So you’ve always wanted a golden retriever. However, you hit your first road block: you live in an apartment or are renting a home with a small yard and your landlord only allows smaller dog breeds.
Don’t be discouraged and start looking for a purse pup just yet.
Your golden dreams can still come true with a Miniature Golden Retriever…
Are Mini Golden Retrievers a Real Breed?
The mini or petite golden retriever is not simply a standard breed, small golden retriever with dwarfism or one which happens to be the runt of a litter.
They’re actually a crossbred or hybrid canine, and due to that fact, they are not recognized by the AKC or other reputable kennel clubs.
A mini golden is two distinct and specific breeds of canines bred together to create a hybrid breed that resembles the standard-sized golden retriever, in all their characteristics, except for their larger size.
So don’t be fooled by fast talking salespeople: these are not pure breed dogs — they’re beautiful mongrels instead!
How Are They Bred?
The breeds mixed to create Mini (or Petite) Golden Retrievers are a standard breed golden retriever and a smaller breed poodle.
Some are also created by breeding the hybrid canine called a Goldendoodle to a standard golden retriever.
You get similar results from a pure breed cocker spaniel bred to a pure breed golden retriever.
All of these various combinations are totally acceptable and yield mini golden retrievers.
There is some discussion about whether or not the use of cocker spaniels is a good match, as the spaniel breeds tend to be a bit more temperamental.
However, others believe that both good and bad temperament, in any pet, is a social skill entirely dependent upon the proper training and socialization of each individual dog.
See also: Our guide to the miniature labrador.
Mini Golden Retriever: Temperament
On the whole, a mini golden retriever should possess the same characteristics as a standard golden retriever.
Goldens are well-known for their sound temperament: their desire to please, loyalty, trainability, excellent swimming, relative good health, low-maintenance flat coat, and incredible intelligence.
It’s important to understand that all canines will take on some of the temperaments of their parents and their particular breeds.
It’s always a good idea to spend some time with the parents of a puppy before you choose to take them home, as often times certain behaviors are genetic, while others are simply a function of good or bad training.
How Big are Mini Golden Retrievers?
The AKC Official Standard for a full-sized Golden Retriever is as follows for an adult male: 23-24 inches in height at withers and 65-75 pounds in weight.
For an adult female, the standard is: 20-22 inches and a weight of 60-70 pounds.
Depending almost completely upon the parentage of each litter, a miniature (or petite) golden retriever should weigh considerably less than that of the standard golden retriever: an adult male’s weight should range between 25-45 pounds and be around 18-20 inches in height.
For an adult female, their weight should be near 20-40 pounds and be around 15-18 inches in height.
Take a look at this video of a mini golden retriever puppy:
Miniature Golden Retriever Breeders
Knowing the exact breed to best fit for your family and your lifestyle is a vital and important first step.
Your second most important step is to know your dog’s breeder and your state’s laws regarding the buying and selling of canines.
Buying a puppy from a pet store can be a source of impulse buying that should be avoided, as you might regret it later and you’ll be paying nearly two times the amount you’d pay if you’d gone directly to the breeder: pet stores have huge markup costs.
Don’t be fooled by impressive stories, certificates, and long pedigrees. Anyone can print those off the internet for free. Do your own research and be certain of the authenticity of your puppy’s documents.
Shelters have equal amounts of success and disaster stories with regards to rehoming pets. Each avenue comes with its own set of risks. Do your homework and know the history of any adult canine.
If buying from a breeder, ask if you can come to their home to view your puppy in its natural environment with its litter mates and, most importantly, the puppy’s parents.
If the breeder refuses your visit or wants to meet you at a half-way, or alternate location, pass them by and move on. Any reputable breeder will be more than happy to show off their home and environment to you: if they are not, then you can be certain they’re hiding something from you.
Should You Get a Mini Golden?
Owning a pet is a big responsibility and a commitment that lasts for many years.
A few hours of due diligence could save you from years of heartbreak and financial losses. Finding the perfect pet to match with your family should yield years of joy and happiness.
Are you tempted to get a Mini Golden Retriever?