10 of the most expensive dog breeds in the world – how does your pooch measure up?

  • During the Covid pandemic, the price of puppies sold in Britain more than doubled. The average purchase price was around £2,240, while popular breeds soared to as much as £4,000. According to pet buying and adoption website Pets4Homes, prices for cocker spaniels increased by 184% during this time. However, puppy mania has now settled down, and average prices are now back down to £1,875 (still considerably more than the £867 pre-Covid). But average prices mean little if you have your heart set on a particular breed – especially if you’re thinking about one of the most expensive dog breeds.

    Of course, whatever the one-off price-tag of the dog, they all exert considerable and ongoing pressure on the budget, and this again varies from breed to breed. The most expensive dog breeds may not necessarily cost the most to keep, groom, insure and so on. A small, low-maintenance dog with a coat that doesn’t require clipping or professional grooming will be the cheapest to keep (small dogs tend to be cheaper to insure as well as have lower food bills).

    Individual dogs will be priced accordingly and may far exceed the average price for its breed. For example, a highly trained working springer spaniel destined for field trial championships may cost as much as £40,000, while another springer from the same breeder that is heading for a leisure home and sold as an untrained eight-week-old pup would only cost a tiny fraction of that price.

    The jury is out on exactly which are the most expensive dog breeds, because it depends on how the survey is done and naturally prices fluctuate, but here’s a rundown of the breeds with the highest price-tags in the UK. Expect to pay anything from £2,000–£3,500 for a puppy from any of the breeds on this shortlist. One thing’s for sure, there’s no particular type of pricey dog; they come in all shapes, sizes (including some of the smallest dog breeds and largest dog breeds), flat noses, pointy snouts, fluffy coats and smooth, long legs and short.

    10 of the most expensive dog breeds

    Italian greyhound is one of the most expensive dog breeds

    Italian Greyhound

    These toy-sized greyhounds – easily confused for whippets – are the smallest sighthound breed. They are lively, delicate and fizzy, with a high prey drive quite out of kilter with other toy breeds. If you’re simply after a speedy dog, you can pick up a regular greyhound for three figures – they are among the cheapest dogs to buy.

    Pair of expensive Samoyed dog breeds


    A friendly, playful breed that developed in Siberia, these pricey pups have a natural smile on their face that is very appealing – besides their fluffy white coats. Although they shed their luxurious undercoat twice a year, they are considered a hypoallergenic breed, which adds to their popularity.

    English Bulldog in motion

    English Bulldog

    By whichever measure you want to ascertain the most expensive dog, this brawny little bruiser comes top of many lists. The furrowed brow and pushed-in nose of this British dog breed aren’t to everyone’s tastes, but this is an easy-going breed, kind, courageous and dignified and they adapt well to both urban and rural settings.

    Cavapoo puppy running


    Cross-breeds have grown in popularity, particularly in the pandemic when new dog owners sought out hypoallergenic dogs. As the poodle is one of the best dogs to keep for those suffering from allergies, many people have jumped on to the “doodle” bandwagon and bought poodle crosses. The cavapoo (sometimes known as a “cavoodle”) is a cross between a poodle (usually mini) and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They were originally bred for low shedding, and are a small versatile dog, making them one of the most popular cross-breeds.

    Bernese Mountain Dog on beach

    Bernese Mountain Dog

    Large and powerful, these Swiss natives were bred to assist with farm work, even pulling small carts, herding cattle and acting as guard dogs. But they have super, gentle temperaments and are popular family dogs. Be aware that this is an expensive dog not only to buy, but in terms of ongoing costs.

    Chow chow dog lying on wall

    Chow chow

    Looking like a small bear, the Chow Chow commands a high price – especially one with champion bloodlines – and are best suited to experienced dog owners. They are also expensive to keep and have high grooming requirements.

    Mini dachshund in dandelion field

    Miniature dachshund

    One of the smallest dog breeds, the miniature dachshund is typically more expensive than its larger counterpart, and has been on-trend for over a decade and its popularity shows no signs of waning. Make sure you buy from a reputable breeder as there are plenty of rogue ones out there selling poorly bred and raised pups, trying to make a quick buck from this adorable little money-spinner.

    Cockapoo dog in the Highlands of Scotland


    Like its fellow spaniel/poodle cross-breed, the cavapoo, the popularity of the cocker spaniel version soared in lockdown. They are viewed as the go-to breed for hypoallergenic dogs. This is one of the first of the “designer” breeds, dating back over 50 years and its status is at a peak despite not being a pedigree dog.

    Cavalier King Charles spaniel with four puppies

    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

    The smallest and most expensive of the spaniel breeds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a toy-type breed originally bred as a lap dog. They also make great therapy dogs, being affectionate and friendly to everyone! The early breed can be traced back to the 16th century when Queen Elizabeth I had a spaniel as a comforter, and so the King Charles developed in the courts of Charles I and II. How appropriate that with the advent of King Charles III, their aristocratic origins come with a corresponding price-tag.

    French bulldog on a log: one of the most expensive dog breeds

    French Bulldog

    This compact and affectionate breed is the most popular dog in the US. They’re a great little dog for those living in urban areas, because they do fine in small spaces, aren’t noisy and don’t require long country walks, which boosts their market. Some colours and patterns have rare genetics for which breeders can up their price. They’re also really expensive to breed, because they often require C-sections. Bear in mind, too, that these dogs often suffer from health problems, so they are costly both to keep and insure.

    You may also enjoy reading…

    25 fabulous facts about dogs

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...