Animal-World’s Featured Pet for this week is: The Dwarf Hotot Rabbit!
Here is an adorable, small, and playful bunny rabbit! A little late for Easter, but these Dwarf Hotot Rabbits actually make fantastic pets! They are not quite as common as some other pet rabbits, but they are oh-so-cute! I am not sure if we ever kept any of these rabbits at our pet store, but they were available for special order and I’ve definitely run into them at rabbit shows. Many people like them to show them! Being petite and a beautiful pure white color with black bands around their eyes, they really stand out. Their name is pronounced Dwarf “Oh-Toe” Rabbit and are also known as Eyes of the Fancy.
Many people think Dwarf Hotot Rabbits make good pets because they are so playful. In fact they enjoy playing with both people and toys! They usually are quite affectionate with their owners if held regularly and are easy to hold. Because of this they are one of the better pet rabbits for children. They are a dwarf breed and so do not get as large as a regular full-sized rabbit. They only reach 2 to 3.5 pounds and can live in a smaller enclosure than a 10 to 15 pound rabbit could. They can live to be around 7 to 10 years old.
Dwarf Hotot Rabbits do not have a straightforward background history. It is often assumed that they are just a “mini” version of the regular sized Hotot Rabbit. This is not the case, however. While they do have the larger Hotot Rabbit in their genes, it took quite a bit of cross-breeding before the Dwarf Hotot Rabbit was declared. Baroness Bernard of France developed the very first Hotot Rabbit near the beginning of the 20th century. After this breeders in both West and East Germany were cross-breeding the Hotot Rabbit with several different breeds of rabbits. These included the Netherland Dwarf Rabbit and the Blanc De Hotot Rabbit. After these efforts were continued for some time the Germany breeders came together to try a combined effort in the 1970’s. The dwarf size first appeared when they crossed black Netherland Dwarfs with albino red-eyed rabbits. The German breeders crossed the two separate breeds they had come up with, and this is where our current Dwarf Hotot Rabbit originated from! Very interesting.
The American Dwarf Hotot Rabbit Club (ADHRC) was established in the United States in 1981. This was after Elizabeth Forstinger brought 7 rabbits from Germany to California to show them. The Dwarf Hotot Rabbit was officially recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) in 1983. And ever since then, they have been a popular show rabbit in the United States! Some things to note when showing these rabbits. A show specimen cannot be over 3 pounds in weight and they should appear to have no neck. They also cannot have black anywhere on their bodies (including their ears) except around their eyes. Other color varieties are recognized, such as chocolate and black, they just cannot be shown.
The care and maintenance of Dwarf Hotot Rabbits is typical of most other pet rabbits. As I mentioned above, they don’t need a large enclosure. A 2X2 foot cage would be sufficient. Especially if you let them out of their cage regularly! They also love to play so make sure to provide them with a couple toys. Feed these rabbits the same fare you would feed regular rabbits. They do well on a diet of commercial rabbit pellets with some fresh vegetables thrown in on occasion. Treats would also be welcomed on occasion. Dwarf Hotot Rabbits do need to be groomed. Ideally this should be done weekly to prevent them from accidentally ingesting too much fur. Intestinal blockages are a common problem in this breed if excess hair is not removed often.
Other than intestinal blockages, another health problem these rabbits run into is called malocclusion. This is when their lower teeth are directly below their front teeth, instead of behind them. This can cause them to have trouble eating or to accidentally snag their teeth on something, making them lose them. The remedy is having a veterinarian trim their teeth as they grow every 6 to 8 weeks. This is a simple solution, but it does take commitment to making sure it is done regularly.
Dwarf Hotot Rabbits are great little bunnies, for both showing and as pets! Breeders are usually easy to find online and prices range from $15 to $75 depending on whether you want a show animal or just a pet. I hope you enjoyed reading about these adorable rabbits!
Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.