Holland Lop Depth & Topline

We all have this mental picture of the perfect Holland. I think for a lot of us, getting that perfect Holland head and ears is what first comes to mind. But – maybe the body should come to mind first. After all, it carries the most weight in points at shows. While hands-on is best when learning about depth, body, and topline, good pictures and explanations go a long way.

Holland Lop Depth & Topline

LOL Rabbitry has most generously allowed me to use her explanations of depth and topline for this blog post. She did such an excellent job of it, I knew the info needed to be shared. The pictures from LOL Rabbitry are wholly owned and copyrighted by LOL Rabbitry.

ARBA says of the Holland Lop body:

BODY– Points 32: The general aspect of the body is short, massive, and thick set. The shoulders and chest should be broad and well filled. The shoulders should be deep, with the depth exhibited at the shoulders of an ideally posed animal being carried back to the hindquarters of equal or slightly greater depth. The width of the shoulders should be nearly equal to, but not exceed the width of the hindquarters. The hindquarters should be broad, deep, well rounded, and well filled to the lower portions. The animal is to be heavily muscled, short-coupled, compact, and well balanced in length, width, and depth. A small, simple dewlap is permitted in does.
Faults: Lacking depth throughout the body; long, low or narrow shoulders; chopped, pinched, or undercut hindquarters, flatness over the hips; large dewlap in does. Fault severely for long or narrow boy.

ARBA Holland Lop Standard of Perfection

What exactly does that look like in a Holland Lop? Let’s start LOL Rabbitry’s slides on the topline.

What I genuinely appreciate about these, is how she points out that the topline does not stand by itself. Everything on a Holland Lop’s body is related to how another part looks. Head mount, shoulder, midsection. Topline, hindquarter, depth. All parts of the topline.

Plus she has gorgeous rabbits to show examples of πŸ™‚

In the third picture, she mentions a flat spot on the loin and proceeds to show where. Below are two slides she provided showing no flat spot and proper loin.

How do I apply that?

The first thing to remember is – many of us, especially those working within colour programs, do not have to get so nit-picky YET. We’re still working on ‘big’ faults. As we get them under control we can move forward and start focusing on smaller things. Does this mean completely ignoring them? Absolutely not. It means – don’t get overwhelmed! No one is going to create the perfect Holland overnight. Nor by trying to work on all faults all at one time.

You can look at your herd and get discouraged by how NOT like LOL Rabbitry’s rabbits they are. Or you can take information like this and move forward in a positive way with it.

Let’s look at a few of my rabbits

In the past, I have found it incredibly hard to get a good body on a tri or harlequin Holland Lop. They simply didn’t have them. I’ve been so pleased to see in the last couple of years that it has improved. Both in my herd and in the community at large.

That said, let’s take a look at a few of my rabbits.

holland lop buck alberta | how to earn a great reputation as a breeder
Cedar Point Alberta Bound
harlequin holland lop alberta | holland lop depth and topline
Cedar Point Renaissance
holland lop depth & topline
Cedar Point Classical Music
harlequin holland lop | holland lop depth & topline
Cedar Point Southern Swing

On a side note – the bars on harlequins can play tricks with the eyes when evaluating them in pictures. Also, type is a sliding scale of preference in a sense. Comparing my rabbits to the likes of LOL’s rabbits will make them look a lot less nice. But the point is to improve the rabbits in my barn. In your barn. Not to compare them to rabbits on the other side of the US who have an ARBA registrar for a breeder πŸ™‚

So take it easy on yourself and don’t beat yourself up over it. Keep working with YOUR rabbits…not on wishes and could haves.

Pep talk aside, let’s chat about the 4 of mine shown above.

Holland Lop Depth & Topline

Alberta Bound – I love the smoothness of his topline, it is so smooth from shoulder to the table. He does have an obviously flat spot in his midsection though. His depth is decent, he can clearly have more depth in his body yet.

Classical Music – here’s a doe with plenty of potential! Again, very smooth, continuous topline. She does have a small flat spot. Depth is good. Hindquarter is solid and wide. Compare her to LOL’s tort doe. Fairly similar. πŸ™‚

Renaissance – running my hand down this girl’s body was always so enjoyable. Smooth, full, round. She has a long shoulder, which affects her head mount. Plenty of body depth in this girl! Lovely hindquarter too. Solid and smooth to the table. Oh, and look at her nice, short front legs πŸ˜€

Southern Swing – literally the only time I got him to sit still in a pose! Decent topline, love the depth he’s showing here. He does have a flat spot. Also, his hind quarter is slightly undercut. Nice short shoulder on Southern Swing.

I challenge you

To go look at your rabbits’ toplines and depth. Don’t start with comparing them to someone else’s rabbits, but figure out:

  • Who has the best topline?
  • Worst?
  • Best depth?
  • Worst?

Within YOUR herd. Start there. Don’t worry about whether or not they are better or worse than someone else’s. Work with what you have, and if possible, try to find a buck with excellent depth and topline.

Hope this is helpful! Enjoy πŸ™‚


P.S. Do you like these types of blog posts? Comment below and let me know if you’d like more of them!

Holland Lop Depth & Topline

2 thoughts on “Holland Lop Depth & Topline

  1. I love reading your blogs, I often come back and check here to see if you have anything new to read. I hope you keep this website going and continue to blog despite having sold out of rabbits. I’m also very pleased that you put Renaissance in here as one of your rabbits with the best top line! She’s doing wonderfully here, my sweetest little rabbit.

    To many more good reads,
    Precision Rabbitry

    1. I am hoping to keep up with it, though will have to see how life goes in the next while πŸ˜€ Aw, glad she’s doing great there.

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