Mini Hippo Dogs

Many of you might not have heard much of the mini hippo as they are the latest designer breed, stealing people’s hearts with their looks. This adorable new breed is suitable for large and small families alike and is extremely family-friendly. They are gaining popularity throughout the globe for their unique characteristic features. Let’s see a mini hippo dog.

If you are here, full of curiosity, trying to find out ‘why is a dog called a mini hippo? Should you get one? Will they be a good fit for your house and family? How do take care of them? Well, relax! You’ve come to the right place and we’ll equip you with all the required information that’ll help you decide if you should get one of the mini hippo pups.

Overview of Mini Hippo Dog Breed

Mini Hippo Dog Breed Overview

Breed Name : Mini Hippo

Height: 18 – 21 inches.

Weight: 30-40 lbs

Lifespan: 10-15 years

Coat: short

Color: black, brown, or a combination of both

Temperament: calm, independent, playful, and alert

Needs for Grooming: Moderate

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin of Mini Hippo Dog

New breeds like the Mini hippo are quite popular in recent times as they are bred for the desired or favorable characters of the existing breeds and show hybrid vigor. The phenomenon where the crossbreeding parents of different breeds lead to an offspring that has desired characteristics of both the breeds and is genetically superior to both of them is known as heterosis or hybrid vigor.

Hybrid vigor also helps in the elimination of genetic predisposition to certain health issues and can prove helpful in enhancing health, welfare, and fitness.

Their exact place of origin is unclear but it is believed that they first originated somewhere in the USA. A Mini Hippo is a cross between a purebred Shar-pei with a purebred cocker spaniel. Both the parents are the stark opposite of each other, making the pup the best of both worlds.

With the kind face of a cocker spaniel and the cuteness of a sharpie, the mini hippo is sure to turn heads when you walk them through the park. They get their name as The mini hippo due to their large, square, and wrinkly hippo-like faces. They are also known as Cocker pei.

Let’s Get to Know the Parents Of Mini Hippo Dog

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel: Parent of mini hippo dog breed
Cocker Spaniel

The Cocker Spaniel is one of the most popular breeds due to its cute, cuddly, and family-oriented nature. They originated as hunting dogs in Spain and soon became everyone’s favorite companion dogs worldwide. They are easygoing and get along well with children and other pets in the family.

Cocker spaniels are outgoing and playful. As they were originally bred as working dogs, they are energetic and always up for a game of fetch or to run around with you but they do not need to burn off the energy like most working dogs. They do equally well with regular walks in the park as a form of exercise.

Cocker spaniels are sensitive and don’t do well in loud and harsh environments. Positive reinforcement and a soft tone work best for them. The titular lady in the Disney classic The Lady and The Tramp is played by a cocker spaniel, one of the most famous.

They have long silky coats and large floppy ears. They need regular grooming and occasional trimming. Despite their long luscious locks, they are surprisingly among the average shedders. Their gentle and affectionate nature makes them a questionable choice for a watchdog.


Shar Pei: parent of mini hippo dog breed
Shar Pei

The Shar-Pei originated in China and were used as guard dogs to the upper class and the royals due to their fierce personality and loyal nature. They were also used as fighter dogs and their wrinkly skin aided them in the fight. They need firm training as they have a mind of their own and may become stubborn. In current times, they are widely used as family pets.

Mini hippo dogs are calm and sweet around children. Their protective personality makes them untrustworthy towards strangers and other dogs. They are extremely intelligent and independent. Unlike the spaniels, they exist to protect rather than, please.

They have a big broad wrinkly face with a short and broad snout which gives them the look of a small hippo. Their wrinkles were further enhanced by breeders for aesthetic purposes.

They are medium-sized dog breeds with short, bristly coats.

All About the Mini Hippo Dog

Since the Mini Hippo is the mix of two extremely different-looking dogs, the mini hippo puppies may widely differ in looks as they inherit different blends of characters even when they belong to the same litter.


Pricing of mini hippo dog breed

With qualities of both, the Cocker Spaniel and the Sharpie mini hippo puppy costs less than both the individual breeds. Mini hippo dog prices are around $350 to $600.


