The TRUE Price Of A Baby Golden Retriever Puppy (Full Breakdown for 2023)

*this article updated by Galen on July 26, 2023*

Lots of potential puppy parents want to know about the price of a golden retriever that they can expect to pay before they decide to add a new furry friend to their family. 

You can expect a golden retriever price to be about $1,000 to $3,500 when you purchase from a quality breeder, depending on the health clearances of the parents and the amount of training the breeder provides for the puppy.

However, all golden retrievers cost could turn out similar when you consider the total expenses you will spend over your Golden Retriever’s lifetime.

At My Golden Retriever Puppies we are a network of small, independent golden retriever breeders who care about happy and healthy dogs. 

All of our puppies are raised by us on our own homeplaces unlike aggregator websites that list dogs from puppy mills. 

We want to elevate the standards of golden retriever breeding. 

That’s why we created this helpful, point-by-point guide to save you time and headaches so you know EXACTLY what goes into the golden retriever price range required for your dog to live a long and healthy life.

Let’s get started!

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The Typical Price Of Buying A Golden Retriever

Like we mentioned, you can expect the initial price range for buying a Golden Retriever Puppy to be around $1,000 to $3,500. 

Sure, it can seem like a large ballpark to shop for, but it’s very important to understand that a cheaper “upfront” golden retriever price doesn’t necessarily mean it will be cheaper overall. 

It is also important to understand there are different types of golden retrievers which may affect pricing.

Here’s an overview of our pricing, which depends on the credentials of the parents and the number of puppies available at the time: 

  • $1,295 – $1,895
    Puppies come with a 2-year genetic health Guarantee, receive ENS training, are family-raised, are up-to-date on deworming and vaccinations, and have a vet check prior to being adopted. At $1895, bothe parents have OFA clearances on their hips.
  • $1,895 to $2,495
    Everything listed above, plus any agreed-to training. At this price point, the breeder may also be a part of AKC’s Bred with HEART program.

For example, if you decide to choose the lowest golden retriever cost option, those puppies almost never have the necessary 3rd-party assurances or veterinarian procedures like dewormings, vaccinations, health-tested parents, or a thorough health checkup. 

These missing costs and services will be your responsibility, making the total cost ultimately the same. Plus, if the breeder hasn’t taken care of this already, you may wind up spending MORE money on vet bills because your new family member didn’t get the best possible care from the beginning.

Next, if a golden retriever price is cheaper, the puppies often have a higher chance of experiencing health or behavior problems since they usually come from “puppy mills” where they were raised in isolated or unsanitary conditions. 

Over their lifetime, this could lead to your “cheap” Golden Retriever costing you much more due to chronic health problems or behavioral issues. Not to mention the added stress on you these extra expenses and issues create!

golden retriever price range

Adopting vs. Buying A Golden Retriever: Making the Right Choice

Adoption is typically cheaper than buying a golden retriever since starting adoption fees tend to be around $250 to $500. 

Please note that depending on the shelter, you may have to pay additional costs for your Golden certain shots and procedures. Depending on if the golden retriever is a boy or a girl may affect the price as well. Some male vs female golden retriever differences may make you prefer one over the other.

Unfortunately, at shelters and rescues, you may not have a wide selection of dogs to choose from — especially if you’re looking for a specific gender, breed, age, or health level.

It’s also important to remember that, sometimes, adopted golden retrievers have behavior or health issues, which could make things harder (and more expensive) for you in the future. 

You simply don’t know as much about your new dog’s history as you would if you purchased directly from a trusted breeder.

On the other hand, when you buy from a reputable breeder, you’ll have a higher chance of bringing home a happy and healthy golden retriever that will cost you less in the long run.

Golden Retriever Cost Breakdown:

Now that you know the initial price range to buy or adopt a golden retriever, we need to examine the additional golden retriever costs that you can expect when you bring your new puppy home, such as:

  • Veterinary care
  • Food 
  • Toys
  • Training, and more

It’s important to remember that when you buy a puppy from a reputable breeder, you are more likely to encounter lower golden retriever costs over the lifetime of your pet.

