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Wondering what makes the mini hippo dog such a “heartthrob”?
Perhaps your heart’s already stolen, and you want to know more about this little buddy?
First of all, the photos you see on the internet are genuinely jaw-dropping. You can’t help but fall when you set eyes on the squarish, somewhat wrinkled, yet cute face of a hippo dog.
But a lot more goes into finding the right pooch than just pretty looks. I’ll explain all you need to know about this lovely little designer breed from its history and origin to character traits and physical traits to general care.
In short, you’ll get all the information you need to decide if it’s the right pooch for your home.
History of the Mini Hippo
First, I’d like to point out that the history book of miniature hippo dogs is still in its early stages. Its origin is yet to be pinpointed, but it’s believed to have originated from the U.S.A.
However, one thing is for sure. The mini hippo dog is a mixed breed between the American Cocker Spaniel and Chinese Shar-Pei.
A lovely pooch with bipolar traits and a catchy alias – Cocker Pei.
More importantly, it carries the best personality traits of its bipolar purebred parents. On one hand, the cute and cuddly disposition of the Cocker Spaniel. On the other hand, you also get the independent and protective nature of the Chinese Shar-Pei.
How about a close look at the heritage of the mini hippo dog?
The Cocker Spaniel is the cute and cuddly half of the mini hippo. Its origins can be traced to the 1800s when it was introduced into the United States. After the Second World War, it became the no.1 dog breed in the U.S. and has maintained its popularity since then.
This is a type of pooch that likes to play, exercise, and loves hugging all the attention. After all, the cocker spaniel was originally bred for retrieving and bird flushing.
The Cocker Spaniel has adorable floppy ears that I consider its most prominent physical feature. But you may beg to differ if you love its long, silky coat on its ears, legs, chest, and underside.
Surprisingly, this pup is an average shedder. Cocker spaniel owners only have to groom their coat once a week and book an appointment with a professional trimmer as needed.
Living with this beautiful pooch is great for dog lovers ready to shower their pets with attention. The cocker spaniel can be very gentle and affectionate.
Consequently, cocker spaniels are easy-going with people and other dogs, which makes a questionable watchdog choice.
As the name implies, the Chinese Shar-Pei is indigenous to China. Its ancestors date far back to 200BC when lookalike statues of the Shar-Pei were found from the Han dynasty.
Although there have been a few folks who question that piece of history. Reason being that the Shar-Pei statues also look a lot like a Chow or Pug breed.
The Shar-Pei was initially bred as a fierce hunter and protector guard dog, especially for the high-class citizens. In later years, the Shar-Peis were bred for fighting. Astonishingly, this stout and fearless dog makes an excellent family dog companion, as long as you train him with a firm hand.
Again, early Shar-Pei training is a must, so as not to unleash the dominating nature of this pooch. In turn, the Shar-Pei grows to be a calm, friendly, and independent canine buddy that won’t shy away from protecting his family.
The Designer Mini Hippo Dog Breed
Now, the suspense is over.
You’re only a hair’s breadth away from meeting this heartthrob of a pooch!
The mini hippo dog is a protective, loyal, and also a friendly pooch. But this seemingly bipolar personality is only a result of inheriting the traits of its fierce and also affectionate parents.
However, let’s take a closer look at its charming looks first.
Physique and Appearance
If you need a reminder, this is one adorable looking dog.
Here, have a look:
Mini hippo puppies look a lot like baby hippopotamuses, hence, their name. Only more cute, more fluffy, and of course, more pet-sized.
A full-grown mini hippopotamus dog can grow anywhere between 18 to 21 inches, and weigh around 40 to 65 pounds. So, they are typically small to medium-sized dogs as you’d expect.
This little pooch borrows the wrinkly and “squarish” face of the Shar-Pei, but still has that underlying cuteness of a Cocker Spaniel. It has small floppy ears and an upward-curling tail that’s usually cut off by many breeders in their infancy.
Obviously, fur color would depend on the ancestors (breeds). Although it most certainly always has green eyes. Nonetheless, you can tell right off the bat that this sweet little pooch has a silky and soft-to-touch fur.
To be more specific, mini hippo dogs have three distinct fur and coat types:
Beat Coat: The most common type of fur for this designer breed. Soft and silky, plus it’s mostly longer than an inch.
Horse Coat: A bit coarse or brittle-textured, is about ¾ – inch long or shorter.
Brush Coat: It’s a soft and shiny fur that looks close to the beat coat, but only shorter. Measures one inch in length.
Hippo Dog Personality Traits
The temperament and personality of this breed are somewhat eccentric, as a result of its parents’ bipolar traits. Combined, you get a protective, loyal, intelligent, and easy going sweet little pooch.
For one, it’s a friendly dog and bonds well in the home if you have kids. In the same coin, it’s very protective and loyal making it a great watchdog and companion on your property due to its Shar-Pei influence. In fact, a mini hippo dog is likely to be found on the alert in the middle of the night.
