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Dwarf Hotot Rabbit

Eyes of the Fancy

Family: Leporidae Dwarf Hotot RabbitsOryctolagus cuniculusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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I am looking for a live rabbit to do Easter pics with in the Charleston area, if you know of anyone doing this please e-mail me at  jessica kutz

   The Dwarf Hotot rabbit can be quite entertaining, they are charming and playful with people and they love to play with simple toys!

   Dwarf Hotot (pronounced "Oh-Toe" or sometimes "Hoe-Toe") Rabbit is also known as the "Eyes of the Fancy". These little rabbits are bound to catch not only the eyes of onlookers, but also their hearts. Though they are mostly all white, the thin band of black fur around their eyes give them a distinct, unique appearance. Their small size adds to their charm and practicality. They require a smaller living area than other rabbits, and are easily held in one's hand.

   Their affectionate, playful temperament is another quality that makes the Dwarf Hotot an excellent choice for pet owners.These adorable little creatures are good with children and make wonderful pets. Like any other rabbit breed, individual Dwarf Hotots have individual personalities, and will enjoy their attention in different ways. Most love to be held and petted and some simply enjoy hopping around on their owner's lap, but for the most part this breed enjoys affection and they are quite affectionate in return.

For more information about Rabbits and their care see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Rabbit

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Lagomorpha
  • Family: Leporidae
  • Genus: Oryctolagus
  • Species: cuniculus
Dwarf Hotot Rabbit

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Tommy's Dwarf Hotot Rabbit

Tommy's Dwarf Hotot Rabbit | Farm Raised With P. Allen Smith

Background:   Rather than simply being a miniature version of the larger Hotot, the Dwarf Hotot is the product of crossing several breeds with the Hotot. The original Hotot was developed by Baroness Bernard in France in the beginning of the 20th century. The Dwarf Hotot is the product of nearly simultaneous breeding efforts in East and West Germany in the 1970's. These breeders independently bred the same breed, but came together in the late 1970's to cross them.
   Breeds used in its development included the Netherland Dwarf and the Blanc de Hotot. The diminuitive size was first created in the 1970s by crossing the Hotot with a black Netherland Dwarf and red-eyed white rabbits. Eventually the two separate lines in Germany were crossed, and other dwarf breeds were introduced to arrive at the current standard.
   In 1980, Elizabeth Forstinger of California brought seven rabbits from the West German line to the United States, and began showing them in 1981. The American Dwarf Hotot Rabbit Club (ADHRC) was organized in 1982. In 1983, the Dwarf Hotot was recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). This breed is currently not recognized by the British Rabbit Council (BRC).

Description:    The Dwarf Hotot is a very small, compact breed, weighing 2.25-3.5 pounds, but with a maximum of 3 pounds for showing. The head is round with a broad skull, and the neck is not visible. The eyes are round, dark brown, and outlined with a thin band of black fur, giving the illusion that they are wearing mascara. Their heads are rounded with short, upright ears that may or may not touch, and their bodies are of a uniform width with rounded hindquarters. They should appear to have no neck.
   The coat is short, dense, and shiny. The coat color is white, except of course for the eye band. Some specimens also have a black spot on the ears or blue spots in the eye band. These rabbits make great pets, but cannot be shown. The average lifespan of a Dwarf Hotot is 7 to 10 years, and the litter size for this breed is 2-4 bunnies.

Color differences:    Most Dwarf Hotots that conform to the breed standards are solid white with black around the eyes. However, the ARBA recognizes black and chocolate varieties as well. It is worth noting that when wounded, the white Dwarf Hotot's fur sometimes comes back in black.

Care and Feeding    Don't let this rabbit's appetite fool you. It is a small rabbit that only needs about a quarter cup of rabbit pellets per day, but will eat as much as you will give it. It also enjoys occasional treats, such as carrots and rolled oats.

Housing Your Rabbit    Since this breed is quite small, it requires a smaller cage than the average rabbit. A 24"x24" cage is sufficient, and an 18"x24" cage is big enough if it is let out to play every day.

Maintenance    The Dwarf Hotot requires minimal grooming. The excess fur should be removed weekly, either with a soft bristled brush or damp hand in order to prevent intestinal blockages. Dwarf Hotots are susceptible to intestinal blockages caused by ingesting fur, also known as trichobezoars or hairballs. Signs that a blockage is forming included eating less and having droppings that are strung together. Laxatives are used to treat these blockages. Prevention consists of regularly removing the excess hair so that the rabbit does not ingest it when it grooms itself.
   Dwarf Hotots, like other dwarf rabbits, are also susceptible to malocclusion, which is a condition in which the front teeth are directly above the lower teeth, rather than in front of them, as they are in typical healthy rabbits. This condition can cause the rabbit to pull a tooth on its cage or even cause difficulties when eating as the teeth grow longer. Treatment consists of having a veterinarian shorten the teeth every 6 or 8 weeks.

