How much is a German Shepherd dog? There’s so much more to buying a dog than meets the eye, but don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
The German Shepherd dog is so popular worldwide! Consider this – the German Shepherd dog is the second most popular pet dog in the United States! In the UK, the German Shepherd is the eighth most popular companion canine.
What this means for you, the German Shepherd dog lover, is that your favorite dog is a really wonderful pup!
In this article, we get up close and personal with how much a German Shepherd dog costs so you can shop for your new fur bestie with knowledge and confidence.
Calculating The Cost For A German Shepherd Dog Puppy
When you are considering adding a German Shepherd puppy to your family, there is so much to contemplate!
In this section we will walk you through some basics for calculating the cost for a German Shepherd dog puppy and beginning to budget for your new addition.
As of publication time, the price range for a purebred GSD puppy varies from $50 to $20,000.
We will talk more about expensive puppies vs low price puppies and why there is such a vast disparity in puppy pricing in the following sections!
One-time Puppy Supplies
Estimates put puppy preparation supplies purchases right around $900.
Read on for a breakdown of estimated initial costs in preparation for welcoming your new German Shepherd dog puppy home!
Ongoing (recurring) Puppy Costs
Your puppy will need certain items all through life – so for the next 7 to 10 years at a minimum.
In a following section here, learn why these costs may run you $200 or more monthly.
Expensive Puppies Vs Low Price Puppies
“Boy, having a puppy sure is cheap and easy!” said no new German Shepherd dog puppy owner, ever.
Puppies are pricey – this is something every dog lover knows. What many dog lovers do not realize, however, is that there tends to be an inverse relationship between the initial cost of your German Shepherd puppy and the future veterinary expenses you may have to bear.
Put simply: a more expensive German Shepherd puppy is often also a healthier puppy.
Low Price Puppies
Be wary when you see that “great deal” on a GSD puppy online, in a local pet shop or out of the back of someone’s pickup truck at the grocery store. The most common reason the price is so low is because you are buying from a backyard breeder or – worse – a puppy mill.
This can lead to people buying a puppy bred from unhealthy breeding stock. This could include parent dogs with genetic health issues, temperament problems or even a mixed breed lineage. These dogs can struggle all their lives with pain, poor health, behavior issues and other expensive problems. It can be very expensive to budget for problems like these.
When you purchase a German Shepherd puppy from a reputable, responsible breeder that takes dog breeding seriously and wants to maintain a positive reputation within their industry, it costs more to breed, whelp and care for the puppies. So, it will cost you more to purchase a puppy.
But that puppy is much more likely to be bred from healthy purebred German Shepherd parent dogs who have been pre-screened for genetic health issues. Your puppy has also likely been fed high-quality dog food and cared for with expertise during pregnancy, whelping, weaning and the important socialization weeks.
So your veterinary bills over the lifetime of your dog are more likely to be lower than they would be if you purchased that “low price” puppy.
Rescued Puppies or Adult Dogs
The one and only exception to the “inverse rule” is when you decide to rescue and re-home a German Shepherd from a local animal rescue organization or shelter.
In this situation, that shelter has likely had your dog completely checked out by their own veterinary team, vaccinated, treated for any current health issues, evaluated for temperament and fostered/trained.
Yet, your price will likely be lower than even a backyard breeder or puppy/import mill would charge. At time of publication, the average re-homing fee for a German Shepherd puppy or adult dog can be anywhere from $50 to $375.
In choosing to rescue a GSD puppy or adult dog, not only are you giving a worthy pup a second chance to find a forever home, but you are also getting a lot more assurance that your newly rescued GSD is going to be able to become a relatively healthy and happy, well-adjusted family member!
Also, many rescue shelters throw in valuable freebies to help facilitate forever matches. These freebies can include veterinary exams, de-worming as needed, spay/neuter, micro-chipping, free food and dog supplies and even training classes.
How to spot a bad breeder
For more information about how to spot a backyard breeder, puppy mill, import breeder or simply a bad breeder, please take a few minutes to review this article.
What Is The Cost Of A German Shepherd Dog Puppy
Let’s take a closer look at the current price range for a purebred German Shepherd puppy.
