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If you are thinking that a Labradoodle might be a perfect addition to your family, you are right.
They are friendly and intelligent dogs, and many have a low-shedding coat, which means they can be a good choice for families dealing with allergies or asthma.
But exactly how much will it cost you to bring a Labradoodle home?
The cost of a Labradoodle actually varies significantly depending on the specific dog and where you get it.
But in today’s article, we will go through the average costs and what factors might push up the cost of a Labradoodle, or help you find a new Labradoodle friend for a bit less.
We’ll also look at the other costs associated with having a Labradoodle. We will go through all the things you are likely to have to pay for within the first six months of bringing the puppy home, and what you can expect to spend on the care and upkeep of your Labradoodle throughout their lives.
While some of the figures in this article might seem quite hefty, don’t forget the joy you will get from having a Labradoodle in your life. You just can’t put a price tag on that.
The Cost Of Adopting A Labradoodle
How much it will cost you to bring a Labradoodle into your household will vary significantly depending on where you get the puppy from.
If you get your Labradoodle from a specialist breeder, perhaps one that breeds Labradoodle pups to work as service dogs, you can expect to pay as much as $4,000-$5,000 for a healthy pup.
But if you choose to adopt from a rescue shelter, you might be able to find a Labradoodle to join your family for less than $300.
Many years ago we adopted Linus from the local shelter for $37 which was the normal price of adoption 15 years ago.
Whether you are looking for a standard Labradoodle or one of the small breeds that are the result of breeding a Labrador retriever with a miniature or toy poodle, also makes a difference, with the smaller dogs being more expensive.
Expect to pay $1,500-$2,000 for a standard Labradoodle pup from a reputable breeder. For one of the small breeds, expect the starting price to jump to $3,000.
Why Are Labradoodles So Expensive?
Labradoodles tend to be expensive because they are such desirable dogs.
They are a mix of a Labrador retriever and a poodle, designed to be the perfect service dogs.
Labrador retrievers have long been known as excellent working dogs because they are intelligent and motivated, which means they can be trained to complete the required tasks, and they also have a friendly and loving personality, so they know how to behave in public. This is essential when service dogs are able to enter public spaces that will be full of people, children, and other animals.
However, the problem with Labradors is that they shed a lot. This means not only that they can be challenging to clean up after at home, but that they can be a health hazard in restaurants and places that need to maintain sanitary conditions, such as hospitals.
Enter the poodle. These dogs have a coat of tightly curled hair that doesn’t shed. Instead, the hair gets caught up in their coat and needs to be brushed out regularly.
They are also highly intelligent, even more so than Labradors, which means they have a great ability to learn new tasks.
They are also very loving, having been bred as companions, though they are a bit more wary of strangers than Labradors are.
So the idea is that you combine a Labrador retriever and a poodle to get a Labradoodle, which has all the characteristics to work as a service dog and also has a low-shedding coat.
But, since breeders are often catering to a specialist market, they do need to be careful to control for the characteristics they want.
They need to be very careful to breed for the low-shedding coat (since a Labradoodle naturally has an equal chance of inheriting a high-shedding Labrador coat) and a friendly personality, as well as intelligence and an ability to learn.
This is a lot of work for the breeder, so they charge more.
The smaller pups cost even more because they are harder to breed due to the size difference between Labradors and small poodles.
However, if you do come across a Labradoodle that does have the high-shedding coat of a Labrador, you might be able to get them a bit cheaper, as they will be harder to sell as service dogs.
But be warned! It is almost impossible to tell whether a Labradoodle will have a low-shedding or high-shedding coat until they are at least 12 weeks old.
So, while a disreputable breeder might assure you that your new pup won’t shed, they can’t be certain of this until the pup is at least 12 weeks old, and sometimes older.
What Are The Main Factors Affecting Price?
With so much variation in the price of Labradoodles, it can be hard to know whether you are getting a good deal, or if you are being ripped off.
Below are the main factors that affect the individual prices of Labradoodles and will push the price above or below the standard. These factors should help you determine whether a Labradoodle is being priced appropriately.
Yes, just as housing costs more or less depending on where you live, the same is true of Labradoodles and all other dogs. The cost of Labradoodles tends to follow the cost of living, so you can expect to pay up to $500 more for a Labradoodle in California than you might in the midwest.
As we have already said, size makes a big difference, and small Labradoodles that are the result of breeding between a Labrador retriever and either a miniature or toy poodle are significantly more expensive.
This is because they are harder to breed, and they are also highly desirable pups. A mini Labradoodle can cost twice as much as a standard-sized version.
Labradoodles have three different coat types, which are classified as flat, wavy, or curly.
Flat coats are most like the high-shedding coats of the Labrador, while curly coats are most like the low-shedding coats of poodles.
Wavy coats fall somewhere in between. It will be no surprise to learn that curly coats are the most popular, and that dogs with these coats are more expensive.
You might get a Labradoodle with a flat coat at a discount because they are shedders.
But remember, you can’t be totally sure what type of coat a Labradoodle has until they are at least 12 weeks old.
This is easier to predict if you are breeding two Labradoodles that both already have the desired coat characteristics, but is very difficult to determine with first-generation Labradoodles.
Labradoodles come in a much wider range of colors than Labrador retrievers, and many of the more exotic coat colors are highly prized.
Dogs like the Phantom Labradoodle and the Tuxedo Labradoodle are very coveted, and this can add significantly to the price of the dog.
The fact of the matter is, when you are buying a dog from a breeder, you are putting a lot of faith into the assumption that everything they are telling you is true.
