How Much Does A Golden Retriever Cost?

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How much does a golden retriever cost

Have you ever wondered “how much does a golden retriever cost?”

To be honest, preparing your life for a golden retriever can be like having a child.

Golden retrievers are not cheap, but they are well worth the joy and love they bring.

Golden Retrievers are available for adoption at prices between $200 and $500.

Buying a new golden retriever puppy from a reputable breeder is usually between $1,000 to $3,000.

The first year will cost between $2,000 and $3,000, then around $2,000 each year thereafter.

These yearly prices include vet bills, food, toys, and grooming.

To be truthful, I underestimated the cost of owning a golden retriever.

So I created this article, for those wondering exactly “how much for golden retriever?”

This article will give you a complete breakdown of golden retrievers cost, including their price and all other items that you will need yearly.

Golden Retriever Price

The average price of purebred golden retriever puppies is between $500 and $3,000.

As with many things in life, you get what you pay for when you buy a golden retriever puppy.

Dog owners who charge more for their puppies will probably be more concerned about the health and behavior of the dogs they use for breeding.

They’ll be meticulous about how they raise their golden retrievers and will make sure they socialize them properly.

You could also be at risk of potential behavioral and health problems if you purchase a golden retriever puppy from a reckless breeder.

For example, a friend of ours bought a golden retriever puppy for cheap from a neighbor.

I first met the golden retriever when they were about five years of age. I would have sworn that the golden retriever was way older, though.

The golden retriever had elbow problems and had to walk with a limp. His skin had issues, which meant he was itchy and difficult to care for.

All that money that the dog owners saved on buying a cheap golden puppy went up in smoke at the vet trying to cure its health issues.

So it’s worth paying a bit more upfront if you want a dog you can love for a long period.

However, I do know of golden retrievers that were bred by reputable breeders and had behavioral or health issues.

Although it is a good idea to get a golden retriever from an experienced breeder, it does not guarantee you a great golden retriever puppy.

Golden Retriever

How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Golden Retriever?

A golden retriever adoption is significantly cheaper than buying one from a breeder.

Usually running between $200-500 instead of a few thousand.

If you choose to adopt, you’re doing an incredible thing.

Many times, owners may have given these dogs up because they were unable to properly care for or provide for them.

These dogs could also be golden retriever mixes or stray dogs that were found. Regardless, these dogs are usually cheaper than other breeds.

A cheap price does not negate the love and affection that a senior golden or an adult golden retriever can show a family.

All golden retrievers deserve love and you will end up with an incredible dog if you treat them right.

A second consideration to consider when adopting a golden retriever is if you adopt an adult golden retriever, you will save tons of money on things that new owners have to buy for their new golden retriever pup.

Golden Retriever Puppy VS. Adult Golden Retriever Costs

Age certainly plays a role when it comes down to the cost of a golden.

Adult golden retrievers don’t require you to do all the hard work of training them.

Though it can be difficult for them to change their old habits and learn new ones once trained.

Older golden retrievers are more likely to be “set in their ways” in terms of personality and behavior. Can’t teach an old dog new tricks after all.

Even though it takes more effort and responsibility to raise golden retriever puppies correctly, the rewards are unmatched.

You and your family can control their behavior and personality and make your golden retriever puppy the best companion for YOU.

You can also teach your puppy other things, such as the boundaries of your home. This is especially helpful if your living space is smaller.

The Problem With Buying a Golden Retriever From Puppy Mills

With so many choices for buying your dog, there is a growing problem that you should be aware of: puppy mills.

These mills are depressing, dark warehouses in which dogs are “grown” without exercise or love.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (ASPCA) has compiled a list of the negatives that golden retrievers tend to face in these horrific places.

  • Tiny Cages – These cruel breeders maximize space by keeping animals in cramped conditions. They often keep them in small, dirty cages or outdoor pens that are not protected from the elements. Standing on wire flooring can cause them to develop sores and lesions. It’s all they know, as they are forced to eat, rest, relieve themselves, and give birth to golden retriever puppies in these cages.

