German Shepherd Price – How Much is This Popular Breed?
by Jessi Larson
What is the German Shepherd price? That’s a question many potential pup owners ask, and a good thing to know before committing to this breed.
The German Shepherd price depends on a number of factors, but we can provide a solid ballpark of what you can expect.
Today the German Shepherd is the second most popular dog breed in the United States, behind only the Labrador Retriever. Athletic, agile and intelligent, the German Shepherd is a proud dog that makes a devoted pet.
The breed descends from the family of German herding dogs which for years varied from district to district. Then in the late 1800s, a cavalry officer named Captain Max von Stephanitz set out to develop the ideal German herder and spent 35 years promoting and refining the breed to what it is today.
Ultimately, German Shepherd owners have von Stephanitz to thank for creating this confident and courageous canine.
The initial German Shepherd price
On average, the cost of a German Shepherd ranges from $500-$1,500. According to NextDayPets, the average price is $800 for a dog that’s bred to be a family pet.
The price goes up for show-quality dogs with an exceptional lineage. You can expect to pay anywhere from $2,300 up to $10,000 or more for pups with top breed lines.
Don’t forget that you can always adopt a German Shepherd or a German Shepherd mix. Considering that pet adoption usually ranges from $350-$550 and it includes registrations and vaccinations, you’ll certainly save money. But better yet, you’re providing a wonderful home for a dog who really needs one.
The cost of feeding a German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is a big dog with a hearty appetite, so you should definitely take note of food expenses when factoring out the full German Shepherd price.
Weighing anywhere from 50-90 pounds depending on gender, size and activity level, the German Shepherd typically eats 3 1/2 to 5 cups of food a day. (Always check with your vet to see what’s right for your dog.)
For high quality dog food, you can expect to pay about $2-$3 per pound. Say you get a 30-pound bag for $55, which is approximately 120 cups of dog food. If an adult German Shepherd eats 4 cups per day, that means the 30-pound bag would provide 30 days of food. So that’s about a month of food for $55, or $660 a year.
When you’re looking at the German Shepherd price for food, don’t forget about treats! A bag generally costs $5-$10 and will last about a month.
How much are vet expenses?
Before getting a new dog, it’s always good to know what health issues go along with the breed. Fortunately, most German Shepherds are healthy dogs.
One of the most common ailments affecting the breed is hip dysplasia, which may cause the dog to experience pain later in life and potentially cause arthritis. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals found that 19.1% of German Shepherds are affected by hip dysplasia.
Fortunately, however, there are ways to prevent this condition.
To start, make sure you get your dog from a reputable breeder committed to healthy breeding practices. And then when you welcome the dog into your home, always keep them on a healthy diet and limit the amount of jumping or extremely rough play.
According to Embrace Pet Insurance, the most common serious issues for the German Shepherd and the cost to treat them are:
- Hip Dysplasia – $1,500-$6,000
- Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD) – $2,000-$4,000
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (Bloat) – $1,500-$7,500
- Cardiomyopathy – $500-$1,500
- Aortic Stenosis – $500-$1,500
- Elbow Dysplasia – $1,500-$4,000
This is only in rare cases, however. For the average German Shepherd in a normal year, expect to pay a few hundred dollars for regular check-ups and the occasional issue.
Consider other costs as you factor out the German Shepherd price
There are many other costs to consider in the full German Shepherd price, in addition to the initial expense, vet bills and food.
Training is incredibly important for dogs. You want your pup to be obedient, well-behaved, sociable and enjoyable to be around. We recommend you look into group lessons right away. On average, these range from $50-$125 for 4-8 weeks of one-hour sessions.
Then there is the cost of grooming. Fortunately, the German Shepherd is pretty low maintenance in this area. The breed sheds, so no need to worry about getting haircuts. All you need to do is to brush them every few days and provide regular baths.
They will also need regular nail trims, which you can do at home yourself or schedule an appointment for about $10 a session.
And don’t forget about the cost of supplies when you factor out the German Shepherd price. To start, dogs need a collar, leash, some toys, water and food bowls, a brush and a bed. We’ve compiled a shopping list that notes everything you’ll need for your new bundle of fur.
Your first temptation might be to run to the pet store and buy everything you can for your new furbaby. For the sake of your pocketbook, however, resist the temptation. Buy the basics at first, and then you’ll slowly find out what your dog likes and needs. After all, your dog doesn’t need a million new toys or the fanciest dog bed you can find.
In a survey, the American Pet Products Association found that it costs $1,641 per year on average to take care of a dog. That includes veterinary care, food, treats, boarding, grooming, vitamins and toys. If you can afford the initial German Shepherd price plus the ongoing expenses, we say go for it!
Why should you get a German Shepherd?
There is a reason why the German Shepherd is the second most popular dog breed in the United States. Intelligent and obedient, the German Shepherd makes a trusted companion.
They say that the German Shepherd is a working dog. This goes back to their original purpose as a herding breed and is why they make such great military and police dogs. The German Shepherd loves to be active and have a purpose and will be ready to take on new adventures with you.
And let’s not forget about how beautiful these dogs are. The breed has a strong yet sleek appearance, from the domed forehead to the square-cut muzzle to the trademark pointed ears. Their gorgeous two-layer coat is most commonly tan and black or red and black – both beautiful combinations.
Without a doubt, the German Shepherd price is well worth it. But if you’re not yet convinced, check out the video below.