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Hippo vs. German Shepherd: Who Comes Out on Top?


Hippopotamuses and German Shepherds may seem unrelated animals, but both hold a special place in our hearts. With their imposing size and sheer strength, Hippos are known for their calm and tranquil presence in the African rivers. 

Hippo Vs. German Shepherd

German Shepherds are known for their exceptional loyalty, intelligence, and versatility, contributing to their widespread popularity as working dogs worldwide. But have you ever wondered who would come out on top in a head-to-head matchup between these two impressive creatures?

My money is on the Hippo due to its enormous size, but let’s find out, shall we?

Comparison Table

Hippo Vs. German Shepherd
CharacteristicsHippopotamusGerman Shepherd
Scientific NameHippopotamus amphibiusCanis lupus familiaris
HabitatRivers, lakes, swampsDomesticated and kept as a pet or working dog
DietHerbivorous, mainly grazing on grassCarnivorous, eating mainly meat and dog food
SizeUp to 4 meters (13 feet) long and 1.5 meters (5 feet) tall55 to 65 centimeters (22 to 26 inches) tall at the shoulder and 50 to 90 pounds in weight
Weight1,500 to 3,200 kg (3,300 to 7,100 pounds)22 to 40 kg (50 to 90 pounds)
SkinNearly hairless with a thick, smooth, gray-brown or black skinCovered in fur, with a double coat of medium-length hair
TeethHave elongated canine teeth up to 50 centimeters (20 inches) longHave sharp teeth for biting and tearing
Social behaviorSolitary or live in groups of up to 30 individualsDomesticated and trained for various tasks, including as a guard dog, police dog, or service dog
LifespanUp to 40 years9 to 13 years
Conservation statusVulnerable to extinction due to habitat loss, poaching, and huntingNot endangered or threatened

Features Of Hippo

Hippo Vs. German Shepherd

Hippos have been a source of fascination for centuries, captivating people with unique characteristics and behaviors. Their sheer size and impressive strength make them a force to reckon with in the wild. Whether it’s their imposing physical appearance, behavior, or aggressive nature, hippos continue to amaze us with their incredible abilities.

Physical Appearance  

Hippopotamuses are among the largest and most recognizable mammals in sub-Saharan Africa. These semi-aquatic creatures stand out for their imposing size and powerful presence. 

Their physical appearance, hippos have a distinct barrel-shaped body, short, stubby legs, a flat nose, and a wide mouth. They have grayish-brown skin, which appears hairless and oily, providing a coat against overheating and drying out.

Behaviour And Temperament In The Wild

In the wild, hippos can exist in rivers, marshlands, or savannah swamps, where they spend most of their day submerged in water. Although they may look docile, hippopotamuses are known to be territorial and aggressive creatures.  

Due to their territorial nature, hippos are known to be highly protective and will aggressively confront anything they perceive as a threat. They are also known to be very vocal, making distinct grunting and snorting sounds and roaring in the direction of potential attackers.

When provoked, hippopotamuses are incredibly strong and can unleash a force equivalent to about two tons. They have massive jaws that can open 180 degrees and sharp teeth that can easily crush bones. Hippos can also run at speeds of over 30 miles per hour, making them incredibly difficult to outrun.

Despite their aggressive nature, hippopotamuses are primarily docile and not inherently violent. They are also very caring parents, with mothers nurturing their young for up to a year.

Lean more about the hippo in this comparison between two magnificent animals!

Features Of German Shepherd

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is a breed of dog that has been around for over 100 years. Originally bred in Germany, this canine is renowned for its outstanding physical and behavioral traits.

Physical Appearance

The German Shepherd breed is characterized by its well-defined musculature and impressive physical strength. Males typically stand between 22-26 inches tall at the shoulder, while females stand between 22-24 inches, with an average weight range of 50-90 pounds. 

Their intelligent brown eyes, long head, and pointed snouts lend them a distinctive appearance that exudes confidence. Their ears can be pricked or folded forward, adding to their unique look. 

The breed’s thick, straight outer coat can come in various colors, including ebony, black, and tan. All in all, German Shepherds are a visually stunning breed embodying strength and nobility.

Read more about another unbelievable battle between a titan and the German shepherd

Intelligence And Versatility 

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are renowned for their intelligence and versatility. They are quick learners and excel in various fields, including law enforcement, search and rescue, guide dogs, and many more. They are also incredibly adaptive and ideal for performing tasks in different environments. 

When trained appropriately, they can perform complex tasks such as herding sheep, searching for bombs, or detecting drugs. Their keen sense of smell and excellent problem-solving abilities make them one of the most versatile working breeds in the world.


German Shepherds are known for their loyal, protective, and intelligent temperament. They are typically confident, courageous, and eager to please their owners. They are also very trainable and excel in various tasks, including as a guard dog, police dog, search and rescue dog, and service dog. German Shepherds are known to be great companions for families with children, as they are patient, friendly, and playful. However, like any breed, German Shepherds require proper socialisation and training to ensure that they are well-behaved and obedient. They can become aggressive or develop behavioural issues if they are not properly trained or if they feel threatened or protective of their family.

Learn more: Why Are German Shepherds Loyal?

Comparison Of Strength And Size


Regarding size and strength, hippopotamuses and German Shepherds are no match. Hippopotamuses rank among the largest mammals in the world, weighing an average of 1,500 to 4,500 kg. With their muscular, stocky build and jaws capable of crushing almost anything.

Intelligence And Training

Both hippos and German Shepherds are brilliant animals with unique skills and abilities that make them well-suited for different types of training.

Hippos can easily navigate the complex river systems of Africa and remember details about specific locations even years after visiting them. While humans do not typically train them, hippos can learn basic behaviors and commands if necessary.

In contrast, German Shepherds are one of the most trainable breeds in the world. They are knowledgeable and can perform various tasks, from guiding blind people and assisting in search and rescue teams to working as police dogs and even detecting certain types of cancer in humans. German Shepherds thrive on challenging tasks and are known for their loyalty, courage, and versatility.

Despite their differences in size and abilities, Hippos and German Shepherds are awe-inspiring animals that hold a special place in our hearts. Whether looking for a loyal and intelligent companion or an imposing presence to keep your property safe, these remarkable creatures will make a lasting impression.


While both hippos and German Shepherds have their respective strengths and limitations, it’s safe to say that the comparisons between the two are night and day. When put in a face-off, the sheer size and weight of the Hippo would give it a clear advantage over the agile German Shepherd. 

But wait to count the dog out; beings are known to outsmart and outmaneuver larger foes. Ultimately, it’s impossible to say who would win in a match between these two magnificent animals. Still, such a hypothetical question serves as a reminder of the natural world’s endless mysteries and wonders.

Thank you for following along this article! Interested in more comparison with the Hippo? Let’s learn more! Or why not, read more about an Unbelievable Battle of Titans