How much does a Golden Retriever puppy cost to buy and what are my monthly costs going to be?
The answer is there are variables according to the puppy and genes of Dam and Sire. Typically Field Bred Golden Retrievers are going to cost less than show line puppies. For all Golden Retriever purebred puppies look to pay between $1,000 and $3,000.
Field Bred Golden Retrievers
The average cost of a Golden Retriever that has field lines in his genetics or is his parents and grandparents are all field lines, is going to be the cheapest option for purebred Golden puppy.
If you are not sure if the puppies you are looking at are from field lines, ask the breeder. Most likely it will be fairly evident as these breeders will be involved in hunting themselves. You can also get a clue from the kennel name. For example, we got our Golden field puppies from a breeder whose name included hunting dogs at the end. To be a registered kennel with the AKC the breeder must be participating in trials or shows. Field lines are going to be entering hunting trials, not show trials.
A good puppy from a good breeder in the hunting side of the KAC will charge about $1,000 – $1200 (2019) for a purebred puppy. Here is Finlay the day we selected him at age 4 weeks old. His Mom is a field dog with some certifications, his Dad is a therapy dog. His personality and character make him a great bird dog but he would never pass at therapy!
If the parents of the puppies are winning field trials you can expect the price to go up. The higher the championships being won, the higher the price for the puppies. Buyers looking for a good hunting dog to train and enter into championships themselves are likely going to be willing to pay $2,500-$3,000 for a puppy with great prospects. It’s all about the genes!
What Is The Price For a Show Line Puppy
The same principle is true for show line Golden Retriever puppies although they usually have a higher starting price. Expect to pay $1200 – $1,500 for a show line puppy as a minimum. Once the parents have certification or championships the price goes up from there.
You may have heard the term English Cream Golden Retriever and see the price for those can be over $3,000. Be warned this is simply a marketing ploy and the dogs are not worth more money just because they have a marketing term attached. Purebred Goldens come in 3 colors. Dark Medium and Light Golden. Those are the AKC classifications. The cream is simply a name given to the pale Golden. Note that pale comes in may shades from very light pale to pale.
The English aspect maybe because the parents originated from England. English Golden Retrievers do conform to a slightly different standard. Typically they are shorter in stature as have more chunky leg bones. My female obviously has some English genes in here because she has the chunkier type legs.
The average cost of a Golden Retriever puppy comes in at around $1,500. This is the purebred Golden Retriever cost, not the amount you would pay for a mixed breed dog.
Are Shelter Puppies Cheaper?
Shelter dogs are usually much cheaper. However, finding a Golden Retriever puppy or youn=g dog is going to be a challenge. As one of the most popular dogs, there is you’ll likely be one of many want to be adopters ready to welcome a Golden into your home.
Provided you have the patience to wait, the reward may be great. You might be able to adopt from a shelter for around $250-$400. Please be aware if you find a Golden Retriever in a shelter there may be a reason. The average age dog surrendered to a shelter is 18 months. This is because the original owner really had no clue what they were getting into when the bought the puppy.
The dog or even puppy of a few months may bring along a few challenges you are not anticipating. You may be potty training a 9-month-old puppy or dealing with aggression or food guarding issues. Make sure you know what each puppy’s past is and why they were surrendered. The last thing any puppy needs is to be returned to the shelter. It’s not fair on the dog. For this reason, many shelters will only adopt out into their local communities.
How Much Does a Golden Retriever Puppy Cost to Rescue?
There are Golden Retriever rescue organizations all around the country here in America and in many other counties. There are rescue companies that import shelter Goldens from Turkey, China and other countries that use dogs in the meat trade.
There are general rescue organizations and now online resue websites. Most Golden Retrievers will have a waiting list of potential adopters waiting for them, there is no shortage of adopters for this popular breed. You can register with rescue organizations in your area but understand each rule. You may not get to pick the age or sex of a dog, it’s next on the list or you are out.
You can search online for rescue organizations based online. For these, you can usually approach an advertiser directly and make arrangements for the collection of a dog. Owners may need to rehome a dog due to allergies or a change in personal circumstances. While you may not agree with their reasons why your goal is to rescue the dog. Sometimes life gets in the way and circumstances cannot be helped. So be kind and consider the dog. You will find Golden Retriever puppies when a Mom has an accidental litter. Other places to look are Facebook, there are several rescue groups.
Craigslist seems to be a place owners use to re-home. We like to see owners asking for some money and not giving away any dog free. This stops people from getting dogs for nothing to take into the fighting ring. For Craigslist, always go and see the owner and dog and make sure your money is safe.
Prices for rescue puppies will vary. As the fees are set by owners or circumstance expect to pay $200 to $1000. The higher costs are usually to fly Goldens in from other countries that have rescued them and give them all thier required shots. An average estimate is $500 for a purebred rescue pup.
The Cost of a Retriever Cost Over His Lifetime
A general rule of thumb is about $1,000-$1,200 for each year of life and that includes your original expenditure on the puppy and equipment you’ll need. Golden Retriever’s average age is 10-12 years so consider $10,000 to $14,000 as a lifetime cost. Or on average around $100 a month.
That said you can get by with less cost, it all depends on what you invest in. Here’s the minimum you’ll need to pay for:
- Vet Bills
- Bed and Crate
- Collar and Leash
If you buy average dog food and use your vet for regular visits and have a dog that does not get sick, your cost will likely be less at around $8000 over a lifetime. Most of us love to spend money on our dogs and it’s not hard to get carried away. Another list of what you might buy during your Goldens years:
- Premium Food and Premium Treats
- Vet Bills and Surgery Costs if Needed
- Toys, Balls, Fancy Collars and Leashes.
- Multiple Beds over his Lifetime, Crate and Crate Mats.
- Preventative Supplements. Grooming.
- Invisible Fence System
- E-Collar for Training
- One to one Training, Hunting Training, Therapy Training, Show Ring Training.
- Pet Insurance
This list can go on and on! You can see how the cost can go up and I’ve worked out my cost will be about $24,000 per dog over their lifetime. I have spent money on an Invisible fence, a one to one trainer for all dogs, and my dogs all have vet pet plans and pet insurance. We’ll be moving and will need a larger invisible dog fence for the new property.
Is Pet Insurance Worth The Cost?
My opinion for this breed of dog is absolutely yes. Golden Retrievers as puppies can get into a mess of trouble. They’ll eat and swallow all sorts. Accidents that need surgery are pricey, something we least expect for a new puppy.
Then we have the number one cause of Golden’s passing early – Cancer. Treatment for this is very expensive. In addition, the costs are not cheap for Hip Dysplasia, Cataracts, Ichthyosis (skin Disease), Entropion (inward folding eyelid). Expect to spend a few hundred to thousands for some of these medical conditions.
Family Note: Our two-year-old field bred boy Fletcher has already used his pet insurance. He threw up some odd Liver results in his second annual checkup. Follow up testing and treatments are still underway but we’re knocking on the door of $1,000 when all is said and done. This has made buying his medical insurance already a worthwhile expense.
The cost of pet insurance varies by company and depends on what you choose as a deductible. The higher the deductible the lower your monthly cost. On average premiums in 2019 should be about $45-$60 a month for a Golden Retriever. Personally, I can afford the first $500 of any medical issue so I keep my premiums under $50 for each dog. Remember I have three so my cost is nearly $150 a month.
In case you are interested, it costs me $500 a month to keep my three Goldens, fit, healthy, insured, fed premium foods and treats, and happy.