The Mini Goldendoodle is fluffy, it’s friendly, and it doesn’t take a lot of space. If this describes the ideal dog breed for you, then you’re in luck. It’s real, and it’s called the Miniature Goldendoodle. They’ve been around since the mid 1990’s and has become very popular recently. But what type of breed is the Mini Goldendoodle? Where did they come from? Do they do well with kids or other pets? Are there different varieties of them? Why are they so cute?
Today, we’ll take a look at this fun-sized little breed, and maybe even find out if it’s really the best dog breed for you.
Breeding History / Pedigree
The Miniature Goldendoodle is considered to be a hybrid breed. This means they’re not qualified for registration in any major kennel clubs in the United States. This also means that they don’t have official pedigrees. Despite this though, the individual dog’s lineage is still important to many breeders.
We know little of who made the first litter of Miniature Goldendoodles, or who the parents were. What we do know is that records of the Mini Goldendoodle breed first showed up during the early to mid-1990’s. The Goldendoodle breed, a related breed to the Mini Goldendoodle, has been around for decades at this point, though. The Goldendoodle came about when people were looking for a dog breed that was as gentle as the Golden Retriever, but as intelligent as the Poodle.
In 1969, Monica Dickens, the granddaughter of the writer Charles Dickens, bred the first Goldendoodle. It wasn’t until later that the Goldendoodle breed reached its peak popularity, sometime in the 1990’s. It was particularly popular in North America and Australia, where it was bred as a hypoallergenic guide dog. It was during this surge in popularity when people decided to breed a Golden Retriever to a Miniature Poodle. And so, the Mini Goldendoodle was born.
To better understand the lineage of the Mini Goldendoodle, let’s take a look at their base breeds. These are the Golden Retrievers and the Miniature Poodles.
The Golden Retriever is a popular breed thanks to its very friendly nature. They’re also known to be very trainable, thanks to their intelligence and their eagerness to please their owners. The first Goldendoodle breeders chose the Golden Retriever because of their gentle temperament. They wanted a breed that is not only smart, but also able to interact with young children safely.
By the time they were bred with Poodles to produce Goldendoodles, they were already a well-established dog breed. The Golden Retriever was first developed in Scotland during the mid-1800’s. They were first bred to retrieve downed fowl during a time when gunpowder weapons started becoming common in hunting. This meant that birds can be shot down from farther away, and over difficult terrain, which meant that they are very likely to be lost. This is especially troublesome since hunting fowl is done in heavily forested areas or in very wet areas.
A breed that specialized in retrieval was needed, since setters and pointers just can’t cut it for retrieving downed fowls anymore. A litter in 1865 was the first official record of prototype golden retriever puppies being born. By 1868, dogs born from this litter became the basis of the entire retriever breeding program. These dogs shared a bloodline with the Irish Setter, the Bloodhound, and the now-extinct St. John’s Water Dog.
This breeding program later produced a dog breed that had more energy and are more powerful than previous retriever breeds. They also retained higher intelligence and the gentle attitude other retriever breeds had. Golden Retrievers shared ancestry with many sporting dogs. This also made the breed very active and powerful. Yet they are still gentle enough with their mouths that they don’t damage the fowls they have been bred to retrieve. This gentleness is also apparent when they’re playing with children.
Poodles are known for their fluffy fur, but they’re also known for their regal demeanor and their very high intelligence. Their high intelligence and their eagerness to interact with their owner makes them very easy to train. Miniature Poodles and Toy Poodles share these characteristics, if not for their size. These characteristics is what made them good candidates to breed with the Golden Retriever. People wanted a dog that was easy to train, so the Poodle’s high intelligence made them a perfect parent for Miniature Goldendoodles.
Poodles themselves are a very old breed, even older than the Golden Retriever. Records of them living in Europe for as early as the 1400’s have been found. Even back then, they were already known for their high intelligence and their curly coats. Not much is known about the Poodle’s exact lineage. It has been theorized, given their predisposition as outdoor dogs that they were first bred to be hunting companions.
It has been theorized that Poodles were descended from the French Barbet and the Hungarian Puli. Both dogs are water dogs. Records also exist of Poodles being used to hunt ducks, thanks to their effectiveness at swimming. This predisposition for spending time in the water also get carried on to their Goldendoodle offspring.
