Everything To Know About Mini Golden Retrievers

Updated April 1, 2023

Mini golden retrievers are a relatively new designer breed that incorporates the best traits of goldens in a small, cute body.

However, even mini golden retrievers aren’t pocket-sized apartment dogs. They are about 25% smaller than an average golden retriever.

Miniature golden retrievers don’t result from genetic mutation but are a cross between a purebred golden and another breed.

Although mini golden retrievers are hybrid dogs, they retain the characteristics that make golden retrievers so sought-after, including intelligence, obedience, friendliness, gorgeous golden coat, and loyalty.

A miniature golden retriever makes a perfect family dog, but it isn’t a low-maintenance pet – you should be willing to invest time in training, grooming, and exercising it.

Can a Purebred Golden Be Mini?

Purebred golden retrievers typically range from 20 to 24 inches in height, depending on the sex, type, and lineage. British golden retrievers are the shortest and Canadian the tallest; males are usually bigger than females.

The breed standard is rather strict about golden retriever height, but some purebred goldens deviate from the norm for one reason or another. For example, some golden retrievers are smaller than average because of genetics.

Others are small because of growth disorders or insufficient nutrition. Still, purebred goldens rarely deviate from the norm by over a few inches. They are still medium-sized dogs and not small or mini dogs.

Dwarfism is not a naturally occurring condition in purebred golden retrievers, although some medium to large dog breeds is susceptible to the issue.

Dwarf golden retrievers are usually a hybrid of a purebred golden retriever and a smaller dog.

How Small Are Mini Golden Retrievers?

Because small golden retrievers are cross, they can range in size depending on probability and which breed was mixed with a golden retriever. Usually, miniature golden retrievers range from 14 to 20 inches and weigh 20 to 45 pounds.

So, mini golden retrievers aren’t pocket-sized dogs – they are still medium-sized but with slightly shorter legs than purebred goldens.

Some mini golden retrievers might be even smaller, about 12-15 inches, but they will never be the size of a Chihuahua.

Which Breed Mix is a Mini Golden Retriever?

Mini golden retrievers aren’t purebred, but breeders strive to preserve 50%-75% of golden retriever lineage to maintain their distinct look with a long golden coat and intelligent facial expression.

A mini golden retriever is a type of designer dog that can be a mix of golden retriever and mini Poodle, Cocker Spaniel, Beagle, Chihuahua, Cardigan Corgi, Dachshund, or Pembroke Welsch Corgi.

Technically, any combination will result in a smaller than a purebred golden retriever dog. However, most commonly, a miniature golden retriever is a mix of golden and Cocker Spaniel or Poodle.

It’s important to note that such crossbreed dogs can resemble either of the parents. For instance, a golden retriever Pembroke Welsch Corgi mix can look a lot like a golden retriever but also a lot like Corgi.

Mini Golden Retriever Appearance

Mini golden retriever appearance is always a toss-up, like with all designer dogs. The puppy can inherit traits of either parent, but for it to be called a mini golden retriever, it should resemble a golden retriever.

Usually, miniature golden retrievers have the signature lustrous, golden fur of purebred goldens that can be either long or medium, straight or wavy.

The coat color ranges from cream to darkest gold and can sometimes be red if the golden retriever was from field stock.

The puppies can also take the color after a different parent breed, but such dogs aren’t usually considered mini golden retrievers.

A Cocker Spaniel golden retriever mix is more likely to have a long, wavy coat, whereas a Dachshund and golden retriever cross may have much shorter and straight hair.

The puppies are almost guaranteed to have drop ears because this trait is inherent to Dachshunds, Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, and Beagles. A mix of golden retriever and Corgi might have pointy ears.

The tail length varies, and so does overall body build. Some mini golden retrievers might have a propionate body like purebred goldens, albeit miniature, while others might have an elongated body and short legs like Corgis or Dachshunds.

Mini golden retrievers have long snouts with black noses and rounded dark eyes with an intelligent expression, like purebred golden retrievers. Rarely, the eye color might be different.

Mini Golden Retriever Temperament

Mini golden retriever temperament largely depends on the second parent breed, but all puppies inherit some personality traits of purebred golden retrievers.

