The cost of a Golden Retriever is pretty steep, considering that they’re one of the most iconic breeds in the world. They are, in fact, in the same price range as the Rottweiler and the Portuguese Water Dog.
Besides the Golden Retriever price, you need to consider plenty of other expenses before getting a Golden Retriever. Stick to this guide to know how much you may need for this dog breed’s initial, annual, and extra costs.
The Average Cost of a Golden Retriever Puppy
A Golden Retriever puppy from reputable breeders costs between $1,000 and $4,000. However, expect to pay higher if the puppy is from a champion line. Price ranges for Golden Retriever puppies may also depend on other factors such as the breeder’s reputation and location.
Although this breed ranked fourth in the American Kennel Club’s most popular dog breeds in the world in 2020, the Golden Retriever cost remains fairly affordable compared to other breeds.
However, a Golden Retriever breeder that breeds show dogs often asks for a more expensive fee as they spend at least $7,500 on caring for the litter.
On another note, the fact that the Golden Retriever is also the common choice for a service dog makes it even more expensive. To illustrate, a well-trained Golden Retriever service dog may cost you between $20,000 and $25,000.
Factors Affecting the Cost of a Golden Retriever Puppy
Professional Golden Retriever breeders don’t just attach a high price tag to their dogs for the sake of profit. The Golden Retriever price may vary based on multiple factors such as the puppy’s age, gender, and bloodline, among others.
The following list is a complete overview of the aspects that may influence the Golden Retriever price range:
- Age: Puppy Golden Retrievers cost more than a senior or adult Golden because they are in high demand. However, some senior dogs can be more expensive than a puppy because they are already trained as service, show, or field dogs.
- Appearance: Golden Retrievers actually come in various shades of gold — golden, dark golden, light golden, cream, and red. A cream or red-colored Golden Retriever is usually pricier than the other shades due to the rarity of their coat color. Meanwhile, an English cream Golden Retriever also costs more as it descended from an English line with a light-colored coat. This breed variation, however, is not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club.
- Bloodline: A champion Golden Retriever puppy might cost three to four times more than a regular puppy. They are recognized for having the best physical appearance, temperament, and overall health. There are also three variations in the lineage of Goldens. They can either be Canadian, American, or English. Often, show and field Golden Retrievers are more expensive because of the purpose they serve.
- Breeder’s Reputation: You should expect to pay a little more for Golden Retrievers from a reputable breeder. Reputable breeders usually have a long track record of successful breeding. Their high fees are backed up by health assurances and other protections.
- Registration Papers: Full registration papers certify that your pup is purebred. Golden Retrievers with full registration papers from the American Kennel Club (AKC), United Kennel Club (UKC), Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA), and other organizations are more expensive than a regular puppy.
- Health Screenings: Many breeders check their puppies for health issues before selling them. Health checks aren’t cheap, and the fees incur a little less than a thousand dollars. If the puppy is also found to be in exceptional health, they will sell it for a higher price.
- Training and Socialization: Goldens are the most common go-to breed when trainers look for service dogs. A trained and socialized Golden Retriever service dog could cost as much as $25,000, while a regular Golden puppy of high quality could only cost you up to $9,000.
Keep in mind that it’s best to speak with the breeder to see whether or not their Golden Retriever price is reasonable.
Have them list all the factors that affected their pricing so you can decide if purchasing from them is well worth your savings.
To add a little more about your knowledge of Golden Retrievers, watch this video about must-know facts before getting one:
How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Golden Retriever From a Rescue?
Adopting a Golden Retriever from a shelter or rescue facility costs between $250 and $500. When you consider that a purebred puppy from a reputable breeder can cost up to $9,000, this comes at a reasonable price.
If you decide to adopt, you’ll almost certainly wind up with an adult Golden or senior Golden. Because a new puppy is more likely to be adopted right away, rescues frequently house more senior dogs.
Rescued Golden Retrievers also have previously been spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and have all of their paperwork in order. They won’t be much of a headache unless they have health issues.
