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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to own my first golden retriever and am struggling to find a breeder in Texas under $1,500. Ideally I'd like to spend less than $700, but I understand most people breed them as competition or hunting dogs. I simply want a golden as a companion in my apartment, basically to be a family dog and nothing more. Does anyone know if it is even possible to get a golden under $700 or should I be look for another breed (hopefully not the case!).

Thank you!! :)
 

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It is probably not possible to find a good Golden (parent have health clearances, breeder is reputable) for under $700. Probably not for under $1500.
 
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Kate
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Basically - no.

Ten years ago - it was possible to buy a nice puppy from a decent breeder for about $800 or so. But prices and costs have gone up drastically since then.

Other breeds might be cheaper - but actually more to the point, you can adopt a really nice dog for about $400-800 from a rescue. Or keep your eyes open for dogs at the shelter - which would way less. Generally speaking, if you just want a family pet and companion dog and might not be able to spend more than $700.... probably this is your best option.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
For a family pet though is roughly $1,000 going to get me a healthy, well bred golden? I really have my heart set on this breed and would be willing to pay more, but I don't want to be spending on a show dog when mine will just be for companionship.
 

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Robin
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For a family pet though is roughly $1,000 going to get me a healthy, well bred golden? I really have my heart set on this breed and would be willing to pay more, but I don't want to be spending on a show dog when mine will just be for companionship.
The higher cost is not because the puppy will be shown or not. The price comes from all the expense that go into breeding quality dogs that will be healthy, well-rounded, and have the type of excellent temperament that makes a wonderful family pet. These are the qualities that the good golden breeders are aiming for, and it takes a lot of experience, time, and effort to consistently produce dogs of that caliber.
 

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Now days under 700 will probably be more of a puppy mill type dog. Chloe's parents have no clearances but he took very good care of his dogs and they were well socialized. She was $850. She has been healthy and no health issues so far. But she is only nine months. If you spend the money from a good breeder the pup will have less of a chance to get hip dysphasia, heart problems. Parents are tested before being bred so there is a less likely hood of offspring having these things. Yes you can find a pup from a breeder that loves and takes care of the dogs. But your pup chances of getting these problems go down if you go to a reputable breeder. You have to decide if that is important. Our first golden was never sick and had no health issues. So far Chloe is good. People can say we got lucky with no clearances on pups. But we were very careful of the conditions and stuff the pups are raised in.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
These replies are so helpful! Especially HaliaGoldens- I didn't realize that the cost was covering their health and breeding essentially. I certainly want a healthy and happy pup, so I guess I will just spend a little more time saving up! Thank you to everyone for the help and responses! :)
 

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My first golden was $700, AKC, and she died from suspected cardiac issues at 3. My second was $750, AKC, and she came home with coccidia and a UTI that took months to fully eradicate. Shes now almost 3, and in good health minus battling the yeast in her ears (which the vet suspects is due to environmental allergens). My third was 750, AKC and parents are OFA certified, and he's in good health so far, but had roundworms when I brought him home. My point is that you get what you pay for. More expensive dogs probably come from a better, healthier linage than $750 dogs. Good luck! :)
 

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You really do get what you pay for when it comes to puppies. Or, go to a shelter or rescue for a family dog (and know your money is going to support dog welfare).

I would never say a dog is "just" a family dog :) that's an important job and one that not every dog is cut out to do!
 

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This forum is wonderful, many member with years of experience. I'm sure when your ready to acquire your puppy will be more then happy to steer you to a responsible breeder in your state.
 

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But beware, just because someone is charging $1500 or more for a puppy, it doesn't mean they are reputable breeders or that their dogs have their health clearances. ALWAYS check the clearances (hips, eyes, heart and eyes).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I suppose I should ask now then- is there a certain price I should be looking at for a healthy puppy? For example, is $1,100+ going to guarantee (I realize there is no 100% guarantee though)a well-breed dog or should I consider spending more?

Thank you all again for the helpful responses!
 

