Few dogs are as intelligent and loyal as German Shepherds. With its athletic build and remarkable drive, this working breed makes excellent companions, herding dogs, police K-9s, and therapy animals.
How much does a German Shepherd cost? Let’s take a closer look at the average price of a German Shepherd puppy and discuss the different costs associated with dog ownership.
How Much Does a German Shepherd Cost?
The price of a German Shepherd puppy can vary a lot from one breeder to another. You can count on spending $500 to $1,000 if you’re getting a puppy from an amateur breeder or a pet owner who ended up with an accidental litter of puppies.
If you’re looking at professional breeders who produce show dogs or who take extra steps to conduct health testing on the parents, prices can range from $2,000 to $4,000.
On top of the upfront German Shepherd puppy cost, you’ll have to spend money on various things your pet needs. On average, pet owners spend $1,300 a year on their animals.
Here’s what you can expect to spend money on:
- An annual checkup at the vet costs $50 to $100. If your dog becomes ill, bloodwork can cost $400 to $600 just to diagnose your pet. A visit to an emergency vet will cost a minimum of $1,000.
- Expect to spend an additional $200 to $300 during the first year of your puppy’s life for vaccination.
- Spaying or neutering your GSD puppy can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,000.
- Dog owners are spending from $120 to $900 a year on dog food. Plan on spending another $100 a year on quality dog treats, and $10 to $20 a month on vitamins and other supplements as your companion gets older.
- German Shepherds are active and need plenty of stimulation. A $50 to $100 annual budget for toys is realistic.
- Flea and tick preventatives are a must-have. Expect to spend around $100 a year.
- A dog license can cost $10 to $50 a year depending on where you live and whether you had your dog neutered or spayed.
- If you adopt a long-haired GSD, plan on spending $75 per grooming session. At-home grooming products to manage shedding can cost $30 to $60 a year.
- You might face additional costs such as pet insurance, training classes, boarding fees, or dog walkers.
How Much Is a German Shepherd Puppy?
How much does a German Shepherd cost? Puppies tend to cost more due to the high demand.
A pet owner who had an unexpected litter can realistically expect to sell the puppies for $500 to $1,000 each. However, professional breeders charge a lot more.
Here’s what goes into the price tag of $2,000 to $4,000 for a German Shepherd puppy:
- Some breeders invest years into raising and training show dogs that will pass on the standard characteristics of the breed to their offspring.
- Professional breeders usually conduct health testing for the parents. Elbow and hip dysplasia and degenerative myelopathy are the two main tests to look for when adopting a GSD puppy.
- Prenatal care for the mother can be expensive. These costs can include bloodwork, ultrasounds, and X-rays.
- Most breeders raise the puppies for the first eight to 12 weeks. They provide nutrition, a living space, socialization, and sometimes early training. Breeders often ask for a $500 to $1,000 deposit to cover these costs.
- Puppies typically receive veterinary care, including a first round of booster shots and a deworming treatment.
- If you’re purchasing a puppy from a professional breeder, the price might include a health guarantee.
- Shipping costs are usually extra if you can’t pick up your puppy in person.
Factors that Impact the Cost of a German Shepherd
Several factors can impact how much breeders charge for a German Shepherd.
German Shepherds can come in a few different colors. Black and tan and black and cream are the most common GSD colors. However, there are rarer colors, like black and silver, sable, or black.
These colors meet the official breed standards, and a puppy with an unusual color can be worth more. On the other hand, some colors like white or pure red indicate a puppy isn’t a purebred German Shepherd, which can result in a lower price.
The coat can also impact pricing, with long-hair GSDs being worth more since they’re less common.
Bloodline and Purity
One of the key factors that influences the cost of a GSD puppy is the parents and their pedigrees.
A breeder will look at how well the parents match the AKC breed standards. Both parents should be the right height and color. They should have a muscular morphology and the proper head shape.
Breeders who are able to trace the ancestry of a litter over several generations and document that all the ancestors are purebred GSDs will charge more. You should also expect to pay more if a breeder can provide health testing information over several generations.
Titles are another important factor. Professional breeders often enter their dogs in events that assess the dogs’ characteristics or abilities.
Show dogs can receive V, VA, or VA1 titles if they do well at an event and judges determine they meet all the standards of the breed. A VA1 title indicates a GSD won an official event and makes their puppies worth a lot more. You’ll also see dogs with KKL or KorKlasse titles, which indicates a professional conducted a breed survey and confirmed the animal met the GSD breed standards.
German Shepherds can also earn IPO or IGP titles for their temperament and training. The first IGP level (IGP1) measures a dog’s ability to track, while the second level assesses the dog’s obedience. An IGP3 title indicates that a dog can protect its owner.
Parents with IGP or IPO titles produce puppies that are worth more since breeders consider these animals to have excellent potential for training.
The law of offer and demand applies to breeding. A breeder who has an excellent reputation and many positive online reviews will attract more prospective dog owners and can afford to charge more.
A breeder’s reputation isn’t something you should compromise on. It’s best to spend more and adopt a puppy from a breeder who genuinely cares about animals and conducts health testing.
Estimated Size of a German Shepherd
A male GSD should measure 24 to 26” at the shoulder while a female should be 22 to 24.” If both parents fall within these ranges, the puppies can be worth more since they’re highly likely to meet this precise breed standard.
