Rabbit Breed Facts Checkered Giant
The Checkered Giant rabbit breed has very little history to tell. The breed reportedly was first recognized in Germany and was imported into the United States in the early 1900s. Checkered Giants lineage is attributed to a mixture of Flemish Giant and possibly Checkered Lops. However, its body features may tell some of the history that isn’t being reported.
The Checkered Giant has a body form that is more characteristic of a hare than a rabbit. The body is elongated and well arched, so much so that that the rabbits’ stomach doesn’t touch on the floor. This long body feature is typical of wild hares. Heads on bucks (male rabbits) are generally larger than does (female rabbits). The ears are erect, set close together, and are heavy set.
The markings on the Checkered Giant are unique to the breed. These markings aren’t just “checkered” but they are placed in strategic places that make this rabbit distinctive from simple “cross-breeds”. The body fur is primarily white with markings that are either black or blue. Starting at the base of the ears, a line of either black or blue will run to the tip of the tail which is referred to as a spine marking.
On either side of the rabbit will also be spots of color or side markings. The side markings consist of two spots on each side, or two groups of spots. The head will be heavily marked with black or blue color and the ears will be fully covered in color. Both eyes will be encircled as well as spots on either cheek. The most impressive of the markings is the butterfly mark that covers the nose and lips. Mixed breeds that are black and white or those that have black and white broken markings are often referred to as Checkered Giants which is simply incorrect. The markings on a Checkered Giant are specific and those that are not to the standard are considered undesirable for show purposes.
The Checkered Giant is considered a giant rabbit breed. The average weight for this rabbit is about 11 pounds although it is not unheard of for these rabbits to get considerably larger. They require general rabbit care and will need a larger environment in which to live compared to smaller breeds. This breed generally has an excitable disposition and is often referred to as a “biter”. Because they can be temperamental, Checkered Giants are usually not recommended as a pet for children and do better with a more experienced handler.
THE RABBIT HANDBOOK, by Karen Gendron, copyright 2000.