Did you know that a man paid almost 2 million for a Tibetan Mastiff, or that a breed of Australian herding dogs called a Kelpie was purchased for around $27,000? Those may be at the high end of the pricing spectrum, but they are by no means the only examples. Below, we’ve compiled a list of 20 of the most expensive dog breeds in the world. Some, like the Frenchie are rather common, while others like the Lowchen are rather rare. If you spy a breed you fancy, just know it may just cost you.
20. Canaan Dog: $1,000 to $1,200
“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”
― Will Rogers
The Canaan dog is a breed rich in history. Considered the national dog of Israel, the Canaan dog is expensive due to its rarity as only 2000 to 3000 are thought to exist. When you have a Canaan dog as a companion, you’re in the presence of a dog so ancient, that its images have been found on cave walls. It’s further thought that the Canaan is one of the first canines to connect with humans. A working breed, these dogs have performed guard duties, as mine detectors and guides for the blind. Smart and tough, these dogs know who they are. Train them early as pups or they’ll consider themselves your pack leader instead of the other way around.
19. Cesky Terrier: Up $1,000 to $2,000
“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
― Josh Billings
This lovely little dog is not only adorable but also quite rare with only around 600 left on the planet. Standing at around 10 to 13 inches and weighing up to 24 pounds, the little Cesky, pronounced “chess-key”, has little trouble attracting admirers. This little dog is known as the national dog of the Czech Republic. Little Cesky’s love kids and can spend hours at play. Their silken coat belies the fact that they are strong, muscular dogs built for high energy activities. Developed by Frantisek Horak, Cesky’s are terrific watch dogs, though they are not as vocal as other terriers.
18. Saluki: $1,500 to $2,000
“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
Just one look at the Saluki and you can tell this sleek and stunning canine is built for speed. In fact, during the Sumerian Empire researchers have found wall carvings of these dogs on ancient surfaces. As you can tell by their short coat, they require minimal grooming. The dogs are 23 to 28 inches at the shoulder and weigh 35 to 70 pounds. Once considered a royal dog in ancient Egypt, they now lounge comfortably in living rooms. The Saluki has an independent nature and isn’t too keen on following orders. An interesting dog, but sadly rare nowadays, which is why they command a higher price.
17. Skye Terrier: $1,000 to $2,000
“Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”
― Mark Twain
Bred to hunt down vermin on the beautiful Scottish Isle of Skye, the Skye Terrier cuts a unique and unmistakable appearance. A small dog at only around 10 inches at the shoulder, they make for good family companions. However, a bit of a warning. The Skye was bred to hunt and kill other animals, so it’s important to socialize and train them early. You want them to be accepting of people, small children and other pets. When socialized, you’ll find the Skye Terrier a delightful companion. Their agile little, long bodies bouncing on the lawn, with their feathery ears flowing in the wind is a lovely sight to behold.
16. Lagotto Romagnolo: $500 to $2,500
“The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.”
The Lagotto Romagnolo or ‘truffle dog’ from Italy is an absolute winner when it comes to having an affectionate personality. The Lagotto Romagnolo, pronounced Lah-GO-toe Roman-YO-lo, is a great friend for all members of the family, its curly coat welcoming pats and hugs from all. This happy little truffle hunter has a history of locating truffles for its owners. This meant that the breed needed to have a keen sense of smell as well as be a tireless worker. Characteristics which make this dog so adorable are its sensitive nature, love of play and family. As a side note, if you’re a family who loves the water, then seriously consider this breed as it loves to swim and play in the mud. Because of its strong sense of smell, this breed has been used as a search and rescue dog.
15. Mudi: $1,000 to $2,600
“If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.”
― Woodrow Wilson
An affectionate dog that loves kids, the Mudi hails from Hungary where it serves as a herding dog. This delightful breed makes for a fabulous companion for an active family and will need plenty of exercise. It also ranks high on the intelligence scale, so expect your Mudi to learn its lessons quickly. A moderate shedder, the Mudi does have a tendency to bark, so may need early training to curb this tendency. During WWII the breed suffered a severe decline in numbers. Due to the efforts of Dr. Zoltan Balassy, in the 1960’s the breed slowly began to recover. Today the Mudi is still considered a rare dog with only a mere several thousand in existence. Hungary looks upon this breed with pride, and in 2004 the Mudi found its way onto the Hungarian postage stamp.
14. Dogue de Bordeaux: $1,400 to $2,900
“Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer.”
― Dean Koontz
The Dogue de Bordeaux or “Mastiff of de Bordeaux” is an ancient and rare breed hailing from France. This large breed can reach a height of 27 inches at the shoulder and hit a weight of 110 pounds. They excel at being family dogs as they are fiercely loyal, love cuddles and very protective of those they love. Physically, this dog resembles the mastiff family with its large head, immense strength and courageous nature.
However, for all their bulk, they are deceptively agile and can move fast when called upon. They have a kind and good-hearted nature, yet are wary of strangers. For all their good qualities, they are a large dog that will require proper training when young, as they are extremely strong so going for a walk should not end up a tug or war. This breed is prone to bloat, which can be fatal, so it’s important to speak to your vet about precautions and what to do if they get it. Until then, avoiding exercise before or after meals is a good start.
