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What Does A Goldendoodle Cost in 2021?

There is a wide price range when it comes to the cost of a Goldendoodle or a Mini Goldendoodle.

On the lower end of the range you can find a Goldendoodle puppy priced as cheap as $500.

But this may not be the bargain you think it is. Puppies in this price range tend to be poorly bred and have health problems.

On the opposite end of the price range are fully trained Goldendoodles that cost $12,000. These puppies come from health tested parents and receive the best of everything. 

However, the average Goldendoodle cost is $2,500 to $5,000. But even then there is a big difference between what you get when you pay $2,500 vs $5,000. 

What Does A Goldendoodle Cost in 2021?

Keep reading to find out what you get in each price range. Plus find out why the average cost of a Goldendoodle is so high and the long term costs of sharing your life with a Goldendoodle.

Goldendoodle Cost: Quantity vs Quality

When it comes to looking for a Goldendoodle or Mini Goldendoodle most people want a puppy which means dealing with a breeder. If you are a first time puppy owner it’s important to understand that the type of breeder you buy from will have a big impact on your future dog’s health and their ability to learn.

Here we will go over the four basic types of breeders and their price points.

Goldendoodle price range: $500-$1,000

The Backyard Breeder

The lowest cost for a Goldendoodle that I found was $500. The “breeder” was selling the puppies on a ‘puppies for sale by owner’ website that listed hundreds of breeders with available puppies. There was no information on the puppies regarding health testing, parental lineage, health guarantees or contracts.

They did show pictures of the parent dogs in a home setting and of the puppies with the mother dog also in a home. All these clues make me think they are backyard breeder.

The term backyard breeder is used for someone who does not understand what it takes to breed healthy dogs. Often they have a popular dog as a pet and they decide they want to make a little money on the side by selling puppies.

Although they may treat their dogs better than a puppy mill, their lack of knowledge results in unhealthy offspring and a high mortality rate for the puppies.

In addition to ‘For Sale by Owner’ type websites you can find backyard breeders on Facebook. Since quality breeders require a spay/neuter contract for their dogs, these breeding dogs are most likely from another backyard breeder or a puppy mill.

Here are a few signs of a backyard breeder:

  • They have very little knowledge about the breed
  • Don’t have a contract
  • Does not provide a health guarantee
  • Does not ask questions
  • They don’t do health testing on parent dogs
  • Cannot produce health records for puppies or parent dogs
  • They don’t know the parents linage
  • Don’t require a spay/neuter contract

These are just a few signs of a backyard breeder. Make sure you do your homework before you buy.

Goldendoodle price range: $850-$2,800

Puppy Mills

Also on the low end of the price range for Goldendoodles are Puppy Mills. Puppy mills produce a large quantity of dogs with little regard to the health and wellbeing of the breeding dogs or the puppies.

These mills house dogs in unimaginable living conditions and just throw them away when they are no longer able to produce puppies. Since they strictly deal in quantity instead of quality they can offer lower prices.

When you buy from a puppy mill you get:

  • A dog without proper health testing
  • An non-socialized puppy that will be difficult to train
  • A puppy that might be sick
  • Possibly a puppy without proper vaccinations – they often say they are up to date with vaccines but there is no way to know for sure
  • You will not get a puppy that has been carefully breed to ensure they are hypoallergenic or low shedding

But wait $2.800 is not a low cost for a dog. ‘

That is true, but when I was researching the cost of a Goldendoodle puppy for this article I came across multiple websites that were offering puppies from places that appeared to be puppy mills for just a little under $3,000.

Since people associate low cost with puppy mills they may be trying to present themselves as a small breeder by requesting a higher price. Also due to the high demand for Goldendoodles they may be able to get this price from an unaware buyer.

Puppy mills try hard to hide who they are. If you are not sure if you are buying from a puppy mill here are 10 tips to help you decide.

