How Much Does a Flat-Coated Retriever Cost? Average Prices

Last Updated on July, 2024

When you think of a retriever, what comes to mind? A golden fur baby with a retriever personality? A flat-coated retriever is the same but has a flat-lying black or liver colored coat.

You may be wondering whether you can add a flat-coated retriever to your family, but did you know that they are somewhat rare and expensive? Typically, a puppy’s cost will vary greatly depending on the breeder and pedigree.

Let’s learn more about the cost of bringing a flat-coated retriever into your life.

Quick Summary

The cost of a Flat-Coated Retriever pup ranges from $2,000 to $4,000.

The overall cost of owning a Flat-Coated Retriever in the first year is around $5,000, with ongoing annual expenses of around $1,500 for healthcare, pet care, food, and training.

There are various options for obtaining a Flat-Coated Retriever, including buying from professional breeders on Craigslist and adopting from a shelter or rescue center.

What Does a Flat-Coated Retriever Cost?

Flat-Coated Retriever jumping in the snow

Getting a Puppy From Breeders

The American Kennel Club (AKC) website has Flat-Coated Retriever puppies for sale from reliable breeders. 

The typical cost of a Flat-Coated Retriever pup ranges between $2,000 and $4,000. For that price, you typically receive a puppy that has undergone a health and temperament screening, and your puppy may even have pedigree papers.

Getting a Puppy From the Craigslist

You can find many breeders advertising their flat-coated retrievers for sale on Craigslist. Typically, Craigslist breeders are not professional breeders. However, there are professional breeders who list their puppies for exorbitantly high prices. 

Most inexperienced backyard breeders will underprice them. These puppies are frequently the offspring of backyard breeders or puppy farms and are significantly less expensive than those from reputable breeders.

That is because most of these puppies have not had much money or care invested in them.

Most of them are not given the necessary medical care or exposure to family and environment when they are young. You will almost certainly have to pay for veterinary care from the start. 

For instance, most professional breeders pay for the puppy’s initial vaccinations and give it proper exposure, which is typically missing from puppies listed on Craigslist.

However, you should be aware that these breeders may have varying breeding experiences, and they should be able to provide accurate information about the flat-coated retriever dog’s family history.

Getting a Puppy From a Shelter or Rescue Center

You can reach out to your neighborhood shelter or a rescue dog home to see if there are flat-coated retrievers to adopt. You’ll be surprised and probably walk home with a beautiful retriever for way less or mostly free.

The Annual Cost of Owning a Flat-Coated Retriever

Flat-Coated Retriever lying on the ground

It’s essential to get a good understanding of what your new flat-coated retriever pup will cost you per year. 

A Flat-Coated retriever dog should cost you no more than $5,000 overall in the first year. This is mainly because of all the one-time expenses of buying dog items and getting them their puppy shots. After that, it will only cost about $1,500 per year.

Healthcare and Pet Care Expenses

You should budget between $500 and $800 a year for your flat-coated retriever dog. On average, the cost will be $600 for healthcare expenses. 

Veterinary bills will be high regardless of your dog’s age. This breed is usually more prone to getting hip and joint diseases such as hip dysplasia, arthritis and ear infections. 

These conditions would necessitate X-trays and another scanning, which would cost between $300 and $800 overall for most puppies. Overall it’s a healthy breed.

The flat coated retriever lifespan is about 8 to 14 years, and they frequently accrue higher vet bills once they reach adulthood due to their larger size; puppies require more medical attention than an adult dog in the same breed. 

Cost of Food

Typically, the owner should budget between $300 and $450. Your expenses will rise as the dog ages and grows because it will begin to eat more. Due to their size, these dogs typically require a large portion of a balanced meal. 

Puppy food can be slightly more expensive than adult food, but generally, it isn’t much more expensive. You may give the puppy the necessary food for its early stages of growth. Ask the breeder whether the puppy got its nutrients in its early weeks of birth. 

Remember to talk to your veterinarian about the food needed based on your flat-coated retriever’s health. Some food may cause decay in your dog’s teeth and other health problems.

Training Costs

Since the flat-coated retriever is a domestic, energetic dog, it typically doesn’t require professional training. Even if you’ve previously owned dogs, you might already know how to train them, but they will probably benefit from a professional dog trainer. 

