Most Expensive Dog Breeds in the World

A recent survey shows 63.4 million U.S. households have a dog, and according to the Insurance Information Institute, dog owners spend more than $1,000 annually on routine expenses alone. Add in emergencies or other health issues, and the cost rises dramatically. This excludes one-time expenses such as equipment, training and, of course, the cost of the dog.

In general, larger dogs incur higher costs for food and kenneling than their smaller counterparts. Long-haired dogs tend to have higher grooming costs, though some breeds require frequent trimming. While all dogs benefit from training (and all dogs should know basic commands), with some breeds, training is essential to harmonious living. Dogs from shelters and rescues tend to be the least expensive, while puppies with AKC Champion bloodlines tend to fetch top dollar. Like anything else, changing trends affect the prices of purebred dogs and prospective buyers need to do their research, both on the breed and the breeder.

Responsible breeders screen their dogs for genetic health conditions and offer information about the breed, and routine care and expenses. They may offer dogs for sale for show or as companions (the latter often comes with a requirement that the dog be neutered). Prices of puppies in the same litter may vary depending on sex, colorings and conformation. 

These are 32 of the world’s most expensive dog breeds.

Saint Bernard

Saint Bernard

Price range: $1,000-$3,000

Common health issues: Hip dysplasia, eye disease, spine, digestive and cardiac issues

Additional expenses: Training

The Saint Bernard is a big dog. Standing 23 to 30 inches at the shoulder and weighing 120 to 180 pounds, the breed is known for its gentleness. Named for Bernard of Menthon (Saint Bernard) who ran a hospice for pilgrims on their journey to Rome across the Alps, the breed developed over centuries to be used as search and rescue dogs for people buried under the snow. 

Afghan Hound

Price range: $1,500-$3,000

Common health issues: Hip dysplasia, thyroid and digestive issues

Additional expenses: Bathing and grooming twice a week, fenced yard

A tall but slight dog, standing 25 to 27 inches at the shoulder and weighing 50 to 60 pounds, the Afghan Hound’s temperament matches its royal appearance; these dogs tend to be aloof and dignified. They are independent and affectionate — in their own way and on their terms. 

The breed is one of the oldest on earth and served as hunting companions and status symbols in the Asian mountains for centuries. In the early 20th century, the breed was popular among the British gentry. Zeppo Marx and Pablo Picasso both owned Afghan Hounds.

Cane Corso

Cane Corso

Price range: $1,500-$3,000

Common health issues: Hip dysplasia, cardiac and digestive issues

Additional expenses: Training (obedience and possibly dog sports), fenced yard

A large dog, the Cane Corso (pronounced KAH-neh-KOR-soh) stands 23 to 28 inches tall; its weight is proportionate to its height, meaning this breed may weigh 110 pounds or more. It’s a short-haired dog with a double coat that sheds all year and requires weekly grooming to remove dead hair. 

With origins in ancient Greece, it is related to the Neapolitan Mastiff. The breed originally served as warriors, guardians, boar hunters and farm dogs. These dogs have a thick coat that is waterproof and rarely sheds. They need to be given a job and daily exercise or they will find their own activities to invest their time in (which are unlikely to be popular with their owner). They are protective, calm, sociable and assertive; firmness and consistent training is required to live in harmony with this breed.

Clumber Spaniel

Clumber Spaniel

Price range: $1,400-$3,000

Common health issues: Hip and elbow dysplasia, eye disease

While it is known that the breed name comes from the Duke of Newcastle’s estate, Clumber Park, the origins of the breed itself are murky. This hunting spaniel was one of the first nine breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club and is known as a gentle and loyal companion.  A medium-sized dog at 17 to 20 inches, and 55 to 85 pounds, the Clumber is a sweet and playful, if independent companion. They shed year-round and can be droolers.

Pug

Pug

Price range: $1,500-$3,000

Common health issues: Hip dysplasia, eye disease, patellar luxation, breathing issues and Pug dog encephalitis

Known for their popularity with the ancient emperors of China, the breed was brought west with Dutch traders and quickly became a favorite among European royalty. Pugs are small dogs, standing 10 to 13 inches at the shoulder, and weighing 14 to 18 pounds. Their short coat is deceptive; they shed (often) and need daily attention to their facial folds to remain healthy. They are intelligent and stubborn, and require regular attention.

Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog

Price range: $2,000-$3,000

Common health issues: Hip dysplasia and eye disease

Additional expenses: Regular trimming

The breed dates back to 1297, and it is said to possibly descend from the Poodle, Kerry Blue Terrier and Irish Water Spaniel. At one time, these dogs lived on working boats where they were trained to herd fish into nets, retrieve lost tackle and serve as couriers to other ships or those on shore. The Portuguese Water Dog is an excellent swimmer and diver. Standing 17 to 23 inches and weighing 35 to 60 pounds, these dogs are tireless working dogs and are eager to please. While few are used in fishing today, they continue to be useful as water rescue dogs.

Samoyed

Samoyed

Price range: $3,000

Common health issues: Hip dysplasia, Cardiac and eye disease

Additional expenses: Fenced yard, early training 

One of the ancient breeds genetically linked to wolves, the Samoyed stands 19 to 24 inches tall and weighs 35 to 65 pounds. The correct pronunciation of the name puts the accent on the last syllable: Sam-a-YED, which comes from the Samoyede, semi-nomadic people from Northern Siberia. 

Bullmastiff

Bullmastiff

Price range: $1,500-$3,200

Common health issues: Hip and elbow dysplasia, cardiac disease

Additional expense: Obedience training

Bred by combining the Old English Bulldog (now extinct) and Mastiff, the breed was originally developed by English landowners to stop poachers. The Bullmastiff’s job was to track intruders and hold them in place (without biting) until a groundskeeper came by. 

This dog is calm and loyal and very protective of family. A large dog, standing 24 to 27 inches and weighing 100 to 130 pounds, it looks intimidating, but once it knows its place in the family, it is both a gentle and docile pet, and a fearless protector. It has a short, dense coat that requires little maintenance. It needs a moderate amount of exercise, and like other large dogs, requires obedience training.

Vizsla

Vizsla

Price range: $1,500-$3,200

Common health issues: Hip and elbow dysplasia; thyroid, cardiac and eye issues

The Vizsla is a hunting dog bred by the Magyars who took over Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. A smooth-coated dog, the Vizsla stands 21 to 24 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 44 to 60 pounds. 

These dogs are gentle, energetic and eager to please. They need plenty of exercise and attention, and many consider themselves lapdogs. Originally bred to hunt falcons, the breed is among the top three chosen to work with the Transportation Security Administration. Its also a popular choice for search and rescue, and for Seeing Eye dogs.

Black Russian Terrier

Black Russian Terrier

Price range: $1,500-$3,500

Common health issues: Hip and elbow dysplasia, cardiac and eye issues

Additional expenses: Early training and socialization, regular trimming

At 26 to 30 inches and 80 to 130 pounds, this large dog is descended from a collection of other large dogs, including the Rottweiler, Giant Schnauzer, Newfoundland and Airedale Terrier. Bred as multi-purpose military dogs, these pups are protective and strong. They are loyal companions that excel in working dog sports. They have a double coat that requires weekly grooming and routine trimming.

Chihuahua

Chihuahua

Price range: $600-$3,600+

Common health issues: Patellar luxation, cardiac and eye disease

The smallest breed of dog, the Chihuahua weighs less than 6 pounds and it’s only 5 to 8 inches tall. While the exact lineage of the breed is unknown, images of Chihuahuas appear on ancient stone carvings and even in tombs. Their popularity has endured; they are favorites on Hollywood screens. There are two varieties: smooth and long-coated. Chihuahuas need regular baths; the long-coated will likely need more frequent grooming.

German Shepherd Dog

German Shepherd Dog

Price range: $1,000-$3,600

Common health issues: Hip and elbow dysplasia, eye disease

Additional expenses: Training

The second most popular dog breed in the U.S., the German Shepherd Dog (yes, “Dog” is part of the breed name) is instantly recognizable. A larger breed, it stands 22 to 26 inches tall, and weighs 50 to 90 pounds. These dogs are active and are happiest when they are challenged, both physically and mentally. 

German Shepherd Dogs are descended from farming and herding breeds in Germany, and became popular through tales of German war dogs during World War II and the American television show “Rin-Tin-Tin.” The breed is a favorite among police and military units for its intelligence and temperament. The dog has a double coat — the exterior is medium length and requires brushing, particularly through the shedding season.

Dogo Argentino

Dogo Argentino

Price range: $1,500-$3,750

Common health issues: Pigment-related deafness, hip dysplasia

Also known as the Argentinian Mastiff, the Dogo Argentino stands at 24 to 27 inches, and weighs 80 to 100 pounds. It’s a relatively new breed, dating to the 1920s, and it was originally used to hunt big game. It descends from the now-extinct Cordoba Fighting Dog. 

