Cheapest Dog Breeds: 20 Most Budget-Friendly Dogs

Having a pet dog around is always a joyful experience and, if it is budget-friendly, that would be even more perfect. Sure, it could come with the occasional vet bill, but that would be nothing compared to the fulfilling experience of having a four-legged family member. So, if you are planning to own a pet dog and are looking for a budget-friendly option that doesn’t put a hole in your pocket, give this article a quick read.

Dogs vary according to their genetic condition, size, structure, and level of energy. Some breeds consume very little food per day, while others need a bagful of food on a daily basis. 

Chances are, a dog with a thick coat would also require more grooming than one with a thin coat. All these add to the grooming expense and health care costs associated with a particular breed.

We’ve compiled a list of the cheapest dog breeds so that it’s easier for you to lock in on a mate for your furry companion. When picking out a dog under this category, also consider what type of dog it is. You might want to purchase or adopt a pooch that’s part of the resilient breeds so as not to deal with too many medical issues

Pedigree dog breeds can be categorised into seven groups, which provide important insights into characteristics and intrinsic traits. These groups are defined according to a breed’s origins and initial use.

When you know these groups and origins, you will understand your dog’s instinctive behaviour and even get an insight into its average cost. Always remember that even though we group them, every dog is a unique individual.

Cheapest Dog Breeds

Here are some of the cheapest dog breeds you can possibly hope to own:

1. Beagle

Cheapest Dog Breeds

This short-haired dog with minimum training and grooming needs fits so well on our list. They can be bought anywhere from $200 to $500, or even less. The Beagle’s low-maintenance coat is part of the reason for its low average cost. Aside from its hair, its ample energy also contributes to its popularity among dog owners.

Related: 20 Difference between Basset Hound and Beagle

2. Manchester Terrier

Cheapest Dog Breeds

This game terrier and cousin to the pit bull has an average cost of around $600 and requires very minimal health care cost. Spirited, with a smooth coat and high energy level, this dog is an owner’s delight.

3. Irish Terrier:

Cheapest Dog Breeds

Lifestyle and etiquette guide, Gentleman Zone, describes them as the “poor man’s sentinel, the farmer’s friend and the gentleman’s favorite.” This medium-sized terrier has an average cost of $650 and makes both a good companion and watchdog. Though you want to be extra careful with these terriers, as obesity can be a common health issue among them due to a hereditary condition.

4. Border Collie

Cheapest Dog Breeds

The average purchase cost for Border Collies is around $525, which sits quite low, considering their cute looks and high energy levels. Their life expectancy of around 13 to 16 years tells you they remain of excellent health for most of their lives. On top of that, they require infrequent baths, which take their grooming expense to no more than $50 a month.

5. Australian Silky Terrier

Cheapest Dog Breeds

Bred and developed in Australia, this dog falls under the category of Australian terrier. Its alert and active personality and cute coat are the reasons for its average purchase price of only $550. Like its European cousin, the Cesky Terrier, the Australian Silky Terrier is mostly calm, non-aggressive, and trainable.

6. Otterhound

Cheapest Dog Breeds

This breed’s unique wiry hair and $550 initial cost established it firmly on our list. This old British dog breed was originally bred for hunting purposes. Though, if you’re not a fan of hunting, they’d make a perfectly good companion with a lifespan of up to 13 years.

7. Dalmatian

Cheapest Dog Breeds

Spots occupy this expensive breed’s smooth coat, which is usually the reason why it’s tagged at no less than $700. Though the typical cost for its healthcare is low and it has excellent running abilities, which should more than compensate for the initial cost. The Dalmatian is also commonly used as a firehouse mascot.

8. Chihuahua

Cheapest Dog Breeds

Named after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico, it is the smallest dog breed in the world and comes with a low average selling price of $650. For deer head Chihuahuas though, the pricing starts at $350 (see breed info here). Their food costs also belong to the lower end of the spectrum, so you don’t have to worry about it as much! Though not a very good option to have as a pet dog, as it can be moody and prone to attack when provoked, the Chihuahua can be fiercely loyal to one particular person.

9. Field Spaniel

Cheapest Dog Breeds

The Cocker Spaniel is an ideal hunting and family dog that’s a relative of the Cocker Spaniel and English Springer Spaniel. Though coming in relatively cheap at $550, considering its look and size, it can set you back considerably in terms of typical grooming costs in the long run. Also, don’t be misled by the “field” part, because these breeds would much rather hang around at home than be outdoors. 

10. Bichon Frise

Cheapest Dog Breeds

Though this breed can make expensive grooming cost an issue, you only have to look at them to be completely sold on having them as a pet. They are the sweetest, most adorable pooches you will ever lay eyes on. Not to mention, they can fit onto your laps with ease. The price for its acquisition will also more than make up for all the bathing and brushing you’ll be doing over the course of its lifespan.

11. Dachshund

Cheapest Dog Breeds

These breeds were originally bred for hunting but eventually became a house pet because of their excellent temperament. Acquiring one will hardly set you back more than $500. Dachshunds have a life expectancy of up to 15 years, which tells you diseases aren’t frequently an issue with these breeds.

12. Papillon

Cheapest Dog Breeds

Here’s another low-cost dog breed to keep an eye on—just take a look at its ears! They totally resemble the wings of butterflies. This affordable dog breed is small, smart, affectionate, good with children, and comes with an estimated buying cost of $400. Also, don’t be deceived by their cuddly appearance because they can make excellent watchdogs as well.

