The Most (and Least) Expensive Dog Breeds in the World
From the elegant Azawakh to the sublime Schipperke, these are the breeds that American Kennel Club experts say are the priciest—and most affordable.
How much is that doggie in the window?
Jerry Klein, DVM, Chief Veterinary Officer for the American Kennel Club (AKC) says the costs of breeds are up to the breeder. “How and why a certain breed or type of dog can be labeled expensive can be influenced by many factors,” says Dr. Klein. For example, the rarity of the breed due to the expense of finding an appropriate mate for breeding or difficulty and cost of obtaining foundation stock can result the most expensive dogs. Society also tends to dictate which breed is in demand. A celebrity, a movie the latest winners of a dog show can prompt more desire to own a specific breed. And of course, there are the general expenses of being a responsible breeder which can vary depending on the breed and specific health requirements of the breed. And don’t fall for these 53 mistakes every dog owner makes at least once.
Average cost: $4,000-$8,000
Mary Burch, PhD, a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and director of the AKC Family Dog Program says the Low Chen (pronounced lerv-chun) is also known as the Little Lion Dog. You may not see a Low Chen in your neighborhood, but if you watch the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show you could easily spot this breed with its traditional lion trim, working the crowd carrying its head and tail high. It’s playful and cheery, yet has a calm demeanor; the lion mane requires brushing at least every other day along with a monthly clipping. Grooming and other costs add up to make those one of the most expensive dogs. This is how much it really costs to own a dog.
Average cost: Up to $7,000
This breed is much happier inside, near their family, says Dr. Burch. That’s perfect because it is a big and cuddly dog you could definitely spend a lazy afternoon lounging with. And with its origins as a protector of villages and monasteries, they tend to be aloof with strangers but devoted to their family. Tibetan Mastiffs are good with children—but these may be the best breeds for kids.
Average cost: Up to $4,500
“Before Akitas had an official breed name, they were referred to simply as “snow country dogs,” says Dr. Burch. Their dense undercoat, raised outer layer of fur, and webbing between their toes make Akitas ideal for their bred purpose: Hunters in snowy mountains of Japan. Nowadays, these expensive dogs are better known for being devoted watchdogs and protectors. They have a tendency to be domineering and aren’t crazy about other dogs or pets; they’re also reserved with strangers. That said, with the right person or family, they are a lovable companion. These are the pet combos that are most likely to hate each other.
Average cost: $2,000-$6,000
This breed that hails from Malta, says Dr. Burch, and is known for “blushing” when it’s happy or excited. This is a natural phenomenon that occurs when the nose and ears flush with blood. It’s the National Dog of Malta, and it bears a striking resemblance to the jackal god Anubis from ancient Egypt. The Pharoah Hound is gentle and loving with children and devoted snuggler.
Average cost: $3,500 and up
“Rottweilers were originally used to guard, drive, and hold cattle,” says Dr. Burch. They’re still thought of as guard dogs, but instead of cattle, they’re used by police and the military—and they can be good pets for families. The powerful breed is confident, bold, and a bit intimidating. Even the most expensive dog should not eat these 12 common but toxic foods.
Average cost: $3,000
At first glance the Azawakh from the border regions of Mali and Niger, Africa looks like it missed a few meals but this leggy and lean breed was well suited for chasing gazelles in the sands of the Sahara for more than a thousand years. Owners are drawn to their elegant and regal-like appearance. They’re highly intelligent and fairly independent, so don’t delay your puppy training. Azawakhs doesn’t have a “dog odor” and won’t require frequent baths. Did you know that there are 8 diseases you could spread to your dog?
Average cost: $1,700 – $3,000
These graceful and loyal ranch dogs were bred with wild African dogs—that’s how they get their distinctive stripe of hair that grows in the opposite direction along their spine (the ridge). Loving with their immediate family members, this expensive dog is aloof with strangers and protective of property.
Average cost: $3,000
At first glance, the Saluki looks like a greyhound with a flowing wig. Its elegant poise was a characteristic highly valued by Arab tribesmen, explains Dr. Burch; they thought of Salukis as a gift from God and called them el hor, which means “noble one.” They have an aloof and reserved personality—think of them as the supermodels of the canine world. After all, they are one of the most expensive dogs you can own.
Average cost: $3,000
They may have a commanding appearance, but Irish Wolfhounds are known as gentle giants. They are an expensive dog, and one of the tallest breeds of dog and the largest of the sighthounds—dogs that depend on their eyes more than their snouts for hunting, explains Dr. Burch. Easygoing, sensitive, patient and sweet, the breed is relaxed with other pets and dogs in the house and good with children. Owning a dog is good for your health—here’s why.