Like most pure breeds, German Shepherd Dogs can cost a pretty penny. But just how much are German Shepherds? Take a look at our answer and then learn a little more about why they cost this much and more on pricing.
German Shepherd Cost
The price that you pay for a German Shepherd depends on where you buy it and what your intended use for your new puppy is. Here are some examples which will give you an estimate on how much you can expect to pay.
Rescue Dog: $300 to $500
Rescue Dogs are the cheapest option although finding a puppy might not be the easiest thing to do. Most shelter animals will be at least 9 months old and well into adolescence. Some will also be seniors.
The good thing about a rescue is that they will typically be fixed already witch saves you several hundred dollars in spaying or neutering costs. In addition, many of the dogs will already be house broken.
The only downside is that you will miss out on the puppy years. Every pet owner will tell you that these are precious moments in a dogs life and they greatly influence the animal that they will become. If you have kids or other pets, a rescue might not be the best choice for this reason.
Family Pet: $500 to $1500
If you are looking for the average German Shepherd experience, you can find a well bred puppy from a breeder in this price range.
The price will often include the first round of shots and de-worming.
Be sure to interview your breeder and if possible, meet the parents of the dog that you are interested in. Make sure that everything is clean and professional. You want t breeder who knows what they are doing. The average backyard breeder means well but often lack the knowledge and do not screen for genetic issues such as hip problems.
Show Dog: $3000 to $10,000
If you want show dog, you are in an entirely different ballpark as far as price goes.
A show quality German Shepherd will come from excellent and usually award winning lineages. This does not come cheaply. You would be fortunate to get a show quality animal for 3000 dollars, most dogs will be closer to a median price of 5000 dollars.
German Shepherd Prices are estimates based on AKC classifieds for German Shepherds.
How Much Does A German Shepherd Cost To Own?
If you have ever owned a dog before, you know that the cost does not stop at the initial purchase. When determining how much are German Shepherds, also consider the extra costs. Pets will cost you money every step of the way. They are worth it of course, but you need to be prepared. Here are some common expenses that you can expect to pay.
Being a high strung working dog, a German Shepherd will like to eat. They need the energy because they never stop working.
When it comes to food, you can either go cheap, mid grade or high end. Expect an adult to eat one large 30 pound bag of food a month. Puppies can be ravenous and eat twice that, but be sure to consult the feeding guidelines on the bag you purchase to avoid over feeding.
The cheap food should be avoided at all costs. It is usually chock full of fillers with far less nutritional benefits than other food. You will find that your dog eats more of it just to get enough calories in and the lack of nutrition can come back and bite you with higher future vet bills. So, stay away from the cheap food. A large, 30#, bag of cheap dog food can be had for around $25, but you really should avoid this option.
Mid grade foods such as Blue Buffalo or Nutro are good choices if you have n average family pet. Most dogs will do very well on these foods as hey have adequate nutrition including vitamins and trace minerals. Expect to pay between $50 to $60 for a large, 30#, bag of dog food.
If your dog is a show dog, or you are really concerned about what you feed your German Shepherd, you have many options. You can go with a human quality dog food or even a raw diet, which has become very popular. These options can cost you hundreds of dollars a month, so be prepared.
Like all dogs, you will have vet bills and they can get pricey, especially in the first year of life. You will have numerous trips for vaccinations and, unless you plan on breeding, you will also need to spay or neuter your part. Fixing your animal is controversial in some circles but unless you plan on being, it is the best way to go. Statistically, animals that are spayed or neutered live longer and healthier lives.
Including fixing your pet, expect to spend around 1000 to 1500 dollars the first year. Every year after that, budget around 200 dollars a year for routine exams.
Besides the routine medical exams, you should also prepare yourself for the unexpected. If you chose a good breeder who screens for genetic defects, hopefully you will not have to deal with things like Hip or Elbow Dysplasia, but it can happen with even some of the best breeders. Conditions like this or anything unexpected can lead to some unplanned vet expenses ranging from 1000 dollars to 6000 dollars. I you don’t think you would have that kind of money in an emergency, look into pet insurance.
Life With A German Shepherd
Not every dog is right for every person and this is most definitely the case with the German Shepherd. This is a working class dog and a very serious breed. If you think that a German Shepherd will be content to sit on the couch while you watch television, you are very mistaken. They want to work.
What this means for the owner is that you need to exercise your dog regularly. Be prepared to take them on long walks at a minimum. Even better would be to run them as they are a very athletic breed.
Besides exercise, they also need mental stimulation. German Shepherds are smart and love to figure things out. If you do not stimulate their mind, they will quickly get bored and a bored dog is a destructive one. Luckily, you do not have to go to extremes to stimulate your German Shepherd, little things can help. Even something as simple as hiding their treats in your home for your dog to find can help. Just be consistent and you will have a happy canine.