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Mini Hippo Dog Breed Information

Mini Hippo dogs are a recent breed mix that is growing in popularity. Also known as Cocker Peis, they are a “designer dog breed.” A designer dog is a cross between two very different dog breeds to achieve a good blend of the two with favorable characteristics. The adorable Mini Hippo is intelligent and loyal, and it can be a fun and energetic addition to any household.


The Cocker Peis got their name as a “mini hippo” from their large heads, square muzzles, and wrinkly snouts. They come from two pure breeds: the Chinese Shar Pei and the Cocker Spaniel, both of which have long histories.

If you are interested in getting a Cocker Pei, there are some things you should know before deciding to purchase one. Our guide will look at the characteristics of the parent breeds, answer some common questions about this type, and provide other facts about Mini Hippos.

Introduction to the Mini Hippo Dog Breed

There are a few different types of Cocker Spaniels, but both the English and American breeds descended from bird hunting dogs. However, they soon became family dogs after the 20th century. American Cocker Spaniels are excellent family dogs because of their mild disposition, energy, and gentleness with children. They are small and do not need to continuously exercise despite their high energy.

Shar Peis, on the other hand, have a long history that traces back to ancient China. People initially bred them as guard dogs, but they later became fighting dogs until the West later introduced larger breeds. They are incredibly loyal, which is a common characteristic of Mini Hippos as well. Shar Peis are calm and good with children, just like Cocker Spaniels. They are also very intelligent, independent, and fiercely protective.

These two pure dog breeds make up the modern Mini Hippo, giving this mixed designer breed both the calm, happy-go-lucky attitude of Cocker Spaniels and the protective, independent, intelligent traits of the Shar Pei.

The stark differences in the two pure breeds also cause the Mini Hippo to have a variety of physical characteristics. Since Cocker Spaniels and Shar Peis have very different types of fur, Mini Hippos can inherit one of three coat types:

  • The bear
  • Brush coat
  • Horse coat

The bear coat is a wavy and soft coat, typically longer than an inch. It is much more similar to the coat of a Cocker Spaniel. The brush coat is also smooth and glossy, but shorter. It is only about an inch long. Lastly, the horse coat is a rough, textured fur that is only about ¾ of an inch long, and it is most similar to the Shar Pei’s. As Mini Hippos do not have an undercoat, they shed minimally only twice a year.

Because of their shedding habits, there is a common misconception that this dog breed is hypoallergenic. However, Mini Hippos do have fur that can trigger allergic reactions, though they cause flare-ups much less than other types of dog breeds.

This loyal dog breed is known for its calm temperament. They are also very intelligent, protective, and energetic. Every dog has its own personality, but dogs of this breed are mostly cool-tempered and eager to please. Socialization is essential for this breed, especially for puppies that show more aggression.

Mini Hippo Pictures

Since Mini Hippo dogs come from polar opposite breeds, they can inherit a variety of different physical traits. They come in various colors, fur textures, and sizes. Typically, this adorable dog has small, floppy ears and a curly tail. They also usually have green eyes and a pink or black nose. However, the different possibilities make adorable variations of this dog type, which you can see for yourself.


What is it Like Owning a Mini Hippo?

Let’s take a look at a few considerations before you decide a Mini Hippo is the right dog for you:

  • Grooming needs can vary for this dog breed depending on their type of coat. For Mini Hippos with longer coats, they need to be groomed and brushed more often and require regular bath time routines. Cocker Peis with shorter coats do not require as much attentive care.
  • Barking is not a common problem for this dog type. Mini Hippos are often calm and quiet, but when they feel displeased or suspicious, their bark is quite loud and deep. However, they do not bark excessively.
  • Most Mini Hippo dogs experience mild to moderate allergies seasonally. They may also experience sensitivity to corn and wheat, so vets often recommend a grain-free diet for this dog breed. Two smaller meals daily can also help support a healthier digestive system for Mini Hippos.
  • Mini Hippos are generally healthy dogs, but they are prone to suffering from eye and ear infections. Various factors can cause these infections, but you can easily prevent them. You should conduct ear cleaning at least once a week, while you should check their eyes often to clean any visible buildup. You can treat any existing infections with ointments.
  • Like other dogs, Mini Hippos require daily exercise, but they tend to overheat more than other breeds. They do not have the same ability to cool themselves quickly, so they may not be a good fit for places with hot and humid weather or extremely cold temperatures. When they are tired or too hot, they will most likely let you know by laying down and refusing to move on.
  • Mini Hippos are independent and social, but they can also be jealous if they do not receive a lot of attention and love from their owner. Their protective instinct may also make them suspicious of new people at first. This dog breed does not like to be left alone for long periods of time, which can be difficult if you need to leave them for several hours during the day.

