Updated: October 2022. The world of the Goldendoodle has changed a lot since they were first bred back in the 1990’s. Now they come in 4 different sizes, including the popular ever mini Goldendoodle size.
The main reason for their popularity is their size and personality. Full size Goldendoodles can be large dogs. Often surpassing the size of the parent breeds.
Mini’s on the other hand tend to fall in the medium to small size range making them easier to take with you. Especially if you are a family that likes to travel.
The other main reason for their popularity is their personality. Both the Golden Retriever and the mini Poodle are very social dogs. Most people would say the Golden has never met a person they didn’t like.
This is yet another advantage for someone who is looking for a dog they can take on pet friendly vacations.
But there is still a lot more you need to know about the mini before you decide to get one. ‘
Join us as we go over 17 up-to-date facts about the Mini Goldendoodle.
Quick Facts About the Miniature Golden doodle
|Height||13 and 20 inches tall at shoulder|
|Weight||15 to 35 pounds|
|Lifespan||12 and 15 years|
|Traits||Social, outgoing, intelligent and easy to train|
|Colors||Cream, apricot and red, black, chocolate (dark brown), silver and gray coloring|
|Grooming||Goldendoodle need regular grooming|
17 Need to Know Facts About The Mini Goldendoodle
The difference with a mini is that a Golden Retriever is bred with a miniature poodle or toy poodle, whereas full sized Goldendoodles are a cross between a Golden Retriever and standard poodle.
This results in a smaller dog. But you need to be careful with where you get your mini. Breeding a large dog with a small dog doesn’t mean you will get a medium sized dog. We will discuss this in further detail later in the post.
Unlike most of the other so-called designer dogs, the Goldendoodle has a breed standard that is followed by quality breeders.
But you will not find it at the American Kennel Club, because they still do not recognize the Goldendoodle as a purebred dog.
However, the Association of North America (GAMA) is trying to change that. One of the first steps to accomplish this is having a Breed Standard that is followed.
The Goldendoodle Breed Standard covers the four available Goldendoodle sizes including; the Petite, Miniature, Medium and Standard.
It also includes standards for size, looks, and temperament. This last standard is not included in most AKC Breed Standards for conformation show breeds.
The GAMA also maintains an “Open Stud Book” policy for breeding. This means that as long as the breeding dogs are either a purebred Poodle, Golden Retriever or a Goldendoodle they will be accepted as a Goldendoodle breeding stock that can be registered with the GANA.
This is done to maintain diversity in the Goldendoodle gene pool, therefore hopefully reducing the health problems caused by a limited gene pool.
One of the most confusing parts of looking for a Goldendoodle is the doodle generation classifications.
Terms like F1 mini Goldendoodle, F1b Goldendoodle or F2B doodle refer to the dog’s percentage of each breed they are mixed with.
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. This would give you a dog that is approximately 75% poodle and 25% Golden
In some cases, a F1B doodle can also be 25% poodle and 75% Golden if the breeder used a Golden for the cross-back.
Why does the matter? The greater percentage of poodle in the mix means a curlier coat and the less likely they will shed.
So, in the end the generation classification is really just a fancier and quicker way of relaying the breed percentages in the dog.
However, once you get pass the initial breeding of an F1, the exact percentage of poodle or golden that is passed down is really unknown. Unless the breeder does genetic testing on the dog there is no way to know which genes were passed on from the F1 Goldendoodle.
2. Is there more than one type of Goldendoodle?
Yes, there are actually three types of Golden Retriever/Poodle Mix breeds; the English, the American 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 Golden doodle.
In addition to a lighter color, English Golden Retrievers are bred to be a little shorter and stockier than the American Golden. Their fur is also shorter with more of a wave to it.
The English Golden Retriever is often portrayed as being healthier than the American Golden Retriever.
While both Goldens are susceptible to the same health conditions, the European bred Golden have a lower rate of cancer. Though compared to other breeds the rate of cancer in European Golden Retrievers is still much higher.
It’s important to note that the English, American and Canadian Golden Retrievers all originated from the same Scottish bloodline. The differences in look and size was caused by different breeding practices across the Atlantic.
The American Goldendoodle is a mix between the American Golden Retriever which tends to be red or an apricot color and any colored Poodle.
Although American Goldendoodles tend to be a shade of red they can also be cream, apricot or any color the poodle comes in. You can even find a black Goldendoodle.
The Australian Goldendoodle is a little different from the English and American Goldendoodles. Instead of crossing a Golden Retriever with a Poodle, Australian Golden doodles are a mix between an English Golden-doodle and an Australian Labradoodle.
The main difference between an 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.
And just like the Golden Retriever, the 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 should will still have an easy-going personality.
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 time can lead to separation anxiety.
4. How big do Mini Golden doodles get?
The miniature Goldendoodle averages in size between 13 and 20 inches tall at shoulder and 15 to 35 pounds. It’s the perfect dog for someone that wants a Goldendoodle but does not want a large dog.
You may have noticed there is large range of the mini Goldendoodle size. The size of the mini is determined, to a point, by the size of the poodle used in breeding. Both the mini poodle and toy poodle are used to breed mini Doodles.
Mini poodles average between 10 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 than if you use a mini poodle.
However, as I mentioned above, mating a large dog to a smaller one does not always result in a medium sized dog. Sometimes you will end up with a dog that has a long body and short legs, or some other mismatch of the two sizes.
