English Spot Rabbit: Everything You Should Know Before Purchasing

English Spot Rabbit is a domestic rabbit breed known for its body and nose markings. The rabbit breed is believed to be one of the oldest and most popular domestic rabbit breeds in Europe.

english spot rabbits

English Spot Rabbit in a Glimpse:

Common NameEnglish Spot Rabbits
Scientific NameOryctolagus cuniculus
Other NamesLapin Papillon Anglais
Adult Weight5-8 lbs
Coloursblack, blue, chocolate, lilac, tortoise, gray, and gold 
HabitatCage, hutches, meadows
DietGrass, Hays, Oats, Spinach, etc
PredatorsDogs, cats, foxes, badgers, etc
IUCN StatusNot evaluated
Gestation Period28-31 days
Weaning Age1.5-2 months
Lifespan5-9 Years
BehaviourDocile, gentle, playful, and intelligent
Good Pets?Yes
Jump36 inches
Speed40 mph

Everything About English Spot:

Origin and Distribution:

english spot rabbits danimals cave

English Spot Rabbit’s origin can be traced back as early as the 19th century. In England, the breed has been in existence since the 1850s and was imported to the USA around 1910. The exact origin of English Spots is unknown but it is assumed that the breed came from the English Butterfly or Checkered Giant due to similar physical features, such as eyes, ears, and a herringbone.


English Spot rabbits are mostly domestic and used as pets. Hence they mostly live in cages or hutches. They also prefer to live in meadows, grounds, and bushes beside the cage and hutch. The rabbits need enough space to play, jump, run, and dig.

Cage Size:

The English Spots need enough space to move inside the cage or hutch or they might feel suffocated. Hence, the cage should be at least three to four times their size. If you are lacking space, you must have at least 24”*36”, otherwise it is recommended to have a 36”*36” cage for your rabbit.

Physical Characteristics: How do you identify an English Spot?

english spot bunny

English Spot rabbits are not a large breed of rabbit. They are defined as medium-sized rabbits weighing between 5 and 8 lbs. The rabbits are known for their arched body shape with two front paws that lift them off the table showing daylight under the belly. The legs are long and slender and the hind legs are parallel to their body. Hips are well-rounded and broader than their shoulders and the ears are vertical.

Any English Spots may have six types of body markings: butterfly, cheek spots, coloured ears, eye circles, herringbone, and chain of spots. The butterfly marks are the marks around the nose and cheek spots are the colored dots below the eyes. Eye circles are solid-coloured circles around both eyes and a herringbone is a straight line that runs from ears to tails. But the most common feature of an English Spot is the chain of spots that is present on both sides of a rabbit’s body running from the neck to the hind legs.

Also Read: Lionhead Rabbits: Everything You Must Know Before Buying

Colours and Fur:

The fur of English Spots is short, dense, and flyback fur. It means when the fur stroked from the opposite direction, it rolls back to its original position. The rabbits usually don’t shed their fur very often and it indicates that you don’t need to groom them very often. 

According to the American Rabbit Breeders Association ARBA, the colours of the rabbit are usually black, blue, gold, grey, chocolate, lilac, and tortoise. The rabbits are very popular as rabbit shows due to their beauty and colour.


Like any other domestic rabbits, English Spot rabbits mostly rely on hay for nutrition. Good quality hay prevents blockages and malocclusion and also provides the indigestible fibre necessary to keep the gut moving. Generally, grass hay (Timothy hay) is preferred over legume hay (clover, alfalfa, etc) as legume hay contains a high quantity of protein, calories, and calcium. Thus, it can cause kidney stones. 

english spot rabbit lifespan

Apart from hay, English Spots love to eat green leafy vegetables, like parsley, thyme, cilantro, dandelion, and basil. Carrots and reddish can also be given to rabbits in a controlled quantity as they have a high sugar content. It is recommended not to give them cauliflower or broccoli very often as it can cause gastrointestinal stasis among them.  

Rabbits have very delicate digestive systems. Hence introduce your rabbit to new vegetables very slowly and track the result if the rabbit can digest them. Corn (high starch), dairy products, and meat products are strictly prohibited for domestic English Spots.

Predators and Threats:

There are no natural predators for English Spot rabbits but while playing outdoors dogs, cats, foxes, badgers, and large prey birds can harm them. Hence, monitor your little rabbit while it is playing outside the house. Weasels, badgers, and snakes can attack the kits. 

Disease and Health Issues:

The English Spot rabbits are not known to have any breed-specific disease but they can suffer from similar health issues like other domestic rabbit breeds.

english spot characteristics

The English Spots mostly suffer from Fly Strikes and Malocclusion. Flystrike is a condition when flies lay their eggs on soiled patches of fur and, when their eggs hatch, they begin to eat the rabbit from the inside out. Always make sure your rabbit is not injured and clean, especially when it grows older.

