Cheap Dog Breeds: Affordable Companions

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Are there cheap dogs in the world? And if so, are these group of adorable dogs posing in this image cheap? Budget-Friendly Companions might just be the best, because they might be cheap or inexpensive but they surely have high emotional value.

Owning a dog is truly priceless – the loyalty, the laughter, the wet-nosed greetings – it's pure gold. But let's be real, all that gold does come with a price tag. Food, vet care, and the occasional destroyed shoe can add up fast. For some, the dream of dog ownership can seem out of reach, especially when bombarded with images of expensive designer dogs and all the fancy equipment. 

The good news is, a loving canine companion doesn't have to break the bank. That's where the idea of affordable dog breeds comes in. There are plenty of fantastic breeds that are easier on the wallet—this frees up your cash and allows you to focus on what truly matters: building a rock-solid bond with your canine buddy. 

Low-Cost Pups Make First-Rate Pets 

What is the cheapest dog? Really, there’s no single answer. In terms of initial costs, shelter dogs and dogs from inexpensive (yet reputable) breeders will cost the least compared to so-called designer dogs. However, even with a low-demand breed, your pet bills can rise over time depending on how much food the breed eats, what kind of health problems they experience, and how much it costs to groom them. 

Let's take a look at some dog breeds that are known for being less expensive over their lifetimes. 

American Hairless Terrier 

Can you guess why the American Hairless Terrier is number one on our list of cheap dogs? With no fur, you won’t need to worry about buying brushes or investing in expensive trips to the salon. Although these guys are born with some soft fur, they’ll lose it once they reach about two months old

Another reason these Terriers are relatively low cost is that they don’t eat as much as larger breeds. Reaching around 25 pounds fully grown, you won’t find yourself needing to buy huge (and costly) bags of dog kibble. 

These energetic and playful pups are perfect for active owners who enjoy walks, playtime, and cuddling on the couch. 


There are few dogs as all-around low maintenance as the humble Beagle. These lovable pooches are as charming as they come. You likely won’t have to spend much time (or money) training them since they generally love hanging out with their humans and other dogs. The one command you’ll truly need to work on with them is “Stay,” as these pups love tracking smells! 

While Beagles are prone to contracting some issues such as ear infections, they aren’t at high risk for developing many of the serious problems that other breeds, such as brachycephalic (flat-nosed) dogs, do. 

Bichon Frise 

We’ll admit it — the Bichon Frise doesn’t exactly scream “police academy dog” due to their fluffy fur and cuddly nature. But this breed is a great choice if you want a dog that you don’t have to worry about wreaking havoc around the house. 

Another perk of this breed is that they’re absolutely tiny, reaching only around 18 pounds. Their small stomachs won’t require a ton of food. To keep your pup’s health costs even lower, make sure you brush their teeth frequently after meals since they can experience dental problems. A toothbrush costs a lot less than a dental bill! 

Border Collie 

A dog that’s been trained to help you earn money? That’s right. The Border Collie was bred to work, primarily herding livestock like sheep and cattle. Some Border Collies still help their humans in this way, although, these days, most use their smarts for outwitting their owners for extra treats. 

These black and white beauties keep themselves in shape thanks to their bottomless supply of energy. Border Collies are also known for their hardiness, making them one of the healthier breeds out there. This good health equates to fewer vet bills, a win-win situation for both dog and owner! 

Cane Corso 

While no breed is immune to health issues, big dog breeds like the Cane Corso generally don’t experience the problems many smaller dogs have, such as heat sensitivity or Intervertebral Disk Disease. 

Cane Corsos don’t need tons of grooming, either. Their short, double-layered coats only need brushing about once a week, and their nails should be clipped as needed. These canines don’t have the stubborn streaks that some breeds are known for (we’re looking at you, Huskies!), so training often comes easy with these fellows. 


