How Much is a Labrador Retriever? The Cost of Owning a Lab

If you’re a dog lover and are particularly interested in a Lab puppy, it is not only his dwelling place, nutrition, and essentials to prepare, but also the upfront expenses of owning a Labrador. In this article, I’ll share with you “how much is a Labrador puppy” and other costs to anticipate for having one. Read until the end and be prepared for what to expect.

How Much Is A Labrador Retriever

How much is a Labrador retriever puppy?

There is no single answer to this question because breeders and other sources can have different prices for their Labrador for sale.

You might be able to get a puppy from a breeder at a price between $800 and $1200, or maybe even less.

But if you’re eyeing on a championship level Lab, this can cost at least $3000.    

Cost: English Labrador vs. American Labrador

You might have heard of these terms when searching for Labrador puppies for sale, and they can be used when describing the types of Lab pertaining to a show Labrador or a field Labrador for that matter.

What is a show type of Lab pup? This refers to the type that is bred to pass breed standards of Labs. They appear stockier and mostly less active. It is a bit more expensive than the field type, costing at least $2000.

English labs are show dogs, which are also referred to as a Bench type of lab. You might not be able to see them out working in the fields, and they fit into the standard sizes and ranges of the kennel club.

And what is a field Lab? This type is bred for its working ability and is usually more affordable than a show lab. It’s also energetic and active. Field types are American Labradors, which don’t necessarily fit the kennel club’s standard height and weight. You won’t see them on a show bench but out in the fields, hence their name field labs.

What factors affect a Lab’s price?  

You won’t find the same prices for all Labradors for sale because there are certain factors that affect their price.

Quality of the breeder

It’s not a good idea to look for cheap Labrador for sale because it can mean different things.

For example, a cheap Lab pup might mean a less trained or experienced, neglected, or even a sick puppy. This would require more cost along the way.

That’s why you should avoid puppy mills and unethical breeders when buying a Lab puppy. They’re more concerned about fattening their wallets than breeding and raising a healthy Labrador. 

If you decide to buy a Lab puppy, I recommend getting yours from a decent and reputable breeder, who is responsible and genuinely cares for the health and wellbeing of a Lab puppy.

A responsible breeder would want to meet you in person and screen for any genetic diseases that a Lab may have later (hip and elbow dysplasia, etc.).

Champion bloodlines

Good Lab breeders breed premium bloodlines, which puppies cost several thousands of dollars. If you want your Lab to participate in dog shows in the future, then you might have to pay more upfront. This is because premium Lab puppies from champion bloodlines have undergone stricter standards and processes.

Although if you’re not looking into having your Lab participate in shows, you might not have to get Lab puppies coming from a champion bloodline.

Season and location

Prices can be lower in the winter months when the demand tends to be lower than in the summer or warm months.

The location of the breeder can also affect the price of a Lab puppy, which can be higher if they’re living in a high-cost location and have many customers.


Younger puppies, mostly around eight weeks, tend to cost higher than older puppies because of their higher demand. Many families would love to enjoy the earlier stages of their pup; thus, they may have to pay more.

What’s the initial cost of owning Lab puppies?

The upfront cost of the puppy isn’t the only thing you have to consider regarding how much to spend.  Your canine will certainly need some essentials before bringing them home. Here are a few of the initial expenses to take into account.


You need to buy high-quality food designed for puppies. Stock up on essential food items and expect to spend at least $80 for this, depending on the puppy food brand. Be careful about feeding and giving treats to your Lab puppy that tends to overeat and thus has a higher risk of gaining more weight.

Feeding bowls

You need to prepare high quality water and food bowls before taking home your puppy. I advise on buying stainless steel ones, typically costing at least $10.

Quality bed

Give your puppy the comfort that they deserve with a nice and soft puppy bed, which can also help them avoid problems, like hip and elbow dysplasia. Expect to spend at least $50 to invest on a quality puppy bed. This can be more depending on the manufacturer/brand you’re buying from.


Prevent your puppy from developing nasty behavior like chewing. Buy them a crate that is integral in training them to be a good dog.  Expect to spend at least $50 for a dog crate.


Labradors are playful and active, and they have a constant desire to play and be active. They are lovely dogs that do well in interacting with people and other pets. You need to buy them toys so that they can spend their overflowing energy and stay stimulated.

