Rare dog breeds command big money these days - especially in Australia. So, if you want a designer dog as your best friend, chances are you'll need to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars to get the pup you want.
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 never get that high, you do pay a premium for purebred, pedigree and rare dog breeds when you purchase them as puppies.
So, what makes a dog expensive?
Well, there are a few factors that influence the price of a puppy but the main ones are 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 were up 349 per cent over a six-year period) so too has their price.
Frenchie puppies are regularly sold for around $3,500-$4,000.
Prices for dogs differ all over the country (and the world) depending on the popularity of the breed, which changes over time, often it is what is fashionable!
How are expensive dogs bred?
It’s always recommended that you purchase a pedigree puppy only from a registered breeder.
If you’re after a purebred or pedigree dog, be aware that the risk of health issues may be higher if the breeder doesn't follow best practice. Always ask to see Official Certificate of Registration papers and a breeding line.
For a list of recommended breeders, contact the Australian Nation Kennel Council who maintain breed registries for purebred dogs.
Of course, there are expensive dogs that are bred in terrible conditions, and you can contact the RSPCA if you have concerns over their health or welfare or would like more information.
Do expensive dogs make better pets?
Not necessarily. You could spend big money on a puppy only for it to be an incompatible breed with your lifestyle or home life. Just like people, dogs have different personalities, and you may not get on together!
Expensive dogs are generally bred for a specific look and some personality traits, but there are no guarantees.
You might find that a dog from an organisation like PetRescue suits your family more than a costly canine.
Have dogs got more expensive over the years?
There is little doubt that the cost of a designer dog has gone up over the years with demand at an all-time high - meaning some breeders can command a small fortune for a rare dog. If it's fashionable to own a certain type of dog, prices often rise quickly.
While prices in Australia seem high, dog-lovers in places like China are prepared to spend thousands on certain pups. Owning a Chow Chow, for example, can be seen as a status symbol.
Remember, buying your new pet is just the start of the financial journey! There are many other expenses to consider in order to keep your dog happy and healthy.
Vet bills, insurance and microchipping are only a few of the costs associated with owning a dog.
Wallets at the ready, here’s a list of some of the rarest and most expensive 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.
The Black Russian Terrier tends to live a good long life (9-14 years) although it is prone to some health issues and hereditary conditions.
19. Saint Bernard
These cuddly, gentle giants can hit 120kg and are the perfect family hound if you have the space for a big pet, and a big backyard!
Big, strong but docile and easy to train, they make excellent companions.
St Bernards were originally bred in the Western Alps of Italy and Switzerland to help rescue hikers with the first record of a St Bernard dating back as early as 1660.
18. Irish Wolfhound
Irish Wolfhounds make a great family dog.
Their calm, caring nature means you won’t often have a problem with them being too boisterous or hostile.
As you’d expect, the Irish Wolfhound needs a fair bit of exercise, and grooming is not a particularly easy task.
Price: $1,500 - $4,500
The Akita is a beautiful, mountain-loving dog that was bred for hunting bears in Japan.
They are more of a solitary dog and prefer to be in pairs or alone, rather than in big packs.
With silky ears and kind eyes, it's no wonder a Saluki can fetch 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 as a general rule.
This cuddly companion is one of the most expensive dog breeds if you look at what you pay for in terms of size!
Maltese dogs make the perfect lapdog and are great for those who live in small spaces as they don’t need a lot of exercise. Even though Maltese dogs rarely bite, they do have a shrill bark, which sadly means they often end up in animal shelters, after angry neighbours complain.
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 aggressive and difficult with other dogs unless well socialised and trained.
Similar in shape and size to a Greyhound the Azawakh form unrivalled bonds with their owners.
They don’t love strangers or other dogs but they're incredibly loyal and obedient.
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 and is very intelligent. Despite their size, a Hairless Chinese Crested makes for an excellent guard dog, as they will quickly raise the alarm when something in the house isn’t right.
8. German Shepherd
Also known as Alsatians, German Shepherds were bred to guard and protect flocks of sheep. To this day, they are still used as guard dogs but are also found in the police force as they are extremely intelligent and can be taught new tricks at almost any age.
They're loyal, obedient, intelligent and strong which make them excellent for law-enforcement or as drug detection dogs.
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 makes a great guard dog but they 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 have a poor reputation, due to some being bred and trained to fight other dogs.
They are also one of the first picks to become a working dog in the police and military.
A breed that we don’t see often in Australia is the Lowchen as they are an extremely rare dog breed 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 that doesn’t like to bark.
3. English Bulldog
Price: $2,500 - $9,000
With a face only a mother could love, English Bulldogsare one of the most popular breeds in the world.
With a pleasant personality, they are great with children but unfortunately have a long list of genetic health issues.
2. Chow Chow
Price: $3,000 - $9,000
Originating from China, the Chow Chow is affectionately called Songshi Quan or ‘puffy lion dog’.
Chow Chows date back to 300 BC where it’s thought they 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, 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!
If you want to see that smile every day, it’s going to cost you a small fortune, as Samoyeds top the list as the most expensive dog in the world.