  • Poor Healthcare – These horrible breeding facilities don’t offer veterinarian care. Instead, they leave their puppies to deal with injuries and other health issues on their own. Even worse, their filthy, cramped conditions can lead to diseases spreading like wildfire, particularly among puppies with weak immune systems.

  • Constant Breeding – It is unhealthy to force female dogs into breeding frequently, but these breeders are so keen on making a profit that they breed these dogs whenever they can. This can lead to genetic problems and more severe health issues for the litter.

Visit the ASPCA website for more information about the horrors of puppy mills and ways to avoid them.

Choosing A Golden Retriever Breeder

Some breeders don’t invest a lot of effort and time into their golden retriever puppies.

Breeders can spend up to $24,000 on a litter of American Kennel Club-registered show puppies to whelp and grow. Pedigree litters cost $7,500 on average.

Reputable breeder expenses include breeding fees (if the breeding male and female are not owned), breeding license, veterinary treatment for mom and her pups, health testing and certifications and warranty, registration, insurance, food, and whelping.

In a Golden Retriever litter, eight puppies are typical. Breeders may spend $3,000 to wean and raise a purebred golden retriever puppy from a $24,000 litter.

For eight puppies, the cost of a litter from a puppy mill can be as low as $1,500

To maximize profits, these commercial breeding facilities use a “factory farming” model. Pet shops can sell puppies from these commercial breeding facilities that specialize in large-scale dog breeding.

Please avoid supporting commercial dog breeding facilities.

These factories are cruel and can cause serious health problems for the puppies, including matted fur, eye, ear, and throat infections, dental issues, and severe genetic defects.

How can you ensure that you only adopt a golden retriever from a trustworthy breeder?

You can start by checking the status of a breeder.

Only breeders that have been approved by the Kennel Club should be considered.

The American Kennel Club maintains a list of approved breeders in the United States and has a Breeder’s of Merit Program.

All puppies purchased through this marketplace are purebred, health-certified, and pedigree.

Golden Retriever puppy litter

First-Year Puppy Golden Retriever Cost

Here are the main things you need to purchase for your golden retriever puppy:

  • Puppy toys

  • Dog food

  • New products for puppies (crates, leashes, collars, food bowls, and water bowls)

  • Puppy training and socialization classes

  • Regular vet visits and vaccinations

  • Neutering or spaying your puppy

Here is a breakdown of the costs for each item.

Golden Retriever Puppy Products

What are the essential things to purchase for a golden retriever puppy’s first year?



Supplies for training golden retriever puppies



Miscellaneous puppy items

All of these items total approximately 600 dollars.

These items will cover most of your needs, as well as some things you don’t, but they will make your life easier.

Golden Retriever Puppy Toys & Treats

The puppy toys and treats mentioned above will be useful for your puppy. However, you may need to provide more than just toys and treats.

There are four types of toys: interactive toys, chew toys, plush toys, and dental toys.

Interactive toys are intended to be used while playing with your dog, so they will probably last a lifetime. However, chew toys, dental toys, and plush toys may need to be replaced frequently.

Most likely, you will get two to three toys per month and one bag of treats each month. This means that golden retrievers cost between $20-30 per month and $240-360 annually on toys and treats.

Visits to the Puppy Vet

Depending on where you live, your vet bills may vary. However, between vaccinations and frequent checkups, and occasional illnesses, you can expect to contribute $500-1,000 towards the golden retriever price.

In the beginning, golden retriever vet trips will be every two to four weeks. After that, your visits will be much less frequent.

Remember that golden retrievers, just like children, can get sick much more often than adults.

Their immune systems are still in development and they don’t know how to stop eating poop haha.

Spaying or Neutering your Golden Retriever

It is a must to spay/neuter your dog.

People will sometimes think that they should hold off in case they want golden retriever puppies. However, it is best to leave the breeding to the professionals.

Discuss with your vet the best time for your puppy to be spayed or neutered.

Spaying or neutering golden retrievers can cost between $50 and $300 depending on where you live, as well as who you choose to do the procedure.

Puppy Training & Socialization Class

A training and socialization class is one of the best ways to prepare your golden retriever for success.

