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The 5 Most Expensive Dog Breeds

Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

The Tibetan Mastiff is the most expensive dog in the world.

The Tibetan Mastiff is the most expensive dog in the world.

What Are the 5 Most Expensive Dog Breeds?

Just in case any of you have a lot of spare cash with which to obtain a new dog, I've created this list of the five most expensive dog breeds in the world. I did not try to rank the dogs according to which dog was most expensive since prices change according to their scarcity and popularity. A breeder in Germany is charging 20,000 Euro for a German Shepherd puppy at the time of this writing, so that dog could easily rank on the next list. Rottweilers are also expensive in Europe but have been so overbred in the US and South America that prices have fallen.

The 5 Most Expensive Dog Breeds in the World

  1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  2. English Bulldog
  3. Chow Chow
  4. Saluki
  5. Tibetan Mastiff

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This cute little dog has been selected to have child-like features and a friendly personality. They have been popular among the royalty of England for hundreds of years and are still popular in the UK.

They are still uncommon and demand a higher price in the US, and since numerous health problems afflict the breed, it may stay that way. They suffer from heart disease, spinal cord problems, and can also have hip dysplasia. They have been bred to have brachycephalic features (a muzzle shorter than it is wide) and tend to have breathing problems as a result.

Although it is a spaniel, it is a toy dog and comes in four colors. My favorite are the chestnut and white dogs but they are also available in black and tan, ruby (almost all chestnut), and tricolor (black and white and tan).

English bulldogs are prone to a variety of health issues due to their unique physiology.

English bulldogs are prone to a variety of health issues due to their unique physiology.

2. English Bulldog

This breed of dog is expensive for a good reason. They look great but are brachycephalic so have several serious health conditions associated with their breathing. More importantly, they have abnormal pelvic structure, and since the puppies' heads are so large, they often have trouble whelping. Over 80% of English Bulldogs require c-sections. They only live about 8–10 years, but when owners were surveyed in the UK, they actually reported a 6.5 year lifespan.

Bulldogs have heart disease, cancer, cherry eye, allergies, knee problems (patellar luxation), skin fold infections, and the majority of them also have problems with hip dysplasia. They are prone to obesity if they are not exercised, but since they are brachycephalic,c they overheat easily and cannot be exercised on hot days.

Some breeders are trying to select more healthy dogs but the highest prices are still gained by the dogs with short muzzles and heavy skin folds. If they stay that way, this will continue to be an expensive dog breed.

Chow chows are known to be protective of their homes and families.

Chow chows are known to be protective of their homes and families.

3. Chow Chow

Besides being one of the breeds that shed a lot, the chow is also one of the most expensive. They are one of the oldest dog breeds and ancestors to many modern breeds. Unfortunately, this breed is prone to several diseases like cataracts, glaucoma, entropion, diabetes, pemphigus, and hip dysplasia. They also are affected by several types of cancer like lymphoma, stomach cancer, and skin cancer.

If you decide to hand over the money and buy a chow chow, you need to be aware that your homeowner's insurance is probably going to go up. They can be great pets but have gained a reputation as aggressive dogs who are protective of their households. If you are looking for a quiet dog, however, a chow chow is a good choice.

Saluki's aren't as prone to certain health conditions that commonly affect other "pure" breeds.

Saluki's aren't as prone to certain health conditions that commonly affect other "pure" breeds.

4. Saluki

This dog is a member of the desert nobility and acts like he knows it. The Saluki is one of the oldest breeds around. They have been in Europe since the crusades but before that were found in Egypt and Arabia. They are tall, skinny, and look graceful with their feathered tails and thighs.

Why are Salukis so expensive? They almost died out in the UK during World War II but had already been recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1929. They are not a popular breed but have maintained their numbers. They are generally healthy for a purebred dog, with low rates of hip dysplasia and certain heart and skin diseases. About a third of the dogs die from cancer, however. Maybe Saluki owners like to purchase the same breed of dog each time out, and since there are so few breeders, the prices stay high.

