By Andrew Fischer
What is the cost of a Labrador Retriever puppy?
The average cost of a Labrador puppy completely depends on where you live and varies from breeder to breeder.
In the USA the price for a Labrador puppy can range from $700 to $1400. The average cost is around $1000. A very well bred Labrador can cost you anywhere from $1400 up. A Lab puppy can also cost more than $2,500 if the puppy comes from a championship bloodline.
However, a lifetime ownership of a Labrador in the USA may be as high as $30,000. Keep in mind that food, dog toys, vet bills, microchipping, boarding, heartworm prevention, flea medication,… can really add up.
Labrador Prices by Location
The prices below are for puppies from professional breeders. I contacted around 15 breeders and got these price ranges:
- USA: $700 – $1400
- UK: £700 to £900 ($940 – $1200)
- Australia: A$550 to A$650
- India: 9,000 – 20,000 rupees ($130-300)
A Labrador puppy from New York, London, Sydney or San Francisco will cost considerably more than one in Kansas, Missouri, Newcastle or Birmingham.
Total Lifetime Cost of a Labrador Puppy
An annual visit to a vet will cost you around $70. Further, expect to pay around $700 for food and some $100 for various accessories and toys annually.
Vaccinations, flea and heartworm medications etc may cost around $1,000 annually.
TOTAL ANNUAL COST = $1,870.
Average life expectancy of a Labrador Retriever in the USA is around 13 years.
Total costs for 13 years: $1,870 x 13 = $24,310
There may be also other additional and unforeseen costs. I’ve had several visits to the emergency vet (swallowed objects, liver shunt, skin allergies, chronic ear infection, eye surgeries,…)
Labrador prices may depend on a coat colour
The black Labrador was traditionally considered the best coat colour. You may still find black Labrador puppies are more pricey than brown or yellow puppies.
There is also a new unrecognised colour that is quite popular lately, which is the silver Labrador. Today you may find that silver Labrador puppies are even more expensive than black Labs.
English vs American Labradors
English Labradors are the most common choice for those who want to breed Labradors and participate on Labrador shows. They are quite lazy and substantially more expensive.
American Labradors are working dogs that are bred for their stamina. They are the most common pet Labrador type in the USA. They are great for playing and running around the whole day. They are cheaper than English Labs.
Did you know that over 1 million dogs are euthanized every year? 4 million dogs enter animal shelters nationwide every year.
You can help these dogs. Labrador puppies from rescue centres can cost you $200 or less (on adoption fees which go to shelter or rescue foundation) and they may come dewormed, vaccinated and even spayed and this will save you hundreds in vet bills.
Labradors from shelters may be even cheaper and cost less than $100.
A mixed breed vs a purebred Labrador
Mixed breeds are generally substantially cheaper. If you find a Labrador puppy for a price that seems too good to be true, it probably comes from a puppy mill.
Good breeders of purebred Labradors will often allow you to inspect how their dogs are being bred and raised. A good Lab breeder who genuinely cares about breeding the best dogs will buy the best Labrador food and healthcare for the Lab parents before breeding. This obviously drives up the cost of such pure bred puppies.
The cost of a Labrador puppy also completely depends on whether the breeder has taken all necessary actions with the parent Labs to insure the best health of the pups. Pure bred parents should have a Renal Disease DNA Test, cardiac exams and their hips and elbows certified and this costs money. So if you wonder why your new purebred puppy is so expensive you need to understand that your breeder has to calculate all these expenses into the final price.
Cheap pure bred dogs may suffer from issues of inbreeding. A reputable breeder will ensure that the puppies have been bred from parent Labradors that are as unrelated as possible.