Some people view the Mini Goldendoodle as the perfect dog. They are not too big or too small. They are billed as non-shedding and hypoallergenic. Plus both parent breeds make great family dogs. So what’s not to like about the breed?
Although the miniature Goldendoodle may seem like the perfect dog they are not for everyone. There are certain aspects of this dog that you need to take into account before you bring one home. Like that they are not as low maintenance as breeders claim, or that they are healthier then purebreds due to hybrid vigor. Join us as we go over the 16 up-to-date facts about mini Goldendoodles you need to know.
Table of Contents
- All About The Miniature Goldendoodle
- 1. Breeding
- 2. Is there more than one type of Mini Goldendoodle?
- 3. What is the temperament of a Miniature Goldendoodle?
- 4. How big do Mini Goldendoodles get?
- 5. Do Mini Goldendoodles shed?
- 6. Are Mini Goldendoodles hypoallergenic?
- 7. Will my Mini Goldendoodle have long wavy hair?
- 8. What colors do Mini Golden Doodles come in?
- 9. Are Mini Goldendoodles easy to groom?
- 10. How much exercise do Miniature Goldendoodles need?
- 11. What are the health issues with a Mini Goldendoodle?
- 12. How long do Mini Goldendoodles live?
- 13. Where can I find a Miniature Goldendoodle?
- 14. How much does a Mini Goldendoodle cost?
- 15. Are Miniature Goldendoodles high maintenance?
- 16. What are the differences between a Standard Goldendoodle and a Mini?
- So is the Mini Goldendoodle the perfect dog?
All About The Miniature Goldendoodle
Just like the Goldendoodle, a Miniature Goldendoodle is a cross between a Golden Retriever and Poodle. The difference with a mini is that a Golden Retriever is breed with a miniature poodle or toy poodle, whereas full sized Goldendoodles are a cross between a Golden Retriever and standard poodle. This makes the mini a much smaller dog than the Goldendoodle
But even though the Goldendoodle is a cross breed, its not a new designer dog. In fact their popularity dates all the way back to the late 1990’s. But it wasn’t until 2001 that the first miniature Goldendoodle was claimed to be born at Fox Creek Farm. The owner of Fox Creek Farm stated in an interview that they had seen an increased in requests for a smaller version of the Goldendoodle. So they decide to start breeding them.
There is a common misconception that the Goldendoodle does not have a Breed Standard. Typically breed standards are decided by the American Kennel Club for purebred dogs only. All other dogs are considered mixed breeds without consistence looks or temperaments. But the people over at the Goldendoodle Association of North America (GAMA) decided to change that.
So even though the Goldendoodle and their smaller versions are still not recognized by the American Kennel Club they do have a breed standard that was created by the Goldendoodle Association of North American (GAMA). This official Goldendoodle Breed Standard covers the four available Goldendoodle sizes including; the Petite, Miniature, Medium and Standard. Unlike the AKC Breed Standards for conformation show breeds that primarily focus on size and looks, the breed standards created by the GAMA dictate size, looks, and temperament requirements.
The GAMA also maintains an “Open Stud Book” policy for breeding. This means that as long as the breeding dogs are either a Poodle, Golden Retriever or Goldendoodle they will be accepted as a Goldendoodle registerable by GANA. A closed stud book is a breed registry that does not accept any offspring from unregistered dogs. The purpose of a closed stud book is to ensure that the dog is a purebred member of the breed, but it also limits the gene pool for the breed. Thanks to the GAMA open stud book policy breeders can maintain diversity in the Goldendoodle gene pool.
When looking for a Miniature Goldendoodle you may hear terms like F1 Goldendoodle or F2B doodle. These terms are doodle generation classifications that were developed to help people understand the breed mix of their doodle. For example a F1 Goldendoodle is 50% Poodle and 50% Golden Retriever. If you mate a F1 Goldendoodle with a poodle you get an F1B Goldendoodle. The F1b Goldendoodle is believed to have a less chance of shedding because there is more poodle. I will talk about this later in the post, but for now poodles carry the non-shedding gene.
At the time these classifications were created it was the only way to know approximately how much poodle was in your doodle once the breeding moved beyond the F1 Goldendoodle.
However in multigenerational doodles the exact percentage of poodle or golden that is passed down is really unknown. It’s simply a guess based on what is known about the breeding dogs.
Nowadays genetic testing can tell us whether a particular dog has the shedding gene or not. You will find additional information on genetic testing and how they can predict the dog’s coat and shedding further down.
In some cases a F1B doodle can also be 25% poodle and 75% retriever if the breeder crosses an F1 doodle with a retriever.
