Featured Image Credit: peacelovewrinkles / Instagram
|10 – 13 inches
|30 – 50 pounds
|8 – 10 years
|Black, white, brown, chocolate, fawn, tan, tri-colored, patchwork, piebald
|Loyal, active, protective, intelligent, affectionate, alert, goofy, watchful
|Experienced dog owners, families with older kids, active individuals
From the most popular to the oddest mixes, people are getting inclined to designer dog breeds these days.
But even if you’ve been looking around for hybrids, it’s not often you come across the uncanny mix known as Walrus dog.
But what exactly is a Walrus dog, and is it worth the hype?
Walrus dogs, alternatively known as Ba-Shars, are chunky dogs with wrinkly skin. They are offsprings of a purebred Chinese Shar-Pei and a purebred Basset Hound.
Aside from its unique appearance, the Walrus dog apparently have more to offer. If you want to know more about this mix’s personality, appearance, health, and maintenance, I suggest you keep reading this guide. Let’s start!
What Is a Walrus Dog?
The Walrus dog, otherwise known as the Ba-Shar, Sharp Asset and Shar-Pei Basset Hound mix, is a cross between a Chinese Shar-Pei and a Basset Hound. Walrus dogs are iconic because they come with folds and wrinkles around their bodies, similar to a Walrus.
Sometimes also referred to as a mini Walrus dog, this designer cross has a Basset Hound body and the skin of a Shar-Pei.
The Walrus dog is a medium-sized dog that is fairly easy to maintain and does well with apartment living.
Walrus dogs are currently recognized by kennel clubs such as the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC), Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA), and International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR).
Walrus Dog Origin and History
The Walrus dog is thought to have originated in the United States in the 1990s. Apart from this, not much has been written about the history of Shar-Pei Basset Hound mixes like other mixed dog breeds.
Nonetheless, we can take a look at the history and origin of the Walrus dog’s parent breeds to learn more about this mix.
Chinese Shar-Peis date back to 200 BC in the Han Dynasty. They were used as hunters, herders, and livestock guardians. In 1949, when China established its People’s Republic, Shar-Peis nearly became extinct.
Thanks to Hong Kong breeder Matzo Law, around 200 of them were brought to the United States in 1973. The breed was able to survive since its population declined at the end of the Communist Regime.
Basset Hounds, the other parent breed of the Walrus dog, have French and Belgian origins dating back to the 1800s.
Their name comes from the French word Basset which means “low.” Like Shar-Peis, they were bred for hunting.
With hunting as the French Aristocrats’ way of living, Basset Hounds have become popular because of their remarkable sense of smell. It is thought that the Friars of the Abbey of St. Hubert developed the breed.
Despite having parent breeds that were originally bred for hunting purposes, the mini Walrus dog is bred to serve as a companion dog.
Still, the history of the Ba-Shar dog’s parents significantly influences the mix in several aspects.
Walrus Dog Appearance
When it comes to appearance, every Walrus dog may be different from another.
Considering the physical features of both parent breeds, Walrus dog pups are likely to have the stature of Basset Hounds and the wrinkly coat of Shar-Peis. Walrus dogs will also have short, harsh coats in various colors.
Walrus dogs will also sport large, squarish heads, which are referred to as “hippo heads.” Usually, these mixes also have brown, almond-shaped, piercing eyes and floppy and long ears.
Their stout bodies and wrinkles earned them the name Walrus dogs. They also have curved, long tails, which typically have curled tips. To complete the look, they exhibit quite large paws that match their low stature.
See what a 4-year-old Shar-Pei Basset Hound mix would look like as it is being trained off-leash in this video:
Walrus Dog Size and Weight
A Walrus dog is a medium-sized pup that weighs around 30 to 50 pounds and stands between 10 and 13 inches. This mixed breed reaches its full size in a year.
Unfortunately, the Shar-Pei Basset Hound mix’s height is also affected by dwarfism just like with Basset Hounds.
However, in rare cases, their height can extend up to 16 inches, especially when they take after their Shar-Pei parents’ sizes.
The male mini Walrus dog is slightly bigger than the female mini Walrus dog. Occasionally, females can be heavier than male Walrus dogs.
Due to its size, the Walrus dog could easily adjust to apartment living. Bear in mind, though, that this dog breed is prone to weight gain.
They can be suitable for small spaces, provided that they meet their exercise requirement.
Walrus Dog Temperament and Personality
Devoted, protective, and generally amiable with children, Walrus dogs make good family dogs. Like all mixed breeds, their temperament depends on which parent it takes after and their gender.
The parent breeds, Shar-Pei and Basset Hound, share some similar traits. Usually, you will observe that older Walrus dogs exhibit a good combination of their parents’ traits.
Given this, you can expect a mini Walrus dog to be goofy, eager to please, playful, and affectionate. Despite being an intelligent pooch, the Walrus dog also has a stubborn streak.
Moreover, Ba-Shar dogs will also inherit both their parents’ hunting instincts and the exceptional tracking ability of the Basset Hound breed. They also have a high prey drive and tend to chase small animals.
You should know that Walrus dogs can get territorial and aggressive towards other pets and dogs sometimes. This can be avoided, though, by properly introducing them at an early age.
