Owning a Labrador Retriever is special in its own right; these big guys are known for their intelligence, their gentleness, and their overall easy-going nature. They’re quite the charming breed, so if you’re interested in adopting a pup of your own, we’re here to break down the average cost of a lovable Labrador.
We’ve collected a plethora of information from dog lovers just like yourself from our Labrador Retriever Group on Facebook. There are 65,000+ Labrador owners and lovers happy to give one another advice and provide information about their own dogs so you can have an easier time purchasing your first Lab.
Age and Lineage
If you’re looking for just a Labrador without worry over lineage papers, you can probably find one by scrolling through a pound website or small breeders. They’re always on the cheap end, and there’s plenty of rescues available.
Nowadays, if you want a purebred Labrador Retriever, you’ll need to find a reputable breeder or a company that’s willing to provide the papers. That will run you around $2,000 by itself. If you care about your dog having strong genes, you’ll want one from a championship lineage, which will tack on another $700-$1000. One thing you must certainly account for, however, is age.
Everyone wants a puppy, and for good reason. To create a bond with your dog from the very beginning is special, but there are plenty of older dogs that have yet to be adopted. Puppies are almost always sold off around 7-9 weeks, which is when they’re the most pricey. As a year or two rolls on, however, that price goes down. Older dogs just aren’t as on demand, and so you may find that a 3 year old purebred with a championship bloodline will cost less than a regular purebred puppy.
Where you buy your dog is of utmost importance, and that means more than just who you buy them from. From state to state there will be price differences, some rather tame and some rather extreme. For example, a Labrador Retriever is crowned as the favorite breed in Louisiana, but won’t do as well in New York, where the favored breed is the French Bulldog.
Prices will vary, though there are some breeders that people will often travel hours to buy a dog from. Amanda from Indiana bought her 7 week old English Lab for $1,800 from a breeder in Michigan and still had to pay upwards of $1,000 for checkups and the like. Meanwhile, Jade from Pennsylvania got her 9 week old English Labs (one chocolate and one black) for $800 each, both came with papers, came chipped, and given a limited health guarantee. This was in 2022.
Amber from Virginia got her chocolate Lab with championship bloodlines for $2,000 at 8 weeks, meanwhile Crystal from California had a yellow Lab with hunting championship bloodlines and at the same age, and her puppy cost her $3000.
Your location around the states will no doubt change how much the initial cost will be. If you’re up for it, many have suggested finding a breeder out of state. It may save you from a couple hundred to perhaps a thousand.
Pet Insurance, Shots, and Ruined Furniture
We hope you didn’t forget about everything else you need for your dog. Some are optional, yes, but are highly recommended by long-time pet owners.
The first couple months of checkups and vaccines will cost upwards of $1,000 if that hasn’t already been done for you. Insurance can round you up quite a bit of money, but in the case of your dog having a life-threatening emergency, many pet owners will say it’s worth the cost. Of course, it depends on who you go with. Then you’ll have to factor in the costs of dog food and treats, which can easily round you up a hundred or two a week if you have multiple dogs.
Let’s also not forget the cost of damaged items. Expects things to be chewed up pretty badly, no matter how close an eye you keep on them. It’s a fact of life: dogs teethe, and they have no idea whether what they’re chewing on is expensive or not.
If you happen to be on a tight budget or expecting that owning a puppy won’t be hard on your wallet, we urge you to do your research and make sure you can fulfill your pup’s needs before you go about buying one.
If you do decide to adopt one, everyone in the group who has cared for a Labrador Retriever will tell you the same thing: it’s worth every cent.
I think the Lab owner who summed it up best for most dog lovers is a man named James from Alabama.
“Black Lab (mostly), from a reputable rescue agency – $50.
Things he chewed up in the first year – $5,000.
Benefits to our family – priceless.”