Cost to Buy a German Shepherd Puppy
Finding a new member of your family is a huge deal, and many considerations need to be made, finances being one of them. You have probably wondered at this point ‘how much does a German Shepherd cost?’
Choosing to get a puppy or adult German Shepherd can dramatically influence the cost of your furry friend. Read on to learn about all the financials behind purchasing a German Shepherd.
German Shepherd Puppy Price Factors
Regardless of breed, puppies tend to cost more. Consider getting a German Shepherd puppy if you have small children and/or other pets. This way, you can ensure your new dog grows up knowing how to cohabit space with others.
Age has a lot of influence over the price of a German Shepherd puppy. Puppies that fall in between eight and twelve weeks cost the most as this is the range most people purchase their puppies. There is a preference for younger German Shepherd puppies as they are the most easily influenced when being trained by their new owner.
German Shepherd puppies that are past the age of 12 weeks will decrease in price progressively as they become older.
If you are not looking to spend a lot of time training your German Shepherd puppy, consider searching for an adult dog instead. This way, you can skip the training process and get straight to the good stuff!
Coat Color will raise the price the rarer it is. You will find that white German Shepherds will cost more than the classic and more common black and tan color. If the color is not a factor for you, you may want to look for more common coat colors.
Gender does not have a big impact on pricing. Male and female German Shepherd puppies will tend to cost around the same amount of money. This is likely because both genders have a lot to offer.
Location will affect the GSD puppy’s price if you are purchasing in a city with more regulations or higher demand. Purchasing your puppy from a breeder in an area where people are not buying many German Shepherds will help you save costs.
Lineage and Bloodlines can cause a German Shepherd to sell upwards of $10,000. If you are looking into buying a show quality German Shepherd puppy, be prepared to pay a pretty penny.
Pedigree puppies will cost in the ballpark of $1,000-$4,000.
If getting a purebred German Shepherd puppy seems outside of your budget, consider a mixed breed. Head to your local animal rescue, and you may get lucky enough to find a purebred or mixed German Shepherd puppy.
Certifications/Warranties are used by some breeders to give you confidence in your purchase. As always, you should do your due diligence and find out if this breeder is ethically producing quality German Shepherd puppies.
Scammers sometimes use certificates to trick you into believing they are following an ethical and informed breeding process. This is not always the case.
Reputable dog breeders will always be able to provide you with a lifetime warranty on their GSD puppies. This is because they are looking to place their beautiful puppies in safe and loving homes.
Ask breeders to meet the puppy’s parents and to provide records. These records should include health screenings, vaccinations, and documentation on genetic predispositions.
For example, German Shepherds are known to have struggled with hip dysplasia. Be sure to look out for this and do not support breeders who refuse to provide documentation on their puppies.
Why are German Shepherd Puppies so Expensive?
There are many costs associated with ethically raising healthy German Shepherd puppies. These high costs are incurred by the breeder and factored into the puppy’s sale price.
Here are some common costs breeders cover before selling their German Shepherd puppies.
- Medical Fees
- Health Screenings
- Whelping Supplies
- Travel Expenses
Expenses for the average purebred litter totals around $7,500, while show quality puppies will total around $25,000.
How Can You Tell if a German Shepherd is Purebred?
There are only two ways you can find out if your puppy is a purebred German Shepherd – papers and DNA testing. Ask your breeder for their papers confirming both parents of your puppy are purebred.
If you happened to adopt a German Shepherd dog and are unsure whether they are purebred or mixed, order a DNA kit. There are reputable dog DNA testing companies that use a sample of your dog’s cheeks cells to determine their genetic makeup.
Best Way to Pick a German Shepherd Puppy
The most difficult part about picking a German Shepherd puppy from a litter is resisting the urge to take them all home! Please take note of each puppy’s personality as they are all individuals. A good place to start is deciding if you want a male or female puppy.
Getting a Girl or Boy German Shepherd
Aside from gender tendencies, one general rule of thumb is to get the opposite gender of dog of what you currently have in your household. If you get two of one gender, there is the possibility of clashing personalities. Males can become aggressive with one another and females will become aggressive with other females.
Male German Shepherd Puppies
Active families looking for a dog to go hiking a lot will find male GSDs to their liking. Some people find that male German Shepherds tend to gravitate towards one particular member of the family. This makes males especially likable for people looking for their own special companion.
Here are some common qualities of male GSDs:
Singular Bonding: Male GSDs are likely to bond with one person instead of the family as a whole.
Dominance: Male dogs, in general, are more likely to be dominant than their female counterparts. You can mitigate aggressive behavior by training your dog from a young age and maintaining that training throughout their lives.
Physical Appearance: Male German Shepherds have larger bodies than females with more prominent muscles.
Possessiveness: Male GSDs are known for being more possessive than females. Be aware of toy and food guarding behaviors.
Territorial: Males are more likely to wander off in pursuit of gaining more territory.
Female German Shepherd Puppies
On the other hand, female GSDs are calmer and more suitable for laidback homes. Girl German Shepherds end up as everyone’s dog and will latch onto the family as a whole. This is perfect for a family unit that cares about everyone connecting with their dog.
Family Bonding: Female GSDs are prone to be non-singular bonding and will connect with many members, if not all, of your household.
Things You Should Know Before Buying a German Shepherd
- Be prepared to provide plenty of attention and exercise.
- German Shepherds are called ‘land sharks’ for a reason. When they are puppies, they tend to play-bite quite a bit. This behavior should be discouraged as their bites can become dangerous as adults.
