These days, if you want to buy a dog it’s going to take more than just pocket change. Instead, think about the price of an incredible vacation or a good chunk of a car down payment. That’s more like it.
But, of course, they’re well worth it. The most expensive dog breeds are just as special as mixed breeds. Dogs are dogs, and if you have the money, sometimes you can buy exactly what you’re looking for in a companion.
Akitas and Rottweilers are among the most expensive breeds that cost a pretty penny, and we’ll tell you why that is. As important as these dogs are, don’t forget, you can find loyalty, protection, and wonderful companionship in a mixed breed as well.
But now’s the time to talk money, lots of it, as we get into the expensive breeds, and the numbers might make your head spin. Let’s get into how much you’ll need to shell out if you’d like to adopt a French bulldog. And see if going to a breeder is the smartest thing to do.
Why Are Some Dogs So Expensive?
So why are pure breeds such expensive dogs? And why are some more expensive than others? Everything about raising a dog has some expense to it, and the breeder is bearing that burden until it’s turned over to you. This includes:
- Any cost out of pocket for a specific guard or service breed
- Their pedigree
Dogs can cost anywhere from hundreds of dollars to many thousands, and such an investment deserves a lot of research.
Purebred dogs can be more expensive because of healthcare costs, grooming, their pedigree, and their roles as show dogs. – (Good Rx)
One South Carolina-based elite security company sells guard dogs in the 30,000-80,000 dollar range. Their clients are quite selective. Why this high amount? Dogs of this caliber have been raised from the womb to be guard dogs. Every day is spent training them as such. They’re sent to academies, workshops, and schools to learn as many commands as possible (some in three different languages).
A dog that trains for even one year is going to have been touched by the elite of the elite trainers which costs some serious bucks. These dogs can track scents, understand body language, and are highly obedient. Training is focused on the specific family who’s adopting that particular dog.
Other considerations for expensive pricing:
- If puppies are from rare breeds
- If pups have only just been recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC)
- If pups come from breeds that have small litters
- If pups are from the East or West coasts
You could be waiting months for one of these puppies. Show-quality dogs are those with winning features in their temperament, build, and lineage. A pup whose parents have won titles before in field trials is usually even more expensive.
Most Expensive Dog Breeds
So you need to go visit a man about a dog? Understandable. Man’s best friend is worthy of being paid for. But is it the most sensible thing to do? Is it helpful to dogs in general? We’ve investigated it and have those answers for you.
Purchasing a canine from a reputable breeder has a few standout reasons why you should go that route:
- The breeder will have information on the dog’s parents and ancestors, so you’ll know about possible health issues.
- The breeder has raised, trained, and medically cared for your puppy already, which gives it a great start to life.
- There are some guarantees with contractual agreements. Things like clean medical checkups are definitely bonuses.
- The breeder has probably already begun puppy socialization for you to quickly pick up and continue.
If you’re unable to purchase a dog, here are some options for you:
- Adopt a dog from a rescue/shelter. (They’re called the best dogs for a reason. But no bias here!)
- Use social media to ask around and see if someone is looking to place a dog. Often, senior citizens, travelers, or those in the military are looking for adopters.
- Contact breed-specific rescues to find a certain breed. Search for those in your city or state.
Note: Mixed dog breeds are generally healthier than purebred ones due to them not coming from a limited gene pool. There’s less risk of passing down genetic disorders. Also, mixed breeds (on purpose), like a Labradoodle or a poodle, make incredible pets and can often be found in breed-specific rescues.
Now, let’s turn our attention to those incredible breeds that cost so much money. And you might need to be Daddy Warbucks to buy one.
1. Samoyed – $14,000
The most expensive dog, in general, is the Samoyed. Developed in Siberia, this soft rare breed is loving, social, and eager to please. They do love to run and need to stay on a leash whenever they’re out and about. (Nail salon, anyone?) They’re a powerful breed.
You may be paying lots of scratch to the veterinarian though. Samoyeds are prone to autoimmune conditions, cardiac disorders, and more, which are not inexpensive to discover and treat.
And you’ll need pet insurance for this dog. Any investment this large needs a net of protection. If you’re buying the Samoyed as a family dog or as a status symbol, be prepared to spend a lot of dough.
