The 13 Most Expensive Dog Breeds to Own


After studying the cost of over 150 breeds in the US, reviewing thousands of puppy ads, and interviewing many pet professionals, I thought it would be interesting to find the most expensive breeds to own based on the monthly expenses that an owner should expect. I considered many costs, such as the dog or puppy, supplies, food and treats, training, grooming, vet, license, and microchip.

Extra-large dogs such as Tibetan Mastiffs, Black Russian Terriers, Neapolitan Mastiffs, Dogues de Bordeaux, and Bouviers des Flandres are the most expensive breeds based on monthly expenses. An owner can expect to spend over $200 per month on average in essential expenses only for these dogs.

Additionally, costs like insurance ($565 per year on average), spaying or neutering ($100 to $500), dog walking ($15 to $50 per walk), or boarding services ($25 to $85 per day) would increase the cost of ownership as well. It is also essential to know that costs can vary significantly depending on products and services quality and the area you live in.

Below, we detail each breed’s cost based on professional recommendations and estimations from a dog trainer, two licensed veterinarians, a certified groomer, and a dog walker from the US. If you are interested in a specific breed, check the related cost article to learn everything there is to know and find professional tips. You will also find a cost calculator that will enable you to establish a budget based on your needs and preferences.

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Essential costs to consider for a dog

Before going into details about the cost for the 13 most expensive dog breeds, here is a quick explanation of the expenses considered essentials in this article.

Puppy or dog

We have accounted for the cost of acquiring a dog. In the US, a puppy will cost $1,300 on average ($2,000 for the expensive dog breeds below), and most will fall in the $500 to $2,500 range. It could be much more for quality show purebred dogs with a prestigious bloodline. On the other hand, adoption is much cheaper and generally costs $50 to $500.

If you want to know more about the price of puppies in the US or compare this breed with 150 others, check our puppy prices article based on the analysis of close to 50,000 ads (for 151 different breeds).

Supplies

Any owner will need to purchase dog supplies for their dog. The bigger the dog, the more expensive it gets. We have considered prices for the following items in this research: bowls, leash, collar with ID tag, bed and crate, poop bags and scooper, training pads, odor removal spray, toys, first-aid kit, brush, shampoo, tooth-brushing kit, and toenail clippers. Some owners could need more supplies. Although the initial investment is higher, some items will need to be replenished or replaced, and an owner will have to buy dog supplies every year.

Check our Dog Supplies Guide and get tips to choose the right items for you and your dog (bowls, collar, leash, bed and crate size, etc.). Learn everything about costs, and find the best products available.

Basic training

Every dog would benefit from training. Although some breeds tend to be more docile, each dog is very different, and training needs must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Whether the owner trains the dog himself or hires a professional for group or private lessons, a dog should always be properly socialized, know basic training commands, be potty and crate trained. Positive reinforcement training methods will give the best results.

Medical costs

It is recommended that a puppy goes to the vet at least three times during the first year and an adult dog at least once every year. These appointments are for a physical checkup, necessary vaccines, and any recommended examination or test. Veterinarians like Dr. Brooks, DVM, recommend using heartworm, flea, and tick prevention medication to reduce the risks for the dog to develop a dangerous illness. The bigger the dog, the more expensive it gets.

Read our article titled a veterinarian explains medical costs for a dog to learn more and get tips to save on vet expenses.

Food and treats

There are so many types of food, diets, and brands that it can be overwhelming. To establish the costs in this article, we have considered some of the most popular dry food brands as it remains the most common dog food type. In general, bigger dogs will need to eat more, but other factors such as age and activity level will also have an impact.

Treats can easily be more expensive than food if given daily. There are many reasons to give a dog treat: to supplement his diet, stimulate him, help with training, etc.

When it comes to food and treats, prices are all over the place. Some brands are very accessible, while some premium quality products can be considerably more expensive.

Grooming

Short-haired dogs or the ones with a low-maintenance coat could be groomed at home with basic supplies. Visiting a grooming salon could be avoided if the owner is willing to do the essential grooming himself. Brush the dog regularly (ideally daily), cut his nails once every 2 to 6 weeks, brush his teeth at least once a week (ideally more), and bathe him once every one to three months. Clean the eyes with cotton and water and the ears with an ear cleaning solution when necessary. And if needed, remove any extra hair under the paws, around the eyes, and in the ears.

