The real cost of getting a dog is more than just the dog’s purchase price..
..it’s the long-term costs that need to be considered as well. By doing a little bit of research, you’ll find that although there are dozens and dozens of different types of dogs, some are pricier than others.
In a recent study to find out which 30 breeds are the most expensive dogs to own, factors that were considered included the dog’s purchase price, grooming expenses and potential health care costs for common issues faced by the breed.
Read on to find out what the most expensive dog breed is — and how much it will cost you to buy and care for it.
30. Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terriers — Yorkies for short — cost an average of $600 to purchase and have an average life expectancy of 13 to 16 years. These tiny purse dogs are one of the most expensive dog breeds because they’re prone to a number of health conditions, including eye and knee issues, totalling an average of $9,800 in potential health care costs.
This high-maintenance breed doesn’t shed much, but expect to pay about $31 each time you have the dog groomed.
29. Pharaoh Hound
Intelligent, active and friendly, the Pharaoh Hound is one of the most expensive dogs due to its $1,250 average purchase price.
This large breed has an average life expectancy of 11 to 14 years and is generally in good health, with possible health care issues costing approximately $1,500 to treat. Grooming costs for this short-haired breed also average a low $27.
28. Ibizan Hound
The Ibizan Hound’s steep $1,300 average purchase price makes it one of the most expensive dogs to own. This dog breed has an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years and both of its coat types — smooth and wire — are easy to groom, costing an average of $25.
Purebred Ibizan Hounds have a low risk of developing hip dysplasia and a medium risk of going deaf, bringing potential health care costs for common issues to an average of $1,600.
27. Dogo Argentino
An Argentinian big-game hunter and guardian breed, the Dogo Argentino makes the most expensive dog list because of its hefty average purchase price of $1,200.
This large breed has an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years and standard grooming costs of $35. Potential health care costs to treat hip dysplasia and deafness — conditions that commonly impact the breed — total $1,600.
The family-friendly American Akita costs an average of $800 to purchase and has a life expectancy of 11 to 15 years.
These dogs shed during the spring and fall, and you can expect to pay around $62 each time they’re groomed. Akitas are prone to a variety of health issues — including hip dysplasia, knee injuries and skin diseases — bringing average possible health care costs to $4,500.
25. Great Dane
Great Danes typically have a purchase price averaging $1,100. And although they’re big dogs, this giant breed is relatively easy to groom with average costs totaling $48.
These dogs are also predisposed to a myriad of pricey health concerns, such as stomach conditions and even cardiomyopathy, giving them a short expected life span of six to 12 years and making them one of the most expensive dog breeds to own.
24. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Thanks to its show dog status, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one of the most expensive dog breeds to buy. The average purchase price for this dog comes out to $1,250. But grooming them is relatively easy, with an average price tag of $55.
This dog breed has an average life expectancy of nine to 14 years and is susceptible to a host of health conditions, bringing potential medical costs to $1,350.
23. Afghan Hound
The Afghan Hound is a large dog that costs about $1,000 to purchase from a breeder. Characterized by their long, glamorous coats, these elegant dogs require daily hair combing. And professional grooming costs average $65 per trip — a major contributing factor to their status as one of the most expensive dogs.
This breed has an average life expectancy of 10 to 14 years and is predisposed to health conditions like cataracts and hypothyroidism, causing possible health care costs to total $2,900.
22. Lakeland Terrier
Initially bred to hunt vermin in Northern England, the Lakeland Terrier is a smaller breed with an average price tag of $1,100. Known to be fond of people, this is one of the most expensive dogs to own because grooming costs average $65 — and finding a groomer familiar with this breed’s distinctive style can prove challenging.
A Lakeland Terrier with an average life expectancy of 12 to 16 years might cost you approximately $1,000 in health care expenses.
21. English Bulldog
The English Bulldog is one of the friendliest dog breeds and can be yours for approximately $1,250.
