Environment
Fact-checked

At AllThingsNature, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What is an English Spot?

The English Spot is a distinctive breed of domestic rabbit, celebrated for its elegant markings and lively personality. With origins tracing back to 19th-century England, these charming bunnies boast a sleek, spotted coat, an arched body shape, and are a favorite among pet enthusiasts and show competitors alike. Discover how the English Spot could hop into your heart and home.
DM Gutierrez
DM Gutierrez

An English spot is a medium-sized rabbit kept primarily as a pet or show animal. English spots are very distinctive with a well-defined pattern of spots, circles, lines, and an obvious butterfly marking. Long and lean, they are well-designed for running and require regular exercise. The English spot has a hearty appetite for select types of hay, but eats many other plants. This rabbit has been termed a friendly animal, getting along well with most people and other pets if introduced at an early age.

The male and female adult English spot are similar in size, ranging from 5 to 8 pounds (2.27 to 3.64 kg). Their bodies are long and spare with long slender legs and ears that stand upright. This breed of rabbit has a highly arched back.

English spots often enjoy cilantro.
English spots often enjoy cilantro.

Some English spots are solid colors or white with splashes of color, but the rabbits eligible for showing must follow the typical English spot markings pattern. This requires a coat with a pure white background and spots on each cheek under the eyes. A butterfly silhouette appears across the nose and a line runs down the backbone. Rings appear around the eyes and spots of varying sizes splash along each side, but all markings are the same color. The pattern colors include gold, tortoise and lilac. Blue, black, gray, and chocolate can also appear.

Fresh basil is a good food for rabbits like the English spot.
Fresh basil is a good food for rabbits like the English spot.

English spots are highly energetic and typically require the nutritious foods all rabbits enjoy. This includes hay and green-leafed and root vegetables. Timothy hay is easier on the rabbit’s digestive system than alfalfa, but an occasional block of alfalfa can help the rabbit to wear down its teeth.

Most rabbits will eat root vegetables like carrots or radishes but usually prefer the green leaves to the much more difficult-to-digest root. Leafy greens generally good for rabbits like the English spot are basil, cilantro, parsley, watercress, and wheat grass. Kale and spinach are usually only provided occasionally, while starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes are generally avoided.

Kale is occasionally fed to English spots.
Kale is occasionally fed to English spots.

English spots were first developed in Britain in the late 1800s, presumably from rabbits with similar markings. Some rabbit fanciers think the English spot may have been bred from the English butterfly and the checkered giant, both of which have the characteristic butterfly shape across the nose. English spots were transported to the United States in the early 20th century.

Rabbits will sometimes eat root vegetables, although they prefer the leaves.
Rabbits will sometimes eat root vegetables, although they prefer the leaves.

Pet owners usually find English spots good house pets, though they do require more exercise than other house rabbits. Although they get along well with other pets and most teens and adults, this type of rabbit is not generally recommended for young children.

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • English spots often enjoy cilantro.
      By: Amber DeGrace
      English spots often enjoy cilantro.
    • Fresh basil is a good food for rabbits like the English spot.
      By: Natika
      Fresh basil is a good food for rabbits like the English spot.
    • Kale is occasionally fed to English spots.
      By: forevergreen
      Kale is occasionally fed to English spots.
    • Rabbits will sometimes eat root vegetables, although they prefer the leaves.
      By: Leonid Nyshko
      Rabbits will sometimes eat root vegetables, although they prefer the leaves.