13. French Bulldog $1,500 to $3,000
“Just give me a comfortable couch, a dog, a good book, and a woman. Then if you can get the dog to go somewhere and read the book, I might have a little fun.”
― Groucho Marx
The French Bulldog, or “Frenchie” is the current gem of the dog world and with one look at these little clowns in action you’ll understand why. This short, stocky and lovable canine has built quite a fanbase for itself over the years. Delightful, affectionate and devoted, the Frenchie bonds quickly with family members, including kids and even other dogs. In fact, if one word could be used to describe them, it would be “huggable”, because that’s just what they are, irresistibly huggable. The Frenchie is also considered the ultimate urban canine companion. Frenchies do well in urban settings and have no issue at all with apartment living.
Their adaptability makes them the perfect pet for all people, from those who are on the go, to couch potatoes. In fact, they are the perfect companion for many celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, whose little Frenchie, Django has captured his heart. Important points to remember: Frenchies can’t swim, are prone to breathing problems, allergies and eye irritations. The inability to swim is a big one, because most people think all dogs can swim, so keep your little clown away from pools, lakes, and ponds.
12. Peruvian Inca Orchid: $1,000 to $3,000
“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
― Roger Caras
This is an absolutely adorable dog. The Peruvian Inca Orchid is sight hound bred in ancient Peru that comes in 3 sizes: Small, medium and large. These agile, quick and clever pups come with hair or without. Affectionate with family, the Peruvian Inca does need to be socialized with children and pets at an early age. In appearance, this dog takes after other sight hounds, like the Greyhound or Saluki, meaning its slim and sleek. This is a faithful breed, that is careful with strangers, Also known as the “flower dog”, or PIO, this breed has a high tendency to bark and is said to be hypoallergenic.
11. Azawakh: $300 to $3,000
“It’s just the most amazing thing to love a dog, isn’t it? It makes our relationships with people seem as boring as a bowl of oatmeal.”
Exquisite, graceful and full of class, the Azawakh is a rare yet beautiful breed. As a tall and sleek sight hound, the males can reach a height of 29 inches as the shoulder and weigh in at up to 55 pounds. This West African breed was bred to run, and run fast. This streamlined breed can be affectionate with immediate family, yet is wary with strangers. However, if young children and other pets are in the household, it’s best to properly socialize them from puppies in order to facilitate bonding. One final thing, this is a deep-chested dog. As such, it’s crucial to avoid bloat. Talk to your vet for more information, but you can start by slowing down your dogs eating, feed them small meals throughout the day, and always avoid exercise before and after meals.
10. Caucasian Ovtcharka: $1,000 to $3,000
“I believe in integrity. Dogs have it. Humans are sometimes lacking it.”
― Cesar Millan
The Caucasian Ovtcharka is a large dog that can measure 25 to 28 inches at the shoulder and weigh up to 160 pounds. These are smart dogs that are considered good family dogs, as they are good with children. Just be careful, as they are affectionate and playful but may not know their own size/strength. Their coat is thick and long, so will need regular maintenance. They also require regular bouts of exercise to keep them from getting bored and out of shape. In the end, they are fabulous watchdogs, protective and fearless.
9. Akita: $1,000 to $4,000
“Never mind, said Hachiko each day. Here I wait, for my friend who’s late. I will stay, just to walk beside you for one more day.”
― Jess C. Scott
To this day the Akita named Hachiko is revered as a symbol of strength, steadfastness and loyalty in its native Japan. Today, the statue of Hachiko resides at the Shibuya Railway Station in Tokyo. By learning of Hachiko, you’ve a solid idea of what the Akita is all about, and why it’s so prized. They are big, solid dogs, standing 24 to 28 inches at the shoulder with a thick double coat. Protective, faithful and strong, the Akita does need to be properly socialized as a pup, or there could be issues with strangers and other family pets. This is a powerful and independent breed, so training is recommended.
8. Otterhound:up to $1,000 to $4,500
“Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.”
― Agnes Sligh Turnbull
Otterhounds are a rare yet most beloved breed with only around 800 in existence, hence the high price. As a package, one could say that they have it all: Protective, affectionate, loyal and fun. Indeed, the Otterhound excels at many tasks, such as obedience trials, agility competitions, and emotional service dogs. Historically speaking, the Otterhound got around. In fact, did you know that it’s said that Shakespeare modeled his version of hounds seen in his plays after the Otterhound? It’s also said that Richard III had a pack of them as well. Knowing their past history and excellent traits, it’s hard to fathom why this wonderful breed became so rare.
7. Cane Corso: $1,500 to $4,000
“Discipline isn’t about showing a dog who’s boss; it’s about taking responsibility for a living creature you have brought into your world.”
― Cesar Millan
The Cane Corso or “bodyguard dog” is a powerful, impressive and courageous breed. This is the breed that you see on some of the ancient Roman mosaics, as it was considered the Roman Dog of War. Indeed, when these large, muscular dogs wore their battle armor, they looked even more ferocious. This breed is quite smart and learns the ropes quickly. However, they are also a bit stubborn at times and have been known to test their owners to see who’s boss. As such, it’s crucial to begin a training program early on. After all, even though they are smart, affectionate and loyal, they are also assertive and will test your will and at over 100 pounds and around 27 inches you need to be the assertive one.
