- COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
- YEAR RECOGNIZED: 1914
- USES: Pet, show
- WEIGHT: 10.5 pounds (4.8 kg) and above, senior does
- BODY TYPE: Semi-arch
- FUR TYPE: Flyback; ARBA Commercial Normal Fur Standard; fine, silky, medium length
Agouti Group — chinchilla with black, blue, chocolate, lilac, sable, or smoke pearl as a basic color; chestnut agouti, lynx, opal
Broken Group — any recognized breed color in conjunction with white and carrying the breed pattern
Pointed White Group — white body with black, blue, chocolate, or lilac nose, ears, feet, legs, and tail
Self Group — black, blue, chocolate, lilac, white
Shaded Group — frosted pearl, sable, sable point, seal, smoke pearl, tortoiseshell
Ticked Group — silver/silver fox, steel
Tricolored Group — any of the following colors in conjunction with white: black and golden orange, lavender blue and golden fawn, dark chocolate and golden orange, lilac and golden fawn
Wide Band Group — cream, fawn, orange, red
ALL LOP BREEDS HAVE DROOPY EARS, but the English Lop takes them to absurd lengths. While five lop breeds are recognized by the ARBA, only the French approximates the English Lop’s large body size, and none of the other lops — including the French — exhibits the prodigious ears that are characteristic of the English breed. They may stretch 30 inches (76 cm), measured from tip to tip across the skull. These exceptional ears require owner vigilance to avoid injury.
The English Lop is considered the progenitor of all lop breeds, though its origins, and that of lops in general, are unknown. By the 1820s, however, English rabbit breeders were exhibiting lops, and they were the only rabbit breed shown at the agricultural shows of the period. English Lops reached America in the 1840s, and the breed is credited with fomenting major interest in domestic rabbits in North America.
By 1945, the English Lop was in serious decline, both in numbers and conformation. Selective breeding for enormous ears had negatively impacted the rest of the rabbit. Fortunately, for the future of what had become a dying breed, Meg Brown of Scotland reconstituted the English Lop with an infusion of French Lop genes. The breed rapidly improved well beyond its ears in the 1960s and has since returned to prominence.