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How Much do Terriers Cost?

How Much Do Terriers Cost?

So, you’re thinking of introducing a terrier to your home.

Great choice! Terriers make wonderful pets, as they’re smart, energetic, loyal, and funny. They’re a wonderful addition to any family and give years of joy to their owners. But like any commitment worth making, it’s good to count the cost in more ways than one.

Related: Are Bull Terriers Good Family Dogs?

It’s all too easy to fall deep into those puppy dog eyes and commit to getting a dog without really thinking of whether your wallet will stretch as wide as your heart certainly will. It would be the worst thing in the world to get a terrier puppy, only to find you’ve not counted the cost.

According to Better Home Living, it’s important to understand the PROS and CONS before purchasing a dog for your family. The cost of the puppy is more than just the initial price.

So, let’s get down to it. We’ll explore answers to the questions of how much terriers cost, and then break down the average monthly cost of owning a dog, so that you’ll know if you’ll be able to afford one. But first, we’ll dig a little deeper into terriers because there’s a lot about these dogs you may not know!

What Kind of Terrier are You Looking For?

When we think of a terrier, we think about maybe a Jack Russell, or a West Highland White. Or maybe you’ve got your heart set on a gorgeous Boston terrier, with its large eyes and beautiful, smooth coat.

There’s no such thing as a ‘terrier breed’ – terriers are a whole group of dogs that include 31 different breeds, according to the American Kennel Club. Some of these breeds are large, others small, and still others somewhere in between.

There are short-haired breeds, and long-haired breeds. Some are easy to find and inexpensive to buy, whereas others are very rare and are sought after by only the most dedicated owners.

Terriers are so called when they fit into a specific type of dog that was originally bred for catching vermin. Rats, mice, rabbits, and moles were huge problems for farmers many years ago, particularly in the UK, so breeders specifically bred a whole range of dogs to deal with their pest problem.

The thing all terriers have in common is that they’re energetic, fearless, scrappy, and intelligent. These days we tend to spoil our dogs a lot, but they’re really made for plenty of play and hard work!

Now, we’ll look at the average price you can expect to pay for each terrier breed puppy, and then we’ll explore extra costs that you’ll have to consider when you’re planning on getting a new dog. Most of these apply for any kind of puppy you buy, terrier or otherwise.

Pick a Puppy

If you’re a terrier fan, then chances are that you’ll already have your favorite. But in case you’ve not made up your mind, here’s a list of average terrier prices that you can expect to pay for your new puppy.  Each price is based on the puppy being from a registered breeder, and whose parents are pedigrees.

Bear in mind that mixed-breed parentage will mean a lower puppy price, as will buying a puppy that’s older than 8 weeks (puppies over 4 months old will be on average 8% cheaper than newborns). If you’re ordering your puppy before it’s even been born, chances are you’re paying nearly 30% higher than average!

If your pup’s from a champion show dog, then the price is going to be high enough to make your eyes water. Puppy royalty or dogs with a sought-after bloodline (think dogs with posh names like Lady Patricia Silverpaws von Winkletail) can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

  1. Airedale Terrier – $850
  2. American Hairless Terrier – $1500
  3. American Staffordshire Terrier – $750
  4. Australian Terrier – $1500
  5. Bedlington Terrier – $1500
  6. Border Terrier – $800
  7. Boston Terrier – $800
  8. Bull Terrier – $1200
  9. Cairn Terrier – $950
  10. Cesky Terrier – $1500
  11. Dandie Dinmont Terrier – $1400
  12. Glen of Imaal Terrier – $1500
  13. Irish Terrier – $2100
  14. Jack Russell Terrier – $800
  15. Kerry Blue Terrier – $2000
  16. Lakeland Terrier – $1800
  17. Manchester Terrier – $1600
  18. Miniature Bull Terrier – $2500
  19. Miniature Schnauzer – $950
  20. Norfolk Terrier – $3250
  21. Norwich Terrier – $3500
  22. Parson Russell Terrier – $1200
  23. Rat Terrier – $700
  24. Scottish Terrier – $1100
  25. Sealyham Terrier – $2000
  26. Skye Terrier – $1500
  27. Smooth Fox Terrier – $900
  28. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier – $1000
  29. Staffordshire Bull Terrier – $2000
  30. Welsh Terrier – $1600
  31. West Highland White Terrier – $800
  32. Wire Fox Terrier – $1800
  33. Yorkshire Terrier – $1200

Now, the eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that we’ve listed 33 terriers here, and not 31 as we mentioned earlier.

This is because the American Kennel Club doesn’t recognize the Boston Terrier and the Yorkshire Terrier as terriers in the truest sense. The Boston Terrier is put into the Non-Sporting group of dogs, and the Yorkshire Terrier into the Toy dogs. However, we’ve included them in this list because they’re both very popular breeds.

