Are you looking for a fun-size family dog breed that is smart, playful and full of love? The Mini Golden Retriever can be your perfect choice.
In this article, we will discuss the history of Miniature Golden Retrievers, their physical and mental features and explain how to care for these dogs.
History of the Mini Golden Retriever
Like most designer breeds, the Mini Golden Retriever dates back only a couple of decades. In fact, the first documented Mini Golden Retriever was bred by Kathy Burgess in 2003.
However, unlike the majority of designer dogs, this one combines three different breeds. The Mini Golden Retriever is a crossbreed between breed Standard Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, (not to be confused with the Cavalier King Charles), and a Poodle parent.
These dogs were first bred by mixing a Golden Retriever with a Cocker Spaniel to achieve a smaller size retriever. This breed is known as the Golden Cocker. Later, this new breed was mixed with the Poodle to give it a hypoallergenic coat. In the meantime, some breeders have eliminated Cocker Spaniels completely from the mix and now they breed Mini Goldens, or Comfort Goldens as they often call them, only from Golden Retrievers and Poodles.
Breeders usually aim to create dogs that have 50%-75% Golden Retriever lineage, in which case the dog has most of the traits as the standard Golden Retriever breed.
Basic Information about the Mini Golden Retriever
The Mini Golden Retriever is also known as a Small Golden Retriever, Little Golden Retriever and Petite Golden Retriever. And Since the Golden Retriever breed is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, the Mini Golden Retriever is also extremely popular. The American Kennel Club do not officially recognize this breed.
If you are thinking of buying a Mini Golden puppy, make sure to go to a reputable breeder that will ensure that the puppy is healthy and screened for genetic conditions. Some dog breeders will even sell Dwarf Golden Retrievers as Mini Golden Retrievers, even though they are actually standard Golden Retrievers with dwarfism and other health issues.
Mini Golden Retrievers can grow to be between 14 and 20 inches tall, while they can weigh anywhere from 20 to 50 pounds. And when it comes to their appearance, they are basically a smaller version of standard Golden Retrievers. Dog owners who live in apartments may argue that they are of manageable size, especially since all their belongings will also take up less space, like their bed.
That being said, it is possible that some Mini Golden Retrievers will look more like some other parent breed. However, breeders strive to breed these dogs with at least 50% of Golden Retriever DNA, so in most cases they will look like small Golden Retrievers.
This means that they usually have a broad skull and a straight muzzle. Their eyes are brown in most cases and have a friendly expression. Like many other crossbreeds, Mini Goldens have long and floppy ears.
Mini Golden Retrievers will usually have a compact, well-balanced body with muscular shoulders. Their coat may vary significantly since they are a crossbreed and can be straight or wavy or wiry. Usually, they won’t shed a lot but some Mini Goldens may even have a double coat and thus shed more. The coat can also range in color from light cream to deep rust. Of course, their coat is most commonly gold in color.
The Mini Golden Retriever is a gentle and friendly dog that is also quite tolerant and calm around kids, which makes him a great family pet. These dogs are also quite cheerful and playful, so be prepared to play with them and use different dog toys. They are eager to please and affectionate but they don’t do well when left alone for long periods and may suffer from separation anxiety.
Of course, some personality traits can differ since they can take various traits from different parents. For example, they can be a bit wary of strangers like the Poodle or alert like the Cocker Spaniel. In fact, Golden Retrievers are also active and alert, so Mini Golden Retrievers will often bark to alert you of new situations and noises. For this reason, they make great guard dogs.
Miniature Golden Retrievers have an average lifespan of 10-15 years, which is pretty much the standard for the breeds of that size. And while they benefit from hybrid vigor, they are also more susceptible to health issues of their parent breeds. Since the Mini Golden is a mix of three different breeds, there are quite a few potential issues.
For example, Mini Golden Retrievers are prone to eye problems, such as glaucoma, cataracts and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). They are also susceptible to hypothyroidism, epilepsy, hip dysplasia, various joint issues and certain cancers, as well as Cushing’s disease and Willebrand’s disease.
Caring for the Mini Golden Retriever
Mini Golden Retrievers are fairly adaptable and can live in apartments – after all, their size is more than suitable. However, they can sometimes be vocal and bark, which is not really suitable for apartment dogs. Still, with proper training, they can be good and considerate neighbors.
Exercise and Training
Just like standard Golden Retrievers, their Miniature version is also quite energetic and not suitable for those who like to chill at home since Mini Goldens love the outdoors. Since they have a lot of energy, they need at least 30 minutes of active play or exercise to be happy. These dogs enjoy walking, hiking, running, swimming and other water activities. Their parents were used for water work and as hunting companions, the link continues today. You can also play fetch with them or visit the local dog park.
Mini Golden Retrievers are very intelligent and have a personality that makes them easy to train since they are eager to please. However, they also have the Cocker Spaniel DNA, so it is important to start their socialization and obedience training early on. Positive reinforcement works best, so make sure to praise them for good behavior.
If you start the training early on, you will soon have a well-behaved and obedient canine. Like standard Golden Retrievers, Mini Goldens can also become police dogs or therapy dogs. They are also used as guide dogs for the blind. They make great comfort retrievers.
Mini Golden Retrievers are medium-sized dogs. They need a high-quality diet suitable for their size, age and activity levels. This breed is prone to becoming overweight, so avoid free feeding. Instead, space your dog meals throughout the day.
Feed your pooch a balanced diet that is high in quality protein sources. Also, avoid foods high in fat since the Poodle’s DNA can cause digestive problems later in life.
As we have already mentioned, your dog’s grooming needs will largely depend on the type of coat he inherits from his parents. Even if your dog is hypoallergenic it will need plenty of grooming.
Daily brushing of your dog’s coat is recommended, it should be part of your routine. This will prevent your dog’s hair from tangling and knotting, which can even be painful for the dog.
Keep your dog’s nails neatly trimmed, which shouldn’t take a lot of your time since trimming once or twice per month is usually enough. Additionally, make sure to provide proper dental hygiene to your pooch and brush his teeth once or twice a week.
The Mini Golden Retriever is a popular crossbreed with three different breeds included in the mix – the Poodle, the Cocker Spaniel and, of course, the Golden Retriever.
The miniature golden retriever puppy cross are affectionate, intelligent and patient with children. They are also highly energetic and require regular exercise and playtime. Commonly used as police or service dogs thanks to the ease of training them.
If you would like to read more about the miniature golden doodle, please click on this link.