Social Behaviors    A compactly built rabbit with a calm demeanor, the Dwarf Hotot is capable of playing independently, and enjoys running back and forth in its cage and playing with toys. It is able to keep themselves entertained much of the day with a simple toy, such as a ping-pong ball or paper towel tube, but it also love receiving attention from it's owner. It should be provided with a toy or two, and let out of its cage to play.
   It is a friendly breed that loves spending time with people. In fact, owners should be careful when opening a Dwarf Hotot's cage to make sure it doesn't jump out in its eagerness to spend time with its owner. Make sure and supervise it in order to prevent it from getting into mischief by chewing on chords or other objects. They are easy to train, and many enjoy being carried around or sitting in your lap.

Availability    Dwarf Hotots are available in most areas of the country and breeders can be found online. Prices for pet-quality Dwarf Hotots run between $15 and $50, and for show quality, $50 to $75

Monika Wegler, "Dwarf Rabbits, A complete Pet Owner's Manual", Barron's, Inc. 1998
Kelsey-Woood, "Dennis, Dwarf Rabbits…as a hobby", T.F.H. Publications, 1993
Roger A. Cota, "Rabbits: Guide to Buying and Caring for Pet Rabbits. Snow Bunnies.", Fancy Publications, 1997
Roger A. Cota, "Dwarf Hotots", Referenced online 2008
"What Is a Dwarf Hotot?", "ADHRC Breeders Listing", ADHRC, Ref. online 2008

Author: Ruth Bratcher
Additional Information: Animal-World
Lastest Animal Stories on Dwarf Hotot Rabbit

jessica kutz - 2010-03-15
I am looking for a live rabbit to do Easter pics with in the Charleston area, if you know of anyone doing this please e-mail me at

  • Rhonda Pauley - 2014-07-29
    What Charleston are you talking about? I am near Charleston WV
------------------------ - 2009-06-13
I'm already a fish owner, and a dog/cat sitter (family and neighbors only). These rabbits or bunnies whatever you want to call them look so cute. I really want one. If I get a bigger house I'm sure going to try to get some. I'm also going to try to get some birds. Hopefully my parents will let me. My grandfather had rabbits when he was little so he could help me and so would this website.

amanda kennedy - 2012-04-26
I am very very interested in getting a dwarf hotot but I can not seem to find one anywhere! I live in saskatchewan was wondering if anyone knows of a breeder close to where I live? thx

  • Charlie Roche - 2012-04-26
    Not familiar with breeders up by you but you can check this one out and see where it goes. DWARF HOTOT SASKATCHEWAN
  • Corey - 2013-04-28
    There is a registered Hotot breeder in Regina, SK by the name of Marian. Her email is I just got my lil Hotot from her last week ;)
Nicole Goltowski - 2013-03-26
What's the difference between the hotot rabbit and the Netherland dwarf they look a lot a like

  • Clarice Brough - 2013-03-26
    A good indication is to look at the eyes. The eyes of the Dwarf Hotot look like they are wearing makeup. The eyes are surrounded with a thin band of black fur, known as 'eyebands' by rabbit judges. They are usually all white in body color, which helps make the eyebands stand out., though brown and black are accepted colors as well.  On Netherland Dwarf rabbits these eyebands are not found, and these rabbits also commonly found in a couple dozen different body colors.
Crystal Rachelle Yonts - 2013-03-06
i want to get 2 but they have to be in the same cage, is this ok if cage is bigger than 24x24?

  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-03-07
    Yes bigger is better!
Julie - 2010-03-30
My little hotot (Pancakes) does not ever want to be held or picked up. Is this normal?

  • Annie - 2010-04-01
    Generally when a rabbit matures and hormones start kicking in they become stand offish or irritable, maybe even showing aggressive tendancies. One way to help resolve this issue would be to have your rabbit spayed or neutered (it takes alot of research to find a good rabbit vet in most locations that will do a spay/neuter and especially at a reasonable price so check your local shelter or rabbit rescues for recommendations). The other possibility is that your rabbit has issues with the way its being handled or it feels that its personal space (generally being its cage or litter box) is being encroached upon by humans or other animals. Researching rabbit behavior and learning to read your rabbits "body language", modifying your behavior and adjusting things around your home to appease your rabbit will better your relationship. Also, does your rabbit have an ample supply of toys to help de-stress? Rabbits may stress over minor daily activities like humans or animals coming in and out of the home or being noisey and they simply need something to preoccupy their minds with and play is just a great source of relaxation for a rabbit. Make sure your rabbit has plenty of toys and boxes to dig around in that are its personal "things" and not used by other animals (or humans). Good luck!
  • Anonymous - 2010-10-17
    No this is not normal it is probably because it wasn't handled from a young age which can result in that. There are other reasons look it up I bet you'll find something!
  • anonamys - 2011-04-10
    I would suggest working with him every day like when you change his food try and let him smell your hand or something just try and let him getr used to you and then try holdiong him
  • Anonymous - 2011-08-24
    my bunny doesn't like to be held much either
  • faith - 2012-12-23
    I just adopted a hotot and I've taked him out of his cage but he just hops back in. Should i be worried? I leave the cage open hoping he would come out. He leans out but doesn't come out

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