Normal, True Dwarf & Peanut

I would like to take some time to share my knowledge about some terms that are very common among dwarf rabbit breeders. This applies especially to any dwarf breeds including the Holland Lop.

There is something call the dwarf genes in dwarf rabbits and the genotype “symbol” usually used is dw. The normal gene is denoted as Dw.

A normal or false dwarf will normally have the genotype of DwDw. Meaning to say a pair of normal gene. These rabbits do not have the dwarfing traits like short ears, short limbs and big massive head like a midget. But I must say that some may make very good breeding materials.

Now, a true dwarf is a rabbit with the genotype of Dwdw which means, 1 normal gene and 1 dwarf gene.

Lastly, a peanut is a kit that has dwdw genotype.

So you may ask, how can I not get a peanut. Breeding a DwDw to a Dwdw will ensure no peanut. Just take a look at the combination. Each parent will contribute 1 gene to the offspring so DwDw x Dwdw will only give you DwDw and Dwdw. Meaning, normal kits and true dwarfs.

What is not desirable is to breed DwDw with DwDw. This combination only give you normal kits.

To increase the chances of true dwarfs or show compatible Holland Lops, breeders normally breed a Dwdw to a Dwdw. And this combination will produce peanuts.

How do you know that the kit is a true dwarf? True dwarfs normally have thick stumpy legs, big head, short ears and most importantly, the length of the hind feet is not longer than 2 times the width of the feet itself. So if you’re getting long hind feet, this normally means your kit is turning to be a normal.

And if you are getting peanuts, it means that both the parents are true dwarfs.

I believe that in the market today, most of the “Holland Lop” are not only normal with the DwDw gene, they could also be a possibility of being mixed bred.

There you go, some information about the true dwarfs in our modern world.



Filed under General Care

10 responses to “Normal, True Dwarf & Peanut

  1. darma

    Hey such a good information! thanks..

  2. Owh, now i got!

    True dwarf = Thick stumpy legs, big head, short ears and most importantly, the length of the hind feet is not longer than 2 times the width of the feet itself = The criterias that HL breeders look in their breed? But sometimes they breed Dwdw x Dwdw carriers and produce peanuts? Peanut is actually a genetic problem = or can i say a ‘defect’ in breed?

    Now i understand… why every peanut cant live longer like the others…

    OMG.. Never thought breeding needs all these study and has to look to all this expectation… Not simply2 producing babies.. hmmmm…

    • There is a degree of technicality in certain breeds. You could put it as genetic defect but that’s just how it turned out for many HL generations. It happens to NDs too. Any dwarf breed for the matter.

  3. azian9100

    eheheh… Nico..
    this all the Knowledge about breeding.. that is make big…different between.. Ethical and Unethical breeder…

  4. ajc

    One of our baby rabbits died today. The mother and father rabbits were both netherland dwarfs according to the person we bought them from.

    It was much smaller than the other bunnies and didnt grow very much. Im thinking we had a peanut. But it lived for about 4-5 weeks. It grew fur and its eyes were open. It could walk around and eat. It was just really really small. It had no tail and a small back end.

    It died this morning out of the blue. Its body went stiff this morning.

    Was it a peanut? Anyone have any insight on this?

    • Hi ajc,

      I believe it was a peanut. The small back end indicates it. Peanuts lack growth hormones due to the malfunction of pituitary gland. Do expect a lot of this when you breed dwarf breeds.

  5. Breanna

    Hi there. I have a question. I bought a rabbit from the pet store a few months ago and was told that he was a netherland dwarf. He was very small with short ears and had all of the characteristics. However, as he grew his face became pointed, and his legs grew longer and his body looks leaner than other netherland dwarfs I have seen. He has reamained very small, though. He is about 4 months old and doesn’t weigh any more than two pounds. He is cute as a button with an awesome personality and I love him to death. Just out of curiousity I am wondering if he is a false dwarf (which won’t bother me at all, I think he turned out with a nice disposition). I have searched online to try to find a photo of what a false dwarf looks like but I can’t seem to find one so that I can compare. If anyone knows of a site where I can find a photo, or what your opinion is that would be great. Thank you very much.

    • Hi Breanna,

      To be honest, I am not well versed with Netherland Dwarfs but I do know, even in Holland Lops, true dwarfs may have longer ears due to genetics. In any case, I the next best thing to do is to refer to his pedigree. If there is no pedigree to refer to, I would assume he is a true dwarf with longer ears.

      As to how the longer ears come about is quite debatable. As far as I know, some breeders believe it is solely the works of genetics and some do believe it is influenced by warm weather. Hope that help answer your question.

  6. Debs

    Reading Breanna’s post it sounds more like a Polish. Try doing a google search on Polish/Poland Rabbits and take a look at the photos. Hope that helps?

  7. Including dwarf hotot.

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