Top 9 Cheapest Dog Breeds – But Worth Their Weight in Gold!

Cheapest Dog Breeds

Looking for a dog that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? While we suggest you go to your local rescue and adopt, we’re sharing the cheapest dog breeds with you to help you decide. Expensive dog breeds are sometimes rare, very large or small, or have an important lineage behind them. But sometimes they’re so costly, you could buy a used car instead!

The breeds we’re going to talk about aren’t “cheap” in personality, temperament, or what they have to offer. They just cost less. After all, you can’t put a price on a dog’s friendship and love.

For example, a pug, a Dachshund, or a beagle would all make wonderful companions, and we’ll tell you why. So find a place with no distractions and get comfy to read this information. You have an important decision to make.  

Why Some Dog Breeds Are More Expensive Than Others?

Did you know Tibetan mastiffs, Akitas, and Chow Chows are high-priced breeds that cost many thousands of dollars? So many factors contribute to the price of a dog. Their:

  • Lineage/Bloodline
  • Health
  • Sex
  • Rarity
  • Age
  • Breed
  • Coat color
  • Breeder’s reputation

…are a few common ones that affect what you’ll be pulling out of your wallet. Which state the breeder lives in even contributes to the bottom line due to cost of living prices. One could argue that the cost of a dog is only a one-time fee compared to how much a dog costs to have for a lifetime.

For example, the annual cost of care for a dog living in Delaware is $2,800+ yearly, while the cheapest dog breeds might only cost you $1,000 to purchase. So your mindset could be, “Hey, let’s buy a dog!”

Just keep in mind all the research you’ll do to find a reputable breeder (dog ownership is a huge responsibility) and especially what the chances are that you find a healthy dog. A fairly healthy puppy does not necessarily mean a generally healthy adult dog, and in the case of breeding, some health problems will only show themselves as a dog ages (health issues mean more vet bills)!

Bottom line? It’s a betting game. Note: Always find out about a dog’s parents, lineage, history, and breed health propensities before you buy.

Cheap Dog Breeds 

If you’re set on buying a dog, we’re going to give you the low-down on which breeds to look for if you want to spend less on a Snoopy, or a Brutus, or a Tiny!   

1. Chihuahua

cheap dogs
  • COST: $500–$1,500+

So what is it about this spunky, loving breed that makes it so popular? Chihuahuas are basically everything you could want in a dog. (I’ve been the happy guardian of several and can attest to that.)

They’re aware of what’s happening around them and curious to see if they can be part of it. They’ll also sleep on your lap or your bed and be perfectly content. “Chis” don’t exceed 6 lbs. and don’t grow over 8” tall. Plus, talk about longevity; they can live to be 16 years old. 

Sure, there are certain “issues” to deal with in a Chihuahua. (But we’re all like that, no?) If they’re not well socialized, they can snap at people, even family members, who approach their guardian or for other reasons.

And don’t forget, there is no such breed as a “Teacup Chihuahua.” These small breed dogs are just small Chis, plain and simple. Lucky you if you get into the “Chi club.”   

2. Beagle

cheapest dogs
  • COST: $500–$1,500+

Before breeders figure out just how special beagles are, get in on the deal. Good-natured, clever, and great with kids and other dogs, this cheapest dog breed is good for just about everyone. These small to medium-sized dogs are similar in looks to an American foxhound but smaller in stature at up to only 15” and 30 lbs. 

Famously friendly, beagles are hounds and would rather go on a sniff hunt than just about do anything else. Their gorgeous faces have big, expression-filled eyes and ears that often hang lower than their heads. 

They’re one of the American Kennel Club’s most popular dog breeds and their talents include:

  • Conformation (dog shows)
  • Therapy work
  • Hunting
  • Tracking
  • Agility competitions
  • Obedience competitions

Their howl and bark are memorable, and they’ll be vocal when something is amiss. When they’re on the literal hunt, they do something hunters call “baying.” 

For an inexpensive way to purchase a dog, beagles are an excellent way to go. They’re number eight on a list of 199 Most Popular Dog Breeds in 2022 (AKC). This is one special breed. 

3. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

cheapest dog
  • COST: $1,000–$2,000

The Corgi’s claim to fame is being Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite dog. And she had lots of them. Pretty fancy, huh?

