Quick facts about Dwarf Hotots
- Country of origin: German
- Similar breeds: Blanc de Hotot, Netherland dwarf rabbit
- Size: Dwarf
- Dwarf Hotot lifespan: 7 to 10 years
- Body type: Compact
- Weight: 2-3 lb. not exceeding 3 lb. Ideal weight being 2 ½ lb.
- Purpose: Fancy breed, little commercial value being very small.
- Suited for: Singles, seniors, families with older children, first-time pet owners
History and origin
In the 1970s, two breeders, one in East German and another one in West German started developing a Dwarf Hotot, a miniature or a much smaller version of the Blanc de Hotot rabbit.
One breeder crossed Blanc de Hotot, and REW Netherland dwarf and the other one crossbred a Dutch and a black Netherland Dwarf after which this second breeder continued to selectively breed the offsprings to get rid of all markings until only the eye bands remained.
Eventually, the two strains developed independently were crossed to get the modern-day Dwarf Hotot that is often referred to as the ‘eye of the fancy’ rabbit.
The Dwarf Hotots were first brought to the US by Elizabeth Forstinger of California from West German, and she began showing them in 1981. Later in 1982, the American Dwarf Hotot Rabbit Club was formed, and the ARBA recognized these rabbits in 1983.
Many rabbit owners and fanciers find these small-sized bunnies a good pet choice since they require a lesser space and food.
Size, coat color, and appearance
The Hotot Dwarf is a small white coated domestic rabbit with a distinctive narrow band of fur around its eyes that is of a different color. This eyeshadow like color around its eye makes to look very cute. It weighs 2.5-3.5 lbs and if you intend to show it, it should weight at most 3 lb.
The body type is similar to that of the Polish rabbit. However, Wikipedia notes that “its shoulders are supposed to be as wide as the hips, and not show any taper.”
Furthermore, according to Pets4homes.co.uk, the “topline must have a very slight curve from the bottom of the ears to the highest point above the hips; falling away smoothly to the bottom of the tail.”
Its headset should not be high on its shoulders as it is for Netherland Dwarf. However, it should not be resting on the table. The head is broad and bold with bright eyes and ears forming an upright V shape and they that should not be more than 2 ¾ inches in length.
The narrow band of fur that is colored should be even with its ideal width being as thick as two pennies or about an eighth of an inch. If the eye band is streaky, weak, uneven or not wholly encircling its dark brown eyes, the specific bunny may not be accepted.
The rabbit has an entirely pure white coat as we have already mentioned, except for the band surrounding its eyes. By 2006, only two colors, the black-banded and chocolate banded Dwarf Hotots had been accepted. A blue banded one is under development.
It has a rollback coat that is short and thick often described as ‘lustrous, fine and soft’.
Dwarf Hotot rabbit care
Dwarf Hotots can be indoor or outdoor rabbits. In case you want them to be indoor rabbits, ensure they are not stepped on as they may moving quickly inside your house owing their small size.
Secondly, your house should be rabbit-proofed to avoid them chewing things in your house such as cables, wires, toys, books, shoes, etc. Give them gnaw toys, branches, cardboard boxes, and tubes that are safe.
Finally, provide them with a quiet place they can go hide, nap or relax, and a secured area in your garden where they can go run or hop since they are active rabbits.
In case you want them to be outdoor bunnies, ensure the hutch is large enough to allow them to stretch and hop around, it should be well aerated, have a sleeping place, be weatherproof and secure from predators. One on a shade will be perfect.
All droppings must be removed daily, and the hutch should be thoroughly cleaned once per week. This will include replacing your bunnies’ bedding. If you are patient, you can train it to use a litter box and minimize having droppings all over.
Also, ensure you provide them with a lot of high-quality hay, pellets (about a quarter a cup daily per bunny) as well as some controlled amounts of green leafy foods, vegetables, fruits and sufficient fresh water.
Finally, on care, these bunnies require minimal grooming. You can use your damp hand or a brush with soft bristles to brush their coat. During molting, you may be required to brush them more, especially if they are indoor rabbits to avoid having their fur on your furniture, carpet or clothes.
Ensure they are vaccinated against viral hemorrhagic disease and myxomatosis. Also, regularly deworm them, check for ticks, fleas as well as rabbit mites.
Unless you intend to breed them, your does should be spayed and bucks neutered as this reduces chances of reproductive system related diseases such as uterine cancers in the female bunny.
Check their teeth to ensure they have not overgrown and if so, give them more hay and gnaw toys to help wear them down. Malocclusion may also be a possible problem where they may have an underbite, overbite or other malformations.
Check if the rabbit grooms itself normally. In case it is dirty, spot clean it with a damp towel. Avoid bathing your rabbit. Dirty and soiled rabbits may end up with a flystrike.
Sometimes, as they self-groom, they may ingest some fur which can accumulate and block their digestive system i.e., cause furballs. Give them laxatives and see your vet if these hairballs are seriously affecting your bunny.
Temperament and behavior
The Hotot Dwarf is a docile rabbit with varying temperament and attitude that can suit almost every mood i.e. from being moody to mischievous to outgoing. Despite this varying temperament, it is friendly and can make a perfect pet that is also suited for children.
These bunnies are intelligent, fun and playful pets that will always find ways to keep themselves busy and have fun. They love playing with small rabbit toys (cardboard tubes, ping pong balls, etc.), being petted, or playing around their owner.
Also, they are affectionate, easier to train, and they love being cuddled and you will find them entertaining if they get used to your company.
In case you have older children, ensure they know how to handle these fragile small bunnies and when you are opening their cage, be careful as they are fond of jumping out of their cage with excitement.
Dwarf Hotot rabbits for sale and prices
If you want to own this bunny, there are many places you can get them especially amongst Dwarf Hotot rabbit breeders, rescue centers, and rabbitries around you. If you cannot find any, consider searching for them online.
The price of a Dwarf Hotot will range from $15 and $50+ and if you want a show quality, expect to spend more i.e., $50 to $75+ for show quality. In general, show quality, purebred and pedigreed ones cost more.
A few places you can try buying this bunny includes: