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The World’s Most Expensive Dog Breeds | Expect to Spend Thousands

Picture of an English Bulldog

Making the decision to add a dog to your home takes a lot of planning and forethought. The breed you ultimately select will affect your life in many different ways, so it is important to ensure the type of dog you choose is well-suited to your lifestyle and personality. But there is more to consider than simply a dog’s activity requirements and unique temperament when searching for the ideal pooch to join your home. Though all dogs require a serious investment of financial resources over the course of their lifetime, some will cost far more than others. The final list of expenses is accrued over many different factors. Rare or unusual breeds often come with a much higher up front price tag since there are so few litters of them, and they are difficult to obtain. Other breeds may not cost much to acquire but are more prone to health ailments, leading to expensive veterinary bills for ongoing care throughout their lifetime. A careful analysis of the expenses involved in the breed you are considering is an important first step in determining if that particular type of dog is a good fit for your family.

It is important for you to always be aware that there will be a spectrum of prices available for any dog breed you set your heart upon. This is because there is no set agency governing prices for puppy sales, meaning each breeder has the liberty to sell their puppies at the price of their own choosing. Many factors influence how much a puppy will cost to purchase. The wise puppy buyer will avoid the cheap puppy. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. It is also advisable to avoid people who base their pricing on color or gender or on the production of dogs bred to meet trends. If a color is considered rare in a breed, it is likely because it is a disqualification according to that breed standard. The list of American Kennel Club standards for purebred breeds can assist you with discovering what you should expect to see in the puppy of your breed of choice. Typically puppies bred to accommodate trendy colors or that are going for a much cheaper or much more expensive price than the average for that breed are being produced by far less than scrupulous people whose main objective is in making money at the cost of the health and welfare of the mother and puppies entrusted to their care. Puppies who are not raised in the right environment can be much more prone to experience both behavioral and health issues, making the additional expense for a puppy from a reputable breeder far worth the extra cost.

Also often factored into the price you can be expected to pay is the travel associated with getting your breed of choice from the breeder’s home to yours. If you select a rare breed, this could mean international travel or flights across the country, both of which add significantly to the cost.

Based on a number of different considerations, here is a list of some of the most expensive dog breeds today:

1Yorkshire Terrier – $1500

Picture of a Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier has quickly become a family favorite pooch. Yorkshire Terriers are often referred to as Yorkies, an affectionate handle that seems to fit their delightful and sometimes demanding personalities to a “T”. A breed with excellent longevity, a well-bred and well-cared for Yorkie can live from 13-16 years.

What makes the Yorkie one of the most expensive dog breeds today?

Due to this breed’s immense popularity, prices can be quite exorbitant to obtain a puppy of this type. As an average, you can expect to pay approximately $1500 USD to purchase a Yorkie puppy from a reputable breeder who registers their dogs with the American Kennel Club.

It is important for you to be aware that the American Kennel Club does not recognize Teacup Yorkshire Terriers. Though some breeders will advertise this size variant of the Yorkie, there are no size variations in the breed. Teacup Yorkies are produced by selective breeding of the smallest dogs produced in litters of the standard sized Yorkies. By choosing to do this, breeders are able to manipulate the gene pool to produce undersized Yorkies that they name “Teacups” and sell for greatly inflated prices due to their “rareness.” The problem with doing this is that breeding undersized dogs increases the likelihood of serious health problems which can befall the breed, in some cases causing extreme pain and prematurely ending the dog’s life.

Other factors to consider when purchasing a Yorkshire Terrier include the health conditions which can be common to the breed. These include:

  • Hypoglycemia
  • Allergies of the skin
  • Retinal dysplasia (vision problems)
  • Liver shunt
  • Patellar luxation (dislocation of the kneecap)
  • Collapsed trachea
  • Pancreatitis
  • Hemhorragic gastroenteritis (stomach problems from dehydration)
  • Teeth issues

2Akita – $1500

Picture of an Akita at the lake

A breed that is known for its intense loyalty to its family, the Akita traces its roots to Japan where it enjoyed a heritage as protector of the home and hearth. This dog breed is known for its aloof nature and its natural wariness of unfamiliar people and animals.

The Akita has higher than average grooming requirements and blows his coat twice yearly: once in the spring and again in the fall. To keep the coat in good condition, the Akita should see a groomer several times per year with each grooming session typically costing $100 since the Akita is considered a large breed dog.

The Akita is a dog breed that enjoys an excellent life expectancy of between 11 and 15 years.

Purchasing an Akita from a reputable breeder typically costs around $1500 USD.

