Just what kind of dog is a Walrus? Inquiring minds need to know!
Every so often, my husband and I like to take our kids to the pet store to play with the puppies. I end up having to explain ad nauseam why we can’t take one home, but the joy on their faces as those darling little puppies play and lick them – is worth it.
On our most recent trip, we were walking along looking at the puppies, and I saw one labeled “Walrus.” I thought, “Since when is a walrus a breed of dog?”
He had the sweetest face with deep skin folds on his face and adorably droopy eyes; I immediately thought he looked part Basset. And he is!
A Walrus is a mixed breed of a Basset Hound and Chinese Shar Pei (which explains the wrinkly skin).
Related: What is a mini hippo dog?
What Kind of Dog Breed is a Walrus?
A Walrus, also known as Ba-Shar, is not a purebred dog. This cute little guy/girl is a mix of Basset Hound and Chinese Shar-Pei. And that’s what makes it hard to pinpoint its temperament.
You see, it’s easy to talk about purebred dogs. The breeders know what to expect in terms of size, health issues, and temperament. But when you mix two dog breeds with different characters, you can’t be certain what you’ll get. The mixed breed dog might have any combinations of traits found in either of the breeds.
The reason is a simple one – genes. With purebred dogs, we have similar dominant genes selected by the breeder. But when it comes to mixed breeds, we can’t know or determine which genes will be the dominant ones.
That’s why, a mini walrus can have many wrinkles or only a few, depending on which the dominant gene is – Hound or Sharp-Pei.
Walrus Dog Breed Temperament
To understand the mini walrus temperament, we have to take a good look at the Basset Hound and the Sharp-Pei. Let’s see the personalities of these two fascinating dog breeds.
The Basset Hounds are one of the most easygoing dogs you’ll ever find. These dogs get along with everybody – pets, other dogs, and children. They are loyal, affectionate, goofy, and playful. They also could be very vocal.
But they are also very stubborn and independent, and therefore, difficult to train. Since they have a strong hunting instinct, once they pick up a scent, they tune everything else. Including their owners’ calls.
The Shar-Pei breed, despite its cute look, has been bred as a guarding and fighting dog. That’s why the Shar-Pei is not very good with other dogs, might be predatory to cats, and he doesn’t react well to strangers. Early socialization is essential for this breed to avoid aggressive and territorial behaviors.
Moreover, the Shar-Pei has a stubborn streak and a mind of its own, but once you’ve earned his love and respect, you’ll have a loyal companion protecting your home for life. And a quiet one, too because the Shar-Pei usually barks during playtime or when it senses danger.
Mini Walrus Temperament
As you can see, despite the way they look, these two dog breeds have similar traits. But what happens when we mix them?
Just like the Basset Hound, the Ba-Shar is affectionate, loyal, good with kids, intelligent, and goofy from time to time. It’s also stubborn and difficult to train just like the Basset and the Shar-Pei. That’s why it’s not recommended for first-time owners.
The Ba-Shar loves to hang around you, cuddle with you, and be part of your life. He doesn’t like it when you leave him alone for long periods. And he will start to howl when he is unhappy and destroy things. But he will rarely bark and disturb your sleep.
These dogs are active animals, and they require a moderate amount of exercise. But as much as your mini Walrus loves walking around the neighborhood, he also enjoys lazing around the house.
Similar to the Shar-Pei, early socialization, and proper training are required to avoid potential aggressive behavior. The Walrus might not get along with other dogs, and he might also be aloof with strangers and new things.
If you have a cat, owning a Ba-Shar dog could be a challenge. These dogs love to chase small, furry animals like rabbits, and squirrels. If the dog hasn’t been properly socialized, he might try to chase or attack the cat. So you’ll need to be firm and keep him under control.
So the mini Walrus is your dog if you want a loyal companion and protector, one who has a unique character and sweet disposition. Just remember that this is one stubborn fellow and you have to commit to training him.
RELATED: What is a water puppy? Hint: It’s Probably Not What You Think It Is!
Size and Body Type
A Ba-Shar is a medium-to-large dog, typically weighing anywhere from 40-60 pounds.
Most of their physical characteristics (body shape, size, and ear shape) are that of a Basset Hound with the wrinkles and head shape of a Chinese Shar-Pei.
Though they are laid back and a bit lazy, it’s important to provide them with exercise so they don’t get out of shape.