Golden Retriever Veterinarian Costs

It’s important to know your golden retriever vaccine schedule and health checks in order for them to stay strong and healthy. 

According to the American Kennel Club, there are some essential steps and vet bills you’ll need to take care of before your golden retriever’s first birthday:

  • Full physical exam: $50 – $100
  • Recommended vaccines (Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Canine Influenza, and Lyme Disease): $100 – $200
  • Rabies vaccine: $10 – $20
  • DAPPV vaccine (Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, and Parainfluenza): $60 – $100
  • AKC registration: $35+
  • Dewormings: $10 each
  • Heartworm preventatives: $70 – $200 (1-year supply)
  • Total price of veterinary expenses: $335 – $665 (does not include service fees, charges, and taxes)

To ensure you get a healthy dog, it’s generally better to buy a golden retriever puppy whose parents have received health screenings and that has already had its first round of health checks, vaccines, and paperwork

This will ultimately save you time and money on your golden retriever price because breeders often pay lower veterinary rates than individuals do.

If you purchase a golden that has not already had its initial veterinary care, then you will not only be responsible for all of these costs yourself, but you will also be risking your new best friend’s health. 

Until you take your new Golden Retriever puppy to the vet for their first round of shots, you’ll be exposing their young immune system to all kinds of dangers and diseases.

Distemper, for example, is a highly contagious disease that attacks the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and nervous systems of dogs. Unfortunately, there is no cure — just a lot of expenses and stress which really adds to the overall cost of your Golden Retriever puppy.

Spaying Or Neutering Your Golden

It’s smart to spay or neuter your Golden Retriever from 6-12 months of age, especially if you know that you don’t want to have any puppies.  It is wise to ask your vet for guidance on this decision.

Sometimes it’s better to wait if you do want to breed them, but that’s better left to professionals.

Talk with your vet about the procedure, when you should get it done, and how much it might cost. Typically the procedure costs about $50-300 but might change depending on your location.

Dental Care for Your Golden Retriever 

Golden Retrievers, like many dogs, can be prone to dental issues such as plaque buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay. 

On average, professional dental cleanings for Golden Retrievers can range from $300 to $800, depending on factors such as the location, the veterinarian’s fees, and the severity of the dental condition. 

These cleanings typically involve scaling, polishing, and potentially extractions if necessary. 

It’s recommended to have your Golden Retriever’s teeth checked by a veterinarian at least once a year, although more frequent check-ups may be necessary if there are specific concerns or signs of dental problems.

It’s important to note that not all pet insurance plans cover dental care. Some insurance providers offer optional dental coverage as an add-on or as part of more comprehensive plans.

If dental coverage is included in the policy, it typically covers a portion of the costs associated with dental cleanings, extractions, and other necessary dental treatments. 

Grooming Costs of Golden Retrievers 

The approximate cost for grooming a Golden Retriever can vary depending on factors such as the dog’s size, coat condition, location, and the specific services requested. 

On average, you can expect to spend between $50 to $90 per grooming session for your Golden Retriever. 

This typically includes services such as bathing, brushing, trimming, nail clipping, ear cleaning, and sometimes additional services like de-shedding or dematting. 

Some groomers may offer package deals or discounts for regular appointments or bundled services. 

Keep in mind that the frequency of grooming sessions will depend on the individual dog’s coat and activity level, but most Golden Retrievers benefit from professional grooming every 6 to 8 weeks to maintain their coat’s health and appearance.

Pet Insurance for Golden Retrievers 

Pet insurance for Golden Retrievers typically ranges from $20 to $50 per month, depending on various factors such as the age of the dog, the chosen coverage limits, and the insurance provider. 

This monthly expense may seem like an additional cost, but it can be a worthwhile investment when considering the potential savings on veterinary bills for treatments, surgeries, and medications. 

By having pet insurance in place, you can ensure that your Golden Retriever receives the necessary care without straining your finances in the event of unexpected health issues.

Puppy Training and Socialization Classes 

Attending puppy training and socialization classes is highly recommended for the comprehensive development of your Golden puppy. These classes provide structured learning environments, social interaction, and essential obedience training. 

