I find Hollands less difficult to “figure out” because I compare them to something I spend a lot of time each day with, my Netherland Dwarfs. One of my favorite showmanship questions to ask is, “What breed is most
similar to the Netherland Dwarf?” The casual answer of the runner-up winner is the Polish, but the calculated, thoughtful answer is the Holland Lop. Hollands and Dwarfs are sister breeds, plain and simple. Aside from ear carriage and a 12.5 ounces, these two breeds are cut from the same mold.
Holland Lops, like Netherland Dwarfs, are massive, powerful rabbits in small packages. High headsets, an equal depth/length/width ratio, thick, round ears, bold, round heads easily apply to both breeds. “Short, massive, and thick set” are in the very first sentence of the body description of the Holland Lop alone! The head, receiving 24 points, second only to the body, uses descriptions like “bold”, “well filled”, and “massive”. However, my favorite part of the Holland Lop standard is the 10 points allotted to BONE, FEET and LEGS! After evaluating a Holland, and finding that he or she posses a massive, thickset body and a massive, bold head, it’s inevitable that the rabbit will excel in the points given to bone mass. The Holland Lop standard is written around bone, and nearly every aspect of its criterion is influenced by this vital characteristic.
Evaluating bone requires several crucial components:
• Feet/Legs: short, thick diameter legs, i.e. the “tree trunk” analogy
• Head: massive skull, broad brow, full jaw line
• Body: wide chest spread from the shoulder to the tip of the feet
Much to my pain and disappointment, the Netherland Dwarf standard does a great injustice to the breed: it doesn’t allot points to bone. Holland Lop breeders are lucky that the forefathers and matriarchs of the breed recognized this hallmark ingredient when designing their breed standard. As a breeder, you must never forget this; I guarantee as a judge, I won’t!