During the 1800’s, when gunpowder weapons started becoming popular in hunting, the Poodle was used as a retriever dog. They were not as effective as the contemporary Golden Retriever, but they still got the job done.
It was during the late 1800’s when the first Miniature Poodles were first recorded. The Standard Poodle was the oldest of the three variants, the other two being the miniature and the toy variants. The smaller variants are simply bred down versions of the standard Poodle. Despite them being smaller, the Miniature Poodle and Toy Poodle still had a disposition to spend time outdoors. They were especially partial to the water.
The smaller variants were especially popular for truffle hunting. Miniature Poodles have strong noses, which made them good tracking down truffles. Their smaller paws are also less likely to destroy the valuable mushroom. Eventually though, the Miniature Poodle started becoming popular as a companion pet rather than an outdoorsy one. Still, they never lost that love for the outdoors and the water, and it gets passed down to the Mini Goldendoodle.
Mini Goldendoodle Appearance
Mini Goldendoodles are very popular thanks to their fluffy coats. As puppies, they basically start out as tiny balls of fluff. And since they’re related to Miniature Poodles, they won’t grow too big after this. Because they’re a hybrid breed, their fluffy coats vary a lot, from soft, dense and curly to long and wavy. Sometimes there will be patches of hair on their faces that are longer than usual, which again, varies a lot. They have fluffy tails, which can also come out as feathered, and are long and straight.
Their faces have large, expressive eyes, usually dark brown or amber in color. They also have short to medium muzzles tipped with a cute black nose. Their heads are topped by round and floppy ears that are wide. As for how they walk, they’re generally more agile than their Golden Retriever parents. This means that they walk like how Poodles walk, as in they do more of a prance.
Price of a Mini Goldendoodle
Now let’s talk about pricing. Since Mini Goldendoodles are popular nowadays, they unsurprisingly have high demand. This high demand, in turn, jacks up the price, with some variants becoming more expensive than others. If you’re looking for puppies, you may have to pay anywhere between $1,200 to $2,500 or even higher. This makes Mini Goldendoodles more expensive than their standard-sized cousins, who usually go between $800 to $2,200.
How Big Does a Mini Goldendoodle Get?
On average, a full-grown Mini Goldendoodle grows to a height of about 17 – 19 inches. Females tend to be a few inches shorter. Their small size makes them perfect for living in an apartment, or anywhere with limited space.
Adult Mini Goldendoodles weigh about 20 – 30 pounds, with females usually being lighter. A healthy dog will be around this weight range. Any more or any less than this will mean health complications if not corrected immediately.
Mini Goldendoodle Temperament & Personality
As with any designer breed, it can be difficult to pinpoint which parent’s temperament the puppy is going to predominantly inherit. That said, Mini Goldendoodles are known to be very friendly, and very intelligent. They’re a devoted breed who prefer to have as much physical contact as possible.
This dog breed is also very energetic. This means they’ll need daily exercise in order to grow up healthy. If your home isn’t close to any dog parks, you will have a very rambunctious dog in your hands.
Are Mini Goldendoodles Stubborn?
Despite being an intelligent dog breed, Mini Goldendoodles are very stubborn. They require early and consistent training to get them out of this mindset. However, training itself is easy, since they are very intelligent. Once you’ve given them enough training, they should be as well-behaved as any dog breed.
Do Mini Goldendoodles Bite?
Mini Goldendoodles are very mouthy and love to chew, especially when they are young. If you fail to train this out of them, they will end up being nippy or may bite during play. They may also gnaw on furniture or other items. That said, most members of this dog breed do grow out of this phase eventually. The older they get, the less likely they will bite.
Are Mini Goldendoodles Affectionate?
As we’ve mentioned before, Mini Goldendoodles love being around their owners. They love it when you show them plenty of attention. This need for close contact also means they suffer from separation anxiety whenever you’re leaving them at home for the day. That’s why if you’re planning on getting this particular breed, you should take the necessary steps to make sure they’re never left alone for too long. Try to find someone who can babysit your dog for you, or leave them at a doggy daycare. If your workplace allows you to take your dog with you, then even better.
Miniature Goldendoodles are very affectionate, sometimes to a fault. Still, this clingy attitude makes them excellent family pets and very loyal companions. They also get along well with other pets, even other dog breeds.