Proper training and socialization of your golden retriever at the beginning can help to prevent many behavioral problems that adult golden retriever owners have to deal with.

The majority of puppy training and socialization classes cost around $100.

Puppy Food

Because puppies are always growing, their food requirements are constantly changing.

However, it is safe to assume that your puppy eats less than an adult, so you’ll spend approximately $60 per month on food for your puppy.

Annual Costs for Adult Golden Retrievers

Here are the top things that you will spend money on when it comes to an adult golden retriever.

  • Vet bills

  • Food

  • Treats and toys

What is the food cost of a golden retriever?

Golden retrievers are big dogs and they eat lots of food.

There are many options for dog food for a golden retriever. I prefer to feed my golden retriever Royal Canin’s adult golden retriever food, which was recommended by multiple vets.

The cost for a 30 lb bag is approximately $80, and he consumes five cups per day (1.25 lbs).

Food is one of the most expensive things you can buy and you don’t want to go cheap.

Good food is like choosing a great breeder. It will save you money later in life.

What amount will I have to pay in vet bills?

The annual vet bills can vary widely.

Although it is difficult to predict the annual vet cost, you can expect to spend between $300 and $1,000 annually on vet bills.

According to PetMD, here are some common health problems for golden retrievers:

  • Elbow dysplasia

  • Hypothyroidism

  • Problems with the skin

  • Sub-aortic Stenosis (SAS).

  • Hemangiosarcoma

  • Eye disorders

  • Canine hip dysplasia (CHD)

  • Mast cell tumors

  • Lymphoma

  • Seizures

  • Osteosarcoma

These three steps can be taken to help prevent health problems from occurring:

  • Select a reputable breeder

  • Select high-quality foods

  • Maintain control of your golden retriever’s weight

Toys & Treats

Because they are larger, adult dog toys tend to be more expensive than puppy toys.

Although the price difference may vary, let’s assume they are 50% more expensive.

If you assume that you get a bag of treats each month and a few toys each year, it’s likely you will spend between $20-40 per month on toys and treats or $240-480 annually.

Check out our article on the best toys for golden retrievers in 2022.

Annual Adult Golden Retriever Price

Here’s a rough estimate of the annual cost to buy an adult golden retriever.

  • Food: $1,200

  • Vet bills: $300-1,000

  • Treats and toys: $240-480

Estimated adult golden retrievers cost: $1,700 to $3,000

Random Golden Retriever Price Facts

The golden retriever price varies widely.

Golden retrievers are intelligent, easy to train, and eager for help. Golden Retrievers can be trained professionally to become service dogs for as high as $25,000.

This fee is for the hundreds of hours these dogs have to spend training to become service dogs.

Because puppies are not naturally service dogs, they must be trained.

Atypical colors can also make Golden Retrievers more expensive.

The price of white, cream, or red goldens is usually higher than traditional yellow and gold colors.

An example: The average price of an English Cream Golden Retriever is $1,800 to $3,000

In a few cases, English Cream puppies were sold for almost $10,000 each.

The price of a Golden Retriever can also vary depending on where you live.

Reader’s Digest 2019 reports that Golden Retrievers are the most loved dog breed in Alaska and Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, and Colorado.

Breeders are likely to charge higher in these states because of the high demand and popularity for Goldens in these areas.

In Conclusion

While there are many factors to consider when calculating the cost of a golden retriever’s purchase, here are some rough estimates:

  • The cost of adopting a golden retriever is between $200 and 500

  • Purebred golden retrievers available from a breeder range starting at $500-3,000

  • In the first year, expect to spend approximately $2,000 – $3,500

  • Adults can expect to spend between $1,700 and $3,000.

Keep in mind that these numbers do not include boarding, daycare, pet insurance or dog walking.

Golden retrievers are America’s third most popular breed, according to the AKC.

A golden retriever is a friend that brings joy, happiness and lots of cuddles to your home.

As I mentioned in the intro, I was shocked at the high cost of golden retrievers, but also at how much joy and happiness they bring.

Golden Retrievers are worth the cost.