In this article, I’m going to be talking about how much does a German Shepherd cost. In that case, let me tell you right away that the price is quite steep. But why do German Shepherds cost so much? It’s because breeding and raising these dogs are not cheap.
Did you know that Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog breed in America? And the second position is taken by none other than the German Shepherd breed. No doubt, they’re agile, athletic, and intelligent. So are you planning on making a German Shepherd a part of your family? If yes, then he/she is going to make an incredibly loving and devoted pet.
Now it’s time to get to the real part of the article!
Table of Contents
1. Determining the Price of German Shepherd Puppies
It goes without saying that purebred puppies from reputable breeders are expensive to buy. Many people prefer such breeders over backyard breeders. Along with shady, unethical online sellers and even pet stores.
But why is that? It’s because healthy puppies come from healthy parent breeds. And when the breeder is reputable, he/she invests a lot of money into caring for the breeding stock and puppies.
When the breeders are also responsible, they ensure that both the father and mother dogs go through health screenings. To eliminate the possibility of potential genetic medical conditions. This is very important when you want the litter to be healthy.
After the pups are born, the breeder then cares for not only the puppies. But also for the dam (mother dog).
More often than not, breeders spend large sums of money on the following…
- Bedding, toys, and other such dog supplies.
- Medical fees and health screenings.
- Travel expenses.
2. What Determines the Cost of German Shepherd Puppies from Breeders?
So how much does a good German Shepherd cost? It depends on what breeder you’re buying your pup from. The price is based on the amount of money reputable breeders spend. Spend on both breeding and even raising a healthy, purebred litter.
On average, the majority of trustworthy, ethical breeders spend almost over $7000 on each litter. And breeders that offer show-quality dogs spend even more. That figure climbs as high as $24,000 per litter. For breeding as well as raising the puppies! But you should refrain from giving money to these kinds of breeders.
In simple words, purebred puppies are not affordable or cheap to buy. Every other source is expensive. So what does this mean? That lower-priced German Shepherds are inferior in terms of health, genes, personality, appearance, etc. to their expensive counterparts? This paves the way for the next section.
3. Low-Priced German Shepherd Puppies vs. High-Priced German Shepherd Puppies
Needless to say, buying dogs and puppies is becoming more and more common these days. And when the demand is so high, the supply factor also increases. Unfortunately, this also means opportunistic breeders wanting to earn big bucks.
Would you believe me if I said that the pet industry is worth a billion dollars? And most of that money comes from puppies. The sad truth of the matter here is that not every breeder who sells and/or breeds puppies is responsible, meticulous, and humane. There are breeders that are only concerned about making huge profits.
In order to earn large sums of money fast, these kinds of breeders cut costs. And that makes way for shady breeding practices. Thus, unhealthy puppies.
Speaking of which, also stay away from puppy mills. In that case, avoid buying your pup from backyard breeders and pet stores. Even online sellers are not to be trusted. In nearly every case, they don’t offer any medical proof and paperwork. Even though they promise to sell purebred puppies at a shockingly low price!
However, please note that not all sellers that offer low-cost German Shepherd puppies are associated with puppy mills. Nevertheless, they might not fully understand the proper responsibilities of healthy breeding. So your chances of buying an unhealthy pup and also encouraging wrong practices are quite high here too.
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4. What Is the Safer Alternative to Buying High-Priced German Shepherd Puppies?
Let me give you some good news now. The options for low-cost breeders are not as limited as you might imagine. There are many ethical and responsible breeders out there. Those that breed puppies only for companionship. And not just to make huge profits out of you!
As you already know, purebred, show-quality German Shepherds are always going to cost you more. Much, much more than puppies and dogs that are bred purely for companionship. So if you want to get a pup to make him/her a part of your family. And not for show, then a trustable low-cost breeder is the route you ought to take.
But does that mean your German Shepherd is not going to be as healthy as the show-quality version? The answer is NO. If the low-cost breeder is a responsible one, then you can breathe a sigh of relief. Because these types of breeders make it a point to include only the best, the safest, and the most ethical breeding and raising methods.
Even so, there’s no denying that buying a German Shepherd from a breeder is going to cost more money. In comparison to other sources! Irrespective of whether you want a show-quality dog or just a furry companion.
5. Other Sources of Buying a German Shepherd Puppy/Dog
So how do you go about buying a German Shepherd without emptying your wallet? Well, you have the option of rescuing a puppy or dog. Animal shelters are now packed with breed-specific rescues. So you can get a breed of your choice.
Just make sure your precious little puppy is subjected to health screenings and behavioral testing. But what’s the most enticing aspect here is the low price. If animal rescue organizations charge X amount of money for a German Shepherd pup. Then breeders offer a price tag of 3-5 times that amount.
This means you have enough reasons to rescue a German Shepherd. Instead of encouraging the practice of show-quality and expensive dog breeding. By choosing the former, you’re giving the dog a lot of things he/she is in need of. Some of them include love, care, food, water, shelter, and more.
