How Much Does a German Shepherd Cost?

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Are you planning to get a German Shepherd, but wonder how much it costs? Read on to get a clear idea of the actual cost of owning this intelligent dog!

Deciding to bring home a pet, that too a German Shepherd is a big commitment. While there are a number of factors to consider before you take this big step, the most important one is: how much does a German Shepherd cost?

When we talk about the cost, many people only think about the purchasing price of a German Shepherd.

However, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye – there are many other costs associated with owning a German Shepherd. These range from medical expenses to food and dog supplies.

Anyone planning to buy a German Shepherd should consider all these expenditures to get a clear idea about the actual cost of owning a German Shepherd so they would know what they are getting themselves into.

german shepherd puppy price

The Cost of Buying a German Shepherd

Getting a German Shepherd can cost you anywhere from about $100 to thousands of dollars, up front.

Why Does The Price of German Shepherds Vary So Much?

The wide price range of German Shepherds leaves many confused, but it’s pretty easy to understand why there is a huge difference in the cost of German Shepherds.

The price of a German Shepherd mainly depends on its size, type, and the place you are getting it from. For example, you may easily find a German Shepherd for less than $100 from an animal shelter and between $100 and $300 from a rescue organization.

However, buying a normal German Shepherd from a responsible breeder will cost you between $500 and $2000 on average (it may sometimes cost even more), mainly depending on its size and type.

Adult German Shepherds that have been trained as working dogs or show dogs are the most expensive. They can cost up to $6,000 to $7,000, on average, and sometimes even higher.

But, you may have to pay thousands of dollars for a German Shepherd puppy if it is from a generation of German Shepherds that have shown impressive hunting or showing skills.

This is because German Shepherd puppies that come from a line of hunting or showing champions are more likely to develop the same qualities than the puppies that come from normal parents. The latter can be purchased for a few hundred dollars, even from a reputable breeder.

german shepherd price

What Are the Other Costs Associated With Owning a German Shepherd?

As mentioned above, there are several other costs associated with owning a German Shepherd. These include:

  • Medical expenses – including vet fees, vaccinations, yearly physicals, and emergency medical care
  • Food – including both the regular dog food and dog treats
  • Bedding
  • Grooming
  • Other dog supplies – such as a collar, leash, bowls, and toys

The costs of all these things vary, depending on the quality of the equipment and other supplies and the veterinary care center you take your German Shepherd to.

If you are getting a puppy, be prepared to spend a lot more, as the first year of a German Shepherd puppy, or any other dog breed per se, is the most expensive. 

To get the answer to the question: how much does it cost to own a German Shepherd, on average, here we are giving a tentative breakdown of the primary expenses new German Shepherd parents will have to bear:

Expenses for the First Year of a German Shepherd Puppy

When getting a German Shepherd puppy, be prepared to pay for:

  • Spaying or neutering – $50 to $200
  • Immunizations – $50 to 100
  • General veterinary care and laboratory tests – $100 to $200
  • Parasite control and treatment (both internal and external) – $100 to $150
  • Food – $250 to $700
  • Dog supplies – $200 to $250

In total, a German Shepherd puppy can cost you anywhere from $750 to $1,600 during the first year.

Note that these are estimated costs calculated on the basis of reports from German Shepherd owners. They may be higher or lower depending on where you live and how you choose to raise your pet.

At maximum, a German Shepherd puppy can cost you over $3,500 only during the first year.

RELATED: The Best Food for a German Shepherd Puppy

german shepherd cost to own

Annual Expenses for an Adult German Shepherd

Here’s the tentative breakdown of the annual cost of owning an adult German Shepherd:

  • Immunizations – $40 to $75
  • Parasite control and treatment (both internal and external) – $100 to $150
  • General veterinary care and laboratory tests – $50 to $125
  • Food – $250 to $700
  • Miscellaneous expenses – $100 to $150

The average cost of owning an adult German Shepherd can range from $750 to $1500 a year.

An important thing to mention here is that these estimates do not include the expenses related to dog illnesses, injuries, breeding, travel, professional training, competitions, and showings.

The Lifetime Cost of Raising a German Shepherd

The average life expectancy of healthy German Shepherd dogs is about 9 to 13 years. This means that you’ll be spending a minimum of $5,610 to a maximum of $17,200 to raise a German Shepherd puppy.

However, Forbes estimated this cost to be even higher. The global media company reported the lifetime cost to be more than $22,000 for a large dog.

The Expenses Also Vary According to the Owners’ Preferences and Spending Habits

Just like all other life expenditures, the cost of owning a dog also depends on a person’s choices and preferences too. While some people prefer to not spend too much on dog supplies, others want the best for their pets.

According to the American Kennel Club, millennials spend the most on their canine companions. From buying the best pet care items, toys, and treats to purchasing dog park licenses, special diets, and even hiring dog-sitters, millennials tend to splurge on pampering their dogs.

Millennials’ love for their dogs can be determined from the fact that in a survey, 33% of the participants (all millennials) reported that they are likely to buy a new home in order to have more/better space for their dogs.

german shepherd medical expenses

Do Not Overlook the Medical Expenses

Just like humans, dogs can also develop different types of illnesses and diseases in their lifetime, some being more likely than the others.

In addition to the increasing prevalence of cancer in all dogs, there are some types of diseases that are more common in German Shepherds than in other dog breeds.

According to the Mid-Atlantic German Shepherd Organization, the following health problems and diseases have been found to be more prevalent in German Shepherds:

  • Bloating
  • Skin allergies
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Degenerative myelopathy – a progressive neurological auto-immune disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Panosteitis – a growth disorder
  • Elbow and hip dysplasia
  • Pancreatic enzyme insufficiency
  • Pannus – a type of corneal inflammation
  • Von Willebrand’s disease – a hereditary bleeding disorder
  • Lupus
  • Progressive retinal atrophy – an eye problem
  • Perianal fistulas

Many times, medical expenses are the biggest costs dog owners have to bear. To make sure you aren’t unknowingly buying an unhealthy German Shepherd, experts recommend to get it from a reputable and trusted seller.

In addition to this, get your canine friend regularly checked by a registered vet. This may seem like an extra expense at first, but it often helps dog owners save huge bucks in the long run.

Summing Up

To estimate the overall cost of owning a German Shepherd dog, you need to consider all the different types of costs associated with raising and nurturing them. Be ready to spend a lot more if you plan to get your German Shepherd professionally trained.

Lastly, to avoid unexpected huge medical expenses, take all the measures necessary to understand the health history of your German Shepherd and focus on raising a healthy and happy dog.

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