How Much Does A Golden Retriever Cost? (Full Breakdown Of Costs)

Are you wondering how much does a golden retriever cost? Well, there is no standard price tag for this famous and much-loved dog breed, but expect to shell out around $500 to $2,000 as the initial price for a purebred.

On average, home breeders normally sell purebred golden retriever puppies online for $600 to $750. These pups are almost always AKC-registered, are up-to-date on shots, healthy, potty trained, and microchipped.

The cheapest way you can own this adorable dog breed is through adoption or through local rescue shelters, where you may pay as low as $50 or as high as $350. An adopted dog already comes with vaccinations and registrations in place, and you are helping out golden retrievers in need of a home.

If you want to own from a champion bloodline or one with special characteristics, they come with the most expensive price tag: $1,000 to $2,000. However, it’s not that expensive; the superior pedigree of the pup means superior health and will save you money in the long run. Fewer health issues mean fewer trips to the vet.

So How Much Do Golden Retrievers Cost?

If the average price range for a golden retriever puppy (8-15 weeks old) is $500 to $2,000, expect the same for an adult or older dog, sometimes less. However, if you are on the lookout for a service dog, it can cost you as high as $25,000.

Since golden retrievers are ultra-sensitive to human pain and suffering, as well as highly intelligent and trainable, they are also used as guides and support for people with disabilities. Expect to pay more for a fully trained adult service dog (2 years old and above) since they go through meticulous and rigorous obedience training. 

 The Rarer the Color, the More Expensive the Dog

Golden retrievers come in beautiful hues of gold. Naturally, the most popular golden retriever color is classic gold. Not dark gold, not light gold, but the “standard” bright, rich golden color.

Some retrievers, however, also come in shades of red, cream, and even black. But the red golden retriever—which is primarily bred for hunting— would cost a staggering $3,000 as it is considered a rare breed.


The red golden retriever is slightly smaller in size and has a shorter outer coat compared to the standard golden retriever. It is also the more energetic and athletic retriever, So, if you want one for a family pet and not as a hunter, you need to ask yourself if you can handle a hyper dog that requires intensive exercise.

What Are The Maintenance Costs?

The total cost of acquiring a golden retriever is approximately $15,000. This is because your expenses don’t stop with buying a puppy for $700. You need to invest money on your cute pup before it even turns one.


Before you take in the new four-legged member of your family, make sure you already have the essentials, which comprises a food bowl, a dog leash, collar, bedding, and even toys. This break-up will help you understand better:

a.                  $13-$60 – Dog bowl. The price depends on the size and material

b.                  $13 – for this amount, you can get a collar, leash, and a harness

c.                   $10 – Dog tag/ID. This is actually required by law in some areas, so don’t settle only for microchipping your new pup.

d.                  $15-$224 – bedding. The price depends on the size and quality

e.                  $7-$35 – Poop bags. Trust me, you will need plenty of these because you need to walk your dog outside, and you need to be ready in case your lovable pet “accidentally” poops in any area of your house as well.

f.        $12-$24 – Invest in toys if you don’t want your golden retriever chewing on your stilettos!                                         

Medical Costs

Keep in mind that you need to secure your dog’s health. This is an estimated cost for each necessary vaccination and if you sum it up, it is almost equivalent to the cost of a second puppy (ballpark figure: $750):

a.                  $100 – full physical exam

b.                  $35 – American Kennel Club (AKC) registration

c.                   $20 – Anti-rabies vaccine

d.                  $100 – Vaccine for DAPPV (distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, parainfluenza)

e.                  $200 – vaccines (Lyme disease, canine influenza, leptospirosis, bordetella, coronavirus)

f.        $200 – 1-year supply of heartworm preventatives

g.                  $10 – deworming


Expect to spend about $60 a month for quality dog food. This amount will already get you a 30-pound bag. Your golden retriever will more or less need 3 cups of food a day to be fully fed. A pound of dog food can cost you an average of $3 daily, but this will get you only 2 cups of food. So it’s cost-effective to buy dog food on a monthly basis.



Grooming your golden retriever is crucial if you want their coat to grow healthy, strong, and grease-free. Neglecting your pet’s grooming requirements will in fact cost you more in the long run. A grooming kit usually includes:

a.  Brushes: You can get a shedding or grooming brush for as low as $9 and as high as $25.

b.      Shampoo: Like humans, your dog needs its hair shampooed and this will cost you between $9-$17. Shampoo products range from fragrant ones to anti-dandruff, and even special ones for sensitive dogs with allergies. It is always best to experiment with different brands and find one that suits your furry friend best.

c.       Toothbrush and toothpaste: Dogs also develop stinky breath, plaques, and tartar. If you remember to brush your own teeth, then you must also remember to take care of your dog’s dental health. Toothpaste made for humans is dangerous for dogs, so stick to the ones designed for canines. The price would vary depending on the brand, ranging from $8-$25.

Potential Health Costs

Generally, a golden retriever is a healthy breed, but you must take into account the fact that your dog, like you, can also fall ill. Going to the vet isn’t cheap! So it’s better to know beforehand the kind of illnesses that are common in this breed so you are ready- both emotionally and financially.


Sixty percent of golden retrievers can get cancer, so this is a big deal. Here is a list of the other common health issues that a Golden Retriever can be prone to:

1.      Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis (SAS) – Yes, heart and lung issues can also affect your Golden Retriever and it’s pretty common too. But the treatment is inexpensive, considering that oral meds are the cheap beta-blockers. But the diagnostic tests can put a strain on your finances. ECGs, for instance, can cost as high as $600.

