Which Puppies Are Most Expensive?

I’ve spoken many times about the joy of adopting a puppy. The fun and excitement of bringing a furry new life into your home is unlike almost anything else. It can change an entire household’s very feel and mood, lifting spirits and providing a splendid new reason to get up every morning.

There’s one factor about adopting a puppy you need to be prepared for, though, and that’s the extra cost. There are, for example, adoption fees that most shelters charge for administrative stuff, your pups’ shots, and getting them spayed or neutered. Then you have the cost of food, toys, bowls, a crate, collars, leashes, puppy pee pads, vet bills, etc. 

By the time they’re done, most new puppy parents have spent well into the hundreds of dollars, even if they purchased the cheapest puppy-related stuff they could find. However, one cost can change drastically from one puppy to another: the cost of the puppy itself.

I was thinking about puppy prices the other day after taking a quick run to my local big-box pet store. I saw a few full-bred pups there, and, good lord, their price-tags were insane! It reminded me of a question I get from readers regularly, namely, which puppies are most expensive?

As with so many puppy-related predicaments, the answer is it depends. It depends on the breed of puppy, as some are much more expensive than others. It also depends on whether you adopt from a shelter or a breeder. (Breeders charge much more than a shelter.)

The cost of buying a purebred puppy can also vary depending on several factors, including where you live and if there’s a breeder close to you. Lastly, it also depends on a dog breeds’ popularity at the time, which might be sky-high due to, for example, a movie, TV show, or notable celebrity who has a particular breed of pup. 

“It depends” isn’t a perfect answer, I realize, and so below, I’ve got a list of the dog breeds that will set you back the most, cost-wise. That includes the most expensive small, medium, and large pups and some helpful advice, too. If that sounds like a good plan and the info you’ve been looking for, read on.

The Most Expensive Small Puppy Breeds

Small dog breeds tend to be the most popular because, frankly, they’re the easiest (mostly) to care for, travel with, etc. Not all small-breed dogs have the same price, with some going for as low as $100. and others fetching well above $1500 or more. The most expensive small breed puppies are below, along with their approximate price:

  • Pomeranian- $800 to $2500
  • Tibetan Terrier- $1500 to $2500
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel- $1800 to $3500
  • Miniature Dachshund- $2700 to ridiculous
  • Shiba Inu- $1400 to $2500
  • Havanese- $1000 to $1500
  • Cockapoo- $450 to $2500

The Most Expensive Medium Puppy Breeds

Medium-size puppies are my favorite. Not too big but not so small that someone could mistake them for a cat. The most expensive medium-size puppies include:

  • German Pinscher- $2000 to $3500
  • English Bulldog- $1500 to $4500
  • Saluki- $1,700 to $2700
  • Afghan Hound- $2000 to $2500
  • Icelandic Sheepdog- $2000 to $2500
  • Portuguese Water Dog- $1500 to $3000
  • Irish Terrier- $900 to $3500

The Most Expensive Large Puppy Breeds

Some of the most difficult dog breeds to find are also the largest. Below are the most expensive large puppy breeds for folks who love their dogs big and strong:

  • Neapolitan Mastiff- $2500 to $4500
  • Giant Schnauzer- $1200 to $3500
  • Chow Chow- $850 to $3800
  • Goldendoodle- $1200 to $3200
  • Irish Wolfhound- $1400 to $2500
  • Briard- $2000 to $2500
  • Tibetan Mastiff- $1800 to $4500

What makes Certain Dog Breeds Expensive?

Several factors make one breed of dog more or less expensive than another breed of dog. Some of the most important include:

  • Their purebred status, with papers and a clear lineage.
  • The breeder. Reputable, caring breeders put a lot of time and effort into breeding the finest puppies and charge a premium for them.  That includes expensive tests to reduce inbreeding and detect genetic issues. Also, monitoring their health and ensuring that puppies are well-socialized end exceptionally well cared for before they’re adopted.
  • A puppy from a prestigious lineage with a sire or dam who won a famous dog show. 
  • A breed’s popularity at the time. Teacup Pomeranians, for example, were super-popular years ago after “celebrities” like Paris Hilton began adopting them.

Are Expensive Dogs Worth It?

I’m not going to wade too deeply into this question because, frankly, what breed of dog you adopt is entirely up to you. If you feel that adopting an expensive dog is worth it, then, by all means, adopt one as you see fit. Pure-bred puppies can be gorgeous and, like all dogs, become wonderful, loving, and loyal companions.

On the other hand, animal shelters across the United States are packed with dogs and puppies looking for a good home. Many, unfortunately, will be euthanized in shelters where that’s practiced. For that reason, unless you are truly dead set on purchasing a purebred puppy, I urge you to at least consider adopting one from your local shelter. 

Tips for Finding a Cheaply-Priced Full-Bred Puppy

Let me be frank; the chance of finding a purebred puppy for a genuinely cheap price is low. That being said, there are several methods you can try. They aren’t guaranteed to help you adopt a full-bred puppy for an affordable cost, but it never hurts to try. They include:

Adopt from a Shelter (If you’re Very Lucky)

Every once in a blue moon, purebred puppies arrive in shelters. However, they tend to go extremely fast, so keeping an eye on your shelter’s website and announcements is a good idea.

Go Outside of your Particular Geographic Region

Depending on where you live in the United States, adopting a purebred dog might be more expensive. However, in a neighboring state, they might be considerably less. 

Ask Friends, Family, and Colleagues for Help

Put your social network to work for you.

Adopt an Older Puppy

When adopting a puppy, many people want to adopt one as young as possible. They feel that if they adopt a younger puppy, the bonds they form will be stronger. That might be true, but I can tell you from experience that a six, seven, or even eight-month-old puppy will form just as deep a bond with their puppy parent. Plus, they will be just as playful, fun, and huggable, I guarantee.

Skip the Pure-Bred Puppy and Adopt a Mixed Breed

This is, by far, the best method to reduce the cost of adopting a new puppy. Mixed-breed puppies tend to have fewer health problems, live longer and are just as lovable, playful, and adorable as a full-breed pup. And they cost a heckuva lot less. 

Final Thoughts 

Which puppies are most expensive? Typically, full-bred puppies are the most costly, with supply and demand playing a considerable role in their cost. A full-bred Neapolitan Mastiff puppy, for example, will set you back around $3500 to $4000. and be one impressive, loyal and loving dog. On the other hand, an adorable, mixed-breed puppy that will be your friend for life will cost you less than $100 at most American shelters. No matter the type and breed of dog you would like to adopt, due diligence is certainly necessary before making your final decision. 

I hope today’s blog was helpful and gave you the answers you were looking for. Please take a look at my other puppy blogs if you need more help or advice before deciding which puppy to adopt. They’re filled with useful information to help you in your decision-making process and, after adopting, be a fantastic puppy parent.