If you are looking to add a Labradoodle puppy to your life you might be wondering what’s the price of a Labradoodle. Just how much does a Labradoodle cost in 2023?
After all, that is an important first step in buying a dog. But finding the answer is not that easy. If you look on the internet you will find a very wide range of answers. Each claiming to be the average cost of a Labradoodle.
Rather than guess, or use just a handful of breeders as an example for the entire nation, we looked at over 150 Labradoodle breeders throughout the USA to find out what the cost of a Labra doodle is, in 2023.
But, since the price of a Labradoodle can vary based on external factors we also took into consideration items like
- State they were located in
- Labradoodle size
- If health testing was performed (this should be standard practice, but it’s not)
- How the dogs were sold – direct from the breeder vs a puppy broker
We expected to see a large variation in costs based on the above items. But surprisingly there were fewer variations in the price of a Labradoodle then we thought there would be.
Keep reading to learn what our analysis exposed, and just how much you can expect to pay for a Labradoodle in your area.
Plus, we will look at:
- Why the Labradoodle is so expensive?
- How size and color choice can affect the cost?
- Does health testing affect cost of a puppy?
- The cost of a Labradoodle by state
- Where you can get a discount on a Labradoodle
- How you can get a free Labradoodle
- Are Labradoodles expensive to maintain?
- Is a Labradoodle worth the price?
- Where not to get a Labradoodle puppy
What does a Labradoodle puppy cost in 2023?
Through our survey found that the cost to buy a Labradoodle puppy in 2023 could be as low as $450 or as high as $15,000. However, 75% of the breeders in our survey charged between $3,000 and $3,500 for a Mini Labradoodle and 77% of the breeders also priced their Medium Labradoodles between $3,000 to 3,500. Standard Labradoodles had a little more variation in price with only 63% priced between $3,000 and $3,500. Differences in the Labradoodle’s cost were attributed to location, and quality of the breeder.
Don’t forget to factor in the sales tax
Most states require breeders to collect state sales tax on the sale of a puppy. This is in addition to the set price you see on a breeder’s websites.
Why are Labradoodles so expensive?
Most people think that Labradoodles are expensive to buy simply because they are popular dogs that can command a higher price tag. But in reality, doodles cost more to care for and breed. Especially if you are looking for a healthy dog that does not shed.
Here are just a few of the costs associated with breeding a Labradoodle:
- Dog with breeding rights – $10,000 to $15,000+
- Stud fees – $3,000
- Health testing breeding dogs – $1,000 to $1,500 per dog
- Genetic testing for shedding, color, size etc.- $500 to $1,000
- Caring for the dog over their lifetime of breeding- $18,000
The list above is just some of the larger costs associated with breeding a Labradoodle. There are many other smaller costs, like vet checks and vaccines for the puppies, costs associate with the actual breeding process, and the cost associated with the administration of the business. Remember for most breeders of doodles, this is a business.
What affects the price of a Labradoodle Puppy?
Through our on-line survey we found that many breeders chose to have only one price for their Labradoodle puppies, regardless of their size, color, marking or gender.
This is a change from what we saw 5 years ago, when we were looking for our own Labradoodle puppy.
Back then, it was common for breeders to charge a higher cost for a mini doodle, popular color pattern or markings. In some cases, you would find an a la carte menu of costs for things like; size, gender, coloring and patterns. With each trait adding to the overall cost of a puppy.
Now, less than 3% of the breeders in our survey chose to charge more for popular traits. Though, there are still some breeders that charge based on size, and specialty coloring, like a Merle coat.
One of the interesting things we learned during this project was that fewer breeders were choosing to breed standard sized Labradoodles. Only 20% of all breeders we looked at offered standard sized puppies for sale. That is in comparison to 83% of the breeders choosing to breed medium sized Labradoodles and 78% of the breeders breeding mini Labradoodles.
We added the Labradoodle size chart below for you to see the difference in sizes.
Australian Labradoodle Size Chart
|14 – 16″ at shoulder
|18 – 28 lbs.
|17 – 20″ at shoulder
|26 – 45 lbs.
|21 – 24″ at shoulder
|42 – 65 lbs.
As I mentioned above, health testing breeding dogs is expensive. Because of this, we expected to see a higher price tag for Labradoodle puppies with parents that are health tested. But instead, we found very little correlation between the price of a Labradoodle and whether the parents were tested.
What we did find was that no puppy priced under $1,500 had health tested parents, but there were many breeders that priced their puppies for $3,000 or more, that did not indicate they health tested their breeding dogs.
The take-away from this is that you cannot assume your puppy is well-bred and comes from health tested parent just because you paid a lot for them. Always ask for proof of health testing and lineage.
Labradoodle Cost by State
To make the chart easier to read and more useful we divided the chart by regions.
While many breeder’s cost range fell between $3,000 and 3,500 in our survey, there were still differences based on where they were located.
As you can see from the chart below, there is a greater range in the cost of a Labradoodle in Ohio then there is in Minnesota.
Below are the per state costs of a Labradoodle in the Northeast region of the United States. As you can see from the chart the two most expensive states in the Northeast to buy a Labradoodle is Connecticut and New Hampshire.
Pennsylvania had the widest range in price. We found plenty of low-cost puppies ($450 to $850) at on-line puppy broker websites selling puppies from PA.
But, before you buy from an on-line broker make sure to check them out at the Better Business Bureau for complaints. Also, make sure to education yourself about puppy mills at Stop the Online Puppy Mills.
North Dakota, Delaware, Texas and Oregon had the lowest costs for a puppy with health tested parents.
Where can you get a discount on a Labradoodle?
Let’s start this section with, you should never get your puppy from a puppy mill. Ever!
