Updated: October 13th, 2022
Golden retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States! Because of the breed’s popularity, it’s safe to assume a lot of potential new owners are wondering what the average golden retriever price is.
Whether you are looking to purchase a golden retriever puppy or adopt an adult or senior golden retriever, money is often one of the first things that come to mind. Due to the huge demand for this particular breed, golden retrievers tend to cost a pretty penny.
For example, a purebred, show-quality golden retriever can cost up to $5,000, and that’s just the initial cost of a single puppy! Let’s not forget about the costs of essential supplies like food, toys, crates, beds, grooming supplies, leashes, harnesses, and so much more!
Truth be told, goldens are expensive, but they are also worth every penny! If you are looking to purchase a purebred golden retriever, you should know what to expect when it comes to the price of one of these dogs. This way, you won’t be tricked or ripped off by shoddy breeders looking for a quick buck. Read on to learn more!
How Much Does A Golden Retriever Cost?
The average cost of a golden retriever ranges from $500 to $3,500. However, it’s not unheard of for some golden retriever puppies to be sold for $5,000 or more!
At the lower end of this price range, you can find goldens from a home breeder without AKC documentation or health certificates. On the other hand, golden retrievers from champion bloodlines with special characteristics can cost from $2,500 to $9,000.
Read on for the full breakdown of golden retriever puppy prices!
Golden Retriever Price When Buying From A Breeder
The average cost of a golden retriever puppy from a quality breeder is between $1,000 and $3,500. When buying a golden retriever, like when buying just about anything else, you get what you pay for.
For example, if you decide to go with the cheapest option available to you, you need to be aware that puppies from deceivingly inexpensive breeders likely haven’t gone through health check-ups or veterinarian procedures like deworming, microchipping, and vaccinations. All of these missing costs will end up being your responsibility once you bring the puppy home and will soon add to the initial cost of buying a puppy.
On the other hand, breeders who charge more for their golden puppies will likely have a higher breeding standard. This means the puppy’s parents will be genetically tested for breed-specific health problems and be hip certified.
If you want your golden retriever to live as long as possible, you’ll spend more money now on your initial investment and purchase a puppy from a reputable breeder.
Going through a breeder, however, isn’t the only way you can welcome a golden into your home. This brings me to…
Adopting From A Shelter Or Rescue
Adopting a golden retriever from a shelter or rescue organization costs significantly less than buying a puppy from a breeder. In most cases, the typical adoption fee ranges from $200 to $500, which is markedly cheaper than going through a breeder.
Besides being much cheaper, adopting a golden retriever is also a more humane thing to do! These dogs too make wonderful pets and companions and are no less deserving of a loving, forever home. Although it can take a bit longer to find a purebred golden retriever in a shelter versus buying one directly from a breeder, it’s worth the wait and decreased cost.
Another factor worth mentioning is if you adopt an adult golden retriever, you can save a lot of money on various supplies only puppies need when going into their new homes, like house training pee pads and teething toys.
First-Year Average Cost Of A Golden Retriever Puppy
Now that you have a better idea of the average price of a purebred golden retriever puppy, you will then need to factor in all the major supplies your new pup will need during their first year of life.
You can check out everything you need to buy for a new puppy here, and I’ll break down the costs of these puppy supplies below!
Basic Puppy Supplies
If you previously owned a golden retriever or a similarly sized dog, you may be able to reuse some of their supplies, such as food and water bowls, a leash, or toys. This can save you some money early on. If you have never owned a dog before, though, be prepared to shell out some serious cash!
Basic puppy supplies include:
- Food and water bowls
- A leash and harness
- A dog bed
- A dog crate
- Poop bags
- ID tags
- Nail clippers
- Dog shampoo
- A dog toothbrush and toothpaste
All together, you can expect these supplies to cost around $400 to $500.
Toys & Treats
You’ll also need to purchase puppy toys and treats often, as your new puppy will go through them quickly. This means you’ll need more than just a few chew toys and a bag of puppy treats in your golden’s first year of life.
Depending on what types of toys and treats you decide to get, expect to spend around $20 to $30 a month, or $240 to $360 for the first year.
Exactly how much you’ll spend on vet bills will partially depend on where you live. Still, though, factoring in vaccinations, frequent check-ups, and the occasional illness, you can expect to spend between $500 and $1,000 in the first year for a healthy golden retriever puppy’s veterinary bills.
