Looking for a dwarf rabbit breed with an all-white coat? How about a rabbit that is show-worthy and makes an excellent pet? Why not consider the Dwarf Hotot rabbit?
The Dwarf Hotot rabbit is a dwarf rabbit that is bred to be a pet and show-worthy. They are also called “eyes of the fancy” because their striking black eyeliner eyes stand out against their pure white fur coat. Dwarf Hotot rabbits are sweet and energetic, but they don’t like to be petted a lot.
Let’s learn more about this Dwarf Hotot rabbit breed, where it originated, and how you can look after your pet bunny.
What Is a Dwarf Hotot Rabbit?
A Dwarf Hotot rabbit is a dwarf or small rabbit breed that has a lifespan of 7-12 years, depending on how well you look after your bunny.
The rabbits in this breed are playful, energetic, and sweet. However, they aren’t the cuddliest of rabbits.
Comparable breeds are the Polish rabbit, Britannia Petite rabbit, Netherland Dwarf rabbit, and Blanc de Hotot rabbit.
These Dwarf Hotot rabbits are a fancy breed because they are mainly bred for showing.
Dwarf Hotot Rabbit History and Origin
Many people believe that the Dwarf Hotot rabbit is a smaller version of the Hotot rabbit; however, this isn’t true.
If you are curious about the pronunciation, Hotot is pronounced “oh-toe.”
By breeding several rabbit breeds with the normal Hotot, the Dwarf Hotot rabbit came into being. Its origins date back to the 20th century in France, and the Dwarf Hotot’s creator was Baroness Bernard.
The dwarf size of the breed is a result of efforts in East and West Germany in the 1970s. Independently, two breeders bred rabbits until the Dwarf Hotot was produced.
The one breeder bred a White Hotot (or Blanc de Hotot) and a ruby-eyed white Netherland Dwarf, while the other breeder bred a Dutch rabbit with a black Netherland Dwarf. The result was the Dwarf Hotot, which they then crossed. And all this during World War II!
These breeders managed to secretly communicate with each other and even traded rabbits. It wasn’t even detected by the German police.
In 1970, Californian Elizabeth Forstinger imported 7 Dwarf Hotot rabbits. She began showing them in the United States a decade later.
In 1982, the American Dwarf Hotot Rabbit Club was established. A year later, the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) officially recognized the Dwarf Hotot breed.
Dwarf Hotot Rabbit Characteristics
Here are the characteristics that set the Dwarf Hotot rabbit apart from other breeds:
The name of the Dwarf Hotot probably gives away the breed’s size, right?
These rabbits are small, only weighing between 2.5-3.5 pounds when they are mature.
A Dwarf Hotot rabbit has a compact body, short neck, and round head. The rabbit’s body looks very well-balanced, especially if they are correctly posed for shows.
The hindquarters of a Dwarf Hotot is rounded and should be in line with their wide shoulders.
The ears of a Dwarf Hotot rabbit are short and thick, and they stand upright. If your rabbit is to be show-worthy, its ears can’t be longer than 2.75 inches.
A Dwarf Hotot rabbit’s coat is dense, glossy, and short. It flaunts a full coat of rollback fur. So when you stroke your Dwarf Hotot, their hair remains upright.
If you have a Dwarf Hotot as a pet or show rabbit, you are in luck. Their coats don’t need a lot of maintenance. And even better during molting season, you may not even notice that your bunny is shedding because it is so small and its fur is so short.
However, during fall and spring when the seasons change, groom your Dwarf Hotot at least twice a week. Brush daily with a rabbit-friendly brush or slick comb if you can.
This helps reduce the amount of fur your bunny ingests when it self-grooms and there will be less loose fur laying all over your house.
Two-color varieties of the Dwarf Hotot rabbit are accepted by the ARBA.
If you want your Dwarf Hotot to be show-worthy, then the rabbit should have an all-white coat.
There should be a ring of black fur around each eye, making it seem like your bunny is wearing eyeliner. This ring should be as thick as ⅛ of an inch.
The other color variety that was accepted by ARBA in 2006 is the chocolate-banded Dwarf Hotot. Currently, the ARBA is in the process of accepting blue-banded Dwarf Hotot rabbits.