This will keep them from boredom and help them avoid developing bad behavior like chewing on your rug and furniture. Chew toys are available at a wide range of prices, such as $30, $40, or $50, and even more.

Grooming items

Lessen the amount of fur you need to vacuum or sweep daily by giving them a daily brush.  Know that a Lab also sheds a lot, so you should groom them daily. By doing this, you will also help keep their beautiful coat healthy and shiny. Brushing tools are available for $40 or more. 

Collar and leash

Also take into account a nice leash and collar for your furry friend. A leash and a collar are basic items that you need before taking home a lab puppy.  Expect to spend at least $15 for a lab leash and collar.

Tick, flea, and deworming medications

While labs are typically dewormed and have been given tick and flea medications, you still need to spend at least $50 for the next doses.

Vet visits

Labs are predisposed to progressive retinal atrophy and other diseases, which are why vet visits are essential to increase their lifespan by maintaining their health even if your puppy seems healthy. Initial trips to the vet will cost about $100 or more. 


Vaccination is specifically critical in the first year of life of lab puppies. Make sure to consult your vet about it, follow the vaccination schedule, and complete all the required vaccines. This can cost at least $70.


Avoid behavioral and health issues by having your lab spayed or neutered, especially if you don’t have plans of breeding your dog. This procedure can cost at least $50.

Dog license

Ensure that your Lab will have proper documentation and registration for a dog license, which can also help you in case you lost your dog or it’s picked up by a dog pound.  Expect to pay at least $10 for this.


This typically costs at least $40. It is an essential spending for a lab that is known for their high energy and love for running or walking. A microchip can help in case your lab gets lost and you need to be identified as their owner.

Other supplies

Poop bags, poop scoopers, and supplements are other expenses to expect in owning a Labrador.

How’s the price of owning a Labrador compared to other dog breeds?

Basically, you’ll have to spend more on owning a large dog breed like a Lab; however, this isn’t always the case. For example, a Labrador doesn’t need constant grooming when compared to a poodle. Brushing, nail trimming, and bathing twice a month are essential grooming needs of a Labrador, and the cost is lower than taking them to a pet groomer.

Ongoing cost of owning a Labrador

The cost of owning a lab puppy doesn’t stop by the time you take them home or after the first week. There are ongoing costs to expect and must include in your monthly budget.

  •       Larger crate/bedding
  •       Dog food (puppy, dog, senior)
  •       Dental items like dental chews
  •       New toys
  •       Vet bills       
  •       Larger harness
  •       Grooming services
  •       Training classes
  •       Training tools and equipment

What is the annual cost of having a Lab retriever?

There are also ongoing expenses of owning a Labrador retriever whose lifespan is between 10 and 14 years, and so you should expect to spend for their essentials in order for them to thrive and grow happily and healthily. Annual expenses estimates are as follows.

Average cost (annually)

  •       Food/treats: $500 to $1200
  •       Toys: At least $25
  •       Crate and bed: At least $120
  •       Leashes and collars: At least $25
  •       Grooming items: $150+
  •       Flea, tick, and deworming medication: $150+
  •       Vet visits: $200 above
  •       Vaccinations:  At least $80
  •       Other supplies: $30+

Other potential expenses to expect

Emergency fund:  This is a good idea when having a pet because this can also keep you out of stress if your dear lab becomes sick or injured.

Training classes ($30+): Your dog is intelligent and needs constant mental stimulation, although doesn’t usually need professional dog training. Even so, you might still want to invest some money on things like puppy potty training and other basic commands if you’re a first time dog owner.

Pet sitter ($10+): If you don’t want to spend on a dog hotel or boarding kennel while you’re away and need someone to take care of your furry friend, a pet sitter may be your solution. They may also offer other services like pet walking.

Professional groomer ($40+): Being a first time owner who wants to learn how to groom your pet, you might want to get the services of a pet groomer. They can help groom your lab and make him look clean and tidy.

Boarding kennels ($20+): If you’re to travel for days or weeks and you need a boarding to take care of your pet while you’re traveling, a boarding kennel is what you need.

Final Thoughts

How much is a Labrador puppy? This is typically between $800 and $1200, or even more for championship bloodlines. Price can also be affected by age, source, location, and season. Also, remember that the expenses don’t stop in the initial spending on bedding, crate, toys, food, and medications, but there are ongoing and annual costs to consider. Be prepared and set your expectations right from the start by knowing how much the cost of owning a Labrador is.

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