►►Don’t miss these beautiful pics of the Walrus. Read our article: 14 Walrus Dog Pictures We Just Can’t Stop Looking At
Life Expectancy and Health Concerns
For a medium dog, a Ba-Shar has a rather short average life expectancy of just 8-10 years.
With some mixed breeds, the health concerns of each breed are exacerbated, and that may be the case with a Ba-Shar. Common health challenges in a Basset are canine thrombopenia, foreleg lameness, and eyelid issues (both entropion and ectropion), among others.
In a Chinese Shar-Pei, owners need to particularly watch for ectropion (the bottom eyelid turning in) and canine hip dysplasia. Keeping your Ba-Shar active and regular vet visits are important to identify any health problems early.
Ba-shars, or Walruses, are sweet, yet stubborn, and make great family dogs.
Training is important, so if you’re a first-time dog owner, this mixed breed could be a difficult place to start. With the cutest traits of each breed, this dog is sure to be a great conversation starter!
5 Things Only Walrus Dog Owners Can Understand
#1 It’s difficult to explain what’s a Ba-Shar
“Oh, you have such a cute doggie. Look at all those wrinkles. What breed is it?”
That’s the question every walrus dog owner will have to answer more than once when he encounters friends and curious strangers. But people tend to look at you in confusion while you’re sweating to explain that your dog is a Ba-Shar.
“Come again, what’s that? Is his name Bashar? What a strange name for a dog!”
You can’t blame them for their ignorance. Ba-Shar is a relatively unknown breed, and it might take you some time until you explain that your dog is a mix between Chinese Shar-Pei and Basset Hound. Or you might just write it on a piece of paper and let them figure it out on their own.
#2 People don’t get the nicknames
A common nickname for a Ba-shar dog is Walrus. But if you say that you have a Walrus for a pet people are probably going to look funny at you. And when you try to explain to them that walrus is a dog, they might even give you the number to the nearest hospital and say that you should get checked out.
Why don’t they understand that Walrus really is a dog breed? Just look at these cute Ba-Shar puppies. Don’t they look like miniature walruses? No, I’m not crazy. With all those wrinkles and small faces, the resemblance is striking.
Calling your dog Sharp Asset, the other nickname for the breed will also get you funny looks. But you already know that, don’t you?
#3 A Ba-Shar puppy always gets attention
You can melt on the inside by just looking at the adorable face of a Walrus puppy. Who can resist it? No one.
Every time you go for a walk or to the dog park, your walrus dog gets attention from everyone. People want to know if they can pet it, hold it, or take a picture with it. They are oohing and aahing and making funny faces at your puppy.
If you post a picture of your walrus puppy on Facebook or Instagram, you’re bound to receive numerous comments within minutes with everyone saying that they’ve never seen anything so adorable.
But all the attention shouldn’t surprise you. This is not a dog that you can see every day on the streets so better get used to people bothering you.
Besides, walrus dog puppies love cuddles and attention, and it’s for the best if you socialize them early on to avoid future behavior problems. These cute guys/ girls could be fierce protectors, just so you know.
#4 Training is a challenge
You’ve heard that Ba-Shars could be a little stubborn, but you’ve said “Oh, look at him. He looks so innocent and charming. How hard could it be to train him?” Apparently, the answer is a lot because those training secessions are not going as well as you expected.
But that’s not a surprise for anyone who owns a Shar-Pei. Just ask them, and you’ll see that Ba-Shar takes not only his wrinkles but also his stubbornness from the Shar-Pei.
You might even have to get the help of a professional dog trainer to learn how to deal with your Walrus puppy. That’s why these dogs are not such a great match for first-time owners.
#5 Grooming is not easy
A Ba-Shar dog might have wrinkles all over his body, and it’s your job to take care of them. People who don’t own a Ba-Shar might say that you’re lucky not to be dealing with tons of fur flying around and sticking to your clothes, carpets, and furniture.
But they don’t understand that those wrinkles have to be regularly wiped to avoid skin infections. You might miss one brushing of a long-haired dog, but being negligent of a wrinkly dog is a bad idea. Moreover, you have to check his floppy ears at least once a week and clean them with a special solution.
Ba-Shar dogs are affectionate, intelligent, and goofy at times, and they make great family dogs. However, as every walrus dog owner knows they are expensive dogs to own, and they require high-quality dry food and regular vet check-ups. But they’ll also tell you that it’s worth every penny to have this amazing dog for a companion.
Do you have a Ba-shar? Tell us about your special Walrus pup!