Initial Cost of Golden Retriever Ownership
In purchasing, the Golden Retriever price isn’t the only factor to consider. In order to maintain the puppy, dog owners must set aside money for their essential needs.
Here is a summary of all the initial items you need to purchase on top of the Golden Retriever price:
- Food and Treats: High-quality food and a few treat packages for on-hand training are two essential items for your Golden puppy. It’s possible that you’ll need to buy a few dog food bags to see which one works best. This will set you back between $80 and $120.
- Food and Water Bowls: Stainless steel dishes are the best option for your Golden Retriever since it is difficult to clean leftover dog food from a low-cost container. The cost of these bowls ranges from $10 to $35.
- Bed: It is best to invest in a high-quality dog bed to protect your Golden Retriever from physical problems. Pups sleeping in uncomfortable positions or uneven places could cause stiff necks that could also ruin their posture and cause unnecessary pain. For a quality Golden Retriever bed, expect to pay between $40 and $200.
- Crate: A dog crate is always useful, even if you do not plan on crate training. When you’re not at home or have visitors, a crate can also provide your dog with a safe space. Crates for dogs range anything from $50 to $500.
- Leashes and Collars: Leashes and collars are among the first items you should purchase as your Golden needs frequent walks. Metal nameplates for collars that are less likely to corrode may cost a bit more. A set of these essential items cost between $15 and $50.
- Toys: Fetch toys that encourage retrieving instincts and puzzle toys that engage brain muscle exercise are ideal for Golden Retrievers. Choose interactive and sturdy toys that will stimulate their high intelligence and withstand their playful chews. A set of toys will cost you $30 to $50.
- Grooming Essentials: Brushing a Golden Retriever’s coat a few times a week will keep them looking great and reduce their shedding. Nail clippers and a canine toothbrush are also excellent investments. In general, grooming necessities for this breed would cost somewhere between $40 and $180.
- Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medication: Deworming and preventative medications are useful in preventing harmful parasites from targeting your puppy. You can buy these over-the-counter medications from $50 to $200.
- Initial Vet Visits: Visits to the vet clinic is crucial for Golden Retriever puppies to ensure that they are healthy. During the initial checkup, the veterinarian will advise you on properly caring for your puppy’s health and possibly diagnosing your dog if it has health issues. Initial vet expenses may cost between $100 and $300.
- Initial Vaccine Shots: Initial canine vaccines for pups include prevention for rabies, parvovirus, heartworms, and Lyme disease. The first set of vaccine jabs for a Golden Retriever can cost anything from $75 to $200.
- Neutering or Spaying: There’s a decent chance your Golden Retriever puppy is still intact when you get it. This means you’ll have to pay for neutering and spaying in the future. The cost of this operation is usually between $50 and $500.
- Dog License: A license is required for a Golden Retriever puppy. This document serves as written proof of your puppy’s identity. It also comes with an ID tag that your dog can wear for identification. This will set you back between $10 and $20.
- Microchip: A vet can microchip your Golden Retriever for about $40 to $60. If your Golden gets lost, the microchip should carry all of your key contact information as the owner, improving the chances of them being returned to you as soon as possible.
- Miscellaneous Supplies: Carpet cleaners, poop bags, scoopers, and potty inducers are some of the other products you’ll need to buy for your Golden Retriever. These things will cost between $15 and $30.
For an overview of your puppy’s first expenses, here’s a list of all the basic products I discussed above and their estimated price:
|Type of Expense
|Food and Treats
|$80 – $120
|Food and Water Bowls
|$10 – $35
|$40 – $200
|$50 – $500
|Leashes and Collars
|$15 – $50
|$30 – $50
|$40 – $180
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications
|$50 – $200
|Initial Vet Visits
|$100 – $300
|Initial Vaccine Shots
|$75 – $200
|Neutering or Spaying
|$50 – $500
|$10 – $20
|$40 – $60
|$15 – $30
|Total Initial Cost
|$605 – $2,445
As evident in the figures above, owning a Golden Retriever puppy comes with a number of expenses. The initial Golden Retriever costs for maintenance will range between $605 and $2,445.
