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The idea of a Miniature Golden Retriever is something that many dog lovers are keen on. They love the pure bred Golden for its look and temperament, but find it is much too big a dog and too difficult to take care of.
Creating Golden Retrievers that stay small sounds like a tall order, to pardon the pun. So are there Miniature Golden Retrievers and, if so, what can owners really expect from them?
This means looking at all the different genetic mixes and variants that are around. This includes the popular, beautiful Comfort Retrievers, other common crosses and some of the dangerous options like the Dwarf Golden Retriever.
Along the way we will discuss some of the key physical and behavioral traits of these dogs, such as temperament and coat type.
Finally we will look at the best way to find the best of these hybrid dogs.
Mini Golden Retriever – Image Source
There is the assumption that this miniaturized Goldie is a smaller version of the pure Retriever, just bred from smaller dogs. This isn’t the case as the size difference wouldn’t be that extreme. Instead, this dog is generally a hybrid mix of either the Golden Retriever and Poodle, or a Golden Retriever and Goldendoodle.
Some prefer to breed the mini Retriever as a Goldie and Goldendoodle cross, which would result in a 75% Goldie and 25% Poodle split. This may mean that some of the positive traits of the Poodle are bred out.
There is a name that will pop up a lot on search engines when trying to learn more about this Mini Golden Retriever, and that is the Comfort Retriever.
They are, after all, the company that claims to be the first to breed the true miniature Retriever with the look and build that people really want.
Comfort Retriever – Image Source
One of the most important physical traits of this dog is, understandably, the size.
Owners want a miniature version of the Goldie for a reason. There is a significant difference when working with Poodle and doodle parents.
As you will see, there is still a strong margin here on the size and weight. A female Mini Golden Retriever with strong Poodle traits could be around 20 pounds and 14 inches high while a male with stronger Retriever genes could be closer to the 45 pound and 20 inches. This produces two different dogs, but the same look and behavioral traits.
Mini Retriever – Image Source
This is one of the important secondary reasons for breeding this particular cross. Not only is the Poodle a better match behaviorally that then Cocker Spaniel, the hypoallergenic coat is appealing to all those that have allergies.
However, many keep the long, wavy coat of the Retriever rather than the curly coat of the Poodle. This is why so many Miniature Golden dogs really do like a smaller version of the real thing. These coats can still shed and require grooming to keep them in good condition. Those with even stronger leanings to the Goldie could shed a lot.
This idea of the coat of the Mini Goldie is clear from many Miniature Golden Retriever pictures that can be found online.
The breeders of this dog, both those with the original Comfort animals and those other breeders, have done well in their aim to create what is essentially a small version of a pure Goldie, just with half of the genes. It is impressive as this is seen from the coat and coloration – with a lot of typical Golden coats and few darker colors – to the shape of the head, the way it carries the tail and the general build.
The size of the Miniature Golden dog means that they are better suited to some living spaces than the larger pure bred animal. They also have fewer needs when it comes to diet and exercise.
Petite Golden Retriever – Image Source
The most common Miniature Golden Retriever health problems are not all that different to those in a typical Golden. Both can struggle with eye issues and joint problems as some of these traits are passed through the Retriever linage.
Some of the best breeders will minimize these risks in their lines and some claim that hybrid vigour exists here. Others are less convinced and advise that owners carry out joint and eye tests.
There is often the expectation that the miniature Golden Retriever temperament will be exactly that of the pure bred Golden, just in a smaller bundle of fun.
While it is true that these dogs are very similar, we have to remember that another breed’s genetics come into play here. The good news is that the Poodle is also a pretty well-behaved animal that is good with families.
Therefore, most miniature Golden dogs are still good family pets. There are warnings that some of these dogs can suffer from separation anxiety because of their devotion to the family and some may exhibit an above average tendency towards barking.
All mini Golden puppies need a strong training regime from an early age to make sure that they grow up to be the well-behaved, loving dogs that we all hope for. This means a consistent routine with plenty of positive reinforcement.
The good news with the Poodle genes is that they can make these hybrids a little more intelligent and quick to learn, this works well with the eagerness of the Goldie.
Still, there are sure to be some dog owners that struggle to get the best out of this animal, especially those that are new to dog ownership. This is where online guides like Doggy Dan the online dog trainer are so helpful.