As you might imagine, a dog that can fit in your palm isn’t going to eat you out of house and home. That’s why the Chihuahua has earned its place on our list of the cheapest dogs around. Not only will you save on dog food, the breed’s tiny size also means it requires smaller beds, leashes, and notably, living space. 

Chihuahuas are known for their positive attitudes, always ready to follow their owner to the next great adventure. They’re endlessly loyal, making them the perfect companion for someone who’s ready to devote hours each day snuggling their pup. 

Chinese Crested Hairless 

The Chinese Crested Hairless is another furless dog that boasts zero-dollar grooming sessions. They have only the slightest amount of fur on their heads, feet, and tails. You can expect much less wear and tear on your vacuum cleaning up after them compared to a Golden Retriever or Akita. 

The Chinese Crested Hairless is surprisingly athletic. This trait is ideal because you won’t have to coax your dog into exercising to maintain a healthy weight. The breed’s tiny frame should only carry about 10 to 13 pounds. Keeping their weight in check can help reduce pressure on your dog’s joints


Another breed competing for the title of the cheapest dog is the delightful Dachshund. One of the reasons these little guys are more affordable is because they typically experience few health problems. Although they are susceptible to back problems, there are ways to minimize them. These include using doggy stairs and ramps to access high places like the couch or bed. 

Dachshunds also need moderate amounts of food, which can lower costs over a lifetime. Smaller mouths also equal smaller (i.e., cheaper) toys and treats, too! Tiny dogs are less capable of destroying plushies and other play items, so you won’t have to replace them as frequently, either. 

A miniature dachshund looking all pretty in a field of flowers.


Dalmatians aren’t just popular for those distinctive spots. They’re well-known for being low maintenance. Unlike some of the more pampered pooches on our list, the Dalmatian doesn’t require lots of professional grooming. While they do shed, they never develop much of an odor, so you won’t be dealing with a stinky coat of fur in those warmer months. 

Like any breed, the Dalmatian can develop certain health problems, but they’re not plagued with some of the conditions that target tiny or large canines. Adopting older Dalmatians can give you a better idea of the problems your dog will face. Puppies, on the other hand, may not show signs of existing health issues until they’re much older. 

English Bulldog 

People don’t adopt English Bulldogs only for those sweet temperaments. This former sporting dog doesn’t require much training, which is an incentive for pet parents to adopt the breed. You’ll need to show any dog the ropes when it comes to your home’s rules, of course, but you can expect to spend less time reminding an English Bulldog about those expectations. 

Despite their stocky appearance, these burly canines don’t need a ton of exercise. That means you won’t have to invest in fancy toys to help them get out all that doggy energy. In fact, too much exercise can be an issue for the breed since they can overheat quickly.  

Glen of Imaal Terrier 

All dogs are capable of manipulating their owners with those infamous “puppy dog eyes,” but the Glen of Imaal Terrier might be the best at it! These adorable Terriers can give you one look and tempt you into giving them just one more treat. Fortunately, this breed is known for being highly trainable, so they won’t get away with too many bad behaviors if you give them proper direction. 

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is one of the least expensive breeds out there because of their minimal grooming needs. Their wiry coat only needs washing when absolutely necessary, and a quick brush once a week or so will keep tangles in check. 

Irish Terrier 

Irish Terriers are a good fit for owners with active lifestyles. If you love going for a jog around the block or for long hikes in the woods, a member of this breed will love to be right by your side. As you might imagine, these active dogs are better at keeping their weight in check than some of the snugglier breeds on our list. 

Active dogs can also experience better bone health and healthier organs, which means lower vet bills in the future. Additionally, the Irish Terrier is another breed that doesn’t need to be groomed constantly. Upkeep of their reddish coat is simple, and there’s another reason to rejoice: these pups hardly shed. 

Jack Russell Terrier 

Many of us were first introduced to the Jack Russell Terrier when we watched our first episode of Wishbone. The show features a lovable (and theatrical) pup that won the hearts of children around the world. The JRT is loved by adults for another reason – it’s one of the cheapest dog breeds! 

