How Much Does a Labrador Retriever Cost?

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Did you know that America’s favorite dog breed, the Labrador Retriever, did not really come from Labrador?
Instead, the Labrador or Lab’s ancestry can be traced to St. John’s waterdogs of Newfoundland.

It is from this ancestry that our friendly, highly-versatile canine got its shiny, water-resistant, and insulating coat of either black, chocolate brown, or yellow that makes the Labrador a perfect outdoor companion.

One-Time Expenses for a Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever price ranges between $700 and $1,500, depending on the breeder’s reputation and location, and the dog’s lineage, litter size, and training.

The American Kennel Club’s Puppy Finder is a good place to start searching for registered breeders if you wish assurance of your dog’s breed.  You may also check out other registered breeders in The Labrador Retriever Club.

Puppies from champion breeds cost even more, but it comes with the assurance of your pup’s background since registration and proper certification are already included.

If you find buying a Lab costly or if you wish to help poor homeless dogs instead, you may adopt a Labrador for $15 to $525.  The Labrador Retriever Club offers a directory of local rescue groups you may get in touch with.

Here’s good news for senior citizens – there are actually animal shelters that participate in special promotions where you may be lucky enough to find and adopt a senior Lab for free!

In case you got an unregistered pup, you may get a license for $5 up to $20.  Purebreds may be registered at AKC for $30 to $79.99, depending on the number of services included.

If you have a mixed breed Labrador, you may opt to have your canine companion registered at United Kennel Club (UKC) which registers mixed breed dogs for as low as $20.

Spaying or neutering is a healthy way to ensure non-breeder dogs a healthier and happier life.  Sterilized dogs are calmer, have a better appetite, and are less susceptible to inter-dog disputes during rut seasons.
These cost $74 to $110.  By getting your pet sterilized, you not only help your canine pal, but you are also helping the dog population. Fewer dogs mean more of them getting a chance to be in happy homes!

Microchipping allows you to track the whereabouts of your canine friend.  Labradors are curious and playful.  They love exploring and can sometimes be trusting with strangers – all the more reason for them to get microchipped.

Microchipping costs around $20 to $50, although you can have it free if you opt for a higher registration package in AKC.

Recurring Costs for Owning a Labrador Retriever

Diet and Exercise – Labradors love to eat so their food intake can cost from $27 to $65 for a 24 to 30-lb. bag that could last a month.  Mind their diet, however, since Labs have a tendency to become obese if left to lounge indoors rather than having regular exercise.

There is another reason Labs need exercise – these canines have a lot of pent-up energy.  A bored Labrador will become hyperactive and eventually engage in destructive behavior.  If you leave your pet alone you might find out one day to have all your favorite shoes totally chewed off.

Swimming and daily runs are highly recommended to burn all those doggo energies off.  Labs also have this penchant – if not obsessive – streak for retrieving thrown objects, so letting a stick, ball, Frisbee, or any other toy fly for your pet would also be a good exercise.

Health – Lab pups under four months may be prone to infections once weaned from their mothers, so you may need to spend $175 to $250.  As they grow older, visits to the vet and dental care together cost $150 to $800 a year. In addition, medication, treatment and surgery may cost at least $58 on pre-operation procedure alone.

Emergency Expense and Insurance – Because medical care for dogs like the Lab can be costly, some owners, like those whose dogs are AKC-registered, opt for premiums that include insurance.  Insurance on its own can cost an average of $45 a month but it help curb medical costs.

Travel – Labs love the outdoors so you may want to bring your doggo along on a summer trip or any holiday.  Crates may cost $35 to $500 depending on the type and quality, but they are reusable.

Air travel transportation may cost $385 to $950 depending on the destination.  Prices for airline tickets, customs, and laboratory fees vary from airport to airport, so please contact your nearest airline office for additional information.

Grooming – Labradors tend to shed a lot so, at an early age, it is recommended that they get used to brushing and grooming.  Slicker brushes cost $5 to $21.  Professional grooming services which include bathing and clipping may cost $45 to $65.

Labrador Retriever Cost
How Much Does a Labrador Retriever Cost? 3

More About Labrador Retrievers

There are only three color variants of purebred Labrador Retrievers recognized by AKC, UKC, The Labrador Retriever Club, Inc., and other organizations. These colors are yellow, chocolate brown, and black. Some breeders claim they have silver Labradors, but Lab organizations identify them as hybrids.

Labs are also characterized by their thick “otter tail” which helps them make fast turns, even in water. This, coupled with their thick coats, intelligence, and adaptability have made Labs and their ancestors good water dogs – to the point that their partner fishermen assigned them to retrieve fish that have fallen off the boat.

Although Labs are playful, they are also outgoing and eager to please. They are also good swimmers and trackers, so they can be trained well to become sporting and sniffing dogs. Several Clubs like the Labrador Retriever Club provide basic and advanced training services for your canine friend.

Labradors have a keen sense of smell so they can also be used as companion-guides, rescuers, and trackers. An example of a famous working Lab is Jake, a black Retriever who took part and helped in search and rescue operations during Hurricane Katrina and the September 11 attacks.

Kristin Hitchcock

Kristin Hitchcock currently owns a husky-mix but also has experience with a wide range of dogs, cats, reptiles, and fish. She has written for a number of popular pet sites, including The Happy Puppy Site, Cat Life Today, and TheLabradorSite.

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