Are They Good with Kids and Families?
Although they are very energetic and very affectionate, they aren’t rough during play. This is all thanks to their high intelligence. This makes the Mini Goldendoodle a very playful, yet gentle companion. Kids can play with them without either getting themselves hurt. Of course, this type of dog is very fragile when they’re puppies, so it’s still a good idea to supervise them during playtime.
Do Mini Goldendoodles Bark a Lot?
If you’re living in an apartment building, then you’re in luck. Not only does their small size make them perfect for living in a small space, but they don’t make much noise, either. Miniature Goldendoodles don’t bark very often. No need to worry about disturbing your neighbors with this breed at all. Of course, this lack of barking makes them terrible at being guard dogs. They rarely bark even when there’s a stranger behind the door.
Do Mini Goldendoodles Make Good Pets?
Any dog breed will make a good pet. It all comes down to whether their temperament or needs match up your own preferences. If you can provide their needs for attention and can give them regular exercise, then yes, they do make good pets. Their small size also makes them good pets if you live in an apartment or if your house isn’t that big.
If you’re the type of person who has to spend the entire day at work and can’t find someone to watch over your dog, then consider a different breed. Separation anxiety can be a serious thing, and it can cause your dog to go nuts. They may end up having developmental or attitude problems down the line.
Mini Goldendoodle Living Conditions
Now that we’ve tackled the basics of the Mini Goldendoodle, let’s look into how they are raised. The Mini Goldendoodle is considered to be a small dog breed and should be raised accordingly. This particular breed is also very adaptable.
What is the average lifespan of a Mini Goldendoodle?
As with other smaller breeds, Mini Goldendoodles have a medium to long life expectancy. This is of course, considering that all their needs are met, and they live a healthy lifestyle. If you take good care of your Mini Goldendoodle, you can expect them to live for as long as 10 – 15 years. They are known to grow older than this, too.
What Age are Mini Goldendoodles Fully Grown?
Much like their looks and their temperament, the age of maturity for mini goldendoodles could be a mixed bag. Mini Goldendoodles are usually considered puppies until they reach 9 months of age. By then, they’re already considered adults, since they would have reached their full size and weight.
Some Mini Goldendoodles might still continue to grow beyond this point, though. If that’s the case, you may have to wait until they’re 12 months before you can consider them fully grown. Again, it all depends entirely on how much Retriever or Poodle genes they got from their parents.
Feeding a Mini Goldendoodle
Choosing the right types of food and timing their feeding habits properly is essential for raising a healthy dog. Of course, since they’re a mixed breed, you can be flexible with what you feed your Mini Goldendoodle.
What Dog Food Should Mini Goldendoodles Eat?
Mini Goldendoodles have very high energy requirements. That’s why it’s best to find dog food that’s specifically formulated for smaller breeds or for high energy dogs. This will ensure that they have enough energy to get them through their day. This is very important if you want to avoid ending up with a skinny dog.
How Many Times a Day Should You Feed Them?
It’s best to feed your Mini Goldendoodle twice a day. Once in the morning and once in the evening. Thanks to their size, they don’t eat much, so two cups of kibble a day should be enough for an adult. That makes one cup per feeding if you feed them twice a day.
What Human Foods can Mini Goldendoodles Eat?
Aside from chocolates, onions, grapes, macadamia nuts and avocados, Mini Goldendoodles are safe to eat a lot of human foods. Of course, some food items are better than others. Vegetables are a great candidate to consider, since they’re rich in vitamins and minerals. They’re also rich in non-soluble fiber, which helps the dogs with their digestion. Good vegetables to feed your Mini Goldendoodle include carrots, broccoli, asparagus and kale.
Of course, with dogs being omnivorous, we shouldn’t forget about meat items, either. Mini Goldendoodles will pretty much eat any meat product, including chicken, beef, pork, lamb and turkey. Try not to feed your dog any wild game if you can avoid it. If you have to feed your dog wild game, try to cook it as thoroughly as possible so they don’t get any parasites.
For the best results, try mixing 2 parts of meat with 1-part vegetables for a well-rounded diet. This will add a bit of variety, flavor, and the right nutrients to your dog’s meal. If you can, try to avoid giving them grains like wheat in case they have allergies.