The average cost ranges from $40 to $300 per class, offering a worthwhile investment for the expertise and guidance of professional trainers.

A great resource for training and coaching is AKC’s GoodDog Helpline, which is a “live telephone service that offers individualized training advice for all owners and their dogs, ranging from new puppies to senior dogs exhibiting new, unwanted behaviors.”

While some training can be done at home, the benefits of attending classes, such as socialization opportunities and tailored instruction, simply cannot be done at home. 

By enrolling your Golden Retriever puppy in these classes, you ensure they receive the necessary foundation for good behavior, social skills, and overall well-being.

How Much Does It Cost to Buy Food for a Golden Retriever?

Golden retrievers are “large breed” dogs that require plenty of food and exercise.

Generally, basic dry golden retriever food can cost about $100 – $250 per year for a 30-pound bag every 1 – 2 months. High quality dry food might go between $200 – $400 per year for the same quantity and frequency.

Wet dog food will cost a bit more and range between $400 – $1,000 per year for 1 – 3 cases of 13-ounce cans per month. The cost for food will depend on the size, age, and activity level of your companion.

When you buy the best food for golden retrievers, always check the labels and make sure they meet the standards of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) — while they don’t regulate, test, or certify pet foods in any way, they do establish the nutritional standards for complete and balanced pet foods. 

Fortunately, the cheaper brands of dog food can be just as good as the more premium brands as long as they meet the standards of AAFCO and are made with minimal processing. 

When making your decision, make sure to avoid artificial ingredients and preservatives where you can, since they could cause health problems for your dog.

Here is a list of prices for some popular golden retriever food brands:

  • Pedigree Dry Dog Food: $29.98 for 44lb bag 
  • IAMS Healthy Naturals: $29.98 for 15lb bag
  • Canidae All Life Stages Dog Dry Food: $57.99 for 30lb bag
  • Purina Pro Plan Savor: $69.48 for 35lb bag
  • Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy Wet Dog Food Pouches:  $25.97 (30) 3.5 oz Pouches
  • Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult Wet Dog Food:$12.26, 13oz Can 

three hungry golden retriever puppies sharing a food bowl

Starting Equipment, Toys, and Accessories

If you want to give your new dog the best, happiest, and most-loving home possible, it’s important to have a few key essentials ready for your new family member! Here’s a quick list of things to get and their average expenses:

  • Dental Products: $10 – $30
  • Toys: $50 – $100
  • Crates: $20 – $80
  • Beds: $20 – $60
  • Brushes $20-$30
  • Collars and Leashes: $10 – $30
  • Bowls: $5 – $25

Total golden retriever price for equipment, toys and accessories: $415 – $825

Keep in mind, these golden retriever prices can vary depending on how basic or luxurious you want them to be. If you want to know some of the best equipment, like the best brush for golden retrievers then check out more of our articles in our blog section.

The Cost of Buying a Golden Retriever Puppy vs. an Older Dog

Age is certainly a factor in your decision. With adult dogs, you don’t have to do the work of raising them. 

The downside is that it can be harder for them to overcome previous habits and learn new ones. Older dogs tend to be more “set in their ways” in terms of behavior and personality.

With puppies, it does take more responsibility and effort to raise them correctly, but the rewards are like nothing else. 

Because you and your family are in complete control of shaping their behavior and personality, you can raise your golden retriever puppy to be the perfect companion

There are also other things you can teach your new puppy like the boundaries of your home (which is helpful if you have a smaller living space). That way, as they grow up, your puppy will truly become a member of your family.

The Problem with Buying a Golden Retriever from a Puppy Mill

Nowadays, with so many options to buy your new dog, there’s a growing problem you need to be wary of: the rise of puppy mills.