Mini Hippo Breed Information

The Cocker Pei mix is a friendly and affectionate companion to have. They have a sweet and loyal disposition, making them an excellent family dog, while their protective nature makes them perfect for guarding your home. They can fit into social situations well and live comfortably with children and other pets, but they can have a possessive streak, especially when it comes to their family unit.

Before deciding if a Mini Hippo is the right dog for you, we answered some of the common questions potential dog owners have about this designer breed below.

How Much are Mini Hippos?

Though they may not be as expensive as some pure dog breeds, Mini Hippos are a modern trend that can still be quite costly to purchase. The average price for a Mini Hippo puppy is between $350 to $650 depending on the puppy’s age, where you are buying the puppy, and what kind of shots, neutering, or training they have.

Are Mini Hippos Good Apartment Dogs?

Mini Hippos do not bark much, though they will make sure you hear them when it is necessary. They have a calm disposition and can adapt well to apartments because they are smaller and quieter. They need moderate exercise, so taking them on a walk or playing fun games inside or outside of the apartment is perfect for them. Despite their high energy amount, they do not need to exercise as frequently as other dog breeds.

Mini Hippos will not bother your neighbors if left alone for a short period of time, but they can become anxious and unhappy if left alone for too long. This is due to their protective and loyal nature. If you work long hours away from home or expect to leave your pet alone for several hours during the day, this may not be the right breed for you.

What are Some Common Mini Hippo Health Issues?

There are several health issues that Mini Hippo dogs may face during their lifetime, including:

  • Seasonal allergies, which you can mitigate through a healthy and high-quality diet
  • Eye infections, such as Cherry Eye, a medical condition where a third eyelid, called the nictitating membrane, forms in their eyes. Surgery is most often required to correct this.
  • Ear infections, which you can prevent by cleaning their ears regularly, or any time you find any debris or earwax.
  • Bad breath is common with this breed, so brushing your dog’s teeth every other day can help prevent that and tooth decay, among other infections.

Are Mini Hippos Hard to Train?

Mini Hippos are easier to train than some other breeds with positive reinforcement and consistent direction. They are eager to please, but they can be stubborn and strong-willed at times. They require owners who can lead them diligently and train in a firm but friendly way. They do not respond well to harsh or aggressive treatment while training.

They are intelligent puppies with the desire to protect their owner, so it is best to train them early on and allow them to socialize with other dogs to encourage their friendly and affectionate disposition. This can help create the best possible temperament in them as they grow older and curb possessive or aggressive tendencies that they may display.

What Colors do Mini Hippos Come in?

As with most of their physical characteristics, Mini Hippos can come in a variety of colors. Depending on the parents, one litter can cover a large color spectrum, which includes:

  • Black
  • Tan
  • Brown
  • Red
  • Blue
  • Silver
  • Tri-color

How Big do Mini Hippos Get?

Mini Hippos are typically short and have a squarish body. They have a medium-sized build, which can vary in height depending on the parents. However, on average, they can range between 13 and 20 inches tall when fully grown. Their weight can vary as well, ranging from 30 to 60 pounds as adults.

Are Mini Hippos Good with Kids?

Mini Hippos come from two family-friendly dog breeds, and they inherit the same good-natured characteristics. The Cocker Pei best suits a family that can devote time and energy to caring for this affectionate and energetic dog.

If they are trained and socialized from an early age, Mini Hippos are great with children. They are gentle and friendly with kids, making them excellent companions for families. They are protective of their family, and their energy makes them fun playmates for young and older children.

7 Fun Facts You Should Know About Mini Hippos

  1. The Cocker Pei’s origins are unknown, though experts believe that their breed started in the United States.
  2. The “hippo-like” characteristics come from the Shar-Pei side of this dog breed mix.
  3. Mini Hippo dogs are born with tails that curl upwards as they grow, but many breeders cut it at infancy.
  4. Though the Mini Hippo dog is gentle and less destructive than other breeds, they inherited razor-sharp teeth.
  5. Thanks to their superior intelligence, Mini Hippos can learn new tricks quickly and remember the specific ways to make you laugh.
  6. Mini Hippos are known as “designer breeds” according to the media because they are a cross between two pure breeds to achieve unique characteristics.
  7. This adorable designer breed can live for up to 15 years.


Mini Hippo dogs are a designer breed that is affectionate, loyal, and playful. They have a fair amount of energy but do not require a lot of exercises. They do not bark much and do not need large space for activity, making them an excellent dog for apartments. They tend to be somewhat independent, but they also love to socialize and protect those in their “pack.”

Cocker Peis can be stubborn at times, but their intelligence and desire to please make them easier to train. Socializing and training them early on can help prevent extreme possessiveness when they grow older. If shown the right amount of love and attention, their gentle and friendly demeanor can make them excellent family dogs, especially with young children.

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