Golden Retrievers are the fourth most popular dog breed in the US. That popularity does not come with a small price tag. From puppy adoption to veterinary care, do you know how much do golden retrievers cost?
The average price of a Golden Retriever has lots of variation. Factors like color and certification can quickly increase the adoption fee. Other factors like pedigree, age, and breeder location also affect it.
There are also a handful of costs that you will experience after bringing home a pup. Grooming, feeding, training, healthcare and insurance all top the list.
This Golden Retriever price guide will provide you with a complete breakdown. From puppy to ownership costs, we will share what you can expect to pay to buy and keep a Golden Retriever.
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Golden Retriever Price
Golden Retrievers puppies are in high demand. In fact, in 2020 they were ranked as the fourth most popular breed in the United States. It is estimated that over 50,000 Golden puppies are sold each year in the United States.
This high demand is reflected in the price of a Golden Retriever puppy. The average price is higher than it has ever been and has doubled since 2010.
A Golden Retriever price ranges from $700 to $2,200. But, it is not unheard of for some puppies to sell for as much as $5,000. You can see the full ranges below:
|Puppies||$700 – $900||$1,500 – $2,200||$5,000|
Why is there so much variation in the cost of this breed?
Well, the answer is not very simple.
A Pedigree puppy with two purebred Kennel Club registered parents will range from $1,500 to $2,200.
Cream-colored pedigree puppies with award-winning bloodlines will be $5,000.
A Puppy without its health papers and certification will be just $900.
There are many variables the contribute and come into play for the cost of a Golden Retriever. Those variables include the following:
- Breeder care
Price Range Explained
A Golden Retriever puppy with two purebred Kennel Club registered parents will range from $1,500 to $2,200.
Pedigree puppies that are raised by American Kennel Club registered breeders with award-winning bloodlines will be priced at the upper end of $5,000. Puppies from non-registered parents, as in those that do not compete in dog conformation shows, will likely range from $700 to 1,200.
Puppies cost more than adult or senior Goldens.
This holds true for all dog breeds, because there is more demand for puppies than older dogs.
Age affects the adoption fee, but it does not reflect the quality of the dog in most cases. On average the adoption fee of a senior Golden is $100 to $300. This can be thousands of dollars less than a puppy, but this does not discount the love and affection an adult can offer.
Surprisingly, this dog comes in more than just gold color varieties. There are also red, cream, brown, and yellow color varieties. There will, very rarely, even be a Golden Retriever that has black-tipped ears or has a black spot on its body.
Coat color does not affect the overall health and well-being of this breed, but rare colors like cream are more expensive:
- Breeders will charge closer to $3,000 for English Cream Golden Retriever puppies. These puppies have cream-colored coats and are very rare.
- Goldens that have black markings on their coat are often cheaper.
A puppy with healthy warranties and pedigree certification will be twice as much as a puppy without them.
For example, a puppy without its health papers and certification can cost $900. A pedigree puppy with certification and health papers is at least $1,800.
One of the top health certifications is hip dysplasia screening. This will test hip quality and whether or not the puppy’s parents have signs of hip malformation.
Choosing A Breeder
Not all breeders put a lot of time, effort, and money into their Golden Retriever puppies.
A litter of American Kennel Club registered show puppies can cost a breeder up to $24,000 to whelp and rise. Typical breeding costs for pedigree litters are $7,500.
Breeder associated expenses include breeding fees (if the breeder does not own both a breeding male and female), breeding license, veterinary care for mom and pups, health tests and certifications, warranty, registration, insurance, whelping and food.
Golden Retrievers typically have eight puppies in each litter. A puppy from the $24,000 litter may cost the breeder $3,000 to whelp and raised. This is much more than a pedigree pup from the $7,500 litter costing a breeder less than $1,000.
Puppy mill litters can cost as low as $1,500 for all eight puppies.
These commercial breeding facilities are run on a “factory farm” model to prioritize profits. Puppies that are bought from pet stores can come from large-scale commercial dog breeding operations (i.e. puppy mills).
Commercial dog breeding facilities should be avoided. They are typically run on a model that prioritizes the owner’s profit above the dogs’ health and well-being.
A chronic lack of space, insufficient nutrition, poor hygiene standards, and routine overbreeding of the dogs are par for the course in puppy mills. This is inhumane and causes a number of serious health issues for the puppies: matted fur; eye, ear, and throat infections, dental problems and severe genetic deformities.
So, how do you make sure you adopt a dog from a trustworthy and reputable breeder?
One of the first steps you can do is to check the status of a breeder.
You should only look for breeders who are approved via the Kennel Club:
- In the United States, the American Kennel Club has a list of approved breeders and a Breeder of Merit Program. All puppies sold via this marketplace are purebred, pedigree and health certified.
- In the United Kingdom, the Kennel Club has a list of approved breeders. All puppies sold via this marketplace are insured, pedigree and health certified.
There are a handful of additional factors that also affect a Golden Retriever price. Breeder location is one of them.
Certain cities and states enforce breeding regulations and charges. If you want to adopt a Golden Retriever, and live in a location that enforces these charges, you may have to pay more to offset the breeder’s expenses.
Breeding licenses normally apply to professional breeders who breed more than 20 puppies each year. Home-based breeders can get exemptions.
States that enforce breeding charges and licensing include the following:
|States The Enforce Breeding Licenses|
• New Hampshire
• New Jersey
• New York
• North Carolina
• Rhode Island
• West Virginia
Breeders are not the only place you can adopt a Golden Retriever from.