Golden retriever Corgi mix is likely to be playful, energetic, and intelligent, but has a higher prey drive than purebred golden retrievers because Corgis are a herding breed.

These dogs get along with other pets and children but are better suited for older kids because they might chase them and nip their heels.

A Beagle golden retriever mix, also known as Beago, is an exuberant dog with high energy levels. They are always up to play and have a happy-go-lucky attitude but may be very vocal and sometimes stubborn.

Dachshunds are known as clever but independent and stubborn dogs, so a Dachshund golden retriever mix may not be as trainable as a purebred golden retriever. Still, it will undoubtedly be active and devoted.

A mini golden retriever with Cocker Spaniel genes is likely to be a merry, joyful, outgoing, and even-tempered dog that makes a perfect companion for kids of all ages and smaller pets and is easily trainable.

A mini golden retriever is guaranteed to be an intelligent dog, but its trainability will depend on the second parent breed and the puppy’s unique personality traits.

Mini Golden Retriever Health

Health is the primary concern with dwarf golden retrievers. Usually, mixed-breed dogs are healthier than purebred ones, but some health conditions are related to dwarfism, particularly, joint diseases and intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).

Intervertebral disc disease causes the spinal disc to degenerate, leading to severe pain when moving and paralysis. The disease is very expensive and complex to treat and sometimes is incurable.

Dwarf golden retrievers are also susceptible to health problems common in purebred goldens, including epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy, hip and elbow dysplasia, ear infections, and hypothyroidism.

A mix of a golden retriever and Cocker Spaniel is also prone to glaucoma and cataracts, but Cocker Spaniels are overall healthy dogs.

Pembroke Welsch Corgis are susceptible to degenerative myelopathy, and so are mini golden retrievers resulting from Corgi and golden mix.

Mini Golden Retriever Grooming

Mini golden retriever grooming depends on the dog’s coat type and length. Most dwarf golden retrievers inherit the dense double coat of purebred golden retrievers, particularly those with Corgi or Cocker Spaniel genes, so they are heavy shedders.

Miniature golden retrievers require brushing with a slicker brush several times a week. During seasonal shedding phases, they must be brushed daily with a de-shedding tool to remove loose fur stuck in the undercoat and prevent matting.

Mini goldens with shorter coats might not need as frequent brushing. Still, all mini golden retrievers must be bathed every two to eight weeks, depending on the dog’s lifestyle.

Because most small golden retrievers have drop ears and are susceptible to ear infections, they need regular ear cleaning.

It’s especially important for dogs that swim frequently because water trapped in the ear canal promoted bacteria growth.

Claw trimming is necessary every three to five weeks, and teeth brushing every day or multiple times a week. Mini golden retrievers don’t need haircuts and should never be shaved because it can damage their undercoat.

However, mini golden retrievers with long coats will benefit from feather trimming on the legs, tail, chest, and belly to minimize tangling and keep the coat neat.

Mini Golden Retriever Exercise Needs

Mini golden retriever exercise needs depend on the second parent breed, but they are generally high because of their hunting heritage.

Beagles, Dachshunds, Cocker Spaniels, and Corgis need about an hour of exercise a day, so you can expect a mini golden retriever to need equally much physical activity.

But if a mini golden retriever results from a mix with a less energetic dog, its exercise needs may be lower. Many small golden retrievers appreciate swimming and mentally stimulating activities like smell tracking or resolving puzzles.

Mini Golden Retriever Price

Although miniature golden retrievers aren’t purebred, they aren’t cheap. You can expect to pay at least $800 for a puppy from a reputable breeder, and some puppies cost over $6,000.

Good breeders spend time socializing their puppies and provide all the necessary documents and health clearances, so puppies cannot be cheap.

Plus, both parent breeds are quite expensive and in high demand, whether a golden retriever is mixed with a Corgi, Cocker Spaniel, or Dachshund.

Furthermore, crossing a golden retriever with a smaller dog naturally isn’t always possible, so the dogs need human assistance, which costs extra.

The puppy’s price also depends on its temperament, appearance, location, color, and lineage. Mini golden retriever prices tend to be higher in states with a higher cost of living. Rare colors like red cost more than common ones.

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