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Top 10 Most Expensive Small Dog Breeds In 2024

For enthusiasts of small dog breeds, finding the ideal companion can be an exhilarating journey. Yet, certain small breeds come with a substantial price tag that might leave you in awe. These sought-after pups are celebrated for their distinctive traits, ranging from rare coat colors to endearing personalities. While they may not fit into every budget, their devoted admirers attest to their exceptional qualities and irresistible charm. If you’re seeking a small dog brimming with personality and accompanied by a notable price tag, these elite breeds could be precisely what you desire. Let’s explore the top 10 most expensive small dog breeds!

Chihuahua – $400 to $1,500

Chihuahuas have consistently ranked among the most popular breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) since the 1960s, securing the 11th position out of 155 breeds and varieties.

These graceful canines, weighing no more than 6 pounds, possess a terrier-like temperament and sport a distinctive “apple” shaped head. Their notably expressive, round eyes, coupled with upright ears, contribute to their charming appearance. Chihuahuas come in a variety of colors and patterns, with fur that can be either short or long.

Typically weighing between 2 to 6 pounds and standing at around 5 inches tall, Chihuahuas are often deemed as lap dogs, seeking affection and companionship from their owners. Despite their small size, they enjoy staying active and engaged. While they can make excellent family pets, it’s important to note that they may exhibit occasional snapping behavior towards young children or unfamiliar individuals perceived as threatening due to their petite stature.

The cost of acquiring a Chihuahua can vary significantly. Older dogs without documentation may be priced around $100, while puppies from reputable breeders can range from $400 to $1,500, with females typically fetching higher prices than males. Additionally, the highly coveted teacup Chihuahua, prized for its miniature size, can command prices as high as $2,000.

Papillon – $500 to $2,000

The Papillon breed, originally developed from toy spaniels to serve as lap companions, has been officially recognized by the American Kennel Club since 1915, holding the 53rd position among popular dog breeds in the United States.

These charming canines boast petite frames, characterized by their butterfly-like ears and a luscious, silky coat. Their tail forms an elegant plume, gracefully waving behind them. Notably, Papillons lack an undercoat, which minimizes shedding and reduces matting in their long fur. Both male and female Papillons typically stand between 8 to 12 inches in height and weigh anywhere from 3 to 10 pounds.

Papillons are known for their cheerful and outgoing nature, enjoying lounging on laps and participating in indoor activities. While spirited and energetic, they are generally not prone to being high-strung, anxious, or excessive barkers.

The cost of acquiring a Papillon can vary depending on factors such as the dog’s condition and the reputation of the breeder. Prices may range from as low as $500 to $2,000 or higher for puppies from reputable breeders. Despite their popularity, Papillons can sometimes be challenging to find.

Maltese – $600 to $2,000

The Maltese breed has held a cherished status in the United States since receiving recognition from the American Kennel Club in 1888.

These elegant dogs are famed for their striking floor-length coats, playful dispositions, adaptability, and delightful personalities. Classified as toy companions, Maltese typically weigh under 7 pounds and possess a compact physique that moves with a smooth and effortless gait.

On average, Maltese dogs weigh around 4 to 6 pounds and stand at a height of 9 to 10 inches. Renowned for their gentle, affectionate, intelligent, responsive, and trusting demeanor, they make wonderful family pets, exuding liveliness, playfulness, and a knack for learning tricks. However, they may exhibit snappy behavior around loud and boisterous children.

Despite their diminutive size, Maltese dogs possess a fearless presence. These beloved companions often come with a notable price tag, ranging from $600 to $2,000. While some breeders may charge higher prices, their expertise and dedication to breeding Maltese dogs justify the cost. In fact, one of the most expensive Maltese dogs ever sold was an AKC-registered purebred pup that commanded a staggering $5,000.

Chinese Crested – $1,200 to $2,200

The Chinese Crested dog breed was officially recognized by the AKC in 1991, gaining fame for their distinctive hairlessness, which makes them an ideal choice for individuals with allergies to dog hair.

These toy-sized companions possess a lively and alert temperament, typically standing at a height of 11 to 13 inches. The Chinese Crested comes in two varieties: the hairless and the coated “powderpuff,” which boasts a soft and silky coat. With a weight range of 8 to 12 pounds, their bodies feature smooth and soft skin with minimal hair growth limited to specific areas.

Chinese Cresteds are renowned for their affectionate nature and enjoy spending quality time with their owners. They excel in various competitive sports such as agility, obedience, and flyball, and they also thrive as therapy dogs.

Due to the breed’s rarity and the difficulty in finding specialized breeders, Chinese Crested puppies typically command prices ranging from $1,200 to $2,200. However, in exceptional cases, top-quality puppies may fetch prices as high as $4,000.

Pomeranian – $800 to $2,500

The Pomeranian breed gained recognition from the American Kennel Club as early as 1900 and has since become a beloved pet in the United States, consistently ranking among the top 20 breeds registered with the AKC.

Easily recognizable by its distinctive appearance, which includes a luxuriant fluffy double coat, alert prick ears, and a square-shaped body, the Pomeranian exudes charm. Its fluffy tail, curled up and over the back, along with a thick ruff around the neck, give the impression of a dog prepared to tackle the snows of Alaska. Despite its diminutive size, this small breed is considered a true “toy” dog, measuring between 8 to 11 inches and weighing only 3 to 7 pounds.

Pomeranians are renowned for their intelligence, curiosity, energy, feistiness, and boldness, as well as their playful nature and desire for attention.

The cost of purchasing a Pomeranian puppy can vary significantly, typically ranging from $800 to $2,500 from reputable breeders. However, specialized Pomeranians, such as the black variety, may command higher prices. For instance, Paris Hilton once paid $13,000 for a 1lb 4oz, 5-month-old Pomeranian. The elevated cost of this breed reflects the time and financial investment involved in breeding and raising these beloved companions.

