What does a Golden Retriever cost to own? Every responsible individual will consider the costs involved with owning a dog before making the purchase. It is easy to see if you can afford the initial purchase. That is only the first cost. There are so many other things to consider to figure out how much it cost to own a Golden Retriever.

On average, a Golden Retriever cost $500 to $1000 from a typical breeder. If you are looking into Retrievers with a titled pedigree, you will pay closer to $2000 and maybe more. The first year you own your Golden, you should plan on $1200 in addition to the cost of the puppy. Annual expenses thereafter can be as much as $800 to $1000 including vet bills and kibble. Your Golden Retriever will cost you $11,000 to $12,000 over ten years.

Now that you know the overall expenses, let’s break them down so you know what to expect when you bring your bundle of joy home from the breeder.


The question of where to get your Golden Retriever puppy should not focus on the overall cost. Over the life of your dog, the amount you spend to bring your dog home is going to be a drop in the bucket compared to all of the other costs associated with owning a dog.

The real question is:

What do you want to do with your Golden Retriever?

For most people, that is a simple answer. The dog is going to be a family dog and you may or may not decide to use the dog to hunt birds. The huge majority of people are not looking to compete in AKC Hunt Tests or Field Trials.

That being the case, you do not have to go to the top of the line breeders with championship lines. If you do that, you will be spending unnecessary money on traits and titles that you do not need. So, save the money and avoid the professional breeders that brag about their titled dogs.

On the other hand, if you are going to run your dog in the AKC events, then you should look into the breeders with the championship lines. In that situation, you had better understand what the letters after the dog’s name on the pedigree mean.



Whichever route you take when you start looking for a dog, I think you should avoid the “backyard-breeder.” Typically, we end up at a backyard-breeder because we are only focused on what a Golden Retriever cost.

What do I mean by a backyard breeder?

You may think when you jump on Craig’s list or look in the classifieds that any dog with the letters AKC should be a good dog. That is not necessarily true.

All it takes to get AKC registration is to have two parents of the litter registered. Well, the fact that they are registered does not tell you anything about the dogs’ temperament or the dogs’ health.

Because a Golden Retriever cost so much money, there are always going to be those people that try to make a buck. They breed their family dogs without consideration to the things that professional breeders look for in breeding potential.

The harsh reality is that not all dogs should have puppies.

For example, if a dog has bad eyes or bad hips, that dog should not have puppies. Responsible breeders take those things into consideration.

So, to help you make a good choice you should only purchase a dog from a breeder that provides health clearances on both parents. Make sure you get your puppy from a breeder that is invested in making sure you get a healthy puppy.


When you bring your puppy home, there are some expenses up front that you will need to consider. Some of these are one time purchases that you will not have to repeat. Still, they need to be considered when looking at the costs associated with owning a Golden Retriever.


You must have a crate for your puppy BEFORE you bring her home. This is an absolute, non-negotiable. The crate will be the key to potty training and house-breaking your new pup.

There are two approaches to this purchase.

You can buy the crate that will fit your dog when she is full-grown and just modify while she is still small. You don’t ever want your puppy to have enough room in her crate to mess on one side and then lay down on the other. So, the key is to have space in the crate to be just big enough for your dog to turn around and lay down. No bigger.

This means, if you only want to purchase one crate, then you will need to create some kind go barrier inside the crate that you can adjust as your puppy grows.

The other approach is to simply purchase bigger crates as your pup gets bigger. This is a little more expensive, but I find that it makes potty training go much, much faster. Typically, you will only need to purchase two crates.


So, I purchase a cheap, smaller crate from Walmart that is just the right size for my puppy when I bring her home. This will be the crate that she uses to potty train and, if I do it correctly, I can have her potty trained before she grows out of this first crate.

You don’t have to spend a lot on the first crate. $30 to $40 is all this initial trainer crate should cost you. Here is one from Amazon that you might consider.

Don’t scrimp, however, on the permanent crate. When it is time to purchase the crate that your dog will travel in, you want something that will keep her safe. Without exception, I think the G1 Kennel from Gunner Kennels is the number one crate on the market. Check out my video below to see the 5 reasons I think they are worth every penny and then some.

The size I have for my 85-pound Labrador is $599 from the Gunner Kennel website. I don’t think you will ever regret the purchase.

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