to develop the Swedish Hare, good jumpers were bred to the European Polish (like the Britannia Petite in the US), the Belgian Hare and other breeds that were good jumpers and easy to handle.
In the United States several breeds were used in developing the Elfin rabbit. All breeds were considered, using an outgoing temperament and an arched, athletic body type as a guide to individual selection. Large, arched American Rhinelanders were bred to the small Polish breed to reduce the size. Belgian Hares, Tans, Harlequin, Mini Satins, and Britannia Petites were other instrumental breeds. Now that the Elfins have been included in the Swedish Hare population, an international exchange of breeding stock is possible.
Selection for the Swedish Hare is based on criteria directly related to the ability to jump and compete in jumping competitions. Colour does not affect jumping ability, so there are NO disqualifications for colour or markings. Colour does help to tell the competitors apart, so wild and unusual colours are encouraged. The standard selects for the ability to jump in competition and avoids animals that might be hindered by extreme body type, coat, or ear length. Almost all the standard rabbit breeds have individuals that do well in rabbit sports, but Swedish Hares should excel in rabbit sports.

Physical Attributes

Weight 3.5 - 5.5 lbs. (1.6 - 2.5 kg)
Ear Type Erect
Fur Type Flyback
Colours Many different colours have been bred.
Appearance General appearance is to be graceful, fully arched and well balanced. Should be slim, athletic, and well up on their front legs. Body long and fine with a muscular flank well tucked up. Back distinctly arched with the loins and hindquarters well rounded. Neck should be in balance with the body and blending smoothly into the shoulder. Viewed from above the body should taper from shoulders to a slightly wider hip.
Best Kept In Pen. Cage or Yard.
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