Although it’s protective nature sometimes may aggravate into jealousy. If your mini pup shows this trait, it’d be better off as a solo pet or trained with a companion from an early age.
Due to its loyal nature, a mini hippo dog may grow anxious if it’s left alone most of the day. In other words, if you work a 9-5 job, this breed isn’t the right one for you.
However, this is one new designer breed for you if you love canine cuddles and tricks. It’s an intelligent dog, and would happily learn a few tricks as long as it makes you happy and with some training.
Speaking of which, mini hippo puppies can test your patience with their turning rogue in your home if you fail to train them from an early age.
Mini Hippo Training and Obedience
As I’ve mentioned earlier, this breed can behave uncontrollably due to its independent nature. Fortunately, the mini hippo dog also has a cool and calm side that responds fast to positive reinforcement training.
The personality and obedience of this breed would depend on their owner. Since the mini hippo is a strong-willed dog, you’ll need to assert yourself as the alpha during training to positively overcome its Shar-Pei heritage.
Also, it’s advisable to begin training and socialization with relatives and other dogs from the get-go. Be sure to stick to a firm and consistent training routine, and you’d have no attitude issues coming from your hippo dog.
With this in mind, this breed has been trained as a guard dog, sighter, and herder. Even though there’s no official record of any as a service dog, I’m confident it’d be up to the task.
Regarding exercise, the hippo dog only requires mild workouts every other day. It gets tired relatively faster than other breeds, and would even lay down flat when it’s worn out.
Proper Care and Grooming for A Mini Hippo Dog
A fixed diet routine matching age, energy level, and medium-sized appetite would suffice for a mini hippo breed. In the process, never settle for lower quality dog food to save costs, else, it might cost you more in the long run.
Generally, two equal meal portions would go a long way in keeping this cute pooch healthy and active daily. Lastly, non-grain meals and cutting up meal portions into smaller chunks helps to prevent choking.
Its grooming, just like its diet, is pretty straightforward.
Brush longer coats like the horse coat and brush coat regularly, and be sure to give regular baths – just like you would with a Cocker Spaniel.
Do you wonder if this breed is hypoallergenic?
The little hippo pooch is popularly considered hypoallergenic. Nonetheless, you can’t find any totally hypoallergenic dog breed, since they all have fur.
But this new designer breed only sheds its fur seasonally. So you get to enjoy a lower risk to allergies and your car and apartment upholsteries will also thank you.
In any case that there’ll be shedding, it’s more likely during fall or spring season for a few days.
3. Health and Disease Control
Many dog enthusiasts that are against crossbreeds say that the mini hippo would be prone to many health issues.
Although this isn’t entirely true, it’d also be wrong to tout that this breed isn’t prone to diseases, but no more than many other dogs such as the mini walrus dog.
The hippopotamus dog enjoys overall good health. However, you still need to take careful steps and monitor things closely to combat health issues, especially for potential cherry eye.
Dental: Brush its teeth every other day to prevent bad breath, which is common, and infections, such as tooth decay. Careful while you’re at it as mini hippos have very sharp teeth.
Allergies: This breed is known to suffer seasonal allergies. If you continue feeding your pup top-quality dog food and stay away from allergens usually found in rains, you’ll have little to worry about.
Eyes: Mini hippo dogs are prone to developing Cherry Eyes, a medical condition of the nictitating membrane that usually requires surgery for correction. You should wipe away goop secretion, and attend to cherry eye infections swiftly.
Ears: This dog is also prone to ear infections. Clean its ears weekly, or as soon as you find earwax or debris, even if it’s more than once a week.
Finally, always book regular appointments with your local vet, and your four-legged canine friend will be fine.
What Is The Lifespan of a Mini Hippo Dog?
This medium-sized breed is expected to live anywhere between 10 to 15 years, depending on the breeder and quality of care.
How Much Does A Miniature Hippo Dog Cost?
If you’re ready to own a mini hippo puppy, you should know firsthand that it doesn’t come cheap, but not outrageously when compared to other new designer breeds.
That said, it can cost anywhere from $350-$600 on average. Of course, the cost will also depend on the puppy’s age and your local dog shelter.
The mini hippo dog is always ready to offer its loyalty and protection as a family pet. It’s also great with the kids or an even for a newbie dog owner.
Just make sure you are prepared to take the mini hippo dog through positive reinforcement training early on. Not only will it help you curb its stubborn side, but you also get to have a pooch that can learn a few tricks.
Since it’s not an avid “barker,” it makes a good fit for an apartment setting. Although it does have a loud bark, and wouldn’t hesitate to act as a guard dog when it gets suspicious or anxious.
Overall, the mini hippo dog is an independent, alert, playful, and protective little furball.
Do you think the mini hippo dog is one of the cutest new designer dog breeds?