For those who love small dogs, the search for the perfect breed can be an exciting adventure. However, some small dog breeds come with a hefty price tag that may make your eyes water. These pups are prized for their unique qualities, including their rare coat colors and adorable personalities. Although they may not be the most practical choice for every budget, their devoted fans swear by their extraordinary qualities and charm. So, if you’re looking for a small dog with a big personality (and price tag), these elite breeds may be just what you’re looking for. Let’s check out the top 10 most expensive small dog breeds!
10. Chihuahua – $400 to $1,500
Chihuahuas have been consistently recognized as a highly popular breed by the American Kennel Club, or AKC, since the 1960s, holding the 11th position among the 155 breeds and varieties acknowledged.
These elegant canines, weighing a maximum of 6 pounds, exhibit a terrier-like personality and a distinctive “apple” shaped head. Their remarkably expressive, round, and bright eyes are accentuated by upright ears. Chihuahuas are available in various colors and patterns, with their fur being either short or long.
These dogs usually have a weight range of 2 to 6 pounds and a height of only around 5 inches.
Often regarded as lap dogs, these canines seek their owners’ affection and devotion. However, they also enjoy staying active and engaged. Chihuahuas can be exceptional family companions when treated with respect; however, they are known to occasionally snap at young children or unfamiliar individuals who may seem threatening due to their small stature.
The cost of these tiny dogs can differ considerably. An older dog without documentation may be priced around $100, while a young canine from a well-respected breeder can range from $400 to $1,500, with females typically costing more than males.
The teacup chihuahua, a highly sought-after variety due to its minute size, can sell at prices up to $2,000!
9. Papillon – $500 to $2,000
The papillon breed, initially bred from toy spaniels to serve as lap dogs, has been acknowledged by the American Kennel Club since 1915, holding the 53rd position among popular dog breeds in the United States.
These cute-looking canines are petite, featuring butterfly-like ears and a luxurious, silky coat. Their tail forms a plume, gracefully waving behind them. A distinguishing feature of the papillon is its lack of an undercoat, preventing excessive shedding and reduced matting in its lengthy fur. Both male and female papillons measure between 8 to 12 inches in height and weigh between 3 to 10 pounds.
Papillons are cheerful and extroverted dogs that take pleasure in relaxing on laps and engaging in indoor activities. Their personalities are spirited and energetic, but they are generally not high-strung, anxious, or prone to excessive barking.
Papillon can go for as low as $500, depending on the dog’s condition. However, a well-regarded breeder may ask for $2,000 or higher. Although papillons are a favored breed by many, they can be relatively challenging to find.
8. Maltese – $600 to $2,000
Maltese canines have been a treasured breed in the United States since gaining acknowledgment from the American Kennel Club in 1888.
These pretty dogs are known for their stunning floor-length coats, playful personalities, adaptability, and charming nature. They are toy companions that weigh less than 7 pounds and have a compact body that moves with a smooth and effortless gait.
Malteses typically weigh around 4 to 6 pounds and stand at a height of 9 or 10 inches. The Maltese breed is well-known for its gentle, affectionate, intelligent, responsive, and trusting nature. These qualities make them great family pets, as they are lively, playful, and enjoy learning tricks. However, they can be snappy with loud and rowdy children.
Despite their small size, the Maltese breed is known for its fearless presence. These dogs come with a significant price tag which ranges between $600 to $2,000. Breeders may charge higher prices, but their experience and expertise in breeding Maltese justify the cost. In fact, one of the most expensive Maltese dogs ever sold was an AKC-registered purebred pup that fetched $5,000.
7. Chinese Crested – $1,200 to $2,200
The AKC recognized the Chinese crested dog breed in 1991, and they have become well-known for their hairlessness, making them an excellent choice for those with allergies to dog hair.
These toy-sized dogs have a lively and alert temperament and typically stand at a height of 11 to 13 inches. The Chinese crested comes in two types: the hairless and the coated “powderpuff,” which has a soft and silky coat. These dogs have a weight range of 8 to 12 pounds, and their body has smooth and soft skin with small amounts of hair growth limited to particular areas.
