How Much Do Golden Retrievers Cost?

At the time of writing this, the average cost to buy a Golden Retriever in the UK is between £3000 and £4000. This cost can vary for a number of factors and can change at any time. 

Your average cost may vary depending on:

  • Where you’re looking for your new pet (check out the tips below on how to avoid being ripped off).
  • Have the parents been health tested?
  • What do you want your pet for? (showing, working, or a family pet).
  • Are they from a professional breeder?

Read on to dive deeper into these factors and find out exactly what affects the cost of buying a Golden Retriever.

Where Are You Looking To Get Golden Retrievers From?

Depending on where you’re looking to get your Golden Retriever from can affect how much you’ll be paying. It’s always worth researching beforehand to make sure that you’re paying the right price.

‘For Sale’ Websites and Social Media

If you’re searching on ‘for sale’ websites, you may come across some puppy listings in between kettles and washing machines. These kinds of websites often advertise appealingly lower prices than other breeders.

But sometimes these puppies have been bred on a whim or by someone that decided to ‘have a go’ at the puppy thing. This might mean certain procedures haven’t been followed – such as hip scoring, vaccinations, and more.

Make sure you do your due diligence to avoid a sick pup.

Kennel Club Website

You can search on the Kennel Club website for Breeders or new litters – anyone advertising here should be checked out and verified as a decent breeder already. 

However, sometimes parent dogs are listed as ‘health checked’ but when you check, they’ve only had one of many optional tests. For example, only their hips or only their eyes have been scored. Double-check this if it’s important to you.

Official Breeder Websites Found on Search Engines

You can usually find local breeders near you by searching online. Spend your time on these sites – you’ll need to check for signs that confirm that they’re legit (e.g., council registration numbers, reviews, or testimonials).

When looking for a Golden Retriever puppy, you should look for a couple of things from the breeder:

  • Are they registered as a breeder with the council? (Not always relevant but it can be a good indicator that the litter is planned and parents have been carefully chosen for their good qualities).
  • Are both of the parents health tested? With the high number of conditions that Goldies are prone to, it is always high on my list to ensure I do my best to find pups from parents that have good hips and elbows, as well as tests for common eye conditions. Adverts that state the Kennel Club names of the parents are a good sign. You can look the names up on the health results page of the Kennel Club website here to see which tests they have had.
  • Are the pups Kennel Club registered themselves? The Kennel Club will only register litters that match their Code of Ethics.
  • Are the parents from a working line, a show line, or neither? These factors will affect the price of the pups.

Health Testing in Golden Retrievers

You may find that ‘official’ breeders will charge more for their pups. This is often because of the time and effort that has gone into each litter. 

From health testing their dogs, choosing two suitably matched parents to produce high-quality temperaments/stature (sometimes they use dogs that have won awards in the show ring), raising a well socialised litter, following the guidelines for defleaing, deworming, and vaccinating for all pups, registering them with the KC (£16 per pup), microchipping, and vet visits.

A lot of work should go into rearing pups until they reach 8 weeks and are ready to go to their forever homes. Most of the time the price will reflect this.

Tips to avoid being ripped off:

  • Avoid paying a deposit before the pups are born. Generally, deposits are paid when you go to reserve/choose your new pet (unless you are 100% sure and happy to do so before).
  • Always see the puppy with their mother before committing. Puppy farms usually separate them and won’t let you meet mum and pups together.
  • Search the breeder’s details/phone number to see if any other details or listings show up. Puppy farms tend to have access to many puppies for sale at once and may have lots of other dogs listed at the same time under their contact details.
  • Avoid purchasing a puppy from anyone who did not breed the pups themselves. This should cut out third parties and people trying to scam you.
  • Take your time choosing the perfect pup. I know it’s tempting but don’t rush into the first advert you see just because they’re available right away – do your research and check for any of the mentioned red flags!

Check this page from the Kennel Club website which details how to avoid scams in more depth.

Are You Looking For a Dog for Showing, Working, or Just a Family Pet?

If you’re looking for anything more than a regular family pet, you’ll probably need to look for a specific breeder.

If you’re looking for a Golden Retriever to work alongside you, then you should seek out breeders that specifically breed working Goldies. The same goes for if you would like to rear a Goldie to show competitively. However, these types of specialist dogs will cost more money.

If you’re looking solely for a family pet to love and you’re not too concerned with a pet that is show quality, then you’d have a lot more choice in dogs. In this case, you’ll also be able to find one at a more affordable rate.

Professional Golden Retriever Breeders

Professional breeders (those that do it for a living, or regularly) are most likely to do their due diligence to ensure that they’re producing the best possible pups.

As covered above, breeders should be health testing their breeding stock and they should be choosing the most appropriate matches for their dogs to ensure only good traits are passed down.

A good breeder will be choosing matches to try to better the breed in the long run. This should include ensuring they don’t breed from any dogs which have bad elbow or hip scores or dogs that have known genetic issues which affect them.

These puppies should also be brought up in an environment that exposes them to common household noises and experiences to prepare them for home living.

Costs of Getting a Golden Retriever

As well as the price you pay for the Golden Retriever, you’ll have to pay for several other things at the same time:

  • Essential supplies (a bed, bowls, collar, toys, etc.).
  • Neutering (if you choose to get your pet spayed or castrated).
  • Vaccines (every dog needs two to start with, and then annual boosters. You’ll need extras if they’ll be traveling or going into kennels or doggy daycares).

There are also ongoing costs to consider:

  • Vet visits (check-ups, boosters, and nail clipping).
  • Food (usually whatever they’ve been eating up until now).
  • Transport (if you have to travel to pick up your new pet).
  • Insurance (to cover future medical treatment).
  • Flea and wormer (these are required regularly).
  • Doggy daycare (if you’re out during the day).
  • Grooming (long-coated breeds in particular).
  • Accessories (poo bags and dental sticks).
  • Training (if you get a professional to help you).

As your Golden Retriever gets older, they’ll also need a bigger bed, more food, and extra toys. These will be occasional costs that you’ll need to remember as they’re growing.

The costs seem endless, but there are ways to stay on budget and cut costs. 

And while they do cost a chunk of change, they more than make up for it with the endless love they give (and, of course, their cuteness).

As well as the financial aspect, you’ll need plenty of free time to spend with your newest addition. Training and bonding with your Golden Retriever (or any dog) is critical in the early days. Golden Retrievers are highly social dogs who don’t like being left alone either, so they’ll need lots of consistent love and attention to thrive.

Adoption

Another option is adopting. There are specific Golden Retriever Rescues which are looking to rehome this dog breed. You might also occasionally find one at a shelter (though they usually get adopted super fast from shelters).

But adopting is drastically cheaper. Usually, they’re just a few hundred pounds, and they’ll sometimes have been vaccinated and neutered ahead of time. However, you can’t choose their age, gender, or health level when you adopt – it just depends on what Goldens are there at the time.

It’s quite unlikely that you’d find a Golden Retriever puppy for adoption in a shelter, so as long as you’re happy with an older dog, this is a great option!

Closing Thoughts

Buying a Golden puppy isn’t (or shouldn’t be) a quick task. It will cost you a fair amount of money and time to research.

You generally get what you pay for. Although keep in mind that any dog can develop health problems (carefully bred or not) just like humans. But purchasing a dog responsibly does improve your odds of a long-lived companion.

Always do your research and reach out to trusted vets or connections if you aren’t sure.

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