2. Is there more than one type of Mini Goldendoodle?
Yes, there are three types of Golden Doodles; the English Goldendoodle, the American Goldendoodle and the Australian Goldendoodle.
The English Goldendoodle is a mix between the English Golden Retriever which tends to be cream in color and a white or cream colored Poodle. This results in a cream or white colored Goldendoodle.
The American Goldendoodle is a mix between the American Golden Retriever which tends to be red in color and any colored Poodle. Although American Goldendoodles tend to be a shade of red, they can take on the coloring of the Poodle. You can even find a black Goldendoodle.
The Australian Goldendoodle is a little different that the American and English Goldendoodle. Instead of crossing a Golden Retriever with a Poodle, Australian Goldendoodles are mix between an English Goldendoodle and an Australian Labradoodle. They can also be a mix between an English Cream Golden Retriever and an Australian Labradoodle.
The main difference between a Australian Goldendoodle and the American or English Goldendoodle is that the Australian Goldendoodle has up to seven breeds mixed in, where the other two only have two breeds.
3. What is the temperament of a Miniature Goldendoodle?
The miniature Goldendoodle has a great temperament and makes a wonderful family pet. They are always ready for an adventure either on land or in the water. After all they are part poodle. And just like the Golden Retriever the mini Golden Doodle wants to be a friend to all. The minis differ slightly from their larger counterparts in that they may be more active though they will still have an easy going attitude.
Since both the Poodle and Golden land in the top 5 smartest breeds list you can be sure that your Goldendoodle will also be smart and easily trainable.
The down side of these very social dogs is that they don’t like being alone. Leaving your mini alone for long periods of times can lead to separation anxiety. Also as with many smaller dogs the minis may bark more than a larger dog would. It has less to do with the breed and more to do with fear. Therefore it is important that you properly socialize and train your miniature Goldendoodle early on.
4. How big do Mini Goldendoodles get?
The Miniature Goldendoodle is the perfect sized dog for someone that wants a Goldendoodle but does not want to have a large dog. The mini Goldendoodle averages in size between 13 and 20 inches tall and weighs between 15 to 35 pounds. If you compare the miniature Goldendoodle to a full sized Goldendoodle, which can range in size between 20 to over 24 inches tall and weigh between 60 to well over 100 pounds, miniature Goldendoodles are much smaller.
You might be wondering about the big size range of the miniature Goldendoodle. The size of a mini is determined by the type of poodle that is used during breeding. Both the mini poodle and toy poodle are used to breed mini Doodles. Mini poodles average between 11 to 15 inches in height and 10 to 15 pounds. Toy poodles are less than 10 inches tall and only weigh between 4 to 6 pounds. Mating a toy poodle with a Golden Retriever will result in a smaller dog but they will still be larger than a toy poodle.
What size will my puppy be when I bring them home?
Since the minis are considered to be a small to medium sized dog you may be wondering what size your puppy will be at 8 weeks when you bring them home. Miniature Goldendoodle will be between 4 to 8 pounds at 8 weeks of age. As with most breeds, the miniature Goldendoodle grows the most in their first 6 months.
5. Do Mini Goldendoodles shed?
The answer to does a mini Golden Doodle shed is very little, but only if you get a multigenerational doodle from a breeder that carefully breeds the shedding genes out of the dog and you keep up with their required grooming needs. Let me explain.
In the past a doodle’s chance of shedding was tied to their Doodle Generation Classification (as shown above). The belief was that if you crossed a Golden Retriever (which are heavy shedders) with a poodle (a low to non-shedder) then the resulting offspring would shed less. We now know that based on genetics this can be true.
However to get to a point that a dog does not shed, a dog needs to inherit two non-shedding genes, one from each parent. If we look at first generation Miniature Goldendoodles or F1 Miniature Goldendoodles they receive one shedding gene from the Golden Retriever and one non-shedding gene from the poodle. This results in lower shedding then a purebred golden Retriever, but they will still shed more than a poodle.
Before genetic testing was available breeders would breed an F1 Goldendoodle to a Poodle with the hope that they would inherit two non-shedding genes. Since the F1 Goldendoodle would have one shedding gene and one non-shedding and the poodle would have two non-shedding genes, at least some of the Goldendoodles should end up with two non-shedding genes. But the dogs also ended up with a curlier coat that closely resembled a poodle’s curls.
We now know that the genes that control shedding also control the length of hair on a dog’s face. This includes the beard and long eyebrows that doodles are known for. But since this gene is dominant a doodle can still have long facial hair even when carrying only one non-shedding gene. Remember to get a non-shedding doodle they need to carry two non-shedding genes.
