Nature Mikey

Nature Mikey

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Breed of the Day: Alaskan Rabbit

    The Alaskan Rabbit was the brain child of  Max Gotha, a German rabbit judge, and another German breeder. The goal was to create a rabbit who's fur resembled that of an Alaskan fox for the fur trade, and to that end, their breeding program began 1900.
    The initial plan for the new breed was to end up with a silvery-black rabbit- a black animal with long, white guard-hairs. For reasons unknown, the breeders were satisfied in the end with the Alaskan rabbit as it is known today- an intensely black rabbit with long, glossy black guard hairs without any silvering.
    The British Rabbit Council (BRC) classifies the Alaskan as a fur rabbit. Its jet black fur is dense, silky and lustrous. Black is the only color variety the Alaskan come in and it is a "self" rabbit, meaning that the whole body is one solid color. It has a thickset body-type, being well-rounded, blocky and solid. They are a medium sized rabbit weighing in at 7 to 9 pounds.
    The breed was first shown in 1907 in Europe, finally making their way to America from Holland and Canada. The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) recognized the breed in the mid 70s. Their time as a recognized breed was short lived however when ARBA recognized Havana Black rabbits, a death-knell to the Alaskan in the US. Apparently interest and popularity in the Alaskan rabbit dropped sharply in 1981, and it was dropped from the ARBA list of recognized breeds. It is unknown whether or not it is still being bred in the US. Nevertheless, these are beautiful, vibrantly-colored rabbits, and makes for a very unique and flashy pet.

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