These intelligent dogs are some of the smartest around and, with adequate training, can make phenomenal pets. They’re full of energy but don’t eat much compared to larger dogs since they weigh under 20 pounds. These canines are also some of the most physically fit around, so you won’t have to monitor their health quite as closely as with other breeds. 

Manchester Terrier 

Whether you adopt a standard or toy Manchester Terrier, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the low impact to your wallet. Like the other Terriers on our list, these pooches didn’t get the diva gene that Poodles and Bichon Frises have. Their coats require little work, and they’re happy as can be when they’re given a good outlet for their energy. 

These pups are forever loyal to their owners. Even though they have a tendency to chase after small prey like rats, they’ll always come back to their fluffy, comfortable bed since they want to be around their humans. 

Miniature Pinscher 

You can bet that any dog with the word “miniature” in its name is going to have a less-than-voracious appetite. The Miniature Pinscher is no exception. Weighing only around 10 pounds or so, these tiny titans will save you money on food and treats. They’ll also require only the smallest of beds and accessories like collars and leashes. 

Note that “miniature” does not apply to their personality! These dogs are known for having larger-than-life personas that keep their owners laughing. While they may feel they are the star of the show, these pups forget that they’re much smaller than the other animals and people around them. They have no qualms about being the fearless guard dog, alerting you to every passerby. 

Miniature Schnauzer 

The Miniature Schnauzer is another breed that’s exceptionally friendly to the humans it trusts and will do everything in its power to protect them. Besides being a free security guard, the Miniature Schnauzer also makes the perfect family pet. He loves to run around the backyard with children and isn’t as delicate as some of the other small breeds. 

Another plus about owning one of these is that they generally get along with other dogs. This trait makes it a lot easier to socialize them with neighborhood pets. You’ll need to be mindful of cats and birds, as these tiny species can activate the Miniature Schnauzer’s prey instinct. This breed is also a minimal shedder, so there’s no need to hire a housekeeper to help you with the fur battle! 

This miniature schauzer is looking like a trusty security guard but is actually a friendly and an affordable furry companion.


Another playful pooch on our list of low-cost dogs is the beloved Otterhound. These dogs have shaggy coats and were originally bred to hunt otters, as their name suggests. If you haven’t heard of this breed, don’t be surprised. They’re one of the rarer dog breeds and can sometimes be mistaken for a mixed-breed dog. 

Despite their rarity, the Otterhound doesn’t rack up the bills like certain designer breeds. While you won’t have to budget money for expensive salon visits, you’ll need to invest in some dog shampoo at home since his cute little beard can get messy every time he eats! 


The Papillon looks like a million bucks, but in reality, a pup from a respected breeder will cost around one or two thousand dollars. While the initial price tag can be steep, you’ll recoup a lot of that money when considering how little food this toy breed eats. 

Papillons are protective and affectionate, always ready to make their owners smile with their energetic antics. Although they only weigh a couple of pounds, these dogs love running around and being entertained. They need only moderate grooming needs, including a nail trim here and there and brushing once or twice a week. 

Pembroke Welsh Corgi 

If you have small children in your family, it can be hard finding a dog that’s suitable for curious youngsters. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is the ideal combination of intelligent and highly trainable. These traits are a must when it comes to adopting a dog that’s safe around kids. Keep an eye out for their nipping tendencies, as you’ll want to train this trait out of them. 

A significant reason the Pembroke Welsh Corgi made it on our affordable dog list is that they are one of the healthier breeds you can find. They’re prone to only a handful of issues, although it’s still important to take them for their regular vet visits. 

Pit Bull 

The Pit Bull is often considered one of the cheapest dogs out there because of an unfortunate reason: their bad reputation. You’ve probably heard that these dogs are unusually aggressive by nature, but that reputation has been earned because of their use as fighting dogs. 