Lhasa Apso – $1,500 to $2,500

The Lhasa Apso, an ancient breed once revered as sentinels at Himalayan monasteries and palaces, has a rich history. Initially introduced to the United States as gifts from the Dalai Lama, this esteemed breed was officially recognized by the AKC in 1935.

Fully grown male Lhasa Apsos typically stand around 10 to 11 inches tall and weigh between 12 to 18 pounds, while females are slightly smaller. Their coats display a beautiful array of colors including black, tan, cream, white, and red, with less common hues such as blue, gray, and silver.

Known for their unique blend of happy, mischievous, and playful demeanor, coupled with regal, independent, and fierce traits, Lhasa Apsos make exceptional watchdogs with a sharp and assertive bark. While they can coexist well with children, early socialization and supervision are essential.

Purchasing a Lhasa Apso puppy from a reputable breeder typically requires an investment ranging from $1,500 to $2,500, in addition to initial supplies for your new furry companion. Notably, an extraordinary instance of devotion to a Lhasa Apso was demonstrated when its owner, Danielle Taratola, paid $50,000 to have the dog cloned after its passing, highlighting the deep bond shared between owners and these beloved companions.

Pekingese – $750 to $3,000

The Pekingese breed, originally bred to be cherished companions for Chinese emperors within their palaces, gained recognition from the American Kennel Club in 1906, subsequently becoming a popular breed in the United States.

These small dogs boast long bodies and slightly bowed legs, contributing to their distinctive “rolling” gait. Their sturdy build, shortened muzzles, large prominent eyes, and distinctive “v” shaped nose wrinkle between the eyes and muzzle make them easily identifiable. Pekingese typically weigh between 6 to 14 pounds and stand 6 to 9 inches tall.

Known for their friendly and affectionate nature, Pekingese dogs form strong bonds with their human companions and exhibit intelligence. Having once resided in palaces, they possess an independent demeanor akin to their royal predecessors.

While the Pekingese breed has experienced a decline in popularity in recent years, there remains a significant demand for these regal companions, resulting in elevated prices. On average, the cost of acquiring a Pekingese ranges from $750 to $3,000.

Boston Terrier – $350 to $3,300

The American Kennel Club bestowed recognition upon the “American Gentleman,” known as the Boston Terrier, as a non-sporting breed in 1893, with color and markings playing a pivotal role in distinguishing them according to AKC standards.

Characterized by their well-balanced, compact stature and short tails, these diminutive dogs typically weigh no more than 25 pounds. Sporting a tuxedo coat in a combination of black, brindle, or seal (dark brown) and white, Boston Terriers possess square heads and short muzzles, with round, expressive eyes radiating affection, curiosity, or playfulness. Males typically stand around 17 inches tall, while females are slightly shorter.

Renowned for their friendly, happy, and affectionate temperament, Boston Terriers exude charm with their playful nature and humorous antics. They readily socialize with people, including strangers and children, as well as other pets.

Despite their endearing qualities, the breed’s reputation for expense is partly attributed to a myriad of health issues. Their flat-faced structure predisposes them to various breathing problems, including pinched nostrils, narrowed airways, and elongated soft palates.

The average cost of purchasing a Boston Terrier falls within the range of $350 to $3,300, with buying from a breeder typically averaging around $1,000. The initial expense varies based on factors such as location, lineage, and breeder reputation, with the seal and white or seal brindle and white color combination considered the most expensive.

Bichon Frise – $1,000 to $4,000

The Bichon Frise breed made its debut in the United States in 1955 and was officially registered in the American Kennel Club Stud Book in October 1972.

Resembling poodles with their powder-puff coats, Bichons possess a curly outer coat and a soft undercoat that feels silky to the touch. They come in a variety of colors including white, white and buff, cream, apricot, or gray, with a slightly longer body length compared to their height. Bichons carry their plumed tails gracefully over their backs, weighing between 7 to 12 pounds and standing just under 12 inches in height.

These small and alert dogs are adaptable companions, known for their excellent compatibility with children and other pets. Their curious and friendly nature makes them adept watchdogs despite their petite size.

While owning a Bichon Frise may come with a significant price tag, which can vary based on factors such as region, pedigree, and upbringing of the puppy, the investment in a healthy and vet-checked Bichon is deemed worthwhile. It’s essential to ensure that the mother receives proper care and that the puppy is likely to enjoy a happy and long life. Given the breed’s susceptibility to various medical conditions, investing in a healthy puppy is paramount for their well-being.

Brussels Griffon – $1,500 to $4,000

Originating in the Belgian city of Brussels in the early 1800s, the Brussels Griffon breed gained official recognition from the AKC in 1910. Renowned for its distinctive appearance, the Brussels Griffon exudes an alert and charming demeanor, characterized by a round head with dark, expressive eyes, a short snout, and an upturned nose. This breed is available in two coat varieties: rough and wiry or smooth, displaying colors ranging from reddish-brown to black.

With an average weight of 8 to 12 pounds and a height of approximately 10 inches at the shoulder, Brussels Griffons are diminutive dogs known for their intelligence and ability to learn various tricks, though house training may pose a challenge.

Due to their small size and resulting small litters, breeding Brussels Griffons can be challenging, leading to high demand and limited supply. As a result, breeders often maintain waitlists for prospective owners.

The average price for a Brussels Griffon puppy is around $2,300, although costs can vary between $1,500 to $4,000. Additionally, the estimated first-year expenses for caring for a Brussels Griffon amount to approximately $4,555, making it one of the more costly small dog breeds to own.

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