To ensure a dog inherits two non-shedding genes the parent dogs must also have two non-shedding genes. This is where genetic testing comes in. By testing the dogs to see if they have two non-shedding genes breeders are able to determine which pairs will give them the desired off spring. In this case doodles that don’t shed.
Note: To make the explanation easier to understand I called the gene the non shedding gene, But that is not the correct term. The genes that are believed to control shedding and facial hair are the MC5R-gene and the RSPO2-gene. It is the combination of these two genes that make doodles what they are. At least that is today’s understanding. As new discoveries are made there may be a new understanding about what contributes to shedding in dogs.
All dogs, and humans for that matter, shed the hair on their bodies. But dogs with non-shedding coats shed much less than dogs with two genes for shedding. Also, since doodles need to be brushed regularly any hair that does fall out naturally is generally caught in the brush. If a doodle is not regularly brushed the curly hair that is shed gets mangled in with the hair that is still attached. Add to that a dogs natural oils and outside dirt and you have the prefect recipe for matting. If you truly want a no shedding dog you must brush them often.
6. Are Mini Goldendoodles hypoallergenic?
Pet allergies are believed to be caused by proteins that are found in a dog’s skin cells, saliva or urine. Most dog allergies are triggered by being exposed to the dander a pet sheds. Dog dander is a small piece of skin that’s attached to the end of each hair. When a dog’s hair falls out (aka sheds) the little piece of dander is also released into the air. For people who are sensitive to this protein they may have an allergic reaction when they inhale the dander.
Since Mini Goldendoodles can be bred to shed minimally there is less chance that they will cause an allergic reaction. But you must find a breeder that does the genetic testing to ensure the doodle sheds minimally.
Although having a low shed dog can lower the chance of an allergic reaction it does not guarantee that you will not be allergic to them. Shedding dog dander is only one of the ways people come in contact with the protein that causes allergic reactions. Being licked by a dog, petting them, brushing them or cleaning up after one can also expose someone to the protein. It is best to spend time with the dog or their parents to see if you will have an allergic reaction before you bring home the dog.
7. Will my Mini Goldendoodle have long wavy hair?
Since both the Golden Retriever and the Poodle have long hair so will a Goldendoodle. But they will only have wavy hair if they have the correct set of genes. It is possible for two wavy haired Goldendoodles to produce puppies with either wavy, straight or curly hair.
8. What colors do Mini Golden Doodles come in?
The mini like the standard can come in a variety of colors. Goldendoodles can inherit any of the colors from either the Golden Retriever or Poodle. Golden Retrievers carry genes for shades of cream, apricot and red, while Poodles can carry genes that include shades of cream, apricot, red, black, chocolate (dark brown), silver and gray coloring. Poodles also carry the genes for popular color patterns, like Parti, and Phantom.
9. Are Mini Goldendoodles easy to groom?
One of the most popular features of a Goldendoodle is that they shed less than other types of dogs. But Goldendoodles do need to be groomed regularly otherwise their long hair becomes matted. This means daily brushing if you plan to keep their hair long. If you are unable to brush them daily you should choose to keep their coat short.
Goldendoodles can have long curly or wavy hair. The curlier the fur is the more likely they will mat easily.
A Golden Doodle’s coat grows quickly requiring them to be groomed every 6 to 8 weeks. The cost to have your mini Goldendoodle professionally groomed is around $75.00. This cost may be higher depending on where you live or how matted your dog gets.
You can also opt to groom your doodle at home. The cost to buy the required grooming equipment is between $200 to $700 or more. There are DIY Doodle Grooming Facebook groups that can help you get started with grooming your doodle.
10. How much exercise do Miniature Goldendoodles need?
Mini Goldendoodles are active dogs, therefore they are happiest when they are moving. Exercise can be in the form of daily walks twice a day and fun games of fetch or tug of war a couple times a day. They do best in active homes where someone is around to pay attention to them. Golden Doodles that do not get enough exercise or are left alone for long periods of time can become destructive or bark excessively.
Of course all dogs are different and have different exercise needs. If your dog starts to get into trouble they probably need more exercise.
11. What are the health issues with a Mini Goldendoodle?
Mini Goldendoodles are an overall healthy breed but they can develop health conditions that are common to both the Golden Retriever and Poodle. Your best chance of having a healthy dog is by getting them from a reputable breeder that does complete genetic health testing on their breeding dogs. Breeders that leave things up for chance may not know that they are breeding diseases into the dogs.