While the picture-perfect puppies you see on-line might look like the deal of the century, they may not be the dog you actually get. Plus, puppy mill breeders treat their dogs terribly resulting in puppies that can grow up to be afraid and/or aggressive.
- If you need to find a less expensive dog, there are some breeders that offer discounts. Discount are most often offered to:
- Active members of the U.S. Armed Forces
- Police officers
- Fire fighters
- Look for a breeder with older puppies. You may be able to find one from a breeder that overestimated the demand. I saw this with a few of the breeders we looked at.
- As popular as these dogs are they still sometimes end up needing a new home. Here is a list of Labradoodle rescue groups that specialize in doodles. The cost to adopt is almost always less expensive then buying.
- You can also choose to be a guardian home. Some breeders will offer a discount on a puppy to maintain the breeding rights of the dog. Keep reading to learn more about guardian homes.
How can you get a free Labradoodle?
Free Labradoodles are rare but you can find them. The two common ways to get a free labradoodle:
- There are some breeders that will donate a puppy to a person in need of a service dog that can’t afford one.
- Becoming a guardian home is another way to get a free Labradoodle. While some breeders offer discounts to guardian homes, others will place a puppy in a guardian home with no initial cost. But there are strict requirements to be a guardian home. Plus, you don’t completely own the dog initially.
Guardian Homes – a brief overview
A Guardian Home is when a person agrees to raise and take care of the dog as a pet, but allows the breeder to maintain full breeding rights for the dog.
This process is beneficial to breeders because they don’t need to have a large number of breeding dogs at their home. It also allows breeding dogs to live a normal, happy life with a family that loves and cares for them.
Although the terms of a Guardian Home Program will vary by breeder the basic idea of the program is generally the same.
General Guardian Home Program Overview:
- You must live within a predetermined distance from the breeder.
- The breeder retains the breeding rights of the dog for the length of the contract.
- Your puppy is picked from the litter by the breeder. You generally get the best pick of the litter.
- You are responsible for routine care and veterinary services for the dog as determined by the breeder. For doodle breeds this will include grooming.
- You may be required to feed a certain type of food or keep their hair short.
- Based on the contract, your dog will be required to stay at the breeder’s home different times of the year. This could be when your dog is in heat and when they give birth, but there may be other times too.
- Dogs are bred for a specified number of times and years before they are released from the program.
- You cannot spay or neuter your dog until after the contract ends.
Are Labradoodles expensive to maintain?
As with any dog, the Labradoodle will require basic supplies to keep them happy and healthy. Initial costs will include: food and water bowls, crate, leash and collar (or a harness that won’t cause matting), comb and a brush, plus a place to rest.
While these items should last a long time, you may need to up-size some of these items as your puppy grows.
Ongoing costs include: quality food, routine medical expenses, some toys to keep them busy when you can’t and treats for training. Annual costs for these items can range between $600 and $1,000.
But that’s not all.
In addition to these basic costs, Labradoodles also require expensive routine grooming. Professional grooming should be done every 4 to 6 weeks. At an average cost of $80 to $120 per grooming session, this can add up to $750 to $1,200 a year.
You can choose to tackle the grooming yourself, but the initial cost to buy everything you need to do a professional job will be over $1,000. Plus, it takes about 1.5 to 3 hours to groom your dog and months of practice for it to look professional.
If you add up all these annual costs, the cost to maintain a Labradoodle is on average between $1,350 and $ 2,200. However, this is all dependent on your personal choices and can be higher or lower.
Is a Labradoodle worth their price?
If you are looking for an active, family-oriented dog that can be hypoallergenic, then a Labradoodle is a great choice. In addition to being a fun-loving dog that is ready for adventure, they are also easy to train making them a good choice for first-time dog parents.
Just keep in mind that no dog is perfect. First generation Labradoodles are more likely to shed, thus less likely to be hypoallergenic. Plus, all Labradoodles require a fair amount of exercise, especially when they are young. You will also need to factor in their expensive grooming requirements.
To hear more reasons why the Labradoodle may not be the right dog for you read our post on 12 Reasons You Shouldn’t Get a Labradoodle.
Where not to get a Labradoodle puppy
Both the puppy store and online puppy brokers act as middlemen between the breeder and consumer. This means they pay a lower cost for the puppy. Then tack on a premium before they sell it to you.
Although they may say they sell puppies from reputable breeders that have been vetted, they may in fact be selling puppies from large scale commercial breeders (aka: puppy mills).
Large breeders typically do not want you to know that they sell dogs in large volumes so they use on-line “puppy for sale” sites and puppy stores to hide what they really are.
Remember commercial breeders are not illegal, and they may be following the laws, making them “reputable”, but what most people think of as a good breeder is different then what a middleman might view it as.
A family dog needs to be raised differently than a cow or chicken, if they are going to live in a home with a family.
The first 8 weeks of a puppy’s life will impact the rest of their life with you. Puppies (and their parents) need proper nutrition, socialization and early training for the puppies to grow up healthy and become a good family dog.
In fact, getting a puppy from a large-scale commercial breeder is the first potty training mistake people make.
So, please do your research. If they are selling a large quantity of dogs, they may be selling puppy mill puppies.
Not sure if you want a Labradoodle, Goldendoodle or Poodle? Check out our posts on Goldendoodle vs Labradoodle: Which is Better? and Standard Poodle vs Labradoodle: A Detailed Comparison.
Bringing Home, a Labradoodle Puppy
Once you decide you want a Labradoodle, you should start thinking about what you need for when you bring your puppy home. Puppies require many things, like a leash and collar, food bowls and toys.
One of the things you might not think about is where your puppy will go to the bathroom. Having an established place to train your puppy to go outside will make potty training easier. To learn more, check out our posts on Potty Training a Puppy: Made Easy and Outdoor Dog Potty Area Guide.