The Labrador Retriever is America’s most popular dog, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). For the past three decades, it has been America’s favorite dog breed.
It is not surprising then that almost every family wanting a new pet to join the pack goes in for the Labrador Retriever.
Labradors thrive well in working roles and have very affectionate temperaments, making them easy picks for families or new owners.
One of the questions new owners mostly ask is how much Labradors cost and how much are they looking at spending throughout the lifespan of their new friend. This article will provide information on all costs involved in purchasing and owning a Labrador puppy.
How Much Is A Labrador Puppy?
While the prices differ from breeder to breeder, depending on various factors, the average price stated by many websites put the fee between $800 and $2000. While some pups cost less than this, some championship bloodline pups cost $3000 or even more.
This is just the amount you would spend purchasing the puppy. Nonetheless, there are other costs involved that new owners should be ready for. This includes the cost of food, veterinary bills, grooming, bedding, and so on.
What Factors Affect The Prices Of Labrador Puppies?
You may be wondering why prices for the same breed of Labradors differ. A lot of factors account for this. We’ve discussed some of them below.
Quality of the Breeder
Labrador puppies tend to be expensive when bought from a quality breeder as opposed to the prices of puppies from puppy mills.
This is because quality breeders spend more to take care of the puppies to ensure healthy puppies. Puppy mills, on the other hand, do not properly care for the puppies and are only interested in cashing in on them.
In puppy mills, pups are raised in very unhygienic conditions and tend to experience various health complications throughout their lives.
Thus, while you may want to get your pups at a cheaper price, know that you may be in for a long-term expense, mostly on the health of your new friend.
It is important to look for a certified breeder so you do not end up with unhealthy puppies. Responsible breeders, unlike puppy mills put in the time to check for genetic diseases such as hip and elbow dysplasia, eye issues, and exercise-induced collapse.
This ultimately raises the cost for the puppy, yet it is worth it as you are assured of a healthy puppy.
Another factor that influences the price of Labrador puppies is the bloodline from which they were bred. For instance, new owners who would want to own a Labrador bred from champion bloodlines should expect to spend more than usual for their puppies.
Buying a breed from a champion bloodline requires the interested owner to pay for such services as the tests and protocols involved. However, if you are interested in just a home puppy and not a sporty one, you would pay less.
Thus, the prices of Labrador puppies could be dependent on which bloodline your puppy is from.
Most puppies are adopted when they are 8 weeks old, although not all families and new owners want puppies at a such young age. They rather prefer to wait a bit longer to be able to get them for cheaper prices.
Thus, the younger the puppy, the more expensive it is, and vice versa. This is because breeders tend to reduce the cost of older puppies to be able to make room for new puppies.
Location and Time of Year
The location of the breeder could also determine the price of the puppies. If the breeder is in a high-living standard area, he’s likely to rise the prices to cater for his expenses.
In the same vein, if the breeder lives in a low to the middle-income area, the pup prices may be lower. Also, if there is high demand for puppies from that breeder, the prices may increase.
Perhaps, you may be thinking of traveling to a low-middle-income location to get a pup at a cheaper rate. As much as it may seem reasonable, you should consider your traveling expenses and weigh your options.
Most families also like to get their new puppies home during the summer when it’s warm and the children are home to play with the pups.
Thus, prices for pups in summer are relatively higher than in winter. If you want to get a Labrador puppy cheaper than usual, try to get it during winter.
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.
The most expensive of these is the black Labradors and as such you would spend a little more than usual to get one.
There is also the possibility of getting a silver-colored Labrador but that is very rare and also very expensive.
Purebred or Mixed Labrador Dog
One other factor that could determine the price of your dog is whether or not it is purebred or mixed.
It is common to see Labrador dogs mixed with other breeds. The outcome includes breeds such as Borador, Bassador, and Boxador.
Mixed breeds are mostly less expensive compared to purebred puppies and have fewer health issues.
Why Puppies From Breeders Cost More
Puppies from breeders tend to be more expensive than those from puppy mills or any other source. This is due to the time invested in the care of the puppies.
This care does not only start when puppies are born but rather, from the mother dog – throughout pregnancy till after birth.
Matter of fact, most breeders tend not to even make enough profit, given that a major part of puppy prices go into the care of the puppy, especially health-wise. Some of the costs involved in breeding include,
- Feeding for the mother and puppies
- Bedding for the mother and puppies
- Health testing and certificates
- First vaccination for puppies
- Veterinary check-ups for mother and puppies
- De-worming for puppies
- AKC registration
- Stud fee
- Any other puppy supplies such as puppy pads, colors, teething toys, etc.
It is easy to understand now why the prices of puppies from reputable breeders are that expensive. It is not to make huge profits.
Most of the amount covers the above-listed items. Thus, if a Labrador puppy is being sold for a low price, you should question whether or not it is enough to cover these items.
However, note that a high price does not automatically equate to a good breeder. You should do your research to find a reputable breeder.
Rescuing A Labrador Retriever: What Does It Cost?
Usually known as rehoming fees, rescuing a Labrador retriever could cost between $50 and $500. This often includes the costs of spaying or neutering, vaccinations, and microchipping.
If you are interested in rescuing a Labrador retriever, know that things could get tricky as you do not know the history of the dog.
Be ready for anything. Also, you cannot be fully sure you are getting and purebred Labrador as it could be a mixed breed.
Bringing A Labrador Puppy Home: What You Will Need.
Owning a Labrador puppy isn’t just about how much it costs to buy one. The costs go further to include all the items you would need to make your new puppy friend feel at home. Here’s a list of some things you’d need.
|Dog bed||$30 – $100|
|Crate and divider||$50 – $100|
|Food and water bowls||$15|
|Poop bags||$5 – $10|
|Toys||$10 – $100|
|Puppy food||$25 – $50|
Note that you would have to get all these items before bringing home your new puppy. Other costs involve vaccination, pet insurance, etc.
Other Costs Involved In Petting A Labrador
As with raising a newborn baby, the costs involved are not only in the first week or month. It is a continuous process. Thus, some of the things that would require extra cash include;
- Veterinary bills
- Puppy food, adult dog food, senior dog food
- Dental chews or toothbrushing equipment
- Replacing old toys
- Larger bedding and crate if you started with one that fits your puppy
- Larger harness
- Trips to the groomers
- Training Lessons and equipment for training.
If you bought your puppy from a puppy mill, you are likely to spend extra on the health of your new friend, as such puppies are known to have health concerns all the time.
For the entire lifespan of your Labrador friend, you are likely to spend about $20,000 on your dog.
The Labrador Retriever is a wonderful family pet that is very reasonably priced. After the puppy’s initial purchase price, you will have to spend a few hundred dollars to have it neutered or spayed, if you wish, and to acquire the necessary vaccinations.
After that, all you’ll have to do is give them shelter, food, and the odd booster shot.
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