Mini (Miniature) Golden Retriever: Everything You Need To Know
Appearance of the Mini Golden Retriever
The Mini Golden Retriever is a harmoniously built, well proportioned, medium sized dog with strong bones.
The well-formed skull with pronounced stop and the dark eyes give him the lovable, gentle expression.
The eyelids and the nose are well pigmented, which underlines the friendly expression of the Mini Golden Retriever.
The coat of the Mini Golden Retriever is of medium length, with smooth or wavy top coat and dense, water repellent undercoat.
On the forelegs and the tail it shows a well developed feathering.
The colour corresponds to the standard in every shade between cream and dark gold.
The Mini Golden Retriever is of medium size; adult bitches weigh between 30 and 36 kg with a shoulder height of 51 to 56 cm, adult males weigh between 34 and 40 kg with a shoulder height of 56 to 61 cm.
Character of the Mini Golden Retriever
The Mini Golden Retriever has a well-balanced temperament; he is not hectic or nervous, but also not too calm or even lethargic.
He is lively and cheerful and adapts to all everyday situations with a lot of composure and fearlessness.
He is enthusiastic about many “activities”, is very active and often playful as an old dog.
The Mini Golden Retriever impresses with its pronounced will to please and its easy handling.
He is very affectionate and loves to participate in all activities of his “human pack”.
The more he is integrated into the family life, the more he joins “his” people and likes to subordinate himself.
As a retriever dog, it was important that the Mini Golden Retriever was obedient, self-confident as well as motivated and willing to learn.
At the same time the breed has always been very fixated on humans and trustful.
A characteristic that distinguishes him today as a dog absolutely suitable for families.
After all, he is very affectionate and friendly, and that even towards strangers.
Needless to say that he is therefore less suitable as a guard and protection dog.
Also living together with children is no problem, if the four-legged friend has been socialized and educated accordingly.
His patience and adaptability will certainly benefit him.
Educating a Mini Golden Retriever
The easy to handle Mini Golden Retriever also needs to be trained, because his innate hunting instinct first wants to be steered into the right direction.
The main task of the Mini Golden Retriever is to retrieve game.
He was bred for the “work after the shot”, which means that he carries shot game joyfully and with a soft mouth to his guide.
He is primarily used for duck hunting and for hunting other small game.
His great intelligence contributes to his hunting intelligence, his temperament and his joy of water give him a passion for hunting and make use of his excellent predatory and retrieving instincts, finder’s instinct and excellent nose.
As a specialist for small game and water hunting he has long since made a very good name for himself in our country.
Keeping him in a house with a garden with active people would actually be ideal for the Mini Golden Retriever.
However, a pure housing attitude is quite possible, if sufficient physical balance is provided.
Exercise in the form of beautiful long walks is an absolute must and basic program anyway.
In addition there are training units, games and mental activities.
The agile dog would certainly not be averse to a dog sport and even training as a therapy or rescue dog is conceivable.
Whoever would like to give the Mini Golden Retriever a special treat, regularly drives to the nearest lake.
After all, the breed is considered to be very water affine.
For the pure outside or kennel attitude the human-related dog is not suitable by the way absolutely.
He needs the closeness to his humans and does not like to be alone anyway.
The retriever’s hunting facilities also enable him to be used as a rescue dog, a dog for the blind, a dog for detecting explosives and drugs, or as a companion dog for the disabled.
To be able to master these tasks, the Mini Golden Retriever must of course be compatible not only with all humans, but also with conspecifics and other animals.
Any form of aggressiveness, fearfulness, fighting instinct or nervousness is undesirable.
Because of his “will to please” and his leadership he is easy to train for all tasks.
These characteristics have made the Mini Golden Retriever one of the most popular dog breeds.
He is involved everywhere, only among the protection dog candidates you will look for him in vain despite his high prey drive.
He simply lacks the sharpness, because a biting Mini Golden Retriever is no Mini Golden Retriever!
The classical occupation for a “family gold” is, as with the other retriever breeds, dummy work.