2. Lowchen – $12,000
“The little lion dog” is one of the rarest in the world. It’s estimated that only around 300 Lowchens live in the world today. These non-sporting dogs are extremely intelligent (and should come with a bar of gold around their necks).
A popular pet among Continental Europeans, they’ve been around for about 500 years. Lowchens are perfect for agility or obedience and absolutely love being around their human family. If their purchase price makes you queasy, let’s move along.
3. Chow Chow – $11,000
This gorgeous blue- or black-tongued, stocky furball is well known but sometimes not as popular as others on this list. They have a reputation as being standoffish, which they can be. I’ve had a re-homed Chow, who was my loyal companion.
She was picky about the company she wanted to keep but otherwise loving and affectionate. Additionally, she was strong-willed, territorial, and loved her treats. (Just like her momma.)
They’re favorites in shows and, although they were previously a working dog, are mostly snuggly in homes now. Chow Chows can be aggressive towards other dogs, but with the proper socialization, they can all learn to just get along.
An ancient breed and a highly valued dog, they have 8-12 year of average life expectancy and can experience the following health concerns:
- Hip dysplasia
- Thyroid function
- Elbow dysplasia
4. Tibetan Mastiff – $10,000
This figure is nothing compared to the Tibetan mastiff, considered to be the most expensive dog in the world. A business tycoon paid 1.5 million for a purebred Red Tibetan mastiff, which isn’t a price most of us can afford. A member of the working group, they can reach up to 180 lbs. Watchful and intimidating, they’re one of the best guard dogs.
Watch for the following in Tibetan mastiffs:
- Elbow and hip dysplasia/Joint issues
- Eye anomalies
5. Azawakh – $9,500
Say what? Pronounced AZ-uh-wok, members of the hound group are medium-sized dogs (33-55 lbs.). They’re lean and lanky and have been hunting gazelle for over 1,000 years. Watch for these elegant dogs in shows to be amazed at their beauty. Originally, Azawakhs were guard dogs of nomadic tribes and hunters. Today, these rare dogs are companions.
6. Rottweiler – $9,000
Many people know what a Rottie is, they’re a popular dog breed, and they have a huge price tag on their heads. They’ve served as:
- Working dogs
- Guard dogs
- Drover’s (cattle-driving) dogs
- Draft dogs
- Rescue dogs
- Police dogs
To say a Rottweiler is protective would be an understatement, and they’re top companions.
7. Canadian Eskimo Dog – $8,750
Not the greatest companion animals, they can be dangerous dogs; these hunters and sled pullers can challenge their guardians. Their background makes them understandably prone to being aggressive towards unfamiliar dogs. Canadian Eskimo dogs can be pricey when it comes to their health:
Blue eyes indicate an impurity. – Hill’s Pet
The Inuits (Eskimos) developed them to help hunt. When the snowmobile arrived on the scene in the 1960s, these fluffy, high-energy dogs almost went extinct. Today, their numbers are growing in Greenland since the Inuits are diving into their cultural heritage.
8. Dogo Argentino – $8,000
They’re also called Argentinian Mastiffs or Argentine dogos. These almost always white canines can be prone to allergies and a possibility of deafness or blindness.
Massive dogs (80-100 lbs. of solid muscle) they’re really good with children and guard their human families well. They need consistent and “Alpha dog” training with positive reinforcement to understand who’s in charge. He’s a powerful dog with a muscular body that believes in “the pack” and knows how to submit to it. Some of their talents include:
- Narcotics detection
- Guides for the blind
- Competitive obedience
- Police work
- Military work
9. Pharaoh Hound – $7,500
The national dog of Malta, these highly intelligent, alert dogs are speedy. They cruise through obedience and hunting since they’re eager to please, and there’s a truly unique behavior of these animals: Their noses and ears blush (turn reddish) when they’re happy or excited.
Pharaoh hounds come by their name honestly since they look like royalty with their impossibly long necks, regal posture, large erect ears, and intent gaze.
10. Afghan Hound – $7,000
These impressive creatures are so beautifully coiffed, they look like they’ve just been styled to go to a posh lunch. They’re also independent and can be standoffish with kids.
