Last Updated on April 19, 2023
Are you ready for your first dog? Are you considering a Labrador Retriever? Well, you would be in good company. But what exactly do these popular companions cost and what else do you need to consider when buying a Lab puppy?
Here is a complete guide for all the considerations you need to make when buying a Lab, from selecting a breeder to choosing a name for your new dog.
- 1 How Much Do Labrador Retriever Dogs Cost?
- 2 How Much Do Labs Cost from a Breeder?
- 3 What Does It Cost to Rescue a Labrador Retriever?
- 4 Factors Affecting the Price of Lab Puppies and Why Prices Vary for the Same Breed
- 5 What Does a Labrador Retriever Cost After You Get Him Home?
- 6 What are Things to Consider Before Bringing Home a Labrador Puppy?
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
- 8 Conclusion: Is a Labrador the Right Breed for You?
- 9 Further reading: The Cost of Popular Pooches
How Much Do Labrador Retriever Dogs Cost?
The cost of a Labrador Retriever puppy can vary significantly, depending on where you get your dog.
Labrador Retrievers from a dog breeder cost between $800 and $1,500.
If you decide to adopt a dog instead of buying a puppy from a breeder, you may get your dog for free or only be looking at a couple of hundred dollars, which will offset the rescue costs.
These dogs are extremely popular, being the most registered dog in America and England since 1991, and thus finding a Labrador Retriever to call your own is not a challenging task.
Should you buy a Lab puppy or an older dog?
There are pros and cons to buying both puppies and older Lab dogs. Labrador puppies are more expensive and require more vaccinations initially; however, older Labradors may have health issues or require intensive training to iron out negative habits.
If you look for a Labrador Retriever at a rescue center or shelter, you’ll be more likely to find an older dog than a puppy. Along with saving some costs, you’ll also give an animal a chance at a new life.
That said, it’s hard to resist Labrador puppies. They are some of the cutest in the doggie kingdom. If you can’t get enough of these little bundles of fluff, then be sure to check out this Labrador puppy compilation video:
Are small Labrador Retriever dogs more expensive than large ones?
A Labrador Retriever is a large dog and this is going to cost more in the long run, than say, buying a Chihuahua.
Large breed dogs like Labradors eat a lot, and this expense can be pretty significant, depending on the brand of dog food you buy.
For instance, a Labrador Puppy will consume around 220 pounds of dry puppy food a year, whereas an adult Lab will eat about 310 pounds of food each year. That’s $290 in food alone each year.
That said, be sure not to overfeed your Labrador Retriever, as these food-obsessed dogs are prone to developing obesity.
Don’t miss out: When Do Labs Stop Growing?
How Much Do Labs Cost from a Breeder?
The average cost of a Lab puppy from a reputable breeder in the United States is between $800 and $1,500. In the UK, puppies from a Labrador Retriever breeder sit in a price range of between £650 and £850.
Dogs that are bred to be show or field-quality dogs can be significantly more expensive. If your Lab comes from a championship bloodline, it may cost over $2,500.
How to find a reputable Labrador breeder and avoid puppy mills
Be very wary of Lab puppy mills and backyard breeders when looking for your new dog. Puppy mills are breeders just looking to make a quick buck and don’t adequately care for their parent dogs.
These parent dogs are often not health screened and sometimes live in very poor environments where their sole purpose is to have more and more puppies.
To this end, a Labrador dog that is too cheap should be seen as a red flag. A breeder who generally cares for their pet will undoubtedly charge more, but then you have peace of mind knowing that the parent dogs are happy and healthy and well looked after.
What Does It Cost to Rescue a Labrador Retriever?
Rehoming fees for Labrador Retriever dogs typically range between $300 and $550. These fees often already include spaying or neutering costs, vaccinations, and microchipping. Rescuing a pet can be a bit of a gamble if you don’t know the dog’s history.
Also, dogs marketed as Labradors often have a bit of something else mixed in, especially if they are street dogs, so you might never be 100% sure what you are getting.
Factors Affecting the Price of Lab Puppies and Why Prices Vary for the Same Breed
Different Lab breeders will have different priorities, and several factors can influence how much a puppy costs. These include the following:
Generally, the older the dog, the cheaper the initial purchase price. Young eight-week-old Lab puppies are going to be the most expensive choice.
