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Mini Hippo Dog: A Complete Breed Guide (With Pictures)

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There is a new dog breed on the scene, and it’s called the Mini Hippo Dog. This breed is quickly gaining in popularity due to its adorable appearance and great temperament. 

This post will cover everything you need to know about the Mini Hippo Dog, including its history, physical appearance, size, colors, temperament, and many other frequently asked questions about the dog breed. 

We will also include pictures of the Mini Hippo Dog so that you can see for yourself how adorable this breed really is.

Let’s jump right in.

Mini Hippo Dog

What Is A Mini Hippo Dog?

A Mini Hippo Dog comes from cross breeding a Chinese Shar Pei and a Cocker Spaniel. Its official name is Cocker Pei, but because of their strong resemblance to a small hippopotamus, they’re often called the Mini Hippo Dog.

What Was The Mini Hippo Dog Bred For?

The Mini Hippo Dog is a relatively new designer breed that was bred to be a companion. Their adorable appearance and great temperament make them considerably desirable dogs.

They weren’t bred with any particular working purposes in mind. For the most part, people loved the hippo-like appearance of the Chinese Shar Pei dogs but wanted a smaller version.

While Chinese Shar Pei’s were hunters, guardians, herders, and even fighters, the Mini Hippo Dog is designed to be a family companion. Of course, their smaller size wouldn’t make them as good at these types of jobs, but they still have protective instincts.

Where Does The Mini Hippo Dog Come From?

The Mini Hippo Dog is a designer breed that was bred in the United States. Because they’re a relatively newer mixed breed, we have to look at their parent breeds to better understand their history.

Chinese Shar Pei History

While the exact origins of the Chinese Shar Pei are shrouded in mystery, there is no doubt that this breed is one of the oldest in existence. 

Archaeological evidence suggests that Shar Peis were present in China as early as 206 BC, and they were likely used for hunting and guarding livestock. Over time, Shar Peis became more popular as companions and court dogs, and their distinctive features began to be bred for aesthetic purposes. 

Unfortunately, the Shar Pei nearly went extinct during the Cultural Revolution, when dog ownership was discouraged by the government. 

However, a handful of breeders managed to keep the breed alive. Today, the Chinese Shar Pei is once again a popular companion animal. 

Cocker Spaniel History

Cocker Spaniels are among the most popular breeds in the United States, beloved by families and individuals. But where did the Cocker Spaniel come from? And what makes this breed so unique?

The Cocker Spaniel is thought to be descended from two different types of medieval Spanish hunting dogs. These dogs were used to flush birds out of the underbrush so that they could be easily caught by waiting hunters. 

The Cocker Spaniel was then used in England in the 19th century for a similar purpose. The breed became very popular among English sportsmen and eventually made its way to the United States, where it rapidly gained popularity.

Today, Cocker Spaniels are widely known as family pets. They are intelligent and eager to please dogs that make excellent companion animals. They are also still used as hunting dogs in some parts of the world.

Mini Hippo Dog Appearance & Traits

mini hippo dog outside
PC: @mooseandmeme

Size (Weight & Height)

The Mini Hippo Dog is a small to medium-sized dog. They weigh anywhere from 25-45 pounds and can be between 14-18 inches tall at the shoulder.

Coat Colors & Texture

The Mini Hippo Dog has a short, dense coat that can be either smooth or rough. They can be a variety of colors, but the most common are black, brown, fawn, and red. They may also have a brindle coat.

Their coat and skin is their most distinct feature. The skin is thick and loose, similar to that of a Shar Pei, especially around their face. This feature is what gives the Mini Hippo Dog its hippo-like appearance.

Shedding & Grooming

Mini Hippo Dogs are moderate shedders. They need to be brushed a few times a week to remove loose hair and keep their coat healthy.

An increasing number of people are starting to use a robot vacuum to help them stay on top of their dog’s shedding, but that might not be necessary for these dogs.

When it comes to the other areas of grooming, these dogs are a little more high maintenance because they have one more thing owners need to think about.

And that’s their adorable wrinkles.

While the wrinkles on a Mini Hippo Dog’s face may look cute, they can actually cause some health problems if they’re not cleaned properly. 

Bacteria can get trapped in the wrinkles and cause infections, so it’s important to clean them regularly. This usually involves wiping them down with a damp cloth or using a special cleanser for dogs.

As for the other areas of grooming, they’ll need a similar amount of attention and care.

They should have a bath every 8-12 weeks, have their ears cleaned and nails trimmed once a month, and have their teeth cleaned a few times per week.

Are Mini Hippo Dogs Hypoallergenic?