German Shepherds Can Be Expensive, Protect Your Pup with Fi’s GPS Tracking Dog Collar
How much does a German Shepherd cost? Between the initial adoption fee and the different costs you’ll incur during the first year of your dog’s life, you’re looking at spending $3,000 to $6,000.
Unfortunately, because GSD puppies are so valuable, you can’t assume that people will do the right thing and locate the owner if they find a lost dog. You can protect your dog with a microchip, but there are other steps you can take.
The Fi GPS tracking dog collar helps you keep your dog safe. It’s a lightweight and comfortable collar available in different sizes and colors. The design is highly resistant and waterproof for durability, and the collar comes with a battery that lasts three months.
The collar uses LTE and GPS satellite connectivity to show your pet’s location in real-time. You can track your pet anywhere and locate them easily if they get lost.
German Shepherd Breed Guide
Are you thinking about adopting a German Shepherd? There are a few things you should know about this working breed.
Personality of the German Shepherd
German Shepherds are fiercely loyal. They make excellent guard dogs thanks to their protective instincts.
They’re courageous, confident, and always up for a new adventure. They also make amazing pets who will give you lots of affection. They’re patient and loving with children, but they’re not the ideal breed for multi-pet households since they don’t always get along well with other animals.
GSDs are reliable and hardworking dogs who thrive if you constantly give them new tasks and challenges. They’re highly intelligent and athletic, which means they enjoy mental challenges as much as exercising.
These dogs are extremely versatile. They thrive in obedience and agility, but you’ll also see working dogs with police and military units, tracking dogs in search-and-rescue operations, or therapy dogs.
German Shepherds have amazing potential and tend to do extremely well in training thanks to their drive and intelligence. However, they require consistent training and handling since they can be mouthy, chase prey, or become overprotective without the right training.
Size and Weight
German Shepherds are medium to large dogs. A male should measure 24 to 26” while a female should be somewhere between 22 and 24.” These are the official breed standards, but you’ll come across GSDs who are slightly taller or smaller.
When it comes to weight, a healthy male will weigh 66 to 88 lbs. while a female should weigh 49 to 70 lbs.
A German Shepherd’s average lifespan ranges from nine to 13 years. It’s a standard lifespan for most dog breeds.
Several factors can affect your pet’s lifespan, including their weight, activity levels, and overall health. Choosing a reputable breeder who performs advanced health testing on the parents and keeping up with your dog’s health needs can increase its lifespan.
Lifestyle and Activity Levels
German Shepherds are a working breed. Their origin dates back to the 19th century when dog breeder Max Von Stephanitz developed a new dog by breeding different herding dogs.
Like all shepherds, GSDs have a strong need to stay active. These dogs will thrive if you give them a job to do, whether it’s herding sheep, completing an obstacle course, or training them to assist with household tasks.
Due to their athletic build, these dogs need at least two hours of exercise every day. Going for walks might not be sufficient. Your GSD will thrive if you provide plenty of opportunities to use their athletic abilities, including jumping, swimming, or running.
Approximate Lifetime Care Costs
The total cost of owning a German Shepherd is difficult to estimate since every animal is different.
If you spend the average amount of $1,300 a year, the total cost will add up to $16,900 over 13 years. However, you’ll likely incur higher health costs as your companion ages, and things like supplements, medication, or surgery can increase the cost.
Because German Shepherds are active and intelligent dogs, you should plan on spending money on various activities over the years, whether it’s agility classes, IGP training, or hiking.
How Can I Lower the Cost of a German Shepherd?
German Shepherds can be expensive. Here are a few tips to help you lower the cost.
Choose the Right Breeder
Don’t hesitate to contact different breeders to compare prices. Look for a breeder who cares about the animals and who does health testing on the parents, but everything else is extra.
Breeders will charge more for a puppy that comes from a show line, but there is no need to purchase a dog with an extensive pedigree if you don’t plan on entering shows yourself.
You should also consider adopting a dog with an unknown lineage. You can find puppies with the appearance and characteristics of GSDs even though they don’t have an official AKC registration.
Check Local Shelters
Breeders aren’t the only way to get a German Shepherd puppy. Check local shelters or go online to look at classified ads. There are also sites where you can see dogs for adoption at shelters located across the entire country if you’re looking for a specific breed.
Consider Adopting an Older GSD
GSD puppies are adorable, but you can save money by adopting an older dog. Check classified ads to find owners rehoming their pets. You might also find breeders selling the dogs they’re retiring or come across a GSD that failed their service dog training.
Keep Up With Routine Health Care
Taking care of your pet’s health can prevent a major problem that would leave you with thousands in vet bills. Keep up with your dog’s vaccination schedule, administer flea and tick preventatives, and look into dental health to prevent periodontal disease.
Conclusion: The Cost of Owning a German Shepherd
How much does a German Shepherd cost? Prices start at $500 if you’re lucky enough to find a GSD puppy through a local classified ad, but breeders can charge anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 for an AKC-registered GSD puppy.German Shepherds aren’t one of the most affordable breeds, but dog lovers will tell you they’re worth every penny. If you decide to get a German Shepherd, think about using the Fi GPS dog collar to keep your dog safe, and make sure you can bring your puppy home if she gets lost.
Get more expert advice on pet-parenting by visiting the Off Leash blog at TryFi.com.
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