Wire-haired, long-coated, or curly-coated breeds will most likely need to be professionally groomed multiple times every year on top of that, as it would be too challenging for most owners to care for their coats.

License and microchip

Licenses are mandatory almost everywhere and usually are between $10 and $20 yearly in the USA, depending on your location. A microchip is also required in most states and usually costs from $25 to $50. Both are useful to identify the dog if he gets lost and make locating you much easier.

Most expensive dog breeds

13 – Bullmastiff – $201/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $1,500
Average First Year Expenses: $3,500 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $2,040
Average Cost of Ownership: $19,280
Cost of Ownership Range: $9,995 – $31,175
Average Monthly Cost: $201

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 52
Weight: 100 to 130 lb.
Life Expectancy: 7 to 9 years
Breed Personality: Affectionate, Loyal, Brave

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Bullmastiff or learn Where to Find a Bullmastiff Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

12 – Briard – $203/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $2,150
Average First Year Expenses: $2,625 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $2,200
Average Cost of Ownership: $26,775
Cost of Ownership Range: $14,735 – $42,095
Average Monthly Cost: $203

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 135
Weight: 55 to 100 lb.
Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
Breed Personality: Confident, Smart, Faithful

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Briard or learn Where to Find a Briard Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

11 – Mastiff – $204/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $1,200
Average First Year Expenses: $2,680 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $2,240
Average Cost of Ownership: $19,560
Cost of Ownership Range: $9,490 – $32,630
Average Monthly Cost: $204

It is hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 32
Weight: 120 to 230 lb.
Life Expectancy: 6 to 10 years
Breed Personality: Courageous, Dignified, Good-Natured

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Mastiff or learn Where to Find a Mastiff Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

10 – Giant Schnauzer – $205/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $2,500
Average First Year Expenses: $3,440 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $2,190
Average Cost of Ownership: $34,410
Cost of Ownership Range: $18,435 – $53,985
Average Monthly Cost: $205

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 71
Weight: 55 to 85 lb.
Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
Breed Personality: Loyal, Alert, Trainable

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Giant Schnauzer or learn Where to Find a Giant Schnauzer Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

9 – Newfoundland – $206/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $1,200
Average First Year Expenses: $2,730 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $2,305
Average Cost of Ownership: $24,675
Cost of Ownership Range: $10,885 – $41,835
Average Monthly Cost: $206

It is easy to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 40
Weight: 100 to 150 lb.
Life Expectancy: 9 to 10 years
Breed Personality: Sweet, Patient, Devoted

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Newfoundland or learn Where to Find a Newfoundland Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

8 – Boerboel – $208/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $2,000
Average First Year Expenses: $3,295 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $2,180
Average Cost of Ownership: $24,915
Cost of Ownership Range: $12,770 – $40,260
Average Monthly Cost: $208

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 127
Weight: 150 to 200 lb.
Life Expectancy: 9 to 11 years
Breed Personality: Confident, Intelligent, Calm

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Boerboel or learn Where to Find a Boerboel Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

7 – Irish Wolfhound – $208/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $2,000
Average First Year Expenses: $3,300 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $2,030
Average Cost of Ownership: $17,480
Cost of Ownership Range: $9,275 – $27,705
Average Monthly Cost: $208

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 76
Weight: 105 to 120 lb.
Life Expectancy: 6 to 8 years
Breed Personality: Courageous, Dignified, Calm

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own an Irish Wolfhound or learn Where to Find an Irish Wolfhound Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

6 – Goldendoodle – $209/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $2,000
Average First Year Expenses: $3,675 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $2,250
Average Cost of Ownership: $32,675
Cost of Ownership Range: $15,870 – $53,505
Average Monthly Cost: $209

It is very easy to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: NA
Weight: 50 to 90 lb.
Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years
Breed Personality: Affectionate, Intelligent, Loving

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Goldendoodle or learn Where to Find a Goldendoodle Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

5 – Bouvier des Flandres – $210/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $1,800
Average First Year Expenses: $2,620 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $2,330
Average Cost of Ownership: $27,720
Cost of Ownership Range: $15,300 – $43,835
Average Monthly Cost: $210

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 92
Weight: 70 to 110 lb.
Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
Breed Personality: Affectionate, Courageous, Strong-Willed

