The Golden Retriever is one of the world’s most popular dog breeds. He’s also one of the most versatile. Not only does this dynamic doggo make a wonderful family companion, he’s also one of the top-dogs when it comes to service work and dog shows.
For this reason, the Golden Retriever price can vary greatly, and fluctuates much more than most other breeds and mixes in the canine kingdom.
So, how do you determine just how much the Golden Retriever of your dreams is going to cost? That’s what we are here to discover.
Join us as we learn more about the ins and outs of Golden Retriever price and what you can expect when expecting to raise one of these adorable dogs.
But First, Let’s Meet The Golden Retriever!
Golden Retrievers have long been considered one of America’s favorite dog breeds.
Height: 21.5 to 24 Inches
Weight: 55 to 75 Pounds
Coat Type: Double Coated, Dense, Shedding
Coat Colors: Cream, Golden, Dark Golden, Light Golden
Temperament: Intelligent, Loyal, Friendly, Outgoing
Ideal For: Families with children, active first time dog owners, those with large yards
Lifespan: 10 to 12 Years
Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Luxating Patella, Low Thyroid, Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat or GDV), Ear INfections, Allergies, Skin Issues, Cancer, Von Willebrand’s Disease, Chest Conditions, Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis (SAS), Respiratory Issues And Cataracts
AKC Ranking: 3 out of 197
Golden Retriever Price Range: $500 to $3,500
Clubs That Recognize The Golden Retriever:
- The American Kennel Club (AKC)
- The United Kennel Club (UKC)
- The Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA)
The Golden Retriever Breed Overview:
Goldens have long been considered one of the world’s most popular breeds. In fact, according to the American Kennel Club, the Golden Retriever currently sits proudly at number 3 out of 197 on their list of America’s most coveted canines!
In his early days, the Golden Retriever was utilized as a talented and enduring gun dog in the Scottish Highlands. His dense coat, gentle jaws, and eager-to-please disposition made him the ideal retriever to find and retrieve fallen prey for his masters.
But it is the Golden Retriever’s incredible wit and sweet nature that truly makes him a star. This intelligent purebred is a winning competitor in dog shows and sports. He also makes for a wonderful service dog to those in need.
Golden Retrievers are a family favorite due to their playful, gentle nature with children, and they get along well with other pets in the home.
A well-rounded creation of doggy perfection, the Golden’s one downfall is, perhaps, that the Golden Retriever price fluctuates so greatly. This can leave some uncertainty in the air for first-time dog buyers, especially if you’re not sure how to budget for one of these adorable canines.
But to understand the Golden Retriever price and why it varies so greatly, we must first understand what it takes to be a Golden Retriever breeder.
How Much Does It Cost To Breed A Golden Retriever?
Breeding Golden Retrievers can be costly, and this can trickle down into the price breeders sell their puppies for.
Have you been looking into buying your Golden Retriever puppy from a breeder? If so, you may have noticed that the Golden Retriever price can range greatly, leading to confusion, frustration and even discouragement.
But why do these prices vary so much? Well, it can come down to a few factors:
- The Quality of The Breeder
- The Pedigree of The Dog
- And The Region From Which You Are Buying
Of course, we always encourage you to go through a reputable breeder when looking for a Golden Retriever puppy, even if this means you’ll see an upswing in your Golden Retriever price.
But why do breeders charge so much for Golden Retriever puppies? Because breeding is no cheap task.
The Average Cost Of Being A Breeder – $1,609
The Median Cost of Being A Breeder – $3,002
The Highest Cost of Being A Breeder – $8,245
If that seems like a lot of money to be a breeder, it’s because it is. Being a responsible breeder takes time, work and commitment. Let’s look a little closer and break the numbers down.
The Average Yearly Expenses Being A Breeder
- Acquiring A Proper Breeding Licenses – $125 to $600
- Quality Dam (Female Golden Retriever) Care – $30 to $200
The Average Expenses Related To Breeding A Single Litter
- Health Testing and Health Clearance – $300 to $700
- The Average Stud Fee – $100 to $1,500
- Prenatal Care For The Dam During Pregnancy – $150 to $600
- Ultrasounds and X-Rays – $40 to $100
The Average Costs Of Whelping And Puppy Care
- Acquiring A Whelping Kit – $80 to $850
- Puppy Vaccinations and Parasite Prevention Treatments – $165 to $700
- Puppy Food And Supplies – $40 to $200
Some Miscellaneous Costs Of Breeding
- C-Section costs – $350 to $1,500
- Medical Care (For Puppies That Are Sick)- $150 to $1,500
- Euthanasia (For Puppies Born With Severe Complications) – $50
- ACK Club Registration and Paperwork Fees – $29 to $45 Per Litter
The Average Total Cost Of Breeding A Golden Retriever Dog: $1,609 to $8,245
The Average Golden Retriever Price When Buying Through A Breeder
Golden Retriever puppies can cost between $500 to $3,500.