It is an intelligent, protective breed with a strong prey drive and it needs regular exercise. Besides being family dogs, the Dogo has also been trained for search and rescue, police and military work, and as Seeing Eye and service dogs. It has a short, coarse coat that sheds infrequently.

French Bulldog

French Bulldog

Price range: $2,500-4,500

Common health issues: Breathing issues due to their short nose, abnormal vertebrae or disc disease

Originally from Nottingham, England, these dogs were favorites of lacemakers in the town who, wanting lap dogs, bred them to be smaller. When the lace industry moved to France, of course the dogs went with them, and their popularity spread. These dogs stand 11 to 13 inches at the shoulder, and weigh less than 28 pounds. 

Dogue de Bordeaux

Dogue de Bordeaux

Price range: $2,000-$5,000

Common health issues: Hip and elbow dysplasia, cardiac disease, food and environmental allergies

Additional expenses: Early obedience training

Standing 23 to 26 inches at the shoulder and weighing upwards of 100 pounds, the Dogue de Bordeaux is the oldest French breed and a calm, devoted guardian. The breed became known to American audiences when one starred with Tom Hanks in the movie “Turner & Hooch.” 

A short-coated breed, the dogs require minimal brushing but are considered “drooly.” They are fairly active and need daily exercise. Loyal pets, they also “demand” attention and often won’t stop until their pawing is reciprocated.

Bulldog

Bulldog

Price range: $3,500-$5,000

Common health issues: Breathing issues due to elongated soft palate, “cherry eye,” skin infections 

A medium-sized dog, the Bulldog is quiet and gentle. Each stands about 15 inches tall and typically weigh between 40 to 50 pounds. The name comes from the medieval sport of bullbaiting, where bets were placed on a staked bull that was expected to fight off a pack of dogs. 

When England banned blood sports, breed aficionados turned to selective breeding to tame the breed’s temperament. The result is a kind, gentle dog that’s a popular choice for a family pet. A smooth-coated dog, this breed requires only minimal brushing, but his wrinkles and ears need regular attention to avoid infection. Bulldogs are also extra susceptible to extreme weather temperatures.

Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff

Price range: $2,000-$5,000

Common health issues: Hip and elbow dysplasia, low thyroid and seizure disorders.

Additional expenses: Early training

A guard dog from the Himalayas, the Tibetan Mastiff is protective of family and property, and generally aloof around strangers. Highly intelligent, this breed also displays a strong will. These dogs are 24 to 29 inches tall at the shoulder and are solidly built and strong, weighing from 70 to 150 pounds. They have a double coat; the exterior coast is long and coarse, while the undercoat is soft. (The undercoat sheds considerably in warm weather and will require regular brushing during this time.) 

The Tibetan Mastiff needs outdoor space for exercise and is known to roam if not properly contained. While generally quiet indoors, they tend to bark at night if disturbed by external noises. They are surprisingly agile and light-footed, and will appear quickly if they perceive a threat.

Czechoslovakian Vlcak

Czechoslovakian Vlcak

Price range: $800-$1,500

Common health issues: Hip and elbow dysplasia, eye issues, degenerative myelopathy

Additional expenses: Fenced yard

The Czechoslovakian Vlcak was bred to work as border patrol in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s. They were bred for harsh environmental conditions, and since they are rather independent, only experienced dog owners should consider the breed. 

These dogs are high energy and enjoy spending time outside in active pursuits that also provide mental stimulation, such as tracking or trailing sports. As a more primitive breed, they are intelligent but bore easily. Training is important and needs a different approach than most other breeds. They are otherwise low-maintenance dogs with a weather-resistant coat that sheds twice yearly and fast-growing nails that should be trimmed often.

The breed’s origins were experimental when German Shepherd Dogs and a Carpathian Wolves were bred in 1955. In 1965, breeders began to be more selective to capture the best of both: the hardiness of the wolf and the temperament of the dog. In 1982, the Vlcak was first recognized as its own breed.

American Staffordshire

American Staffordshire

Price range: $1,000-$2,000

Common health issues: Hip dysplasia, cardiac issues, skin and coat allergies

Additional expenses: Training

A stocky dog that stands 17 to 19 inches at the shoulder, the American Staffordshire Terrier is a friendly breed that enjoys a challenge, whether it be physical or mental. The short, stiff coat is low maintenance; just a quick “once over” with a stiff brush weekly will keep it healthy. 