This online training course provides information on a range of topics – including separation anxiety and barking – and presents it in a format that is easy to follow in the comfort of the home.
The most common form of mini Golden is the Poodle/Goldie mix.
However, there is no guarantee that this is the approach used by all breeders. There are some that prefer to use a Retriever with a Cocker Spaniel, perhaps because it is easier or they see some other benefits in the build and characteristics. Once again, we get a smaller dog with a good look that is immediately appealing to dog owners on face value.
Unfortunately, there are some warnings against choosing this approach for the best Mini Golden Retriever.
Secondly, there are some breeders that have noted some behavioral problems with this type of cross. Cocker Spaniels have a tendency to be a little more aggressive, with some prone to nipping and biting. As this miniaturized Golden is designed to be a family-friendly animal, this could limit the appeal significantly.
Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel Mix – Image Source
It is hard for any dog lover to get their head around the concept of the teacup Golden because the term simply doesn’t make sense.
However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t dog breeders out there that try and find other, more extreme ways to breed a Goldie so that it is incredibly small. It seems that some have taken this idea of dog lover wanting a cute little Retriever pup to some dangerous extremes.
A prime example of this is the Dwarf Golden Retriever. It is important to note straight away that the dwarf Goldie is not just another name for the small animals mentioned above. These are pure bred dogs deliberately bred to be excessively small. Unfortunately, a common reason for this is a health condition known as achondroplasia. Which is essentially an abnormality in the development of cartilage in the joints, which can then lead to dwarfism.”
Dwarf Retrievers really are dwarves. This is not a cute trait that should be encouraged in any way. It is a health risk. These tiny legs cannot always support the animal properly, they many develop spinal issues and there are also man cases of jaw issues.
Dwarf Retriever – Image Source
The issues with breeding and all of these genetic mixes mean that hopeful owners need to be very careful when looking for the best dogs and the best breeders.
Nobody can go into this purchase with a closed mind and the assumption that one Mini Golden puppy is like another. Some breeders will work with nothing but the best animals, ignoring the possibilities of the Cocker Spaniel, and work hard to create happy healthy Miniature Goldens with good Poodle genes.
It is important to take the time to ask plenty of questions about the genetics of the animals for sale, as there are as many bad breeders of mini Golden Retriever puppies as good ones.
Take the time to learn about the litter, the parents and the business. If a breeder insists that they have pure bred mini Golden Retrievers, question their methods or knowledge. There is no such thing unless they are deliberately breeding undersized dogs or bringing dwarfism into the mix.
Many new owners will find that the price tag on these puppies can be anything between $700 and $6,000. This is quite a broad range and this all depends on the linage of the dogs and the quality of the breeder.
Shop around and work within a smart budget. Don’t go too high as there are other costs to consider with healthcare and setting up the home, but don’t go too cheap either.
Comfort Retriever Puppy – Image Source
Adoption is a great way to find a Miniature Golden Retriever full grown that is in need of a loving home. It is are also a great way to cut the costs of pet ownership and avoid some of those high price tags mentioned above. With many breeds and hybrids, this rescue system is ideal as it helps vulnerable animals in need.
There is one issue to consider here with a Mini Golden in a shelter, and that is the lack of information on the genetics. There is no sure fire guarantee on precisely which parent dogs created this pup, which could have an influence on their care needs and behavior.
Shelter staff may have an indication from the traits and grooming needs, but all rescue Mini Goldens should be handled with caution. There is the chance that they are abandoned Cocker x Retriever mixed that weren’t the family-friendly dog that owners expected.
The main thing that we have learned here about the Miniature Golden is that there is more than a way to create this hybrid, which can cause some serious confusion over their traits.
It is easy to see why many families are drawn to this miniaturized version of the Golden Retriever.
In many cases, it does share the majority of the positive physical and behavioral traits that owners are looking for. It has proven itself to be a sweet, family-focused animal that doesn’t require as much exercise or space. In the best examples, they also shed less and are more intelligent because of the Poodle genes.
However, this isn’t the case with all hybrids and there are still those with potential behavioral and health implications. The right puppy from the right breeder can be a great addition to the home for those that desire these traits.
However, it really is vital that families do their research on the breeders before they buy. The last thing that you want is an aggressive Cocker cross or Golden with dwarfism or stunted growth.
Featured Image: Instagram/kamrynhopeslovelylife
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