The real cost of getting a dog is more than just the 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 28 dog breeds that are among 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 some of the most expensive animals — and how much these furry friends would cost to buy and care for.
The family friendly Akita costs an average of $1,000 to $2,500 to purchase and has a life expectancy of 10 to 14 years. You can expect to pay around $80 each time your pup is groomed for a bath and brush.
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.
The Alaskan Malamute is a large breed that costs around $1,200 to $2,000 to buy as a pet. These curious, energetic dogs typically live 10 years or longer and, because of their heavy coats, cost at least $100 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.
Bernese Mountain Dog
Popular as both a show dog and a family dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog costs in the range of $1,500 to $3,000.
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. That doesn’t include treating cancer, which is not common with this breed – even with younger dogs. The cost to groom this 70-pound to 120-pound dog is around $110.
Black Russian Terrier
Black Russian Terriers are one of the costliest dog breeds out there, with a range of $1,000 to $2,500. This large breed has a life span of 10 to 12 years. Plan to pay approximately $6,000 for potential healthcare costs to manage common orthopedic and eye problems.
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 typical purchase price for this dog comes out to $1,500 to $2,500. But grooming them is relatively easy, with a price tag of about $50 per visit.
This dog breed has an average life expectancy of 10 to 12 years and is susceptible to a host of health conditions, bringing potential medical costs to $1,350.
Buying a Chow Chow of your own typically will cost between $1,200 and $2,000. And grooming costs for this medium-sized dog average a pricey $95. Chow Chows have a life expectancy of eight to 12 years, and typical healthcare costs could total a lofty $11,000.
An Argentinian big-game hunter and guardian breed, the Dogo Argentino makes the most expensive dog list because of its hefty purchase price of $1,500 to $2,500.
This large breed has an average life expectancy of at least 10 years. Potential healthcare costs to treat hip dysplasia and deafness — conditions that commonly impact the breed — can be as low as $1,600.
The English Bulldog is one of the friendliest dog breeds and can be yours for anywhere between $2,000 and $4,000. These dogs cost an average of $40 to groom and are great for families with kids. They have an average life expectancy of just eight to 10 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 $5,700 or more.
An expected purchase price of between $2,000 and $4,000 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 reaching $4,300 or more.
Traditionally used as herding dogs, German Shepherds are gentle, good-tempered dogs with price tags generally from $800 to $2,000. German Shepherds’ grooming costs are approximately $75, and they have an average life expectancy of nine 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.
Often described as the perfect family dog, a purebred Golden Retriever will cost around $1,000 to $2,000. And expect to spend around $85 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.
Great Danes typically have a purchase price of $1,000 to $2,000. Although they’re big dogs, these gentle giants are relatively easy to groom, with average costs totaling $65.
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.
The Ibizan Hound’s steep $2,000 to $2,500 purchase price makes it one of the most expensive dogs to own. This breed has a life span of up to 16 years and both of its coat types — smooth and wire — are easy to groom, costing an average of $40.
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.
A gentle giant, the Irish Wolfhound is one of the most expensive dog breeds to buy and own, with a general price tag of $1,500 to $2,500. 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 $80, and plan for potential medical expenses to total around $7,700.
Kerry Blue Terrier
The Kerry Blue Terrier costs about $2,000 to $2,500 and has an average life span of 12 to 15 years. However, grooming costs average about $85. And due to a number of possible health concerns, typical medical expenses average at least $8,000.
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 a typical price tag of $1,500 to $2,800. Grooming costs about $45.
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.
Miniature Bull Terrier
One of the most expensive dog breeds to own because of its $2,500 to $3,500 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 $30 to groom.
They’re generally healthy, with potential minimum healthcare costs averaging $1,500. Just be sure to buy from a reputable breeder.
Made famous by its appearance in “Peter Pan,” the Newfoundland typically costs around $1,700 to $2,500 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 $120 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.
Old English Sheepdog
The Old English Sheepdog is an excellent watchdog that’s great with kids. With its price tag of $1,800 to $3,000, standard grooming fees of $100-plus 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.
Intelligent, active and friendly, the Pharaoh Hound is one of the most expensive dogs due to its $1,800 to $2,500 purchase price. This large breed has an average life expectancy of as long as 16 years and is generally in good health, with possible issues costing approximately $1,500 to treat. Grooming costs for this short-haired breed are about $30 per visit.
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 $2,000 to $3,000. As its name suggests, this medium-sized dog loves the water and costs approximately $80 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.
The Rottweiler is a large breed that costs approximately $1,200 to $2,000 to buy and lives to be eight to 11 years old. Characterized as alert, fearless and intelligent, this short-haired dog will saddle you with $50 average grooming bills. A number of health concerns make Rottweilers expensive dogs to own, as well, with possible healthcare costs averaging about $7,800.
Costing from $1,000 to $2,000 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 $120, 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.
A rare breed that costs between $1,500 to $3,000 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 $85 per visit.
This dog breed has a 10-to-12-year life expectancy and is prone to some expensive medical issues, like corneal dystrophy and autoimmune conditions, causing healthcare costs to be at least $4,800.
Hailing from Italy, the Spinone Italiano is a large breed with a typical price tag of $1,200 to $2,000. Grooming these family-friendly pets costs around $60, 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.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has a common purchase price of $1,500 to $2,500. These medium-sized, energetic dogs enjoy long walks and have modest grooming needs, costing approximately $45 for each trip to the groomer. If you buy a dog of this breed, you can expect it to live about a dozen years. Prepare to pay around $3,500 to care for general health issues.
The Tibetan Mastiff is one the most expensive dogs to own. It has an exorbitant purchase price that ranges from $2,500 to $4,000. Known as a great watchdog. The breed’s life expectancy averages 10 to 14 years, and medical expenses can reach around $3,500 due to common health issues like hip and elbow dysplasia.
Yorkshire Terriers — Yorkies for short — cost between $1,500 to $3,000 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 a minimum of $9,800 in potential healthcare costs.
This high-maintenance breed doesn’t shed much, but expect to pay about $50 each time you have the dog groomed.
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Jennifer Taylor contributed to the reporting for this article.
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. 1. Purchase costs were calculated using figures from various dog breed sites, including (but not limited to) DogBreedsList.info and PetBudget.com. 2. Grooming costs were pulled from personal grooming websites that list dog breed prices. If the websites provided a range, the average was used. 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. All data is accurate as of May 4, 2023.