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Dwarf Hotot Rabbit: Pictures, Care Guide, Lifespan & Traits

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

By Rachael Gerkensmeyer

dwarf hotot rabbit

The Dwarf Hotot (pronounced oh-toe) has a long and rich history that makes them unique from most other rabbit breeds in existence today. These miniature-sized rabbits hail from France and Germany. Sometimes lovingly referred to as the “Eye of the Fancy” due to their completely white coat and black-lined eyes, this adorable rabbit breed is friendly, cuddly, and easy to handle, making them an awesome household pet.

However, these rabbits are considered difficult to breed, so while they are distributed and cared for as pets around the world, they are not quite as readily available as many other domestic rabbit breeds. There is much to be learned about this miniature rabbit breed, so we gathered all the important details for you here!

Size: Dwarf/Miniature
Weight: 2 – 4 pounds
Lifespan:  7 – 10 years
Similar Breeds: Blanc de Hotots, Netherland Dwarfs
Suitable for: Kids, adults, first-time pet owners, experienced pet owners
Temperament: Curious, friendly, vigorous, interactive

These miniature rabbits came about as the result of breeding experiments in Germany. It was during the 1970s when breeders in East and West Germany (one in each area) decided to start creating their own dwarf bunnies, but they went about things differently. The breeder in the West chose to breed a ruby-eyed and black Netherland Dwarf together. The East breeder chose to bring together the Blanc de Hotot and the ruby-eyed white Netherland Dwarf. Unfortunately, neither breeder had much luck with their breeding experiments, so they found a way to communicate and smuggle traded rabbits with one another. From there, they used their newfound knowledge to create what we know today as the Dwarf Hotot.

Dwarf Hotot Breed Characteristics


divider_rabbitHow Much Do These Rabbits Cost?

The average Dwarf Hotot rabbit is sold for between $50 and $100, depending on things like the breeder, location, and lineage. You may be able to find one of these cute rabbits at a local pet shop for about the same price. Sometimes, this rabbit breed will end up at an animal rescue center where they can be adopted, but you must know how to identify whether the rabbit you’re looking at it is really a Dwarf Hotot because the rescue center likely can’t do much work when it comes to determining and verifying the breed.

holland dwarf hotot rabbit bunny
Image Credit: Adeel Latif, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Dwarf Hotot

The Dwarf Hotot is a curious and interactive rabbit that enjoys spending time with their companions. Many have sweet dispositions, but some can be aloof and onery. It’s a good idea to handle them while they’re still young if you want your rabbit to grow up to be outgoing and friendly with visitors.

Even without much socialization training, these engaging rabbits tend to be sociable and open to new experiences, more so than most other small rabbit breeds like the Mini Rex. The Dwarf Hotot also tends to be less active than many other breeds, which makes them great snuggling partners for kids and adults alike. That said, these are independent creatures that will happily keep themselves company when family members are not around.

Do These Rabbits Make Good Pets? 👪

Yes! The Dwarf Hotot can make a great family pet for first-time and seasoned animal owners alike. They get along well with children and don’t mind being handled. They also happen to do fine on their own due to their independent nature, so they won’t be lonely while everyone is at school, work, and social engagements. Of course, like all pets, this little rabbit requires care, just not on the same level that a dog would.

Does This Rabbit Get Along With Other Pets?

Dwarf Hotot rabbits are social but independent animals. While they’ll happily hop around and interact with people, they don’t mind spending time on their own. That said, they also would not mind living with another rabbit or two. As for other animals, these small bunnies would prefer not to deal with sniffing cats and dogs, but if they’re raised around friendly felines and/or canines, they can learn to get along with them.


Things to Know When Owning a Dwarf Hotot

Food & Diet Requirements 🥕

This miniature rabbit breed should eat a diet that is mostly made up of hay, and they prefer the timothy variety. A fresh bundle of hay that’s the size of your rabbit should be offered daily for grazing. For extra nutrition, a similar-sized bundle of vegetables and herbs like cabbage, kale, mint, parsley, and broccoli can be offered in addition to the hay every day. Your rabbit can have occasional treats like carrots and apples for interactive and training purposes.

Your Dwarf Hotot can also eat a small number of commercial pellets specially designed for rabbits daily. As for water, your Dwarf Hotot should have access to it 24 hours a day. This breed tends to prefer water bowls rather than a drip bottle. We recommend using filtered water and a ceramic bowl.

Habitat & Hutch Requirements 🏠

Dwarf Hotots are sensitive to cold and hot temperatures, so they should be kept indoors where they are safe from freezing in the winter and overheating in the summer. They do best in temperatures between about 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They should live in an enclosed caged habitat that is at least 4 by 2 feet in size, but the bigger, the better. As for height, there should be enough room for your bunny to hop around in their space.

