As explained in my introduction, I started breeding Groodles in the early 2000 as a low-shedding alternative to my much-loved Labradoodles (the genetics is complicated, but the summary is long-haired dogs + poodles = low-shedding ‘fleece’).
Groodles are wonderful dogs in so many ways – they’re smart, affectionate, low-to-non shedding and energetic. But for many people, they’re a little on the big side. Our F1 Groodle Morris is a perfect size for us – but he might not be ideal for someone in a smaller space in the city.
I got the idea of breeding mini-Morries after meeting the beautiful Blossom. She’s a Golden Retriever cross American Cocker Spaniel, who I feel in love with when visiting another breeder – she looked and acted just Golden Retriever, only smaller! Blossom’s owners was downsizing at the time, so I was luck enough to make her my very own. She had one litter with Louie in 2016 before she retired, and – as I’d hoped – they were absolutely lovely little groodley-type things.
By then, I’d start breeding my own “mini-retrievers” using my calm little Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Like Labradors and Golden Retrievers, Cavalier regularly appear on the list of Australia Top 10 dogs. and for good reasons – they’re very affectionate and placid, particularly for small dogs. And, like Golden Retrievers, they’re also long haired – meaning they make low to non-shedding dogs when crossed with poodles.
My Golden Retriever cross Cavaliers – Maggie, Frankie, Maisie, Violet and Marley – are absolutely beautiful little dogs, with temperaments that match they’re incredibly sweet faces (you can see more adorable pictures of these guys here). I’m also calling Poppy, Hazel and Ginger “mini-retrievers”, even though they have a slightly different heritage – they’re 1/4 quarter Labrador Retriever, one 1/4 Golden Retriever and 1/2 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. But they’re all extremely similar in terms of temperament, size and appearance: that is to say, they look and act like shrunken Golden Retrievers.
They’ve also turned out to be wonderful mothers to their “mini-groodles”. I’ve picked this name, because early reviews suggests that my mini-retriever, poodles crosses are much like my F1 Groodles in terms of looks and behaviours – they’re healthy, low-shedding dogs with beautiful temperaments. They’re just smaller (meaning they’re not only a sensible size for the city, they’re also bloody cute).
I’m also sticking with “mini-groodles” because the portmanteaus available are truly appalling. (Labragolden cavadoodles? Golden Cavadoroodles? Grocavadoodle?!?)