Mini Goldendoodle health concerns include:
- Ear Infections: Goldendoodles can be prone to ear infections. This is due to their long hairy ears that can reduce air flow and increase moisture that can cause infections.
- Sebaceous adenitisa – a skin disease
- Hip dysplasia: This is a condition in which the thigh bone becomes displaced from the hip joint. It has a strong genetic component and can be avoided through genetic testing
- Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis, a heart condition
- Addison’s disease
- Various eye diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts and glaucoma
- Von Willebrand’s disease a blood condition that affects clotting
To minimize the risk of buying a dog with health issues ask the breeder for proof of health testing on both the parents. Possible tests include:
- Hip certifications from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals,
- OFA heart clearance
- Certification from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation that the eyes are healthy.
- An OFA elbow clearance for standard Goldendoodles,
- An OFA knee clearance for small or medium-size Goldendoodles
- A DNA test for progressive retinal atrophy.
- For more information, see the Ribbon requirements set by the Goldendoodle Association of North America.
Only buy your doodle from a reputable breeder that puts the health of the parent dogs and future puppy over profit. To do this you should not buy a puppy from a breeder that cannot provide you with written, verifiable documentation that the parents were cleared of health problems that affect the breed. A “vet check” is not a substitute for genetic health testing.
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12. How long do Mini Goldendoodles live?
The average mini Goldendoodle’s lifespan is between 12 and 15 years. As a comparison a Golden Retriever can live on average between 10 to 12 years and a mini Poodle can live between 12 to 15 years.
But genetics are only part of the equation, a dog’s lifespan is also affected by their living conditions. Dogs that are fed a healthy balanced diet, get adequate exercise, see the vet and live in a home with their family will live a longer life than dogs that don’t.
13. Where can I find a Miniature Goldendoodle?
Here are a few ways to find a miniature Goldendoodle.
1. Breeder –
The most common way to get a Goldendoodle is to buy one from a reputable breeder. But finding a reputable breeder can be difficult. The Goldendoodle Association of North America (GANA) is trying to fix that with their Ribbon Reward Program and membership requirements.
Only breeders who preform required health testing as outlined on the GANA website are eligible for membership. In addition breeders are awarded either a Red Ribbon or Blue Ribbon based on the type of health testing they perform on the dogs. The Red Ribbon shows that the breeder preforms the basic health tests required by GANA. A Blue Ribbon is awarded to breeders who preform additional recommended tests as directed by GANA.
The GAMA maintains a list of breeders and their ribbon status. You can find that list here.
My advice is to stay away from on-line “puppy for sale” websites and puppy stores. They are commonly used by puppy mills to hide who they really are. Puppy mill puppies often have underlying health conditions that cannot be detected when you first get them. Plus mating dogs and their puppies are kept in inhumane conditions at puppy farms. Please help stop puppy mills by not buying from them either directly or indirectly.
2. Rescue Groups-
Another option is to look for a rescue organization that has doodles. On occasion you can find a Golden Doodle puppy in need of rehoming, but it’s not that common. In our post “The 9 Best Places to Find a Goldendoodle Rescue” we list the rescue groups with the best chance of having a Goldendoodle. These rescue sites work with full sized Goldendoodles and the minis.
3. Local Shelters-
While finding a Miniature Goldendoodle at a local shelter may be rare it does still happen. Keep an eye on your local shelters website and Facebook page if they have one.
3. Guardian Home Program-
You can also look for a quality breeder that offers a Guardian Home Program near you. A good quality breeder understands that dogs need to live in a home with a family. To do this some breeders use guardian homes to provide dogs with a family of their own when they are not actively being bred. Although the terms of a Guardian Home Program will vary by breeder the basic idea of the program is the same.
General Guardian Home Programs Overview:
- You must live within a predetermined distance from the breeder. Usually it’s within an hour’s drive
- Dogs are selected by the breeder
- You are responsible for routine care and veterinarian service for the dog as determined by the breeder
- The dog will spend time at the breeder’s location during their pregnancy and whelping period
- Dogs will be breed for a specified number of times before they are released from the program
Benefits of getting a dog from a Guardian program:
- Reduced cost for a dog
- Pick of the litter
- Enhanced testing of the dog for genetic conditions
4. Retired Mini Goldendoodles
Some breeders will “retire” their female dogs from breeding after they have had a certain number of litters or are unable to breed. Once retired they spay the dogs and offer them up for adoption. Breeders will generally announce the retirement on their own websites. Finding a retired breeding dog is rare since most reputable breeders now use guardian homes.