6. Portuguese Water Dog: $2,000 to $6,000
“I’ve seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.”
― John Steinbeck
Recognized as a breed by the AKC in 1983, the Portuguese Water Dog is a medium sized breed that originated in Portugal. Good for people with allergies, this breed sports tightly curled, hypoallergenic fur. Add to that the fact that shedding is minimal, and you have the perfect breed for allergy sufferers. Bright, sensitive and intelligent, these dogs are quick learners and absorb training like a sponge. They are also quite active, so if you’re sedentary, it’s best to pass this breed up. As the name suggests, this breed loves the water, so would be the perfect family companion if you’re into boating or living by the water. Also known as “Porties” the Portuguese Water Dog is great with kids and even with other pets.
5. Landseer Newfoundland: $1,500 to $4,500
“Ye! who behold perchance this simple urn, Pass on, it honors none you wish to mourn.To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one—and here he lies”– Lord Byron
The Landseer Newfoundland is a handsome breed indeed. This large dog measures close to 28 inches at the shoulder and can weight over 150 pounds. Yet, for all their size and girth, they among the sweetest of breeds. They love kids, other pets and of course, their owners. Known by some as a “Newfie”, the one we speak of here is the Landseer Newfoundland, made popular by the English painter, Edwin Landseer.
The Landseer has a black and white coat and is more expensive than standard black Newfies. The reason for this is simple: Newfies are not the easiest dogs to breed, so those with black and white coloring will cost more. The famous poet, Lord Byron owned a Landseer named Boatswain. Upon the death of his Landseer, he had the dog placed in a large, above ground tomb with a poem he composed, “Epitaph to a Dog”. It is truly a beautiful piece of work.
4. Lowchen: $300 to $4,500
“The dog is the most faithful of animals and would be much esteemed were it not so common. Our Lord God has made His greatest gifts the commonest.”
― Martin Luther
Officially recognized as a breed by the AKC in 1996, the Lowchen or “little lion” is one dog you’ve probably not heard of, which is a shame as this dog has such good qualities. First, it doesn’t shed much at all. Second it’s a small breed with a lot of love to give. Affectionate, loyal and fun to be with, it’s a great family dog. As for the coat, since it continues to grow, it does require regular maintenance to keep it free from tangles. The Lowchen usually gets a ‘lion cut’ which gives it the look of a miniature lion. This means that the back of the body is shorn to the skin, and the front is given a lions mane.
3. Olde English Bulldogge: $500 to $6,500
“If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons. ”
― James Thurber
While the spelling of the name gives an ancient, historical vision, this breed is actually a modern day designer dog. That’s right, the Olde English Bulldogge was bred in 1971 by David Leavitt. He crossed 4 breeds, the Bullmastiff, Pitbull, American Bulldog and English Bulldog, to create the Olde English Bulldogge. His main goal was to try to reverse the breathing problem bulldogs developed due to poor breeding practices.
He also wanted to create a breed that had an “old-fashioned” look, but with a new, designer dog personality. In 2014, the breed was recognized by the UKC and placed in the Guardian Dog category. Not only is the breed a terrific watchdog, but they are affectionate, do well in both urban and country settings and are good with kids. The downside for some is the hefty price tag, However, as a new breed, great care is taken to ensure good breeding practices to avoid backyard breeding.
2. Czechoslovakian Wolfdog $2,000 to $8,000
“Dogs are the magicians of the universe.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés,
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is an extremely rare breed, which is why they command such a high price. Between the years 1955 to 1965 Karel Hartl decided to breed dogs for the guards who watched the countries borders. He reasoned that if he took a German Shepherd and crossed it with a Carpathian wolf, he’d get the best of both worlds: An obedient dog with tenacity and endurance of a wolf. Today, the breed is fully recognized by the AKC as a working dog. Temperment-wise, this is an absolutely stunning, devoted and tough canine.
Not an urban breed, the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog requires much exercise and mental stimulation with some recommending up to 2 hours of activity per day. Quick learners, they do have a willful nature at times, so it is recommended that these dogs be handled by experienced owners. A final word of warning, these dogs closely resemble wolves, so if you live in an area which allows for predator extermination, it’s wise not to purchase this breed as they can be mistaken for wolves.
1. Tibetan Mastiff: $2,000 to $10,000
“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”
― Milan Kundera
In 2014 a Tibetan Mastiff was sold for $1.95 million in China to a businessman who was considering breeding his own Tibetan Mastiffs. While this is an goodly amount, there’s no question that this dog is currently one of the most expensive breeds on the planet. Loyal, unafraid, and careful with strangers, the Tibetan Mastiff scores well as a family companion. Height wise, they stand 26 inches at the shoulder and can tip the scales well over 100 pounds, though their mass of fluffy fur can make them look even larger. Devoted, courageous and surprisingly agile, these dogs are a treasure to own.