There are no other rabbits quite like the Dwarf Hotots.
All white except for dark circles around their large, expressive eyes, these rabbits only weigh between 2.5 to 3.5 lbs when fully grown, even as adults.
Many rabbit fanciers are drawn to Dwarf Hotot because of their endearing features.
With their compact body, round head, short neck, and distinctive white coat contrasted by black eye markings, these rabbits are quite the sight to behold.
Children are often fascinated by them. Unfortunately, Dwarf Hotots don’t like to be held, because their small, fragile bones easily break if they are dropped.
In this article, we will share everything you need to know about choosing a Dwarf Hotot and giving it a happy life.
First, we will give you a rundown of the essential facts about this rare breed.
One more thing before we start. “Hotot” is a French term. It is correctly pronounced “oh-toe,” but in the USA, you may hear it pronounced “hoe-toe.”
Essential Facts About Dwarf Hotot Rabbits
Scientific name: Oryctolagus cuniculus domesticus
Care level, compared to other rabbits: Because Dwarf Hotots are small, they are easily frightened. They need lots of positive interaction with humans as kits to grow into calm, friendly adults.
Temperament: Generally outgoing, friendly, and energetic if they feel secure in their surroundings. Often adopted as an emotional support animal.
Color: Usually white with black bands around the eyes. The American Rabbit Breeders Association also accepts Dwarf Hotots with chocolate bands around their eyes. Blue and lilac eye bands are also possible.
Lifespan: Very long-lived for a rabbit, usually 10 years or more.
Maximum size: 3 pounds (1400 grams).
Dietary requirements: Primarily hay and dark, leafy green vegetables. Small amounts of other crunchy vegetables and commercial rabbit pellets are permissible.
Compatible breeds: Too small to be compatible with most other breeds of rabbits. It is especially important not to mate Dwarf Hotots with large rabbits.
Cage size: Like most other rabbits, Dwarf Hotots need cages about four times as large as their bodies. Larger is always better. A Dwarf Hotot rabbit needs a cage or kennel with 18 inches by 24 inches (45 cm by 60 cm) floor space, and 14 inches (35 cm) clearance for its ears. Dwarf Hotots need protection from both cold and hot weather and are vulnerable to attack by other animals when they play outside.
History of the Dwarf Hotot Rabbit
Dwarf Hotots originated from attempts to miniaturize the much larger Blanc de Hotot rabbits for life as pets.
The Blanc de Hotot was developed in France in the 1890s as a meat and fur rabbit. By the 1960s, they had lost their popularity as meat and fur rabbits.
Rabbit breeders recognized the potential for a smaller animal with similar features to sell as pets.
Two German breeders, one in West Germany and the other in East Germany, started working on creating a Dwarf Hotot rabbit independently of each other.
One breeder crossed a Blanc de Hotot with an REW Netherlands Dwarf. The other didn’t use a Blanc de Hotot at all.
This breeder crossed a Dutch rabbit with a Netherlands Dutch rabbit and selected offspring over successive generations to minimize the markings.
They eventually crossed their rabbits to create the Dwarf Hotot as we know it today.
California rabbit enthusiast Elizabeth Forstinger imported seven Dwarf Hotots to the United States in 1970.
She began showing them in 1980, and they became a breed recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association a few years later (in 1983).
Dwarf Hotots have never become a particularly common breed, but their appeal to rabbit lovers of all ages keeps them in demand.
Appearance of the Dwarf Hotot Rabbit
Dwarf Hotots have eye-catching coloring and small size.
They are the perfect size for an indoor pet, although serious rabbit fans may want to raise them to show.
Your Dwarf Hotot may weigh just 2.5 pounds (a little over a kilogram) even when it is fully grown.
Does (females) will be larger than bucks (males), sometimes up to 3.5 pounds (1500 grams).
Dwarf Hotots have a short, dense, low-maintenance coat. Their fur is white, except for the markings around their eyes, which can be black, chocolate, blue, or lilac.
A Dwarf Hotot’s head is round. It has a short neck. The hindquarters are well-rounded, and they line up with the shoulders.
The ears are about 2.5 inches (63 millimeters) long and stand upright.
Dwarf Hotots have rollback fur. That is, it springs back into its original position after you pet them.
The American Rabbit Breeders Association standard for this rabbit requires that the markings around the eyes should be no more than 1/8 inch (3 mm) wide, and there should be no other markings on the rabbit’s coat.
One of the most distinctive features of the Dwarf Hotot is their stunning eye markings.
They have gorgeous eyes surrounded by a black ring, which has given them the nickname “Eyes of the Fancy”.
These markings make them easily recognizable and add to their appeal as a pet.
Temperament of Dwarf Hotot Rabbit
Well-socialized Dwarf Hotot rabbits are friendly, playful bunnies that like to follow their humans around the house.
For your Dwarf Hotot to become well-socialized, you will need to take it out of its hutch and play with it several hours a day as soon as it is weaned.
Rabbits go through a stage when they are about a month old in which they learn other animals and people that can be their friends.
Then they learn how to recognize which animals are potentially dangerous.
It is important that you give your Dwarf Hotot many opportunities to bond with you when it is young, so it will not associate you with danger.
How you handle your Dwarf Hotot makes a big difference in how it behaves. Dwarf Hotots enjoy being petted, but they do not like being lifted and held.
This is because of their instinct to stay close to the ground, where they are less likely to be injured.
Young children may drop a rabbit, causing broken bones.
Older children need to be taught to get down on the floor to play with their rabbit, petting it while it is resting on the floor, instead of picking it up.