You’ll notice a huge difference in price between a Border Terrier and a Norwich Terrier, or between a Cairn Terrier and a Norfolk Terrier. This is because puppies are like any other market commodity: they’re beholden to the rules of demand and supply.

If a dog’s rare, then you’ll pay top dollar for a puppy of that breed that you’ve managed to track down. Some dogs only have very small litters, so this makes certain breeds even rarer.

Adopt, Don’t Shop!

We’ve all got our favorite breed of dog, maybe a pedigree breed that we’ve always dreamed of owning. But no matter whether you pay thousands for a pedigree or you pick up an abandoned puppy from the pound, every dog is unique and will love you in its own, adorable way.

You may not even have to go to a breeder to find the dog of your dreams. People have to surrender their dogs for all kinds of reasons, so always head to the pound before you search online for registered breeders. People who adopt dogs are angels on earth!

What Are You Paying the Breeder For?

There’s no doubt that puppies are big business for lots of people but that’s not the only reason they’re expensive.

Responsible breeders care about their dogs and the puppies they sire, and paying top dollar is a guarantee that the puppy is healthy, of excellent lineage, and may even have an official pedigree name (you can change this to whatever nickname you like once you get home!)

The Cost of Owning a Puppy

Whether you get yourself a Norfolk Terrier from a champion’s litter, or you pick up a smiling Staffordshire Bull Terrier from the pound, you should know that the cost of looking after the dog on a monthly basis will work out at a very similar rate across the board.

Of course, the bigger the dog, the more food it will eat, but if you think about it, a pedigree has no idea it’s a pedigree! It doesn’t care about designer collars or gold-plated name tags. But that doesn’t mean all owners pay the same.

Depending on your choices in certain areas, your dog could cost you between $120 and $375 a month. Here’s how it’s broken down.

Food and Treats

Does your pup need treats? Not really, but they definitely need food! And a good quality dog food should be your biggest concern. It’s what will keep your dog in great health, and will reduce the need for vet bills.

You don’t need to go crazy with the food type, but expect to budget on average between $20 and $60 per month for your terrier’s dog food.

Average Monthly Cost: $40

General Veterinary Care

Overall, terriers have a history of good health. They’re active dogs, they can live a good long life and as long as they get the right diet and exercise, they’ll be in great shape.

But you should always budget for veterinary care, because every year they’ll need booster injections, teeth cleaning, bug and flea treatments, and other things.

Not only that, but when you first get a puppy, they’ll be at the vet’s office for their vital jabs, their microchip, and eventually their optional sterilization.

One-Off Expenses: $320

Average Monthly Cost: $50

Emergency Veterinary Care

Get insurance for your terrier!

If the worst happens, you could end up paying thousands of dollars in vet bills because let’s face it, once that terrier comes home, you’ll do everything you can to keep it healthy.

Emergency vet bills can range from the hundreds to the thousands of dollars, so get insurance as soon as possible to cover yourself against those unexpected events.

Average Monthly Cost: $40


Different terriers have different coats. A Boston Terrier might never need a trip to the groomer’s, but a Yorkie will want its locks looked after regularly. Tools and groomer trips add up over time, so factor this in when choosing a dog.

Average Monthly Cost: $20

Training Classes

Plenty of owners would laugh at the thought of paying to train a dog when we’ve been training our own pets since forever, but they can be invaluable. Structured training with an expert helps you bond with your dog, set boundaries, and curb unwanted behaviors.

Not only that, but some larger dogs (think Staffordshire Bull Terrier or English Bull Terrier) require a firmer hand. So definitely consider investing in classes, at least in the beginning.

Average Monthly Cost: $100 (for 6 months or so)

Little Extras

You’re going to want a new collar, leash, food and water bowls, bed, toys and treats when you first get your dog. These don’t have to be expensive at all, but you get what you pay for, so good quality products are much more cost effective.

One-Off Expenses: $100

Not Cheap, But Worth It!

Getting a dog is always a big responsibility, and not just for cost. It’s important that your terrier has your time, devotion, and love. But even if you have those things in abundance, it can be the cost of looking after a dog that can be the biggest hurdle.

It doesn’t have to break the bank, but getting a terrier should be a decision you’ve budgeted for. Once you know that it’s something you can manage, though, you won’t look back! Terriers of all kinds are wonderful dogs and you’re sure to fall in love with your pup immediately.

Make sure you always put the important things first, and if that includes rehoming a previously surrendered dog, then that’s even better.


Stephanie is a writer for She is a dog lover at heart and loves teaching and learning about terriers.

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