This breed requires plenty of exercise in the form of frequent play sessions with their owners. They are happy to be given a job such as participants in canine sports or as search and rescue dogs. These are strong willed and possess considerable physical strength; training is important for a harmonious household. They are known chewers and diggers, and may develop dog aggression, so they should not be left alone with other dogs.

There is some debate about the breed’s origin. While it undoubtedly descends from the Bulldog, experts disagree on which terrier breeds are part of its genetic background. Staffordshire Terriers arrived in the U.S. from Britain in the early to mid-1800s, and breeders developed a terrier larger than the British version. One of the best known American Staffordshires was Petey, of the 1930s “Old Gang” film comedies.

American Hairless Terrier

American Hairless Terrier

Price range: $500-$2,000

Common health issues: Hip dysplasia, cardiac issues, patella luxation

Contrary to its name, the American Hairless Terrier sometimes has hair. The breed comes in two varieties: coated and hairless. The coated has short hair while the hairless has smooth skin and may have eyebrows and whiskers. While it has the benefit of being low-maintenance as well as allergy-friendly, its lack of coat presents special concerns, such as sunburn and low cold tolerance. The breed is friendly and protective and only needs moderate exercise. These small dogs are easily trained and enjoy canine sports.

The only hairless breed native to the United States, the American Hairless Terrier is related to the Rat Terrier (then known as the Feist), which immigrated with British miners in the late 1800s. In the U.S., they were crossed with the Smooth Fox Terrier. President Theodore Roosevelt is credited with coming up with the name Rat Terrier. In 1972, the first hairless was born, and by 1983 the American Rat Terrier became its own breed.

Pharaoh Hound

Pharaoh Hound

Price range: $1,500-$2,500

Common health issues: Hip and elbow dysplasia, patella luxation, eye disorders

Additional expenses: Six-foot-high fenced yard

The Pharaoh Hound is a tall, slender dog that’s happiest as a companion animal. Their short coats require little grooming, but regular attention must be paid to their ears, and their nails should be kept short. Regular exercise should include two 15-20 minute running sessions or leashed walks each day. 

While they are easy to train and eager to please, they find it difficult, if not impossible, to overcome their instincts and reliably come on command; they should not be trusted off-leash unless in a well-contained area. They enjoy canine sports such as agility and lure coursing, and are good therapy dogs.

Not surprisingly, the Pharaoh Hound originated in ancient Egypt. The Phoenicians brought dogs throughout the ancient world, even to Britain. It is believed they brought the Pharaoh to Malta, where they were used to hunt rabbits. The breed has changed little over thousands of years and they look much the same as they do in reliefs found in ancient Egyptian tombs.

Azawakh

Azawakh

Price range: $1,000-$2,500

Common health issues: Hypothyroidism, seizures, cardiac issues

Additional expenses: Early training and socialization

A tall, lean dog, the Azawakh is a sighthound from West Africa. It has a short, smooth coat that needs little maintenance. Unlike most other breeds, the Azawakh can be any color or combination of colors. As would be expected from its athletic physique, this agile breed needs daily exercise and enjoys running, as long as he has company, either human or canine. Like other intelligent breeds, positive training is important.

The breed comes from the south Sahara and the Sahel zone. In the Azawakh Valley, the dogs are known as the “idii n’ illeli,” which means “sighthound of the free people.” There the dogs live closely with their nomadic families and serve as protectors. They are also good hunters that catch hare, antelope and wild boar for their owners.

Boxer

Boxer

Price range: $1,000-$2,500

Common health issues: Hip dysplasia, cardiac conditions, thyroid issues, degenerative myelopathy

Additional expenses: Training, fenced yard

Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier

Price range: $1,200-$2,500

Common health issues: Kidney and cardiac issues

Bouvier des Flandres

Bouvier des Flandres

Price range: $1,400-$2,500

Common health issues: Hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, bloat, eye and cardiac issues

Additional expenses: Fenced yard

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound

Price range: $1,000-$2,500

Common health issues: Bloat, heart disease and certain cancers

Additional expenses: Fenced yard

Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terrier

Price range: $1,500-$2,500

Common health issues: Hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, blood and eye issues

Additional expenses: Grooming every two months, fenced yard

Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois

Price range: $1,500-$2,500

Common health issues: Hip and elbow dysplasia, eye issues

Additional expenses: Early training

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Price range: $2,500+

Common health issues: Hip, patella, eye and cardiac issues

Additional expenses: Fenced yard

Löwchens

Löwchens

Price range: $2,000-$2,500

Common health issues: Hip/patella and eye concerns

Additional expenses: Professional grooming every two months

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