2. Coat color and markings
Your Lab’s coat color will affect the price you pay for a puppy. The double coat of the Labrador Retrievers comes in three main colors, namely chocolate (brown), black, and yellow Labrador which is a creamy color.
Black Labradors are generally the most expensive of the three. Silver Labradors are also a possibility but are pretty rare and also costly.
Read our article here to learn more about Labrador Retriever colors.
3. Purebred or mixed
Labrador Retrievers are commonly mixed with other breeds to create interesting crosses like the Borador, Bassador, and Boxador.
Mix breed dogs are generally less expensive than purebred Lab puppies and have fewer health issues, so they can also be cheaper in the long run.
Don’t miss out: Labrador Retriever Lifespan
4. Bloodline and breeder’s reputation
Unfortunately, the Labrador gene pool is quite limited. You need to ensure your pup’s parents are unrelated. Parents that are champion or show quality dogs are going to produce more expensive puppies.
Labrador dogs that have been specifically trained for specific roles like service dogs, guide dogs, and search and rescue dogs will also be more expensive than those destined for a life of leisure as the family pet.
5. Labrador type
Did you know there are two types of purebred Labradors? These include the American, or working Labrador and the English, or Snow Labrador.
The most common pet Labrador is the American version, whereas English Labs are more common amongst show dogs. American Labradors are generally more athletic compared to the fluffy, broad-chested English Labs.
Don’t miss out: English Lab vs American Lab
6. Registration papers/pedigree
The most well-known club in the United States is the American Kennel Club (AKC). Labrador puppies registered with the AKC are more expensive.
Female Labrador dogs will typically cost more than male Labs because they have breeding potential. That said, dogs that have already been spayed or neutered and are not bred for subsequent litters should cost around the same.
8. Health screenings and medical expenses
Always ensure that the breeder can present health screening certificates for the Lab puppy’s parents.
These should include screenings for hip and elbow dysplasia as well as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). A DNA test for exercise-induced collapse is also sometimes performed.
In addition, most reputable breeders will bear the costs of the first worming and vaccinations as well as tick and flea treatments and microchipping your pet.
9. Breed popularity in the buyer’s location
As with anything, local supply and demand will affect the price of your puppy. As mentioned, Labs are one of the most popular dog breeds, and being so in demand can push the price of puppies up, especially if you only have limited breeders where you live.
10. Training and socialization
Some breeders take the time to train and socialize their Lab puppies. This investment will be more expensive initially but can be cheaper in the long run as you don’t have to spend so much time and money on training, socialization, and obedience classes later in life.
What Does a Labrador Retriever Cost After You Get Him Home?
Don’t forget that owning a Labrador Retriever dog is about so much more than just that initial puppy price. There are grooming, exercise, food, training, and health care costs to consider.
Vet expenses are one of the most significant cost considerations. These include regular vet checkups, vaccines, deworming, spaying or neutering, and attending to any health issues that may arise.
Some common health concerns with this dog breed include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, ear infections, and eye problems.
It is a good idea to add pet health insurance into your budget as this will help pay for any emergency medical treatment or health problems should the need arise.
Other things that will incur costs during your pet’s life include kennels, beds, crates, chew toys, water, and food bowls, obedience classes and training, treats, accessories like leads, collars, and blankets, and of course, your pet’s everyday dog food.
A quick search on Amazon will yield thousands of Labrador dog food options to choose from with various price tags. Be sure to check out our article on the best dog foods for Labs to help make your selection.
You’ll also want to consider your Lab’s grooming needs. If you get your dog professionally groomed every three months or so, you’re looking at an annual cost of around $350, with each session costing about $80.
Professional groomers will usually bathe and shampoo your Lab dog and also clean the teeth and the ears. They will also generally clip your dog’s nails.
You may also need a dog walker or doggie daycare if you work in an office all day and can’t exercise your pet daily. And if you go away regularly, you’ll also need to factor in the costs of a pet sitter or boarding kennels.
You may also need to pay for professional dog training, although that isn’t always necessary with this breed. Introductory obedience group sessions can be a good idea to socialize your puppy and learn a few basic skills.
These sessions typically cost about $150 to $200 for a month’s worth of hourly slots.
Another cost is a dog license. In the United States, a license will generally set you back between $10 and $20 for a dog that is spayed or neutered. These costs can be higher if your pup hasn’t been fixed.