With this “linen bag”, which serves as a “game substitute” and which is available in different weight variants, the hunting operation is simulated.
The “FCI regulations for working tests in the field for dogs of the retriever breeds” describes very nicely what we want to achieve through our training:
“The ideal retriever is alert, steady (calm on the stand) and calm without demanding the attention of his handler.
He should mark the game well and remember the fall place for a long time.
When he is sent out for an apport, he should be persistent in his search, show initiative, have a good nose and the ability to find game.
He should work in any terrain and accept water immediately without encouragement.
He works to please his handler (will to please) and is in good contact with him, but without being dependent on him.
When he has found the game, he should bring it back quickly and correctly with a soft mouth and deliver it correctly”.
The Mini golden retriever is often said to have the “will to please”.
So he wants to please his owner and be easy to train.
However, it is not quite that easy. Even if the breed is very docile and intelligent, no dog is born perfectly trained.
The responsibility for a solid education is still on the other end of the leash.
His owner should therefore have a lot of patience and consistency and consider a good dog school.
Fortunately, however, the Mini Golden Retriever likes to work with his human, is motivatable and is considered to be quite obedient.
Development and education of the puppy
When you pick up your Mini Golden Retriever puppy from the breeder, it is usually 8-12 weeks old.
This is the right time for the little one to get used to his new pack and learn how humans and dogs live together.
The Mini Golden Retriever bitch reaches sexual maturity at about six months of age and the male dog at about ten months.
Physically, the dogs are fully grown only at about two to two and a half years.
At this time their wavy coat also reaches its full length and requires daily grooming.
The coat can be coloured in all possible shades from dark gold to cream. It may be difficult to start training the cute puppy immediately after purchase, but even a Mini Golden Retriever needs this.
Although the breed is relatively easy to train, no dog is born perfectly trained.
The Mini Golden Retriever learns at a rapid pace, but reacts just as quickly to inconsistency.
You must not allow your puppy to do anything that he will not be allowed to do when he grows up.
Activities with the Mini Golden Retriever
Because of his unique character the Mini Golden Retriever is perfectly suited as a family dog.
He gets along well with children and wants to be a full member of the family.
However, one should not forget that he was originally bred as a hunting dog to work a lot with his owner in the fresh air.
Long walks and a varied training are therefore part of everyday life with a Mini Golden Retriever.
The active dog needs at least a few hours a day of sporting activities and exercises for the mind.
Dummy training and retrieval games are particularly suitable, but he is also enthusiastic about agility training, mountain hiking or other sports.
The main thing is that his owner only occupies himself sufficiently with him.
Since almost all Mini Golden Retrievers love to splash around in the water, excursions to lakes and streams are also part of the program.
Mini Golden Retriever as helper in everyday life
Apart from the usual activities for dogs, the Mini Golden Retriever is also excellent as a guide dog or therapy dog.
The therapy dog must not be insecure or fearful and must have a patient, calm nature.
Because of his friendly and sensitive nature, the Goldie masters training in one of these areas with great enthusiasm.
Thanks to his good nose he is also gladly trained as a rescue dog or used for searching for people or explosives.
Because of their strong affinity to water, the retrievers are also excellent for water rescue.
Nutrition/Food for the Mini Golden Retriever
The Mini Golden Retriever has a slight tendency to be overweight.
This is partly due to the fact that many keepers underestimate the breed’s urge to move and thus quickly accumulate excess pounds.
This can have health consequences, which is why a slim line should always be maintained and high-calorie treats should be used sparingly.
A balanced diet is therefore very important. Less important, however, is the feeding method.
As long as the quadruped gets all the important ingredients in the right proportion, it is less relevant whether dry food, raw food (BARF) or canned food ends up in the bowl.
A high meat content with additional tasty vegetables or fruit, as well as high-quality oils is optimal.
It is even better if the chosen product is cereal-free and contains no colourings or preservatives.
The history of the breed
There are many stories about the origins of retrievers, the truth of which can hardly be verified today.
