The golden retriever
Golden retrievers originated in Scotland. These large sized dogs with a strong built, were primarily bred as bird or gun dogs (dogs used for retrieving games) for locating and retrieving shot games intact.
The golden retriever has the ability to retriever games undamaged.
This clearly shows that they are intelligent retrievers and for this reason they were referred to as “the retriever“. They make an excellent breed for shooting or hunting parties.
- This breed has a thick inner coat that is overlaid by an outer coat that repels water.
- They are an intelligent breed that are easy to train and have a special love for water.
- Between the male and female, they weighs between 60-75 lbs and height ranging from 55-61 cm.
- Mildly wavy or straight coats.
- A life span of between 10 to 12 years.
- Their friendly and kind temperament makes them an excellent family pet.
- The golden retriever is ranked NO.4 most intelligent dog breed with Border collie, Poodle and the German shepherd coming 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively.
- Their level of intelligence couple with their willingness to obey their handlers makes them exceptionally easy to train.
- Because of their level of calmness, sociability and a desire to please and to learn, they easily do well as guide dogs used by the blind and in search and rescue work.
- The most common health issue in golden retrievers is cancer, accounting for more than 60% of death in the United States in 1998.
The poodle breed has its origin in Germany. They rank as one of the world’s most intelligent dog breed. Like the golden retriever, poodles were bred as water dogs meant to retrieve the hunter’s games that fall into water. Just like the golden retriever they are very good in the water.
Because of their high level of intelligence they excel in dog sports, obedience and agility. Poodles are usually among the top winners in many breed shows.
- They are very easy to train and with a high level of adaptability.
- An excellent family pet that very friendly both to kids and strangers.
- Full of energy and weight between 45-70 lbs.
- A life span of between 10-13 years.
The cocker spaniel has its root in the United Kingdom. It was bred primarily for hunting woodcocks. Therefore it is referred to as a bird dog or a sporting dog.
- It is also easy to train and adapts well to its social environment.
- The height of male and female ranges from 34-41 cm.
- Weighs between 24-18 lbs.
- Life span of between 12-15 years.
- Cocker spaniel is among the top 10 excellent working dogs.
- Cancer and old age are the most common causes of death.
Home truth about designer dogs
Miniature golden retriever is not a purebred and like all cross breeds or designer dogs, their traits cannot be precisely predetermined. Purebreds on the other hand are dogs that have been bred over time and their traits are well known and predictable.
When purebreds are crossed to produce designer dogs like the miniature golden retriever, the resulting dogs may vary from one to another even among pups of the same litter. This is largely influenced by the dominant genes of the parent breed(s) in the particular offspring.
To effectively care for designer dogs, one must study the different parent breeds of the designer dog and apply the solution that work for the parent breed to the designer dog in the areas where the parent breed is dominant in the designer dog. This is because designer dogs like the miniature golden retriever will end up having any combination of the different characteristics of the parent breeds.
The table that follows provides a side by side comparison of the comfort golden retriever and the parent breeds.
