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Downsizing Goldendoodles

The Art of Breeding Smaller Goldendoodles

By Julia Ainsworth

Goldendoodles are a cherished companion for many, filled with cheer, sensitivity, enthusiasm, and a tangible zest for life. Adept as emotional support animals and excellent service dogs, these lovable creatures win the day with their distinctive personality and endearing temperament. Roughly fifteen years ago, I found myself captivated by Goldendoodles, but over time, I became aware that their size could be a concern. Some can grow quite large, reaching up to ninety or even a hundred pounds. This got me thinking about breeding downsized versions – Mini or Micro Goldendoodles.

Let's start at the beginning: Goldendoodles are a mixed breed deriving from a Poodle and a Golden Retriever. To achieve a smaller variant, you cross a Standard Golden Retriever with a smaller Poodle, thereby restricting the probable dimensions of the offspring. A popular theory suggests that the size of the puppies would be the average weight of both parents. However, this rudimentary calculation often doesn't hold true.

Recently, DNA testing has given us a broad spectrum of predictive factors, including coat characteristics, conformation properties, inheritable health aspects, and size indicators. Even so, with these predictive tools at our disposal, one thing becomes exceedingly clear with each Goldendoodle litter – the size of the puppies can vary extensively within the same litter. Drawing from personal experience, a size discrepancy was apparent when I bred a nineteen-pound Micro Goldendoodle with a twelve-pound Miniature Poodle. The resulting litter of five puppies presented quite a spectrum of predicted adult weights, ranging from thirty-five pounds to as light as eighteen pounds.

This might sound like a sizable disparity, but it's important to keep in mind that the core objective is to downsize from the Standard Goldendoodle. Looked at from this viewpoint, the outcome can be seen as successful. Mating the same pair more than once usually delivers nearly identical results in terms of coat texture, color, conformation, and puppy personality traits.

I've found that the most dependable method for breeding smaller Goldendoodles is to begin with smaller parents. While this strategy may not yield monotonously sized litters and can procure a broad range of sizes within a single litter, the puppies will certainly scale down from the standard size of Goldendoodles.