Goldendoodles are fun-loving, adorable family dogs that are popular around the world for their goofy smiles & shaggy coats. They are super gentle & playful, making them perfect family dogs.
However, Goldendoodles are designer mixes, so the average price can be a bit expensive compared to other breeds.
We’ve compiled a few costs associated with the care of Goldendoodles, including adoption, food, vet visits, and more!
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What Is a Goldendoodle?
If you’re new to dog training & breeding, you might not even know what a Goldendoodle is! As the name suggests, a Goldendoodle is a mixed breed – descended from a Poodle & a Golden Retriever.
Due to this unique mix, Goldendoodles have a couple of desirable traits from each parent.
Most notably, Goldendoodles don’t shed too much due to their Poodle parents, which makes them a great option if someone in your family has mild dog allergies.
Goldendoodles are active dogs with a gentle temperament due to their Golden Retriever genes.
My favorite feature of a Doodle is its adorable teddy-bear appearance! Goldendoodles truly stand out when you compare them to other dogs. However, due to their careful & selective breeding, the cost can be a little pricey compared to other breeds.
These pups are in high demand, so the buying price is usually a bit high.
How Much Does a Goldendoodle Cost?
So, exactly how much does a Goldendoodle cost? The price of a Doodle is dependent on quite a few external factors. However, a Goldendoodle will generally cost anywhere from $600 to $3000.
There are a ton of factors that affect the total buying price of a Goldendoodle.
Factors Influencing the Cost of a Goldendoodle
Goldendoodle is an umbrella term for a mix between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. What you might not know is that Goldendoodles can be divided into different generations, denoted by the letter “F.”
The F1 generation refers to a 50-50 mix between a Poodle & a Golden Retriever. For example, this could mean that the Goldendoodle has a Poodle mom & a Golden Retriever dad.
Similarly, an F2 generation dog is made when 2 F1 generation Goldendoodles mate. F1 generation dogs have a special feature known as “hybrid vigor,” which makes them healthier and larger and improves their biological functions.
However, they tend to shed just as much as their Golden Retriever parents, which means they are usually the least expensive Goldendoodle generation. F1B doodles are “backcrossed,” meaning breeders make F1 generation dogs mate with a purebred Poodle or Golden Retriever to enhance the breed’s features.
You typically find F1B doodles that have more Poodle genes. The average adoption costs of these dogs also tend to be more than F1B dogs with more Golden Retriever genes.
One of the best features of a Goldendoodle is how many color options there are! Due to the name, you may think that they can only have golden coats, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Doodles come in many beautiful coat colors, including brown, black, red, grey, apricot, parti, merle, phantom, and many more!
The rarer colors, such as grey, blue, silver, parti, and phantom, tend to be much more expensive than the others because they are harder to breed.
Think about the vast difference between Poodle hair & Golden Retriever hair. Now imagine what happens when you breed them together. You get many different coat types, each more unique than the last!
There are 3 main coat textures: straight, wavy, or curly.
- The straight coat is almost exactly like the Golden Retriever coat. It is fluffy, straight, and does not have any visible curls. It needs minimal brushing, but it is not hypoallergenic whatsoever. This is common in F2 generation doodles and typically costs the least.
- The wavy coat is the typical coat pattern of most Goldendoodles. It has a bit more texture than the flat coat. It needs brushing every 1-2 weeks.
- The curly coat is the most sought-after and most expensive coat type. This curlier coat forms in F1B (backcrossed with a Poodle) generations or any dog with a higher concentration of Poodle genes. These dogs need more frequent brushing.
The size of your Goldendoodle makes a huge difference in the cost of adoption. Surprisingly, smaller dogs tend to have a larger price tag because they are harder to breed & are also more in demand.
People love tiny Goldendoodles because they usually have fewer maintenance costs attached, thrive in apartments, and are easier to travel with.
Naturally, the puppy’s age greatly influences the price the breeder places on it.
Younger dogs are more sought after because potential pet owners want to maximize their bonding time with their pets. Also, many people are worried that senior dogs could have health issues, which could lead to additional costs down the line.
Unfortunately, this means that breeders will often hike up the prices of their younger puppies!
The most important variable for buying a Goldendoodle is the breeder’s reputation. One thing to remember from this article is “Beware of Backyard Breeders”!