- They shed a ton! Another famous name for German Shepherds is ‘German Shedders’. Here are some of the best brushes for German Shepherds to get you started.
- German Shepherds are athletic and love to play rough. While these dogs can be great with children, they will require plenty of training.
- Aside from walks, be prepared to spend a lot of time playing with your dog in your backyard. Your backyard should be safe and have enough space for your German Shepherd to run around comfortably.
- You should have a budget in place to cover all the expenses this dog will require. Large dogs tend to incur many costs, and it is important to consider whether you are willing to cover them.
How to Recognize a Quality Dog Breeder
Quality German Shepherd dog breeders will want to know more about you. This is essential as you want a breeder who cares about where their puppies will spend the rest of their lives.
Quality breeders will ask you some questions about:
- Your reason for acquiring a GSD puppy
- Whether you live in an apartment, townhouse, or home
- What pets you already have living in your home
- Your financial status and how much you can afford to spend on a dog
- Your work-life situation
- If you have a yard and how large it is
Cost to Buy a German Shepherd Adult
Adult GSD prices have a vast range depending on where they are sourced from. Common places to source German Shepherds from include shelters, service dog organizations, and rescues.
German Shepherd From Shelters and Rescues
Purebred dogs acquired from shelters and rescues are the most ethical option and will also save you many upfront costs. Adult German Shepherds sourced from shelters tend to fall in the range of $50-$350.
They typically come already fixed (spayed/neutered), vaccinated, and microchipped. These extra costs associated with getting a dog can add up fast, and having them already taken care of relieves many financial burdens.
Be sure to check your local rescues as these fees can sometimes be waived, especially if the rescue is overwhelmed with dogs. A free German Shepherd dog can allow you to spend more money on toys, leashes, and better quality food.
German Shepherd Service Dogs Price
There is definitely a reason this breed tends to be used often by police and military; German Shepherds are intelligent and strong. This makes them particularly desirable for those who need a service dog.
GSDs who are to become service dogs go through a strict process and must be deemed fit for the job. Dogs that are accepted into service programs must be of the right temperament.
With such high selectivity comes a significant price hike. You can expect to spend anywhere from $10,000-$20,000. Sometimes this price can be even higher, depending on the organization you buy from.
Cost to Own a German Shepherd
The amount you spend on your German Shepherd dog will vary significantly depending on the age, quality of food, toys, your local veterinarian costs, and many other factors.
Keep in mind that you will want to cover some basic areas to ensure your German Shepherd is taken care of. While you do not need to spend a fortune on your dog, financially caring for a dog is nothing to sneeze at.
Over your German Shepherd’s lifetime, you can expect to spend anywhere from $10,000-$20,000. Most of the costs will occur towards the beginning of your dog’s life during the puppy stage. Once you have completed the first rounds of vaccinations, training, and initial purchase, costs become more steady and predictable.
German Shepherd Monthly Cost
Insurance – $30-$100
Training – $0-$4,000
Food – $40-$400
Veterinarian Visits – $0-$1,000
Toys and Supplies – $50-$1,000
Care – $0-$1,000
Insurance – $30-$100
Training – $0-$4,000
Food – $80-$500
Veterinarian Visits – $0-$1,000
Toys and Supplies – $50-$150
Care – $0-$1,000
German Shepherd Annual Cost
Here is how the monthly breakdown translates into an annual cost.
Puppy Cost: $120-$7,500
Adult Cost: $160-$6,750
Insurance: It is highly recommended to purchase health insurance for your German Shepherd, regardless of age. There are different types of health insurance and the type will heavily influence the cost. You have a choice between emergency insurance types and insurance which includes routine visits.
Training: Training is one area you can cut a lot of costs by putting a little effort on your part. There are many resources online, especially on YouTube, that will teach you how to train your dog.
Food: Purchasing quality food for your German Shepherd is essential to maintaining their health. High-quality kibble will be your cheapest option while raw food diets can become very costly (but worth it).
Veterinarian Visits: Routine vaccinations and checkups are necessary for taking care of your dog. In the case of a health emergency, be prepared to spend a pretty penny. It is important you set aside an emergency fund for your German Shepherd as veterinarian hospitals will not perform procedures unless the payment is available.
Toys and Supplies: As long as you spend quality time with your German Shepherd, you won’t have to break your wallet over toys.
Care: If you work at home, care costs should not be an issue. However, if you work quite a bit, there must be someone taking care of your dog. This will ensure your dog is mentally and physically healthy.
Is Getting a German Shepherd Worth It?
Although this a personal question, you will find that if you ask dog owners, the answer will overwhelmingly be ‘yes!’ German Shepherds make such great companions, whether you live alone or with a large family. If you are financially capable of supporting one and have a love for animals, it is worth considering.
These dogs are intelligent, loving, and loyal creatures that bring joy to pretty much anyone they come across. According to research, having a dog as a pet tends to increase your quality of life. Dogs help to lower your stress levels and provide tremendous amounts of comfort.
Cautions to Consider When Searching for Your German Shepherd
There are many websites available for you to search for your German Shepherd puppy, but not all are ethical or of quality. Avoid purchasing animals from breeders who are unwilling to provide the necessary information discussed in this article.
Craigslist is never a good idea, and beware of purchasing from puppy mills. These sources tend to harm these amazing animals’ overall wellbeing and should be avoided at all costs.