You should already have all of the items listed above when you bring your new dog home. Check nearby pet stores for discounts and coupons if you want to reduce your expenses.
Annual Cost of Owning a Golden Retriever
One of the most important aspects of budgeting Golden Retrievers’ costs and fees is assessing whether or not you can afford the annual expenses.
Dog food, grooming services, pet health insurance, medical costs, training costs, yearly vaccines, and other similar expenses are all part of maintaining this breed’s lifestyle.
The following is a checklist for the average annual cost of maintaining a Golden Retriever puppy:
|Type of Expense
|Food and Treats
|$480 – $1,200
|$25 – $150
|Bed and Crate
|$120 – $500
|Leashes and Collars
|$25 – $50
|$150 – $500
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications
|$150 – $250
|Routine Veterinary Care
|$200 – $400
|$500 – $1,500
|$80 – $250
|$30 – $50
|$1,760 – $4,850
|Average Monthly Cost
|$147 – $404
Aside from providing food and shelter to your Golden, you also need to bring them to the vet every six months, or once a year at the very least.
This will allow your veterinarian to become more comfortable and familiar with your dog, making it easier for them to detect unusual changes.
An overall checkup with recommended health tests and medical needs such as vaccines and booster shots may cost from $200 to $400 yearly.
Aside from vet bills, pet insurance is an important investment that most dog owners tend to ignore.
Pet insurance, which costs $500 to $1,500 annually, actually covers emergency vet bills and expensive medical procedures for your Golden Retriever.
Other Potential Expenses
Aside from the cost of the essential items, new dog owners should also prepare for some additional expenses while raising a Golden Retriever.
You may not be able to avoid employing the services of pet daycares, dog walkers, and others if you are going out of town or busy with work.
Here is a list of all the potential extra expenses when tending to a Golden Retriever:
- Pet Daycare: If you often travel for work or pleasure and can’t bring your furry friend, you can leave your Golden at a pet daycare or get a dog sitter or dog walker. These kinds of services are becoming increasingly popular these days. Your pet will be cared for by trained pet handlers at pet daycares. Expect the cost to be between $20 and $30 per day.
- Travel Expenses: If you enjoy traveling with your Golden Retriever, you may need to pay some extra fees because many hotels do not allow pets. Usually, this would amount to $10 to $20. Meanwhile, if you’re riding a plane, some airlines charge up to $1,000 to include your pet in transport.
- Dog Training: This breed has a high level of intelligence. With the right puppy training, your puppy should be able to learn a variety of tricks. Basic obedience training and socialization are important for a growing Golden puppy. Private training costs $45 to $120 per hour, while group training costs $30 to $50 per lesson.
- Emergency Medical Treatment: Medical emergencies cannot always be avoided. Of course, these scenarios typically come at a high cost. A Golden’s emergency treatment and extra veterinary expenses might cost from $1,000 to $5,000.
- Grooming Services: A Golden’s basic grooming needs include coat brushing, nail and fur trimming, and ear cleaning. This breed is recommended to visit a professional groomer once every 8 to 10 weeks. Each session at a professional grooming service will typically cost between $45 and $55.
All these potential expenses are optional, except for emergency medical treatment. You can learn how to avoid these fees entirely as you go, which will save you even more money if you want to be practical.
Places to Find Golden Retriever Puppies for Sale and Adoption
If you’ve already decided and assessed that you can afford to care for your own Golden, it’s time to find the best one for you!
Avoid puppy mills as they often rake up the Golden Retriever price because they’re a popular dog breed. Puppies bred in puppy mills often don’t go through veterinary care and are only sold for profit.
Make sure to talk to the breeder before adopting or buying, as not all breeders have the best intention for their puppies.
If you’re looking for Golden Retriever puppies, here are a few reputable breeders to contact:
- Gaylan’s Golden Retrievers – This kennel has been running for 20 years and is dedicated to producing and training multi-purpose Golden Retrievers. They also raise funds for canine health research. This breeder located in North Carolina has also received a Gold-level AKC Breeder of Merit.