Mini Goldendoodle Exercise Needs
Since both of their parents are outdoor dogs, Mini Goldendoodles have a lot of energy to spare. If you’re planning on keeping a mini Goldendoodle, expect to receive a fluffy ball of energy, energy that it will need to burn off.
Do Mini Goldendoodles Need a Lot of Exercise?
As we’ve mentioned before, Mini Goldendoodles are very energetic. Any pent-up energy that it doesn’t get to use will end up frustrating your dog. This will manifest as behavioral issues, and if not taken care of, aggression.
Because of their smalls size, though, even a small home can have enough space for them to run around in. They should be able to burn off most of their energy simply by following you or your kids around the house. Playing with them and having them entertain you with their games will also be enough to wear them out just a little bit. If you have other dogs at home, having your Mini Goldendoodle play with them will also count as exercise. Giving them at least 60 – 90 minutes of activity per day is definitely mandatory. However, there is no need to do this all in one go.
Aside from the usual daily activities, taking your dog out for a walk is also important. It’s a good opportunity for them to meet new people and socialize with other dogs. This not only helps burn off some of their excess energy, it’ll also help them become well-adjusted dogs. If you can, try to end you walk in a dog park. If there’s an opportunity for your dog to have a swim after the walk, then that’s even better. Mini Goldendoodles love to play in and around water, after all.
Energetic as they are, though, there’s no need to take them out for a walk every day of the week. It’s also not advisable to take them out on long walks. Because they have shorter legs, they will tire out easily. You wouldn’t want to have to carry your Mini Goldendoodle back home, though that shouldn’t be a problem since they’re so small. Aim to walk your dog for at least 8 miles per week. Again, this doesn’t have to be done in one go.
What Colors do Mini Goldendoodles Come In?
Because Golden Retrievers and Miniature Poodles have a lot of variants, their offspring can also vary a lot in color. Ultimately, the fur color is usually determined by the fur color of the parents. Black Poodles, for example will produce black puppies, though there will be exceptions to the rule.
Mini Goldendoodle colors are usually born with one solid color, but on rare occasions, some are born with patches of different colors. It’s also possible to have puppies of different colors born in the same litter.
Mini Goldendoodles with black fur are likely to be born from a litter born from a black Miniature Poodle. They may also be born from black Golden Retrievers. But since they are so rare, the black fur is more likely to come from the poodle side of the family.
If one of the parents is a Miniature Poodle with white fur, then some of the puppies will be born with a cream fur.
Puppies born with an apricot coloration usually have a Red Golden Retriever as one of their parents. Their noses, usually black on other mini goldendoodles, will be light or dark brown if this is the case.
Mini Goldendoodles with this coloration are characterized by a rusty-red hue fur. They’re usually born from Red Golden Retrievers.
These Mini Goldendoodles have a similar coloration to the standard Golden Retrievers.
Because Miniature Goldendoodle fur varies a lot, their grooming needs will also vary. This mostly depends on the type of fur one particular animal will have.
Mini Goldendoodle Coat Types
There are three known types of coats Mini Goldendoodles have: curly, wavy and straight. There’s no general rule that can help you predict which coat you’ll be getting. What is known is that the more Poodle genes an individual dog has, the curlier the fur gets. Also, if you plan on getting puppies with a specific type of coating, you should know that the fur type may change when they get older.
Mini Goldendoodle with curly fur tend to have more Poodle in them than Retriever. How long or tight each curl can be is usually determined with how much Poodle genes each dog has. These dogs could have loose barrel rolls of fur, or tight kinks like regular Poodles have. This type of fur is very likely to get matted, so daily brushing is required to keep it pristine.
If you can’t give your Miniature Goldendoodle a brushing daily, then you can always shave their fur down. Dogs with curly fur don’t usually shed.
Wavy or Shaggy Coats
The Shaggy or Wavy coat is Another common coat amongst Miniature Goldendoodles. It’s common, since it can occur in all generations of Goldendoodles. This coat type is easier to maintain, with only a weekly brushing to keep it clean. It’s possible that you may need to brush certain areas more often. Especially around the ears or under the collar. This fur type does shed a bit, though some are non-shedding.
