Miniature Golden Retriever Dog Breed

Miniature Golden Retriever Puppy
  • Other names:
  • Petite Golden Retriever
  • Mini Golden Retriever
  • Comfort Retriever
  • Golden Cavalier
  • View all 4...

Miniature Golden Retrievers are hybrids that are produced from cross-breeding Golden Retrievers with Poodles — although some breeders use Cocker Spaniels or even King Charles Cocker Spaniels, the result of which can produce a dog with a less-friendly personality as well as with less of a Golden appearance. They should be at least 50% Golden Retriever and about 14-18 inches tall and about 20 to 40 pounds, although there are those that may be smaller. This hybrid was first bred by Kathy Burgess in 2003 in Kentucky. She initially experimented by cross-breeding Cocker Spaniels with Golden Retrievers but found that the Miniature Golden Retriever she desired tended to have the long-haired, floppy ears of the Spaniel as well as a tetchy temperament, i.e., it tended to bite a lot. She ended that attempt and tried again — this time with Poodles, which produced the desired result. Burgess also conceived the term Comfort Retriever®. It should be noted, however, that most Miniature Golden Retrievers are not Comfort Retrievers® as the the term Comfort Retriever® is formally registered — which is why there is either an "®" or "©" with every mention of the term.

Unlike most other hybrids that are expected to take on traits of both different breed parents, Mini Goldens are expected to look as their name describes: Golden Retrievers that are merely smaller and possessing the highly active, easily trainable and hard-working demeanor of the regular-sized Golden Retriever. They are fun, devoted and family-friendly hybrid dogs with a remarkable intelligence as well as are hypoallergenic due to the Poodle with which they were crossbred. If you plan on adopting a Miniature Golden Retriever, you should learn about Golden Retrievers and Poodles as well as be sure that the breeder from which you are adopting your Mini Golden used Poodles and not Cocker Spaniels or other breeds.

Miniature Golden Retriever Breed Details

Breed Specs
Hybrid10-15 yrs.15-18 in.30-45 lbs
  • Friendliness
  • Overall
  • Family Friendly
  • Kid Friendly
  • Pet Friendly
  • Stranger Friendly
  • Maintenance
  • Easy to Groom
  • Energy Level
  • Exercise Needs
  • General Health
  • Shedding Amount
  • Behavior
  • Barks / Howls
  • Easy to Train
  • Guard Dog
  • Playfulness
  • Watch Dog
  • Ownership
  • Apartment Friendly
  • Can Be Alone
  • Good for Busy Owners
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Intelligence
* The more green the stronger the trait.

Although they are called Miniature Golden Retrievers, these hybrids are crossbred with either Toy or Miniature Poodles or Cocker Spaniels and in some cases may be Goldens with both Poodle and Spaniel in their genes. Golden Retrievers are working dogs that are also hunting dogs — although these days they tend to be workers more than hunters. Just as the smaller size of the Golden Retriever made the breed highly sought as hunting dogs in the early 17th century, so too does the smaller size of the Miniature Golden Retriever make it very appealing today as therapy and guide dogs as they can be easier to manage in small apartments and by people who may have difficulty with large dogs.

Due to their easy trainability, hardworking demeanor and friendly personality, Miniature Golden Retrievers are great for first-time dog owners and families, people who live in small apartments and people with impairments. The person noted to have first bred the Miniature Golden Retriever, Kathy Burgess. She did so by cross-breeding a Golden with a Poodle and coined (as well as copyrighted) the term Comfort Retriever® to describe the dog that she set out to produce: a smaller, healthier version of the Golden Retriever that retained its many qualities amenable to being a working dog that could fulfill guidance, companion and search-and-rescue duties.


Less shedding
Relatively small
Highly trainable
Fewer health problems
Gets along with children
Works well with other animals

Prone to hip problems
Not recognized as a pure breed
If crossbred with a Cocker Spaniel, may be temperamental
Can be very expensive (up to $6,000)
First-generation (F1) puppies may not turn out to look like Golden Retrievers
High demand prompts backyard breeders (BYB) to breed and sell inferior, over-priced puppies

Miniature Golden Retriever Breed Description

Golden Retrievers and the two primary parent breeds that help produce Miniature Golden Retrievers — Cocker Spaniels and Poodles — are highly intelligent and highly trainable. The latter two, Spaniels and Poodles, dispense traits that can affect personality. In particular, nipping (light biting) may be more prevalent if one of the parents is a Cocker Spaniel, and clownishness may be obvious if it is a Poodle with which the Retriever is crossbred.