If you have a Dwarf Hotot as a pet (and not for shows), then it may not matter if the rabbit doesn’t have an all-white coat. It is quite common for the kits to have an English Spotted or Dutch-marked coat.
Dwarf Hotots make excellent pet rabbits and emotional support animals.
They need a lot of attention from their fur parents. These bunnies are, in general, friendly. They are also very outgoing, curious, and active.
Dwarf Hotot Rabbit Care
The Dwarf Hotot rabbit needs a moderate amount of care. Follow these care tips to make sure your rabbit is well looked after, whether it is a pet or a show rabbit.
The Dwarf Hotot is a small rabbit, so work on a minimum enclosure size of 18 inches x 24 inches or 24 inches x 24 inches. Also due to the size of this bunny, it’s better to keep the Dwarf Hotot indoors.
Most indoor cages are made from steel wire. Ensure the bottom of the enclosure isn’t made from wire. The wire hurts a rabbit’s feet, leading to sore hocks, which is very painful for your bunny.
So opt for a thick wooden bottom or line the bottom of the cage with rabbit-safe bedding so your bunny has a soft surface to hop on.
Remember to spot clean the bedding daily, and completely replace it once a week.
Your bunny shouldn’t spend most of its day in its cage. This is simply where they sleep, go potty, and eat.
Bunny-proof your home or a few rooms in your home so your Dwarf Hotot can spend time there.
Bunny-proofing your home means there are no electrical cables your bunny can chew, no toxic food and plants your bunny can investigate and accidentally eat, and more.
The enclosure for your rabbit should also have a run that’s at least as big as the cage so your bunny has enough space to hop around and play.
You can also take your Dwarf Hotot rabbit for daily walks around your garden or let them play on your kitchen floor or living room floor if it’s safe for them.
Also, keep your bunny mentally stimulated by giving them rabbit-safe toys like balls.
The biggest portion (70%) of your rabbit’s diet consists of hay, and this should be provided without limitation.
Only a quarter cup of pellets for a rabbit of this size is needed. About 20-30% of the Dwarf Hotot rabbit’s diet should be leafy greens, while root veggies and fruit are kept for treats and training rewards.
Dwarf rabbit breeds, like the Dwarf Hotot, are susceptible to a malocclusion. This is a condition in which the bunny’s front teeth grow directly above the lower teeth; however, a rabbit’s front teeth should be in front of the lower teeth.
When rabbits suffer from malocclusion, they have a difficult time eating or may pull a tooth on their cage.
In this case, your bunny’s teeth should be shortened every 6-8 weeks.
Rabbits may also have fleas, ticks, or worms, especially if they live in unsanitary conditions. It’s advised to deworm your bunny every year, or at least during spring and fall.
Keeping a close eye on your Dwarf Hotot rabbit ensures you can spot any health conditions early and take your rabbit to the vet for a check-up and/or treatment before it becomes worse.
If you aren’t into breeding rabbits, neuter a Dwarf Hotot buck when it is three and a half months old and a doe when they are four months or older. This ensures your bunny isn’t territorial or aggressive, and they can be bonded with a rabbit friend much more easily.
Breeding Dwarf Hotot Rabbit
Dwarf Hotot rabbits are mainly bred for shows and exhibitions; however, they also make excellent pets.
If you are single, married, or have older kids, then the Dwarf Hotot rabbit is a great fit. These bunnies need a moderate amount of care. They are friendly and quite energetic – even for their miniature size!
The Dwarf Hotot is a fancy breed.
The pure white coat with black eyeliner eyes makes a very show-worthy rabbit. Plus, the rabbit’s compact body, when posed correctly, increases your chances of winning.
Dwarf Hotot Rabbit Price
For a small rabbit, the Dwarf Hotot is quite expensive. Expect to pay between $50-100 for a Dwarf Hotot rabbit; however, you may pay more if the rabbit has a fancy pedigree.
Whether you are into rabbit showing and exhibitions or just want a cute small-sized rabbit, the Dwarf Hotot makes an excellent pet and addition to a home.
The breed is intelligent and curious. They are also friendly and relatively active for their size. Remember to keep your Dwarf Hotot rabbit indoors, feed it a healthy, well-balanced diet, and watch out for malocclusion.