13. Pug

Cheapest Dog Breeds

Are you looking for a wrinkled-faced pug? Go and buy one because it shouldn’t cost you more than $350. Though the cost of healthcare for these pets could potentially get up there, all you have to do is look at their adorable, nodding heads to forget the medical cost.

14. Miniature Pinscher

Cheapest Dog Breeds

These little furballs have incredibly large personalities that make them want to bark at and chase around anything or anyone that crosses their path! They cost around $500 and have a longer lifespan than most miniature dog breeds at 15 years.

15. Plott Hound

Cheapest Dog Breeds

Nothing screams cheap dog breed like the Plott Hound. At $275, these hounds are guaranteed to not burn a hole through your pocket. They’re known for their all-around friendliness, but particularly their child-friendly behavior.

16. Rat Terrier

Cheapest Dog Breeds

These playful and fearless dogs come with a price tag of $350. They are charming, energetic, and lively, which makes them perfect for farm life. That said, they can also adapt as well to apartment living.

17. Black and Tan Coonhound

Cheapest Dog Breeds

These USA-born and -bred dogs are the friendliest and most outgoing breeds you will ever have the pleasure of owning. Their average purchase price of around $350 makes them among the cheapest dog breeds out there.

18. Parson Russell Terrier

Cheapest Dog Breeds

This small, white terrier breed has an average purchase price of $400. They are athletic, clever and friendly. Due to the copious amounts of energy they possess, they require vigorous exercising.

19. English Setter

Cheapest Dog Breeds

Although still bred as hunting dogs these days, they have also become famous for being a good family companion. With an average purchase cost of around $350, these dogs won’t really harm your budget too much.

20. Harrier

Cheapest Dog Breeds

The Harrier is an affordable breed that’s as great a hunting companion as it is a home companion. Its keen sense of taste and smell are the reasons for its popularity among most hunters. As an all-around friendly dog with a $300 tag, the Harrier is a complete joy to have by your side at home and in the field.

What Makes a Dog Breed Affordable?

The best news for potential dog owners is that some dogs are less expensive to purchase and own than others. Factors that influence a dog’s normal cost are its grooming bills, potential to contract diseases, and potential healthcare cost.

Basically, the more grooming a dog needs, the more expensive it is likely to be. This is also likely to follow that it requires more cleaning, which means a higher average bathing cost and expensive grooming costs. In a nutshell, here’s what makes a pooch fall on the lower end of the price spectrum:

1. Less Active

Dogs that stay put more often than they run around are definitely cheaper to own than those that just won’t stop running around and barking. That’s because their lifestyle requires them to consume less food, which also means lower cost of feeding on the owner’s end.

That said, you’ll still want to take your less-active furry companion for an exercise session or two each week to ensure minimal healthcare cost. 

2. Less Shedding

Dogs that don’t shed as much don’t require frequent brushing or bathing. At the very least, you can give them a weekly brushing session after a bath and they’ll be all fresh and clean for at least another several days. Although not all of the cheapest dog breeds on our list are non-frequent shredders, most of them definitely are. 


1. What is the cheapest breed of dog to buy in the United States?

The cheapest American breed is the Beagle. These dogs are as hardy as they come and probably have the lowest lifetime healthcare cost among all budget-friendly pooches. Aside from their low vet bills, these hounds also have strong genetic health, require minimal grooming, and need just a single meal a day. 

On top of that, they’re friendly, energetic, and great around children. Just give them a bit of grooming and the occasional bath each week and they’ll be the perfect house companion. 

2. What is the cheapest dog and how much is it?

A mutt is one of the cheapest dog breeds one can own. Although they aren’t likely to be at the top of your wish list, they are as affordable as they come. You can get them for free or for a tiny fee at your nearest shelters.

Generally, mutts are healthier than most breeds, as they’re unlikely to possess any of the genetic flaws found in purebreds. These flaws are what typically lead to behavioral, health, and other problems in dogs. Mutts also run the gamut in shapes, sizes, and personalities, so you’re likely to find one that meets your needs and preferences.

3. What is the cheapest price for a puppy?

The average cost for a pup in the United States is about a thousand bucks. However, some breeds can be bought as pups for as low as $50. In the higher end of the spectrum are breeds that can cost you nearly a hundred-thousand dollars per puppy from a champion lineage. Though, in general, purebred pups will fall between the $500 to $2000 dollar range.

4. What is the cheapest dog to adopt?

Adoption will cost you a lot less than buying. For instance, adopting a mixed-breed from your local shelter can come with either a $50 adoption fee or no fee at all. Although, it is usually safer when shelters ask for a fee, as that could mean the dog or pup has gotten its due vaccinations. 

Owning a Dog Can Change Your Life

Owning a dog as a pet means a joyous and active life leading.

However, in today’s world when everything is so highly priced, it is pretty normal to look for a cheaper dog breed that doesn’t take as much time and effort on the owner’s end. Also, a dog’s price doesn’t determine how safe it is to own and how loyal it is to its master so there’s a good chance you can enjoy equal worthy companionship with your cheaper canine friend.

These were some lesser-priced breeds that are easily available across the world. They have fewer health concerns, need less grooming, and even make for some of the best home companions. There’s a good chance picking a pooch from our list of the cheapest dog breeds of 2021 can give you the companion you deserve at home.

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