Research carried out by Benchmark Kennels has revealed the priciest puppies in the UK, finding average asking prices ranging from £1,050 to £3,700, over double the pre-lockdown 2020 value.

With puppy prices climbing since the start of last year, our team decided to investigate exactly how much more expensive it has become to welcome a new dog into your home. We analysed over 200 adverts posted on popular puppy selling sites and compared the average asking prices to pre-lockdown figures.

Puppy prices have increased by an average of £1,249 since March 2020, from £1,066 to £2,315

Across the 42 popular breeds surveyed, the team found that puppy prices have risen by £1,249 since March 2020. This cost has increased by 132%, with the average puppy more than doubling in price from £1,066 to £2,315.

Chow Chows, Golden Retrievers, English Bulldogs and Cavapoos are now worth over £3,000

The most expensive breed is the Chow Chow, now worth an average of £3,700 for a puppy. This is a rise of 84% in just one year, from an asking price of £2,015 in March 2020. The Golden Retriever is the second most expensive, currently worth £3,360, followed by the English bulldog, worth £3,300.

Golden Retrievers have increased in price by £1,930

Within the most expensive breeds, Golden Retrievers have seen the largest price increase, rising from just £1,430 in March 2020 to £3,360. That’s a massive increase of £1,930, with Golden Retriever puppies more than doubling in value in just a year.

The previously most expensive puppy now appears a bargain

The English bulldog was the most expensive puppy in March 2020, valued at an average of £2,250. However, 25 of the breeds surveyed are now worth more than £2,250, including French Bulldogs, Labrador Retrievers and Beagles. A total of 71.4% of the breeds surveyed now have an asking price above £2,000, compared to 4.8% of breeds in March 2020.

Fashionable poodle crossbreeds have increased in value the most

The average designer crossbreed has risen in value from £1,256 in March 2020 to a current value of £2,862. Cavapoo, Goldendoodle, Cockapoo and Labradoodle crossbreeds are now some of the most expensive puppies, costing more than most purebreds. Cavapoos are the top designer dog, almost doubling in value from £1,615 to a stunning £3,030 in a year. In comparison, the average value of a purebred is currently £2,257.

What influences the price of a puppy?

Within the research, our team compared other elements of puppy price, such as gender, KC registration, and crossbreed versus purebred status, to reveal how much these factors affect the average price.

Popular crossbreeds are now worth £605 more than purebreds

In March 2020, the price of popular crossbreeds such as labradoodles and cavapoos averaged around £1,256. This fee was £210 more than a purebred, which averaged £1,046. However, over the past year, prices have increased by 133% to £2,862 for crossbreeds and 132% to £2,257 for purebreds. As a result, popular crossbreeds now cost an average of £605 more than a purebred.

Kennel Club registered puppies command £545 more

When comparing puppy prices based on Kennel Club status, registered puppies cost an average of £2,648, while unregistered puppies cost £2,103 – a difference of £545. This is a large difference in price for a piece of paperwork costing £16, suggesting buyers are using this registration as a key factor when choosing a puppy to buy.

However, KC registration does not guarantee that a puppy is healthy or from a responsible breeder, as the puppies registered aren’t assessed by any authority. The registration is instead based on the parent dogs – both need to be registered, not too closely related, and the mother can’t have more than four litters.

The most inflated puppy prices

The average price of a puppy hasn’t increased equally across all breeds. Some breeds have increased in price by up to 328%, while others have seen a much smaller 22% rise.

Patterdales have seen the largest increase in relative price

Over the past year, the price of the average Patterdale puppy has risen from £290 to £1,240, rising by a whopping 328%. This is the largest relative increase in value of all the breeds compared. Originating from the Lake District, these terriers were first bred for hunting. They are robust, healthy and loyal small dogs. However, they are also very active and have a high prey drive, requiring plenty of entertainment, exercise and training.

The classic Cocker Spaniel has seen the second-largest price increase, from a reasonable £631 to an average of £2,520 – an increase of 299% in value. The cost of Staffordshire Bull Terrier follows, having soared by 245% in value, from £650 in March 2020 to £2,240. Another spaniel, the English Springer Spaniel, has seen a 205% rise in value, with puppies now worth £1,920.

In comparison, the Chihuahua has seen the lowest increase in value, from £1,390 to £1,690 – an increase of just 22%.

The average breed has increased in price by 132.3%, from a March 2020 average of £1,066 to a 2021 average of £2,315.

Cheryl Sampson, Marketing Manager at Benchmark Kennels, says:

“The increase in puppy price has been driven by a huge surge in demand over the past year. Such a sudden price change is shocking, with many people likely priced out of buying a dog.

“When researching these puppy prices, we found an astounding amount of sellers advertising young dogs that they bought as a puppy but now can’t cope with. Reasons included health issues, a change in circumstances or children not getting along with the puppy. We urge people to heavily consider these factors and weigh up whether they can truly care for a dog before buying a puppy, or whether they are only able to due to their current situation – which may change in the coming months.

“Consider the home dynamic and whether you’ll always have enough time to exercise and entertain your dog. We recommend between 30 minutes to 2 hours of exercise per day, depending on the breed. Dogs can become mischievous and experience the same emotions as people when they aren’t exercised or cared for properly – they can sometimes become anxious, aggressive or destructive.

“Don’t underestimate the cost of keeping a dog after initially purchasing the puppy. Research from veterinary charity PDSA states a dog costs anywhere from £50 to £80 a month, after an initial cost of at least £370 when you first take your puppy home. On top of this, veterinary fees can become very expensive, especially with certain purebreds predisposed to many ailments.

“If you’re prepared to care for a dog, but want to avoid excessive puppy costs of up to £3,700, consider adopting from a local rescue centre. You could save thousands while giving a dog in need a forever home.”

About Benchmark Kennels

Benchmark Kennels manufacture bespoke dog kennels to suit dogs of all breeds, shapes and sizes. You can customise your outdoor kennel to be as luxurious or minimalist as required, built using a range of materials from wooden to WPC eco-thermal kennels with extra insulation. You can order a kennel directly from our website or get in touch with us for further advice on the best kennel for your dog’s needs.

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