As of the time of publication of this article, the average price to purchase a purebred German Shepherd dog puppy from a reputable breeder ranges from $1,200 to $20,000.
Why is there such a wide price range, you might be wondering? The price can vary based on a number of variables, including but not limited to these:
- Supply versus demand.
- Breeder status (show awards, lineage).
- Puppy coat color and conformation (appearance).
- Puppy gender.
- “Show” quality puppy vs “pet” quality puppy.
- Breeder costs.
- Puppy temperament (working K-9 versus companion)
The Average Breeder Cost
Here we are talking about a reputable, serious purebred dog breeder – to breed, whelp and raise a litter of puppies – can run anywhere from $4,000 for a simple, smooth litter to $10,000 for a complicated pregnancy and delivery.
The average cost is $5,000 to $7,000. Divide that by the average GSD litter size of 8 puppies, and your breeder has already spent between $625 and $875 per puppy.
Now it might start to make more sense to hear that the cost of a new puppy may be $1,200 or higher.
The breeder needs to recoup money already spent and afford to breed another litter – so the profit margin here is always going to be slim. This is why true breeders say they are not in it for the money!
Are There Other Costs With A German Shepherd Dog Puppy
There are three basic expenses associated with adding a German Shepherd dog puppy to your family.
The first expense is the cost of your new puppy, which we covered in an earlier section.
The second expense is the initial preparation – supplies you need to welcome your new puppy.
The third expense is ongoing maintenance or recurring items your puppy will need throughout life.
We take a closer look at the latter two puppy cost categories here, breaking down average costs for each item so you can budget and prepare.
Initial Preparation Costs
One thing many enthusiastic first-time German Shepherd puppy owners often forget to factor in is the cost of preparing to welcome a new puppy!
Here are just a few of the items you will probably want to purchase in advance of your new puppy’s arrival along with cost estimates:
- Food and water bowls: $25
- Collar, ID tag and leash: $30
- Initial “well puppy” veterinary exam: $85
- Micro-chipping: $45.
- Puppy pads (for house training): $20
- Dog crate (large with divider so your pup can grow into it): $75
- Bed/liner: $15
- Dog bed: $70
- Travel dog crate and car restraint for safety: $75
- Basic grooming tools: $60
- Spay/neuter as desired: $400
Already, you’ve spent $900 – but the good news is these expenses aren’t likely to come around again frequently, if ever.
If you don’t have an escape-proof yard, you will also need to invest in a secure fence.
Recurring Puppy Care Expenses
These typically include items such as (prices are monthly estimates except where otherwise noted):
- Puppy food: $35
- Poop bags and holder: $15
- Puppy treats/training aids: $15
- Puppy toys and teething aids: $100
- Required vaccinations and boosters as needed: $85/year
- Flea/tick/heartworm control treatments as needed: $35
- Dog license and annual renewals (if applicable): $20/year
- Training classes as needed: $125 for four sessions
You may also want to buy dog health insurance, which can help control future veterinary costs to some extent. Premiums can range from $100 to $200 annually for a healthy young puppy.
Your recurring costs come in at around $200 per month without pet insurance or training classes.
This price can skyrocket if your dog has a health emergency, which is why it is wise to start a “health fund” for your GSD far in advance of any potential surprises.
How Much Is A German Shepherd Dog
We hope that reading through the information in this article has helped you feel more confident to make a smart purchase choice when choosing your new German Shepherd puppy!
References and Resources
Langen, J., “Cost of Owning a GSD,” Bright Star German Shepherd Dog Rescue, 2019.
Hayes, B., “The Cost of Buying An 8 Week Old German Shepherd Puppy” / “Lifetime Ownership Cost Analysis,” Hayes Haus Kennel, 2019.
Hazel, B., “Estimated Costs of Breeding a Litter,” Save Our Shepherds Rescue, 2019.
Root Kustritz, M., DVM, PhD, DACT, “Decreased litter size in the bitch (proceedings),” Veterinary Journal DVM360, 2009.
Gerganoff, C., et al, “Choosing a Puppy,” The German Shepherd Dog Club of America, 2018.