If you plan on buying your Golden Retriever from a breeder, the average cost is going to be between $500 to $3,500. However, this price can vary and be higher or lower depending on a few factors, as we mentioned above.
Along with considering the region from which you buy your puppy, your puppy’s pedigree, and the quality of breeder you’re going through, you’ll also need to consider your puppy’s coat color and gender.
Cream Golden Retriever puppies tend to cost the most out of the four color variations available. Female Golden Retriever puppies are also going to be more expensive than their male littermates, as they are seen as potential competitors in the breeding world should owners opt to keep them intact and breed them in the future.
Not only are Golden Retrievers as some of the most expensive breeds to purchase through a breeder, but they can also be some of the most costly to keep due to their long list of health issues and special needs.
While this may not seem like it should tie into the initial Golden Retriever price when going through a breeder, it actually does.
Since the Golden Retriever price does vary so greatly between $500 and $3,500 for a purebred golden Retriever puppy, some well-meaning owners opt to go through less reputable sources in an effort to save some money up front.
However, if you buy your Golden Retriever through backyard breeders, online sellers, or unlicensed breeders selling puppies at a bargain Golden Retriever price, you’re much more likely to wind up with a sick puppy that costs you more in the long run.
Instead, try and budget to go through a quality breeder and do plenty of research. It’s also just as important to avoid a Golden Retriever price that seems astronomical.
It can be difficult to tell which breeders are reputable and which are not, but the best way to know for sure is to do your due diligence. Ask for references and paperwork proving the puppies have been health screened and cleared of any serious health issues.
Reputable breeders of purebred Golden Retrievers should also be able to provide you with paperwork proving pedigree, and you may even be able to meet the parent dogs to get a better idea of how big your Golden Retriever will get.
Still, if your budget doesn’t allow for the average Golden Retriever price when going through a breeder, you always have the option of rescuing.
The Average Golden Retriever Price When Going Through A Shelter
Rescuing a Golden Retriever from a shelter has a number of advantages that far surpass the less expensive initial adoption fee.
Rescuing a Golden Retriever has numerous benefits, and just one of them is price. Of course, even if you opt to go through a shelter to adopt your Golden Retriever dog, there is still going to be a fee.
On average, the Golden Retriever price for going through a shelter is between $300 and $750. Again, this price can vary again depending on your region and the shelter you go through.
But why might it cost this much to rescue a Golden Retriever? Most reputable shelters will charge a fee that covers the cost it took to care for the Golden Retriever while he was there. Fees will also likely include an initial vet exam, potential vaccination updates, and even behavioral testing and training to ensure your Golden Retriever is ready to go to his forever home.
Of course, there are also hidden benefits and cost savings you can incur when going through a shelter to rescue your Golden.
In fact, if you rescue a Golden Retriever that is over two years of age, you’ll likely be skipping the wild and sometimes costly puppyhood phase. Puppy vet visits can add up, as can those initial vet exams and training classes.
Adult Golden Retrievers are also more likely to have been spayed or neutered, and they may even have already been microchipped by their previous family or owner!
All of these can be added to savings when it comes to your Golden Retriever price, and can even be deducted from your future costs of upkeep when it comes to raising a Golden Retriever.
And speaking of raising a Golden Retriever, it’s time to talk about how much the Golden Retriever price adds up to be from puppyhood to seniorhood.
How Much Does It Cost To Raise A Golden Retriever From Puppyhood On?
The true Golden Retriever price comes after that initial down payment of paying for a puppy or rescue dog.
The initial cost of your Golden Retriever, whether you go through a breeder or a shelter, should really be considered your down payment. The real Golden Retriever price comes after you obtain your dog, and adds up each year.
In order to understand and budget for the true Golden Retriever price, it helps to know how long a Golden Retriever lives.
On average, a healthy Golden Retriever can live between 10 and 12 years. The average yearly cost of raising a large breed dog like the Golden is around $1,080 or $90 a month, though the first year of doggy parenthood is often much more expensive.
In fact, owners reported that the first year of raising their dog cost them around $3,625.
This means that if you raise a Golden Retriever from 0 to 12 years, you will be investing at least $15,505 into your dog, though you’ll likely be spending a few thousand more.
But why, and where do these estimates come from? Let’s take a look.
