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What You Should Know About The Mini Golden Retriever: Price, Size, Personality, Health Issues and More

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What You Should Know About The Mini Golden Retriever: Price, Size, Personality, Health Issues and More 1

Have you ever dreamed of owning a huggable, loyal, intelligent, and affectionate Golden Retriever, but wished that it comes in a smaller and more manageable size? Well, fret no more because the Mini Golden Retriever breeders came up with a solution.

Today, you can get a miniature Golden Retriever to enjoy the Golden’s sunny personality, striking physical beauty, and unconditional love and loyalty, but in a smaller-sized pup.

This petite Golden Retriever is one of the newest designer dog breeds that is taking the canine world into a frenzy as potential pet parents can now enjoy the dog breed that they’ve always dreamed of but in a size that is more suited to their lifestyle and living conditions.

So, without further ado, let’s find out more about the Mini Goldens.

Breed At A Glance:

Size: 14 to 20 inches tall
Weight: 20 to 45 pounds
Energy Level: High energy; 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise per day
Lifespan: 10 to 15 years

Breed Overview

While their name may imply that they are a miniature version of a purebred Golden Retriever, this mini Golden puppy is actually a hybrid dog. It is a mix between a Golden Retriever and a Mini Poodle, a Cocker Spaniel, or a Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever and Poodle mix).

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The Miniature Golden Retriever was developed specifically to allow owners to enjoy the greatest traits of the Golden Retriever in a smaller dog.

And to ensure that potential dog owners will feel like having a purebred Golden even if they are mixed, reputable breeders are working to get more Golden Retriever genes as possible in the crossbreed mix, aiming for 50% to 75% Retriever pedigree.

Unlike full Goldendoodles, mini Goldens resemble the Golden Retriever more than the Poodle in terms of coat, appearance, and temperament. Additionally, they are much smaller than Standard Golden Retrievers in size.

Due to the fact that the American Kennel Club does not accept this cross, breeding is uncontrolled, and a variety of Mini Golden Retrievers have resulted from this. However, just like other hybrids, this designer dog breed can join the AKC Canine Partners™ Program, and they can still gain titles from joining different sports and competitions.

The Mini Golden Retrievers are also known as Comfort Retrievers and Petite Golden Retrievers. The former is actually the trademarked name given to the mini Golden Retriever puppies bred by Kathy Burgess. It was believed that Kathy bred the first-ever documented Comfort Retriever in 2003.

What You Should Know About The Mini Golden Retriever: Price, Size, Personality, Health Issues and More 2
Image from Pet Guide

History and Origin

The Mini Golden Retriever is a pretty new mix given that the first accounted pup was believed to be bred only in 2003. However, their parent breeds have been around for a long time. Hence, despite being a mixed breed, by knowing the parents’ physical profile and personalities, we can predict how a mini Golden Retriever puppy would look like when he grows up and how he would behave.

Golden Retriever Breed

The first Golden Retrievers were bred in Scotland in the middle of the 19th century when wealthy people enjoyed the pastime of bird hunting.

It was Lord Tweedmouth of Scotland who created the first Golden Retrievers when he crossed a Yellow Retriever with the now-extinct Tweed Water Spaniel.  This hybrid dog has the capacity to flourish in the country's wet climate and challenging terrain due to its waterproof coat and robust body. Hence, it easily captured the hearts of sport hunters during that time.

And the ability of these dogs to “retrieve” shot birds without harm is how they received their name. Today, the Golden Retriever is one of the most popular breeds in the world, and the third most popular dog breed in the US in 2022 according to the American Kennel Club.

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Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniels, originally bred as hunting dogs in the 14th century, were the first choice of breeders looking to produce a smaller version of the Golden Retriever. These dogs were thought to have originated in Spain, despite being frequently utilized by British sport hunters.

The Cocker, the forerunner of today's Cocker Spaniels, was categorized over time for its emphasis on assisting hunters in their pursuit of a kind of bird known as the woodcock. This ancient breed has existed ever since the American Kennel Club was established in 1884 when they were given official recognition.

