Among the small breeds out there, the Mini Golden Retriever will always have a place in most pet lovers’ hearts. If you’re living in an apartment or condo unit and looking for a pet companion, surely someone has recommended this breed to you.
As a mini size of the beloved Golden Retriever, this dog is a crossbreed between the Golden Retriever and the Miniature Poodle. When compared to breeds such as the Mini Husky (which is a legitimate small version of the original Siberian Husky), the Mini Golden Retriever mixes two different breeds. In some cases, a Goldendoodle and a Golden Retriever may also result in this breed, as well as Cocker Spaniels.
Many people have also called this breed the Comfort Retrievers or the Petite Golden Retrievers due to their apartment-friendly characteristics. Although they aren’t recognized by the AKC, they are considered a “designer dog” and are thus a member of the Designer Dogs’ Kennel Club. This means that there’s no exact breed standard for the Mini Golden Retriever, but that doesn’t hinder their popularity among city dwellers.
Confusion with other similar breeds
If you’ve heard about the Dwarf Golden Retrievers then they are not exactly a different breed. They are simply Golden Retrievers that suffer from dwarfism, similar to people, and thus, they have abnormal growth or development. It is a hereditary condition, just like its human counterpart.
On the other hand, there are also Teacup or Toy Golden Retrievers, which are sometimes questioned as unethical breeding, since a Golden is meant to be an active medium-sized dog and not a teacup apartment toy in general. Such Toy Golden Retrievers do exist but the challenge is that they’re more likely to have health problems compared to a Mini Golden Retriever.
Meet the Parents
As we said above, the Mini Golden Retriever’s parents are any mix of the Golden Retriever, Poodle (Mini Poodle or Goldendoodle), and/or the Cocker Spaniel. The idea was to create a breed that allows apartment and condo unit dwellers to experience having a Golden even at the comfort of their small abode.
Kathy Burgess claims to have crossbred the Mini Golden Retriever, which she dubbed as the “Comfort Retriever” in 2003.
As for their parents, here’s a brief refresher of the three:
The Golden Retriever got its name from being a “retriever” for game hunters when it comes to downed fowl. They were bred in Scotland around the 19th century and spread throughout the world thanks to their popularity and good temperament.
Poodles (Including Goldendoodles)
Poodles originally came from Europe around the 17th century. They are one of the oldest dog breeds in the world and were used for hunting. It’s a little difficult to imagine a luxurious-looking dog breed retrieving ducks, but that’s the case!
As for the poodle crossbreed, the Goldendoodle became a hit in the 90s when designer dog breeders in Australia thought of combining the immensely popular Golden Retriever and classy Poodle. Today, the Goldendoodle remains one of the most popular designer dog breeds. They were bred specifically for people who have allergies but want to experience having a poodle around.
When you breed a Poodle and/or a Goldendoodle to create a Mini Golden Retriever, it will have more Golden genes. This is what sets apart the Mini Golden Retriever from the Goldendoodle despite having similar parents.
The Cocker Spaniel is a hunting dog that came from the United Kingdom. Their name comes from their common purpose of hunting the Eurasian woodcock, and later on the American woodcock when the breed was introduced to the United States.
Physical Appearance of the Mini Golden Retriever
Height: 12 to 15 inches
Weight: 20 to 55 pounds
When it comes to appearance, most breeders will tell you that Mini Golden Retriever is closer to the Golden compared to the Poodle/Goldendoodle or Cocker, hence it will usually have a golden coat. In some cases, the mix may have a light cream variation or a rust-like brown color.
The coat of the Mini Golden Retriever may be wavy or straight depending on their parents. In some cases, they may have a double coat while others have a single coat (which is good news for allergy sufferers).
Of course, there are also features that the Mini Golden Retriever will most likely inherit from its parents. For instance, long and floppy ears are common, as well as a straight muzzle and a broad-shaped head. However, if your puppy comes from a Cocker, they’ll most likely have adorable round eyes.
Since the Golden is a muscular dog, you can still expect the Mini Golden Retriever to have buff shoulders and a balanced body although in a smaller size.
Temperament and Behavior
A Mini Golden Retriever, during its puppy stage, is mostly dependent on its parents. With that said, most of these dog breeds make great pets for children due to their calm temperament. They are known to be attention seekers and will do anything to please their owners and the people around them.
If your Mini Golden Retriever has a Cocker Spaniel as a parent, they will also have a similar affectionate personality. However, if your Mini has been bred from a poodle, there is a slight chance of being slightly aloof and wary of other people. Nonetheless, they will still be generally friendly and easy to train.
Since the Mini Golden Retriever is a mix of popular breeds that are already ideal for children, it comes as no surprise that this breed is ideal as a family pet. If you are looking for a breed that has a playful personality the Mini Golden Retriever is a greatly affectionate companion for you to have.
Because the Mini Golden Retriever is a hybrid, it can be a bit difficult to predict their temperament in general. They might not be that similar to a Golden in terms of socialization so you must train them as a puppy to lessen their anxiety towards strangers.