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Bouvier des Flandres or learn Where to Find a Bouvier des Flandres Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

4 – Dogue de Bordeaux – $211/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $1,500
Average First Year Expenses: $3,595 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $2,105
Average Cost of Ownership: $17,725
Cost of Ownership Range: $9,125 – $29,230
Average Monthly Cost: $211

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 68
Weight: 120 to 145 lb.
Life Expectancy: 5 to 8 years
Breed Personality: Affectionate, Loyal, Courageous

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Dogue de Bordeaux or learn Where to Find a Dogue de Bordeaux Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

3 – Neapolitan Mastiff – $223/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $3,500
Average First Year Expenses: $3,190 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $2,105
Average Cost of Ownership: $21,425
Cost of Ownership Range: $11,345 – $34,070
Average Monthly Cost: $223

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 100
Weight: 110 to 150 lb.
Life Expectancy: 7 to 9 years
Breed Personality: Loyal, Dignified, Watchful

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Neapolitan Mastiff or learn Where to Find a Neapolitan Mastiff Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

2 – Black Russian Terrier – $229/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $2,000
Average First Year Expenses: $3,750 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $2,445
Average Cost of Ownership: $30,200
Cost of Ownership Range: $15,970 – $47,160
Average Monthly Cost: $229

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 114
Weight: 80 to 130 lb.
Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
Breed Personality: Intelligent, Calm, Powerful

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Black Russian Terrier or learn Where to Find a Black Russian Terrier Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

1 – Tibetan Mastiff – $246/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $2,500
Average First Year Expenses: $3,735 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $2,625
Average Cost of Ownership: $32,485
Cost of Ownership Range: $19,440 – $50,330
Average Monthly Cost: $246

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 128
Weight: 70 to 150 lb.
Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
Breed Personality: Independent, Reserved, Intelligent

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Tibetan Mastiff or learn Where to Find a Tibetan Mastiff Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

If you couldn’t find the breed you were looking for in this list, check our breeds page to see more options and get all the information on your favorite dogs.

Total cost of ownership – most expensive breeds

When looking at the total cost of ownership instead of monthly expenses, the results are pretty different. This is mainly because very large dogs tend to have a shorter lifespan. Although they cost more every month, smaller breeds with a much longer life could be more expensive to own when calculating the total amount spent for the dog.

  • 10 – Belgian Malinois: Average Cost of Ownership = $27,855 (Average Life Expectancy = 15 years)
  • 9 – Airedale Terrier: Average Cost of Ownership = $27,935 (Average Life Expectancy = 13 years)
  • 8 – German Wirehaired Pointer: Average Cost of Ownership = $28,130 (Average Life Expectancy = 15 years)
  • 7 – Standard Poodle: Average Cost of Ownership = $28,260 (Average Life Expectancy = 14 years)
  • 6 – Samoyed: Average Cost of Ownership = $28,620 (Average Life Expectancy = 13 years)
  • 5 – Labradoodle: Average Cost of Ownership = $29,475 (Average Life Expectancy = 13 years)
  • 4 – Black Russian Terrier: Average Cost of Ownership = $30,200 (Average Life Expectancy = 11 years)
  • 3 – Tibetan Mastiff: Average Cost of Ownership = $32,485 (Average Life Expectancy = 11 years)
  • 2 – Goldendoodle: Average Cost of Ownership = $32,675 (Average Life Expectancy = 13 years)
  • 1 – Giant Schnauzer: Average Cost of Ownership = $34,410 (Average Life Expectancy = 14 years)

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Additional costs to consider for a dog

Pet insurance

According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, the average premium for accident and illness insurance is close to $49 monthly. This will vary a lot depending on your location, the dog’s breed, and age.

Some medical conditions can be expensive to treat (hundreds or even thousands of dollars). Although purebred dogs may have a higher incidence of inherited disorders, mixed breed dogs are also likely to develop health conditions, such as cancer and heart disorders. No dog owner should have to make critical decisions about their pets based on their ability to afford care. That’s why pet insurance is more popular every year in the US.

If you wonder whether or not you should get pet insurance, we have a simple step-by-step guide to help you make the decision. This could save you thousands of dollars. Also, be aware that there is an alternative to traditional pet insurance available on the market.