Group sessions are great because they offer socialization experiences in addition to the training sessions. These lessons are probably going to run you anywhere from $150 to $20 for a set of lessons.

You might be surprised to learn that flat coated retrievers love to stay with their owners and are usually intelligent dogs.

Basic dog training and socialization will be beneficial for your flat-coated retriever dog. After that, unless your dog develops behavioral issues, you won’t require additional dog training.

Factors Influencing the Cost 

Unlike other dogs in the world of dogs, the flat-coated retriever is quite a rare breed. As a dog owner, this breed can also be a status symbol. 

The general rule is that if something is rare, it will cost more. The breeder you choose will usually have a big impact on the average price. 

You’ll probably pay more if you select an established, reputable one. You pay for the knowledge, expertise, and assurance that the puppy will be professionally cared for from birth that the breeder provides.

The puppy’s flat coat, coat color, puppy like behavior, and wavy coated retrievers can often be priced higher. The common flat coated retriever colors are black and liver. The dark brown, wavy coated retriever is quite rare. 

The bloodline and pedigree are also important. You’ll probably have to pay more for them if they are champion descendants.

Price Considerations 

Flat-Coated Retriever running on the ground

No matter how gorgeous a retriever puppy may be, make sure to ask the breeder about the background of the puppy’s parents.

Before you adopt any dog, it is important to budget properly for them. Because of the larger size, the flat-coated retriever breed can be quite expensive in their first year. 

The flat-coated retriever loves to play, requiring a few chew toys and amenities that can quickly add up, such as a larger dog bed. They have a moderately long coat, so you may also want a grooming kit. 

Additionally, you need to plan how you’ll cover any potential emergencies. That is why pet insurance exists. At least an emergency dog fund?

Here are a few essential things you need to check with your breeder before you buy your new dog.

  • Records of the puppy’s vaccinations and deworming
  • Breed-specific health checks of the parents 
  • The temperament of the parents and family tree 
  • Pups’ early socialization and exposure to the family, other puppies, surroundings, and toys

Other Dog Breeds Pricing Guides:

The Bottomline 

If you buy a flat-coated retriever from a breeder, you can anticipate paying between $1,500 and $4,000 for a puppy. The total cost will typically be in the range of $3,000, so plan accordingly.

You should also budget for one-time and recurring expenses for your new flat-coated retriever dog. For example, your dog’s first year of care will probably cost you around $5,000.

Along with regular monthly expenses like food, this includes all the necessary amenities.

Don’t forget to search for flat-coated retriever rescues in animal shelters and rescue facilities; if you’re lucky, you might find a stunning dog for a few hundred dollars or even free!


Absolutely yes, this is the ideal dog if you are a retriever fan. They are a rare breed to own, and they quickly elevate your status. People will likely ask you what breed this dog is when you take him for a walk. Also, remember that flat-coated retrievers shed.

It depends on your expectations. On many e-commerce sites, Craigslist will have flat-coated retrievers listed for a lower price than the reputed breeders. You should know that these breeders are not professional breeders. These backyard breeders don’t sell puppies with prestigious bloodlines nor give the proper attention required for a puppy.

Yes, flat-coated retrievers are slightly higher priced than Golden retrievers because they are rare and in high demand. But champion bloodline Golden retrievers may cost more than an average flat-coated retriever. Their black or liver flat coats distinguish them from the common golden retriever. 

A flat-coated retriever needs the same level of medical attention as other retriever breeds. However, this breed has the potential to develop hip or joint problems, which could cost you more money to treat and cure. Aside from that, medical costs should be comparable to those of other dog breeds. 

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Laura Vinzy
Laura Vinzy is one of our contributors. She is also a certified professional dog trainer & currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and her two rescue dogs.

2 thoughts on “How Much Does a Flat-Coated Retriever Cost? Average Prices”

  1. I would have enjoyed you saying sometime about adopting mixed Flat-Coated retrievers.
    They are less expensive to adopt. Ranger, my 9 y/o chocolate brown mixed Flat-Coated Retriever died suddenly soon after I played fetch tennis balls with him on August 27th. His autopsy found out that he had cancer in his heart. Before I had Ranger, I had another mixed Flat-Coated retriever before Ranger named Jackie. Mixed Flat-Coated retrievers for adoption are very difficult to find on the internet. Do you know of a good website that have plenty mixed Flat-Coated retrievers to adopt?


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