Common health ailments to the Akita which could result in additional costs for veterinary care include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Eye issues
  • Autoimmune thyroiditis
  • Gastric torsion (Bloat)
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Patellar luxation

3Great Dane – $2500

Picture of a Great Dane

The Great Dane is an extra large breed of dog with a heart to match his immense size. The typical purchase price for a Great Dane from a reputable breeder is $2500 USD.

One of the Great Dane’s greatest selling features is the fact that he has minimal grooming requirements. Your puppy may need the occasional bath if his coat begins to smell but other than that, you will only need to keep up with trimming his nails regularly, meaning the costs for the Great Dane’s coat upkeep are minimal.

Unfortunately, Great Danes are a heartbreak breed with an extremely short life expectancy of from 6-10 years. They are also predisposed to many different health conditions with extremely hefty price tags attached to them such as:

  • Gastric torsion (Bloat)
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Wobbler’s syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Skin conditions 

As an extra large breed, food costs for keeping a Great Dane well-fed will also be substantially larger than those of other breeds.  Medications, bedding, crates, etc, also come with a higher price tag.

4English Bulldog – 3,000 – $4500

Picture of an English Bulldog

The English Bulldog is a breed many families consider due to his friendliness and love of children. However, the English Bulldog is one of the most expensive dog breeds to own due to his purchase price, lowered life expectancy, and plethora of health conditions.

Obtaining an English Bulldog from a reputable breeder most often costs between $3500-$4500 for a well-bred pet with show quality puppies priced even higher. The average life expectancy of the English Bulldog is only 8-10 years, placing him in the same heartbreak category as the Great Dane.

The Bulldog is also a breed that can experience a wide range of health conditions which can cost you a lot of money in necessary veterinary care. These include:

  • Brachycephalic airway syndrome (Respiratory problems)
  • Heat sensitivity
  • Dermatitis/allergies of the skin/acre
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Degenerative spine disease
  • Cherry eye
  • Joint and ligament injuries
  • Idiopathic head tremors
  • Fold dermatitis
  • Heart disease

Though the English Bulldog does not have many grooming requirements, you must keep up with regular trimming of his nails and carefully clean and dry all of his folds to prevent skin irritations, yeast infections, or other issues.

Sadly, the English Bulldog is the dog breed most commonly affected by cancer.

5Samoyed – $3000

Picture of a Samoyed during Autumn

The Samoyed is a Nordic breed that can be difficult to find. Due to its rareness, Samoyeds typically cost $3000 USD. This breed is known for his gentle, loving ways and makes an excellent obedience dog due to his intense desire to please his family. Originally bred to herd reindeer, the Samoyed is a working dog who is most content when given a job to do.

To keep the Samoyed’s coat white and mat-free, you will need to commit to regular brushing and grooming. Since the Samoyed has a thick, fluffy coat, you can expect to pay between $75-$100 each grooming session, and you will need to schedule appointments at least four times per year.

The Samoyed enjoys an excellent life expectancy of between 12-14 years of age. Unfortunately, this breed can be prone to some extremely expensive health conditions which can include:

  • Autoimmune thyroiditis
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Cataracts
  • Retinal dysplasia
  • Aortic stenosis
  • Pulmonary valve stenosis
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Gastric torsion (Bloat)
  • Diabetes mellitus

6Tibetan Mastiff – $2,000

Picture of a Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff is universally regarded as the most expensive dog breed to own. A dog of immense size, the Tibetan Mastiff has high grooming requirements and needs a healthy amount of food to sustain his large appetite. You will need to commit to regular brushing of this dog breed, and your pooch will need to visit a groomer at least four to six times per year to avoid his coat becoming full of knots which can be painful and will ruin the coat. Since the Tibetan Mastiff is an extra large breed, it can be difficult to source a groomer willing to take on the challenge of grooming him. If you are fortunate enough to find one, you will find each appointment costs approximately $200 due to the amount of time required to bath, blow dry, then clip the coat.

Although a less common breed, Tibetan Mastiffs can be obtained for as little as $2000 USD though it can be challenging to source a puppy. The breed is often referred to as the “guard of the Himalayas” and remains true to his working nature today. They are highly independent and lack the drive to please their owners, making them challenging to train.

The Tibetan Mastiff typically lives from 10-12 years. The most often seen health ailments affecting the breed include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Autoimmune thyroiditis
  • Seizures
  • Canine inherited demyelinative neuropathy
  • Gastric torsion (Bloat)

7Rottweiler – $1500 to $5000

Picture of a Rottweiler

The Rottweiler is a power breed that is well-known for his imposing appearance. This dog breed excels at both obedience and protection work and requires little grooming beyond the standard bath and nail maintenance.

Today, the Rottweiler still enjoys pride of place as a favorite dog on the police force and for use in military efforts. Rottweilers are a dog breed that need a job to do, so you will spend a lot of time and money repairing the aftermath they get up to if you don’t provide them with one.

