Not all rabbits are created equal, if you have had any experience with even one breed you will know this to be true. Some bloodlines will have a tendency to be on the aggressive side as well as so lines are the best of the best for personalities. For more on personalizes read my post on consider natural behavior. There is so much that could be said here but for the sake of a manageable post I have broken the topic down in to the two topics.
Whether you are looking to find a breed for a pet, production to provide for your family, or to start off your own rabbitry, not many people what to deal with energetic and unruly rabbits. One simple rule of thumb is to consider what the breed was intended for. By that I mean, was it developed to be used for meat or was it a breed that was going to be around for a while. It is easy to tolerate poor behavior from a rabbit that is not going to be around for more than 12-15 weeks.
Like any animal, on occasion, you might find that bad apple. That one rabbit was just down right mean. If that is not a natural characteristic of that breed don’t be afraid to try the breed again.
Another tip to find a good pet is to make sure you are getting a male (buck) rabbit. The female (doe) rabbits will become hormonally out of balance (ladies can I get a witness) become fussy and even aggressive if she is not bred often enough.
The lop breeds are near to my heart, if bred right you should have a difficult time finding a crabby lop breed.
Here are several breeds that are not hard to find, naturally calm and make the best pets with the least amount of work. Keep in mind that I have not owned all of these breeds. However, I do come in contact with them and get to see how most of these breeds react at shows. I will just give a small basic description of each breed and characteristics I have seen and hear about from many breeders.
The English lop has a minimum weight of 10.5 pounds with no max weight. With an ear span at a minimum of 21 inches from tip to tip for the breed.
Temperament: They are very calm and good natured, but are chewers. So if in a wood hutch you will need to make sure they cannot get to the door edges or corners they can get their mouth around. The breed will be lazy for the most part, however, they are also very curious and can become bored. Some kind of toys are recommended to help keep them entertained, if not you could have some behavioral issues show up due to boredom.
French lops have a minimum of 11.5 pounds and no max weight so you can see as large as 18 pounds. Defiantly a breed you need to experience intended for small children.
Temperament: French lops are like little dogs. Very good temperament and easy to care for. They are very big but will put up with a lot so are a good breed for small children to sit on the floor next to them. Some animals of this breed enjoy to have a few toys but are often content being lazy and some will not even mess with a toy. Some like to through things like their food blows so it is best to have their feed secured to the cage.
Mini lops have a minimum weight of 4.5 pounds and a max weight of 6.5 pounds for the breed. These guys are about half the weight of French lops and are often confused with Holland lops.
Temperament: Mini lops again are a very easy going breed, you might have the occasional fussy one but that is not normal for the breed. If you find one that seems to be naturally fussy you should consider a different animal.
Holland lops have no minimum weight and have a max weight of 4 pounds for Sr. rabbits.
Temperament: These little guys are the best choice if you have little space and would like to keep a rabbit indoors. You would be hard-pressed to find an aggressive Holland lop. They are a good breed for a small child (8-12) who has the drive and will to start their own herd of rabbits. They are easy to manage and do not have the strength of a larger breed. They are on the nosy side and might get themselves into trouble.
American fuzzy lop
American fuzzy lops have no minimum weight and have a max weight of 4 pounds for Sr. Rabbits.
Temperament: Again are a very good breed for small spaces or children but they do come with a little bit of extra work with the wool. They do need extra brushing or they will become matted if not groomed. Very calm but you can occasionally find a fuzzy lop that is a little more standoffish.
Mini rex has a minimum weight of 3 pounds and a max weight of 4.5 pounds for Sr. rabbits.
Temperament: This is another small breed that is not as laid back as the lop breeds but you can still get a good temperament in the breed if handled on a regular basis. They are slightly more jumpy but would not be a problem for even a young person to handle.
Netherland dwarfs have the smallest A.R.B.A. standard weight with a max weight of 2.5 pounds for Sr. rabbits.
Temperament: These little guys are energetic (so a slightly larger cage is recommended) but still good temperaments for the most part. They are not naturally aggressive. They do make good pets for smaller spaces but still need room to move. If they feel confined in a cage that does not have enough space this can cause behavioral issues.