Backyard breeders are unprofessional, small-scale unlicensed breeders that don’t operate under legal or ethical guidelines. They tend to be totally profit-driven, so the dogs they breed usually have a plethora of health issues.
A good way to find a reputable breeder is to check on the Goldendoodle Association of North America (GANA) Breeder List. This is an exhaustive list of breeders that must register their bitches & studs, give their pups a veterinary exam, and perform the required health tests. This includes hip scores, eye testing, cardiac clearance, patella testing, and elbow testing.
While it may be tempting to reduce the price with puppy mills, it does not compare to the unexpected cost of a sick puppy a few years down the line.
A poorly-bred pooch could have many health issues, such as hip dysplasia, epilepsy, diabetes, or parvovirus! Not only are these medical ailments quite expensive to treat, but they could also limit your puppy’s lifespan.
The market where you are looking to purchase your Doodle also greatly changes the average cost. If the cost of living in your region is pretty high, you can expect to pay more for your Doodle puppy.
An equally reputable breeder will charge more in New York than they would in Idaho. This is because veterinary bills, land, food, and labor are more expensive in major metropolitan areas.
Also, if you live in an area where Goldendoodles are more popular, you may notice that breeders charge more for their dogs. This is simply due to the basic principle of supply & demand.
Responsible breeders limit their bitches to a certain number of litters, so they only have so many pups to go around. If more people want to buy them, this can cause the breeder to increase the price.
Cost of Owning a Goldendoodle
Now that we’ve covered the factors that influence the initial cost of a Goldendoodle, what about the ongoing costs of keeping your doodle puppy happy & healthy?
There are several annual expenses associated with owning a Goldendoodle, including, but not limited to:
Food is one of the most important needs for your dog. The cost of a bag of high-quality dog food can vary from $30 to $130. You can also purchase canned food, anywhere from $25-$70 per case (12-count).
Dog food delivery services have the highest monthly cost, but you can find online discounts on food if you spend some time scouring the internet.
There are loads of other diets for pups, including the raw or homemade diet. The prices of these cuisines vary greatly depending on the quality of ingredients you use, the dishes you make, and the area you live in.
Pet Insurance: $500
The most common unexpected cost for pet owners is a surprise medical bill. While we can do all we can to keep our dogs well-fed, safe, and healthy, sometimes unfortunate circumstances mean your dog could need emergency surgery or tests.
These surprise costs could be greatly reduced with the help of pet insurance. Most plans offer up to 90% reimbursement, which is great in cases of expensive emergencies.
A high-quality insurance plan with good coverage, short waiting periods, and premium benefits will be around $500.
Veterinary Fees: $1400
If you have a younger puppy, the first few years of his life will seem like a blur of just vet visits & cleaning up the potty! Young puppies need to go to the vet’s office many times, be it for regular vaccinations or surprise treatments.
While vaccines may only cost $30-$60, a checkup could range from $50-$250, depending on the quality of health of your pup & the location.
Of course, as your pup ages into a senior, he will need more visits due to issues like dysplasia, arthritis, vision changes, and joint issues.
The average cost of veterinary fees is usually around $1400 for normal, expected care. However, if your dog needs emergency surgery or suffers from an ailment such as cancer or diabetes, this cost will skyrocket.
Preventative Treatment: $140-$200
If you plan to put your Doodle in a kennel or doggy daycare, preventative care for heartworms, fleas, and ticks is absolutely necessary.
You may need to give your pup deworming medication every few months. This can rack up an annual cost of $140-$200.
Grooming is one of the cutest aspects of owning a little Goldendoodle! Their luscious locks allow you to choose from a multitude of unique styles & designs.
However, professional grooming usually has a large price tag attached. Since you typically need to trim your Goldendoodle’s hair every four to six weeks, you can expect to pay up to $600 for haircuts, nail trimming, ear cleaning, and bathing.
Of course, you can also just trim it yourself at home to save a ton of money!
A crate is a lifelong investment in your pooch that will prove invaluable during training & traveling alike!
Dogs are den animals, meaning they love to have their own sheltered area, like a crate. This is where they can go to retreat when the outside world becomes way too overstimulating.
A high-quality crate, made with durable materials & a lightweight design, can cost anywhere from $100 to $300.