Due to their protective and alert trait, they could be standoffish towards strangers, making them good watchdogs. They will also often howl to show their discomfort.
Walrus Dog Lifespan and Health Issues
A healthy Walrus dog has an average life expectancy of 8 to 10 years, which is closely akin to the lifespan of Basset Hounds.
While hybrids are generally healthy, both the Shar-Pei and Basset Hound dog breeds have quite a few health problems that Walrus dogs are likely to inherit.
Here are the possible health issues the mini Walrus dog is susceptible to:
- Hypothyroidism: The thyroid gland regulates a dog’s metabolic rate. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormones, resulting in slow metabolism. This common disease in dogs is treatable but not curable.
- Skin Issues: The most common problem with the Walrus dog is skin issues due to their wrinkled skin. Skin issues could range from dry skin to allergies or skin sensitivity to bacterial skin infections such as pyoderma, seborrhea, and mucinosis. If left untreated, skin problems in mini Walrus dogs could spread to their eyes and ears.
- Obesity: Excess body fat in dogs or canine obesity is a prevalent health problem in Walrus dogs. They probably inherited this health disposition from their Basset Hound parents. Obesity could greatly affect a pup’s lifespan and could lead to major health issues such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease.
This mix may also suffer from swollen hocks syndrome, better known as Shar-Pei recurrent fever syndrome. This condition, if left untreated, may lead to a more severe case, which often results in kidney failure.
How to Take Care of Your Shar-Pei Basset Hound Mix
Taking care of your Basset Hound Shar-Pei mix does not end with ensuring it is free from illnesses. You should also carefully consider the diet and exercise you provide to your dog and its grooming needs.
After all, the cause of some health problems in dogs is usually the lack of maintenance. This section discusses what you need to provide your Walrus pup to give it a happy, healthy, and long life.
Food and Diet
Generally, a Walrus dog needs food that is high in protein and fiber. Its daily recommended diet is at least 24% protein and 5% fiber.
To keep its energy up, a Walrus dog should eat 2.75 to 3 cups of dry, high-quality dog food daily.
Keep in mind, though, that Walrus dogs are prone to weight gain. Feed them in moderation and steer clear from giving them unhealthy food.
You can give them glucosamine for joint health support when they reach the proper age. This supplement will be beneficial for Walrus dogs since they are prone to joint-related health issues.
A Walrus dog is more susceptible to health problems than other dogs. Hence, it may have specific nutritional requirements.
It is best to seek a veterinarian’s help to evaluate your dog’s daily dietary requirements.
Cleaning and Grooming
Grooming Walrus dogs is relatively easy. Even though most Walrus dogs have thick, dense coats, they are not heavy shedders.
Nonetheless, their coats need regular brushing. Bathe them only when necessary as they can get dry skin.
Their wrinkles need to be regularly kept clean and dry, especially after every bath. Since they are prone to ear infections, their floppy ears must regularly be cleaned with wet cotton wool.
Also, brushing their teeth twice or thrice a week is a must. Walrus dogs tend to have a habit of scratching, so you should also trim their nails.
You may have them professionally groomed if you can’t do it by yourself.
Training and Exercise
Basset Hounds have a laid-back attitude, whereas Shar-Peis have a stubborn streak. These traits will likely show up in their offspring. Due to this, a Shar-Pei Basset Hound mix requires early training.
Positive reinforcement will work well to decrease the Walrus dog’s aggressive tendencies.
Early socialization is also necessary since this dog can be aloof towards people and other animals, especially if it lives in a multi-pet home.
While they need firm handling during training, Walrus dogs have a moderate exercise requirement.
A minimum exercise of 30 minutes every day is enough. It is important to commit to this requirement since they are prone to obesity.
How Much Does a Walrus Dog Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses
A Walrus dog puppy would cost around $350 to $1,000. Depending on their rarity, appearance, and lineage, some could also go up to $1,200 or more.
Other than the cost of the puppy itself, here are some expenses you also need to prepare should you decide to own a mini Walrus puppy:
|Type of Expense
|Food and Treats
|$80 – $100
|Food and Water Bowls
|$10 – $30
|$40 – $180
|$50 – $370
|Leashes and Collars
|$15 – $50
|$30 – $40
|$40 – $160
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications
|$50 – $200
|Initial Vet Visits
|$100 – $300
|Initial Vaccine Shots
|$75 – $200
|Neutering or Spaying
|$50 – $500
|$10 – $20
|$40 – $60
|$15 – $30
|Total Initial Cost
|$605 – $2,240
The expenses mentioned above are just initial costs, which include the supplies you need to purchase before taking home your pup.
The monthly, annual, and emergency costs you might encounter in the long run are not included in this list.
Pet insurance, for instance, is a smart addition to a Shar-Pei Basset Hound mix’s necessities, but it is often overlooked.
Places to Find Walrus Dog Puppies for Sale and Adoption
Finding a Walrus puppy can be challenging, considering it is a rare hybrid. You will also need to find reputable breeders and avoid pet stores and puppy mills at all costs.
If you are looking to buy a Walrus puppy online, you must be aware of the necessary steps you should take to avoid getting scammed.