How to tell if a breeder is actually a puppy mill

  • They sell on massive puppy selling websites, Craig’s list, EBay and puppy stores.
  • Have multiple breeds for sale
  • Won’t share specific information on puppy’s parents
  • They hide where they live or were the puppies are raised
  • Don’t ask you any questions
  • Can’t answer specific questions on puppy
  • Sell puppies younger than 8 weeks old.
  • Doesn’t have health records for puppies or parents
  • Can’t provide proof of health testing
  • They always have puppies available

Goldendoodle price range: $3,000-$4,000

Hobby Breeder

A hobby breeder is someone that wants to get into breeding on a small scale. They may have one or two breeding dogs that are also part of their family. A good hobby breeder will educate themselves by taking training classes on breeding, going to seminars and will look for a mentor.

A good hobby breeder will also understand the importance of health testing to ensure they are not breeding disease and genetic conditions that will cause pain and suffering to the offspring. They care for their dogs and put the dog’s health ahead of profit.

It is hard to find a good hobby breeder but there are some. Just make sure to do your homework before signing a contract.

Signs of a hobby breeder

  • Only have one or two litters a year depending on how many female dogs they have
  • Does health testing on parent dogs and can prove it
  • Is knowledgeable about the breed
  • Only breeds female less than once a year
  • Limits the total number of litter each female can have
  • Provides a contract with a health guarantee
  • Requires a spay/neuter contract

Goldendoodle price range: $4,000-$5,000

Quality Breeder

A quality breeder is one that takes pride in the dogs they produce. They strive to make the breed healthier by carefully selecting the best mating pairs possible. They do this by having all their breeding dogs health tested.

Quality breeders have a true love of the breed and put the health of their offspring before profits. This means not breeding every dog but only the ones that after health testing are believed to have the healthiest puppies.

These breeders are very knowledgeable about the breed and belong to clubs and associations like the Goldendoodle Association of North America (GANA)

Signs of a quality breeder

  • Uses Guardian dogs for breeding
  • Does health testing on parent dogs and can prove it
  • Is knowledgeable about the breed
  • Strives to meet the Goldendoodle Standard as outlined by GANA
  • Limits the total number of litters each female can have to 4
  • Provides a contract with a health guarantee
  • Requires a spay/neuter contract
  • Is open to questions
  • Requires that you return the dog to them if you are unable to care for it

Finding a quality breeder can be difficult, but GANA is trying to fix that with their Ribbon Reward Program and membership requirements.

In order to be a member of GANA breeders must abide by the GANA Code of Ethics, agree to follow the outlined Breeder Policies and Guidelines and prove that they have done the required health testing.

The Goldendoodle Association of North America (GANA) maintains a list of breeders and their ribbon status. You can find that list here.

Before you chose a breeder

Remember to ask a lot of questions before you chose a breeder. A high price does not necessary mean they are doing all the required health tests or taking care of the dogs. Ask for proof of health tests and living conditions.

Why does a Goldendoodle cost so much?

1. The Law of Supply and Demand Economics

If you remember back to your days of high school economics; price is determined by supply vs demand. Meaning the less there is of something that people want; the more money people are willing to pay to be one of the few with the item.

This law can easily be applied to Goldendoodles.

These much sort after dogs are loved by many for their fluffy teddy bear looks and easy going, sometimes goofy personalities. Add in their promise of easy training and low shedding they are often in high demand by people who need assistance dogs.

Let’s not forget they first became well known due to the possibility that they were hypoallergenic making them a favorite for allergy suffers, who also love dogs.

So clearly they are in high demand

But unlike a cookie or a car that can easily be produced, Goldendoodles are living beings that deserve to be treated with respect and care.

Female dogs cannot safely produce litter after litter. In fact for health reasons dogs should not produce more than 4 litters in their life and the litters should be spaced a part to allow the dog a chance to recover.

Breeders who disregard the health of the breeding dogs and continually breed them are called Puppy Mills. This term can apply to large operations with hundreds of dogs or smaller operations that treat the dogs as something you can discard when they are no longer useful.

Since we should all want to get our dogs from humane places that care for the breeding dogs the same way we love and care for our own dogs, this greatly reduces the supply of puppies.

Thus the low supply of humanely breed healthy Goldendoodles increases the demand allowing breeders to charge more for them. But supply and demand is not the entire answer to why Goldendoodles come with a high price.