Outfit the habitat with bedding made of straw, commercial litter bedding, or even shredded newspaper. You should also include a hideaway, toys, a small litter box (so you can potty train them!), and a place to eat and drink. It’s important to regularly let your bunny out for extra exercise and socialization.

Dwarf Hotot rabbit
Dwarf Hotot (Image Credit: Benny Mazur, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

Exercise & Sleeping Needs 🐇

These are low-activity rabbits, so they don’t require any special exercise routines. Providing them with toys to interact with and time outside their habitat should be enough to keep them in healthy shape and prevent them from becoming overweight. It’s worth considering buying a hutch for the backyard so your bunny can spend time outdoors. Alternatively, you can get them used to a leash for time in the yard, but special attention must be paid to protecting them from possible predators.

These rabbits typically sleep at night and become active during the day, making it easy to spend time with them while you’re at home. It’s a good idea to keep their habitat in a place that gets plenty of light during the day yet gets dark at night to mimic what your rabbit would experience naturally in the wild.

Training 🥎

The Dwarf Hotot can be trained to do things like use a litter box and come when called. This can be helpful when it comes to caring for your rabbit because you won’t have to clean their habitat as often and search around the house for them whenever they’re spending time outside of their habitat.

Potty Training: Rabbits prefer to go potty away from where they are spending their leisure time. The easiest way to train your rabbit is to determine the spot in their habitat where they are using the bathroom and then put a filled litter box there.

Your rabbit should naturally use the litter box, as they’re already used to relieving themselves in that space. If you want to move the litter box to a new location, move it just a short distance each day until you reach your destination. Your rabbit should follow the litter box if the movement is gradual enough.

Coming When Called: The first step is to teach your rabbit their name by using it every time that you interact with and talk to them. Eventually, they will associate their name with themselves, and you should notice because they will look at you when you call their name. The process can be speedier if you offer a treat every time you say their name.

Once they know their name, start calling them when they are not right next to you. Start with a distance of about 1 foot. When your rabbit comes over to you after you call their name, give them a treat. Continue this practice for a couple of weeks, and your bunny should be coming to you when called, whether there is a treat waiting for them or not.

Other Training Options: There are various tricks that you can train your rabbit to do, and many great online instructional videos can teach you how. An easy yet fun trick to start with is bunny kisses. Other options that might interest you are spinning, high-fiving, and jumping.

Dwarf Hotot rabbit on the ground
Image Credit: seguir, Pixabay

Grooming ✂️

This rabbit breed has a short, dense coat that is surprisingly easy to care for. These rabbits are excellent groomers and will do most of the work when it comes to keeping themselves clean and hygienic. They groom themselves daily and may even groom their habitat mates to be social. There is no need to brush your rabbit’s coat, but you can for the fun of it, as your rabbit will likely find it to feel good. Check their ears regularly, and clean them with a cotton ball of damp cloth if they are visually dirty.

Lifespan and Health Conditions 🏥

The Dwarf Hotot can live between 7 and 10 years, but this is not a fixed rule. With an optimal diet, daily exercise, and plenty of love and protection, your rabbit can live even longer. This breed is generally healthy, but there are a few health conditions that they’re susceptible to that you should be aware of.

Minor Conditions
  • Snuffles
  • Head tilt
Serious Conditions
  • Malocclusion
  • Gastrointestinal stasis
  • Uterine tumors
  • Myxomatosis


Male vs. Female

Both male and female Dwarf Hotots can weigh up to 4 pounds when fully grown, and they have the same markings and eye and ear features. Where the sexes might differ is their personalities. Males tend to be more outgoing than females, though this is not always the case. Some females are more curious in their habitat environment, while some males are less interested in the objects and toys surrounding them.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Dwarf Hotot

1. They’re Strictly a Pet and Show Breed

These rabbits are too small to be used for meat or fur, so they don’t have any commercial value. Therefore, they are bred strictly as pets and for show purposes. They do not produce enough meat and fur to make it worthwhile for producers of such products.

2. They Used to Be Known as Biters

At one time, the Dwarf Hotot was known for biting people in the show ring while they were being judged. However, the problem seems to have been weeded out over the years.

3. They Look Like They’re Wearing Eyeliner

This rabbit breed has dark markings around their eyes, which makes it look like they are wearing eyeliner. This feature gives them a cute yet dramatic look and helps make them easily distinguishable from other rabbits.

Two dwarf hotot rabbits
Image Credit: Seguir, Pixabay


Final Thoughts

The Dwarf Hotot is an adorable little rabbit that happens to make a great household pet. Now that you know more about the breed and how to care for them, you can make an educated decision about whether this is the right pet for you. If possible, spend time with a Dwarf Hotot, and get to know their temperament to help make your decision even easier.

Featured Image Credit: WBes, Shutterstock

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