A dog’s love is priceless, although dogs themselves don’t come cheap! Here are 15 of the most expensive dog breeds in the world.
Considered by many to be man’s best friend, there are around 90 million dogs owned in the United States. That’s up from 68 million in the year 2000 according to a pet owners survey.
With 340 dog breeds worldwide and 197 breeds recognized by The American Kennel Club, there’s a wide selection to choose from.
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Most Expensive Dog Breeds
According to the PDSA (People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals), the cost of owning a dog over its lifetime can be as high as $41,180. It’s important to budget for essentials such as pet insurance, booster vaccines, flea and worm treatments, food, a collar and tag and toys.
Add to that the cost of buying a dog, boarding kennels and training classes and it all mounts up. This article focuses on the purchase cost for each breed of dog as well as their lifetime ownership cost.
When buying a dog, always use a reputable breeder. Do not buy from a puppy mill where the animals are bred purely for profit with no regard to genetic quality.
Work out which dog breed is the best fit for you and select a breeder who specializes in this breed, or consider adoption.
15. Bernese Mountain Dog – $1,500
While the cost of a purebred Bernese Mountain Dog isn’t exorbitant, the real cost of owning this breed certainly mounts up. It’s estimated that they need more than $1,300 per year in medical care.
Often confused with the Saint Bernard dog, which is slightly larger, this loveable breed is loyal and easy to train. Bernese Mountain Dogs are affectionate and good with children.
They’re not the best guard dogs but they do make good watch dogs. Unfortunately the breed is susceptible to histiocytosis, a type of cancer, as well as elbow dysplasia and arthritis.
Cost to buy: $1,000 – $2,500
Lifespan: 6 – 8 years
14. English Bulldog – $2,000
Costing up to $4,000 to buy, the English bulldog costs a lot more to look after. These popular dogs are plagued with health issues such as hip dysplasia, cherry eye and overheating.
Some experts put medical costs for bulldog owners at between $400 to $700 each year. Winston Churchill owned a British bulldog named Dodo, and Adam Sandler had a bulldog called Meatball. The official US Navy mascot is an English bulldog.
English bulldogs are people pleasers yet they make good watchdogs. As they’re quite independent, this dog breed can be hard to train. However, they respond well to food treats.
Cost to buy: $1,500 – $4,000
Life span: 8 – 10 years
13. Portugese Water Dog – $2,200
These medium-sized dogs originally came from the Algarve region of Portugal. They were trained to help fishermen and are hard-working and smart.
Portugese Water Dogs enjoy agility challenges and playing fetch. This particular breed of dog requires regular brushing and clipping.
Cost to buy: $1,500 – $2,500
Life span: 12 – 15 years
12. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – $2,300
Known for its expressive eyes and sweet nature, this spaniel is classed as a toy dog by the American Kennel Club. One of the most popular pure breeds in the United States, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a perfect family dog.
These companion dogs love to sit on a lap and yet they’re surprisingly athletic. The Cavalier is skilled at canine sports such as agility.
Almost half of Cavaliers will endure mitral valve disease (MVD) before the age of five. They are susceptible to other health conditions such as cataracts, so pet insurance is important.
Cost to buy: $1,900 – $3,500
Lifespan: 9 – 14 years
11. Azawakh – $2,500
Originating from West Africa, this rare breed resembles a greyhound or whippet. The Azawakh is a sighthound and guard dog, devoted to its owners.
Reaching top speeds of 40 mph, Azawakhs excel at agility events. They are best suited to experienced dog owners who are consistent with training.
Cost to buy: $2,000-$2,500
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
10. Shiba Inu – $3,000
Similar to the Akita dog, Shiba Inus are known for their quick reflexes and handsome look. Originally from Japan, this compact breed is extremely independent.
They were bred as hunters but are now mainly companion and watch dogs, loved for their loyal nature. Being swift runners, Shiba Inus should be kept on-leash outdoors unless they have strong recall.
These highly intelligent dogs benefit from training. They’re not generally suited to households with cats and young children.
Shiba Inu dogs keep themselves very clean and hate baths. They often make a screaming noise when you give them one.
Cost to buy: $1,500-$3,000
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
9. Pharaoh Hound – $3,500
Often wrongly described as being the royal dog of Egypt, this an ancient dog breed actually comes from the island of Malta. Pharaoh hounds are actually the National Dog of Malta. There, they are called Kelb tal-Fenek or rabbit dog as they were first used for hunting rabbits.
These highly intelligent dogs have a strong prey drive so should be exercised in a fenced or empty area. They’re good with children and don’t suffer from many health problems.
A rare dog breed, the Pharaoh Hound has been recognized by the American Kennel Club since 1984.