The Cocker Spaniel, whether an American or English Cocker Spaniel, is recognized for its “beautiful” appearance, as well as its cheerful and playful attitude. Given the many similarities between a Golden and a Cocker Spaniel, the choice is hardly surprising. However, due to their snappish tendencies, some breeders weren't too sold on this combination.

The Disney film Lady and the Tramp, which was released in the 1950s, helped the breed gain enormous popularity, and it still enjoys this status now.

What You Should Know About The Mini Golden Retriever: Price, Size, Personality, Health Issues and More 3
Image from Mini Fairytail Golden Retrievers


In the process of developing the Mini Golden Retriever, Poodles came in second. Due to the Cocker Spaniel's propensity to nip or bite, some breeders choose not to use it.

Poodles have a long history of popularity in Europe, where they were even well-liked in the court of King Louis XVI of France. It's not a secret that these dogs are popular for being alert and clever. In fact, Poodles have been rated as the second-smartest dog breed, just next to Border Collie.

Because of their low-shedding coats and reputation as “hypoallergenic” canines, poodles are frequently utilized in crossbreeding.


Just like many other mixed breeds, the appearance of the small Golden Retriever can vary from pup to pup because it doesn’t have an official breed standard, and it’s not recognized by the AKC.

However, despite the slight differences in the pups’ physical appearance, as mentioned earlier a mini Golden Retriever should have at least 50% to 75% of Retriever genes. In other words, they should simply look like just a smaller version of the standard Golden Retriever whether the other parent is a Poodle, Cocker Spaniel, or a Goldendoodle.

To get a better idea of how most mini Golden Retrievers will look like, let’s check the features that they can inherit from their parents.

Golden retrievers have straight noses and wide skulls. Their dark eyes have an inviting and perceptive demeanor. Round, expressive eyes are a trait shared by other Petite Golden Retrievers and the Cocker Spaniel.

Many of these little crossbreeds, like the Cocker Spaniel, the Golden, and the Poodle, have long, floppy ears. These hybrids may exhibit the compact, well-balanced physique and strong shoulders of their Golden parents despite their smaller size.

The arrogant bearing that the majority of Mini Golden Retrievers inherited from the Poodle is moderated by the affectionate looks of the Golden and Cocker Spaniel.

These dogs frequently have coats that resemble the thick, long fur of their parent breeds. Many of them have hair that is golden in color and has a straight, curly, or wavy texture. Additionally, they are less likely to cause allergies because of the hypoallergenic coat that they could get from their Poodle genes.


All of the parent dogs of the Mini Golden Retriever have high-maintenance coats, so even if they may be hypoallergenic, you should expect heavy grooming from this mixed breed combination. But with the aesthetic appeal of their luxurious golden coat, pet parents could agree that all the time and dimes spent on these adorable dogs’ grooming are worth it.

The easiest technique to minimize shedding is to brush your dog every day with a slicker brush. The breed needs to follow this regular regimen because it will lessen tangles and mats (which can make way for infections).

The excessive shedding that causes a mess in your home can be avoided with regular grooming. Depending on where you live, you might also need to find a reputable dog groomer to periodically trim your dog's coat so that it is always at a manageable length.

You will need to brush your Mini more frequently if they have a Cocker Spaniel-like coat. Other than this, you must adhere to fundamental grooming standards including good oral hygiene, maintaining clean ears, and maintaining short nails.

What You Should Know About The Mini Golden Retriever: Price, Size, Personality, Health Issues and More 4
Image from Pacific Northwest Mini Goldens

Personality & Temperament

Just like with its physical appearance, the personality and temperament of petite Golden Retrievers are largely influenced by their parents’ traits.

Generally, the best miniature Golden Retriever breeders will be able to instill in a Miniature Golden Retriever the same qualities that make the regular Golden Retrievers famous, like loving loyalty, friendliness, and calm disposition.