In fact even if there were plenty of Goldendoodles around buying a carefully bred dog with health testing would still be expensive.

2. Cost to Breed a Healthy Goldendoodle

The cost to breed a healthy dog can be rather high. By the time you add in a stud fee, health testing costs for both parents; extra food and supplies for mom and her pup and all the necessary veterinarian fees the costs add up quickly. Here are just a few of the items that go into the cost to breed a doodle

  • Health testing – $700 and $1200
  • Stud Fees – $2,000 – $3,000 for a health tested male in good health.
  • Veterinarian care for mom and puppies – $1000 and up
  • Whelping box and supplies – $600 and up
  • Extra food and vitamins for mom – $300 and up
  • Food, medicines, toys and general supplies for puppies $300
  • Guardian homes for future breeding -$5,000

Alternative to buying a Goldendoodle from a Breeder

1. Guardian Home Program

You can look for a quality breeder that offers a Guardian Home Program near you. A good quality breeder understands that dogs need to live in a home with a family.

To do this some breeders use guardian homes to provide dogs with a family of their own when they are not actively being bred. Although the terms of a Guardian Home Program will vary by breeder the basic idea of the program is the same.

General Guardian Home Programs Overview:

  • You must live within a predetermined distance from the breeder. Usually it’s within an hour’s drive
  • Dogs are selected by the breeder
  • You are responsible for routine care and veterinarian service for the dog as determined by the breeder
  • The dog will spend time at the breeder’s location during the late stage of their pregnancy and whelping period
  • Dogs will be breed for a specified number of times before they are released from the program

Benefits of getting a dog from a Guardian program:

  • Reduced cost for a dog
  • Pick of the litter
  • Enhanced testing of the dog for genetic conditions

2. Rescue Groups

Another option is to look for a rescue organization that has doodles. On occasion you can find a Goldendoodle puppy in need of rehoming, but it’s not that common.

In our post “The 9 Best Places to Find a Goldendoodle Rescue” we list the rescue groups with the best chance of having a Goldendoodle. These rescue sites work with full sized Goldendoodles and Mini Goldendoodles.

3. Local Shelters

While finding a Goldendoodle at a local shelter may be rare it does still happen. Keep an eye on your local shelters website and Facebook page if they have one.

4. Retired Goldendoodles

Some breeders will “retire” their female dogs from breeding after they have had a certain number of litters or are unable to breed. Once retired they will spay the dogs and than offer them up for adoption.

Breeders will generally announce the retirement on their own websites. Finding a retired breeding dog is rare since most reputable breeders now use guardian homes.

Not sure if the Goldendoodle is right for you? Check out our post on Goldendoodle vs Labradoodle to see which one might be a better fit.

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The other costs of sharing your life with a Goldendoodle

Like with any dog there is an ongoing annual expenses to care for a Goldendoodle. These include but are not limited to:

  • High quality food $800 -$2000 annually but this price could be higher based on the size of your dog and what you choose to feed them.  Pre-packaged human grade fresh food could easily cost over $2,000 for a $50 pound dog.
  • Grooming costs$600 to $1,000 annually for professional grooming every 6 to 8 weeks
  • Veterinarian Costs for annual check-ups and vaccines – $300 and up. First year is the most expensive due to puppy vaccines, but elder dog care can also be expensive.

Start-up costs of having a Goldendoodle – These are items you will need to buy in the first year, but some will need to be replaced over time.  

  • Training Classes $ 200 to $500 per sessions
  • Puppy supplies – leash, collar, harness, toys, dog beds, (we have one upstairs and another one downstairs), crate, coat, etc.   $300 to $1,000

Of course there are many ways you can spend money on your doodle, including vacations, boarding, dog houses, dog doors, special dog baths, etc. The list goes on.

But with careful planning and time you can also keep your cost down to a more reasonable amount.

Is the Goldendoodle the right dog for you? Join us to find out why the Goldendoodle is not for everyone

did you know you can get a black Goldendoodle? Find out more here.

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