Golden Retrievers are pack dogs, and depending on which other pure breed is used to produce your Miniature Golden Retriever may affect how loyal, silly, territorial and / or independent your Mini may be. Since no breeder can tell for sure how any pup may turn out — even those in a single litter will almost always turn out looking and behaving differently — it will require a good amount of early socialization, training and family responsibility to determine how loyal, quirky and / or communicative your Mini Golden Retriever puppy will be.

In any case, most Mini Goldens will have the stamina and strength of the typical Golden retriever — especially if the other parent is a Poodle. Despite popular conceptions, Poodles are not as dainty as imagined; they come from a hunting, war and woodsy background that dates back to the Romans when they accompanied warriors, were deployed into water to retrieve fowl, and followed smaller dogs to the kill. Spaniels were not much different; they too were used in retrieving and hunting game in water in cold environments, but they are a bit more demanding and certainly more territorial. Your Mini will need more than a fair amount of daily exercise to burn off that energy, especially if they are indoor dogs.

Miniature Golden Retriever Size

As Miniature Golden Retrievers are a relatively new hybrid, and as most all dogs of any crossbreed cannot be guaranteed to reach (or not reach over) a certain size, no breeder can guarantee a dog's size.The expected size of a Miniature Golden Retriever, however, is around 30 to 45 pounds and somewhere around 15 to 18 inches in height. Granted, some may be smaller, and those that reach the limit may continue to grow over time. As with the typical full-bred Golden Retriever, the Mini Golden Retriever full-grown will be slender, long-legged and sporting a large-sized head that is nonetheless proportionate with the body.

Average Adult Height

15-18 in
*Height is measured in inches from the front paws to the top of the shoulder while the dog is standing on all four legs.

Average Adult Weight

30-45 lbs

Miniature Golden Retriever Variations

Due to the ever-developing world of cross-breeding crossbred dogs to make even more exotic designer dogs, there tends to be a lot of variations. The Miniature Golden Retriever is typically the name of the hybrid dog that results from crossing a Miniature Poodle with a Golden Retriever. The lack of a standard, however, mixed with the experimental nature of some breeders has resulted in some Mini Goldens to also have Spaniel in them. Because of this, there are also Golden Cavalier King Charles Spaniels as well as different names for the other mixes. These others may be primarily Golden Retriever but have some Spaniel, some Poodle and sometimes even other Poodle hybrids.

The untamed and constantly expanding world of cross-breeding dogs basically allows for most any name, which in turn makes it difficult to identify varieties — save through DNA testing.

Miniature Golden Retriever Photos

Below are pictures and images of Miniature Golden Retrievers.

Miniature Golden Retriever Puppy
Miniature Golden Retriever
Miniature Golden Retriever
Miniature Golden Retriever

Living Requirements

Miniature Golden Retrievers tend to exhibit the few anxieties that are well-known among Golden Retrievers — but if they have a strong Cocker Spaniel (which is the typical "other" parent employed to produce and down-breed this hybrid puppy's size), then there is the added aspect of nipping (light biting) as well as the higher prospect of separation anxiety (which is well-known to both parent breeds). Both primary parent breeds are pack dogs, and as such, it is highly likely that your Mini Golden will demand a lot of time together; leaving him alone fr long periods of time is almost sure to invite separation anxiety and all the possible results of constant and incessant barking, chewing on things and basic destructive behavior.

Due to their small size, Miniature Golden retrievers are easily situated to small apartments, but they may only offer decreased shedding benefits. Those Golden Retrievers that have been cross-bred with Poodles (which is not too uncommon) can help to greatly decrease shedding — and therefore the allergic reaction that dog-allergic people may possess — but this is just a possibility.

Miniature Golden Retriever Health

Golden Retrievers and Cocker Spaniels —the Mini's parent breeds — have a fair amount of health concerns, and so too do Miniature Golden Retrievers. The primary health problems tend to be osteoarthritis (which is somewhat common), heart issues, epilepsy, bloat, thyroid concerns, joint dysplasia, and skin and allergy problems. There are many tests that the breeder should undertake to determine your puppy's health standing, so be sure they have those vet and health papers for you when adoption day arrives!

  • Allergies
  • Bloat
  • Cataracts
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Joint Dysplasia
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • View all 9...

Miniature Golden Retriever Breed Recognition

The following dog breed registries and organizations recognize the Miniature Golden Retriever as a dog breed:

  • Designer Dogs Kennel Club
  • Dog Registry of America Inc.