This coat type is a lot less common than the other two, but it is the easiest to maintain. This fur type has more Retriever on it than Poodle, and it shows. They have a look that more closely resembles their Golden Retriever parent. Mini Goldendoodles with this fur don’t have the same “teddy bear” cute look that a lot of people look for in this breed. They also wouldn’t have the distinct bearded muzzle, either.
Still, this type of fur has minimal shedding, and doesn’t need to be brushed as often as the other two fur types.
Do Mini Goldendoodles Shed a Lot?
Whether a Mini Goldendoodle sheds a lot depends on which generation type they belong to. We’ll touch more on generation types later on. But the short version is that certain generations do not shed, while others will shed more. Because Miniature Goldendoodles share ancestry with Poodles, they usually don’t shed. This is because Poodles aren’t the type to shed at all. If they do shed, it’s typically minimal.
Grooming a Mini Goldendoodle
Regardless of the type of fur your Miniature Goldendoodle has, brushing them is still required. How often you do it depends on the type of fur that they have. This breed’s fur has a tendency to matt, and if you don’t brush it, it can cause discomfort to your dog.
Start with using a slicker brush so your dog’s coat turns soft and fluffy. If there are any mats on the coat, try not to cut them off just yet. Instead, use a metal comb, or a grooming comb to untangle them. If the mats still don’t go away, then it’s safe to cut them off. For this one, try to use grooming shears or a bunt-tipped scissor if you don’t have one.
Once the coat is managed, start checking the fur over your dog’s eyes. If it’s getting a bit long, use the grooming shears. This will help your dog see better and prevent them from bumping into things. Trimming your Mini Goldendoodle’s fur can be done between 4 – 8 weeks, or as needed. Brushing should be done at least once a week if your pet’s fur is curly or wavy, less often if it’s straight.
If you don’t want to be bothered with brushing every week, you can always trim your dog’s entire coat down. Trimming the coat pretty much eliminates the risk of matting fur.
Are Mini Goldendoodles Hypoallergenic?
If you or any of your family has dog allergies, then you are in luck. Mini Goldendoodles can be hypoallergenic. This breed is known to have reduced shedding. Also, they produce less dander than other dog breeds do. Regular grooming will also lessen the amount of allergy-inducing shed on your pet.
How Often Should You Bathe a Mini Goldendoodle?
The amount of times you bathe your Mini Goldendoodle largely depends on the type of coat they have. That said, you can bathe your pet as much as once a week without trying out their skin. If a weekly bath is not possible, you can give your dog a bath one a month to once every three months. Do bear in mind that curly or wavy coats will need more frequent washings that straight coats do.
Do Mini Goldendoodles Have a Lot of Health Problems?
Because they are a mixed breed, Mini Goldendoodles are at risk of the same diseases that plague both their parent’s breed. Both Poodles and Golden Retrievers are prone to a lot of diseases, such as cancer. This predisposition can be passed down to their offspring.
On top of that, Mini Goldendoodles are also prone to develop diseases that are common amongst miniature breeds. Getting your pet dog from a reputable breeder can lower the chances of these diseases from happening.
Here are some of the common health issues amongst Mini Goldendoodles:
Gastric Dilatation Volvulus or Bloat
This disease is characterized by the severe expansion of the stomach. The stomach may fill up with gas or other bodily fluids and will expand to such a size that it puts pressure on the other organs.
Von Willebrand’s Disease
A clotting disease that is passed down from the Golden Retriever line. Standard Poodles are also prone, but not so much the Miniature Poodles. Von Willebrand’s Disease cause dogs to bleed excessively regardless of how small the wounds. This is because dogs suffering from this illness can’t produce enough blood plasma.
An illness that involves the eyes, particularly the retinas. Dogs who suffer from this disease can end up becoming blind if not treated properly.
This one is common not just with Mini Goldendoodles, but with miniature breeds in general. It’s a knee injury where the joints become dislocated, making it difficult for the dog to walk.
This is a problem that many Goldendoodles have. They usually suffer from convulsive seizures or episodes of abnormalities in the behavior. How frequent and how severe these seizures could get vary a lot between one individual to another. The first seizures usually happen as early as six months, but they can still manifest as late as five years.
Atopic Dermatitis / Allergic Skin
Allergies usually show up as itching, redness of the skin, and severe bad odor in the paws and ears. Allergens can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin, but it’s also possible that the dog had its reaction due to something that they ate.