The Chinese crested is a fantastic companion and loves spending time with its owner. They are well-suited for various competitive sports such as agility, obedience, and flyball, and they also excel as therapy dogs.
Finding breeders specializing in the Chinese crested is not easy, so puppies typically cost anywhere between $1,200 to $2,200. However, in rare cases, top-quality puppies cost up to $4,000.
6. Pomeranian – $800 to $2,500
The Pomeranian breed received recognition from the American Kennel Club by 1900. Over time, it became a beloved pet in the United States and consistently ranked among the top 20 breeds registered with the AKC.
With its distinctive appearance, including a luxuriant fluffy double coat, alert prick ears, and a square-shaped body, the Pomeranian is easily recognizable. Its fluffy tail curled up and over the back, along with a thick ruff around the neck, give the impression that the dog could handle the snows of Alaska. This small breed is considered a true “toy” dog, measuring between 8 to 11 inches and weighing only 3 to 7 pounds.
Known for their intelligence, curiosity, energy, feistiness, and boldness, Pomeranians are also highly playful and crave attention.
The cost of purchasing a Pomeranian puppy can vary greatly, typically ranging from $800 to $2,500 from reputable breeders. However, specialized Poms, such as the black Pomeranian, can fetch a higher price. For example, Paris Hilton once paid $13,000 for a 1lb 4oz, 5-month-old Pomeranian. The higher cost for this breed is due to the time and money invested in breeding and raising.
5. Lhasa Apso – $1,500 to $2,500
The Lhasa Apso is an ancient breed that was once used as sentinels at monasteries and palaces high in the Himalayas. They were first introduced to the United States as gifts from the Dalai Lama. This breed received recognition from the AKC as an official breed in 1935.
When fully grown, male Lhasa Apsos measure approximately 10 to 11 inches in height and can weigh between 12 to 18 pounds. While female Lhasa Apsos are slightly smaller, they still possess the beautiful coat colors of black, tan, cream, white, and red. Although less common, Lhasa Apsos can also come in shades of blue, gray, and silver.
The Lhasa Apso has a unique personality that is a combination of happy, mischievous, and playful, but also regal, independent, and fierce. They are exceptional watchdogs that possess a sharp and loud bark. While Lhasa Apsos can do well with children, it’s important to supervise them and expose them to children at an early age.
If you plan on purchasing a Lhasa Apso puppy from a reputable breeder, be ready to spend between $1,500 to $2,500. Additionally, you will need to purchase initial supplies for your new furry companion. An interesting fact is that a Lhasa Apso named “Trouble” was so loved that its owner, Danielle Taratola, paid $50,000 to have the dog cloned after its passing.
4. Pekingese – $750 to $3,000
The Pekingese breed was initially bred to serve as beloved pets for the Chinese emperors in their palaces. After being accepted by the American Kennel Club in 1906, the Pekingese became a popular dog breed in the United States.
These small dogs have long bodies with slightly bowed legs that contribute to their distinct “rolling” gait. Their sturdy build and shortened muzzles, large prominent eyes, and “v” shaped nose wrinkle between the eyes and muzzle make them easily recognizable. Pekes can weigh anywhere from 6 to 14 pounds and stand 6 to 9 inches tall.
One of the defining characteristics of the Pekingese breed is their friendly and loving personality. They are intelligent and form strong bonds with their human companions. Having once lived in palaces, they have developed an independent demeanor like their royal owners.
The Pekingese breed, once prevalent in China’s capital, has experienced a decline in popularity lately. However, a considerable demand for the breed still exists, resulting in elevated prices. The average cost of a Pekingese ranges from $750 to $3,000.
3. Boston Terrier – $350 to $3,300
The American Kennel Club recognized this “American Gentleman” as a non-sporting breed in 1893, with color and markings playing a vital role in distinguishing them according to the AKC standard.