Miniatures make wonderful family pets and get along nicely with kids, just like regular Goldens do. They also like receiving attention from their owners and human family members in any way, whether by playing catch, getting their ears scratched, or taking a long stroll.

Due to their dependable and devoted nature, little Golden Retrievers can be excellent therapy dogs for people who require support and affection. So, while the name “Comfort Retriever” is a trademarked term for mini Goldens bred by Kathy Burgess, it certainly reflects the demeanor of most mini Golden Retrievers.

Similar to their larger counterparts, Miniature Goldens are prone to the occasional bark to warn their family of unfamiliar sounds or circumstances. If there is a mini Golden in the house, you will be alerted when the doorbell rings! Hence, these cute dogs can also be efficient security dogs.

Once again, mini Goldens essentially have the same temperament as a standard Golden Retriever. However, breeders who employ Cocker Spaniels (instead of Poodles) to produce Miniature Golden Retrievers run a higher chance of producing undesirable traits that are absent from typical Goldens.

Breeders have noted that Mini Goldens even with a small amount of Cocker Spaniel ancestry may be more likely to nip and bite. As a result, your dog will become less suited for family life and less safe around kids.

How to Care For Miniature Golden Retrievers

Exercise & Living Conditions

Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, and Poodles are all highly active dogs. So, it’s not surprising that a mini retriever would also be energetic as its parents. These pups need a lot of exercise per day. They are playful, and they love to move around.

For Miniature Golden Retrievers, exercise and training are especially crucial since, without them, you'll start to notice behavioral issues and weight gain, which could eventually result in poor health. Due to their intelligence, Mini Goldens require daily mental and physical stimulation.

Your Mini will require between 30 minutes to an hour of daily exercise, along with lots of time set aside for music, play, and attention. Hence, the Mini Golden is not a suitable fit for your way of life if your notion of fun is lying on the couch.

And considering their small size, these pups can live in an apartment provided that their daily exercise requirements are met, and they receive regular physical and mental stimulation to keep them engaged.

Diet & Nutrition

Mini Goldens are usually not picky with their food, and this can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the quantity and quality of dog food that is placed in their bowls.  Having said that, because they are such active dogs, Miniature Golden Retrievers will benefit from eating high-protein kibble that will keep their bones and joints strong.

Toy Golden Retrievers can be fed 2.5 cups of dog food daily, split between two meals spaced out throughout the day. Even if your Mini Golden gives you puppy-dog eyes, don't go above this advised amount because this crossbreed is prone to obesity. And because of their Poodle parent genes, these dogs are also prone to digestive issues as they mature.


The Miniature Golden Retriever is simple to train because both of its parent breeds are intelligent and eager to please. Their trainability and braininess are also the reasons why they are well-known guardian dogs. As usual, using positive reinforcement to promote good behavior is the most effective approach to training your dog.

The parents of the Comfort Retriever, three of today's brightest dog breeds, are likely to pass on their intellect to their offspring. Aside from being great guard dogs and wonderful hunting companions, golden retrievers are frequently utilized as therapy dogs, police dogs, and guide dogs for the blind.

Just keep in mind that you shouldn't be hard or harsh during your puppy training, particularly if the other parent is a Cocker Spaniel, which is a sensitive breed.

If your dog engages in undesirable behavior, such as nipping, you can teach them to stop by shifting their attention to a toy or halting the game.

To ensure that their behavior and command responses are sufficiently refined for them to integrate into a family home, training and socializing should take place every day.

Your puppy should have encountered a variety of stimuli that dogs encounter on a daily basis by the time they are 8 to 12 weeks old (such as being handled during vet appointments or grooming, or a ringing doorbell).

Your dog will quickly get socialized if you make every experience enjoyable by using positive reinforcement.

What You Should Know About The Mini Golden Retriever: Price, Size, Personality, Health Issues and More 5
Image from Taylor Made Mini Goldens

The Buyer’s Guide

Finding a reliable breeder is a crucial step to take once you're prepared to proceed with buying a puppy on your own. Once you've made up your mind to get a Mini, it's critical to select your ideal puppy from a reputable breeder to ensure that your puppy has been screened for genetic disorders.

