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What Does a Flat-Coated Retriever Cost?

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What Does a Flat-Coated Retriever Cost?

Flat-coated retrievers are not nearly as common as some other retrievers. It can be significantly more difficult to find them than other retrievers. Their overall costs are about what you’d expect from a larger dog. 

Typically, a puppy from a qualified breeder costs about $1,500 to $2,500. This is about average for a bigger dog. They simply require more money and care to breed, which gets tacked on the puppy’s price tag. 

On top of the price for the puppy, you’ll also have to consider the supplies and startup costs of a puppy. While a few $10 purchases don’t seem like a lot, these can add up quickly. You can expect to pay around $5,000 for your dog’s first year. This includes all of these one-time purchases, as well as things like food and vet bills. 

After the first year, the price falls a bit. You can expect to pay about $1,500 for each year after that.

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How much does a Flat-Coated Retriever cost?

As we previously stated, most puppies will cost somewhere between $1,500 to $2,500—however, this assuming that you’re purchasing your dog from a qualified breeder. As you might expect, you can find puppies from other locations for much cheaper. 

However, this isn’t always necessarily a good thing. Cheap puppies are usually cheaper for a reason. Because all Retrievers tend to have certain health problems such as hip dysplasia, you should not look for the cheapest puppy available – but instead for a healthy and well-bred one.

Flat-Coated Retriever on the white background

Getting a puppy from Craigslist

There are often quite a few puppies being advertised on Craigslist. These range in price from extremely cheap to what you’d expect from a professional breeder. 

Sadly, most puppies on Craigslist are not from professional breeders. Often, these puppies are the result of backyard breeders or puppy mills. Most of these puppies do not have much money or care put into them, which is why they are often much cheaper than puppies from professional breeders. 

The large majority of them do not receive the proper health care when they are younger, which likely means that you’ll need to pay more for vet care. For instance, most breeders pay for the puppy’s first vaccinations, which most puppies on Craigslist have yet to have.

You’ll often pay more for these puppies in the long run due to the increased vet care, socialization, and training they will need. 

Getting a puppy from a rescue

If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to get a puppy, animal shelters and rescues are often the way to go. However, Flat-Coated Retrievers are difficult to find and typically don’t end up at animal shelters. Therefore, you’re unlikely to find these dogs at most rescues. 

You’re the only option in most cases is to go through a breeder. If you do find a Flat-Coated Retriever at an animal shelter, you will likely get them at a discount, though. For instance, you can expect to pay about $50 to $300 for a shelter dog.

puppy Flat-Coated Retriever outside

Getting a puppy from a breeder

In most cases, your only option is going to be getting this dog from a breeder. Breeders usually charge between $1,500 to $2,500 for their dogs. Because these dogs are larger, they make more money and room to breed. This often gets passed onto the price of the puppies. 

Furthermore, you get a lot more than just a puppy when adopting from a breeder. Often, breeders do special health testing on their dogs to ensure that genetic conditions are not passed onto their puppies. They also get the puppy the appropriate health care when they are small. This often lowers your own vet bills since you won’t have to pay for your puppy’s first few vaccinations. 

Many puppies also receive extensive socialization and some training from their breeders as well. This can decrease the amount of training your puppy needs later and help them adapt easier to your home.

Costs of health tests

Like all breeds, health testing is important for the Flat-Coated Retriever. Without proper health testing, it can be difficult to determine the healthiest dogs to breed together. Genetic conditions may end up being passed on to the puppies if the proper testing isn’t done. 

Hip dysplasia is common in this breed, similar to all larger dogs. This condition occurs when the dog’s joints do not line up properly. This improper alignment ends up causing arthritis-like symptoms. Testing for this condition involves x-raying a dog’s hips. Typically, this costs about $100 to $300. However, sedation will cost extra and can easily raise the cost to $500 for some dogs. 

(Other Retriever breeds such as Labradors or English Cream Retrievers also commonly suffer from hip issues.)

