Once upon a time Australia was home to kelpies, border collies and cattle dogs but as more and more Australians move into the city (and smaller spaces), the types of dogs we love is changing.
Working dogs aren’t always ideal in the city so enter the designer dogs which tend to be expensive dogs! These are built for looks and personality and often imported from overseas - but a designer man's best friend comes at a price.
What is the most expensive dog ever sold?
The most expensive dog ever sold was a Tibetan Mastiff which was sold for a cool $2.2million in China. While Australian prices don't reflect that price, you do pay a premium for purebred, pedigree and rare dog breeds bought as puppies.
So, what makes a dog expensive?
Well, there are a few factors that influence the price of a pup; demand, availability and perceived value.
For example, one of the most expensive dog breeds is the French Bulldog. As the demand for French Bulldogs has skyrocketed (registrations are up 349 per cent) over a six year period so too has their price with a Frenchie puppy costing around $3,500-$4,000.
Prices for dogs differ all over the country and the world for different breeds depending on the popularity of the type of breed.
How are expensive dogs bred?
It is always highly recommended that you purchase a dog only from a registered breeder or rescue shelter.
If you’re after a purebred or pedigree dog ask to see Official Certificate of Registration papers and a breeding line.
For a list of recommended breeders contact the National Breed Councils for the breed you’re interested in.
Of course, there are expensive dogs who are bred in terrible conditions and you can talk to the RSPCA if you have concerns over their health or welfare or want more information.
Here’s a list of some of the most expensive (and rare) dogs in the world.
20. Black Russian Terrier
Quite a rare find in Australia, the Black Russian Terrier (BRT) or Chornyi Terrier is a working and companion dog.
This relatively new breed is not a true terrier but a mix of Airedale, the Giant Schnauzer, the Rottweiler, the Newfoundland and the Caucasian Shepherd Dog.
19. Saint Bernard
These cuddly, gentle giants are the perfect family hound.
They were originally bred in the western alps of Italy and Switzerland to help rescue hikers with the first record of a St Bernard being dating back as early as 1660.
18. Irish Wolfhound
Irish Wolfhounds have a calm, caring nature and make a great family dog. Don’t be fooled by their slender frame, Irish Wolfhounds can have many different personalities.
Price: $1,500 - $4,500
Akita’s are a beautiful, mountainous dog that was bred for hunting bears in Japan. They are more of a family dog and prefer to be in pairs or alone than in big packs.
With silky ears and kind eyes, it's no wonder Saluki’s fetch such a high price. They are the Royal Dog of Egypt and affectionately known as the Pharaoh’s best friend or ‘Gazelle Hounds’.
15. Pharaoh Hound
Price: $2,500 - $6,000
The national dog of Malta, this golden breed is known for its playful nature. Pharaoh Hounds are a lean dog with very little fat and are extremely agile. They come with such an expensive price tag as they are only bred in Malta.
14. French Mastiff
With a honey-coloured coat and a strong jawline, the French Mastiff was once considered a status symbol. They make great guard dogs.
This cuddly companion is one of the most expensive additions to this list for its size. Maltese dogs make the perfect lapdog, they are great for those who live in small spaces as they don’t need a lot of space. Even though they don’t bite they have a shrill bark which sadly means they often end up abandoned in shelters.
12. Yorkshire Terrier
Price: $600 - $3,000
Fondly called a Yorkie, Yorkshire Terriers are another dog that is great for apartment living. They are great with kids but can also be difficult with other dogs unless well socialised.
Similar in shape and size to a Greyhound the Azawakh form unrivalled bonds with their owners. They don’t love meeting strangers and other dogs but are one of the most loyal dogs.
10. French Bulldog
French Bulldogs, also known as the “cafe-latte companion” have climbed up this list. Their wrinkly snouts and fun-loving personalities are perfect for young people who live in small spaces.
9. Hairless Chinese Crested
One of the world’s most exotic dogs, the Hairless Chinese Crested Dog has a single coat of fur. Despite their size, they actually make great watch dogs as they keep an eye on everything in the household and will raise alarm when something isn’t going as usual. Many are described as intelligent.
8. German Shepherd
Also known as Alsations, German Shepards were developed to guard and protect flocks of sheep. To this day they are still used as guard dogs but also in the police force as they are extremely intelligent and can be taught new ticks at almost any age!
7. Tibetan Mastiff
Price: $2,000 - $7,000
The Tibetan Mastiff is one of the most expensive dogs in the world. They grow to around 100kg and love big open spaces.
6. Canadian Eskimo Dog
One of North America’s oldest and rarest purebred dogs the Canadian Eskimo Dog make a great guard dog but are also very affectionate. Unfortunately, this breed is on the brink of extinction with less than 500 dogs registered in North America.
Price: $2,000 - $8,000
Rottweilers are some of the most loyal dogs, they are obedient and devoted to their owners - to the extent that they can sometimes be overly aggressive to strangers and other animals. They are also one of the first picks for police and military personnel.
A breed that we don’t see often in Australia is the Lowchen as they are extremely rare with only a few hundred bred around the world every year. They are known as the ‘Little Lion Dog’ or toy dog and have always been a companion dog who doesn’t like to bark.
3. English Bulldog
Price: $2,500 - $9,000
With a face only a mother could love, English Bulldogs are one of the most popular breeds in the world. With a humorous personality, they are great with children but unfortunately have a long list of genetic health problems.
2. Chow Chow
Price: $3,000 - $9,000
Originating from China, the Chow Chow is affectionately called Songshi Quan or ‘puffy lion dog.’ Chow Chow’s date back to 300 BC where they are believed to have served as hunting and birding dogs. They are also known for their unique blue-black tongue.
Price: $4,000 - $11,000
A huge white ball of fluff and fun, Samoyeds, who also go by the nickname ‘Smiley’ are the perfect family dog. They have a playful nature and love kids so much that they make terrible guard dogs as they are too friendly!