- COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
- YEAR RECOGNIZED: 1978
- USES: Show
- WEIGHT: 2.5 pounds (1.1 kg) max., senior bucks and does
- BODY TYPE: Full-arch
- FUR TYPE: Flyback; ARBA Commercial Normal Fur Standard; smooth, short, dense
- COLORS: Black, black otter, blue-eyed white, chestnut agouti, ruby-eyed white, sable marten; broken (color includes any recognized breed variety in conjunction with white)
THE BRITANNIA PETITE AND THE NETHERLAND DWARF are the smallest of the North American rabbit breeds. But the Petite’s small stature belies a high-energy personality and a reputation for feistiness in certain situations, such as a doe in heat.
The Petite is basically a Polish breed rabbit that was modified by British rabbit fanciers who apparently crossed the Polish with Belgian Hares and later introduced Netherland Dwarf genes to expand the color range. After North American fanciers began to import the rabbits in the 1970s, they applied the current name to the Brits’ Polish since another breed on the ARBA roster had already been named Polish (not to be confused with the British version).
Picking a Britannia Petite from a lineup of rabbits is comparatively simple because of its small size and full-arch conformation. The Netherland Dwarf and Dwarf Hotot, the only other two breeds in the Petite’s weight class, have considerably different shapes than the Petite, which shares its full-arch conformation with the much bigger Belgian Hare. Also look for the Britannia Petite’s erect ears, which tend to touch throughout their length.