This is why you need to find a reputable breeder that took the time to breed down the size.
If you are looking for a smaller doodle but are concerned with them being in proportion check out the Cockapoo and Cavapoo. Or maybe you want a bigger mini, then a Mini Bernedoodle may be a good choice
5. Do Mini Goldendoodles shed?
The answer to “Do Miniature Goldendoodles shed?” is yes, but most shed very little. It all depends on the genes that are passed down from the parents.
While Golden Retrievers are heavy shedders, poodles shed very little. When you cross the two you end up with a low shedding dog, but they will still shed a little.
To learn more about shedding in Goldendoodles read our post on Do Goldendoodles Shed? The Truth about Shedding
6. Are Mini Goldendoodles hypoallergenic?
The short answer to this question is yes and no. Keep reading to understand why.
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 the goldendoodle minis can be bred to shed less, 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.
However, there are other ways that people can come in contact with the protein that causes allergic reactions. Some of these are; being licked by a dog, petting them, brushing them or cleaning up after one can also expose you to the protein.
The best way to know if you are allergic is to spend time with the dog or their parents before bringing them home.
7. Will my Mini Goldendoodle have long wavy hair?
Since both the Golden Retriever and the Poodle have long hair on their bodies so will a Goldendoodle.
But to get the long facial hair, long eyebrows and wavy coat associated with the doodle they must inherit the furnishing gene. This gene is carried by the poodle and is dominant. Meaning they only need to inherit one gene.
Therefore, an F1 Goldendoodle, which is a first generation cross between a poodle and Golden will inherit the gene giving them the trademark teddy bear look.
However, later multi-generational doodles may not carry the genes if they inherit 2 non-furnishing genes from the Golden side.
Since you can tell which genes a dog may pass down to their offspring just by looking at them, it’s possible for two wavy haired Goldendoodles to produce puppies with either wavy, straight or curly hair on their face.
The good news is that there is genetic testing that can tell us whether a particular dog has the genes needed to produce the teddy look.
8. What colors do Mini Goldendoodles 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 and less the less popular gene for fading.
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 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 the more maintenance it will require.
Since their hair grows consistently they need to visit the groomer every 6 to 8 weeks. The cost to have your miniature 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. Which is want we did. 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.
10. How much exercise do Mini Goldendoodles need?
Miniature 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 throughout the day. 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?
Miniature 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.
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 adenitis – Skin disease
- Hip dysplasia – This is a condition in which the thigh bone becomes displaced from the hip joint. There is a strong genetic component with this condition, which can be avoided through genetic testing
- Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis – Disease which causes a narrowing at the aortic valve of the heart
- Addison’s disease – Also known as hypoadrenocorticism, this disease decreases hormone production from the outer part or cortex of the adrenal gland
- Various eye diseases – Common eye diseases include 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 Health Testing includes:
- 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
12. How long do Mini Goldendoodles live?
The average mini Golden doodle’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.
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 perform 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 performs the basic health tests required by GANA. A Blue Ribbon is awarded to breeders who perform additional recommended tests as directed by GANA.
The GAMA maintains a list of breeders and their ribbon status.
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 mini puppy in need of re-homing, but it’s not that common.
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 shelter’s 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 veterinary services 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 bred 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 Golden doodles
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 will be spayed and offered 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 Puppy Cost?
The cost of an 8-week-old Mini Golden doodle ranges from $500 all the way up to $12,000. How much you pay for a mini will depend on where you get them. On the lower end of the cost spectrum your puppy will most likely come from a puppy mill.
To learn more about the cost of a Goldendoodle mini and what you get in each price range, check out our post on What does a Goldendoodle Cost?
15. Are Miniature Goldendoodles high maintenance?
Yes, Mini Goldendoodles are high maintenance dogs. Although they shed much less than a Golden, 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 bathed and have their hair cut every 6 to 8 weeks.
But that’s not all. Their long wavy or curly hair needs 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 can take between 2 to 3 hours each time.
So yes, you will spend less time vacuuming up fur and taking it off your clothes with a Goldendoodle, but that time is traded with brushing and running to the groomers.
16. What are the differences between a Standard Goldendoodle and a Mini?
The main differences between the mini and standard doodle are size, and personality
There is a pretty large size difference between the mini and standard. 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.
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.
17. What are the training requirements of a mini Goldendoodle?
Mini Goldendoodles are high energy dogs, that love to be active and by your side at all time.
How you train your puppy will have a lot to do with how they will act as they grow up. Plan on spending at least an hour each day broken down to 5-minute intervals of training throughout the day.
You should also start training them as soon as they are with you. Start by teaching them their name. Then move onto other commends like, sit, stay, leave it (this one will make you like easier the sooner they learn it)
It’s also very important that you focus on socializing your puppy in the first few months while keeping them safe until they are fully vaccinated. You should never stop socializing them even after they are fully grown.
Remember that your puppy will benefit from positive reinforcement training, frequent interaction and lots of safe activities.
If you don’t have time to devote to training your puppy, including potty training, you should think twice about getting a puppy. There are plenty of older mini doodles looking for a home.
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 a friendly, affectionate, active dog that you can go places with, the mini might be the perfect dog for you.
Is the Goldendoodle the right dog for you? Join us to find out why the Goldendoodle is not for everyone.
Need a name for your Golden doodle mini?
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