They were developed in Afghanistan and used by nomadic tribes to hunt hares and gazelle through mountainous terrain. Excellent jumpers; they’re favorites of dog shows due to their flowing, humanlike hair. Thin dogs to the touch, they weigh 50-60 lbs.
Since they’re easily bored (but learn quickly), they need lots of mental and physical exercise to get energy out, which could turn destructive if not released.
11. Akita – $6,500
Akitas can be standoffish, and if there’s a cat around, he/she needs to have been raised with these dogs. Developed in Japan, they helped hunters find and help kill boar, bears, and elk. They have beauty and power.
Originally, Akitas guarded their families and property and were unmatched sled dogs. Known for their loyalty, many American servicemen brought them back from Japan after a tour of duty.
The American Akita and Akita Inu are both considered the same breed — the Akita — in the US, but do recognize two strains.
12. Black Russian Terrier – $5,000
This rare breed has only been around for less than 100 years. In the 1930s, they were developed by a Moscow kennel called the Red Star. Although they have terrier in them, they were bred with 17 other breeds(!) to be the dog they are today. This may contribute to their hefty price tag.
Bred to work in the military, soviet military police used them as guard dogs at: Prisons, border crossings, and military installations. They belong to the Working Group, and not the Terrier Group and only arrived in the US in the 1980s.
13. French Bulldog – $4,000
Excellent as family companions and popular dog breeds, these dogs are great with kids. I dogsit one who was super friendly from the first time we met. That face is one of the cutest in dog-dom, and you’ll fall hard when you meet one.
Frenchies don’t bark often but will if they see something strange or unusual. These little guys with high price tags and gentle nature will steal your heart since they’re great family pets and, apparently, also your wallet.
14. English Bulldog – $4,000
English bulldogs are jolly and gentle. They’re consistently on the AKC’s most popular dogs list since they have affectionate personalities. Bred in England centuries to aid in fighting bulls (called “bullbaiting,” which was a horrific “sport”), these dogs now show their true colors with their even temperaments.
They’re stocky dogs that almost look like caricatures. Bulldogs require special care, and this is probably one of the reasons why they’re so expensive. Health conditions can include:
- Brachycephalic syndrome – Because of their short muzzles and flattened facial structure, their breathing airways can become blocked, making it difficult to breathe.
- If they’re placed under anesthesia, they’re unable to maintain passive respiration, so other actions must be taken.
- Hip and joint problems (elbows)
- Genetic health problems
This probably makes the breed more expensive. They came to America in the 1800s and were used as working dogs by farmers.
15. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – $3,500
And our final pricey, albeit beloved breed is the King Charles spaniel. This expensive dog was developed in the early 1900s. This gorgeous, doe-eyed dog is known to be gentle and sweet.
Their name comes from King Charles II of Great Britain, who wanted to declare his political designation when he was declared king. (During the English Civil War, his father’s supporters were called “Cavaliers.”)
Although the King Charles cost considerably less than some others on this list, they’re still a high-ticket dog breed.
What Is the Most Expensive Dog Breed?
The Samoyed, at up to $14,000, is the most expensive dog breed on our list.
What Was the Price of the Most Expensive Dog Ever Sold?
A business tycoon paid 1.5 million for a purebred Red Tibetan mastiff. Big Splash was sold in March, 2011 in China.
What Makes Dogs So Expensive?
We’ve sort of streamlined our list and not included many dogs, like Greater Swiss mountain dog, English toy spaniel, Irish wolfhound, Bernese mountain dog, and Staffordshire bull terrier, which are among the most popular dog breeds and cost a lot of money too.
You need to remember that raising a dog is expensive (mixed breeds and pure breeds), and the following are a few things breeders spend money on:
- Any cost out of pocket for a specific guard or service breed
- Their pedigree
So that’s the list of the most expensive dog breeds in the world. Ka-ching! If you’re not racing out to get one, maybe you could call it an investment or better yet, rescue your newfound love.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that if you pay the average price for a rescued dog or one from this list, behavior can vary greatly from dog to dog.
Don’t forget to research reputable breeders since there are oodles of them who are just out to make a buck. Many of those you can trust are listed on AKC.org or the dog breed’s club.
Hopefully, you’ll have a wonderful experience with a breeder when you set up a visit and while everything is being evaluated. Just make sure to take plenty of cash.