Mini Golden Retriever

mini golden retrieverMini Golden Retrievers: The Perfect Pooch

There’s a reason golden retrievers are among the top five most popular breeds. Not only are goldens just beautiful with their feathery tails and big brown eyes, but they’re just a fantastic dog. What’s not to love about a friendly, outgoing companion who loves to play, is great with children, enjoys consistent training, and is highly intelligent? Maybe the only downside is their size. A mini golden retriever might be the perfect solution to your problem.

Perfect, Only Better: The Mini Golden Retriever

Standard-sized golden retrievers are energetic and playful, which means they do amazingly well in suburban yards with plenty of room to run around, or when they’re walked daily in dog-friendly city parks with room to chase a Frisbee until your arm gives out, but in a small one- or two-bedroom apartment, things can get — well, a little crowded. If you add your kids to the mix, your house stops being an oasis of relaxation after a long day’s work and starts being — well, kind’ve crazy.

By contrast, miniature golden retrievers are just perfect. A mini golden retriever isn’t an official breed, but it’s a creative crossbreed between a golden retriever and similar dogs. Because golden retrievers are so great as they are, the only trait breeders typically try to modify is the size. Dogs that already have traits we prize in golden retrievers like intelligence, trainability, and loyalty make perfect matches. Most often, mini golden retrievers have one parent who’s a golden retriever and one who’s a poodle or goldendoodle.

Size Matters

At 55 to 75 pounds, standard-sized golden retrievers run a little large. Especially for families or couples in smaller apartments or houses, the standard golden retriever may be a great pal — but may also make a small place somewhat crowded. Mini-goldens, however, are often less than half that size. Running between 20-45 pounds, the miniature golden retriever becomes the perfect smaller-dwelling dog.

Bonus #1: Less Shedding

Goldens are often crossed with poodles to make mini-goldens. As lots of people who are sensitive to downy fur and dander know, poodles have great hair for allergy sufferers As a result of their breeding, mini-goldens tend to have slightly curlier, wavier hair than the standards, and will tend to shed less than their purebred counterparts.

Bonus #2: Fewer Inherited Problems

Every breed tends to develop inherited problems over time. Popular breeds tend to have concentrated problems (because the breeding pool might be small), but the great bonus of a crossbreed dog like a miniature golden retriever is that these problems tend to be weeded out in the mix. Because it’s smaller, your miniature golden will have fewer issues with hip and knee dysplasia — and as a bonus, smaller dogs tend on average to live longer than larger ones. It’s the best of both worlds: a sweet-tempered, healthy, and happy dog you’ll share your life with for a longer time.

Ideal Therapy Dogs

Even the gentlest large dogs can intimidate some people. (Call it #greatdaneproblems!) This is true of golden retrievers as well, even though they’re some of the least aggressive and most loving dogs out there. On the other hand, mini-goldens make outstanding therapy dogs for young children, elderly people, or any patient who might otherwise be put off by a large dog, no matter how adorable. Combining the smarts and trainability of both poodles and golden retrievers, mini-goldens generally take very well to clear, consistent, and regular training, and like most intelligent dogs, they feel joyful and rewarded for learning and executing a training command. It makes them understand that they’re valued and needed.

What to Look For

Look for a mini-golden that’s mostly golden retriever with a dash of poodle. Although some breeders have tried mixing goldens with cocker spaniels, the temperaments of cockers can be touchy, and some cockers are prone to nipping. Generally, the more mellow golden retriever works well with poodles or goldendoodles. If you’re considering buying from a breeder, check out the breeder’s reviews, their reputation, and the documentation they provide their clients. Mini-goldens might be the perfect pooch, and a reputable breeder wants that to happen too. Happy and healthy dogs are great for everyone!

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