How Much Does a Golden Retriever Cost? They’re Expensive

Have you made the decision of bringing home a Golden Retriever into your home? That’s exciting for you, but you must also be wondering about how much a Golden Retriever is going to cost you. The American Kennel Club states that the Golden Retriever is the third most popular dog breed in America, and a lot of people are bringing them home.

You can easily find out if you can afford the initial price, but that isn’t the only cost you will need to worry about. There are several things that you must consider when you’re trying to figure out the costs of owning a Golden Retriever. If you go to a typical breeder, they would tell you that a Golden Retriever costs somewhere between $500 and$1000 on average. However, if you want a Retriever with a titled pedigree, you will be paying close to $2000 or more.

You should set aside around $1200 apart from the cost of the Golden Retriever for the first year of ownership. The annual expenses after the first year can be generally around $800 to $1000, which would include kibble and vet bills. The overall cost of owning a Golden Retriever for more than 10 years is estimated to be about $11,000 to $12,000, which is a lot.

Now that you have a decent idea regarding the overall expenses and cost of a Golden Retriever, we are going to break them down so you know exactly what to expect after you bring your Golden Retriever home to live with you.

How Much Does a Golden Retriever Cost? They’re Expensive

Where to Get a Golden Retriever From?

The question of where you’re buying your Golden Retriever puppy from shouldn’t focus on the overall cost. This is because the amount you spend on buying your dog is nothing when compared with all the other costs associated with owning a dog. The questions you should also be considering are:

What Are You Going to do with Your Golden Retriever?

This is a simple answer for most people because your Retriever is going to be a family dog and isn’t going to be used for hunting birds. Most people aren’t even looking to compete in Field Trials and American Kennel Club Hunt Tests. So, if you’re only looking for a family pet, you don’t need to go ahead and buy top-of-the-line breeders with championship pedigree.

You don’t need to spend unnecessary money on titles and traits that are of no use to you. So, avoid going to professional breeders that brag about the titles of their dogs and save your money. However, if you do want your dog to participate in American Kennel Club events, you should buy from breeders with championship lines.

Avoid Going to Backyard Breeders

Whatever route you decide to take when you’re buying your Golden Retriever, you should avoid going to backyard breeders. Most people that are looking to save money on Golden Retriever costs are the ones that end up going to backyard breeders.

What are Backyard Breeders?

A lot of people wrongly assume that any dog that has the letters AKC attached to it is a good one when they’re looking at the classifieds or Craigslist. An AKC registration can be easily acquired by getting the parents of the litter registered. The registration alone doesn’t tell you much about the health or temperament of the dog.

Golden Retrievers cost a lot of money.  Because of that, there are people that try to make money from them. They start breeding their family dogs without considering what things professional breeders look for when it comes to breeding potential. The reality is that not all dogs are meant to have puppies.

For instance, if a dog has bad hips or bad eyes, that dog shouldn’t be bred to have puppies. Responsible breeders will consider those things. To ensure that you make a good choice, always purchase dogs from a breeder that offers health clearances for both parents. It’s important that you buy your dog from a breeder that is committed to ensuring that you get a healthy dog.

Initial Setup Expenses

After you bring your golden retriever home, you will need to consider the initial setup expenses. Most of these expenses are one-off purchases that won’t need to be repeated.  However, they must be considered when you’re calculating the cost of owning a Golden Retriever.

The Crate

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Make sure that you have a crate for your dog before you bring it home, as it holds the key for house-breaking and potty training your new dog. You can approach this purchase in two different ways.

The first approach is buying a crate that will accommodate your dog when he’s fully grown, and you can modify it while it’s still a puppy. You don’t want to give your puppy a lot of room in the crate. Otherwise, it will make a mess on one side and lay down on the other side. What you need is a crate that offers just enough room for your dog to turn around and lay down. It shouldn’t be any bigger.

So, if you’re only buying one crate and it’s a big one, you can create a barrier in the crate that can be adjusted as your puppy starts growing.

The other approach is to buy a bigger crate when your puppy starts growing. This option can be expensive, but it allows you to potty train your dog faster. In general, you will only need to buy only two crates for your dog.

Gate and Puppy Pads

One of the most common mistakes made by people that are house-breaking their puppy is that they give their puppy too much space to roam around the house. With so much freedom at their disposal, puppies start to go to the bathroom inside the house, instead of going to the backyard. They also start developing chewing habits and will end up destroying your favorite possessions.

To ensure your puppy doesn’t get into those habits, you must buy a circular gate that keeps your dog locked in there when you’re not around. You can also put a cheap quilt and puppy pads on the ground in the gated area.

A Dog Bed

You will also need to get a bed for your dog as well so that it can sleep comfortably in the house. When you’re teaching it basic obedience skills, this will serve as the place you send it to when you eat or when you have guests over.