2.      Skin issues –  Ichthyosis is when your pet’s skin starts flaking excessively. Symptoms may be mild or severe (hardening or darkening of the skin). Expect to pay vet fees of about $200-$1,000.

3.      Hip dysplasia –  This is a form of arthritis in the joints of larger dogs such as Goldens. Hip dysplasia is often hereditary. If your dog suffers from this, prepare to shell out surgery expenses ranging from $3,500 to $7,000 per hip. Going for a total hip replacement will cost you approximately $7,000 to $14,000.

4.      Entropion – The treatment for this eyelid disorder, where the eyelid margin goes inward (or inverts) causing your dog pain and suffering, will cost you around $300-$1,500. Although lower lids are more commonly affected, if your Golden is afflicted in all of its eyelids, the costs will be higher.

5.      Cataracts –  You need at least $2,700 to $4,000 on average if you wish to save your dog’s eyesight. Mature cataracts, if left untreated, can cause your Golden to go completely blind. Meanwhile, a hyper mature cataract can also hurt your dog’s eyes.

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Why You Shouldn’t Buy From Puppy Mills

A puppy mill is what you call a commercial dog breeding center, also known as a puppy farm, or “background breeders.”


Read on to understand why it’s best to avoid getting your golden retriever—or any dog—from a puppy mill:

1.      The dogs are not clean – Dogs in puppy mills often lie in their pee and poop and are usually riddled with fleas because of their unhygienic surroundings.

2.      The puppies are most likely sick – Puppy farms are a breeding ground for illnesses. The most common is the contagious kennel cough. Other ailments include parvovirus and diseases of the heart and the kidney due to poor breeding. Owners of puppy mills also have a reputation for hiding these illnesses.

3. Horrific puppy farms thrive on your patronage – Puppy mills continue to thrive as long as people are willing to buy dogs from them. These mills make profits out of cruel breeding methods without paying much care to the dogs they are breeding from or even the pups.

4. Poor mental health – Most pups in dog mills suffer from mental trauma due to the way they are kept. It will be very hard to reverse that without investing a lot of time and patience.

What To Look For In A Golden Retriever Breeder

It’s hard to find trustworthy people among sellers these days as they often resort to unscrupulous ways to make a profit. If you want to acquire a new furry friend by purchasing from a breeder of golden retrievers, here are some tips that will help you find a reputable, responsible one:

Meet the breeder in person – Don’t settle for just the phone call or an online chat. Go and talk to the breeder in person so you can observe him/her. Does the breeder show genuine care and passion for dogs? Are the dogs affectionate and super close to the breeder?

If the breeder looks like an impatient entrepreneur and the dogs cower or shy away from him, then that’s a red flag. If meeting the breeder in person is not possible, then you may request a video call.

Clean, well-fed dogs – Do the pups look healthy, taken care of, and happy? Are the pup’s parents normal in size with a beautiful appearance? Do they have a good temperament? This will give you a clue about how your puppy will grow up.

Questions and medical history— How does the breeder answer your questions? Is he impatient and vague? Is he going for a hard sell? Always keep in mind that there are no stupid questions and the breeder should be answering your queries with great patience, no matter how many questions you ask. Also, the breeder should be transparent with the pup’s medical history by showing you screenings confirming proof of health, plus certificates from CERF and OFA.

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Differences In Expensive vs Cheap Golden Retrievers

It’s only natural that you might want to save money, but still get the best buy: a healthy, beautiful, and happy golden retriever that can be your forever friend. In such cases, getting a Golden from a shelter is a good option.

Unlike the puppy mills, rescue shelters and the volunteers that work there, shower the dogs in their care with a lot of love and attention. While most of the dogs in their care may have been abandoned and/or have separation anxieties, the rescue works hard to address and mitigate these issues during the time these dogs are in their care.

Whether you get a Golden from a rescue or a breeder, you are responsible for the physical, mental, and emotional health of your pet. Be prepared to invest money in vaccinations, dog tags, microchipping, and in taking care of the animal’s basic needs.

At the end of the day, it’s your money and your choice. Just consider the fact that buying a golden retriever is not similar to buying a plastic toy that you can play with for some time, get bored with it, and neglect it. Just like you, your pet has needs and would need a truly caring home to thrive, flourish, and become a part of your family.

Interested In Training Your Golden Retriever The Right Way?

If you haven’t trained your Golden Retriever properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.

The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.

With Brain Training For Dogs you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.

So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!

And in most cases it’s still going to be:

  • Cheaper than hiring a professional.
  • Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
  • And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.

Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your Golden Retriever completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT. 

And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!

So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior, or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!

(You can also check out a full review here, to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)

A Golden Retriever is Worth its Price

So how much does a golden retriever cost? It depends on the breeder, the package it comes with, your needs, the color of the coat, and the dog’s purpose in your life. But whether or not you got your pup at a bargain price, you would be investing money on it as long as it’s alive.

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Your golden retriever pet is no different from bringing a son or a daughter into this world. Your pets, like humans, need education (i.e., good training), quality food, excellent treatment to maintain their physical, mental, and emotional health, and a home that is genuinely nurturing. And money plays a significant role in achieving all of these, so you have to be financially stable to want to take in a Golden Retriever.

Golden Retrievers are the third most popular breed in the United States, because they are extremely trainable, very smart, loving, and have a great temperament. They are ideal as pet therapy for the lonely and stressed folks out there. Not to mention, they are adorable. Getting one, even if it means spending a lot, is truly a rewarding experience and you will be all the richer for it.