6. How Much Does a German Shepherd Cost?
I don’t need to tell you how incredibly popular the German Shepherd breed is. So it’s not very hard finding breeders to buy your German Shepherd pup from. Reputable breeders known for their low cost and ethical practices sell puppies starting from $300. And their price goes up to $900.
Now, what about breeders that charge more. Meaning what about show-quality German Shepherds? They can cost anywhere between $6000 and $7000.
Now comes the part where the price is enough to convince you to rescue a German Shepherd. Instead of splurging money unnecessarily! When you rescue a pup from a shelter, you don’t have to pay more than $300-$400. And you know this money is going to go for a good cause. And not to satisfy the greed of unethical, irresponsible breeders and puppy mills.
7. Why Are German Shepherd Puppies So Expensive?
Now that you know how much does a German Shepherd cost. Do you know why the price is so steep? I mean do you actually know the specific costs? I don’t think so. In that case, please keep reading because you might want to know this.
Breeders for German Shepherds have to cover a whole list of overhead costs. At the same time, they have to put in hours and hours of nurturing and caring for the puppies. At least this is what happens when the breeders are responsible and trustworthy.
So how about I give you an actual breakdown associated with one litter of purebred German Shepherd puppies…
|Stud fee||Over $800|
|Puppy registration||$25 for each puppy|
The sum total here is almost $3000. On top of that, breeders have to care for the new litter by performing hourly health checkups. These hourly checkups are necessary during the initial days of birth.
If the breeder is a genuine animal lover, then he/she doesn’t mind doing all of this. They do it not just to make money. But also because they want to make sure the puppies are the healthiest and happiest.
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8. What Are the Different Yearly Costs of a German Shepherd?
German Shepherd dogs are quite big in size. Looking after them is an expensive task. As they grow, caring for them also requires more attention in kind and money.
Speaking of which, let me make one thing very clear. German Shepherds, more often than not, live for over 10 years. So are you financially well-equipped to care for your pet for so long? If yes, then only should you consider getting a German Shepherd.
Moving on, the initial costs include buying a bed, collar, leash, crate, grooming brush, and high-quality puppy food. Apart from the expensive cost of actually purchasing a German Shepherd from a breeder of course!
Do not underestimate the high cost of bringing up a German Shepherd puppy. Yearly vet fees are going to be at least $100. In the case of high-quality dog food, you’re likely to spend around $1000 per year. Then there’s the $240 heartworm prevention medication and the $25 license. On top of that, add toys worth $1500 every year.
Unexpected injuries or illnesses also increase the cost. And these emergency trips to the vet can end up costing a lot of money. All of this rounds up to thousands of dollars easily.
9. What is the Actual Cost of Adopting German Shepherds from Shelters?
I’m sure you already know by now that adopting your German Shepherd puppy from an animal rescue organization is cheaper. In comparison to buying one from a breeder. The breed, just by the way, is very large and energetic. To keep the dog healthy and active, you need a lot of money, energy, and time. Not many German Shepherd lovers know that.
Dogs like German Shepherds love to dig, chew, bark, and get excited for no reason at all. And if you’re not able to handle this. The experience can get really messy for you and your precious pet. So many pet parents, at such times, don’t understand how to handle the pressure. The result of this, in many cases, is leaving the dog at the pound.
Just head to your nearest dog pound and you’ll see many German Shepherds there waiting to find a new home. So can you handle the high demands of caring for a German Shepherd? If yes, then why not adopt one from an animal shelter?
No doubt, German Shepherds are smart and energetic. Mental stimulation is a must when it comes to caring for your dog. And this is even more important in the case of the German Shepherd breed.
But what’s the cost of adopting a German Shepherd from such rescue organizations? Anywhere between $50 and $500. The factors that determine this cost are as follows…
So that the dog is looked after by a professional veterinarian. This means he/she is going to be in good, healthy shape.
Spaying and Neutering Fees
The majority of rescue shelter homes want to prevent home breeding and accidental pregnancies.
Necessary vaccinations are administered for making sure the dog has a healthy, happy life.
Tick and Flea Medication Cost
Strays dogs welcome a whole list of skin conditions. So to avoid the spread of diseases and illnesses, tick and flea medication is a must.
In order to keep the digestive system of the dog healthy, changing diets is not such a great move. So rescue centers provide proper breed-specific food. Until they can get the four-legged creature safely and slowly accustomed to a new healthy and well-balanced diet.
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It’s common for abandoned dogs to show aggression. So, in such scenarios, what works best is proper training. Before they get adopted, the rescue dogs are trained by a professional. So they can learn to react in a friendly and calm manner. Instead of showing aggression.
So it’s quite obvious that even shelter homes for animals spend money on their rescue dogs. This should explain the price range of $50 to $500. Just like you have to choose reputable breeders, you should pick reputable shelter organizations.
Don’t hesitate to spend a few hundred dollars more if the German Shepherd is healthier, better-trained, and more socially well-behaved. In the long run, this extra money will surely be worth it.
10. Why Are Household Breeders Not Such A Great Choice?
Let’s say you found an online seller that’s willing to give you a purebred German Shepherd puppy for $500. So should you buy the dog? I mean why not when the price is so low considering the puppy is a purebred German Shepherd! Isn’t that what you’re thinking right now? Well, let me break it to you that this online seller might just be a home breeder.
