- COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Germany
- YEAR RECOGNIZED: 1914
- USES: Show, fur, meat
- WEIGHT: 11 pounds (5 kg) and above, senior does
- BODY TYPE: Full-arch
- FUR TYPE: ARBA Commercial Normal Fur Standard
- COLORS: White with distinct black or blue markings around the eyes and on the ears, muzzle, spine, flanks, and tail
The handsome, high-energy checkered giant is one of just three ARBA breeds for which there is no maximum weight in the breed standard. But don’t look for coyote-sized Checkered Giants anytime soon, These big rabbits typically check-in between 11 and 16 pounds (5.0 and 7.3 kg).
The Checkered Giant is one of only a handful of North American breeds with full-arch conformation, a characteristic often referred to as hare-like, because when the rabbit sits up, its belly is well above the ground.
The Checker is predominantly white with specific black or blue markings: circles around the eyes, a butterfly marking on the muzzle, solid-colored ears, and either a single spot or a group of spots on each side. A dark line of color called a spine marking travels along the rabbit’s back from the base of its ears to the tip of its tail.
The early ancestors of the breed appeared in Germany in the late 1800s. Otto Reinhardt refined the breed in the early 1900s by crossing Great German Spotted Rabbits with Flemish Giants, which produced the first Checkered Giants. Quickly popular in Europe, the new breed was imported to the United States first in 1910. American breeders continued to develop the breed into the Checkers of today.