Cost to buy: $2,500 – $5,000
Lifespan: 11 – 14 years
8. Dogo Argentino – $4,000
This muscular, white colored dog breed hails from Argentina. The Dogo Argentino was bred to hunt big game and to protect its human owners.
Banned in several countries including Australia and the UK, this loyal dog loves its family. The Dogo Argentino can be overprotective and needs regular stimulation.
They enjoy dog sports such as agility and weight pull, as well as walks. Give them chew toys to prevent them destroying items around the house.
Cost to buy: $1,000-$4,000
Lifespan: 10 – 15 years
7. French Bulldog – $4,500
An increasingly popular companion dog, the French bulldog is a friendly and playful pet. However, this breed can suffer from quite a few health concerns including breathing and skin problems.
If you have your heart set on a Frenchie, do not buy from a puppy farm. Use a reputable breeder and invest in pet insurance.
French bulldogs love cuddles and are good with children and other pets. One of the rarest and most expensive French bulldog colors is Blue French.
Actually more of a grey color, Blue Frenchies are disqualified by the American Kennel Club French Bulldog Breed Standard. Therefore if you wan to show your dog in competitions, it’s best to opt for a standard color.
Cost to buy: $2,200-$4,500
Lifespan: 10 – 14 years
6. Saluki – $5,000
This aristocratic looking dog has its roots to ancient Egypt. In fact, the Saluki is thought to be the oldest known domesticated dog breed in the world.
Gentle and good with other dogs, saluki were bred as sighthounds, to hunt by sight rather than by scent. Extremely fast sprinters, these dogs need regular exercise and companionship.
They make reasonable watchdogs but are not suitable as guard dogs.
Cost to buy: $2,000 – $5,000
Lifespan: 12 – 14 years
5. Rottweiler – $6,000
Originally bred as butchers’ dogs in Germany, Rottweilers are now popular guard dogs. Weighing up to 135 pounds, this large dog breed can be very territorial.
It’s important to socialize and train Rottweilers while they are still puppies. This intelligent dog breed will enjoy dog sports such as herding and obedience classes. Regular exercise is essential to prevent weight gain.
Cost to buy: $2,000-$6,000
Lifespan: 8 – 10 years
4. Chow Chow – $6,500
Looking like a real-life teddy bear, the Chow Chow is usually a big hit with kids. This dog breed is originally from China, where it’s also known as the Puffy Lion Dog.
These medium-sized dogs have a dense double coat and a distinctive blue-black tongue. They are heavy seasonal shedders, so will benefit from regular grooming.
Although they look cuddly, Chow Chows are usually quite aloof. Chow Chows need training when young as they can be quite assertive dogs.
Cost to buy: $1,900-$6,500
Lifespan: 9 – 15 years
3. Löwchen – $8,000
Often nicknamed the Little Lion Dog, the Lowchen is a distinctive dog breed whose origin is unknown. These purebred companion dogs are intelligent and playful.
The Lowchen’s nickname comes from their popular lion cut, shaved at the rear and legs yet left natural at the front. Child friendly, Lowchens make good family dogs.
These small dogs are well suited to indoor life and crave constant companionship.
Cost to buy: $2,000-$8,000
Lifespan: 12 – 14 years
2. Samoyed – $9,000
This fluffy ball of fur looks like it has a permanent smile on its face. Recognizable by its pure white coat, the Samoyed was originally a herding dog from Siberia.
Samoyeds are one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. They date back to 1000 BC and they haven’t changed much in appearance since then.
Adept in herding reindeer, the Samoyed also kept their owners warm by sleeping on top of them. These days, Samoyeds are in high demand due to their affectionate nature.
These smart dogs respond well to agility and tracking exercises. They shed heavily throughout the year, so daily brushing is a must.
Cost to buy: $4,000-$9,000
Lifespan: 12 – 14 years
1. Tibetan Mastiff – $15,000
Coming in first place in our compilation of the most expensive dog breeds in the world is the Tibetan Mastiff. Although pedigree Tibetan Mastiffs cost from $6,000, their top price can reach over $1 million!
In 2011, a Chinese businessman paid $1.5 million for a Red Tibetan Mastiff named Big Splash. In 2014, another Chinese entrepreneur paid $1.9 million for a 1 year old golden-haired mastiff. This is the most expensive dog in the world.
Some countries such as Bermuda and the Maldives have banned Tibetan Mastiffs. They are protective dogs that can become aggressive without proper socialization. With the right training, these large dogs can integrate well into families where they are the only dog present.
Cost to buy: $1,700-$1.9 million
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Here’s a recap of the most expensive dog breeds:
- Tibetan Mastiff
- Chow Chow
- French Bulldog
- Dogo Argentino
- Pharaoh Hound
- Shiba Inu
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Portugese Water Dog
- English Bulldog
- Bernese Mountain Dog
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