Malocclusion occurs when the upper and lower teeth are misaligned and the normal process of chewing doesn’t wear down the rabbit’s teeth. Regular dental check-ups and good-quality hay can prevent rabbits from malocclusion.

Apart from the two, English Spot rabbits often suffer from GI Statis (a deadly condition in which the digestive system slows down or stops completely), and Ear Mites (when a common parasite enters the rabbit’s ears and the rabbit shakes its head very often). 

Routine Check-up:

It is advised to take your pet rabbit to a veterinary surgeon at least twice a year for check-ups. If your rabbit is more than 5 years old, then you should bring your rabbit more often for check-ups (whenever you find a symptom). 

Conservation Status:

Due to the unavailability of proper data regarding its population, English Spot’s IUCN status hasn’t been evaluated yet.

Behaviour: Are English Spots good pets?

english spot rabbit for sale

English Spots are known for show-rabbits and have one of the best temperaments. The rabbits love to be petted and picked up and play with the owners and family members. These rabbits easily fit in any family irrespective of the family’s size and the owner’s experience. They love to spend time with the owner and play with toys. 

English Spot rabbits don’t like to be stuck in cages and hutches all day. They need regular exercise for at least 1-2 hours on the ground. The rabbits need to run, jump, dig, and play to stay active and healthy. But while playing outdoors, the owner must monitor and protect the rabbit from any potential danger.

The best thing about English Spot rabbits is they are laid-back rabbits and don’t need high care. But the rabbits need high attention from the owner, otherwise they might feel lonely and injure themselves. 


English Spot rabbits are very easy to train like a cat and dog. You can easily train them with little experience but lots of patience. You can easily give litter training and potty training to your rabbit.  Just make sure the litter box is far from its eating place. Or with the help of a Leash, you can also give it walking training. The rabbits are brilliant and they can learn the process very easily.


The English Spots don’t need much grooming as they don’t shed their fur more often. Hence, the rabbit breed doesn’t require too much grooming. Even if they shed, it is unnoticeable as their fur is very short. 

Hence, grooming once a week or two weeks is enough for the rabbit depending on how dirty they become. But in the shedding season (spring and autumn) it is advised to groom them twice or thrice a week to keep them clean. 

Bathing can be a traumatizing experience for the rabbits and you shouldn’t bathe them unless it is too much required. The ears are to be cleaned and the nails are to be trimmed when necessary. 

Life Span:

English Spot usually lives 5-9 years. They can live longer if they are cared for properly. But sometimes they can die early due to injury and illness and hence it is very important to groom and care for your rabbit as much as possible.

About English Spot Rabbit Sales: How can you purchase an English Spot?

English Spot rabbits are one of the most popular rabbit breeds worldwide and can be found easily in any nearby pet shop around the world. However, you can purchase them from professional rabbit breeders. Depending on your location, you can also purchase them online. To find ARBA-certified rabbit breeders you can click here

What is the price of an English Spot?

The price always varies depending on the location. An English Spot rabbit is between $40 and $70 in the USA. However, if you need an English Spot which is ready for show, it will cost more than $250. 

5 Facts to Remember Before Purchasing an English Spot Rabbit:

  1. The rabbits have a very bad habit of chewing everything that has fallen on the floor. Hence, always try to keep the floor clean and free from sharp objects. You must also make the room rabbit-proof by removing all electric wires from the floor. 
  2. Rabbit teeth never stop growing and sometimes they grow into their jaws and face which is very painful and prevents them from eating. If you find any overgrown teeth, always contact a veterinary surgeon to file down the tooth.
  3. English Spots need regular exercise of 1-2 hours every day to stay fit and healthy. While playing outside the home, the owner needs to monitor the rabbits, otherwise predators can harm them.
  4. The rabbits are prone to disease and you should bring them to the veterinary surgeon once or twice a year. But after reaching five years of age, the chance of getting infected or injured increases, and hence you should go to a veterinary surgeon whenever necessary. 
  5. If you are planning to buy a rabbit make sure you have enough time to give it attention because the rabbits want human company very often and love to be petted, cuddled, and picked up. If you cannot give them enough attention, they might cause trouble and injure themselves.

How big can an English Spot get?

English Spots are medium-sized rabbits and they are known for their beauty. It is recorded that the English Spots can be as heavy as 8 lbs or 3.6 kg.

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Daniel Caves, a renowned journalist and expert in the field of animals and pets, has dedicated his career to shedding light on the fascinating world of animal behavior, welfare, and conservation. With a passion for storytelling and a deep understanding of the bond between humans and animals, Daniel's work has captivated audiences worldwide, inspiring compassion and advocacy for our furry, feathered, and scaled companions. His insightful reporting and expertise have earned him recognition as a leading voice in the field, shaping conversations and driving positive change for the welfare of animals everywhere.

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