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Rabbits/sexing a rabbit



Back in May, I was given a rescued rabbit from my neighbor who's three dogs had cornered it in their yard. It was unharmed thankfully but small and thin and certainly looked hot for being outside , it was well over a 100F that day. I decided to keep it and now  'she' is at least double her found size and healthy in weight.  My question is now that..I have been told how to sex a rabbit but not sure I did it right lol  Does a female rabbit always have a dewlap? My rabbit doesn't seem to have one that I can feel under the chin but I don't feel testicals yet at the bottom end.. Any suggestion on what I might be doing wrong?

ANSWER: Hi Lauren,

Well all females do not have a dewlap.  Many of the smaller breeds do not get dewlaps.  I was going to tell you to look for testicles but clearly you have already tried that.  If there are no testicles that does not mean that it is not a boy.  There is a condition called cryptorchid where the testicles do not descend.  Is there anyway that you could send me a photo of your rabbits genital area?  I know it would be difficult and it would have to be a clear photo but I could try.  The other option is to take it to a rabbit savvy vet.  It really should be spayed or neutered to prevent cancer and behavioral issues.

If you do not have a vet you can try this site:

You can also try this site that explains a little better how to sex a bunny.

Sexing a rabbit can be difficult even for those that are very experienced at it.  I can usually sex a bunny by the time it is a week old but even I have been wrong on occasion.  How I can usually tell is that if it is a girl the slit extends all the way to the start of the anus. A boy will have a very small perineal area in between his penis and anus.

God bless you for saving this bunny.  I work in rescue and often times people just look the other way when things like this happen.  This bunny is so very lucky to have you.  If you have any more questions on bunny care etc.  Please feel free to contact me at any time.

Good luck


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thanks for responding, and confirming that at least i'm not going nuts ( no pun intended lol) with thinking my rabbit was..well neither girl like with a dewlap, or a boy with..boy parts. Lol.
I have had hamsters before that were told to me at the pet store told a girl and then..some days later, ta da..male!
To be honest I haven't handled my bunny to much so not sure if she will like me putting him/her on her butt for a picture but, it could be hard anyway to see down there as she has a black coat. Black..with slight gray underneath. I have done some of my own breed research and half think she is a mini rex, or a half rex at least.
I have a mounted webcam so it doesn't take the best pictures and doesn't zoom sadly  lol, but if you would like to see a picture..or think a black coat won't hinder seeing..i'll glad share a picture of bunny.

thanks for the advice :)

ANSWER: You can send a photo I can try.  Just push down on the vent area so that I can actually see it.  Even females will have something protrude but it looks a lot different.


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I have a follow up question. rabbit does not like to put picked up off her four feet in the trying to get her to sit on her butt so I can look at her bottom but..I tried to give a good feel back there.

I didn't feel any testicals still, or even buldges to assume some would be decending any time soon. I sort of felt what seemed like a slit but without getting too invasive to her being, i didn't prod at the area farther then that. She lifted her butt slightly though like she liked the attention, it made me think of what female cats do in a way. Does this have any relation? Sorry I couldn't get a picture but i'm pretty sure my rabbit is a female though.  Also, can rabbits have ticklish feet? My rabbit also does not seem to easily let me try to trim her nails,  any tips on how I can make it easier to get her use to it? I got her in May and haven't really tried often but her nails aren't hindering her movements long..i'd just like to get her use to it while she's still young.

Thanks again :) Have a nice day

If she is lifting her butt in the air then she is probably a girl.  They do this when they want to be bred. As for nail clippings you can search all over the Internet on how to make a bunny burrito.  This usually helps control the rabbit while you trim their nails.  Personally I have never used one I can flip them over whether they like it or not.  However, at our vets office they use a bunny burrito for everything.

Good luck



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Paula Murdock-Briggs


I am a licensed American Rabbit Breeders Registrar. I do not show rabbits anymore nor do I breed them. I do believe it is important that people that chose to breed rabbits do so with only purebred and genetically sound animals or that they have a thorough understanding of genetics prior to breeding. I have chosen to keep my registars license to help the 4H youth in my area. I do stay current on all breeds, varieties, show rules, regulations of the ARBA. I have spent the past 8 years focusing on rescuing and caring for PET bunnies who were no longer wanted. I am the current CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I was appointed CEO of the rescue organization and sanctuary in 2008. We gained our 501(c)3 IRS tax exemption status in 2012. We have taken on the task of rescuing unwanted PET rabbits as well as some farm animals. I teach genetics and health to the local youth as well as register and promote the breeding of only purebred and genetically sound animals. I rescue PET rabbits. These are rabbits that lived in peoples homes and were either surrendered to us or sent to the auction for meat. While I believe that all bunnies should be pets, I understand that people raise them for other reasons. I will answer questions from anyone, regardless of their purpose. I will reject any questions that are considered unethical or inhumane.

Little Angels Animal Sanctuary.

President and CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I have over 10 years of experience working closely with a veterinarian that treats rabbits. We have studied and treated nearly every illness that can affect rabbits.

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