Breed info of the miniature golden retriever and the parent breeds
|Golden retriever||Poodle||Cocker spaniel||Miniature golden retriever|
|American kennel club ranking (popularity)||3rd most popular||7th most popular||30th most popular||Not recognized by AKC|
|Family||Sporting, gundog, retriever||Non sporting group||Sporting dog, gundog, spaniel||Will fit into any of the parent breeds group|
|Intelligence||Ranked No 4||Ranked No 2||Ranked No 20||No official ranking at the moment but miniature golden retrievers intelligence is not in doubt judging by the intelligence of its parent breeds|
|Kid friendly||Excellent||Very good||Good||Very good|
|Stranger friendly||Very good||Very good||Above average||Very good|
|Dog friendly||Very good||Very good||Very good||Very good|
|Temperament||Gentle, friendly, devoted, intelligent and loyal||Intelligent, mischievous, loving, loyal and friendly||Active, playful and alert||Expect to see a mix of the temperament of its parent breeds|
|Size||Large||This breed exist in 3 different sizes as toy, miniature and standard||Small||Small|
|Function||Retriever||Water retriever||Bird flushing and retrieving||Retriever|
|Good for first time dog owners||Excellent||Excellent||Above average||Very good|
Breed info relating to the level of activity requirements
|Golden retriever||Poodle||Cocker spaniel||Miniature golden retriever|
|Energy level||Very high||High||High||High|
|Exercise requirement||Very high||High||High||High|
|Playfulness||Very high||Very high||High||Very high|
|Ability to handle loneliness||Below average||Very poor||Below average||Below average|
|Prey drive||Moderate||Low||Moderate||Depending on the dominant parent genes, expect anything between low and moderate|
|Tendency to bark||High||High||High||High|
|As a watch dog||Below average||High||High||Below average to average|
|Easy to train||Extremely easy||Extremely easy||Very easy||Extremely easy|
Coat and health related breed info
|Golden retriever||Poodle||Cocker spaniel||Miniature golden retriever|
|Coat type||Long coat with a dense inner coat with a wavy outer coat that repels water||Dense, curly single coated without undercoat||Soft wavy coat||Similar to the golden retriever|
|Coat color||Golden or creamy color||White, silver, blue, gray, brown, black||black/black and tan, any solid color other than black||Similar to the golden retriever|
|Shedding||More than average||Very low||More than average||More than average|
|Grooming frequency||Regular grooming, quite easy to groom||Regular grooming, difficult to groom||Regular grooming, difficult to groom||Regular grooming|
|Tendency to drool||Moderate||Very low||Low||Expect between low to moderate|
|Health issues||Major health worries: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and cataracts|
Less serious health worries: Hypothyroidism, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Hemangiosarcoma, Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis, Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD), Allergies, Osteosarcoma, Von Willebrand's Disease, Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus and Epilepsy
|Major health worries: Sebaceous Adenitis (SA), Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus, Addison's Disease|
Less serious health worries:
Cushings Disease (Hyperadrenocorticism), Epilepsy, Hip Dysplasia, Hypothyroidism, Legg-Perthes Disease, Patellar Luxation, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, Sebaceous Adenitis (SA)and Von Willebrand's Disease
|Major health worries: patellar luxation, cataracts and glaucoma|
Less serious health worries: ectropion, allergies, seborrhea, lip fold pyoderma, otitis externa, liver disease, urolithiasis, prolapse of nictitans gland, phosphofructokinase deficiency, cardiomyopathy
|No known health issue with the miniature golden retriever|
|Feeding||Good nutrition is very important but this breed has a tendency to become overweight||Nutritious high quality food. Treats should be kept to a minimum because of its tendency to put on weight||Potential to gain weight||Just like the parent breeds, the miniature golden retriever may become over weight if care is not taken as regard its feeding|
|Life span||10-12 years||10-13 years||12-15 years||10-15 years|
Miniature golden retriever information
Now that we have a brief knowledge of the 3 dog breeds from which the petite golden retriever is bred, we can now better appreciate the golden retriever breed.
An obvious thing that stands out from the mini retriever parent breeds is that these are all very intelligent and loving dog breeds.
Therefore you can always expect that your comfort retriever will always be an intelligent dog because of the genetic makeup of its parent breeds.
You should also expect that your comfort golden retriever puppy may display any of the traits present in any of its parent breeds.
Comfort golden retriever breed standard
Every successful miniature golden retriever breeder must strive to ensure that the mini retriever is as much an exact “duplicate” of the large sized golden retriever and that the only difference is the small size:
- A petite golden retriever must be spitting image of its larger version in temperament and in look and feel. By ensuring that the percentage of the golden retriever is more than the combined percentage of the poodle and the cocker spaniel.
- The comfort golden retriever should not weigh more than 50lbs and no more than 18 inches tall.
- This is most important – the mini version of the retriever must retain all of the excellent traits that have endeared the golden retriever to dog lover around the world.
- These traits include but not limited to loyalty, eagerness to please, gentle disposition, sociable, easy to train, its energy level and playfulness.
- Utmost care must be taken to ensure that a healthy lineage is chosen in order to eliminate or greatly reduce health related issue associated with the parent breed.
24 Facts about the miniature golden retriever
- The first fact to get right is that there is no such breed as a miniature golden retriever. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) the only true breed of the kind is the golden retriever.