Puppy mills are dark and depressing warehouses where dogs are “grown” without love, exercise, and health care. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), here’s a summary of what you can expect from these awful places:

  • Tiny Cages – These cruel breeders maximize space by keeping everyone in tight conditions, often kept in outdoor pens that are unprotected from the elements or in tiny, filthy cages for their entire lives. 
    • They can even develop lesions and sores from having to stand on uncomfortable wire flooring. Sadly, it’s the only world they’ll know as they’re forced to eat, sleep, relieve themselves, and give birth in these cages.
  • Poor Healthcare – These awful breeding facilities don’t have veterinarian care — instead they’re left to suffer through injuries and horrible health problems all on their own. Worse, because of their cramped, filthy conditions, diseases spread like wildfire, especially among puppies with weak immune systems.
  • Constant Breeding – It’s unhealthy to force female dogs to breed often, but because these places are so focused on profit, these dogs are bred at every chance. 
    • This harms the health of the parents (who are sometimes abandoned or killed when they can’t produce more) and can predispose their litters to more health and genetic defects.

For more information on the horrific secrets behind puppy mills and how you can avoid them, visit the ASPCA website.

Please don’t support animal cruelty.

Breeder Checklist: 5 Things to Look For in a Golden Retriever Breeder

Before you buy a golden retriever online, you should do some background research to make sure you’re getting your new pet from a reputable breeder that cares about their puppies.

Here are some critical points to watch for:


When searching the web, look for breeders who have lots of photos AND VIDEOS about each dog.


Always look for rigorous paperwork that shows all the health checks performed (signed by a veterinarian) and registration with reputable organizations like the American Kennel Club.


Look for breeders who welcome you to visit their facilities so you can meet and play with their pups. Generally, they should have at least one of their parents available to see as well.


Look for breeders who are small families and who also play and socialize with the pups daily so they grow up happy.


Look for assurances and health guarantees. A good breeder will take responsibility for something like a genetic problem, rather than passing the golden retriever cost and liability to you.

Buying a Golden Retriever Puppy from Us

At My Golden Retriever Puppies, all of our dogs come with a 2-year genetic health guarantee, a certified vet check, dewormings, and AKC paperwork. And because our puppies find their new homes by 8 – 10 weeks old, they’ve already had their first round of important vaccines done.

Why our Puppies are the best: 

  • Genetic screened: parent(s) are screened for common genetic flaws common to Goldens
  • OFA heart: Many parents hearts have been certified for health by the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals.
  • Hip/Elbows: Many parent hips and/or elbows have been certified by the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals or Pennhip
  • ENS: The puppy has received Early Neurological Stimulation

We even go as far as protecting our golden retrievers with a two-year genetic health guarantee! Not only do we take every step to provide the best care for your golden retriever puppy, but we also socialize with each one daily so they grow up happy and well socialized. You can come by anytime to see and play with our puppies, meet their parents, and talk to our breeders!

To read what our happy customers have to say (and see real pictures of their golden retrievers) check out our testimonial gallery.

How Do I Get a Puppy from My Golden Retriever Puppies?

Here’s a great way to do so:

  1. Find a puppy that you’re interested in on the website and contact the breeder listed with the puppy for any questions you might have.
  2. If you would like to have the puppy held for you, make a deposit online. (Skip to # 5 if you want to arrange puppy travel)
  3. If you want to see a puppy in-person, make an appointment with the breeder by calling the breeder from the puppy’s page. You are certainly welcome to select your puppy this way without a deposit, but please note that availability may change on a daily basis.
  4. If you come and see the puppy, make your purchase and take the puppy home if the puppy is 8 weeks old or older. (Skip to #6, unless you need to arrange travel for your pup.)
  5. Connect with us and we will get the right information to deliver the puppy to you and set up the exact date and time.
  6. Enjoy the new puppy that you have adopted into your family. If you have any questions, please reach out to the breeder for help!

Ready to find your next family member? You can browse all of our available puppies here!

Real Golden Retriever Prices – Adopt Today

Now that you have the scoop about golden retriever prices, you have a great idea of what you need to consider before you buy a golden retriever. At My Golden Retriever Puppies, we make it easy for you to find your PERFECT dog. Check out some of the adorable golden retriever puppies for sale that you can bring home today!

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Galen has been connecting quality Golden Retriever breeders with loving families since 2012 and is the founder of My Golden Retriever Puppies. He and his wife have four children and love spending time together, traveling (lived oversees for 4 years), enjoying the outdoors and connecting Golden families.