Even if your dog is a puppy, I recommend buying a crate for an adult-sized dog & using a puppy divider, so you only need to buy one crate in your pooch’s lifetime.
Toys & Accessories: $50-$250
It’s natural for pet parents to want to splurge on their fur babies! There are tons of little accessories that your dog will need throughout their life, including:
- Collar & Dog Tag
- Food & Water Bowl
- Dog Bed & Blanket
- Doggy Shampoo
- Chew Toys!
Some of these things, such as a dog bed & the food & water bowls, only need to be purchased once. This means you could pay up to $250 for accessories & toys as soon as you get your pooch.
After that, you may need to pay up to $50 a year to replace all the destroyed toys & gnawed beds. It’s a great idea to have a rotation of toys & puzzle games to keep your pup occupied & his mind engaged.
Desexing your pup is another big one-time-investment. Not only will desexing your pup save you thousands of dollars in the long run if you have an unexpected litter, but it also reduces aggression, reduces the likelihood of developing reproductive cancer, and reduces dog marking behavior in males.
Spaying or neutering can be as low as $50 in subsidized clinics and can go as high as $500.
What About Adoption?
Thinking about adopting? Adoption is a great way to save money; while breeders may charge up to $5000 for a dog, you could adopt a Goldendoodle puppy for less than $1000.
However, considering that doodles are in such high demand, it’s a pretty rare sight to see one in a shelter. Furthermore, Goldendoodles in shelters tend to be much older than the ones sold by breeders.
But rescuing a doodle means giving him a second chance at life and a new home, which is absolutely priceless!
Tips for Buying a Goldendoodle
It can be quite confusing to understand whether a breeding program is reputable. Here are a few telltale signs that the breeding process you are looking at is unethical & substandard.
- Wary of showing you the kennels
If your breeder doesn’t seem too keen on showing you where they house their pups, turn & run the other way! Any breeder that seems to be hiding their facilities probably doesn’t have very good facilities, to begin with.
- Doesn’t ask you questions
A good breeder will ask you many questions about your lifestyle and how you plan to care for the dog and may even test your knowledge of dog health & wellness.
- Doesn’t allow you to see the dogs
Ideally, you should try to see the dog you are going to purchase before you finalize your decision. This is also a great opportunity to see the state of the bitch & the rest of the litter, which will help you understand how your dog may look & if he is likely to inherit any health issues.
- Sell dogs under 8 weeks
No reputable breeder will sell you a Goldendoodle under 8 weeks old. Ethical breeding standards state that you should wait at least 8 weeks before separating a pup from his mother, usually when the pup is weaned.
Greedy breeders try to sell off their pups as soon as possible to turn over a larger profit.
- No health checks/genetic testing offered
Breeding dogs can be tricky because of the risk of genetic testing. For customer assurance, high-quality breeding programs perform genetic testing for medical issues common in Goldendoodles.
- Limited years of experience
A good breeder should have several years of breeding experience under his belt. If he’s just starting out, he should ideally have work experience at another breeder or have completed an apprenticeship.
- Doesn’t have breeder registration papers
All Goldendoodle breeders must have breeder registration papers for the puppies, the bitch, and the stud.
- No public reviews
Before you choose a breeder, shop around online & in social settings like kennels or dog parks. Have you heard anything about this breeder on Facebook groups? If it is not a well-known program with social proof, it might be a backyard breeding program.
- Doesn’t offer a health guarantee
All breeders should offer a health guarantee, which is basically an assurance that your Goldendoodle is healthy. Typically, breeders provide a 1-year health guarantee, but some may even offer a lifetime guarantee!
- No lifetime return policy
Similarly, breeders will often offer a lifetime return policy if extenuating circumstances mean you can’t take care of the dog. This is because they do not want their puppies to end up in a shelter or pound.
Goldendoodles are fantastic additions to any family; they are funny, playful, and loyal. However, being designer dogs, they can be a bit expensive compared to other breeds.
Several factors play into the cost of a doodle puppy, including age, color, coat, and genes. Furthermore, many recurring expenses, such as food, veterinary bills, and grooming, should be considered for a Goldendoodle.
The most important thing to remember is to avoid backyard breeders. Spend time researching & shopping around to find a reputable, ethical breeder.
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