These dogs cost an average of $48 to groom and are great for families with kids. They have an average life expectancy of just eight years and are at a high risk for many health concerns, which makes them one of the most expensive dogs to have.
A rare breed that costs approximately $1,150 to purchase, the Samoyed is known to be kind, loving and eager to please. Its thick, white coat usually requires brushing two or three times weekly, and professional grooming costs average $60 per visit.
This dog breed has a 12-to-14-year life expectancy and is prone to some expensive health issues, like corneal dystrophy and autoimmune conditions, causing health care costs to potentially reach $4,800.
19. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has an average purchase price of $1,500.
These medium-sized, energetic dogs enjoy long walks and have modest grooming needs, costing approximately $47.50 for each trip to the dog spa. If you buy a fairly healthy breed with a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years, prepare to potentially pay around $3,500 to care for general health issues.
18. Miniature Bull Terrier
One of the most expensive dog breeds to own because of its $1,600 average purchase price, the Miniature Bull Terrier is a small dog with a lot of energy. These dogs have an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years and cost approximately $50 to groom.
They’re generally healthy, with potential minimum health care costs averaging $1,500. But, be sure to buy from a reputable breeder.
17. Bedlington Terrier
The Bedlington Terrier has an average purchase price of $1,500, and potential health care costs average $3,700, making it one of the most expensive dogs to own.
This good-tempered, intelligent dog breed has an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years, and its small size makes it ideal for apartment living. Grooming costs for this somewhat unusual terrier breed average $50.
16. Bernese Mountain Dog
Popular as both a show dog and a family dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog costs approximately $900.
This large breed has a very short life span of seven to eight years, due to a number of health concerns — including elbow and hip dysplasia and aseptic meningitis — bringing potential health care expenses for common issues to cost around $6,500. The cost to groom this 70 to 120-pound dog runs around $75.
The Rottweiler is a large breed that costs approximately $1,600 to buy. Characterized as alert, obedient and devoted, expect to spend an average of $36 grooming these short-haired dogs. A number of health concerns make Rottweilers expensive dogs to own as well, with possible minimum health care costs averaging about $7,800.
14. German Shepherd
Traditionally used as herding dogs, German Shepherds are gentle, good-tempered dogs with an average price tag of $1,150. But their sky-high potential medical costs of $20,500 to treat common conditions like hip dysplasia and perianal fistulas make them one of the most expensive dog breeds to own.
German Shepherds’ grooming costs are approximately $40, and they have an average life expectancy of seven to 10 years.
13. French Bulldog
An expected purchase price of roughly $2,050 makes the French Bulldog one of the most expensive dogs to buy.
Perfect for city living, these small dogs don’t need a lot of exercise, and grooming costs average an affordable $35. Due to a number of serious health concerns, however, this breed has an average life expectancy of nine to 12 years with potential health care costs averaging about $4,300.
12. Spinone Italiano
Hailing from Italy, the Spinone Italiano is a large breed with an average price tag of $1,750.
Grooming these family-friendly pets costs around $55, and their life expectancy typically ranges from 12 to 14 years. While the breed is generally healthy, average potential medical expenses total $3,000 due to common health issues such as hip dysplasia and gastric dilatation volvulus.
11. Kerry Blue Terrier
The Kerry Blue Terrier costs an average of $1,500 to buy and has an average life span of 13 to 15 years. Grooming costs average $60, and due to a number of possible health concerns, typical medical expenses average a pricey $7,000.
Made famous by its appearance in “Peter Pan,” the Newfoundland typically costs around $1,500 to purchase and has an average life span of just eight to 10 years.
Considered gentle and trainable, this giant breed requires regular grooming, which costs about $65 when taken to a professional. A number of predisposed medical conditions — such as cardiomyopathy and gastric dilatation — could mean you’re facing potential health care costs that total $5,500
9. Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute is a large breed that costs around $1,100 to buy as a pet. These curious, energetic dogs have an average life span of 13 to 16 years and because of their heavy coats, they cost an average of $85 for each trip to the groomer.
