The Most Popular Dog Breed Comes With a Premium Price Tag

The Most Popular Dog Breed Comes With a Premium Price Tag
  • Labrador retrievers still reign as the most popular dog breed in America.

  • Lab ownership could cost you tens of thousands of dollars over the pet’s lifetime.

  • Among the AKC’s other most popular breeds are German shepherds, golden retrievers and French bulldogs.

March 23 is National Puppy Day, and if you’re in the market for a new furry family member, you might consider adopting a Labrador retriever. The American Kennel Club said in a March 20 press release that for the 28th time, the Labrador retriever was the most popular dog breed in the country. The beloved breed bested terriers, bulldogs and beagles, among others.

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What Makes Labrador Retrievers So Popular?

The AKC describes the breed’s “famously friendly” temperament among its most distinguishable traits: “They are companionable housemates who bond with the whole family, and they socialize well with neighbor dogs and humans alike.” Labs are strongly built, athletic and well-balanced, making them ideal retrieving gun dogs. They’re also one of the top breeds selected as guide and rescue dogs.

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cost of labrador retreiver puppy

The Cost of a Labrador Retriever: From $1,000 and Up

Purebred Labrador retrievers come at a steep price tag from $1,000 to $3,000, depending on their AKC pedigree. If the purebred label isn’t a priority for you, try your local shelter instead. Shelter dog adoption fees range from $170 to around $640, according to the Animal Humane Society. The fee can include a host of veterinary services, such as deworming, health tests, spay or neuter surgery and other procedures.

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Lab Ownership Can Cost Tens of Thousands Over the Years

Adoption costs may seem expensive, but the upfront cost is just a fraction of what you’ll pay over the dog’s lifetime. According to a report from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the annual cost of owning a large dog is about $1,040, which includes food, recurring medical costs, toys, health insurance and miscellaneous costs.

The AKC estimates that Labs have a 10- to 12-year life expectancy, so you’re looking at $10,400 to $12,480 over the dog’s lifespan. That’s not even including the first-year costs, which are about $2,008, depending on the adoption fee. Throw in the adoption costs of a purebred Labrador retriever, and you could be topping $15,000 spent over the pet’s lifetime.

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2018’s Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.

How does your pup measure up? Check out how other breeds ranked among the AKC’s list of the most popular dogs of 2018:

1. Labrador retriever
2. German shepherd dog
3. Golden retriever
4. French bulldog
5. Bulldog
6. Beagle
7. Poodle
8. Rottweiler
9. German shorthaired pointer
10. Yorkshire terrier

Is a Lab out of your price range? Instead, consider the 30 least expensive dog breeds.

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This article originally appeared on The Most Popular Dog Breed Comes With a Premium Price Tag