They are the ones telling you that the parent pups have undergone extensive health screenings and that they have controlled for desirable characteristics.
For this reason, reputation is very important among breeders, and you should always do a little bit of research on your breeder before purchasing.
If you do find a good breeder with a reputation for producing happy and healthy pups, you can expect to pay more. They are at the top of the market, so they can afford to demand more money. Plus, good practice is usually more expensive to deliver.
Additional Expenses When Buying A Labradoodle Puppy
There are other expenses related to bringing a new puppy home beyond the price of the puppy itself.
When you but a Labradoodle puppy from a reputable breeder, the price usually includes:
- Initial vaccination shots
- A blanket
- Food sample
The food sample is important, as you will need to use it to gradually wean the puppy onto what they will be eating in their new home.
Many breeders also provide a health warranty covering a period of one to two years.
But there are many other things you will have to invest in when bringing your puppy home.
- You will need to have your dog microchipped for their own safety (Cost estimate – $40)
- There are surgical costs if you decide to have the dog spayed or neutered (Cost estimate – $200-$800)
- There will be additional vaccinations they will require in the first year (Cost estimate – $75-$100)
- There is flea and tick prevention to consider (Cost estimate – $40-$200)
- They will probably require heartworm prevention treatment (Cost estimate – $24-$120)
Then there are all the other things you need such as food bowls, a crate and a bed, shampoo, brushes, toys, potty pads, treats, poop bags, and many other must-haves that you will come across each day.
Basically, in the first six months after bringing a puppy home, you should expect to spend around $1,500 taking care of your new pup.
Ongoing Dog Costs
And of course, the expense of looking after your pup doesn’t end after the first year. You will be responsible for their health and happiness for the next 12 to 14 years, the average lifespan of a Labradoodle.
The larger your Labradoodle, the more you should expect to spend, mainly because they need to eat more calories and therefore cost more to feed.
But the main things you should be including in your dog care budget each year are the following.
Estimate: $500 per year
A dog has gotta eat, and yes they have to eat every day. When they are puppies you should be feeding them three times a day, while you can give an adult dog two larger meals per day.
Most dogs need about 25 to 30 calories per pound of their body weight per day to maintain their weight. So, a 30-pound Labradoodle will need about 800 calories a day.
Of course, just like people, every dog is different and exactly how much they need depends on their metabolism and energy levels. Use this as a place to start and adjust up or down as needed.
If you want to feed your dog good quality dog food, then you will probably have to spend about $500 a year on their food. You might get the budget as low as $300 if you manage to find decent dog food at a discount.
Don’t forget that as well as their standard meals, you will want some treats, both for training and just treating because you love them. So that is included in your dog food costs, too.
Don’t forget, when treating your dog, to take away the calories in the treats from the rest of the food you are giving them.
Estimate: $400 per year
Labradoodles are great because they don’t leave hair all over the place. But this does not mean they do not shed—all dogs shed. It’s just that their hair gets caught up in their curly coat so it doesn’t fall off.
While that means less vacuuming, it also means more grooming, as they need a thorough brush at least twice a week to remove loose hair.
They would also probably benefit from being professionally groomed about four times a year. This can include a haircut and a deep shampoo, but also things like ear hair clipping and nail clipping.
You can expect to pay around $100 for each of these sessions.
Yes, if you have the confidence, you can do these things at home, but then be prepared to buy the various bits of equipment you will need, such as nail clippers and special combs.
Estimate: $1,000-$2,000 per year
Even if your dog doesn’t get sick regularly, their health is going to cost you each year.
First and foremost, you should have some kind of insurance for your dog that will cover their care if they are in an accident or get sick unexpectedly. You can expect to pay $30-$50 per month just for this coverage.
Then there are checkups, emergency visits if your dog eats something toxic that they shouldn’t, or gets stung by a bee.
You may also want to take your Labradoodle to the vet for regular dental checkups.
Estimate: $750 or more per year
This category includes a variety of things such as training and holiday care.
Exactly how much this type of thing is going to cost you depends on your lifestyle and your decisions.
In the early years, you might want to pay for some professional training to ensure your dog understands basic commands and is a good citizen within the community.
You may or may not travel a lot without your dog, and you may or may not have people who can take them in for a few days or weeks while you are away. If you do travel and have no one to look after your dog, you might need to check them into a holiday residence or boarding kennel while you are away.
If you work long hours and need to leave your pup at home for eight to 10 hours a day, you might need to pay a dog walker, or for someone to come over and visit with and feed your dog while you are away from home.
Estimate: $200 per year
This category is basically “everything else.” The dog outgrows its collar and needs a new one. They destroy all of their dog toys, so they are going to need those too. Their bed starts coming apart at the seams, and they need a replacement.
These things will come up, and you should also have a budget set aside for this.
So what does it all mean? You are looking at a budget of around $3,000 per year to care for your Labradoodle.
Choosing to adopt a Labradoodle and make them part of your family is a big commitment. The amount of care and attention they need is like having another child in the house, and they could be with you for the next 12 to 14 years.
Before adopting, it is essential to make sure that you are ready for the commitment.
It is also essential to make sure you can afford it. On average, a Labradoodle pup will cost you $1,500-$2,000. This could be much less if you get your puppy from a rescue, and much more if you go for a reputable breeder or for a special type of Labradoodle such as one of the small breeds.
In addition to this, you can expect to spend about $1,500 during the first six months on essential medical treatment and other expenses, and then around $3,000 per year on essentials.
Have you adopted a Labradoodle pup?
What kind of expenses were involved?
Share your experience with the community in the comments section below or via our social media.
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