How to Properly Handle & Pick Up a Holland Lop

The Holland Lop is one of the most popular rabbit breeds kept as pets. With their sweet, affectionate nature and cute “lop” ears, it’s easy to see why. However, despite their small size, Holland Lops require proper handling to keep them safe and comfortable.

Learning the right techniques for picking up and holding a Holland Lop will help build trust and prevent injury for both you and your bunny.

Blog post guide, we will cover everything you need to know about properly handling a Holland Lop. Equipping yourself with this knowledge will help make handling your Holland Lop an enjoyable, stress-free experience each time.

Preparing Yourself and Your Environment

Before attempting to pick up your Holland Lop, take a few moments to prepare. This will help set you both up for success.

Make sure the area is rabbit-proofed by removing hazards and restricting access to hiding spots. Have a few of your bunny’s favorite treats handy to help ease any anxiety. Sit or crouch down at your Holland Lop’s level rather than towering over them. Move slowly and calmly to avoid startling your rabbit.

It’s also important to have proper hand protection when handling a Holland Lop. Rabbits have very sharp nails that can accidentally scratch if they feel scared. Wearing a long sleeve shirt or sweater will protect your arms. You can also gently trim your bunny’s nails or place soft socks over their feet to prevent scratches.

holland lop rabbit

Approaching Your Holland Lop

When you’re ready to pick up your Holland Lop, the next step is carefully approaching them. Here are some tips:

  • Get down on your rabbit’s level. Sitting down rather than standing overhead will help you seem less threatening.
  • Let them sniff your hand first. Rabbits use scent to become familiar with things, so let them investigate you.
  • Pet their head first. Gently stroke their forehead and cheeks before attempting to pick them up. This is calming and reassuring.
  • Talk softly and use their name. Maintain a calm, quiet tone and use their name so they recognize your voice.
  • Watch their body language. If your Holland Lop seems overly anxious, agitated, or skittish, pause the handling session.
  • Offer a treat. A small treat can serve as a positive distraction and reward during handling.

Be patient and move slowly. Never chase or quickly grab at your Holland Lop. Allow them to become comfortable with you first.

Picking Up Your Holland Lop

Once your rabbit is calm and comfortable with your presence, you can attempt to pick them up. Here is the safest technique:

1. Place one hand under your rabbit’s chest, supporting their front legs and torso. Slide the other hand under their hindquarters.

2. Gently scoop up your Holland Lop so they sit securely on both hands and against your body. Be sure to properly support their back feet and rump.

3. Carefully stand up while cradling your bunny against your chest. Adjust your grip if needed so they feel fully supported.

4. Bring your Holland Lop in towards your body with their head resting in the crook of your elbow. This should completely support their body weight.

Always pick up a Holland Lop using two hands. Never grab a rabbit by their ears, legs, or scruff. Make sure to fully support their feet and rump. This avoids injury and helps them feel secure.

Holding Your Holland Lop as owner in hands with care

Holding Your Holland Lop

Once you’ve picked up your bunny, you need to hold them properly. Follow these tips:

  • Keep your Holland Lop tucked securely against your body at all times, preferably in the crook of your arm.
  • Continually support their feet and hindquarters in your hands. Their back legs should never dangle.
  • Adjust your grip if needed so their head and neck rest comfortably in your elbow with their body fully supported.
  • Avoid squeezing or restraining them too tightly. However, maintain a snug, supportive hold.
  • Pay attention to their body language. If your bunny squirms persistently or seems extremely anxious, put them down immediately.
  • Always hold a Holland Lop with two hands on their body. Never suspend them by their ears or limbs.

Properly holding a Holland Lop close against your body promotes bonding through physical touch and makes them feel safe and secure. Always focus on maintaining gentle yet secure support of their entire body.

Putting Your Holland Lop Down

When you’re ready to end a handling session, carefully put your Holland Lop back down. Here’s how:

1. Crouch or kneel down close to the floor before attempting to set them down.

2. Continue supporting their feet, bottom, and torso as you gently place them on the ground.

3. Make sure your bunny has all four feet securely underneath them before withdrawing your hands.

4. Stay low as you give them a final soothing pet then withdraw contact.

5. Let your Holland Lop hop away on their own rather than placing them down and walking off. This gives them a chance to re-orient.

Always put a rabbit down gently while kneeling or crouching. Never drop them or carelessly release them from a standing position. This can cause falls or injury. The key is giving them secure footing before ending contact.

holland lop rabbit in hand

Tips for Safe Handling

Beyond the basics covered above, here are some additional tips for safe, stress-free handling of your Holland Lop:

  • Approach handling sessions positively. If you’re tense or frustrated, your rabbit will pick up on those vibes.
  • Start young. Regularly handle Holland Lop kits from a very early age to condition them to human touch.
  • Keep sessions brief at first. Don’t overwhelm your bunny. Slowly build handling duration over multiple interactions.
  • Reward good behavior with treats. This reinforces calm, tolerant handling for your Holland Lop.
  • Pay attention to body language. Look for signs of anxiety like rapid breathing, squirminess, or attempts to scratch or bite. These cues mean it’s time to stop.

Always put your rabbit’s wellbeing first. Go at their pace and keep handling low stress. This builds an environment of safety and trust.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When handling a Holland Lop, there are also some key mistakes that should be avoided:

  • Never pick up a rabbit by their ears or scruff. This causes extreme pain and distress.
  • Avoid letting your Holland Lop’s limbs or back feet dangle unsupported. These fragile areas must be fully supported to prevent injury.
  • Don’t hold or suspend small rabbits too high off the ground. This can result in falls that break bones.
  • Refrain from tightly squeezing or squeezing their torso. Restricting a rabbit’s breathing causes panic and can harm them.
  • Prevent sudden movements or loud noises that abruptly startle your bunny once they’re in your arms. Their instinct will be to scramble or scratch.

By being mindful and avoiding these hazardous handling blunders, you can help make sure your Holland Lop stays safe, secure, and comfortable at all times.


Properly handling a sweet Holland Lop requires care, patience and the right techniques. Always move slowly, support their body completely, and pay attention to their signals. Building trust through gentle yet secure handling enables a lifetime of snuggles with your beloved bunny.

With the knowledge from this guide, you now have everything you need to expertly pick up and hold your Holland Lop. So grab some treats and go make some rabbit friends! Both you and your Holland Lop will enjoy the bonding experience.