Of course, you will want to make sure your Dwarf Hotot is litter box trained before you allow your children to spend a lot of time playing with it on the floor.
Care of the Dwarf Hotot Rabbit
One of the challenges of taking care of Dwarf Hotots is staying aware that they are hopping around on your floor or in your yard.
It is vital not to step on your rabbit! It is important to always reach under your rabbit to support it when you pick it up, and never, ever to drop it.
Food and Water
Every Dwarf Hotot needs fresh, clean, dry hay on demand. Don’t give your Dwarf Hotot alfalfa hay.
Alfalfa hay and alfalfa sprouts are too high in calcium for Dwarf Hotots. A steady diet of alfalfa can cause them to develop kidney stones.
Rabbits can get all their nutrients from grasses and leaves if they are allowed to live a natural lifestyle.
The way their bodies process them is very different from human digestion.
The first time grasses and leaves pass through a rabbit’s digestive tract, the rabbit absorbs carbohydrates and tiny amounts of protein.
The fiber in hay, stems, and leaves keep the rabbit from becoming seriously constipated, but passes out of the digestive tract as “soft poops.”
These fecal pellets contain probiotic bacteria. The bacteria transform fiber into fats that the rabbit needs for energy and to regulate its immune system.
Rabbits eat their soft fecal pellets for a second pass through their digestive tract to absorb the fats that the bacteria create for them.
This brings us to a second, essential topic.
Your Dwarf Hotot’s Litter Box
You don’t want to throw away all of your rabbit’s poop. Your rabbit needs to eat the soft poops. So, gather them up and place them in the litter box.
Your Dwarf Hotot will get the idea that it needs to use the litter box instead of your floor or the backyard in about two weeks. Then it will be reliably housetrained.
Rabbits need access to their litter boxes 24/7. Since they eat their soft pellets, line the box with dry hay.
They will eat the hay, too. (You don’t have to put all of their hay in the litter box, just enough to cover the bottom of the box.)
Don’t use cedar shavings, shredded paper, or kitty litter for your Dwarf Hotot’s litter box.
Always use hay, and change the hay twice a week to remove urine and hard fecal pellets.
Living Quarters for Your Dwarf Hotot
Dwarf Hotots prefer living in a hutch outdoors. The hutch needs to be raised off the ground to protect them from predators.
Dwarf Hotots can’t hop into the hutch, so they will need a ramp. It’s best to completely enclose the hutch with mesh wire for your rabbit’s protection.
Use coated mesh wire for the floor, letting poops fall to the ground, and allowing your rabbit to eat them.
You can keep a Dwarf Hotot indoors, if you protect them from other pets and from getting stepped on.
Health Concerns for Dwarf Hotots
As long as your Dwarf Hotot has fresh hay, fresh water, and protection from predators and injuries, it can lead a long, healthy life.
If your rabbit develops diarrhea, or stops pooping or eating, you will need to consult a veterinarian.
It is a good idea to buy pet health insurance even for your rabbit!
One potential health issue you may notice in Dwarf Hotot rabbits is head tilting.
Head tilting can happen for a variety of reasons, some of which are more serious than others. Here are some possible causes of head tilting in rabbits:
- Ear infections
- Injury or trauma
- Stress or pain
- Neurological issues
If your rabbit’s head tilting is due to an ear infection or injury, it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible.
Consulting with a veterinarian specialized in rabbit care is recommended.
In some cases, head tilting can be an indication of a more serious disease. This brings us to our next sub-section.
Vestibular disease is a neurological disorder that affects a rabbit’s balance and coordination.
If your Dwarf Hotot rabbit is experiencing head tilting, it could be a sign of vestibular disease. Common symptoms include:
- Loss of balance
- Difficulty walking or hopping
- Rolling or falling to one side
The causes of vestibular disease in rabbits can range from infections to head trauma or even tumors.
It’s essential to consult a veterinarian if you believe your rabbit might be affected by vestibular disease, as early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can lead to a better prognosis.
Remember to monitor your Dwarf Hotot rabbit’s health regularly and seek veterinary assistance if you notice any signs of illness or injury.
By staying attentive to your rabbit’s needs, you can help ensure they live a happy and healthy life.
Popular Bunny Names for Dwarf Hotot Rabbits
Here’s a table with popular Dwarf Hotot Rabbit names, reflecting their breed characteristics.
The Dwarf Hotot Rabbit is known for its small size, white coat with black eye markings, and friendly nature.
Many of these names are inspired by their unique appearance and lively disposition.
|Boy Bunny Names for Dwarf Hotot Rabbit||Girl Bunny Names for Dwarf Hotot Rabbit|
These names emphasize the distinct black eye markings, small size, and playful personality of the Dwarf Hotot Rabbit breed, making them fitting choices for your rabbit.
Also read: Popular Pet Rabbit (Bunny) Names (Girl/Boy)
Frequently Asked Questions About Dwarf Hotot Rabbits
Q. Where can I find a Dwarf Hotot rabbit?
A. Check the Find a Breeder page for Dwarf Hotots maintained by the American Rabbit Breeders Association.
You can also check the Dwarf Hotot breeders page of Rabbit Breeders US.
Q. How much will I have to pay for a Dwarf Hotot rabbit?
A. You may only pay US $15 for a young Dwarf Hotot bunny, although show-quality rabbits of this breed sell for $50 and up.
Q. How many kits will a mother Dwarf Hotot have in each litter?
A. Dwarf Hotot does usually give birth to 4 to 6 kits at a time.
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