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Determining The Price of  Our Puppies


I get asked quite often, What do you charge for your puppies? What is involved in that cost?

You as a family not only get an amazing puppy but a significant amount of my time, input, and everything and anything this pup needs out the door. Having said that, to get to that ‘fun’ point there is an extensive amount of work, effort, and cost put into my program and my dogs here for years to make sure I am able to create that perfectly sound, healthy, stable pup for you to hand over at the end of the day.

While I realize that a puppy is a significant investment, it may help to know some of the factors that go into the cost of a well-bred Golden Retriever.

Contrary to popular belief, breeding if done correctly, is not a profitable venture. We don't set our price on what we have monetarily put into each individual puppy, but what it costs us to run our breeding program as a whole. While we would love to have enough puppies for every request, a great deal goes into the selection of our breeding stock. Our primary focus is to breed healthy, solid, stable and sound dogs so we can pass along their offspring to you with full confidence that you will have many many years of strong and healthy golden love in your home. We breed up each and every litter, to improve the breed in any and every way we possibly can. This takes an incredible amount of research and focus years prior in bringing in the utmost top breeding stock of dogs possible.

Breeding Goldens, where the average litter size is 7 to 12 puppies, has a significant impact on the cost. We have to consider many different things like:

The dogs we purchase for our program here, are purchased from some of the best breeders around are costly. The cost of an average breeding dog is usually very expensive and can cost upwards of $7,000 and then we still have to wait, hoping it passes all the genetic, OFA and testing clearances as well as be a good example of the breed, not only structurally but in temperament as well. If it doesn’t pass any of these requirements, we have a great deal of money tied up in one dog that we now have to spay. At this point we have to start all over again with purchasing a new pup and are now close to 1.5 yrs. behind in our breeding plans.  


Genetic testing is an integral part of our breeding program. The more informed we are about the gene code on our dogs and their ancestors, the more responsibly we can breed. We have our dogs hearts checked by a board certified canine cardiologist, have their Hip and Elbows certified by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) as well as running the top of line PennHIP testing on all our breeding dogs. All dogs have their eyes checked for genetic defects and cataracts by a ophthalmologist, then certified by the Canine Eye Registry Foundation. We also DNA test for core preventable diseases that include PRA1, PRA2, prcd-PRA, DM, NCL, and ichthytosis.  Having said all that, all this testing is expensive, but critical to providing you with a puppy whose parents have been screened for known problems within the breed.

Finally, we have to consider all the medical costs in our breeding program, C-sections for a mom that has complications during delivery, Daily Vitamins, immune systems boosters, and joint supplements to ensure healthy dog and puppies, vaccinations, de-worming, microchips, puppy vet checks, and many more things that could come up. We cover these charges overall rather than apply them to the sale of one puppy.  We feed a high quality dog food averaging around $55.00 per bag.

We make it our responsibility to know what lines carry certain genetic tendencies and strive to do the very best we can to avoid problems. We also have to reflect on the day to day cost of grooming supplies, toys, high quality food, crates, crate pads, heating and air conditioning.

While we do not claim perfection in any way, and have no control over recessive genetics and their timetable to show up, we always do our very best.  We will continue our endeavor to provide ourselves and you with quality dogs that are healthy, sound and suitable for their intended purposes.
With all of this said.....

How We Determine A Puppy Price…

Dog breeding is becoming more and more difficult in today’s times. Food, care items and medical expenses top the list for breeders trying to keep puppies affordable on creating the perfect healthy family pet.

$1,800 to 3,500

We plan our breeding's out months even years in advance. As much as natural breedings are ideal and easier, it’s not always feasible for many reasons. We are at times forced to breed by technology using Progesterone testing to target the perfect conception date, in some cases FedEx to ship the semen from point A to B, and Ultrasound to determine pregnancy. This all costs money to do it right. Then once the dam is pregnant we wait to 58 days for an xray to see if she will be able to have them naturally or need a C-Section. Once the puppies are here our puppy jobs begin…., sleeping by mama for most often days afterwards, potty and crate training starting at 4 weeks, mass amounts of laundry, no rest for the weary and then socializing, leash training, puppy testing and more laundry. We finally get to have a full night sleep around the 4th week. It is a monumental task to do it right and keep everyone healthy and happy. Then back to the vets to make sure everyone’s heart is beating correctly and review their overall health. 

