The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. So we figured that many families are wondering, ‘how much is a golden retriever?’
The Golden Retriever is a friendly, loveable, and gorgeous canine. Using our personal knowledge and double-checking these against other reliable websites, we have found all the dollar details you need. From the initial puppy year, every year after that, and the total lifetime cost, we’ve included it all. So, let’s get stuck in!
Just like us humans, all Goldens are different, and they will all need different things. We’ve all got a friend that’s never broken a bone, and then there’s the one who is constantly in the emergency room for injuries. The same goes for dogs. Because of this, it’s difficult to predict precisely how much your Retriever will cost you.
For this reason, we have calculated the minimum average costs. Here they are at a glance:
|Average Cost Of Golden Retrievers|
|Initial Puppy Price & Puppy Supplies||$2,215|
Is there anything cuter than a Golden Retriever pup? Nope! But you should know that something that cute doesn’t come for free! There are puppy costs and puppy supplies that you’ll need to buy straight away. This will cost an average of $2,215. You also need to add a year’s cost to that, making the total first-year outlay $3,947. This will most likely be your most costly year.
The average yearly cost after that will be $1,732. This will cover all of the basic things your Goldie will need, such as food, other supplies, basic health checks and vaccinations, and insurance. This does not include additional medical expenses or services such as training or dog walking. These working dogs have an expected life span of 11 years on average. So we calculate that their overall lifetime cost to be a minimum of $22,999.
Golden Retriever Puppy Price
The average price of a Golden pup from a responsible breeder will cost between $900 and $1,300. If you are looking for a show-quality puppy or dog from a famous breeder, you can expect to spend several thousand dollars for your pooch.
Poor-quality breeders and puppy mills will charge lower prices. Since they tend to spend less on health checks than more reputable breeders, they can offer lower prices to lure in customers. But if you want a healthy Golden puppy, you should expect to pay a little bit more and work with a responsible breeder. We’ll go into more details shortly.
Factors Affecting the Price of Puppies
Breeder quality is one of the most significant influences on puppy price. A responsible breeder will screen their dogs for health problems and only breed the healthiest. This means that they are more likely to breed healthy litters. This incurs extra costs for them which need to be covered by you. But it is definitely worth the additional expense as it means a happy and healthy pup.
If you choose to spend less on your pup by working with a poor-quality breeder, sure, you’ll save a few hundred dollars. But this could equate to thousands of dollars in the future on both vet and training bills. Not only are irresponsible breeders more likely to breed unhealthy pups, but they are also more likely to create unsocialized and behavior-challenged puppies. It is not worth the risk!
Some reputable breeders focus their efforts solely on breeding the crème of the crop. They will use award-winning dogs who produce the best-looking and retrieving specimens. Although it doesn’t guarantee you’ll buy a winning pooch, it increases the chances massively. It also raises the price. But if you are looking to show your dog in the show or performance ring, this is something to consider.
Location & Time Of Year
The location of the breeder can affect the price of the puppy. If they live in a high-cost neighborhood, they will charge more than those in lower-cost areas as they have more expenses to cover. In the states where there are limited Golden Retriever breeders, they can usually ask a bit more. This is likely because demand is higher than in regions where there are many breeders.
The time of the year can also contribute to the price of a puppy. In the summer, breeders usually ask for more money because families want to enjoy their puppy’s cutest life stage in the summer months. Those that buy puppies in the winter can save a little bit of money.
Most puppies are ready to come home around eight weeks, so families are keen to bring them home as close to this time as possible. If a breeder struggles to sell a puppy after a few weeks or months, they will sometimes reduce the price to entice families to buy them. You could save some money and wait a few weeks to buy your puppy, but you risk someone else snapping them up first.
Costs for a Golden
At the end of the day, it’ll be you footing the bills, not the dog! Below, we have listed the items you’ll need to purchase before bringing him home to ensure that his welcome goes as smoothly as possible. There might also be things that you want to spoil your pup with, just because! Such as your puppy’s first photoshoot!
Most dogs suffer from at least one health condition in their lifetime, whether it’s a minor concern or a major one. So there will also be unexpected things to shell out for, and we haven’t calculated these in the final costs. We’ll explain how much some concerns can cost to treat to give you a better idea. They can be very costly – so it’s a good idea to purchase an insurance policy to cover you for unexpected and expensive health concerns.
Below we have listed all of the supplies that your Golden Retriever puppy will need. You can use this list as a shopping list to ensure that you don’t forget any essentials! If you have previously owned a Retriever or similar-sized dog, you might be able to reuse items if they are still working and not currently in use. This can save you money.
Your dog will weigh between 55 and 75 pounds at maturity, making them a large dog breed. Sure, your pup won’t be that big at eight weeks but keep in mind that you’ll need to buy some items in puppy size and replace them when he outgrows them. These will be things such as collars and harnesses. Eventually, you’ll need to buy items in L or XL, depending on the size of your pooch.
Some items you can purchase in L or XL straight away, knowing they will be a little large for your puppy, but they will grow into it. This can be items such as beds or crates with training dividers. Do this where you can because it will save you money in the long run. Some owners want to buy quality items so that they last longer. But some owners choose to buy cheaper items just in case their pup destroys them.