Do Mini Goldendoodles suffer from Hip Dysplasia?
Aside from the illnesses listed above, Mini Goldendoodles are also prone to having hip problems. Chief among these is hip dysplasia. This usually happens when puppies fail to develop their hip joints properly. This eventually develops into lameness on their back legs. This illness is hereditary, so before breeding, you should have both parent animals checked. This will ensure that none of the puppies would develop this problem down the line.
Common Mini Goldendoodle Types
Mini Goldendoodles are categorized based on which generation they are. This is determined by how far down the line they are from their original Golden Retriever and Miniature Poodle ancestors. Here are the common Mini Goldendoodle types available:
F1 (Filial 1 Type)
F1 Mini Goldendoodles are 1st generation hybrids. This means they’re the direct result of crossbreeding between a Golden Retriever and a Miniature Poodle. Generally, these dogs show more poodle traits than Retriever ones. So, they’re usually born with curly or wavy coats and don’t shed as often. These types of Mini Goldendoodles are what people think of when they think about the breed. They have the typical fluffy teddy bear look.
F2 (Filial 2 Type)
This type of Mini Goldendoodles are 2nd generation breeds, where both their parents are Mini Goldendoodles. These dogs tend to show off more of the Retriever trait than the previous generations. But it’s not unheard of to still see more Poodle in this generation as well. F2 Mini Goldendoodles have the most variety in size, coat type and shedding. Because of the amount of inconsistency with this generation, not many breeders even bother breeding them.
F1B (Filial 1 Backcross Type)
F1B types are the result of F1 Mini Goldendoodles being bred with a Miniature Poodle. Much like the F2, these tend to be 2nd generation dogs, but unlike the F2, puppies born in this type tend to have more Poodle in them. This is because one of their parents is a pure breed. This means the F1B tend to be born with curly fur and have low shedding, similar to Poodles.
F2B (Filial 2 Backcross Type)
These types are 3rd generation Mini Goldendoodles. F2B Mini Goldendoodles tend to be a bit more complicated in their genetics. Breeders get these by breeding an F1 Mini Goldendoodle with an F1B Mini Goldendoodle. F2B types can also be made by breeding an F2 Mini Goldendoodle with a pure breed Miniature Poodle. The aim for this type is to get the Poodle genes to more than 63%. They’re usually bred for families that have severe dog allergies, since they have the best tendencies for lower shedding. They also look more like Poodles.
Any combination that’s not covered above are considered to be multigenerational, or Multigen types. Some breeders may want to have more Poodle in their dogs, or more Golden Retriever, depending on their preferences. Breeders can freely customize their Mini Goldendoodle litters. They do so by choosing parents with specific traits. They may want a dog with more curly fur, or one that sheds less.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Are Mini Goldendoodles Good for First Time Owners?
Thanks to their generally good demeanors, Mini Goldendoodles are a good match for first time dog owners. They’re also great for timid pet owners as well. They’re easy to train, and their maintenance is very manageable. That said, there are easier dog breeds for first timers to have. But if you really want to get a Mini Goldendoodle and it’s your first dog, then you should be fine.
How Many Puppies Can Mini Goldendoodles Have?
Because of their mixed heritage, it can be difficult to determine exactly how many puppies a Mini Goldendoodle may have. You can expect an average litter size of between 3 – 8 puppies. Mini Goldendoodles are a small breed, however, so it’s rare to have more than 5 puppies per litter.
Are Mini Goldendoodles Easy to Train?
Both parents of Mini Goldendoodles, the Golden Retriever and the Poodle, are smart dogs. This means that they can easily pick up new skills if you’re diligent enough with their training. Younger dogs do show a bit of stubbornness though, so that can be a bit of a hindrance with their training.
Choosing a Mini Goldendoodle means you’ll be getting the best out of two very iconic breeds. You get bits of the affectionate and loyal Mini Poodle mixed with the eager to please attitude of a Golden Retriever. The result is a fun-sized dog that is very attached to its owner, and very loyal. Add to that the fact that their grooming needs aren’t too extensive, and they don’t make much noise. Put that all together and you have a near-perfect pet for the family.
They are prone to a host of genetic diseases though, so they will need plenty of attention from you as well if they’re ever going to live a long, happy life. Give them as much attention and love as they are more than willing to give you, and the rest will take care of itself.