Average First Year Medical Expenses For A Golden Retriever- $500 to $600
As we previously mentioned, the first year of raising your Golden Retriever is typically going to be your most expensive. This is due to a number of factors, one of which is going to be first year puppy visits to ensure your dog is healthy. This will include:
- Potential Health Screening
- A First Time Puppy or Dog Wellness Exam
- Updating or Completing Any Vaccinations
- Potential Microchipping
- Potential Neutering or Spaying Costs
Average Yearly Cost Of Dog Food And Treats – $250 to $700
Your Golden Retriever will require a high quality dog food specified for his age, weight and activity level. While there are some quality dog foods out there that are less expensive, it is also true that higher quality dog foods do cost more.
The best dog food for a Golden Retriever is going to be a dog food that is rich in 30% real animal protein, 9% fatty acids. It will also need to include carbs, vitamins, minerals and a good source of water.
Avoid dog foods that contain additives, fillers, byproducts, corn, soy, wheat or gluten. While it may cost more to feed your Golden Retriever a better diet, it can also save you money in the long run by helping to reduce potential health issues in your dog.
This can ultimately save you when it comes to the average Golden Retriever price and what it takes to raise a healthy and happy pup.
Basic Supplies For A Golden Retriever: $500 a Year
Another initial cost you’ll need to consider as an investment for your Golden Retriever price is going to be the cost of supplies. This is another reason that the first year of dog parenthood is so costly. Most first-time dog parents must stock up on supplies including:
While you likely won’t need to repurchase all of the above supplies for a Golden Retriever each year like clockwork, you should also prepare to continue buying supplies throughout your Golden Retreiver’s lifespan. Remember, these dogs are athletic and playful, and they can be hard on their supplies.
Grooming Costs – $180 to 540 A Year
One of the many reasons your Golden Retriever price can vary so much is also due to his coat. These are shedding dogs that have a dense, double coat. Their fur is long and wavy, and does require some routine clipping and brushing now and again.
Most professional groomers charge between $30 to $90 for a visit. With Golden Retrievers needing to be seen at least six times a year, the annual cost for grooming is around $180 to $540.
You may be able to save money on Golden Retriever price by investing in your own grooming tools and learning how to do many of the important tasks at home.
If you do opt to groom your Golden Retriever at home, you’ll need to invest in the following grooming tools:
Golden Retriever Grooming Supplies Needed For Home Care
- A Nail Grinder or Nail Clippers
- Hair Clippers
- A Dog Safe Ear Cleaning Solution Or Kit
- Dog Safe Shampoo and Conditioner
- A Deshedding Comb
- An Undercoat Rake
- A Dog Toothbrushing Kit
- And Grooming Wipes
Average Yearly Medical Expenses – $50 to $300 A Year
Last, we have yearly medical expenses for raising a Golden Retriever. Just like people, dogs should be seen by a doctor at least once a year from birth to seven years old, and then twice a year from seven on.
Medical expenses you should budget into your Golden Retriever price could include:
- Annual Wellness Exams For Goldens Under Seven
- Twice Yearly Wellness Exams For Goldens Over Seven
- Routine Vaccinations
- Routine Parasite Prevention Treatments
- Routine Dental Care
Golden Retriever Price – The Hidden Costs Some Owners Forget About
As they age, Golden Retrievers can become more susceptible to certain health issues that can be costly to owners.
Unfortunately, most owners don’t think about the hidden costs of raising a dog, and tend to look at the Golden Retriever prices that seem most obvious. These would include the above costs like supplies, food and treats, grooming, and basic medical care.
However, with every dog there are hidden expenses that most owners don’t consider initially. These costs are predominantly due to unforeseen medical complications, which, for the Golden Retriever, can be quite costly.
The best way to budget for health complications in your Golden Retriever price is to be aware of what Golden Retrievers can be most susceptible to.
Common Golden Retriever Health Issues:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Luxating Patella
- Low Thyroid
- Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat or GDV)
- Ear Infections
- Skin Issues
- Cancers Including Lymphosarcoma, Mastocytoma and Osteosarcoma
- Von Willebrand’s Disease
- Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis (SAS)
- Respiratory Issues
- And Cataracts
The Average Cost To Treat Some Of The Above Ailments In A Golden Retriever:
- Hip Dysplasia – $1,700 to $4,500
- Elbow Dysplasia – $1,500 to $4,000
- Cancers – $1,000 t0 $10,000 +
- Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis – $3,100 to $6,050
- Luxating Patella – $1,500 to $3,000 Per Knee
When you decide to commit to raising a dog, that dog is relying on you for everything from his daily meals to his lifetime care. Health costs are often some of the most expensive when it comes to Golden Retriever price, which is why many experts recommend investing in pet health insurance.
On average, pet health insurance for a Golden Retriever can cost owners between $120 and $1,200 a year or $10 to $120 a month.