The up front cost to acquire a Rottweiler from a reputable breeder is approximately $1500 USD but can range as high as $5000 USD for dogs from proven working or show lines.

As with many of the breeds on this list, the Rottweiler is predisposed to a number of different health issues, some of which are:

  • Aortic stenosis
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Entropion
  • Cruciate ligament rupture
  • OCD (Osteochondritis Dessicans)
  • Cancer
  • JLLP (Juvenile Laryngeal Paralysis & Polyneuropathy)
  • Wet eczema
  • Cold water tail

A surgery to repair a torn cruciate is both painful and extremely expensive, ringing in at approximately $3,000 USD. Unfortunately, once one cruciate has experienced a tear, there is a high probability the other will also rupture, requiring an additional costly surgery.

8German Shepherd – $1500 – $2500

Picture of a German Shepherd

German Shepherds remain a popular family dog today. Well-bred specimens of the breed are known for their gentleness and kind temperaments. German  Shepherds eat moderately and enjoy relatively low grooming requirements. Keep your Shepherd bathed as necessary, maintain his nails, and give him a good brushing a few times a week to keep his coat in good condition.

German Shepherds are very versatile and are well-suited to many different activities including police work, scent detection, high level obedience training, protection services, and more.

Unfortunately; in recent years, fewer and fewer breeders have paid attention to two important traits which should be considered with every breeding pair: correct temperament and strict health clearances. To ensure you purchase a puppy from a reputable breeder, be sure to ask to see copies of each successfully completed health test and to visit the breeder’s home to meet the parents of your prospective puppy.

The average cost for a pet quality German Shepherd is between $1,500 and $2,500 USD. Working and show lines can run as high as $10,000.

Sadly, the German Shepherd can be prone to many different health ailments which can shorten his already short life expectancy of 6-10 years. These include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD)
  • Panosteitis
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Skin problems
  • Hemophilia A
  • Pancreatitis
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
  • Sub-aortic stenosis (SAS)
  • Epilepsy
  • Von willebrand’s disease (vWD)
  • Bilateral cataracts
  • Cherry eye
  • Cryptorchidism
  • Gastric torsion (Bloat)

9French Bulldog – 2,500 – 10,000

The French Bulldog is an adorable little clown that comes with an extremely high price tag. You can expect to pay between $2,500 USD to up to $10,000 USD for your Frenchie puppy. Frenchies are predisposed to many very serious health ailments. For this reason, it is vitally important that you do your research and purchase a puppy from a breeder who rigorously health tests all of their breeding stock to ensure they are producing litters of excellent quality and with the best chance of enjoying good health.

Part of the reason for such a high cost to obtain a Frenchie puppy is the fact that the breed often does not reproduce naturally and c-sections are typically required to deliver their litters. This significantly increases the cost for a breeder with a commitment to producing high quality Frenchie puppies for excellent family companions.

The Frenchie is the ideal dog for city dwelling families as they thrive in small spaces and don’t have excessive exercise requirements. Frenchies require a moderate amount of grooming. Like the English Bulldog, his skin folds do require regular cleaning to avoid infection, yeast overgrowth, or skin conditions. Nail maintenance should take place regularly as well.

Though the Frenchie typically lives between 9 to 12 years, this breed is known to succumb to a variety of health problems, some of which include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Patellar luxation (dislocating kneecaps)
  • Skin issues
  • Entropion
  • Heart problems
  • IVDD
  • Brachycephalic airway syndrome (Respiratory problems)
  • Heat sensitivity 

10Pharaoh Hound – 1,200 to $3500

Picture of a Pharaoh Hound

A breed not commonly seen as a family pet, the Pharaoh Hound is a distinctive dog known for its intelligence and curious air. This breed is comical in nature but is often quite standoffish with people with whom he is not familiar.

A sighthound, the Pharaoh Hound can run for impressive distances without succumbing to fatigue. For this reason, this is one pooch who should never be allowed to be off-lead for his own safety.

There is a wide price diversity for this breed with prices starting as low as $1,200 USD and ranging as high as $3,500 USD.

A short-haired breed, Pharaoh Hounds require bathing a few times a year and regular nail maintenance. Their largest expense, outside of the initial investment in purchasing the dog, comes in the form of treatment should health ailments arise such as:

Thinking one of these dog breeds might be the one for you?

There are many wonderful attributes to be found in the pooches that top our list of the most expensive dog breeds to own. To set yourself up for success, be sure to carefully research the breed and select a puppy from a reputable breeder that stringently health tests all of their breeding stock. Follow your veterinarian’s advice for your new pooch’s care, and you should enjoy many wonderful years together! 

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