How Much Does a Chocolate Lab Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

A chocolate lab is a variation of the Labrador breed which emerged during the 1930s.  Although the chocolate lab has a different appearance compared to the usual Labrador, these dogs usually have the same temperament. Weighing close to 100 pounds, the chocolate labrador are also very loyal to their owners, making them one of the best breed of dogs available.

puppy Campbell by 23am.com, on Flickr
puppy Campbell” (CC BY 2.0) by  23am.com

How much does a chocolate lab cost?

On average, a chocolate lab will cost anywhere from $700 to as much as $1,200 for a purebred younger puppy older than six weeks.  Older dogs, often older than two to three years old, can cost less than $500.  The costs really come down to the dog’s quality, the breeder, what’s included, the registration and the parent’s history.  When searching the market, you’re going to find some breeders breed dogs for fun, while others may be in it for the money, often lying to their customers to get a quick buck.

At the time of this writing, PuppyFind.com, an online puppy classified website, has more than 1,500 listings, with prices ranging from $150 to more than $1,000.

According to this comprehensive guide on thelabradorsite.com, the average cost in the United States is about $800 to $1,200.

What is going to be included in the adoption fee?

Most reputable breeders should include the registration paperwork, some sort of health guarantee, a health checkup by a licensed vet, up-to-date vaccinations and a travel crate if being shipped.  Some may also include a microchip, spay/neuter and/or starter pack with food, coupons and toys.

What are the extra costs?

Recurring costs, as with any pet, will include the food, shelter, accessories, toys and routine/surprise vet visits.  Due to the chocolate lab’s size, they tend to eat more than the average dog, often costing the average owner close to $50 per month to feed.  Remember these dogs can weigh an average of 80 pounds.  A healthy dog, on average, can cost close to $800 annually; however, if your dog were to come down with a serious illness, this cost could easily double, if not triple.  If you’re new to the dog world, then you need to budget for the puppy crate, bowls, bedding, collar, leashes, toys and training products.

Leash training is recommended when young, and according to most owners, they are easy to train; however, it still doesn’t hurt to consider local obedience classes to learn the basics such as sit, stay and lay down.  Also, be prepared for their clumsiness as some labs won’t know their own strength when maneuvering in smaller areas with their strong wagging tail.

The average chocolate lab must be brushed at least once per week and twice when you notice they are shedding.  Even if you keep up with the brushing, a professional grooming session won’t hurt monthly.

If the dog has to be shipped via an airline, this can cost an additional $200 to $400, depending on the airline and distance.  Some breeders, however, often refuse to ship their puppies via the air and will ask to meet either halfway or have you pick up the puppies at their residence.

Tips to know:

If healthy, the average chocolate lab can live 10 to 13 years and are suitable for both warm and cooler climates, but most prefer to live indoors where their family lives.

Similar to the other Labrador breeds, the chocolate lab is just as mellow and is known to get along will with just about anyone and anything in the neighborhood, including pets, children and other household pets.  Due to this calm demeanor, they often don’t make great watchdogs.  According to the AKC, they are known to be very loyal, happy and lovable.

The coat will be dense, thick, short and resistant to most weather.  The chocolate lab, as the name applies, will be that of a chocolate/brown variety, often with a slightl white marking on the front of the chest.

The average shoulder height will be 20 to 25 inches and most labs will weigh 55 to 85 pounds, with the male weighing slightly more.

This dog is known to need plenty of exercise and won’t be suitable for a smaller apartment or condo.  The chocolate lab loves long walks, playing fetch and even swimming in the water.

Like most larger dog breeds, according to PuppyFind.com, the chocolate lab is prone to PRA, an eye disorder, ear infections and hip/elbow dysplasia.  They are also prone to obesity, so it’s important they are on a well-balanced diet.

When buying from a breeder, try your hardest to see the location where the dog was raised.  If they refuse or make up excuses, then this could be a big red flag since the living conditions may not be suitable for breeding dogs.

How can I save money?

Adoption is another option you can consider rather than buying a dog.  Check out your local Humane Society or even consider a local rescue group to see if they have any dogs up for adoption.  This is a great way to offer an older dog a forever home and spend a lot less money than buying from a breeder who is often in it for the money.


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