- COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States
- YEAR RECOGNIZED: 1925
- USES: Fur, meat
- WEIGHT: 12 pounds (5.4 kg) max., senior does
- BODY TYPE: Commercial
- FUR TYPE: Rollback; 1 inches (3.8 cm) long; ARBA Commercial Normal Fur Standard; long and dense, with luster
- COLORS: White or white-tipped guard hairs evenly distributed on black
THE BIG, GENTLE-NATURED SILVER FOX is renowned for its fur. Stroke the fur forward, against the grain, and it will stand up rather than fly back. Ideally the fur is 1 inches (3.8 cm) long and evenly silvered by lighter guard hairs. The breed was established by Walter B. Garland in North Canton, Ohio, in the 1920s.
Garland never explained his work, but it may have included a Checkered Giant with an unusual abundance of white hairs. Garland wanted a breed with the coloring of a Silver Rabbit on the chassis of a giant rabbit. Some have speculated that the breed resulted from crosses with the Champagne d’Argent and American Blue.
The breed was known as the American Heavyweight Silver when a standard for it was approved in 1925. The name was changed four years later to Silver Fox, linking the rabbit’s color to the silvered color phase of the red fox.
Today the ARBA recognizes the breed only in black. Efforts are under way to restore the blue Silver Fox coat, accepted at one time by the ARBA but discontinued for lack of specimens. The Silver Fox Rabbit is on The Livestock Conservancy’s threatened list, though in 2013–2014, it placed in the upper 50 percent of by-breed registration totals.