Many shelters have Golden Retrievers available for adoption. There are also golden-only shelters.
These dogs may have been surrendered by owners that could not properly care or provide for them. They may also be golden mixes or strays that were found. Either way, these dogs are generally cheaper. This low price does not discount the love and affection an adult or senior dog can give a family.
Adoption fees for a Golden Retriever are normally based on the age of the dog.
A shelter puppy may cost around $500 vs. an adult that may cost $100 to $300. These adoption fees normally contribute towards the running of the shelter and veterinary expenses (e.g. neutering and vaccines).
Fun Price Facts
There is a lot of variation in the price of Golden Retrievers. So, we thought we would share some fun facts that show the huge difference you can expect to pay for this breed.
This breed is smart, easily trained, and eager to please. In fact, Golden Retrievers that are professionally trained to be service dogs can cost up to $25,000. This fee reflects the hundreds of hours of training these dogs undergo to obtain their service dog status. Puppies are not born natural service dogs, so they have to undergo countless training activities.
Golden Retrievers are also more expensive when they come in atypical colors. White, cream or red Goldens tend to be more expensive than the traditional yellow or gold colors.
For example, the average cost of an English Cream Golden Retriever falls anywhere between $1,800 to $3,000. There have been a few instances when English Cream puppies have sold for nearly $10,000 each.
The state you buy a Golden Retriever from can also increase their fee.
According to Reader’s Digest in 2019, Golden Retrievers are the most popular dog breed in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, and Florida. Due to the popularity and demand for Goldens in these locations, breeders will typically charge more.
The price of a Golden Retriever puppy can vary based on geographical location in the US:
|Northern and the Eastern US||$1,700 and $2,000|
|Midwestern US||$1,500 and $1,800.|
|West Coast of the US||$2,000 and $2,500|
Not only are Golden Retrievers popular amongst the general public, but they are also very popular with celebrities too. Jimmy Fallon, Oprah Winfrey, Adam Levine, and Shawn Johnson East all own Golden Retrievers.
Ongoing Golden Retriever Costs
You should expect to pay anywhere from $700 to $2,200 to buy a Golden Retriever. But, you may be wondering what contributes to the ongoing costs of owning a Golden Retriever?
Just like their price, there are many factors that can increase the cost of ownership.
A few expenses that many people do not realize they might encounter as a Golden Retriever owner include: licensing fees, boarding fees, microchipping, treats, heartworm preventatives, and flea and tick preventatives.
Training, feeding, grooming, veterinary care, supplies, and pet insurance make up the major costs.
In fact, each year you should expect to spend $2,500 on your Golden Retriever:
- Veterinary Bills: $625
- Food: $610
- Equipment & Supplies (e.g. leash, harness): $215
- Insurance: $500
- Grooming: $480
- License: $15
Pet insurance is a product that some owners choose to buy because of the high cancer rates in Golden Retrievers. Coverage plans can be accident-only or accident plus illness. Comprehensive accident and illness coverage costs between $39 to $86 per month for Golden Retrievers.
This price may change with your dog’s age. It will be highest for older dogs.
Golden Retrievers are lower maintenance compared to some breeds like Poodles, but need more grooming than some breeds like Labrador Retrievers.
A Golden Retriever’s coat can be medium to long in length, making it prone to tangling and forming matts. So, they will require daily brushing. Some owners choose to take their Golden to a groomer every six weeks to get the coat trimmed. On average, grooming may run to $480 per year.
Is It Expensive to Own a Golden Retriever?
An owner may spend anywhere between $19,000 to $30,000 on their Golden Retriever during its lifetime.
Each year you should expect to spend $2,500 on your Golden Retriever.
During the puppy’s first year owners will likely spend over $3,000, this does not include the fee to buy a Golden Retriever. First year costs are higher because of training and the amount of supplies you need.
Many owners struggle with their Golden Retriever puppy being mouthy. This means that it likes to chew on things it should not. So, many people seek professional help to resolve this.
Also, Golden Retrievers are notorious for being like Velcro. They like to stay by your side at all times. For some owners, this may be exactly what they are looking for. For other owners, they do not want this and seek help.
Golden Retrievers will require excellent veterinary care in order to live long and healthy lives.
They are prone to many health conditions such as: allergies, chronic recurrent ear infections, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, hip dysplasia and arthritis.
Purdue University performed a study on cancer prevalence in Golden Retrievers. It was determined that 61% of Golden Retrievers die due to cancer.
Goldens will likely require surgery and chemotherapy to manage cancer and prolong survival time. Owners need to know this prior to adopting. Cancer treatment is not cheap, it can be between $8,000 to $15,000.
Golden Retrievers are golden in color and price! The high demand for Golden Retriever puppies has caused their adoption fee to double since 2010.
A purebred Golden Retriever price can range anywhere from $700 to $2,200. Puppies from distinguished breeders or conformation show winning bloodlines may cost $5,000.
If you adopt a Golden Retriever from a local shelter you will spend much less. Adoption fees run to around $200 to $300.
Other factors that affect the adoption fee including breeder location, certification, health and color.
Golden Retrievers are more expensive when they come in atypical colors. White or cream tends to be more expensive than the traditional yellow or gold colors.
There are many lifelong ownership costs for this breed.
The annual cost of ownership does go down, but it averages between $2,000 and $2,500 per year. The first year is generally the most expensive due to veterinary care, supplies and training.
Has this preparation helped make up your mind on owning a Golden? Let us know in the comments below!