Mini Golden Retriever Training
Even if the Mini Golden Retriever is an okay dog for apartment and condo unit dwellers, they still need a lot of exercises because they come from the hunting dog lineage. This means you’ll need to take them outside for walks or play with them outside often to avoid being destructive indoors.
Although we know that it is difficult for your mutt to exercise if you live on a high-rise building, it is workable if you devote time and effort to creating an indoor play yard or take them outside for a breath of fresh air.
With that said, the Mini Golden Retriever is a dog breed that’s easy to train with the right amount of dedication. Just make sure that you use positive reinforcement and not scold the dog when they mess up. Always provide them with the right TLC and they will be a loyal life companion.
If your Mini Golden Retriever doesn’t seem to be cooperative, it can be remedied with obedience training and patience. Nonetheless, they also make great therapy dogs due to their affectionate personality. Since they are a small breed, they are okay for people who are generally scared of big dogs (or those who haven’t owned a dog before).
Caring for a Mini Golden Retriever
So how do you manage caring for the Mini Golden Retriever? Here are some of our tips to help you out:
As a small breed, the Mini Golden Retriever is best given 2.5 cups of dog food a day (two meals). Since they are most likely to have digestive upsets, we suggest giving them dog food that has quality ingredients, high protein, and fewer fillers. Unfortunately, this digestive problem roots down to their poodle parents. You should also know if your Mini has allergies and avoid such food types.
When it comes to taking care of the coat, the Mini Golden Retriever is just right for those who want a hypoallergenic breed (good for allergy sufferers). As long as you brush the coat daily, no matter how long or short it is, the Mini won’t deliberately shed as much as other breeds.
As it comes from the Poodle lineage, always consider brushing their coat often to avoid mats and tangles, especially if their coat turned out to be wavy or curly. However, since it is a hybrid, the Mini Golden Retriever may have a variety of coats so you should just groom them depending on their coat length and style.
Aside from brushing and bathing, always consider training them early for brushing their teeth and keeping their nails groomed well. This will save you a lot of frustration when they get older.
Your Mini Golden Retriever is a hybrid with a generally-active personality. Because they descended from a Golden Retriever (and has most of their traits and qualities), you should expect to give them a lot of active playtimes to meet their daily demands for releasing their energy. Consider at least half-hour of exercise or physical activity with your pet.
If you’re looking for summer activities with your Mini Golden Retriever, you may also want to go for a swim with them. This is because the Golden Retriever was naturally made to become swimmers when retrieving downed game in the past. Outdoor activities will put a thrill and smile on your dog’s face so make sure you’re prepared for that.
The health of the Mini Golden Retriever
The average lifespan of the Mini Golden Retriever is about 10 to 15 years depending on its lifestyle, diet, and other factors.
Since the Mini Golden Retriever is a mixed breed or hybrid, most people believe that they’ll have more advantages over purebred in terms of averting illnesses. However, there is still a chance of catching hereditary diseases, such as the following:
- Urinary stones
- Addison’s Disease
- Cherry eye, glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye problems
- Elbow dysplasia
- Hip dysplasia
Is it a Family-Friendly Breed?
If you are looking for a family-friendly pet, the Mini Golden Retriever is a great choice for you. Since they are witty and easy-going, they make great companions with children and the entire family. This roots down from their Golden Retriever qualities of being loyal and lovable.
However, be wary that due to the lineage of the Cocker or Poodle, they might be a bit difficult sometimes if their temperament isn’t in good shape. The solution to this is early socialization, obedience training, and plenty of time and effort to bond with your Mini Golden Retriever.
Finding a Mini Golden Retriever
The Mini Golden Retriever is considered a luxury dog breed so do prepare for a big budget on this one. Keep in mind that when looking for Mini Golden Retriever puppies, expect a heftier price tag for signature “Comfort Retriever” puppies due to their special (patented) breeding specifics.
You can start by looking for online breeders around your vicinity and then giving them a quick visit. Make sure that your breeder is responsible and keeps their pets in good condition in terms of living quarters. Look for health certificates from the parents and make sure that the puppy has been properly socialized and trained.
With that said, since the Mini Golden Retriever is a relatively new breed, you will most likely not find them in a rescue, but there is still a chance. Try looking for rescues that focus on Golden Retrievers or specialize in crossbreeds.
To wrap it up, the Mini Golden Retriever is an excellent dog when it comes to intelligence and those who want a family pet. They have a good temperament which they inherited from the Golden Retriever, Poodle, and Cocker Spaniel, which makes them lovable and playful.
However, their coat may vary and some of them may have difficult coats to maintain so regular brushing and grooming is important. As with their parents, the Mini Golden Retriever is an active breed so make sure you have dedicated time for exercise and playtime.
If you feed them right and give the right amount of love and care, the Mini Golden Retriever can grow into a healthy and happy companion for life.