Here are the average supply costs:
|Food & Water Bowls||$15|
|Food (30lb bag)||$50|
|Stain & Odor Removal Spray||$10|
|Poop Bags (1 yr supply)||$55|
|First Aid Kit||$30|
|Toothbrush Kit & Brush||$10|
As you can see from the Golden Retriever shopping list above, the initial supplies that you’ll need will cost, on average, $585. Remember that if you need to puppy-proof your home with safety gates or higher fences to secure your yard, you’ll need to add these expenses to the figure above.
Puppy training classes are a great way of socializing your puppy and meeting more puppies! It can also build your confidence if you are a first-time dog owner. But those who are comfortable socializing and training their new pup alone sometimes don’t feel puppy training classes are for them. Thankfully the Golden Retriever is a naturally happy and obedient dog breed, so ongoing training will probably not be required.
Initial basic puppy training classes typically cost $100 for a five-week course, made up of one hour group lessons per week. If you would prefer a one-to-one training course, it will cost more. Some companies offer doggy boot camp-style courses, which can cost several thousand dollars. As you can see, training prices vary, and it depends on what you need. We haven’t included these prices in the total figures.
The Golden Retriever eats, on average, just under 30 pounds of food a month, which is around three cups a day. The average 30-pound bag of kibble costs $50, which means that you’ll spend about $47 a month on food. But it is advised to spend a little bit more on higher-quality food for your Golden’s health. If you do this, you are looking at around $60 and $70 a month.
Puppies eat less than three cups a day, so you will spend a little less in the first year. If your Golden needs a specialized or prescribed diet, or you want to feed them a raw diet, you can expect to spend more. On top of your Golden’s food, you will also need to buy treats. Treats are great for reward-based training, and dental sticks are great for your Golden’s gums and teeth. The average cost of treats per month equates to around $20 (included in our figures).
Medical & Insurance
All pups need developmental examinations and essential vaccinations in the first year. This will typically take place across three separate visits. At an average cost of $150 per visit, you are looking at an extra $450 on vet bills in the first year. Heartworm and flea treatments are required monthly, which will cost an average of $10 per month. These costs are included in the our figures as these visits and treatments are essential.
Golden Retrievers are a relatively healthy breed. However, they are predisposed to certain conditions like all dogs. For example, hip dysplasia is a common concern in Goldens. Depending on how advanced the issue is, it can cost anywhere between $500 and $13,000 to treat. Goldens also have a higher rate of cancer. And in some cases, treating cancer in a dog can cost up to $25,000.
As you can see from these figures alone, medical treatment can be a HUGE cost. Most families don’t have these funds readily available, so taking out insurance is super important. The insurance cost varies depending on what level of coverage you choose. The price of insurance for Goldens is a little more costly than similar breeds because of the higher rate of cancer. The average cost is around $50 a month today, but expect it increases as your pooch ages and vet costs rise.
And don’t delay. Consider signing your puppy up for insurance since the younger your dog, the more coverage you will receive since pet insurance companies do not cover pre-existing conditions.
|Ongoing Yearly Costs||Average Cost|
|Basic Medical Care||$203|
Additional Costs to Consider
Not all dog owners will need these services, but they can be costly if you need them regularly. If you think you’ll need them, go ahead and budget for them and add the costs to the total figures.
Golden Retrievers are active and sporting dogs, so they need to be exercised for at least an hour every day. Not all families can commit to this every day. Either through work commitments or because of an unexpected injury yourself. This means you’ll need to hire a dog walker to keep your Golden exercised and healthy.
Dog walkers will charge, on average, $20 for a group walk lasting 30 minutes. Longer or one-to-one walks cost more. Some owners find that they (and their pups) are better off going to doggy daycare instead. This will typically cost around $25, and it can be a great way to keep your dog healthy and socialized.
The best asset of a Golden Retriever’s appearance is its golden coat, and it can take a fair bit of work to keep it looking pretty. For this reason, some owners prefer to send their pooch to a professional groomer every few months. This is more likely to be a must rather than a want if you have a show dog.
Grooming costs depend on the groomer’s experience, the dog breed, the level of service you need, and your pup’s behavior. If your dog doesn’t enjoy grooming, it will cost more because it takes longer, and there is more risk for the groomer. Typically, the cost of grooming a Golden (including bathing, trimming, nail clipping, etc.) will cost around $70.
Whether you love to travel doggy-free or need emergency boarding for a last-minute work trip or a family emergency, your pooch may require boarding. The average dog boarding facility costs between $25 and $85 per night, depending on the kennels’ amenities, the size of your dog, and the current demand. The cost of boarding a Golden is likely to fall somewhere in the middle at $55.
Some pups live long and healthy lives with no real problems. And some doggos experience more than their fair share of health problems. But overall, we have calculated that the minimum cost of owning a Golden Retriever is $22,999 over its lifetime.
Forbes estimates that the lifetime cost of taking care of a large canine, like the Golden, can reach as high as $83,000 in some cases. And it’s easy to see why when you look at the cost of treating some health concerns. Just know that if you can take care of your dog financially, he will reward you with lots of love, wet doggy kisses, and fun. Which is better than most things money can buy!