  • They are known to possess the short broad snout of the sharpie, hence the name, Mini Hippo.
  • They may have short and velvety hair like a Shar Pei known as the brush coat or long, silky curls like a Cocker Spaniel, known as the best coat. The shorter brush coat is more commonly seen.
  • The third type of coat is the shortest horse coat, having a rough texture.
  • None of their coats have an undercoat which keeps the shedding to the bare minimum.
  • They may have a wide variety of coat colors like red, black, cream, tan, brown, and even tricolor.
  • They commonly have greenish eyes.
  • The miniature hippo dog may either have a pink nose or a black one.
  • It’s hard to predict their looks as they have various blends of characteristics. The best way to get a rough idea of what your Mini Hippo puppy might look like is to have a look at its parents.
  • The ears of a Mini hippo may be short and curled like a Shar Pei or long and floppy like a Spaniel.
  • Their big bulky heads give them a cute teddy bear-like appearance.
  • They may have a curled tail one that is long.
  • A full-grown mini hippo dog is small to medium in size.
  • Height: they are Mini hippos and don’t grow much taller than 19 to 21 inches.
  • Weight: Around 18 to 28 kg

Personality and Temperament

Personality and Temperament of mini hippo dog breed
  • Just like their appearance the temperament of the mini hippo puppies may be variable.
  • The social nature, intelligence, and loyalty are common to both breeds and hence they are pretty much seen in all the pups.
  • They are good with other pets, families, and children adding joy to the family they become a part of.
  • Mini Hippo dogs have the intelligence and protectiveness of their Shar pei parents and may get jealous if you don’t give them undivided attention.
  • They don’t do well if they are left alone for long hours and may get separation anxiety leading to destruction.
  • They are calm, caring, and playful like their cocker spaniel parents who love pleasing their owners but can be stubborn at times if not trained well.
  • Also, they are easy to train compared to a purebred sharpie.
  • They are not very vocal and barely bark so they are a great choice for your apartment as they won’t disturb the neighbors.
  • Socializing them early on is important to reduce their protectiveness and guarding nature.
  • Even Though they are small, they make for good watchdogs.
  • They tend to drool.


  • They are food-driven and will be happy to do short training sessions which can be mentally and physically stimulating.
  • Regular walks or some playtime in a safe open space provides a good amount of exercise for the full-grown mini hippo dog breed.
  • Teach them to behave early on as they tend to get dominant and overprotective.
  • They need to know you are the boss, not them for them to follow your commands.
  • They rarely show aggression.


Feeding for mini hippo dog breed
  • Feeding twice daily will suffice your dog’s needs.
  • The quantity of food can be decided with the help of their veterinarian based on the dog’s activity levels.
  • Feeding a good quality and balanced diet with high protein and low fat is a must.
  • Feed gluten-free foods to prevent skin allergies in your Mini Hippo.


  • You need to follow a basic grooming routine for your furry Hippo dog.
  • The ones with long hair need to be brushed daily whereas short coat dogs need to be brushed a few times a week.
  • You may bathe them once in 15-20 days depending on how often they go out and get muddy and dirty.
  • They might need occasional trimming from a professional groomer if they have long hair.
  • Trimming of nails, cleaning around eyes and inside the ears is necessary for their well-being.
  • They neither shed too much nor produce large amounts of dander which is good news for allergy sufferers.


Health of mini hippo dog breed

Choosing a reputable breeder is the first and most important part of getting a healthy puppy. Both Cocker spaniel and Shar pei have their health issues but they can be reduced or avoided if only healthy individuals are used for breeding.

Lifespan: 10 to 15 years.

Commonly faced health problems of Mini hippo dogs:

  1. Dental health issues: Brush their teeth often to maintain good oral health and prevent bad breath and tooth decay.
  2. Allergies: They are prone to seasonal and certain food allergies. Avoid feeding them grain and gluten.
  3. Ear infections: Mini hippo dogs are prone to an ear infection if you allow too much dust, wax, and debris to collect in their ear. Make sure to clean their ears often or book an appointment with your vet.
  4. Cherry eye: If not cleaned regularly, gunk may get collected in their droopy eyes leading to infections. One of the common infections is the ‘Cherry eye’ condition where their third eyelid also known as the nictitating membrane swells up and pops out, usually needing surgical correction.
  5. Skin infections: Skin folds of the Hippo dog breed can collect moisture and become a perfect breeding ground for fungi and bacteria. Hence grooming them regularly and completely drying them after a bath is a must to prevent painful skin infections that may take months to resolve.

This cute pup will be a great addition to any family. They are suitable for apartment dwellers as well as people with individual housing having space to run around. They are intelligent, loyal, playful, and well suited for first-time dog parents and enhance their lives.

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