What are Things to Consider Before Bringing Home a Labrador Puppy?
There are some essential things you need to take into consideration before getting a Labrador puppy.
Do you have the right space for your Labrador Retriever?
Labrador Retrievers are big dogs that need space. They will need a house with a yard where they can expel their excess energy. Those happy, long lab tails can also be quite destructive, so you don’t want a tiny apartment filled with glass figurines.
Do you have time for your Lab dog?
Labs are not couch potatoes, especially when they are puppies. These dogs require active owners who can dedicate time to exercise and play with them.
They need to be walked at least once a day and may also enjoy a good swim. Labrador Retrievers that aren’t given enough time can become bored and destructive.
Can you afford a Labrador dog?
As mentioned, the cost of buying a Labrador dog is just the first step. There are many other factors to consider to keep your pet healthy and well-looked after. You need to keep these in mind when asking yourself if you can afford a pet.
Will a Labrador suit your lifestyle?
If you work a lot and can’t be at home to take care of a new Labrador puppy, then you may want to reconsider getting one. Also, if you like a clean house, then a Labrador Retriever is not the best dog for you.
These messy pups like to swim, and they shed a lot. A new Lab puppy is also likely to make a mess in the house a few times while being potty trained.
Will a Labrador Retriever dog fit in with your family?
Labrador Retrievers are known to be excellent family dogs. Just be careful with bringing a tiny puppy into a home with young kids.
While dealing with a puppy and a baby can be a challenge, young children often don’t know how to handle small growing puppies properly. Labs, however, are very gentle dogs and so make excellent family pets when your kids get a bit older.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
What are the yearly and monthly costs of a Labrador Retriever?
The first year of Labrador Retriever ownership is one of the most expensive as you have to pay for all those puppy vaccinations and microchipping while getting everything you need to make your doggo’s life comfortable.
These costs can set you back between $2,000 and $3,000 for the first year alone.
After that, you are looking at around $158 a month or $1900 for every year of your pet’s life. This means that during your Labrador’s lifetime, you could spend about $22,000 on your dog.
What are great names for a Labrador Retriever?
There are so many great dog names that you can choose for your Labrador Retriever. A good name should be easy to call and preferably just one or two syllables as it will be easier for your dog to learn. These names could include options like Max, Rover, Ace, or Buddy.
One of the most popular Labrador Retriever names is Markey, from the beloved film Marley and Me.
Other popular Labrador Retriever names are inspired by coat colors such as night, shadow, onyx, or raven for a black Lab and sunny, blondie, goldie, or summer for a yellow lab.
Conversely, chocolate Labs could go by the name Hershey, brownie, brandy, cookie, or muffin.
You might also choose to be inspired by your pup’s history. Originally known as the St John’s breed, these dogs originated from Newfoundland in Canada.
You can pay homage to these roots with popular Canadian names like Chloe, Lola, Molly, Riley, Finn, Jackson, and Killian.
Conclusion: Is a Labrador the Right Breed for You?
Labrador Retrievers are some of the most loving, intelligent, and fun dogs out there. There is a reason why they are one of the most popular breeds in the world. That said, getting one of these puppies is a significant investment.
You can’t just look at the initial purchase price of a Lab dog; you also need to consider what your pet will cost throughout its lifespan, taking into account vet bills, grooming expenses, training, dog walking, food, and more.
If you can afford the cost of buying a Labrador Retriever and the monthly expenses that incur looking after a pet, then no doubt a Lab will be a fantastic addition to your home and possibly your most loved family member.
Do you already have a Labrador Retriever at home? How much did you pay for your Labrador dog, and is there anything you wish you knew before bringing your new pet home? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.
Further reading: The Cost of Popular Pooches
- Golden Retriever Price
- Shiba Inu Price
- Pomeranian Price
- Siberian Husky Price
- German Shepherd Price
- French Bulldog Price
Cess is the Head of Content Writing at K9 Web and a passionate dog care expert with over 5 years of experience in the Pet Industry. With a background in animal science, dog training, and behavior consulting, her hands-on experience and extensive knowledge make her a trusted source for dog owners.
When not writing or leading the K9 Web content team, Cess can be found volunteering at local shelters and participating in dog-related events.