Although these dogs are protective of their loved ones, training keeps their watch dog nature at a safe level. This breed is incredibly affectionate with the right owners and loves to stay active. 


Are you more of a “lay on the couch and watch movies with your dog” owner than a “let’s explore this mountain” one? If so, you might want to think about adopting a Pug. This breed is frequently cited as one of the laziest dog breeds in existence. As with other brachycephalic dogs (that is, ones with flattened muzzles), the Pug shouldn’t be exercised excessively since it can be dangerous for their airways. 

This means you can cross “workout gear” off your list of puppy accessories. Another item you can strike through is grooming costs. You’ll need to brush their double coat regularly, but they won’t need any haircuts or other services that you can’t do at home. 

Rat Terrier 

You very well may end your hunt for the cheapest dog by settling on the Rat Terrier, a loving dog that never wants to leave your side. They require a lot of attention and trust us, they’ll get it because otherwise, they’ll start barking nonstop! But that barking habit is quickly forgotten when they’re zooming around the yard being goofy. 

These small dogs need only moderate amounts of food since they weigh between 8 and 25 pounds. Weekly brushing is recommended for keeping their coat in top shape. 

Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless) 

The Xoloitzquintli, also known as the Mexican Hairless or simply “Xolo”, needs zero fur-related care. That means you won’t need to buy any brushes, shampoo for their fur, or clippers throughout the years. You will, however, need to invest in canine sunscreen for those days when you take your pup outside for extended periods of time. Like humans, their skin can become damaged by the sun, so be mindful of exposing them to the elements for too long. 

The Xoloitzquintili is very intelligent and makes a great watchdog. Although they can be bashful around guests, they’ll warm up to them if socialized from a young age. 

Yorkshire Terrier 

There are few dogs who are small and feisty as the Yorkshire Terrier! Yorkies are beloved for many reasons, including their long-lasting affection for their owners. You might be surprised that these mini canines have a strong prey drive, mostly for rats! When you realize that’s what they were bred to do, it makes sense why these pups go after rodents almost as big as they are! 

Any Yorkie you meet will likely weigh 10 pounds or less, so you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they’ll eat tiny amounts at a time. They’re the ideal dog for apartments as their size means they can run around in even the most space-efficient homes. 

Mixed-Breed Dogs Can Be Extra Affordable, Too! 

Did you know that dogs whose ancestry includes multiple breeds have a lower risk of certain genetic health issues? If you compiled a list of the top 10 cheapest dogs in the world with adoption costs factored, you’d likely find it was filled with mixed-breed dogs! 

Adopting your new mixed-breed pup from a shelter or rescue will certainly save you money when it comes to those initial costs. If you’re set on a purebred dog, you might find one if you keep your eye out. 

How Pet Insurance for Cheap Dog Breeds Can Save You Money 

Unexpected vet bills are a fact of life with any dog, even the budget-friendly kind. Accidents and illnesses can happen, leaving you with a hefty bill. That's where pet insurance steps in to offer financial support. 

Pet insurance for dogs works like a financial safety net. You pay a monthly fee, and if your dog needs veterinary care, the insurance company reimburses you for a portion of the covered expenses. This can include things like accidents, illnesses, and even surgeries. By helping you manage these costs, pet insurance can prevent a large vet bill from derailing your budget and ensure your dog gets the treatment they need. 

Cheap Dog Breeds Have High Emotional Value 

Finding a furry friend shouldn't break the bank! So, what is the cheapest dog breed? There’s really no way of knowing for sure since you can’t predict a dog’s future health needs with absolute certainty.  Choosing a breed known for being easier on the wallet is a great way to start your journey as a pet parent. Remember, all dogs require some expenses for food, vet care, and preventative treatments. Even the healthiest pup might need a little extra TLC here and there. 

The good news is, this list provides a great starting point for finding a breed that fits your budget and lifestyle. From low-maintenance terriers to playful companions who won't gobble up your groceries, there's an amazing, affordable dog out there waiting to be your best bud!