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Miniature Golden Retriever

Nicole Cosgrove

mini golden doodle puppy sitting in the couch

The Miniature Golden Retriever is a mixed breed but the dogs involved depend on the breeder you go to. Some are just Golden Retriever/Poodle mixes and some are Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel and Poodle mixes. She is also called a Petite Golden Retriever, a Comfort Retriever and a Mini Golden Retriever. She was bred in the US, is a medium cross breed and does will at activities such as obedience, search and rescue, agility, drug detection, hunting, retrieving and jogging. She is a great family dog and has a life span of 10 to 15 years.

Here is the Miniature Golden Retriever at a Glance
Average height 14 to 20 inches
Average weight 20 to 50 pounds
Coat type Double, wavy to curly, dense, soft
Hypoallergenic? Can be
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Low to moderate
Brushing Two to three times a week
Touchiness Fairly sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Low – can suffer from separation anxiety
Barking Above average
Tolerance to Heat Very good to excellent
Tolerance to Cold Good to very good
Good Family Pet? Very good to excellent
Good with Children? Very good to excellent
Good with other Dogs? Very good with socialization
Good with other Pets? Very good with socialization
A roamer or Wanderer? Average
A Good Apartment Dweller? Good if well trained and well exercised
Good Pet for new Owner? Very good to excellent
Trainability Easy to train
Exercise Needs Energetic, fairly active
Tendency to get Fat High
Major Health Concerns Eye problems, heart problems, OCD, Von Willebrand’s, bloat, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, cancer, AIHA, Addison’s, Cushings, Legg-Perthes,
Other Health Concerns Joint dysplasia, allergies, skin problems, patellar luxation,
Life Span 10 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $700 to $6000
Average Annual Medical Expense $460 to $600
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $355 to $500

Where does the Miniature Golden Retriever come from?

The Miniature Golden Retriever is not as straightforward as some designer dogs. It is not a purebred, but there are a couple of ways breeders are currently creating them. It was first bred with Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel and Poodle in the mix. However it has been reported that sometimes this version picks up the nippy aggressive side of the Spaniel. The breeder who claims to have first bred the miniature golden retriever at Golden Quest is Kathy Burgess. She too started off with the three dog mix but with the unreliable temperament and the impact on the look of the breed she says she has gone to just a Miniature Poodle and a Golden Retriever. The dog was first bred in the early 2000s because a lot of people admired the Golden Retriever for his looks and temperament but it was too big a dog for them. By breeding with smaller sized dogs Burgess created a dog that met those desires.

Despite trademarking the Comfort Retriever name other breeders still tried to copy her results. Therefore if you do want to avoid the spaniel in the Miniature Golden Retriever you need to check with the breeders on what they use when breeding. One could technically say if there is only Poodle and Retriever in the mix it is a Goldendoodle however these dogs are specifically bred to produce dogs that look almost exactly like the Retriever whereas the Goldendoodle can take on more Poodle like traits.

Usually when we look at the origins of a designer dog we have little to tell you so we have to look at the traits of the parents as a guideline. In this case we do have information and we know that this dog is bred to specifically have the looks and temperament of a Golden Retriever but in a smaller body. Therefore we will skip the brief look we usually take now at the parent breeds, however if you want to know more remember to include the Cocker Spaniel in your research if your breeder includes them still in their breeding program.


The Miniature Golden Retriever is a gentle and friendly dog and is a great and loyal family companion. She is intelligent and easy to train, can be playful and is alert. She loves to be around people and does not like to left alone for too long so can suffer from separation anxiety. She is eager to please and very affectionate. She is good with children and other animals and seems to be joyful each and every day for her life and her family. She is a kind and loving companion who will be easy to love and will quickly become a central part of your life. When Cocker Spaniel is in the mix there can be a little more attitude and some owners have said she can bite.

What does a Miniature Golden Retriever look like

The Miniature Golden Retriever is a medium sized dog weighing 20 to 50 pounds and standing 14 to 20 inches tall. She should be bred to have a coat like a Golden Retriever’s, double coat that is long, wavy outer that is soft and a dense inner. If she is more like the Spaniel in her she may have a single coat that is more curly. Colors should be a golden or cream color. Sometimes she can be a pale brown. She has a wide muzzle, almond shaped eyes that are dark brown and ears that hang down to her cheeks.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Miniature Golden Retriever need to be?

She has a lot of energy and is quite an active dog who enjoys doing all the things a larger Golden Retriever would love to do. She loves to retrieve with her mouth, loves water, going on long walks, jogging or running with you, going to a dog park and playing games. She should get at least 30 minute a day of good solid exercise. She can adapt to an apartment as long as she gets the above. Access to a yard though would be a bonus. Make sure you monitor her as she will push herself to exhaustion as she loves being active even when she should be resting.

Does she train quickly?

She is eager to please, intelligent, inclined to listen to commands so is usually easy to train and can even be quicker than some dogs needing less repetition. Early training and socialization are still important to get a well rounded dog, and especially so if spaniel is in the mix. She needs a firm consistent trainer but nothing harsh or negative. Positive training methods using rewards, encouragement, patience and treats work best.

Living with a Miniature Golden Retriever

How much grooming is needed?

She should have less shedding than a regular Golden Retriever as that is partly why the Poodle was chose for the breeding. She can be hypoallergenic but you should always test a puppy before buying rather than assuming especially with mixed breeds. She should be brushed two to three times a week and given a bath just when she needs one using a proper dog shampoo. Her teeth will need brushing at least twice a week using a dog toothpaste and brush. Her ears should be checked for infection once a week and gently wiped clean using a cotton ball and proper dog ear cleaning solution. Nothing should be inserted into her ears. Finally her nails will need clipping if they get too long. Take care with this one as there are live blood vessels in the lower section of the nail. If you cut too low it will cause bleeding and pain.

What is she like with children and other animals?

Usually they are very good with children, loving, gentle, playful and protective. Again early socialization helps them get along better with anyone and adapt to any situation. Also teach the children how to play nicely and what is the best way to stroke and approach any dog.

General information

She does like to bark so hopefully with good training you can control that when needed. She is a good watchdog and will bark to alert you of an intruder. She will also act to protect you and the family. She will need 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups of high quality dry dog food a day, split into at least two meals. She can adapt to any climate.

Health Concerns

Buying from a good breeder will give you better chances at a healthy dog. Ask to see health clearances too. She could inherit conditions from her parents. They might include Eye problems, heart problems, OCD, Von Willebrand’s, bloat, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, cancer, AIHA, Addison’s, Cushings, Legg-Perthes, joint dysplasia, allergies, skin problems and patellar luxation.

Costs involved in owning a Miniature Golden Retriever

A puppy of this mixed breed has a pretty wide range in prices at the moment. We found prices ranging from $700 to $6000! She will need blood tests, deworming, chipping, spaying and vaccinations if they have not already been done by the breeder and that will cost about another $270 to $300. She will also need a collar and leash, crate, carrier and other misc items that will cost about $185 to $220. Each year you will have basic medical costs for shots, flea prevention, check ups and pet insurance that come to between $460 to $600. There will also be non-medical costs for things like food, license, training, treats and toys that come to $355 to $500.


Looking for a Miniature Golden Retriever Puppy Name? Let select one from our list!

The Miniature Golden Retriever is a very popular dog and when it comes to designer dogs the more popular they are the pricier they are. If you have always wanted a Golden Retriever but they are too big than this is a great option. Be careful with the Spaniel ones though, some are fine but some have had behavioral issues.

Featured Image Credit: DiZiga, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.