Here at the Hoekema Homestead we believe in: 
* Raising puppies with constant attention from us and our children to obtain the best social skills as adults as possible
* Large Breed Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice Dog food

* NuVET Daily Vitamins, immune system boosters and Joint and bone supplements
* Early Neurological stimulation
* Potty/Crate Training starting at 4 weeks old 
* Nursing as long as possible to maximize immunity
* Socializing with humans, other adult dogs here on our property to obtain good social skills.

* Temperament and conformation testing at 7 weeks.

All our dogs here are used to being right in the mix of helping to raise puppies. This makes it easier for the puppy to go to their new home where he/she might be the 2nd dog coming into a house hold. They learn quickly how to interact with another adult besides there mother. 

My hope as a buyer, you can grasp how we arrive at our asking price of our puppies and how difficult our jobs of trying to keep a quality puppy affordable to the average family. There is a difference between good breeders and not so good breeders just like everything else in life. 


DAMS: The average cost of buying a top quality female from solid lines is $4500-7000

• Vet Check on Dam Blood Work/test for Infections $200
• Timing/Progesterone Tests $140 per test/3-6 Tests per Breeding $420 to $840 
• $2,000 to $3,500

• A. Fresh Chilled Semen (X2)Canine Shipping Box; Semen Extender; Ice ( these charges are if your stud dog owner packages it. More $ if a vet prepares it for shipping) $500
• B. Frozen SemenTank Rental; Preparation Fee; Tank Return $400 to $600
Plus Shipping Fees: FedEx; UPS; Airplane-Counter to Counter;  $200-600.00 
• SEMEN INSEMINATION: (Pick one: A. B. C. or D. Expenses) 
A. Natural breeding, driving to Stud Dogs Location xxx.xx 
B. Artificial Insemination (A-I) If performed by a Vet $150 to 600 
C. Transervical"Vet Procedure" (usually inseminated twice) $500 to 800.
D. Surgical"Vet Procedure" $1,000 to 1,500 
Ultrasound to Confirm Pregnancy $60.00 to 200.
• BREEDING TOTAL: (NO PUPPIES YET) $2,580.- 8,500.00 
CARING FOR DAM & PUPPIES: (Not including cost of whelping box) 

• Dam (gestation through whelping) Extra Food and supplements for Dam: $500
• Whelping Natural-Cesarean $0 to 2,500.
• Post Whelping Vet Check $150 to 350 
• Whelping Supplies: Bedding, Oxytocin/Vet on call, Extra towels, Pedialyte, Formula for supplemental feedings, Puppy Collars, Heating Source, Disinfectants  $800 to 1,200. 
• Washing and More Washing. Bedding is washed Daily $200 
• Raising Puppies Food, Bedding, potty material, Toys, Pens, Possible Pet Sitter, Worming Supplies $1500 and up 
• Vet (when there is no problems) Vaccinations, Microchip, Health Checks $80 x 8 = 640.00 
SUB TOTAL: LOW TO HIGH $3,790- 6,040 
• No value on the lack of sleep involved with this all
GRAND TOTAL: LOW TO HIGH $7,270 to 19,755
Divided by just 4 puppies. Cost of 1 puppy $1,817.50 to 4,939
Other costs

Housing, yard fencing, ground material, setup, maintenance fees, parasite control, replacement puppy items???

Cost of raising a potential mom of puppies from birth to adulthood??? 

Time into studying the breed standard, pedigrees, current health issues, genetic concerns, New testing requirements, temperament, training, availability to clients for questions, etc..... 

This is just an average cost of raising a small litter of 4 pups.
I do all this with an extreme passion to give back. Give back to the breed and to give back to you. There are an mass amount of trials and tribulations in the business that can arise and that I have gone through over the years. My heart has been broken but has also grown abundantly but because I love what I do. When I see the joy on your face when I am able to place just one fuzzy fur baby in your arms, it’s all worth it in the end. 


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