Community coverage VS Insurance

Eusoh: Better than Pet Insurance for Complete Health Coverage
Eusoh is a community-based pet insurance alternative in which members share the cost of their veterinary expenses. You get reimbursed for your pet’s medical, wellness, illness, routine care expenses but never pay more than $65/month ($40 on average).

For complete health coverage at a low cost, Eusoh is the best option. On average, members save around 50% when compared to traditional pet insurance. I love the idea of not having to worry about being able to afford medical care for my furry companion. Dogs are family, after all!

– There is no premium, so you don’t overpay for care in your monthly contributions. Any unused contributions are rolled over entirely as a credit.
– You can easily know in advance what will be reimbursed and by how much (usually 80%), and you can submit expenses easily from your smartphone.
– You can choose the veterinarian or healthcare provider you want and are covered for a broader range of services.
– You can get advice from other Eusoh members.

Spaying or neutering

Most specialists recommend that every dog should be spayed or neutered. It remains the owner’s decision in most cases, but know that the procedure could cost $100 to $500 depending on the clinic and the dog’s size.

Dr. Brooks, DVM, would recommend a gastropexy procedure for these large, deep-chested dogs. It usually costs $200 to $400 when performed at the time of sterilization. It is an efficient way to help prevent the stomach from twisting on itself (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus or GDV) which is life-threatening and would require expensive surgery to be corrected.

Dog walking

If you cannot take your dog outside during the day, a dog walker is essential to prevent the dog from getting bored and potentially develop behavioral or health issues. Dog walking usually costs $15 to $25 for a 30-minute walk and $20 to $50 for a one-hour walk. You must be aware that those costs add up very quickly if you need a dog walker five days a week all year long.

Dog boarding

If you are traveling and cannot leave your dog in the care of a family member or friend, dog boarding will usually cost between $25 and $85 per day. It could be more expensive depending on the time of the year.

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If you want to know whether to train your dog yourself or hire a professional and learn about the cost of training classes and supplies, check our article written with a certified dog trainer.

Conclusion

Five of the most expensive dog breeds anyone could own are Tibetan Mastiffs, Black Russian Terriers, Neapolitan Mastiffs, Dogues de Bordeaux, and Bouviers des Flandres. On average, these dogs should cost $210 or more per month in essential expenses only.

It is not surprising to see that the biggest dog breeds dominate this ranking. The bigger the dog, the more expensive almost everything is in general. Big dogs tend to eat more, need more expensive parasite prevention medication, need bigger or heavy-duty products, cost more than a smaller dog with the same coat type to groom, etc. Some smaller breeds (but still large dogs) appear in this ranking either because puppies are very expensive or need a lot of professional grooming, which will cost hundreds of dollars every year.

WONDERING HOW AND WHERE TO FIND A PUPPY TO BUY OR A DOG TO ADOPT? Our Guide will help you find a dog near you. We share the 26 best places to find your perfect pet.

Summary for the most popular expensive dog breeds

A Goldendoodle puppy is likely to cost between $1,200 and $3,200, with the average price being $2,000. First-year expenses are around $3,675 and will be about $2,250/year after that. Through the dog’s lifetime, the average cost of owning a Goldendoodle is $32,675.

A Newfoundland puppy is likely to cost between $600-$2,000, with the average price being $1,200. First-year expenses are around $2,730 and will be about $2,305/year after that. Through the dog’s lifetime, the average cost of owning a Newfoundland is $24,675.

A Mastiff puppy is likely to cost between $600-$2,000, with the average price being $1,200. First-year expenses are around $2,680 and will be about $2,240/year after that. Through the dog’s lifetime, the average cost of owning a Mastiff is $19,560.

A Tibetan Mastiff puppy is likely to cost between $1,800-$4,500, with the average price being $2,500. First-year expenses are around $3,735 and will be about $2,625/year after that. Through the dog’s lifetime, the average cost of owning a Tibetan Mastiff is $32,485.

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This article is original content from PetBudget.

Johann Chapuis

Johann Chapuis has assembled a fantastic team of licensed veterinarians, animal behaviorists, dog trainers, groomers, and walkers to write every article and offer the most accurate content on petbudget.com. Being a pet lover and owner himself, Johann is sharing his experiences and his financial aptitude cultivated during his MBA with a specialization in finance and the numerous years he spent working as a business manager and entrepreneur.

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