16 Puppies You Could Buy Under $400 in the US. With Pictures


Buying a puppy is expensive, and getting one under $400 is a real challenge. After reviewing thousands of ads from all over the US, we have discovered 16 breeds that can potentially be bought on a tight budget. The following breeds are rarely sold for less than $400, but we could find a few puppies under 6 months old available for this price during our research.

Buying a good and healthy puppy for this budget will require patience and work. Be sure to read the last paragraph of this article to avoid bad surprises as you always want to make sure to buy a healthy and happy puppy from a responsible breeder.

Buying a puppy for $400 or less is rare but possible for the following breeds: Labrador, Blue Heeler, Aussie, Beagle, Husky, Chihuahua, German Shepherd, Border Collie, Great Pyrenees, Mini American Shepherd, Shih Tzu, Dachshund, or Min Pin. Adoption will be the safest and easiest way to find a puppy.

Keep reading to know which breed will be easier to find and get some tips on finding a cheaper puppy. If you are on a tight budget, we invite you to read our complete cost analysis (supplies, food, vet, training, grooming, etc.) for the breeds you are interested in to find how much the dog will really cost you every month.

The puppy is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the cost of owning a dog.

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Labrador Retriever – Hard to find

Average Price: $800
Usual Price Range: $400 – $1,500
Ads Found: 3,160
Ads Under $400: 338
11% of the puppies found were under $400
Breed Popularity Ranking: 1
Weight: 55 to 80 lb.
Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Labrador.

German Shepherd – Hard to find

Average Price: $800
Usual Price Range: $450 – $1,900
Ads Found: 2,349
Ads Under $400: 230
10% of the puppies found were under $400
Breed Popularity Ranking: 2
Weight: 50 to 90 lb.
Life Expectancy: 7 to 10 years

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a German Shepherd.

Australian Shepherd – Hard to find

Average Price: $800
Usual Price Range: $400 – $1,500
Ads Found: 1,740
Ads Under $400: 219
13% of the puppies found were under $400
Breed Popularity Ranking: 13
Weight: 40 to 65 lb.
Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own an Australian Shepherd.

Siberian Husky – Hard to find

Average Price: $650
Usual Price Range: $400 – $1,200
Ads Found: 1,485
Ads Under $400: 205
14% of the puppies found were under $400
Breed Popularity Ranking: 15
Weight: 35 to 60 lb.
Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Husky.

Beagle – Hard to find

Average Price: $550
Usual Price Range: $295 – $1,125
Ads Found: 528
Ads Under $400: 174
33% of the puppies found were under $400
Breed Popularity Ranking: 7
Weight: 20 to 30 lb.
Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Beagle.

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Chihuahua – Hard to find

Average Price: $800
Usual Price Range: $375 – $2,420
Ads Found: 899
Ads Under $400: 146
16% of the puppies found were under $400
Breed Popularity Ranking: 35
Weight: 3 to 6 lb.
Life Expectancy: 14 to 16 years

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Chihuahua.

Border Collie – Very hard to find

Average Price: $700
Usual Price Range: $300 – $1,000
Ads Found: 513
Ads Under $400: 129
25% of the puppies found were under $400
Breed Popularity Ranking: 33
Weight: 30 to 55 lb.
Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Border Collie.

Australian Cattle Dog – Very hard to find

Average Price: $450
Usual Price Range: $250 – $1,200
Ads Found: 300
Ads Under $400: 128
43% of the puppies found were under $400
Breed Popularity Ranking: 55
Weight: 35 to 50 lb.
Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own an Australian Cattle Dog.

Mini American Shepherd – Very hard to find

Average Price: $800
Usual Price Range: $450 – $1,500
Ads Found: 1,102
Ads Under $400: 90
8% of the puppies found were under $400
Breed Popularity Ranking: 29
Weight: 20 to 40 lb.
Life Expectancy: 12 to 13 years

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Miniature American Shepherd.

WONDERING WHERE TO FIND A PUPPY OR A DOG? Our Guide will help you find a dog near you.

Great Dane – Very hard to find

Average Price: $1,000
Usual Price Range: $500 – $1,800
Ads Found: 1,445
Ads Under $400: 89
6% of the puppies found were under $400
Breed Popularity Ranking: 17
Weight: 110 to 175 lb.
Life Expectancy: 7 to 10 years

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Great Dane.