Of course, we couldn’t emphasize enough the importance of avoiding backyard breeders. Breeds that are mixed, like Miniature Golden Retrievers, require ethical and healthy breeding procedures in particular. And a respectable breeder can be relied upon to not only meet health and temperament requirements but also to support you and the dog throughout your pup's life.

Always conduct your research on breeders before purchasing a dog, and only purchase from certified businesses that responsibly breed their canines and send over all necessary paperwork and health records.

How Much Is a Mini or Toy Golden Retriever?

Miniature Goldens are expensive, as one could anticipate from specially bred canines of this caliber. The typical cost of a new puppy ranges from $700 to $6,000, with many of the more reputable and well-regarded breeders setting their prices at the higher end of this range.

In order to accurately determine whether you'll be able to afford the cost of raising a Miniature Golden, it's essential  to take into account the anticipated costs of vet appointments and any non-medical expenses (such as food, flea treatment, cages, treats, etc.).

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Are The Differences Between a Dwarf Golden Retriever and a Mini Golden Retriever?

Dwarfism, a genetic abnormality that affects bone growth, is a disorder that affects Dwarf Golden Retrievers. While Dwarf Goldens may have stunted growth and skeletal abnormalities, Miniature Goldens will continue to grow past the two- or three-month mark.

What Are The Differences Between a Mini Golden and a Goldendoodle?

Both the Mini Golden and Goldendoodle pups are crossbred with Poodles, so, you can expect that they share a lot of similarities from their physical appearance to their personality and temperament.

The only real distinctions between them are their coats (the Goldendoodles take more of their Poodle parent's curly coat), and the fact that Miniature Golden Retrievers are exceedingly simple to teach.

In a nutshell, a Goldendoodle looks more like a Poodle than a Golden Retriever.

What Are The Differences Between a Mini Golden and a Mini Goldendoodle?

Just like the regular Goldendoodle, the Mini Goldendoodles have more Poodle genes in them. However, they are still roughly the same size as Mini Goldens because they are mixed with Toy Poodles. They stand between 14 and 20 inches tall (29 cm to 56 cm) and weigh between 20 and 45 pounds (7 to 16 kg).

While both the Mini Goldens and Mini Goldendoodles are small, you can still spot the difference between them. As expected, Mini Goldendoodles have a curly coat, rather than the wavy and sleek fur of the Mini Golden Retrievers.

What Are The Other Aliases of Miniature Golden Retriever Puppies?

There seems to be significant interest in these stunning canines with their golden hair. Numerous names are used to refer to them, such as Comfort Retrievers, Toy Golden Retrievers, Petite Golden Retrievers, Golden Cavaliers, and Cocker Retrievers.

As mentioned earlier, “Comfort Retrievers” is the trademarked name for the puppies bred by Kathy Burgess, the person believed to have created the first mini Golden. Comfort Retriever puppies have a Golden Retriever and Toy Poodle parent.

What You Should Know About The Mini Golden Retriever: Price, Size, Personality, Health Issues and More 6
Image from All Things Dogs


Mini Goldens were specifically bred to satisfy the demands of potential pet parents who want a smaller version of the Golden Retriever. What’s even better is that the reputable breeders succeeded not just in creating a mix that features the adorable physical features of the Standard Goldens, but also their easygoing temperaments, friendly and affectionate nature, and high intelligence,

However, all of these wonderful traits come with a heftier price tag. So, you should be ready to dig deeper into your pocket if you are eyeing to get one of these mini pooches to call your own.

Additionally, these cute pups can also be high-maintenance due to their thick coat. And not only that, but they are also highly active dogs that require regular physical and mental stimulation. So, if you have a huge heart, you love an active lifestyle, and you can commit sufficient time to your pup every day, a Mini Golden can be a perfect fit for you and your family home.

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