They are prone to a few different eye conditions as well. These range from hereditary cataracts to glaucoma. Testing involves visiting a specialist, so it often isn’t cheap. However, clinics are available in some areas where the dog can get tested for much cheaper. Depending on where it is done, testing can cat anywhere from $50 to $200 and must be done annually. 

Genetic testing for degenerative myelopathy may be recommended. This typically only costs $100 or so and only needs to be done once. Some breeders may test their puppies as well to ensure that none of them have this inherited condition.

Annual costs of owning a Flat-Coated Retriever

When you adopt any dog, you have to consider the costs of owning that dog each year. All dogs need to eat and receive vet care, though the price for these categories can vary. You also need to consider the equipment that your dog will need. Typically, these costs are highest in the first year and then go down as the dog ages. 

You can expect to pay about $5,000 for a Flat-Coated Retriever during their first year. This is mostly due to all the one-time purchases you’ll need to make during your dog’s first year, such as purchasing a dog bed and getting them their puppy vaccinations. After that, the cost will be much lower at around $1,500 a year.

Flat-Coated Retriever in wheat

Vet expenses

Vet costs are going to be quite high no matter what age your dog is. While puppies need more vet care than adults, these dogs often rack higher vet bills once they get full-grown due to their larger size. Therefore, the costs and savings tend to balance out. You can expect to pay about $400 to $800 per year for your dog. Most people will pay somewhere around $600. 

This covers your dog’s preventative vet appointments, as well as vaccinations and routine tests. It also includes parasite prevention, including heartworm conditions. 

Food costs

These dogs are larger, so they usually cost more to feed. Often, you can expect to pay somewhere between $300 and $450. Your costs will increase as the dog gets bigger, as they will start to eat more. Generally, puppy food isn’t much more expensive than adult food, though it can be slightly more expensive. 

This slightly higher cost usually won’t be enough to counteract the increased cost of feeding a bigger dog. Therefore, puppies are usually always cheaper. 

Training costs

Usually, these dogs don’t need tons of training. However, they will likely benefit from some level of professional training, even if you’ve had dogs in the past. We recommend group classes, as these provide socialization as well as training. 

These lessons will likely cost somewhere between $150 to $20 for a series of lessons. Your dog may only need one series, or you may want to continue on with more classes. Either way, this dog will benefit from some sort of socialization and basic training.

Flat-Coated Retriever with tongue out

Factors influencing the price

The average price of this breed ranges by about $1,000. Typically, the price is largely dependent on what breeder you choose. If you select one that is more experienced, you’ll likely find yourself paying more. Just like with any service, you pay for the person’s experience. 

The amount of care the puppy also receives matters. For instance, dogs that have already received vet care and some training will cost more than puppies with no pet care. 

The puppy’s pedigree also matters. If they are descended from champions, you will likely pay more for them. 

Price considerations

Before you adopt any dog, it is essential to budget for them properly. This breed can be quite expensive in their first year, largely because of their larger size. They require a bit of equipment that can add up quickly, such as a larger dog bed. 

You should also prepare for how to pay for emergencies. We recommend some sort of emergency fund or pet insurance.

The bottom line

For a puppy, you can expect to pay around $1,500 to $2,500 when you purchase a dog from a breeder. Most people will spend around $2,000, so budget appropriately. 

You should also plan for one-time and ongoing costs that have to do with your new dog. For instance, your dog will likely cost about $5,000 during their first year. This includes all the supplies you need as well as regular, monthly costs like food.  

After that first year, your costs will be much lower, as you won’t have to worry about purchasing as many supplies or getting quite as much professional training.

Author: Kristin

Author: Kristin

Kristin was born in Tennessee and currently lives there with her husband and children. She is passionate about educating pet parents and helping them make the best possible decisions for their pets. She currently owns one dog, two cats, a lizard, and a variety of fish.

Check out our effective and affordable online dog training courses!

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