- Some kennel club and breeders don’t recognize the comfort golden retriever as a different breed. So what you have is a small sized golden retriever.
- There is a dog breed (also a retriever) that looks like the mini golden retriever (and sometimes mistaken for it) and recognized by the AKC in the sporting group. It is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.
- These small sized golden retrievers are not purebred so be wary of pet stores or breeders claiming to have purebred mini golden retrievers.
- The true purebred miniature golden retriever would be a runt of a golden retriever. A runt of a litter is a puppy that is significantly smaller than other puppies from birth and may never grow to normal size.
- The golden retriever (mini or not) is the 4th most popular dog breed in the United States.
- A compact sized dog that is excellent for a family dog.
- A petite golden retriever retains the strong qualities of a golden retriever while at the same time not exhibiting the weakness of a golden retriever e.g. they are less allergic.
- A secondary reason for breeding a small sized golden retriever like all selective breeding is to produce a designer dog with fewer allergies. However this is dependent on the parent breeds.
- Life expectancy of between 10-15 years.
- Weighs between 20-50 lbs and height of 18-20 inches.
- Easy to train and intelligent.
- The comfort golden retriever has a great temperament just like its larger sized version.
- The mini golden retriever’s coat is just like its larger sized breed – a thick inner coat overlaid by straight outer coat.
- The most common coat color is usually golden or cream.
- Also in line with it larger sized version, they are often very eager to please their handlers coupled with a great intelligence this make the petite golden retriever very easy to train.
- Mini retrievers are very loyal, affectionate, sociable and friendly even to strangers and other pets.
- Mini golden retrievers shed far lesser than the larger breed version but this also means that they will require more grooming. Dogs that shed frequently require less grooming.
- Small sized golden retrievers are not aggressive: this will be out of character for a breed that possesses some of the genetic makeup of a golden retriever.
- Like most retrievers with a natural instinct to retrieve items with their mouth, a petite golden retriever is mouthy i.e. they like to chew on things but with the appropriate training this can be put to right use.
- From the traits of its parent breed, the comfort golden retriever is also an energetic dog that requires lots of activities but they need to be monitored to ensure that they do not over work themselves.
- You can expect your mini retriever to retain its love for water just like its larger sized version.
- The mini golden retriever temperament which is similar to that of its larger version makes the comfort retriever an excellent dog not just for the family but also for little children. So what you get is the same breed of golden retriever with the same temperament but in a petite size.
- The mini golden retriever is a unique cross breed and this is clearly suggested by how it is referenced as “miniature golden retriever” and not in the manner that regular cross breeds are usually referenced which would have been something like “golden cocker poodle mix”. And this is about the most important thing about this dog: it is not referred to as a mix because the overwhelming percentage of its genetic makeup is that of the golden retriever in order to achieve the primary goal of breeding the golden retriever in a small body. This throws in a unique and interesting twist regarding the petite golden retriever: while it is not a purebred you can however predict to certain extent the traits of an unborn mini retriever pup to be the same as that of the golden retriever as long as the breeder ensures that that the genetic makeup of the pup is largely that of the golden retriever. This is one of the primary defining factor of purebreds: their traits have been carefully bred into them over many generations so you can always predict how that purebred pup will look and feel in terms of physical looks and genetic capabilities such as the herding skills of the purebred German shepherd but cross breeds particularly the “MIXES” such as “Golden Retriever Husky Mix, Chihuahua poodle mix” etc are unpredictable even after the pup is born. You have to observe each pup individually to determine which of the parent breed genes is dominate and this can be different for even pups of the same litter. In summary what this means is that with a miniature golden retriever “what you see is what you get” that is, what you have is a golden retriever in a small body and what works for the golden retriever will equally works for the mini version. In essence you should be able to handle the mini version in the exact same manner you will handle the larger version in all aspects. If your mini retriever behaves or looks differently from the golden retriever then the breeder is to be blamed.
The bottom line is that a miniature golden retriever is largely everything you want in a golden retriever but a smaller version of it.
Therefore everything that works for the golden retriever is will work for the petite retriever both in terms of food, training etc.