- Activity Level: moderate
- Grooming Level: moderate
- Trainability: moderate
- Adaptability: high
- Kid/Pet Friendly: often
- Average Size: Medium
- Average Lifespan: 8-15 years
- Prey Drive: high
- Watchdog: aware
Mini Hippo Breed Profile
Did You Know?
Mini Hippo puppies are a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Shar-Pei. They get their name because they often inherit square muzzles and large heads that give them a “hippo” appearance. Mini Hippos are intelligent dogs that are loyal to their families. They are also active, energetic, playful, and affectionate.
These dogs are intelligent, loyal, and protective of their families. They are also friendly and affectionate with them. As long as they are properly socialized and trained, Mini Hippos tend to get along well with children and other dogs.
They can have a high prey drive, so they may not be a good fit for households with small pets. Breeds with high prey drives can do well with small pets, especially if they were raised with them, but they do require some extra socialization and training around them.
Because of their protective instinct, Mini Hippos will be initially suspicious and wary of strangers. If you have spent enough time socializing them well, they will warm up once introduced. If you do not start to train your dog to stop barking, it can become a nuisance behavior, Although Mini Hippos are not prone to barking a lot, they can be unintentionally trained into it, especially if they are not well-socialized.
The Mini Hippo is a highly adaptable dog breed. They do well in homes with fenced yards where they can run and they can also adapt well to apartments as long as they get enough exercise, mental stimulation, and attention.
Because they bond so closely with their families, they do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. They do well in most climates, but are sensitive to heat and may need some winter dog products to stay warm while out on walks when the temperature drops.
Potential health concerns to be aware of in a Mini Hippo include entropion, cherry eye, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, heart issues, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and liver disease. Good breeding practices help avoid a lot of these issues.
Reputable breeders will screen their dogs to avoid passing preventable issues to puppies. So, don’t be afraid to ask them about the health and genetic history of both of the parents. You can also ask about any health tests or clearances that have been done.
Although Mini Hippos are intelligent, pick up on things quickly, and are eager to please overall, they get bored easily and can have a stubborn and independent streak. This can make them a challenge for first-time dog owners to handle alone, so puppy training classes are recommended.
Mini Hippos can end up with a variety of coat types. They may have the short Shar Pei coat and wrinkles, the long, flowing Spaniel coat, or something in between. They tend to be categorized into three coat types – bear, horse, and brush.
A Mini Hippo with a bear coat will have a longer, wavy, soft, and flowing coat. Mini Hippos with a horse coat will have a short, dense, and rough coat more similar to a Shar Pei. A brush coat is a mix of the two in that it is usually short, but is less dense and soft to the touch.
With any of these coat types, a Mini Hippo will shed a little year-round. If they have a short coat, weekly brushing may be sufficient. If they have a longer coat, daily brushing or brushing a few times a week to remove tangles and prevent mats will be necessary. Bathing is on an as-needed basis.
In addition to coat care, you will also need to care for your Mini Hippo’s nails, ears, and teeth. Cutting nails once or twice monthly helps to keep them from growing too long. Ear check weekly and careful cleanings as needed can help prevent ear infections. Daily brushing or use of an enzyme toothpaste can help prevent dental diseases later in life.
Mini Hippos can range from moderate to high energy. Daily walks plus some playtime and extra activity should be enough to keep them happy and healthy. However, they will likely always be up for more activity if you are. Most of the time, they’ll just be happy to be active while being in your company.
A fully-grown Mini Hippo usually stands 13-20 inches tall and weighs 20-60 pounds.
Mini Hippos generally live for 8-15 years.
Mini Hippos are also sometimes called Cocker Peis.