To make it easier for you, we have listed some places where you can find Walrus puppies for sale:
- Greenfield Puppies – Created by the Hostetter family in 2000, Greenfield Puppies’ goal is to pair healthy dogs with caring families. Breeders on their site are expected to comply with all state laws. On their website, you can find many purebred and mixed breed dogs, including Chinese Shar-Pei Basset Hound mixes.
- Lancaster Puppies – With the primary goal of keeping puppy-finding simple, Lancaster Puppies is giving easier ways to connect buyers and sellers. It is important to note that they do not take liability for any puppy since they only offer advertising services. They recommend buyers visit breeders to ensure that a puppy comes from a loving home.
- PuppyFinder – PuppyFinder provides breeders, private sellers, and rescue organizations with worldwide exposure by connecting them with dog lovers all over the world. You can find over a thousand pure and mixed breeds, which may include Walrus puppies from time to time.
Moreover, here are some rescues where you could find Shar-Pei Basset Hound mixes available for adoption:
- Belly Rubs Basset Rescue – Belly Rubs Basset Rescue works tirelessly to find good homes for abandoned, abused, and unwanted Basset Hounds and Basset mixes. They save pups from Tennessee, Northern Mississippi, and Eastern Arkansas. Contact this rescue via their website as they may have Ba-Shars from time to time.
- Chinese Shar Pei Network – Chinese Shar Pei Network is a non-profit corporation rescuing homeless and death row Shar-Pei and Pei-mixed dogs by partnering with other rescues and networks. They help dogs find forever homes.
- Tri-State Basset Hound Rescue (TSBHR) – Tri-State Basset Hound Rescue is the rescue to check out if you live in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and other surrounding areas. Adopters are asked to pay adoption fees to cover veterinary expenses, transport costs, and more.
Whether you adopt or buy a Walrus dog, remember that getting a Walrus pup is not just about having a unique designer breed.
It is also about embracing the highs and lows of owning it and the associated responsibilities.
Pros and Cons of Owning a Shar-Pei Basset Hound Mix
Dog ownership has advantages and disadvantages, and the same goes for getting a Walrus dog. Before you genuinely decide on having this unusual mix, we recommend that you do not skip this part.
Here are some pros of owning a Basset Hound Shar-Pei mix:
- Highly intelligent: Because they are sometimes hard to train, one would think this mixed breed is not intelligent. However, it’s the other way around. Walrus dogs are independent thinkers and determined dogs. This is why they are more suited for experienced owners.
- Loyal and excellent watchdogs: Shar-Pei Basset Hound mixes are alert, loyal, and protective. They are aloof towards strangers and watchful of their environment. With proper training, this breed will make an exceptional watchdog.
- Moderate exercise requirement: Unlike other breeds, the Walrus dog has a moderate exercise requirement. These dogs need at least 30 minutes of daily exercise. However, this requirement should be strictly followed as Walrus pups need exercise to avoid obesity.
Meanwhile, you might have to deal with these challenges if you choose to own a Walrus dog:
- Likely to inherit parent breeds’ health issues: Both the parents of the Walrus dog have quite a few health issues which they may pass on to their offspring. Moreover, compared to other dogs, this designer breed has a short lifespan of 8 to 10 years.
- Could be standoffish towards strangers: Although Ba-Shars are crossbreeds and have varying temperaments, they are observed to mind their own business instead of socializing and welcoming strangers. This may pose a problem if you have house visitors or if you walk them in dog parks.
- Prone to separation anxiety: If you are one to spend time away from home, they may not be the best dogs for you unless you can bring them with you. Walrus dogs are incredibly affectionate pups that can’t stand being alone for long periods. They could develop separation anxiety which could lead to destructive behaviors.
Consider this list of pros and cons of owning a Basset Hound Shar-Pei mix as your last evaluation before truly deciding on getting one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Walrus Dogs Bark a Lot?
No. Walrus dogs rarely bark. However, they tend to howl to express their unhappiness or boredom, leading to destructive behaviors. Despite them barking less, they can still effectively serve as watchdogs.
Do Walrus Dogs Shed a Lot?
Walrus dogs do shed, but not that much. They have short coats and are considered to be moderate-shedders. Their coats will still need moderate grooming once or twice weekly.
Are Walrus Dogs Hypoallergenic?
Walrus dogs are not hypoallergenic. Although not heavy shedders, Walrus dogs still blow their fur and dander, which may cause allergic reactions. It may not be the best dog breed for people with allergies.
Final Thoughts: Is a Ba-Shar the Right Dog for You?
The Walrus dog is not the breed for everyone. It needs an experienced owner that can handle its temperament. Ba-Shars also need a committed owner that can keep up with their needs.
These dogs need a lot of care, patience, and attention, but having them will certainly add more life and love to your home. They might be stubborn, but they are also affectionate.
Designer breeds like the Shar-Pei Basset Hound Mix are unpredictable in many aspects.
If you are willing to take on the challenge of owning one and commit your time to them, nothing should stop you from getting a Walrus dog.
We would love to know what you think about the Walrus dog. Share your thoughts in the comment section below.