Breed Appearance These rabbits are stumpy and thickset, and have almost no neck, with
their broad heads carried very close to the body. Doe Alaska Rabbits
have heads which are a bit finer than bucks', and are allowed a
dewlap so long as it is well developed and in proportion to their
body. Alaska Rabbits have bright, brown-black ears, held open and
straight. The shoulders and rump are well muscled to compliment the
broad chest, and the strong legs of Alaska Rabbits are of medium
length. The silky thick fur is the sleekest feature of the thick
Alaska Rabbit, and is a jet-black color. The undercolor is slate
blue with the last quarter inch of the hair tipped black, and long
guard hairs are interspersed throughout the coat. Sometimes Alaska
Rabbits sport an even sprinkling of isolated white hairs. The belly
of Alaska Rabbits is also black, though it may be a bit more matte
in color than the brilliant jet body. Both the eyes and toenails of
the Alaska Rabbit are a dark brown color.
Contrary to its name, the Alaska Rabbit was developed in Germany in
the later years of the 1920's. The breed was developed from
Himalayan and Argente Rabbits, and was raised for its gorgeous fur.
Breed Description Type and Weight: Thick set. Chest wide and well developed.
Shoulders broad. Line of back sloping to well muscled and rounded
hind quarters. Weight - 3.17-4.08kg (7-9lb) Head: Fixed tight to the body with no visible neck, short,
broad and bold in the buck, a little finer in the doe. Eyes bright
and well opened, brownish black in color. Ears: Broad and well furred, length in proportion to body
size. Legs strong in bone and of medium length. No dewlap in the
buck. A small well-formed dewlap is permissible in the doe. Color: Top color - intensely black, brilliant and uniform over
the whole body, with the exception of the belly and underside of the
tail which may be more matt. Undercolor - to be deep slate blue,
with the black delimitation band restricted to a width of 6mm
approx. (1/4in). Toe nails black. Coat: Dense silky and lustrous. Guard hairs evenly distributed
over the body, long, strong and glossy.
History Selective breeding of rabbits began in the Middle Ages, when they were first treated as domesticated farm animals. By the 16th century, several new breeds of
different colors and sizes were being recorded. In the 19th century, as animal fancy in general began to emerge, rabbit fanciers began to sponsor rabbit exhibitions and fairs in
Western Europe and the United States. Breeds were created and modified for the added purpose of exhibition, a departure from the breeds that had been created solely for food, fur,
or wool. The rabbit's emergence as a household pet began during the Victorian era.
Domestic Rabbits have been popular in the United States since the late 19th century.
The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) was founded in 1910 and is the national authority on rabbit raising and rabbit breeds having a uniform Standard of Perfection,
registration and judging system. The domestic rabbit continues to be popular as a show animal and pet. Many thousand rabbit shows occur each year and are sanctioned in Canada and
the United States by the ARBA. Today, the domesticated rabbit is the third most popular mammalian pet in Britain after dogs and cats.
Behavior Rabbits can make good pets for younger children when proper parental supervision is provided. As prey animals, rabbits are alert, timid creatures that startle
fairly easily. They have fragile bones, especially in their backs, that require support on the belly and bottom when picked up. Older children and teenagers usually have the maturity
required to care for a rabbit. Rabbits may grunt, lunge and even bite or scratch. Usually they do not bite hard enough to break skin. Rabbits become aggressive when they feel threatened
or are cornered.