If you want a handsome dog and are willing to put up with an aloof sighthound that might run off and chase at a moment's notice, the Saluki is an excellent dog.

5. Tibetan Mastiff

This is the most expensive dog. A wealthy industrialist in China recently purchased a red mastiff for 10 million Yuan (1.5 million US dollars)! The most expensive dog previous to this one was another Tibetan mastiff that sold for a mere $582,000 back in 2009. They make excellent guard dogs and look magnificent but . . . oh well.

This breed is not that expensive in the U.S. After it was recognized by the AKC, the dog was overbred and several genetic diseases were developed. Tibetan mastiffs are generally healthy and long-lived for a large breed but can be affected by hypothyroidism, skin problems, eyelid problems and cataracts, bite problems, and epilepsy. Health testing should eliminate these diseases, decrease the number of dogs available for breeding, and, since they only breed once a year, drive those prices back up where they should be. Probably not as high as those in China, however!

Now that you have had a chance to check these breeds out, aren't you just ready to run out and spend a few hundred thousand?

Further Reading

© 2012 Mark dos Anjos DVM


Nora on May 10, 2019:

I finally found a breeder in another city and plan to buy a Cavalier King Charles a tri or Blenhim. Maybe a rescue. I dont, believe in pet stores, because of in breeding u dont know what ur getting.

Lisa Whisler on March 05, 2019:

Hocan someone please let me know how I go about finding abreeder so I can rescue or adopot a cavaliers. Can someoneplease hep me fineally find the dog I have dreamed & loved for so long.

Pam on February 04, 2018:

We have 2 Cavaliers. Wonderful dogs. Please check out Cavalier Rescue USA for adoptable dogs. One of ours came from them ( application process, etc) and she is great!!Add Your Comment...

Marymargr8 on April 05, 2017:

My KC Spaniel is 9 and she has Mitral Valve (heart) Disease and will most likely only live another 4 to 10 months. I am heartbroken. She is the sweetest, smartest, most gentle dog I've ever had. She came from a breeder that I thought was reputable, but in hindsight, I should have researched deeper.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on September 28, 2016:

Maria, CK Spaniels are not as prone to heat problems as some of the flat-faced breeds, but do be careful when introducing Thoven to his new environment. Take it slow so you both enjoy it for many years to come.

Maria on September 28, 2016:

Im going back to Philippines with my cavalier King Charles, Thoven!!!

Sherzarty on August 31, 2016:

My Cavalier had NONE of the problems that are mentioned by that vet. Her sire lived to 17, and she died of cancer at age 12. A person finds a good breeder to eliminate the health problems. I know that people have gone extremely toward rescue, and rescue is good. But if EVERYONE made sure that EVERY dog didn't breed ( that means spay or neuter), there wouldn't be unwanted pets. Most breeders are responsible, ethical people, who insist on taking their dogs back if unwanted. By the way, it's English Toys that have the breathing problems, not Cavaliers.

Dana on January 29, 2016:

I have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and she was a rescue from a local e group. It is possible to find a pure bred dog that is in need of a home. Our Cavi, Maggie, is one of four dogs in our home and all are rescues. We love each one for it's unique personality traits. Maggie is the cuddliest most loving dog we have ever had. If you want a true lap dog get a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, but please get it from a rescue group.

lolagirl on December 08, 2015:

Breeding Cavaliers has been my sister's life's work. They are amazingly beautiful, smart and intuitive.

Krzysztof Willman from Parlin, New Jersey on February 25, 2015:

Unbelievable how much some of these breeds cost. It's like having a living gold mine in your home. Very interesting article as I'm a huge dog lover.

dismissed zebra on October 16, 2013:

Or you could go to the pound and adopt a fully vetted dog for typically 0 to 100 dollars.And it could be hands down the fuggliest mutt in the place, and by the end of the week you'll be totally smitten saying he's the best dog EVER.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 06, 2013:

I have a mestizo; she was free, but in this case it is not about money--she is worth a fortune, to me, of course!