It is considered certain that the origin of all retriever breeds lies in Newfoundland.
Due to the lively fish trade that existed between England and Newfoundland at the beginning of the 19th century, British sailors had the opportunity to get to know the dogs living in Newfoundland during their stays there and to observe them at work.
Even in rough weather, these dogs retrieved the boat lines from the water and brought them ashore, or they retrieved fallen fish from the nets.
Enthusiastic about the work of these water-loving and weatherproof dogs, they brought several to England in the following years.
From crossbreeds of these now extinct “Little Newfoundlanders” or “St. John’s Dogs” with English hunting dogs, e.g. the red Irish Setter, “Wavy-Coated Retrievers” of variable colour were created.
The history of the Mini Golden Retriever can be traced back to the year 1864.
In that year Lord Tweedmouth bought a yellow Wavy-Coated Retriever from a shoemaker in Brighton, who in turn had taken this male called “Nous” from a gamekeeper to pay his debts.
Nous was the only yellow puppy to be born among otherwise black siblings.
In 1868 “Nous” was mated with “Belle”, a tweed-water spaniel bitch.
These water-loving spaniels were known as very persistent and good retrieving dogs.
In the following 20 years the offspring of “Nous” and “Belle” were crossed with other Wavy-Coated Retrievers and Tweed-Water-Spaniels, also with Irish Setters and – in a certain line – with a sand-coloured bloodhound.
Little by little, a retriever with specific characteristics required for the demanding “work after the shot” and with a very pleasing appearance – the Mini Golden Retriever – developed.
The home of the Mini Golden Retriever is in Great Britain, more precisely: Scotland.
While little was known about the beginnings of breeding and the ancestors of today’s Mini Golden Retriever, this changed abruptly in 1952, when studbook records of the Scottish Sir Dudley Majoribanks were found.
They revealed a very planned and structured breeding program that Majoribanks (later Lord Tweedmouth) carried out on his estate “Guisachan” in order to create the perfect retriever for the popular duck and wild bird hunt in the 19th century.
The books also listed which other breeds were involved in the creation of the Mini Golden Retriever: The now extinct Tweed Water Spaniel, Bloodhounds, Irish Setters, St. John Water Dog and also Black Retrievers.
Majoribank’s breeding was based on the bright retriever male “Nous”, the Tweed Water Spaniel bitch “Belle” and their common offspring.
Since 1913 the Golden Retriever is recognized as an independent breed in Great Britain.
Only in the eighties his fame and popularity spread to Germany and the breed experienced a real boom in the nineties.
Requirements for the Mini Golden Retriever owner
The much praised human kindness distinguishes the Mini Golden Retriever especially and makes him an excellent family dog, who also feels very comfortable in a “human pack with children”.
The sensitivity and the great affinity to people require a dog handler who is also “at peace” with himself, who trains him with loving, patient consistency and a lot of empathy to become a happy, well-behaved companion.
In no case is he suitable for a pure or predominant kennel keeping, his sensitive character would suffer from the isolation from his family, behavioural disorders would be pre-programmed.
If you work full-time, a Mini Golden Retriever is not suitable for you.
The Mini Golden Retriever loves water in any form, no puddle is too dirty for him.
He is a very active dog, but monotonous, routine walks without variety quickly become boring.
Also his intelligence wants to be challenged.
A retriever owner can easily escape the daily grind by “incorporating” small retrieval exercises or search games into the daily walks.
The average life expectancy of a Mini golden retriever is about 12 – 14 years.
In our club newspaper we read more and more often about spry “veterans” who are 15 years and older.
A, as we think, very pleasing development. The Mini Golden Retriever is generally a very robust dog and “tough”.
The risk of various hereditary diseases such as hip joint dysplasia (HD), elbow dysplasia (ED), hereditary cataract (HC), progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) etc. is reduced by targeted breeding selection and strict breeding approval requirements.
Owners can contribute a lot to keep the dog healthy and to enable it to live a long and species-appropriate life. High-quality food, plenty of exercise and mental activity contribute just as much to the dog’s well-being as regular grooming and medical care.