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Hi! I'm also in Houston and the going rate in and around Texas seems to be in the $1800-$2000 range. That's pretty standard across the US now although I've seen a few reputable breeders in OH around $1500 still. I totally understand where you're coming from-it's a lot upfront. And I had a similar viewpoint several years ago when I got Ryleigh. I was in an apartment and single and since I knew I wasn't going to be considered for a conformation dog at the time so $2000 for "pet quality" seemed like a lot.

Now that I've been on both sides, I can tell you it's 100% worth spending more upfront for a truly quality breeding. Ryleigh's still a great pet and I've been lucky with the health issues but you really get what you pay for as far as looks, temperament, trainability, etc.

There's a lot that goes into the breeding and the cost-artificial insemination, fertility testing, earning championships and other titles, all of the clearances (many on a yearly basis), c-section, time off work, possibly loads of time spent hand feeding if something happens to the mother, food, supplements, supplies, shots, meds, wormers, etc. Here's a link to kind of give you a feel of everything that goes into it:

http://www.vintagegoldens.com/pdf/breedingcost.pdf

Honestly, I don't think you can even find a golden with all the clearances for $1100 in our area-many of the BYBs and mills even charge that much without a single champion or clearance. I think rescues in our area are roughly $300.

I also didn't realize the true importance of all the clearances until more recently. Something like 12.5% of goldens will end up with elbow dysplasia with clearances-to me it's worth a little more upfront to hopefully minimize those odds.

Here's a link to our referral list and it's a good starting place. Canam has a litter on the ground, mostly performance and not sure if they're all placed. She normally prices hers in the $1500-$1800 range. I'm sure there are others as well. Also, they're all friends and connected and often know of other people around Texas with litters. There are also a lot of great breeders around Austin and Dallas and you can look at their local groups for more referrals.

GHGRC
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wow, thank you!! Like I said in my original post, I am totally new to golden retrievers, but really love them and desire to have one. I have done a lot of reading up and digging around on the web for information about them but nothing has been as helpful as this forum! I will take all of your advice into consideration as I continue my search! :)
 

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No there is no rate for getting a puppy with clearances. Like someone said there are horrible breeders out there charging 2000 dollars. You want to find one with OFA clearances then worry about price.
 

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One other issue is that even the rescues often times don't want to sell to someone without a fenced in yard (which is an issue I had when I got Ryleigh, too). Many of the breeders seemed to dismiss me at the time because they had a mile long waiting list of people with houses and fenced yards. It's definitely an issue and even though I had an apartment, I was more than capable of caring for a dog.

I highly recommend getting your dog from a really quality breeder, but, that said, there are people that are breeding dogs that have clearances and may be cheaper (for instance Ryleigh and Lacey) but I feel like it's a needle in a haystack. Both my girls had mothers purchased from show breeders and the people I got them from knew more than your average person that just wants a litter or wants to make extra money. With Ryleigh, she had several generations, including the grandfather or great grandfather that was still doing well at 14 or 15. And both were out of the newspaper. My childhood dog, Brittany, came from petstore parents and a total BYB that just wanted puppies for his kids and she had no health issues and lived to 14.5. But knowing everything I know now, I wouldn't do it again that way. At a minimum, I would make sure the parents have clearances. The clearances are only several hundred dollars total so even people breeding a "cheaper" litter can afford that if they want to make sure they're breeding healthy puppies. When they're charging $800-$1200, they'd better be getting a few hundred in clearances to justify that price tag :)

There's no breed I love more than goldens but there are definitely a LOT of health (cancer, skin issues and allergies, hip/elbow dysplasia,) and longevity issues so I would definitely recommend that you don't just focus in on the price. While it may cost more upfront, it will likely save you money and heartache in the long run to buy from a breeder that really knows what they're doing.
 

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I have no idea what the going rate on a "re-homed" dog is but every once in a while breeders get dogs back. Recently, a really good breeder had two gorgeous boys that had to be re-homed because of a divorce situation. If you're willing to wait, that's a nice way to get a quality dog. I joined the local golden club with a person that got a stunning boy from a "re-home" situation that they're just crazy about. You never know when they'll get one though.

Joining the golden retriever club is a good way to get to know some breeders too.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thank you Christen113! I am certainly not ONLY considering price, but it is a large factor for me and since this will be my first pet purchase I want to be sure I am spending my money well.
 
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