John Paolo Magdaluyo from Philippine on March 06, 2013:

yes @Drmark indeed my dog is actually an askal and I love him so much all those work when he was younger are all worthy. In my case no money was involve but the love towards man's bestfriends are in common.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 06, 2013:

Hey Paolo! I think they are all worth it, even "askals". (Here we call them "vira latas", which means "trash can tipper-overs"). Thanks for commenting.

John Paolo Magdaluyo from Philippine on March 06, 2013:

ohhh,, that's so cute. truly great companions in life they are and those are the things that money can't buy so it's all worth it.

kitkat1141 from Ontario, Canada on March 06, 2013:

We had a tri color Cavalier King Charles Spaniel growing up, and she was a lovely family dog. Very loyal, and gentle. She lived to 15 years old. Worth every penny!!

John Paolo Magdaluyo from Philippine on March 06, 2013:

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel this one ! so cute but I think I should earn more to have one.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 27, 2013:

And I just need to get the cash together for a Saluki!

Stephanie from Canada on January 27, 2013:

Oh I know English Bulldogs are expensive but I want one so much! I owned a Chow Chow as a child, but it was a stray.. I didn't know they were deemed in the most expensive dog breeds! Interesting read, voted up!

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 21, 2013:

I can understand that viewpoint but I bought a Siberian cat (they are hypoallergenic) because I am allergic. Expensive, but worth it. Sometimes it is the best option. I would have a hard time justifying spending thousands of dollars on a dog, however, especially since the best dog in the world (mine, of course!) is a mixed breed from a back yard breeder.

Natasha from Hawaii on January 21, 2013:

My mom has claimed for years she wants a King Charles Cavalier. I personally like dogs that need a home more than ones that come from a breeder. The only purebred house pet my family has owned was a Persian cat and it was also the worst pet my family's ever had. My sweet Alaskan husky and German Shepherd both came from the SPCA and I couldn't ask for better friends. Their $100 price tag left me enough money to do things like feed them!

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on December 04, 2012:

Thanks for the comment Jmillis2006. You are correct in that the strict breeding rules keep the prices up on the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, but I remember when Rotties used to be just as expensive, before they were overbred. I hope the Cavaliers stay in the hands of a few breeders and do not become "overpopular".

Jmillis2006 from North Carolina on December 04, 2012:

I have a cavalier king Charles spaniel and you are defiantly right about being expensive, she is chestnut and white( known as blenheim in the world of cavaliers). Cavalier spaniels are super sweet , but according to my vet in particular and information on the breed nearly all will have some sort of heart problem by ten. I think part of the reason for the cost is the strict breeding rules for this breed. Loved the hub.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on November 23, 2012:

Angus definitely looks expensive. You must take great care of him! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Thelma Alberts from Germany on November 23, 2012:

Wow! I did not know that my dog Angus is one of the most expensive dog breeds. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend!

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on November 12, 2012:

Thanks for your comments! eHealer did you have a Tibetan Mastiff in Vegas or was this somewhere else? I would love to have a Great Pyrenees but worry about that dog handling the heat.

lrc7815, you would be a great Saluki mom, but could you have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in the house at the same time? That would deserve a humorous hub!

Linda Crist from Central Virginia on November 12, 2012:

I love your hubs DrMark, no matter what they are about. Something about these four-leggeds just makes the day warmer. I will never own one because of their price but will continue to dream of loving a King Charles Spaniel and a Saluki. Odd combination, isn't it? Thanks for always giving your readers the truth about the breeds so that we can make informed decisions.

Deborah from Las Vegas on November 12, 2012:

Very interesting DrMark, great photos as always. I had no idea that a mastiff was that expensive! I had one in my younger years and was a great companion and run-buddy. Thanks and voted up!