Whoever also buys his puppy from a serious breeder creates the best conditions for many years together.
After all, the average life expectancy of a Mini Golden Retriever is around 10-14 years.
The Mini Golden Retriever’s beautiful silky shiny hair requires far less care than many would expect.
Regular brushing and combing is quite sufficient. It should be remembered that the breed is hairy all year round and should therefore be combed more often during the coat change.
The use of a vacuum cleaner can also be an advantage to reduce the flood of dog hairs during this time.
Good brushes and combs prevent tangles and provide shine, while curry-combs remove loose and dead hairs from the coat and care for the undercoat. In addition to grooming, however, attention should also be paid to the mouth, teeth, eyes, ears, claws and paws and, if necessary, they should be cleaned with appropriate grooming equipment.
Dental care in particular should not be neglected, so that for example stubborn and unattractive tartar does not develop in the first place.
Whoever now briefly examines his dog for changes and conspicuous features during the grooming routine makes an important contribution to his health.
Breed typical diseases
Hip joint and elbow dysplasia unfortunately occurs in many breeds, including the Mini Golden Retriever.
These diseases are partly genetic and therefore belong to the hereditary diseases.
However, there are also husbandry conditions which can favour the clinical picture (overweight, heavy physical strain on the young dog, wrong food).
Furthermore, various eye diseases are typical for the breed.
These include cataracts and various forms of progressive retinal atrophy.
Both diseases can lead to blindness of the dog. A circumstance with which most dogs cope well, however.
Epilepsy also sometimes occurs among Mini golden retrievers. In most cases the clinical picture appears for the first time within the first three years of life.
There are drugs that can reliably reduce or even prevent the seizures.
The Mini Golden Retriever in the Retriever Club
The Mini Golden Retrievers belong to one of the six retriever breeds that are looked after by the DRC.
The DRC offers all retrievers bred in a VDH or FCI recognized breeding club as well as their owners the opportunity to participate in training courses and exams through the tireless efforts of numerous volunteers.
Before a Mini Golden Retriever can be approved for breeding in the DRC, he must pass numerous tests and health examinations with above-average results.
In addition, before a bitch owner can be granted permission to raise a litter by the DRC, he must first be able to prove that he has attended training courses on breeding, education, nutrition, etc.
Furthermore, the rearing conditions are checked in advance by a representative of the DRC.
It goes without saying that breeding is only allowed where the puppies can grow up under ideal conditions with close family connections and good character.
Breeders who raise puppies for commercial reasons are not tolerated in the DRC.
Before the puppies are handed over to their new owners, a representative of the DRC will again check whether they have any health or character defects.
All observations of the representative and the rearing conditions are documented in the so-called litter acceptance report.
The vaccination cards are checked, as well as the presence of a transponder (chip), whose identification number is correlated with the stud book number assigned by the club.
Every retriever bred in the DRC is registered in the club’s stud book under the stud book number.
All tests taken later and all test results are continuously listed for each dog and evaluated for future breeding plans.
In this way, the DRC strives to keep the risk of hereditary diseases and other possible genetic defects as low as possible, on the one hand, and to maintain and improve the breed’s desirable traits and characteristics, on the other hand, so that Mini golden retrievers with their special suitability for all fields of activity can continue to be bred in the future.
Interesting and worth knowing about the Mini Golden Retriever
The Mini Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds at all.
Even stars like Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Jackie Chan have their own Goldie.
Also their great media presence in film and television contributes significantly to the great popularity of the breed.
One of the best examples of this is the famous Mini Golden Retriever Air Buddy, who took part in numerous film productions in the 90s. He gained fame in the role of “Air Bud” in the film “Air Bud – Champion on four paws” and as “Comet” in the TV series “Full House”.
Buddy was found and adopted by Kevin DiCicco in the summer of 1989 as a stray in the Sierra Nevada area.
He taught him several sports such as basketball, baseball, chess and more, which he could use in his movies.