You don’t want to spend a lot of money on the bed. As your dog starts to get older, you may want to get it a bigger bed. So, keep it simple when your dog is still young. You would only need to spend around $25 to $30 on a dog bed.

Initial Vaccinations

If you’ve selected a proper breeder, your dog will arrive with his first shots and its dew claws removed. All you’ll need to worry about are the final vaccinations which you can’t skip to save money. You will need to get your puppy shots when it is 10 to 12 weeks old and then again when it is 14 to 16 weeks old. The costs of these shots will vary from vet to vet. You will find animal shelters to be a cheaper option than taking your puppy to the local vet where you can get shots for around $20.

Odds and Ends

It’s important not to forget about some simple things that will make your dog’s transition to living in your home easier. These things will include collars, leash, toys, and food bowls. You may want to plan about $50 for some of these things.

Obedience Training

Most people tend to get their dogs professionally trained, for which they will need to pay. In general, the average cost of getting your puppy trained professionally is around $1500 for 6 or 7 in-home sessions with a trainer. These will be followed by unlimited sessions at the location of the trainer. That figure can be excessive for some people, but standard obedience classes for Golden Retrievers can cost around $150 for a single obedience class.

Considering all these things, the initial cost of owning a Golden Retriever for you will come to about $350 or more.

Monthly Golden Retriever Costs

You shouldn’t forget to factor in the cost of food for your Golden Retriever. The prices for dog food vary a lot, but you don’t need to spend a lot of money on feeding your dog. However, this doesn’t mean that you should buy cheap food for your dog. You can easily find dry dog foods on which you will be spending $30 to $40 every month. This will bring your annual food budget at about $500.

Annual Expenses

Your annual expenses for your Golden Retriever will consist of vaccination updates and health checks with the vet. You can estimate this to be around $50 to $100 for a visit to the vet and about $30 for vaccinations. Don’t forget to get the rabies updates for your dog. These health costs will increase with your Golden Retriever’s age.

Golden Retriever Costs Affected by Health

The most expensive part of owning a Golden Retriever is related to the vet bills and medical costs, apart from the initial cost of purchasing the dog. You need to stay on top of the health of your Golden Retriever if you want to save money on veterinary bills. This is the reason why we are going to highlight some important ways you can maintain your dog’s health so you can avoid large veterinary bills.

You’re going to come across unexpected costs occasionally, which could be due to your Golden Retriever getting into a fight with another dog or getting hit by a car. It can cost you around $100 to $200 to get your dog tested for allergies. Unexpected events are going to increase the costs of owning a Golden Retriever, and the best way to prevent large veterinary bills is by:

  • Keeping up with the preventive care of your dog
  • Visiting the vet for frequent checkups
  • Getting proper vaccinations
  • Getting early health screenings

You should also look out for certain health risks that your Golden Retriever is prone to, which will include the following:

  • Thyroid issues
  • Skin issues
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Lymphoma
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Hemangiosarcoma
  • Eye issues
  • Bloat

It has also been suggested by the American Kennel Club that you should get the following health tests for your Golden Retriever:

  • Ophthalmologist evaluation
  • Hip and elbow evaluation
  • Cardiac exams

Other Costs Associated with Your Golden Retriever

You should know that the upkeep of your Golden Retriever is going to be recurring, so you must be prepared to handle all the costs associated with it. These costs will include the following:

Lifetime Fees

Apart from the initial cost of owning your Golden Retriever puppy, you will also need to consider the lifetime costs that come along with it:

  • Grooming costs
  • Medical and vet bills
  • Miscellaneous fee
  • Puppy and dog food
  • Supplies including bedding, toys, leashes, etc.
  • Treats
  • Training and boarding costs

The overall cost of your Golden Retriever will depend on the size of your dog. The overall fees associated with having a Golden Retriever rise with the size.

Dog owners that want to own a Golden Retriever should also be prepared to handle the miscellaneous costs that will depend upon the individual lifestyle of the dog.

Other Miscellaneous Costs

The University of Veterinary Medicine states that dog owners will need to be prepared for the first year of owning a dog since this period is going to be the most expensive one. Miscellaneous costs can include the following:

  • Travel
  • Pet fees
  • Living expenses
  • Accessories, and more

These costs are estimated to be around $2,600 for small breeds, but large breeds like the Golden Retriever may cost around $3,600 in total.

Our Final Thoughts

It’s clear for everyone to see that Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in America. Their athleticism, glossy golden coats, and gentle personality mean that they are the perfect companions for active families. Golden Retrievers are like rays of sunshine and can brighten up anyone’s day. They are extremely adorable which is why people forget about the expenses of keeping the dog while getting it. However, you should always look at the big picture when considering the costs of owning a Golden Retriever. Only get a Golden Retriever, or any dog, if you can afford it for the rest of its life.

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