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The most expensive dogs to buy and keep

America has been going to the dogs for years. There are hotels for dogs, vegetarian gluten free treats for dogs, and there has even been airlines for dogs! You know, a dog's life is now a good thing.

On average, we spend $1,600 a year on Rover (does anyone still name their dog Rover? Apparently the most popular dog names now are Bailey and Bella).

Here are the top, best, most expensive dogs to buy, followed by the most expensive to keep.

MOST EXPENSIVE TO BUY

#5 — Rottweiler

According to Pet360, this powerful breed makes an excellent protection dog and a loyal pet, though it needs to be trained from a young age. Pups can cost as much as $8,000.

#4 — English bulldog

They're now among the most popular breeds in the United States, according to Pet360. Bulldogs are loved for being brave and clownish "with an affinity for sleeping and eating." Pups can sell for $9,000, but that's just the start. See below to learn how expensive it can be to keep a bulldog.

#3 — Samoyed

Here's what's cool about Samoyeds. They have wide mouths that curl up, so they always look like they're smiling. It may not be a million-dollar smile, but pups can sell for as much as $11,000. Pet360 says this is a loving and playful breed but can be stubborn. Sounds like raising kids, except dogs do a better job of cleaning themselves.

#2 — Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These dogs have been a popular family breed for about 400 years, "easygoing and friendly," and they are able to live well in either your town house or your country house. You probably own two houses if you're spending up to $14,000 for a dog that requires regular grooming.

#1 — German shepherd

Poodles are often considered the smartest dogs, but German shepherds are certainly extremely intelligent. Prized for being great companions and vigilant guard dogs if trained, shepherds start at $3,000 but can reach as high as $24,000, according to Pet360.

Golden retriever
Francis Canker Photography | Getty Images
Golden retriever

MOST EXPENSIVE TO KEEP

Bulldogs

"They're basically a genetic nightmare," said veterinarian Jessica Vogelsang. Vogelsang is an advisor toPet360.com and founder of Pawcurious.com. She says bulldogs can experience a variety of problems because they've been bred specifically to shorten their noses without removing any tissue. "They're completely squished up," which can lead to breathing issues. Their shorter legs can also lead to arthritis.

Basset hounds

This adorable breed (I own two!!) can suffer from skin issues and ear infections.

Labrador retrievers

"They like to get into everything," Vogelsang said of one of the most popular breeds in America. "They like to eat weird stuff." That sometimes require surgery. How often does Vogelsang see a Lab come in after eating something it shouldn't? "Probably once a day."

Golden retrievers

Sadly, these beautiful and popular dogs are the most cancer prone, she said.

Vogelsang said when choosing a breed, you might consider the long-term cost. Pet insurance can help, but she said you should check for "breed-specific exclusions." Some say a mutt is a healthier choice than pure bred because the latter may have genetic problems magnified through generations on in-breeding. Vogelsang said that's a bit of a myth. "It all depends on that particular dog and what their genetic background is," she said.