Great Pyrenees – Very hard to find

Average Price: $550
Usual Price Range: $290 – $1,000
Ads Found: 267
Ads Under $400: 76
28% of the puppies found were under $400
Breed Popularity Ranking: 69
Weight: 85 to 160 lb.
Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Great Pyrenees.

Dachshund – Very hard to find

Average Price: $850
Usual Price Range: $450 – $1,500
Ads Found: 593
Ads Under $400: 54
9% of the puppies found were under $400
Breed Popularity Ranking: 11
Weight: 16 to 32 lb.
Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Dachshund.

Shih Tzu – Very hard to find

Average Price: $850
Usual Price Range: $500 – $1,600
Ads Found: 1,173
Ads Under $400: 49
4% of the puppies found were under $400
Breed Popularity Ranking: 20
Weight: 9 to 16 lb.
Life Expectancy: 10 to 18 years

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Shih Tzu.

Boxer – Very hard to find

Average Price: $900
Usual Price Range: $500 – $1,500
Ads Found: 1,041
Ads Under $400: 43
4% of the puppies found were under $400
Breed Popularity Ranking: 14
Weight: 40 to 80 lb.
Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Boxer.

German Shorthaired Pointer – Very hard to find

Average Price: $800
Usual Price Range: $500 – $1,000
Ads Found: 663
Ads Under $400: 37
6% of the puppies found were under $400
Breed Popularity Ranking: 9
Weight: 45 to 70 lb.
Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a German Shorthaired Pointer.

Collie – Very hard to find

Average Price: $800
Usual Price Range: $375 – $1,450
Ads Found: 288
Ads Under $400: 35
12% of the puppies found were under $400
Breed Popularity Ranking: 38
Weight: 50 to 75 lb.
Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Collie.

During our analysis we had also found puppies from other breeds at this price point like Yorkies, Pomeranians, Brittany dogs, Poodles, Boston Terriers, Dobermans, Mini Schnauzers, Rottweilers, and Golden Retrievers. But there were even lower quantities available than the 16 breeds introduced previously, making the research even harder.

On a personal note, I would not buy a puppy for less than $400 unless it was from a family member or friend that I was sure had cared for their pregnant dog and puppies and was only trying to cover their expenses. Otherwise, I would focus on finding a young dog or puppy to adopt.

When buying a puppy for this amount of money, you can almost be sure that it was bred in a puppy mill or by an unscrupulous backyard breeder. First, it is essential to know that the risk of health issues or behavioral problems is higher for these puppies than for a dog bred by a caring and responsible breeder. Second, it is best not to encourage breeders solely motivated by profits and neglecting animal welfare. But if your puppy comes from one of these breeders, I still think that any dog deserves to be with a loving family (they didn’t choose their breeder after all).

Did not find your favorite breed and looking for more options? Read our article about puppies you can buy for $500 or less.

WHERE CAN I FIND A DOG?
WHAT SUPPLIES DO I NEED?
WHAT SHOULD I ASK THE VET?
WHERE TO FIND THE BEST PRICES ON DOG FOOD?
Please find all the answers to your questions in our Guide. It’s a 5-minute read packed with useful information.

How to find a cheaper puppy?

Here are a few tips to find a cheaper puppy:

  • Adopt. Puppies for adoptions are rare and get rehomed extremely fast, but it is possible to find one if you are willing to invest the time to search and visit shelter websites regularly. Adoption should always be considered first.
  • Buy an older puppy. As they grow older, prices tend to go down as breeders are more in a rush to sell. In fact, most people want to buy very young dogs. Therefore, a 6-month-old pup is likely to be cheaper than an 8-week-old one.
  • Expand your research territory. Breed popularity and prices as well as breeders’ operating costs vary depending on location. Future owners who are willing to drive further away have better chances of finding a good price for their dog.
  • Go for a mixed-breed dog. Purebreds tend to be more expensive, and some mixed-breed puppies will look almost exactly like your favorite breed.
  • Ask around. Just by letting family and friends know that you are looking for a pet, you might be informed that a trustworthy person near you has a pregnant dog and could get one of the puppies.

Even on a budget, always make sure to buy from a serious and responsible breeder. You will have a much better chance of getting a healthy dog without behavioral problems. Avoid puppy mills and unreliable backyard breeders. Before buying a puppy, visit the kennel, question the breeder about the breeding process and how he cares for his breeding dogs and puppies, and make sure to see and interact with the puppy to see if it looks healthy.

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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.

This article is based on information we found while researching and does not guarantee that it will be possible to find a puppy at this price at the time the article is read.

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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