- Amica Goldens – Amica is an Italian word that means “playmate” or “close friend.” This, according to the breeder, represents the Golden as a breed. Their puppies are sold with a contract for neutering or spaying as well as a registration from the American Kennel Club. This means that the quality of their dog is in their best interests.
- Sun-Golden Kennels – This Golden Retriever breeder operating in Wisconsin raises all of their dogs in their home, so the temperament is fairly balanced. They allow their dogs to run around inside their home and sleep beside their bed to socialize with them. They also involve them in activities such as playing ball, hiking, and swimming with other dogs.
If you prefer an adult Golden Retriever, here are some shelters and rescue organizations you can check out:
- Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR) – DVGRR has committed its efforts and resources to rescuing and fostering Golden Retrievers from Southeastern Pennsylvania to New Jersey and Delaware since 1993. The rescue organization also houses other breeds such as the Labrador Retriever and mixed breeds like the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle aside from Golden Retrievers.
- Golden Beginnings Golden Retriever Rescue (GBGRR) – GBGRR is a non-profit organization based in Houston, Texas, which has been operating since 1999. Their dogs are ready for adoption and have undergone health screenings, rabies vaccinations, heartworm vaccinations, deworming, neutering, and flea and tick treatment.
- Triad Golden Retriever Rescue (TGRR) – The goal of TGRR is to rescue, rehabilitate, and provide humane treatment to homeless Goldens. This shelter is open to long-distance adoption in collaboration with other regional rescue groups, as long as the adoptive family meets specific guidelines and conditions.
Although these shelters don’t require a huge amount of payment, some rescuers and shelters do ask for adoption fees. These fees are usually used by rescues for vet bills, registration papers, and other expenses for their dogs.
You may also want to read our ultimate dog adoption guide to ace your adoption application at any of the rescues listed above.
It contains valuable tips on how to impress rescue organizations as well as how to prepare for your dog’s arrival.
Money-Saving Tips for Golden Retriever Owners
Although it’s worth every penny to make your dog’s life comfortable and enjoyable, it’s always best to be cost-effective in your spending.
Here are some money-saving tips for Golden Retriever owners:
- Make your own food and treats. Instead of buying store-bought dog food and treats for your Golden, you can learn how to make them yourself. Recommended dog food for the Golden Retriever includes chicken, healthy whole grain meals, approved veggies and fruits, and unseasoned and natural ingredients. You’ll have greater control over the contents of your homemade dog food, as well as the price of each ingredient.
- Consider home grooming. Grooming a Golden does not have to be a difficult chore. Grooming Golden Retrievers cost a fortune when brought to a professional groomer. Your dog does not require as much grooming as many other breeds. The simple task of brushing and combing their coat will keep shedding under control and the buildup of mats and tangles at bay.
- Bring them to the vet regularly and keep an eye out for accidents. Because vet bills can be pricey, you must ensure that your Goldie does not suffer from any significant illnesses or injuries. By keeping dangerous objects out of your dog’s reach, you can greatly reduce the chances of them getting wounded and effectively lessen your veterinary expenses.
- Try training your own dog. Paying for dog trainers may cost you more money. If you do not want to participate in dog shows or contests, it is preferable to train your Golden yourself. This would save you a few bucks while also providing a bonding opportunity for you and your Golden.
- Choose quality dog supplies. It is recommended that first-time dog owners get high-quality products for their dogs. Choosing a cheaper item may end up costing you more in the long run because you may need to replace it on a regular basis.
Remember that saving money should not be used to casually dismiss your dog’s needs. You can save money where you can, but make sure your Goldie receives the care and attention it deserves.
Always remember that a healthy dog is a happy dog. A healthy Golden Retriever is not hard to maintain. With the right mindset, you could keep your pooch in tip-top shape while saving money.
The Golden Retriever price is reasonable as it is iconic among dog breeds. With its golden coat, playful personality, and high intelligence, no wonder it’s so popular among dog lovers!
Keep in mind that expenses may vary based on the lifestyle you keep for your Golden. By ensuring their good health and condition as well as applying practical money-saving tips, raising a Golden Retriever is not a difficult task.