This short-legged breed doesn’t require lots of exercise but does need a short walk or an interactive romp in the backyard daily. Corgis have natural herding instincts – they’re classified in the Herding group by the AKC – and they generally try to “herd” up kids, which requires nipping, so make sure they’re well socialized.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi is one of the cheapest dog breeds and is super smart, alert, and highly affectionate. They’re also adaptable and can live in a small apartment or a country house as long as they’re properly exercised. They just want you to be close by.

Corgis have thick double coats and require daily brushing, as well as bi-monthly baths unless you want fur furniture. What a wonderful choice you’ll make with the Corgi… And it might be the closest you’ll ever get to royalty.  

4. Dachshund

what is the cheapest dog breed
  • COST: $500–$1,500+

…AKA the “sausage dog” or “wiener dog” is highly trainable and very vocal. No shyness here. Classified as Hound Dogs by the AKC, this breed does more than look cute. They were developed in Germany to scent, chase, and flush out badgers. The word “Dachshund” means “badger dog” in German. 

They’re favorites at conformation events as well as other competitions organized by the AKC. Dachshunds are bred in standard and miniature and have three coat types: Smooth, long-haired, and wirehaired.

Grooming requirements of this dog breed include:

  • Smooth-coated – Occasional brushing
  • Longhaired – Combed twice a week
  • Wirehaired – Weekly combing along with stripping (pulling dead hair out by hand, which isn’t painful if done correctly).

They’re not jumpers, so extra care needs to be taken for them – stairs – to get up on the couch or bed (And don’t all dogs need to be allowed on both?) The breed is prone to IVDD, which is a disc disease in their backs. This cheapest breed is a wonderful choice for those who want a dog that has medium energy and lots of affection for the family. 

5. Rat Terrier

what is the cheapest dog
  • COST: $500-$1,500

Fantastic family dogs; one of the least expensive dog breeds is the rat terrier. They’re also good-natured towards strangers and kids. They’ll need time to warm up to other dogs, but with proper socialization (introducing them to all kinds of dogs when they’re puppies), they’ll be just fine.

You might see similarities between the rat terrier and the Jack Russell terrier ($800-$2,000). They do share some characteristics, but they’re two separate breeds.

There’s also an Australian terrier ($1,000-$1,500) developed in, you guessed it, Australia, but the American rat terrier has a smoother coat. The Australian’s is wiry. There are many other differences, but these terriers were all bred to hunt vermin, so they’re speedy and intelligent.

Rat terriers are eager to please and easy to train, but as you can imagine, they’re high-energy. (Chasing rats calls for a busy terrier.) If you’d rather get a super affectionate breed, the American pit bull terrier is one of the cheapest dog breeds at $800-$2,000. If you’re up for the challenge, this one’s for you!

6. Pug

cheapest dog in the world
  • COST: $500-$1,500 

Right off the bat, pugs are low maintenance with minimal grooming needs; they do well even while living in an apartment, and they’re great with families, including young children and other dogs. What’s not to love?

Pugs don’t need tons of exercise. In fact, you’ll need to watch them when they’re outside so they don’t get overheated. Here’s why: Most dogs with flat faces are brachycephalic, including the pug. Sadly, this is due to breeders selecting features (like flat faces) to comply with breed standards.

But for the dog, it makes it hard to breathe, causes exercise and heat intolerance, and can even cause digestive issues and more. It’s why you’ll often hear one of these affectionate dogs snorting, snoring, or making other noises as they breathe. It’s a dreadful and dangerous practice for these precious ones.

But on to better news…They’re adorable dogs and come in colors of either black or fawn. Pugs are wonderful in a canine pack, good with seniors, and enjoy city or country life. You can’t go wrong with one of these little guys.  

7. American Foxhound

cheap dog breeds
  • COST: $400-$700

How do American foxhounds and George Washington go together? America’s first President of the United States loved to hunt with and breed foxhounds. He kept meticulous records of his breeding program and had a hand in developing the American foxhound. 

Distinctly different from the English foxhound, both are known for their love and devotion to their guardian. Both hound breeds were also developed to hunt in packs. 

