The $230,000 Dog?

Written by: Eric Rickstad

wild dog
Photo by Allen Brisson-Smith for The New York Times
Julia, a protection dog, works with a trainer as her owner’s assistant watches.

How could a dog possibly cost $230,000? A New York Times story reveals that the uber-wealthy are paying up to a quarter million dollars for protection dogs who guard their estates.

When she costs $230,000, as Julia did, the preferred title is “executive protection dog.” This 3-year-old German shepherd, who commutes by private jet between a Minnesota estate and a home in Arizona, belongs to a canine caste that combines exalted pedigree, child-friendly cuddliness and arm-lacerating ferocity.

But seriously? $230,000? Is this a case of a dog so well trained and so rare in its abilities that the cost is warranted, or is it a case of superb niche marketing meets the insanely wealthy with money to burn? What do you think?

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