A domestic rabbit or more commonly known as simply the rabbit is any of the several varieties of European rabbit that have been domesticated. Male rabbits are called bucks; females are called does. An older term for an adult rabbit is coney, while rabbit referred only to the young animals. More recently, the term kit or kitten has been used to refer to a young rabbit. A young hare is called a leveret; this term is sometimes informally applied to a young rabbit as well.
The Belgian Hare is a fancy breed of domestic rabbit, that was developed through selective breeding to closely resemble the wild hare in physical appearance, and is believed to be one of the most intelligent and active breeds of domestic rabbit. Averaging 6 to 9 pounds in weight, the Belgian Hare is characterized by its long, slender body and agile legs that closely resemble those of a hare, and can live up to ten years or more.
The first Belgian Hares were bred in Belgium in the early 18th century out of selective breeding between domestic and wild European rabbits, with the intent of creating a practical meat rabbit. In 1874, they were imported to England and called the "Belgian Hare." English breeders made the Belgian Hare appear more spirited, like wild English rabbits. By 1877 the first Belgian Hares were shown in America, where it immediately rose in popularity, giving rise to thousands of Belgian Hare clubs around the country, thousands were bred, and some sold for as much as 1,000 US dollars.
Rabbit breeds are different varieties of the domestic rabbit created through selective breeding or natural selection. Breeds recognized by organizations such as the American Rabbit Breeders' Association (ARBA) or the British Rabbit Council (BRC) may be exhibited and judged in rabbit shows. Breeders attempt to emulate the breed standard by which each breed is judged.
See: Rabbit Breed Appearances