The real cost of getting a dog is more than just the dog’s purchase price — long-term expenses need to be considered, as well. If you do a little research, you’ll find that although there are dozens of dog breeds out there, some are pricier than others.
GOBankingRates compiled a list of 30 dog breeds that are the most expensive to own, considering the dog’s purchase price, grooming expenses and potential healthcare costs for common issues faced by the breed. Click through to discover the most expensive dog breeds — and how much these furry friends would cost to buy and care for.
30. 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 eight to 12 years, and typical healthcare costs could total a lofty $11,000.
29. Yorkshire Terriers
Yorkshire Terriers — Yorkies for short — cost about $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, totaling an average of $9,800 in potential healthcare costs.
This high-maintenance breed doesn’t shed much, but expect to pay about $31 each time you have the dog groomed.
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 healthcare costs to $4,500.
A rare breed that costs approximately $1,200 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 about $60 per visit.
This dog breed has a 12-to-14-year life expectancy and is prone to some expensive medical issues, like corneal dystrophy and autoimmune conditions, causing healthcare costs to reach as high as $4,800.
26. 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 cost of $35. Potential healthcare costs to treat hip dysplasia and deafness — conditions that commonly impact the breed — total $1,600.
25. Ibizan Hound
The Ibizan Hound’s steep $1,300 purchase price makes it one of the most expensive dogs to own. This 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 healthcare costs for common issues to an average of $1,600.
24. 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 issues costing approximately $1,500 to treat. Grooming costs for this short-haired breed average a low $27.
23. 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 $1,200. But grooming them is relatively easy, with an average price tag of $55 per visit.
This dog breed has an average life expectancy of 10 to 14 years and is susceptible to a host of health conditions, bringing potential medical costs to $1,350.
22. Lakeland Terrier
Although some terriers have been known to make millions for their owners, keep in mind they often require high upfront and maintenance costs — depending on the specific breed.
Initially bred to hunt vermin in Northern England, the Lakeland Terrier is a smaller breed with an average price tag of $1,200. Known to be fond of people, this dog is one of the most expensive to own because grooming costs average $65 — and finding a groomer familiar with the 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 healthcare expenses, though the breed is not prone to many issues.
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, a fact that makes them one of the most expensive dogs to have — average health costs run to $5,700.
20. Afghan Hound
The Afghan Hound is a large dog that costs about $2,000 to purchase from a breeder. Characterized by their long, glamorous coats, these elegant dogs require daily pampering to keep their hair in good condition. And professional grooming costs $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 12 to 14 years and is predisposed to health conditions like cataracts and hypothyroidism, causing possible healthcare costs to total $2,900.
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 $48 for each trip to the groomer. If you buy a dog of this breed, you can expect it to live 12 to 14 years. Prepare to pay around $3,500 to care for general health issues.
18. Bedlington Terrier
The Bedlington Terrier has an average purchase price of $1,800, and potential healthcare 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 14 to 16 years, and its small size makes it ideal for apartment living. Grooming costs for this somewhat unusual terrier breed average $50.
17. Great Dane
Great Danes typically have a purchase price of $800. Although they’re big dogs, these gentle giants are relatively easy to groom, with average costs totaling $48.
These dogs are also predisposed to myriad pricey health concerns, such as stomach conditions and even cardiomyopathy, giving them a shorter expected life span of 7 to 10 years. This also makes Great Danes one of the most expensive dog breeds to own — average health costs can run to $7,100 and beyond.
16. Miniature Bull Terrier
One of the most expensive dog breeds to own because of its $1,200 average purchase price, the Miniature Bull Terrier is a small animal with a lot of energy. These dogs have an average life expectancy of 10 to 12 years and cost approximately $50 to groom.
They’re generally healthy, with potential minimum healthcare costs averaging $1,500. Just be sure to buy from a reputable breeder.
15. Kerry Blue Terrier
The most inexpensive dog to purchase on the list, the Kerry Blue Terrier costs about $600 and has an average life span of 12 to 15 years. However, grooming costs average $60. And due to a number of possible health concerns, typical medical expenses average at least $7,000.
14. Bernese Mountain Dog
Popular as both a show dog and a family dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog costs approximately $800.
