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.
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Mini Golden Retriever Characteristics and Overview
|Mini golden retriever, comfort retriever, mini golden
|Golden retriever, miniature poodle, and cocker spaniel
|Golden, dark golden, light golden
|Single or double coat, medium length
|Playful, friendly, affectionate, obedient, eager to please
|Minimal, only to alert owners
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 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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.