American foxhounds are stocky at 60-70 lbs. and don’t need to be around pet rodents or other small animals, to put it mildly, since they’re bred for the hunt. They’re highly active, so bicycling, skating, or hiking would be perfect activities for this breed.

The American foxhound is vocal, so be prepared to hear some baying and howling. This dog may not cost much, but his companionship will be priceless.  

8. German Wirehaired Pointer

cheapest pets
  • COST: $800-$2,000

This rough-coated beauty is tops as a gun dog in its field of retrieving (on land and in water), tracking, and hunting. They adore being around their people but can also be strong-willed, so an assertive (positive reinforcement) trainer would be best for them. Strangers might make them a bit standoffish or be met with an open mind, depending on your specific dog. 

They’re terrific watchdogs, and you can be sure no one can approach your home without you knowing it. At 50-70 lbs. and 22”-26” tall, they’re a bit larger than their close relative, the German shorthaired pointer

The wirehaired variety has a few special needs when it comes to grooming. Their double coats must be stripped about twice a year to remove dead hair, and it’s a good idea to bathe them after stripping. Washing them more often than a few times a year can harm their beautiful, wiry coats. And be sure to use a shampoo specifically made for wire-haired breeds.

These dogs have a beard and a mustache that must be kept clean all the time so things don’t get trapped in them and cause irritation or infection.

These sweet dogs are a prize, and you could be a winner!

9. Chinese Crested Hairless Dog

cheapest small dog breeds
  • COST: $800-$2,000

These dogs can’t catch a break. They’re often called “ugly” and get laughed at. But these incredible dogs are actually beautiful in their own way; plus, it’s the inside that counts, right? 

There are two types of this breed – hairless and powderpuff. The hairless has hair on the head, tail, and paws. The powderpuff has a short double coat all over its body. Some people call them the “Dr. Seuss dog” due to their whimsical, unique looks being something like what the great author would have created.

This affordable dog breed is intelligent, playful, and entertaining. They’re also affectionate and enjoy meeting new people. You’ll get lots of looks and interesting conversations if you decide to make this your new partner.  


What Breed of Dog Is the Cheapest?

Dogs that are easily found, not rare, are generally cheaper than others, but there are a lot more aspects to the cost of one. Things like which breeder you choose, what area of the country they’re in, and what lineage they come from are often considered. 

What Is the #1 Most Expensive Dog?

Samoyeds and Tibetan mastiffs, depending on which source you use, are two of the most expensive breeds, with the former costing over $10,000 and the latter costing almost as much. Pedigree matters a lot, and you can certainly find them cheaper.

The number one most expensive dog ever sold was an 11-month-old red Tibetan mastiff that was sold for over 1.5 million dollars in 2011. His name? Big Splash. 

What Is the Least Popular Dog Breed?

At the bottom of the list of 2022’s Most Popular Dog Breeds (AKC) were the Sloughi, Norwegian Lundehund, and the English foxhound at numbers 197, 198, and 199.

What Dogs Don’t Cost a Lot?

The Chihuahua ($500-$2,000) and the Beagle ($500-$1,500+) are two of the more well-known dog breeds that don’t cost a lot. There are many other dogs like Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bichon Frise, and Labrador Retriever that come at relatively affordable prices.

Final Thoughts

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that if you rescue one of these breeds, the cost could be anywhere from $75 to $350. And people do turn in or abandon these dogs, so it’s not impossible to find one to adopt.

Petfinder is an excellent resource for finding a dog that isn’t expensive. Check breed-specific rescues, too, since they can be found throughout the US if you don’t have one in your general area.

It was our pleasure to present to you these cheapest dog breeds, and now, the ball is in your court. To adopt or to buy is a personal choice, and no matter what you choose, we hope you have a lifelong, unforgettable relationship with your new best friend. 

Jen Flatt Osborn
Born with a pen in her hand and a deadline (and probably a tail), Jen considers writing a vocation, an art, and a release. She’s a freelance copy/content writer who specializes in the pet industry. Previously, she was the founder/director of an animal sanctuary for 12 years, taught classes to middle school students about dog behavior, and has lived a life full of devotion to animals and their welfare. As a vegetarian, Jen advocates for the humane treatment of every living creature. She currently lives with one delightful canine who encourages her to put her head out the car window more often.

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