No, Mini Hippo Dogs are not hypoallergenic. They shed a moderate amount and produce the dander that triggers an allergic reaction, so they may not be the best choice for people with dog allergies.

Ears & Tail

The Mini Hippo Dog can have two types of ears, long and floppy or short. Floppy ears are more common and give the dog a cute, cuddly appearance.

The tail can be either long or short, rarely is it in between. If they have a short tail, it’s usually pointing upward. If they have a long tail, it’ll curl over their back.

Eye Color

The Mini Hippo Dog can have a variety of eye colors, but the most common are brown and black.


dog relaxing
PC: @luatheminihippo

The Mini Hippo Dog has an average lifespan of 10-13 years. Depending on which parent breed a Mini Hippo Dog takes after will affect their lifespan.

Unfortunately, larger dogs don’t live as long, so if they take after their Chinese Shar Pei parent more and a bigger in size, they may live closer to the lower end of that range.

Vice versa is true if they’re smaller and resemble more of their Cocker Spaniel parent.

Their lifestyle, diet, and whether or not they have any health conditions will also play a role in how long they live.

Common Health Issues

The Mini Hippo Dog is a relatively healthy breed but is prone to some health conditions.

The most common health issues they may experience are:

  • Allergies: Just like people, dogs can be allergic to things like pollen, dust, and certain foods. The symptoms of an allergy in a dog are usually itchy skin, excessive scratching, and hot spots.
  • Eye problems like progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and glaucoma are hereditary and can lead to blindness.
  • Hip dysplasia: This is a condition that affects the hip joint and can cause pain and lameness.
  • Ear infections: Ear infections are common in many dogs, especially those with long, floppy ears. The symptoms of an ear infection are usually head shaking, scratching at the ears, and a bad odor coming from the ears.
  • Hypothyroidism: This is a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones. The symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs are weight gain, lethargy, and hair loss.
  • Skin infections due to their wrinkles: As mentioned before, the wrinkles on a Mini Hippo Dog’s face can trap bacteria and lead to skin infections. They need to be cleaned often in order to avoid bacteria building up and becoming problematic.
  • Cancer: Cancer is a common disease in many dogs, but the Mini Hippo Dog is unfortunately especially prone to it. The most common type of cancer they get is lymphoma.

While the Mini Hippo Dog is prone to some health conditions, they can be avoided with regular vet check-ups, a healthy diet, and plenty of exercise.

This by no means, means they’ll for sure have one of these conditions, but they’re ones to be aware of because they’re more common.

Trainability & Intelligence

The Mini Hippo Dog is a smart breed that can be relatively easy to train.

They’re quick learners and love to please their owners, so they respond well to positive reinforcement training like treats and praise.

However, because of their intelligence, they can be stubborn at times. But with patience and consistency, they can learn just about anything you’d like to teach them.

Activity Level & Exercise Needs

The Mini Hippo Dog is a medium-energy breed that needs about 30-45 minutes of exercise per day.

This can be in the form of a walk, run, or playing fetch in the backyard. They also enjoy swimming and hiking.

They’re not a super high-energy breed that needs hours of exercise, but they do need enough to keep them happy and healthy. If they don’t get enough exercise, they can become bored, leading to destructive behaviors like chewing and digging.

It’s also important to give them opportunities for mental stimulation as well. This can be in the form of food puzzles, training sessions, and dog sports like agility or flyball.

They are versatile dogs that can do well in many different homes as long as they get enough exercise and mental stimulation.

Temperament & Behavior

spaniel x shar pei

Do Mini Hippo Dogs Bark A Lot?

The Mini Hippo Dog is a relatively quiet breed that doesn’t bark much. They may bark when someone comes to the door or if they’re playing and get excited, but they’re not known for being yappy dogs.

This can be good news for those who live in close quarters, like an apartment or condo, as it’s not common for them to be disruptive with their barking.

Do Mini Hippo Dogs Like To Cuddle?

Mini Hippo Dogs tend to thoroughly enjoy cuddling. They’re bred to be companion animals, so they love being close to their humans.

They’ll often follow you around the house and want to be next to you on the couch or in bed. They’re not lap dogs, but they do like being close to their people.

Each dog is different, but generally, these dogs enjoy a good cuddle session.

Are Mini Hippo Dogs Good With Kids?

The Mini Hippo Dog is generally good with kids. They have a naturally gentle and loving temperament.

Of course, each dog is different, and there are no guarantees, but in general, these dogs do well with children.

The best way to ensure they’re good with kids is to give them plenty of opportunities to be around kids and to teach them how to play nice with them.