You’ll also want to spay or neuter your new puppy during the first year of their life. Depending on where you live and who is doing the procedure, you can expect to spend between $50 and $500 to get your golden retriever spayed or neutered.
Your golden retriever puppy will grow and develop the most during its first year, so you’ll need high-quality puppy food to support its rapidly growing body. Because they are fairly large dogs, golden retriever puppies have healthy appetites and can eat a lot of food. While it’s hard to tell exactly how much food your puppy will eat and which brand you’ll choose, you can expect to spend around $60 a month on the best puppy food for your golden retriever.
AT A GLANCE: TOP 3 FOODS FOR OUR PUPPIES
- Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula – BEST OVERALL
- Purina Pro Plan Puppy Shredded Blend – RUNNER UP
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Recipe – BEST BUDGET
Golden Retriever Puppy First-Year Total Costs
Keeping all of this in mind, here’s how much money you’ll spend on your golden retriever puppy during their first year. Please note that this is just an estimate; you may end up spending less or more!
- Basic Puppy Supplies: $470
- Toys & Treats: $240-$360
- Vet Bills: $500-$1,000
- Spay/Neuter: $50-$500
- Puppy Food: $720
The estimated total cost for the first year: $1,980 – $3,050.
Yearly Average Cost Of A Golden Retriever
When your golden retriever puppy grows up and becomes an adult, food, treats, toys, and vet bills are the major things you’ll spend your money on. Here’s how much money you can expect to spend each year while caring for an adult golden retriever, broken down by category:
As I touched on earlier, golden retrievers are large dogs that can eat a lot of food. Depending on the quality and type of food you provide to them, an adult golden retriever will eat around 30 pounds of food a month, which is around three cups of kibble a day.
The average 30-pound bag of kibble costs around $50, which is what you can expect to spend unless you decide to feed a high or premium quality kibble to your golden. These types of foods cost on average $80 for a 30-pound bag.
Vet Bills & Medical Costs
Yearly vet bills can vary greatly and will depend on the overall health of your dog. Assuming that your golden doesn’t suffer from any major ailments, expect to spend from $300 to $1,000 per year on vet bills.
While goldens are a relatively healthy breed, they are predisposed to certain health problems. Hip dysplasia is a common issue for goldens, and depending on how advanced it is, the treatment can cost from $500 to as much as $13,000. Golden retrievers also have a higher risk of developing cancer and depending on a type, treating cancer can cost up to $25,000!
Toys & Treats
Like puppies, adult goldens also need toys and treats to stay happy and mentally stimulated. The only difference here is that toys for adult dogs usually cost more than puppy toys. The increased cost is mainly because adult dog toys are bigger and more durable.
If you get a bag of treats and a new dog toy every month, you can expect to spend between $20 and $40 each month on toys and treats. That’s between $240 and $480 yearly, and this is only if your golden isn’t big on destroying toys.
Yearly Total Cost
Below is a rough estimate of how much you’ll spend yearly on your golden retriever. Keep in mind you may end up spending much more on your golden if they have a certain medical condition and need treatment and frequent veterinary check-ups.
- Food: $600-$1,200
- Vet Bills: $300-$1,000
- Toys & Treats: $240-$480
The estimated yearly cost of owning an adult golden retriever: $1,140 – $2,680
FAQs About Golden Retriever Price And Costs
How much does a golden retriever cost without papers?
Golden retriever puppies without health papers and certification can cost up to $900 each.
Keep in mind, though, that buying a puppy without papers is always a gamble because you can’t know for sure whether its parents are healthy or have been screened for common genetic issues within the breed.
Also, most puppies without papers haven’t been checked out or cleared by a vet, so you may end up paying a lot more than you expected for a sick puppy.
Many factors can affect the price of a golden retriever, mainly the breeder, lineage, and the puppy’s health and adherence to breed standards. When buying a golden puppy, research the breeder to make sure they are reputable, and schedule an appointment to meet the puppies and the parents. When it comes to cost, here’s a quick refresher as far as what to expect:
- Purebred goldens from a breeder cost between $1,000 and $3,500
- Adopting a golden retriever costs from $200 to $500
- Expect to spend around $1,980 – $3,050 during the puppy’s first year
Caring for an adult golden retriever on average costs from $1,140 – $2,680