How Much Do Golden Retrievers Cost? Complete Buyer’s Guide

Golden retrievers have quickly become one of the most beloved dog breeds in the world.

These affectionate dogs are considered the ideal family dog and have been eagerly welcomed into thousands of homes.

Because of their popularity these perfect pups can often be expensive.

Not only do they cost a lot to purchase, these dogs requires plenty of money spent on food, grooming and medical care.

In this article we will discuss how much you can expect to pay for your golden retriever upfront, in addition to all the other expenses that your dog may accumulate over their life…

How Much Does A Golden Retriever Cost?

Golden Retriever Puppy Playing

Golden Retriever Puppy Price

Golden Retrievers are the third most popular dog breed in the United States so it is no surprise that these puppies can be a bit expensive.

A Golden Retriever puppy (from a breeder) can vary anywhere from $500-$2,000. If you are looking for a puppy that comes from show quality parents then you can expect to pay $3,000.

Good breeders often spend around $7,500 to care for their litter of puppies which is why they are so expensive to buy.

Although price does not always ensure quality you should be wary of puppies that are for sale for $500 or less.

Because price is not always a guarantee of the quality of the breeder, do your own investigation before you choose to purchase a puppy. Ask the breeder if you can visit, meet the parents of your puppy, meet your puppy, and ask for veterinarian signed medical forms.

Any reputable breeder will have no problem with any of these requests. They will also guarantee that you can bring your puppy back if you run into any unforeseen medical or behavioral problems.

Golden Retriever Dog Price

Adopting an older Golden Retriever is a perfect option if you want to skip the chaos of learning to raise a puppy.

At a shelter you can expect to pay $50-$300 for a beautiful adult Golden Retriever.

This breed is in high demand though so you may run into trouble trying to find one of these pups at a local shelter or humane society.

If you are willing to sacrifice your desire for a purebred Golden Retriever, you can often find many breeds that have been mixed with Goldens in shelters or humane societies. You are much more likely to find a mixed breed in a shelter than a purebred Golden Retriever. If you are looking for a relaxed and loving dog to snuggle with and enjoy a couch potato lifestyle then a senior Golden would be a great option for you.

These dogs are just as loveable as any other Golden Retriever and will be thankful for the opportunity to get out of a shelter and into a home.

Golden Retriever Service Dog Price

Golden Retrievers are a common choice for service dogs because of their dependable nature and willingness to learn.

This breed is used for guide-dog work or for individuals who are deaf. These beautiful dogs can also be great therapy dogs because of their affectionate nature.

A well trained Golden Retriever service dog can cost up to $25,000.

This hefty price is a result of the rigorous training that these dogs need to go through to perform their job and the high quality care that they receive.

Factors That Impact The Cost Of A Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever Puppy


An older Golden Retriever will cost less than a puppy.

Unfortunately there is less of a demand for older dogs because they do not live as long as young puppies. Although you may not get to spend the same amount of time with an older Golden Retriever, they will surely fill all their years with you with lots of love and affection.

Adopting an older dog is an ideal option for people who do not have the time or energy to raise a puppy and housebreak them.

Coat Colors

Despite their name Golden Retrievers can come in other colors and sizes beyond gold.

These dogs can be various shades of gold, red, cream, or even black.

Breeders capitalize on the rarity of the cream and black colored Golden Retrievers, so they often charge a premium price for these pups. These puppies often cost closer to $3,000 despite being exactly the same as any other Golden Retriever.

Remember though if you plan on showing your Golden Retriever in competitions they must be golden to meet the breed standard.


You can expect that male and female Golden Retrievers cost about the same.

Females have a slightly different personality that is more desirable to some individuals. They tend to be calmer and more independent as opposed to their energetic and affectionate male counterparts.

Most people choose male or female based on their personality rather than price.

Golden Retriever Outside

Lineage and Bloodlines

Show dogs that have been successful or that have even been champions are often bred together to produce beautiful show quality puppies.

As you can image these particular puppies have a very high price tag ($3,000-$5,000 per puppy).

The cost of breeding a litter of show quality puppies is approximately $24,000.

Remember there is no guarantee these dogs will be healthier than regular pups.

Certification and Warranties

Puppies that have certifications, warranties, or guarantees will cost much more than those without.

Generally a pedigree dog with certification will cost double the price of one without certification.

Most people assume that if a breeder has multiple certifications then they are reputable. However just remember even a breeder with outstanding certifications could be less than desirable, so make sure to properly research every breeder that you are considering.


The location of where you buy a Golden Retriever will impact the price you pay.

Highly populated areas such as cities will charge much higher prices than rural breeders or shelters.

In addition different cities and states have different breeding regulations. Prices may increase in certain areas due to certain breeding charges that the state enforces.

You will also have to consider if you plan on purchasing or adopting from a breeder/shelter that is not local, you will have to pay for the expenses of traveling to pick up your new best friend.

Long Term Ownership Costs

Golden Retriever


Golden Retrievers are very intelligent and eager to please so many owners choose to train these fluffy pups on their own.

However if you do choose to enroll your puppy in group training classes then you can expect to pay $50-$125 for an 8 week course.