It’s also important to teach kids how to play nice with them, as well as some can be overly grabby and accidentally hurt the dog.

Are Mini Hippo Dogs Good With Other Dogs?

The Mini Hippo Dog can do well with other dogs, but it’s important to introduce them properly and socialize them from a young age.

They have a naturally gentle temperament, so they’re typically good with other dogs. However, if they’re not introduced properly or socialized enough, they can be fearful of other dogs.

The best way to ensure they’re good with other dogs is to socialize them early on and often. This means taking them to dog parks, puppy classes, and on playdates with other dogs.

If you have another dog at home, introduce them slowly and ensure they have a good experience. Start with short periods of time and gradually increase the amount of time they spend together.

With proper socialization, the Mini Hippo Dog can be great with other dogs.

Are Mini Hippo Dogs Good With Strangers?

The Mini Hippo Dog can be good with strangers. But the same applies to helping them be good with strangers as it does to help them be good with other dogs.

You need to introduce them to many different people and socialize them from a young age. The best way to do this is by taking them to places where there will be lots of people, like the park, dog beach, or on walks in busy areas.

It’s also important to make sure they have positive experiences with strangers. This means not letting strangers approach them without your permission and not letting them be around people who are loud or rough.

Are Mini Hippo Dogs Good Apartment Dogs?

The Mini Hippo Dog can do well in an apartment as long as they get enough exercise. They’re not a particularly active breed, but they do need some daily exercise.

A short walk or play session in the backyard will usually suffice. However, they can become bored and destructive if they don’t get enough exercise.

So, if you’re considering getting a Mini Hippo Dog for your apartment, just make sure you’re prepared to give them some daily exercise.

Food & Diet

dog on bed
PC: @luatheminihippo

The Mini Hippo Dog is a relatively low-maintenance breed when it comes to food. They don’t have any special dietary requirements, and they’re not known to be picky eaters.

A good quality dry dog food (e.g., Royal Canin, Hills, Acana) will usually suffice. Just make sure it’s appropriate for their age, size, and activity level.

What Is The Price Of A Mini Hippo Dog?

Mini Hippo Dog puppy
PC: @potato_the_mini_hippo

The price of a Mini Hippo Dog can vary depending on factors like breeder experience, coat color, their parent’s genetic health, and where the breeder is located.

In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $600 to $1600 for one of these dogs.

Mini Hippo Dogs are a relatively new breed, so there aren’t many breeders to choose from. Unfortunately, this also means that the supply is relatively low, which can drive up the price.

If you’re looking to get one of these dogs, be prepared to pay a bit more than you would for a more common breed.

And as always, make sure you get a puppy from a reputable breeder.

Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous breeders out there who are looking to make a quick buck by selling sick or unhealthy puppies.

Where Can You Buy A Mini Hippo Dog?

cocker spaniel x shar pei

Unfortunately, you might have a difficult time finding a Mini Hippo Dog. They’re a newer designer breed, which means they aren’t super popular yet. 

Which then means not many people are breeding them.

The best place to start your search is by checking online breeder directories like Greenfield Puppies, Lancaster Puppies, or the American Kennel Club’s marketplace.

You can also try contacting breeders directly and asking if they have any litters or puppies available.

Another option is to check online classifieds websites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Just make sure you’re being cautious and ensuring you’re speaking with a reputable breeder.

Are Mini Hippo Dogs Rare?

At the moment, Mini Hippo Dogs are considered to be quite rare. This is because they’re not super popular yet, and there aren’t many breeders producing them.

This could change in the future as they become more well-known, but for now, they’re considered to be relatively rare.

Pros And Cons Of The Mini Hippo Dog

Before you decide to get a Mini Hippo Dog, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of the breed.

Some of the pros include:

  • They’re low-maintenance when it comes to food.
  • They don’t have any special dietary requirements.
  • They don’t shed too much.
  • They’re very family-friendly.
  • They don’t require a lot of exercise.

Some of the cons include:

  • They require a little more maintenance than other breeds.
  • There aren’t many breeders producing them, making them difficult to find.
  • They have quite a few health issues that can come up.
  • They’re not a hypoallergenic breed.

Similar Breeds To The Mini Hippo Dog

Final Thoughts

The Mini Hippo Dog is a fairly new designer breed that doesn’t seem to be getting too much attention just yet.

They make great family pets and are relatively low-maintenance when it comes to food and exercise. But, they do require a little more hands-on maintenance than other breeds.

If you’re looking for a unique dog that will turn heads, the Mini Hippo Dog might be the right breed for you. Just be prepared to do a little extra research to find a reputable breeder of these dogs.

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