The problem with home breeders is that they don’t follow proper standards when it comes to breeding and caring for the animals. Only reputable breeders do that.
In the case of home breeders, don’t expect them to perform the necessary health checkups. The litter’s parents are also not medically screened before mating. So common medical conditions have not been ruled out. In German Shepherds, this includes problems like hip dysplasia.
At the same time, female dogs are not fed proper nutrients during pregnancy. And even when her puppies are suckling. Constant attention and checkups are a must at this point in time. And that is completely ignored in the case of home breeders. So health or genetic defects show up later in the lift of the pup.
On top of that, you have to deal with the potential costs of regular vet visits. Along with unpredictable injuries and surgeries. This explains why buying a healthy puppy is very important.
When the dogs are poorly bred, you have to pay more to care for them in the long run. As opposed to reputable breeders. That make sure the litter is healthy and well-cared for.
Just keep in mind that the German Shepherd is going to be a part of your home for over 10 years. So you have to choose ways to cut costs. And to save thousands of dollars down the road.
11. How Much Do German Shepherds Weigh?
The weight of the dog is important when it comes to deciding food costs. Because the amount of dog food your pet consumes depends on his/her weight.
On an average scale…
- Male German Shepherds weigh somewhere between 66 pounds and 88 pounds.
- Female German Shepherds weigh somewhere between 48 pounds and 70 pounds.
As for the height of this particular breed…
- Males are 24 to 26 inches tall.
- And females are 22 to 24 inches tall.
12. How Much Does a German Shepherd Cost? (Other Costs)
Feeding a German Shepherd
Like you already know by now, the German Shepherd breed is quite large in size. So you should factor in food expenses at the time of calculating the cost of German Shepherds.
On average, the dog weighs between 50 to 90 pounds. And the breed has a very hearty appetite. So based on the size, gender, and even the activity level. Around 4-5 cups of breed-specific food per day is a must. But feel free to check with your vet about this first.
When feeding high-quality food, per pound costs $2-$3. That means a 30-pound dog food bag is priced at $55. And that gives 120 cups of food. So if a full-grown German Shepherd eats 4 cups daily, the 30-pound stock will last for 30 days. So $55 x 12 is equal to $660 per year.
Additionally, treats costs around $10 per month. That’s another $120 on a yearly basis.
It’s only logical to want to find out possible health issues before getting your new pup. The greatest news here is that German Shepherds are considered to be one of the healthiest dog breeds.
But that doesn’t medical issues do not take form. The most common health concern German Shepherds have to deal with is hip dysplasia. The condition gives rise to tremendous amounts of pain. It even causes arthritis in some cases. To be more specific, around 19% of German Shepherds get affected by this particular problem. But prevention is a possibility.
You can buy your dog from a reputable breeder instead of choosing backyard breeders and puppy mills. A breeder that maintains safe and healthy breeding standards should be on your list. And once you get your little pooch home. Keep in mind that a healthy, well-balanced diet is absolutely necessary. And so is enough amounts of physical and mental stimulation.
So what about vet expenses for treating conditions like hip dysplasia?
- The treatment of hip dysplasia costs anywhere between $1500 and $6000.
- The treatment of osteochondritis dissecans costs anywhere between $2000 and $4000.
- The treatment of gastric dilation volvulus costs anywhere between $1500 and $7500.
- The treatment of elbow dysplasia costs anywhere between $1500 and $4000.
- The treatment of aortic stenosis costs anywhere between $500 and $1500.
- The treatment of cardiomyopathy costs anywhere between $500 and $1500.
But please note that these are rare cases. Generally speaking, you don’t end up paying more than just a few hundred dollars. That is just for regular veterinarian visits and maybe some occasional issues.
13. How Much Does a German Shepherd Cost – The EndNote
Now you know how much does a German Shepherd cost. You also know why this particular dog breed is so expensive. I have discussed both the upfront as well as annual costs. But before you get into any of this. You should ask yourself if the German Shepherd breed is right for you or not.
The dog demands regular playtime and grooming. It’s also important to take your pet to the vet for administering heartworm medication monthly. Then the exercise requirements of a German Shepherd are also very demanding. You have to spend time training the dog and stimulating his/her mental capacities as well. Also equally crucial is playing with, petting, and cuddling your dog.
German Shepherds may be guard dogs and all. But they require affection and love. Just like any other dog breed. The dog is powerful and large. So if you have children, then you’ve got to be careful. Speaking of which, get a German Shepherd only if you’re a strong-minded person. Meaning this breed doesn’t do well with a weak leader.
If proper training is not a part of the experience. Then your German Shepherd can become difficult to deal with. Since the breed has very strong hunting instincts. Even dog hair is something you should be okay with. German Shepherds shed a lot. And they need to be in a big house. With neighbors that are highly unlikely to get annoyed because of the dog’s loud bark.
So it’s more than just how much does a German Shepherd cost that you need to know.