Miniature goldendoodles are an incredibly popular dog these days — one of our top requested breeds. Most people are drawn in by their absolutely adorable teddy bear look and compact, easy-to-manage size. But if you are considering one for your family, you will want to make sure their personality is compatible with your lifestyle and what you generally like about dogs.
All dog breeds and thus all doodles are not created equal. There are vast temperament differences among the breeds based on the breed history and original purpose.
We find the mini goldendoodles to be incredibly endearing little companions, but they may not be for everyone. For example, they require a high degree of human companionship so they are not a good choice for families who do not have a good bit of a time to devote to these incredibly loving dogs.
Mini Goldendoodle Personalities: Breed Overview
It can be a bit confusing when researching breeders as different breeders sometimes have different names or definitions of the various Goldendoodle sizes. From our experience, most breeders consider mini goldendoodles to be under 30 lbs. Still, it is important to clarify with your breeder what height and weight they consider their “mini goldendoodles” to be. Regardless of the exact size or terminology used, a miniature goldendoodle is made up of two breeds: the Golden Retriever and the miniature (or in some cases toy poodle).
The Golden Retriever is consistently counted in the top five most popular breeds owned by Americans. They are loyal, ever-happy, and eager-to-please companions known for having a true heart of gold. Golden Retrievers were bred to work closely with their owners in order to retrieve game on a hunt. They were originally bred in the early nineteenth century to be a versatile bird dog that could retrieve on land or in water. This job requires a high level of self-control, trainability and a willingness to please even in a highly stimulating setting.
The dog must wait patiently and only act on the owner’s command — this original purpose set the Golden Retriever up for success in obedience training as well. In fact, the three champion dogs at the first obedience training contest held by the American Kennel Club in 1977 were all golden retrievers! Fast forward to the 21st century, Golden Retrievers are the most common breed in the service dog industry. You may frequently spot them serving as seeing-eye-dogs, seizure-detection dogs, therapy dogs and emotional support animals.
However, they are a large dog, easily weighing 70+ lbs and standing two feet tall (at the shoulder). In order to breed the larger Golden Retriever dog breed down to a mini size, a Miniature Poodle is used.
Like the Golden Retriever, the standard poodle was originally bred as a water retriever as well and is highly trainable and athletic. The miniature/toy poodle came on the scene a bit later, tracing its root back to the standard poodle, but was bred down to become a smaller lap dog, a prized pet/companion of 18th-century European aristocracy.
Bred specifically for its small size and companionship rather than athletic field work, the Miniature Poodle tends to be more demanding of attention and is known for their spunky, affectionate personalities and delightful sense of wit.
Breeding the loving, biddable Golden Retriever with the clever, devoted miniature poodle is a winning combination for many families! Mini goldendoodles tend to be delightfully smart, fun, and spunky! Owners often describe their Mini Goldendoodles as almost humanlike in their wit and quirks!
They are typically very devoted to their owners which can be both a pro and a con depending on your concept of personal space. This is a dog that will absolutely find a way to be in the limelight. He will likely follow you around to all rooms of the house. The downside is that if your miniature goldendoodle is not getting his attention needs met, he may become a bit demanding—seeking your attention with negative behaviors such as barking.
Mini Goldendoodle Personality for Trainability?
Mini goldendoodles are incredibly trainable — well above average! As mentioned previously, Golden Retrievers are the most common breed in the service dog industry so they are world-renown for their obedience and trainability. The miniature poodle is also known for being eager to please. They are smart (sometimes too smart!), sensitive and intuitive. Likewise, the mini goldendoodle always seems to know what their owners are thinking and feeling.
However, he may have his own opinion when it comes to pure obedience. Sometimes they may use their smarts to outwit you and figure out a way to sneak a sock out of your laundry when you aren’t looking or other similar mishaps. While miniature goldendoodles may have a little attitude and spunk when it comes to their overall approach to life, we would still consider them well above average when it comes to trainability. For the most part they are good natured, eager to please, and catch on extremely fast to new commands!
Energy Levels of Mini Goldendoodles
When it comes to various dog temperaments, oftentimes smarts and trainability is coupled with high energy. The mini goldendoodle is no exception—we would rank their energy level as medium-high, or just slightly above average.
While their short legs may not have the stamina for extended periods of exercise, mini goldendoodles tend to love to play hard and fast in short bursts! They often excel at agility or fetch related activities. Despite being small, this is a dog breed that still needs exercise and mental stimulation on a daily basis. They tend to have an excitable nature so you can expect some exuberance when it comes to playing and physical activities!
Are Mini Goldendoodles Family Friendly?
Overall, the mini goldendoodle is above average when it comes to being able to get along with various members of the family although may not be the best choice for families with particularly young children. Mini goldendoodles tend to be friendly and playful. They tend to get along well with other dogs particularly if paired with another similar energy level.
The compact size of the miniature goldendoodle can make them more manageable for some families. A Miniature Goldendoodle is less likely to knock over a child even if the pup does jump on him/her. They are easy to control a leash and it can be helpful for owners to be able to easily pick up their pup when it comes to bath time, getting in and out of the car, etc. On the downside, the smaller the Mini Goldendoodle, the less likely they are able to keep up with the family on a walk or hike. They may tire easily on longer walks. While they are easier for young children to manage on a leash, they may also be too fragile for young kid’s rough play.
The Miniature Goldendoodle may also exhibit the more “excitable” characteristics of the Miniature Poodle which can make them nervous or at worst even reactive to the unpredictable actions/movements of young children. They usually do well with elementary aged or older children as they do enjoy companionship of multiple family members! For the most part, the mini goldendoodle is a friendly, sociable breed who fits in well with many types of families.
Adaptability and overall upkeep?
We would score the miniature goldendoodle as average when it comes to adaptability. They adapt well to apartment living. Their small size means they can easily fit in smaller spaces. They need lots of play to release their energy, but a game of a fetch in a small yard will do the trick. They do not need long walks or strenuous exercise. They are above average when it comes to heat tolerance and average when it comes to cold tolerance.
Keep in mind if you live in a snowy area, that you will have to comb the fur on their legs and feet to avoid the clumping of snow in these areas and resultant matted fur. The goldendoodle can really adapt to a variety of living situations as their main aim in life is just to be with their owners! This is the area that they are not adaptable in—you must be able to spend time with your mini goldendoodle. This is not a dog that can be left alone in the backyard all day. Finally, many people love the mini goldendoodle’s curly fur that results in minimal shedding. However, keep in mind, this breed does require regular grooming and brushing to avoid long, matted hair.
In conclusion if you are looking for a devoted companion who would never turn down a snuggle and is more than willing to accompany you wherever you go, then the mini goldendoodle may be the perfect breed for you! Their spunky, clever, and affectionate temperaments have charmed many families and made them one of the most popular breeds today. Still, it is important to be prepared to give this dog a lot of love, attention, and play time to ensure a happy partnership between you and your mini goldendoodle!
Jenna and the JLDD Team