14. How much does a Mini Goldendoodle cost?
The cost of an 8 week old Mini Goldendoodle ranges from $500 all the way up to $12,000. How much you pay for a mini will depend on who you get them from. On the lower end of the cost spectrum your puppy will most likely come from a puppy mill. These puppies are born in horrible conditions, where the parent dogs are abused and suffer daily. Please do your homework and do not by from a puppy mill. See our tips on how to spot a puppy mill below.
Puppies in the $3,000 to 4,000 range tend to come from smaller breeders. The parent dogs may be health tested but you will need to ask a lot of questions to ensure they are a reputable breeder who care for the parent dog’s health.
Puppies that cost $4,000 or more typically come from breeders that do extensive health testing including genetic testing for shedding. You can find these breeders in the Goldendoodle Association of North America (GANA) directory. But remember to ask a lot of questions before you chose a breeder. A high price does not necessary mean they are doing all the require health tests. Ask for proof of health tests and living conditions.
How to tell if a breeder is actually a puppy mill
- They sell on massive puppy selling websites, Craig’s list, Ebay or puppy stores.
- Have multiple breeds for sale
- Won’t share specific information on puppy’s parents
- They hide where they live or were the puppies are raised
- Don’t ask you any questions
- Can’t answer specific questions on puppy or parents
- Sell puppies younger than 8 weeks old.
- Doesn’t have health records for puppies or parents
- Can’t provide proof of health testing
- They always have puppies available
15. Are Miniature Goldendoodles high maintenance?
Yes, Mini Goldendoodles are high maintenance dogs. Although they shed much less that a Golden Retriever they still require a lot of maintenance to keep their fluffy coats in good shape. While Goldens require an occasional bath, Goldendoodles need to be bathe, dried with a high volume dryer (to avoid matting) and have their hair cut every 6 to 8 weeks. Professional grooming costs for a Goldendoodle can start at $75.00 and go up from there.
In comparison Golden Retrievers don’t need to be groomed since their fur stops growing at a predetermined length plus they can air dry after getting wet since their fur does not mat.
Also Goldendoodles with long hair need to be brushed daily. You can get around this by keeping their hair shorter, but that requires more frequent trips to the groomer.
If you decide you want to groom your dog at home, it takes between 2 to 3 hours to do it every 6 to 8 weeks. This includes bathing, drying them and cutting their hair.
So yes, you will spend less time vacuuming up fur and taking it off your clothes with a Goldendoodle, but that time if traded with brushing and running to the groomers.
In addition to the grooming maintenance requirements, Goldendoodles are high energy dogs which mean they need daily exercise. Plan on spending a couple of hours daily to meet their exercise requirements.
16. What are the differences between a Standard Goldendoodle and a Mini?
The main differences between the mini and standard doodle are size, and temperament.
As I mentioned above there is a pretty large size difference between the mini and standard Goldendoodle. The mini tops out at 20 inches high and 35 pounds where the standard size doodle can get upwards to 24 inches high and over 100 pounds. If a large dog is not a reality for you, getting a mini might be a better choice.
Some breeders are also breeding medium sized doodles that fill in the size gap between the mini and the standard, but this is still not a common size for a Goldendoodle.
A Mini Goldendoodle is a little more active than a full sized one. They may also bark more at other dogs and people who pass by.
So is the Mini Goldendoodle the perfect dog?
While they have many great traits they are not a low maintenance dog if you factor in their grooming, exercise and social needs. But if you are looking for an affectionate, active dog that is not too big, the mini might be the perfect dog for you.
So once you find your mini Goldendoodle what will you name them?
Here are some great ideas for naming your dog:
- Black Dog Names: 450+ Names for Black Dogs
- Unique Dog Names: Plus Tips on How to Pick One
- Scottish Dog Names: 500 Names to Choose From
- Australian Dog Names: 200 Dog Names to Choose From
- 550 British Dog Names: You Will Want to Use
- Norse Dog Names: Viking Names for Your Dog
- French Dog Names
- 200+ Flower Names For Dogs: Plus Nature Names
Miniature Goldendoodle Resources
- Goldendoodle Association of North America (GANA)
- Doodles Part 1 – Amy Lane: The Goldendoodle Association of America
- Animal Genetics – Hair Shedding Genes
- Pet allergy – From the Mayo Clinic
- Breed review by Embrace; Labradoodles and Goldendoodles
- What is Patellar Luxation?
- How smart is your dog? – WebMD
- Backyard Breeders Trying to Make Money by Breeding “Designer Dogs”; Dogster.com