Mini Golden Retriever Breed Information, Traits, & Characteristics

The mini golden retriever is a cross between a golden retriever and a cocker spaniel or a miniature poodle. Mini golden retrievers are also commonly referred to as comfort retrievers and mini goldens.

Mini goldens look like small versions of golden retrievers. The miniature dog measures up to 16 inches high at the whithers, weighs 20 to 50 pounds, and lives for between 10 and 15 years. The breed is known for its playful, fun-loving personality and cute appearance.

Mini golden retrievers are ideal for families and couples who live in urban areas and want a smaller version of a golden retriever.

Mini golden retrievers typically cost $2,000 to $5,000.

Mini Golden Retriever Characteristics and Overview

Common names:Mini golden retriever, comfort retriever, mini golden
Origin:United States
Parent breeds:Golden retriever, miniature poodle, and cocker spaniel
Breed group:Hybrid
Height:12–16 inches
Weight:20–50 pounds
Colors:Golden, dark golden, light golden
Coat:Single or double coat, medium length
Life expectancy:10–15 years
Temperament:Playful, friendly, affectionate, obedient, eager to please
Shedding:Moderate/heavy shedder
Barking tendency:Minimal, only to alert owners
Cost:$2,000–$5,000 USD

A golden retriever and cocker spaniel puppy in the studio

Origin & Purpose

The mini golden retriever originated in the US in the early 2000s as a deliberate crossbreed of the golden retriever with the poodle or cocker spaniel. Little is known about the mini golden’s origin, however, the breed has become popularized as a smaller, apartment-friendly version of the golden retriever.

The mini golden breed isn’t currently recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Taylormade Miniature Goldens is considered the official mini golden breeder and is known for breeding mini goldens and has several litters for sale per year.

The mini golden retriever breed is classified based on its close resemblance to the golden retriever, and dogs that carry a closer resemblance to their miniature poodle or cocker spaniel parents don’t qualify as mini goldens.

Golden Retriever

Golden retrievers were first bred in the late 19th century in Scotland. These medium-sized dogs are known for their striking golden coats and friendly, affectionate personalities.

The golden retriever was introduced to the western world in the 1920s and the 1930s.

The mini golden retriever inherits the classic golden retriever’s medium-length double coat, golden fur, elongated face shape, and floppy ears.

Miniature Poodle or Cocker Spaniel

The miniature poodle is a miniature version of the poodle, a water dog thought to have originated in Germany.

The cocker spaniel is a breed mix of two types of spaniel dogs: the American cocker spaniel and the English cocker spaniel. The breed combination variation tends to differ depending on its country of origin.

Mini golden retrievers inherit their small body size from the miniature poodle or cocker spaniel. The dog may also inherit its parent breed’s personality traits (for instance, the cocker spaniel’s snappy behavior). A comfort retriever may inherit the miniature poodle’s curly single fur coat, though it retains its retriever parent’s golden fur color.


The mini golden retriever’s life expectancy is 10 to 15 years. The lifespan of this breed hybrid depends on the individual dog’s parentage and inherited health conditions, daily activity, diet, and quality of care.

Mini Golden Retriever Appearance

Golden retriever puppy running and jumping in the grass

The miniature golden retriever looks like a small version of the golden retriever and inherits many of the breed’s characteristics, including its broad skull, long straight muzzle, slanted brown eyes, floppy ears, and medium-length golden double coat.

Height and Weight

Mini golden retrievers are considered small-to-medium dogs with a height at the withers of 12 to 16 inches, and a weight of 20 to 50 pounds. The dog’s size and weight depend on the size of its parents — the dominant parent gene for this feature — and the dog’s diet and activity level. Mini golden retrievers are deliberately bred to be shorter and lighter in weight than golden retrievers.


Mini golden retrievers are typically golden, dark golden, or light golden. The dogs are selectively bred to have the characteristic golden retriever colors, so they’re not found in black, white, or any other colors of their other parent dogs.