A high risk for a number of medical conditions, such as diabetes mellitus, causes their potential health care costs to total a steep $7,700.
8. Chow Chow
Buying a Chow Chow of your own will cost approximately $900. And grooming costs for this medium-sized dog average a pricey $90. Chow Chows have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years, and typical health care costs could total $11,000.
7. Saint Bernard
Costing an average of $1,500 to buy, the calm and patient temperament of the Saint Bernard makes it ideal for families or as a show dog. Grooming fees for this giant breed generally run around $65, and its life expectancy ranges from eight to 10 years.
Medical expenses are the main reason Saint Bernards are such expensive dogs, with potential health care costs hovering at approximately $8,600.
6. Old English Sheepdog
The Old English Sheepdog is an excellent watchdog that’s great with kids. Due to its average price tag of $1,250, standard grooming fees of $88 per visit and potential health care costs that typically run about $7,600, this is one of the most expensive dog breeds you could buy. This dog’s average life span is 10 to 12 years.
5. Golden Retriever
Often described as the perfect family dog, buying a purebred Golden Retriever will cost you around $1,500. And expect to spend around $56 every time you take this dog to the groomer.
This breed has an average life expectancy of 10 to 13 years, and unfortunately they’re predisposed to a number of serious health conditions — including cancer — causing potential medical costs to reach approximately $17,500, making it one of the most expensive dogs to add to the family.
4. Irish Wolfhound
A gentle giant, the Irish Wolfhound is one of the most expensive dog breeds to buy and own, with an average price tag of $1,900.
This family-friendly dog tends to get along well with everyone but has a short life span of just six to eight years. Expect grooming costs for this dog to average around $65, and plan for potential medical expenses to total around $7,700.
3. Portuguese Water Dog
If possible, you might want to considering adopting a Portuguese Water Dog instead of buying one — its purchase price averages a sky-high $2,500.
As its name suggests, this medium-sized dog loves the water and costs approximately $53 for each trip to the groomer. The breed has an expected life span of 12 to 15 years and faces around $2,700 in potential medical expenses.
2. Black Russian Terrier
Black Russian Terriers are one of the most expensive dog breeds money can buy, with an average price of $2,000. This large breed has an average life span of 10 to 11 years, and professional grooming costs average $105. Also, plan to pay approximately $6,000 for potential health care costs to manage common orthopedic and eye problems.
1. Tibetan Mastiff
And finally: The Tibetan Mastiff is the most expensive dog breed to own. It has an exorbitant average purchase price of $3,000, so you might want to take advantage of the various tax breaks for pet owners.
Known as a great watchdog, the Tibetan Mastiff’s standard grooming costs average about $70 per professional visit. Their life expectancy averages 10 to 12 years, and medical expenses can reach around $3,000 due to common health issues like hip dysplasia, autoimmune thyroiditis, seizures and more.
Methodology: For this study, the following factors were examined that can impact the overall cost of owning one of 43 different types of dog breeds: purchase price, grooming costs and potential health care costs. If costs couldn’t be found for a dog, that specific dog breed was excluded from the study. All factors were given a score within a range where 0 was equal to the least expensive. The total scores were then multiplied by its corresponding weight to get the grand total.
1. Purchase costs were calculated using figures from various dog breed sites, including (but not limited to) DogBreedsList.info and Dogs.PetBreeds.Com. If the websites provided a range, the average was used. The average purchase cost was then weighted the most heavily (3x) in the study.
2. Grooming costs were pulled from personal grooming websites that list out dog breed prices. If the websites provided a range, the average was used. Grooming costs were weighted second most heavily (2x) in the study.
3. Potential health care costs of common issues included the minimum total of all common conditions in each dog breed as specified by Embrace Pet Insurance. This factor weighted least heavily (1x) in the study.