With a short tail, these little dogs are well-balanced, compact, and typically weigh no more than 25 pounds. Their tuxedo coat comes in a combination of black, brindle, or seal (dark brown) and white. With a square head and a short muzzle, their round and large eyes sparkle with affection, curiosity, or playfulness. The males are usually 17 inches tall, while the females are a bit shorter.
Boston terriers are known for their friendly, happy, and loving temperament. Their playful nature and humorous antics contribute to their unique personalities. They get along well with people, including strangers and children, as well as other pets.
One of the reasons for the breed’s expensive reputation is its long list of health issues. Their flat-faced structure makes them prone to various breathing problems, including pinched nostrils, narrowed airways, and elongated soft palates.
The average cost of purchasing a Boston Terrier falls between $350 and $3,300, with buying from a breeder costing approximately $1,000 on average. The initial cost depends on factors such as location, lineage, and breeder location. The seal and white or seal brindle and white color combination is considered the most expensive.
2. Bichon Frise – $1,000 to $4,000
The Bichon Frise breed was introduced to the United States in 1955 and later registered in the American Kennel Club Stud Book in October 1972.
With a powder-puff coat, they resemble poodles, having a curly outer coat and a soft undercoat that feels silky. Bichons come in various colors like white, white and buff, cream, apricot, or gray, with a slightly longer body length than their height. They carry their plumed tail over their back and weigh between 7 to 12 pounds, standing just under 12 inches in height.
These small and alert dogs are adaptable companions that are great with both children and other pets. They possess a curious and friendly nature, serving as excellent watchdogs despite their size.
Although the Bichon Frise comes with a considerable price tag, which can vary depending on the region, pedigree, and upbringing of the puppy, owning a healthy and vet-checked Bichon is well worth the cost. It is important to ensure that the mother is well cared for and that the puppy is likely to have a happy and long life. The breed is prone to various medical conditions, so investing in a healthy puppy is crucial.
1. Brussels Griffon – $1,500 to $4,000
The origins of the Brussels griffon date back to the early 1800s in the Belgian city of Brussels. The breed was officially recognized by the AKC in 1910. With a distinctive appearance, the Brussels griffon is known for its alert and charming demeanor. They have a round head with dark, expressive eyes, a short snout, and an upturned nose. This breed comes in two coat varieties: rough and wiry or smooth, with colors ranging from reddish-brown to black.
Weighing between 8 and 12 pounds and standing about 10 inches tall at the shoulder, Brussels griffons are small dogs. They are also highly intelligent and capable of learning a variety of tricks, though house training can be a challenge.
Due to their small size, Brussels griffons often have a small litter, making them difficult to breed. This results in high demand and a limited supply, causing breeders to maintain waitlists for potential owners.
The average price for a puppy is around $2,300, although it can vary between $1,500 to $4,000. The first year of expenses for a Brussels griffon is estimated to be around $4,555, making it one of the more expensive small dog breeds to own.
Most Expensive Dog Breed Honorable Mentions
There are several small dog breeds that didn’t quite make the cut as the most expensive but are quite worthy of mention due to their size and price tag.
|Small Dog Breed||Cost||Average Size/Weight||Traits|
|1||Toy Fox Terrier||$800 – $2,500||8.5-11.5 in, 3.5-7 lbs||Mix of Toy Terrier, Chihuahua, and Manchester Terrier; known for intelligence, agility, and alertness|
|2||Japanese Chin||$1,000 – $2,500||7-11 in, 4-9 lbs||Distinctive pushed-in faces; cat-like personalities; were popular with Japanese nobility|
|3||Havanese||$650 – $2,000||8.5-11.5 in, 7-13 lbs||Long, silky coats; adaptable, social, great family pets; popular in Cuba|
|4||Toy Poodle||$500 – $3,500||10 in or less, 4-6 lbs||Highly intelligent, versatile, athletic; hypoallergenic coats|
|5||Shih Tzu||$500 – $2,000||9-10.5 in, 9-16 lbs||Long, flowing coat, distinctive underbite; companions to Chinese royalty|
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