Individual professional training will be more expensive and start at $50 per session.


The price of grooming a Golden Retriever can vary a lot.

Some owners prefer a very polished look whereas other owners prefer a more rugged and natural look.

Those owners looking for a natural look will not have to spend your money on grooming sessions. You will just need to invest in a good brush ($15-$20) and dog shampoo ($10 per bottle).

However those owners looking for a well trimmed Golden should expect to pay $70 per grooming session and will most likely have your dog visit the groomer 3-4 times per year.

In addition to fur maintenance, trimming your dog’s nails is just as important. Dogs need their nails cut monthly which costs about $10 if done by a groomer. If you choose to do this yourself, you can purchase a pair of nail clippers for about $15.

You will also need to spend about $5 on a toothbrush and toothpaste for your pup’s pearly white teeth. Dental hygiene is very important for dogs and is often neglected, so make sure to pay attention to this part of their care.

Health Care and Veterinary Bills

Whilst Golden Retrievers are generally a healthy breed they may run into some health complications along the way.

Unfortunately cancer is the most common ailment that Goldens face. If your pup develops any sort of cancer it can be extremely expensive to treat. Cancer treatments can often cost $8,000-$15,000, so many Golden Retriever owners opt to purchase pet insurance in the event of these unexpected health concerns.

In addition Goldens may develop hip dysplasia ($1,500-$6,000), entropion ($300-$1,500), cataracts ($1,500-$5,000) and ichthyosis ($200-$1,000).

The best way to combat these complications is to keep your pup at a healthy weight, watch closely for any unusual symptoms, and stay on top of regular vet check-ups.

Vaccinations and early health screenings will also further help ensure the health of your beloved family member.

Remember too that as puppies they will need a series of vaccines.

In total you can expect to pay $350-$650 in medical expenses during the first year, in addition to any spay/neuter charges which typically cost $250-$500.


Given these huge expenses, lots of people purchase insurance for their dog. This type of insurance works very similarly to human insurance, you pay a premium each month and in return, the insurance company will help cover any unexpected medical expenses your pet may run into.

You can expect to pay around $50 each month for pet insurance for a Golden.

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Food and Treats

Golden Retrievers are large dogs with big appetites.

These giants can eat up to 4 cups of food each day.

A good quality 30lb bag of feed should cost around $55 – this will last them a little over a month.

This works out to around $700 on food for your furry friend each year.

If you choose to purchase a higher quality food then you can expect to pay up to $1,000.

Most Golden Retrievers spend about $10 a month on treats, but you may quickly spend more than that because it is very difficult to resist the pleading eyes of one of these adorable pups.


These are all the extra items which you do not really think about but can cost a significant amount of money.

The first year of owning a new dog is always the most expensive.

During this time you have to buy the essentials: a collar ($10-$15), leash ($10-$15), bed ($20-$60), crate ($20-$80), toys ($50-$100), bowls ($5-$25), and grooming supplies ($40-$60).

The cost of these items can vary greatly depending on the style and quality that you want.

These are all items that hopefully should be a one-time purchase, but you may end up having to buy replacements as your dog grows and develops. The first year of owning a large dog will likely cost you around $3,500. Although a large dog may cost more per year, they will cost about the same as a small dog in the long run because small dogs live much longer.

Over the course of your dog’s life you can expect to pay around $15,000.

Owning a dog is not cheap but it is definitely worth it!


The price of owning a Golden Retriever may be daunting.

These pups are expensive to buy and also cost a lot to maintain due to their endless appetites and potential medical complications. It is no secret that if you choose to welcome a Golden Retriever into your home you will be paying quite a bit for the privilege.

However if you have the money to afford one of these beautiful dogs, you should not let their price tag deter you.

Goldens are one of the most affectionate breeds and will fill your life with love and wonderful memories. These goofy dogs will always bring a smile to your face and will brighten your day no matter what.

You may have to pay a lot to be the owner of a Golden Retriever, but they will pay you back every day with their love and devotion.

About Thomas Woods 224 Articles
Thomas has been a dog lover since he was 6 years old when his parents got him a rescue Labrador. Since then his love for dogs has lead him to study Animal Behavior & Welfare. He now keeps a six year old English Bullmastiff and educates pet parents through his online publication Perfect Dog Breeds.


  1. It is genetically impossible for two purebred Golden Retrievers to produce black puppies. On rare occasions, a puppy may be produced with a black spot or patch, but if a dog looks like a Golden Retriever but is pure black it is certain the dog is a mixed breed. In an otherwise fairly accurate article you do your readers a disservice to imply that there is such a thing as a “black Golden Retriever” (even the link in the article to your article about Black Golden Retrievers notes that these are mixed breeds). Also, the “cream” colored Goldens are no longer “rare” due to the recent demand for this shade of gold. Those breeders who market them as rare (or healthier, or longer lived, or who use terms such as “English Creme”) are almost never reputable breeders who are adhering to the breed club’s Code of Ethics and the puppies these breeders product are therefore likely to be at much higher risk for the myriad of health problems common in the Golden Retriever.

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