This small Dutch breed was the creation of Adriann de Cock of Holland. The Holland Lop in the U.S. is called the Dwarf Lop in Europe. In January of 1964 the Holland Lop or the Dwarf Lop was given a full standard of perfection in the Netherlands’ Governing Rabbit Council.
Adriann de Cock was known as a long time Tan breeder and fan of the Netherland Dwarf and the French Lop. Many thought the portions of the French Lop were a handicap in design because of the really long ears.
Sometime during the winter months of 1949/1950 de Cock acquired a small Netherland Dwarf doe who was bred to a French Lop buck. The buck being much bigger than the Dwarf doe, this breeding as we know it today was not a good idea. He thought that the litter would take after the doe and be small. This of course was not the case.
In the next year he tried the experiment the other way around and bred a Dwarf buck to a Netherland doe. This time with the knowledge that the doe was the one who must be bigger then the buck. The breeding was a success when a litter of six was born. All the kits had carried on the dwarf ear carriage, proving that this was a dominant feature.
By 1952 one of the doe’s from the previous litter of kits born was bred to a English Lop buck, which resulted in five kits. One of the young doe’s had lopped ears, two took after the normal erect ear carrier and the others stayed with one up and one down.
The lopped ear doe turned out to be very aggressive and so was never successfully bred. De Cock decided to breed a buck from his first set of kits to a half-lopped ear doe from the second litter and this also took place for the remaining does and bucks.
These breedings gave a percentage of lop eared rabbits which later bred to emphasis on the French Lop style. Not until 1955 did de Cock had what we know now as a Holland Lop. In 1964 he had successfully presented four small lop eared rabbits.
The popularity sky rocketed as get rich quick merchants raised the demand in Holland, exceeding supply. It was requested that the Holland Lop have a weight increase. Then in 1970 thirteen people including de Cock founded the Holland Lop Specialty Club. They had plans to breed the higher weight down lower, as it is now.
The Holland Lop was brought to England in 1970 by George Scott of Yorkshire county by a Dutch contract. This man raised a very small buck through his own breeding, but the buck never bred. Other information about earlier imports is not easily attainable. But the author does claim that French Lop, Netherland Dwarfs from Belgian bloodlines is infused into the British lines.
In winter of 1979 many Holland Lops of excellent conformation, although some with slightly less then perfect ear carriage came directly from Holland. Within six months of their quarantine the effect on their existing bloodlines was desirable.
More information about the history of the Holland Lop and rabbits in whole can be found at the Official Website of the Holland Lop Rabbit Specialty Club.