A special example for the sportiness of the Mini Golden Retriever is the bitch Rubia.
Together with Marc Ortega and Carlos Valverde, she climbed the 6,959-metre-high Mount Aconcagua in Argentina and holds the altitude record.
In dealing with family & children
The name of the family dog applies especially to him, because he takes all families to his heart with the same intensity.
In the circle of the family, his greatest ambition seems to be to provide good entertainment.
He shows extremely sensitive antennas and empathic reactions to people who are perhaps not feeling very well at the moment and consoles them by his closeness.
Of course, all this does not hide the fact that the Mini Golden Retriever is a dog.
The newly grown animals will try to improve their position and rank in the family pack, at least with children.
Therefore, despite all the family friendliness, dogs and small children are never left alone in the room.
Neither with the West Highland Terrier, the Great Dane nor the Mini Golden Retriever.
But if you start early with the education and especially show your children the right handling with the living creature, you can look forward to a relaxed cooperation without complications.
In contact with strangers
As a watchdog and protection dog it is only suitable to a limited extent, as it wants to take the hearts of all people by storm.
It is therefore not uncommon for the tail to be wagged vigorously when unknown visitors enter the house.
He presents his loving and good-natured nature to guests and strangers without any worries, which makes it much easier to deal with him at home, especially if you expect a lot of frequent visitors.
In contact with other dogs
Because of his past, the Mini Golden Retriever has always had to get along with other dogs.
Therefore the foundation for a large pack is already anchored in genetics.
In addition, he has lost all aggressive behaviour due to excellent breeding work and his additional “Will to please” also rubs off on his interaction with other dogs.
In contact with other pets
In the breed description of the retriever it is firmly established that any aggressive behaviour towards humans, conspecifics and other animals is not tolerated.
Paper is known to be patient, but the Mini Golden Retriever usually gets along fine with other pets.
Urge to move
The Mini golden retriever is not a couch dog. He wants to be moved and is a true competitive athlete.
The element in which he feels particularly at home is water.
Regular walks do not do justice to this wonderful animal and expose him to a continuous physical underchallenge.
Because his strong character makes him an absolutely tolerable dog, dog sports such as agility, obedience, dummy training are ideal for spending nice hours with the dog in a sociable round.
But also for jogging and cycling he is made for. And if you like to experiment yourself, the dog rescue team or tracking are also practicable ways of active leisure activities for your retriever.
Water has an almost magical effect on most of the other species.
The retriever literally throws himself into the floods or better into lakes, rivers and everything that brings a cool refreshment.
The sport factor should not be underestimated for this breed.
The Retriever must be moved, otherwise it can come to behavioral problems.
The hunting instinct
The Mini Golden Retriever has hunting instinct, but the owner can steer it into a pleasant and compatible course by the right education.
By sufficient training and constant teaching of correct behaviour the hunting instinct becomes controllable.
Do not take the point on the light shoulder, otherwise no hare and no ball in the nearer environment is safe from your quadruped.
Requirements & entry regulations
The Mini Golden Retriever is not subject to entry regulations and is welcome all over the world.
Frequently asked questions about the Mini Golden Retriever
What do Mini Golden Retriever puppies cost?
If you want to buy a Mini Golden Retriever puppy you should calculate 1.350$.
This is the average price for a puppy according to USRC (US Retriever Club).
If a breeder calls a much lower price you should be suspicious and the alarm bells will go off.
Then it may be that you either buy from an unauthorized breeder who does not adhere to breed standards or, even worse, that you have been sold to a multiplier.
How old do Mini golden retrievers get?
Thanks to their medium-sized breeding and their original purpose, hunting, they are quite robust and therefore long-lived dogs.
Between 10 and 15 years, however, you can estimate the life expectancy for the retriever.
Summary Mini Golden Retriever
The Mini Golden Retriever is an exception.
His talent, his easy handling and his without exception friendly nature make him so desirable not only for families.
Also beginners and beginners, as well as older people and people with a handicap get along wonderfully with the Mini Golden Retriever and enjoy his loving nature.