History of Miniature Potbellied Pigs

The Miniature Potbellied Pig Registry was founded in 1993 to secure and protect the Miniature Potbellied Pig breed. Miniature Potbellied Pigs are all direct descendants of Vietnamese Potbellied Pigs imported into the US in the 1980’s and early 1990’s and have been selectively bred for size, conformation, health, and personality. They are less than 15 inches tall and weigh less than 55lbs. Due to cross-breeding with other pig breeds to produce a pig that some people market as “micro”, “micro-mini”, “teacup”, or other diminutive names designed to sell, purebred Miniature Potbellied Pigs are becoming harder to find. The Miniature Potbellied Pig Registry is dedicated to protecting these pedigrees and educating owners, breeders, and the public about what a true Miniature Potbellied Pig is.

Miniature Potbellied Pigs are descendants of the “I” breed of pigs from the Red River delta area of Vietnam and the “Mong Cai” pigs of northern Vietnam near the China border. Collectively these two breeds are referred to as Vietnamese Potbellied Pigs. The Vietnamese Potbellied Pigs are primarily black with some having white markings. They have wrinkled skin, small erect ears, dished faces, and weight around 150-200lbs.

In the 1970’s Keith Connell of the Bowmanville, Ontario zoo saw several Vietnamese Potbellied Pigs on exhibit in Europe and began the process of acquiring twenty breeders for import to Canada. The first imports, mainly from Sweden, arrived in 1985 and were mostly black pigs. By the time they had passed through quarantine, two had died. The remaining 18 unrelated pigs became the foundation of Potbellied Pigs in North America. Due to customs laws, the pigs themselves could not be sold to the US, only their offspring. The first imports to the US occurred in 1986. US zoos were the main target for the piglets, but private owners soon began purchasing them as pets. Out of one of the 1988 litters from the original imports was a piglet named Pinto Pete, who went on to become a breeder and is the source of the Fancy Pinto coloring found in some pigs. All of the pigs from the first import are referred to as the Con line, after Keith Connell.

In 1990-1991, Keith Connell imported a second group of pigs primarily of German and Austrian bloodlines that were called the North American Potbellied pig (or NAP) line. The NAP line was crossed with the Con Line as part of the foundation of the Potbellied Pig Registry Service, Inc (PPRSI).

A third import to North America was made in 1988-1989 by Keith Leavitt, called the Lea line. These pigs were slightly longer nosed pigs with more white coloring and were imported to Cypress, Texas. The Con/NAD lines and Lea lines together with the Espberger line of predominantly white pigs are the majority of the PPRSI foundation stock, with minor contributions from 4 additional imports including the Royal White line.

​ All Miniature Potbellied Pigs can trace their lineage back to the PPRSI. These pigs have not been crossed with other pig breeds like many other mini pigs. By selectively breeding only those PPRSI pigs that were smaller in stature but not dwarfed or malnourished, we now have a true miniature pig breed that has a mature height of less than 15 inches.