The Dwarf Hotot's original home is Germany. It was developed independently in both East and West Germany in the late seventies and later crossed. The breeders in these two parts of Germany took different approaches in their development of the Dwarf Hotot rabbit. The West German breeders tried to develop a Hotot marked Netherland Dwarf by crossing a REW and Black Netherland Dwarf. One of these crossing produced a Dutch marked rabbit that when bred back to the black Netherland Dwarf produced Dwarf Hotots with black ears and spots on the back. Further breeding among the offspring of this mating resulted in a true Dwarf Hotot of very small size.
About the same time an East German breeder crossed a REW Netherland Dwarf doe with a Blanc de Hotot buck and produced a Hotot marked baby, two Dutch and three REW's in the first mating. The Hotot marked rabbit was a buck of 1.6 kg. (3.55pounds) weight and ears of 7 cm. (2 3/4 inches) at five months.
The breeder continued with this buck and the original doe and introduced other dwarfs and eventually developed a vigorous, prolific Dwarf Hotot of larger size than the West German one. Soon the two approaches merged as breeders exchanged stock across the border, giving better size and more vigor to both. Their first showing was at the ARBA Convention in Syracuse, New York in 1981. The Standards Committee accepted this as their "first showing" in the process of becoming a new standard breed. The second showing at the Seattle Convention in 1982 and the third in Colorado Springs in 1983 were also accepted and by 1984 the "Eyes of the Fancy" became an accepted breed in the ARBA Book of Standards.
Major problems that all breeders experience are with color and composition of the eye, including blue spots in the colored portion and black spots on the body. Breeders both in Germany, as well as the United States, are still working with this problem and are also working to improve the size and length of ear and overall body type.
Whatever the problems, the beauty and uniqueness of this little rabbit is reward enough. Any effort breeders make in the future of our "Eye of the Fancy" will help insure its continuous development and improvement.
The Dwarf Hotot Type
As the name implies, the Dwarf Hotot should be small and compact, a stocky, docile little rabbit much like the Netherland Dwarf. The head itself is round, with a broad skull. There should be no visible neck. Eyes are round, bold and bright. Ears should be short, well furred, and of good substance. Ears should balance with the head and body. The body should be uniformly wide from shoulders to hips, with well rounded hindquarters. The topline should have very slight gradual curve from the ear base to the highest point over the hips, and fall in a smooth curve to the base of the tail. Maximum weight for the Dwarf Hotot is 3 lbs., ideal weight 2 1/2. Their fur should be soft, dense, fine with good luster. Fur is to roll back gently back into position when stroked. Color is to be uniform and of pure white over the entire body, except for eye bands. Eyes to be dark brown. Eyebands are to be narrow, well defined bands of black colored fur forming a complete outline of the eye. Color to be as intense and dark as possible. Ideal eyeband width is to be equal to the thickness of two pennies.