Most mini golden retrievers have a medium-length, wavy, double coat that resembles that of their golden retriever parents. A comfort retriever may have a short, curly, single coat like a miniature poodle. The dog’s coat consists of a thick, dense undercoat and a thinner, wiry top coat. Mini golden retrievers are moderate shedders, although they don’t shed as much as purebred golden retrievers.

Face & Head Shape

The mini golden retriever has the classic broad head shape with a wide muzzle, a black large nose, and dark wide-set eyes. The dog’s neck is thick and muscular, and its ears are high and moderately sized with a slight fold.

Mini Golden Retriever Personality and Temperament

The comfort retriever inherits personality traits from its golden retriever and miniature poodle or spaniel parents.

The dog’s friendly, easygoing personality is similar to the purebred golden retriever’s. The mini golden may also inherit the spaniel’s lively nature and separation anxiety tendencies, and the miniature poodle’s alert, playful behaviors. The mini golden retriever’s relaxed, affectionate behavior makes it an ideal pet for first-time dog owners and families with children.


Comfort retrievers have low barking tendencies. The dogs don’t have guarding instincts and bark only to gain attention, especially during their puppy phase. A comfort retriever can be trained to bark less.

Mini Golden Retriever Care

Mini golden retriever resting on a bench

Caring for a mini golden retriever is easy. Feed the dog a healthy, high-protein diet and make plenty of time for exercise every day.

Food Needs

Mini golden retrievers need about 2.5 cups of food per day. Provide high-quality, high-protein dog food that offers a complete source of nutrition and supports your dog’s dietary needs. Golden retrievers are prone to obesity, so choose low-fat foods with lean meats.

Grooming Needs

The mini golden retriever has moderate grooming needs. Like its golden retriever parent, the mini golden retriever is prone to dog odors and needs to be bathed once a month. The dog’s fur requires daily brushing to prevent tangles. Professional grooming — including ear cleaning and nail clipping — is required every 8 to 10 weeks.

Exercise Needs

Mini golden retrievers are highly active and need to exercise for around 90 minutes daily to burn off their energy. Walk your dog for at least one hour per day, and involve your dog in activities like fetch, agility training, and swimming. The comfort retriever’s high exercise needs make it best suited to homes with a backyard where the dog can stretch its legs in the outdoor space during the day.

Mental Needs

Comfort retrievers are smart, eager to please, and may display noisy or disruptive behaviors if their mental needs aren’t met. Provide at least 30 minutes of mental stimulation for your dog per day, including fetch, tug-of-war, hide-and-seek, and training exercises. Use treat-release toys and puzzle toys to prevent your dog from getting bored while you’re busy.

Common Health Concerns

Mini golden retrievers are prone to several of the health conditions affecting their parent dog breeds, including:

  • Patellar luxation — A condition inherited by the toy poodle, causing the kneecap to slip out of place in one or both of the hind legs, resulting in lameness, a “skipping” run, and locking up of the limb at an odd angle. Weight management, exercise restriction, and anti-inflammatory medications are all used to treat patellar luxation in comfort retrievers
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia — A condition causing the elbow or hip joints to wear down, resulting in muscle atrophy, arthritis, and lameness. Treat mini goldens with the condition  with exercise therapy, weight loss (if necessary), and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Retinal dysplasia — An eye condition characterized by the abnormal development of the retina, resulting in eyesight deterioration and eventual blindness. There are currently no known cures for this condition

To avoid buying a mini golden retriever with a hereditary health condition, ensure the breeder has health certificates for the parent dogs. Ask to see the parent dogs and check that they’re both in good health before you spend your money.

Mini Golden Retriever Training

Mini golden retrievers are intelligent and calm — two traits that make the dogs easy to train, even for new dog owners.

Begin training the mini golden when it is two months old. Start with the basic skills like toilet training and leash training, then move on to commands like “sit” and “heel.” Socialize the dog beginning when it’s eight weeks old.