This large breed has a very short life span of 7 to 10 years due to a number of health concerns — including elbow and hip dysplasia and aseptic meningitis — bringing potential healthcare expenses for common issues to around $6,500. The cost to groom this 70-pound to 120-pound dog is around $75.
13. French Bulldog
An expected purchase price of roughly $2,000 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 10 to 12 years, with potential healthcare costs averaging about $4,300.
12. Spinone Italiano
Hailing from Italy, the Spinone Italiano is a large breed with an average price tag of $1,500. 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 like hip dysplasia and gastric dilatation volvulus.
11. Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute is a large breed that costs around $1,200 to buy as a pet. These curious, energetic dogs have an average life span of 12 to 15 years and, because of their heavy coats, cost at least $85 for each trip to the groomer. A high risk for a number of medical conditions like diabetes mellitus causes this dog’s healthcare costs to total a steep $7,700.
10. Tibetan Mastiff
The Tibetan Mastiff is the most expensive dog breed to own. It has an exorbitant average purchase price of $2,500. Known as a great watchdog, the Tibetan Mastiff has an average grooming cost of $70 per professional visit. The breed’s life expectancy averages 10 to 14 years, and medical expenses can reach around $3,000 due to common health issues like hip and elbow dysplasia.
Methodology: GOBankingRates.com examined the following factors that can impact the overall cost of owning different types of dog breeds: purchase price, grooming costs and potential healthcare costs. If costs couldn’t be found for a dog, that specific 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 corresponding weights 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 lowest price was used. The cost was then weighted the most heavily (3x) in the study.
2. Grooming costs were pulled from personal grooming websites that list 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 healthcare 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.
The Rottweiler is a large breed that costs approximately $1,200 to buy and lives to be eight to 10 years old. Characterized as alert, fearless and intelligent, this short-haired dog will saddle you with $36 average grooming bills. A number of health concerns make Rottweilers expensive dogs to own, as well, with possible healthcare costs averaging about $7,800.
8. German Shepherd
Traditionally used as herding dogs, German Shepherds are gentle, good-tempered dogs with average price tags of $800. German Shepherds’ grooming costs are approximately $40, and they have an average life expectancy of 10 to 13 years.
But, their sky-high potential medical costs of $20,500 — used to treat a host of common conditions like hip dysplasia and perianal fistulas — make them one of the more expensive dog breeds to own.
7. Black Russian Terrier
Black Russian Terriers are one of the most expensive dog breeds out there, with an average price of $1,800. This large breed has a life span of 10 to 14 years, and professional grooming costs $105. Also, plan to pay approximately $6,000 for potential healthcare costs to manage common orthopedic and eye problems.
Made famous by its appearance in “Peter Pan,” the Newfoundland typically costs around $1,500 to purchase and has an average life span of 9 to 10 years.
Considered gentle and trainable, this giant breed requires regular grooming, which costs about $65 for professional service. A number of predisposed medical conditions — such as cardiomyopathy and gastric dilatation volvulus — could mean facing healthcare costs that total $5,500.
5. Old English Sheepdog
The Old English Sheepdog is an excellent watchdog that’s great with kids. With its average price tag of $1,200, standard grooming fees of $88 per visit and potential healthcare costs of $7,600, this is one of the most expensive dog breeds you can buy. This dog’s average life span is 10 to 12 years.
4. Golden Retriever
Often described as the perfect family dog, a purebred Golden Retriever will cost you around $1,000. 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 12 years, but it’s predisposed to a number of serious health conditions — including cancer — causing potential medical costs to reach approximately $17,500.
3. Saint Bernard
Costing an average of $1,500 to buy, the Saint Bernard has a calm and patient temperament that makes it ideal for families and dog show handlers. 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 pets, with potential healthcare costs hovering at approximately $8,600.
2. 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 $1,800. This family friendly dog tends to get along well with everyone but has a short life span of just six to 10 years. Expect grooming costs for this dog to average around $65, and plan for potential medical expenses to total around $7,700.
1. Portuguese Water Dog
If possible, you might want to consider 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 10 to 14 years and faces around $2,700 in potential medical expenses.
About the Author
Laura is a writer with nearly 10 years of experience in marketing and personal finance. She is a Los Angeles-based writer specializing in personal finance, higher education, legal matters and marketing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Robert Morris University.