Other Hidden Expenses Many Owners Don’t Consider When Considering Golden Retriever Price Include:
- Pet Rent
- Travel Expenses
- Property Damage From Wear and Tear With A Golden
- Dog Walkers or Pet Sitters
- Dog Daycare
- Dog Trainers or Obedience School
- Canine Medications
- Vitamins, Supplements, and Specialty Supplies
Are You Getting A Golden Retriever? Tips On How To Budget For The Golden Retriever Price
Budging early for your dog can help reduce stress in the future.
There is a reason the Golden Retriever is considered one of America’s most popular dogs. He is a sweet, intelligent, family-friendly dog that is an excellent choice for active, first time dog owners and experienced dog owners alike.
If you’re considering investing in a golden Retriever, we have some tips and tricks on how you can not only obtain the Golden of your dreams, but also save money when it comes to your Golden Retriever price.
Get Your Golden Retriever Through Reputable Sources
As we discussed above, ensuring you get your Golden Retriever from a reputable breeder or shelter can play a major role in ensuring your Golden Retriever is happy and healthy. Remember that reputable breeders should be able to provide you with proof of pedigree and paperwork proving their puppies have been health screened.
Quality shelters should be able to provide you with an initial vet exam and may even offer behavioral testing and basic training for your dog.
Have Your Golden Retriever Health Screened At An Early Age
If you do opt to get your Golden Retriever through a rescue, you may not have any background on your dog’s health. Routine vet exams don’t always tell you what your dog may be prone to in the future.
For this reason, we highly recommend investing in early health screening for your Golden Retriever. The average cost of getting your Golden Retriever health screened is around $100 to $300. These tests can give you a good idea of what your dog may be predisposed to, which can allow you to take action early when it comes to preventative care.
Ensure Your Golden Retriever Is Spayed Or Neutered
Spaying or neutering your dog not only helps alleviate behavioral issues, but it can also support their overall health in the long run.
While we do understand this is a controversial topic, studies have proven that spaying and neutering not only prolongs a dog’s lifespan on average, but it can also reduce a dog’s chances of developing certain health conditions like cancer.
Schedule And Keep Up With Routine Wellness Visits With Your Vet
Don’t skip routine wellness visits with your vet, even if your dog is up to date on vaccines or prevention medications and seems healthy.
Dogs are excellent at hiding pain or ailments, and routine vet visits allow you to keep track of your dog’s health and catch any potential issues early, which means they may also be less costly to treat.
Other Tips On Keeping Up With Health And Saving On Golden Retriever Price:
- Invest In Quality Dog Food And Treats Early On
- Keep Up With Proper Exercise And Mental Stimulation
- Invest In Dog-Safe Toys And Chews
- Avoid Feeding Your Golden Retriever Table Scraps
- Keep Up With Proper Grooming Maintenance
- Keep Your Dog’s Ears And Teeth Clean
- Invest in doggy health insurance Or Keep a Pet Emergency Fund
Is The Golden Retriever Really Worth It? Experts Weigh In
Are Golden Retrievers worth it? Owners and experts say a resounding YES!
Golden Retrievers are family favorites for a reason. They make excellent companions to a variety of owners and give back more than they ever take financially.
Pros of Owning A Golden Retriever:
- Golden Retrievers are highly intelligent and eager to please
- They are energetic and sweet, making them ideal for families with children
- They get along well with most everyone
- Golden Retrievers are easy to train
- They are quiet and do well in a number of home types
- Golden Retrievers can be trained early to perform chores around the home
- They adapt easily and become bonded with their people
- They are the 3rd most popular dog, according to the American Kennel Club
- Goldens are great dogs for those who want to compete in dog shows or dog sports
- They are both adoring and adorable
Cons of Owning A Golden Retriever:
- They are large dogs that can be costly to keep up
- Golden Retrievers shed heavily
- These dogs require routine grooming and exercise
- They behave like puppies well into adulthood
- They may be prone to a number of costly health issues
- The Golden Retriever price can vary greatly and depend on a variety of factors
Is it all worth it?
While the Golden Retriever price can vary, it’s up to you on just how much you can spend on this breed initially, and it’s up to you on how to budget and save. At the end of the day, the average Golden Retriever price is actually slightly lower than that of the average price of raising a dog in general, which is around $23,410, according to the American Kennel Club.
Of course, you should also consider the health issues Goldens can be susceptible to, and we encourage you to consider unforeseen costs.
Otherwise, like many dogs, the Golden Retriever is bound to bring you and your family a priceless amount of joy and happiness.
So, is the Golden Retriever worth it? We would have to say YES!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.