Comfort retrievers love food, so they respond well to rewards-based training using treats. Limit treats to three or five per day, accounting for no more than 10% of the dog’s daily calories.

Mini Golden Retriever Price

Couple of mini golden retriever

The mini golden retriever is an expensive dog breed. The exact cost of the dog depends on whether you buy the dog or adopt it from a shelter. However, mini golden retrievers are a rare breed, so they’re rarely found at shelters.

How Much Is a Mini Golden Retriever?

A mini golden retriever typically costs $2,000 to $5,000. The exact cost of the dog depends on the following factors:

  • Bought vs. adopted — Buying a dog costs thousands of dollars while adopting costs $50 to $200 on average
  • Breeder qualifications — The official mini golden breeder sells comfort retrievers at around $5,000, while copycat breeders sell the puppies for about $2,000
  • Puppy vs. adult dog — Adult mini golden retrievers are typically at least $500 cheaper than puppies

How Much Does It Cost to Own a Mini Golden Retriever?

The monthly cost of owning a mini golden retriever is $60 to $150. This cost includes food, healthcare, walking supplies, grooming, and toys. Expect to pay more per month if you buy premium dog food, professional training, private dog sitting, or dog boarding services for your dog.

Is a Mini Golden Retriever Right for You?

A mini golden retriever is a cute, intelligent dog breed that combines the loving, easygoing personality of the golden retriever with the small size of a miniature poodle or cocker spaniel. However, this breed mix isn’t suitable for all people or lifestyles.

Mini Golden Retrievers Are Suitable for:

Mini golden retrievers are high-energy dogs, so they’re ideally suited to active owners who have the time to walk their pets for at least one hour every day. The dogs are calm, friendly, and easy to train, so they’re suitable for families with children and first-time dog owners. Mini golden retrievers are smaller than golden retrievers, so they’re more suitable for urban living than their parent breeds. A home with a backyard is preferable for this energetic breed mix.

Mini Golden Retrievers Are NOT Suitable for:

Mini golden retrievers are active, eager dogs that are prone to destructive or noisy behaviors if they’re not mentally or physically stimulated, so the dogs aren’t suitable for people who are away from home for long hours or don’t have the time to exercise their dogs every day. The comfort retriever is friendly and loves making new friends, so it’s not a suitable guard dog breed.

About Thomas Woods 224 Articles
Thomas has been a dog lover since he was 6 years old when his parents got him a rescue Labrador. Since then his love for dogs has lead him to study Animal Behavior & Welfare. He now keeps a six year old English Bullmastiff and educates pet parents through his online publication Perfect Dog Breeds.


  1. I am very interested in a mini Golden. I’ve had dogs for most of my life, but just lost my 14 year-old Golden a year ago and my Goldendoodle in March, also 14. I didn’t even know that there were mini Goldens! I’m 66, very healthy, but slender and not feeling like I can take on either breed again. I loved the Doodle, but would prefer a Golden Retriever look/temprement I would like a puppy who looks most like a standard Golden.

  2. My husband and I are retired. We have always had goldens but would rather have a mini golden. The cocker breed. I have no idea where to find one. Can you help me? Oh, we have grandkids and a grand golden.

    • I have 2 mini golden left 4 sale. These are miniGolden/Cocker designer. Very pleasant and docile. Ranging from 7122542629 dollars and no cents if you know what I mean.

  3. The Lucky Litter was born 7/7/22!🎰
    Our sweet Seraphina did such an amazing job! She is the most beautiful dog inside and out ❤️

    The puppies are designer Miniature Golden Retriever aka Comfort Retrievers (50% Golden/25% Cocker/25%Poodle)
    Mom 42 lbs, Dad (Leo) 53 lbs, puppies will range from 35-55lb and I’m sure with the perfect temperment like their parents! Leo doesn’t shed and is hypoallergenic. They are loyal, intelligent, loving, great with kids, easily trainable, and very affectionate.

    Perfect family dog, Email:
    Ready for FURever home Sept 1st. 🎉

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