How Much Does a German Shepherd Cost?

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German Shepherds are one of the best first-rate dog breeds, known for being some of the most intelligent dogs on the planet while also, being the most popular dog breed that is only second to the Labrador Retriever.

These dogs are also prideful and athletic with amazing genetics. However, any potential pup-owner would be curious to know the cost of buying/adopting and raising a German shepherd.

So, how much does a German Shepherd Cost?

Generally, a German Shepherd Puppy costs between $500 and $2500 averaging approximately $900. However, the price may increase between $2500 and $9000 if the puppy is bred for show-quality with top-notch bloodlines.

On the other hand, to adopt a German Shepherd puppy, it will likely cost you between $300 and $600. That price includes vaccinations and registration. Once you got your German Shepherd, the cost for the first year of raising it will be approximately $3750 and after the first year, that yearly cost will decrease to around $1650.

Moreover, the cost of owning the dog for its whole lifespan will be between $14850 and $21450 averaging around $17325. This cost depends on the brand of foods and other dog products you buy along with the unexpected costs for health issues.

However, the price of buying/adopting can also differ based on various factors such color, age, location and breeder’s reputation and costs on vaccinations and other medical tests. Same thing goes for raising a puppy too. AS I said above, based on the brands of the products you buy such as foods, dog toys, equipment and vet expenses, the cost may vary.

Nonetheless, the prices I have given are the averages and likely, the real costs will be pretty close to my estimations. So you can get a decent idea.

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What are the factors that change the price of German Shepherd?


Age might be the factor that influences the price of a German Shepherd the most. Many people try to get a puppy that is as young as possible. It is due to the appeal. The younger a puppy is, the cuter and more beautiful it is seen as. At least, that is what most people think.

Another reason maybe the fact that older dogs tend to be more prone to diseases. That means, more costly to maintain and therefore, people tend to avoid getting older dogs.

In my opinion, old doggos should also be loved equally but the demand is demand. If people demand younger puppies more, it will also increase the price of the younger puppies than older dogs. For example, a typical 4 month-old puppy will cost way less than an 8-week-old one.

That is to say, puppies aged between 8 to 12 weeks are the most expensive and puppies aged 3 months or older cost less and less as they age.

Coat color

Color is a crucial consideration for anyone before buying a dog. Any dog of any dog breed with rare coat colors can be quite expensive. It is because of the difficulty to breed a puppy to turn out being a certain rare color such as a white German Shepherd.

Also, when it comes to purebred German Shepherds, they have particular coat colors and patterns that Kennel clubs only accept. So, German Shepherds puppies or adults with those specific colors and color combination are more expensive.

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A German Shepherd that is purebred will cost much more than a German Shepherd that is crossbred. People demand purebred German Shepherds mainly due to their exceptional and high-quality breed lines and also, the fact that mixed-breeds are more prone to health complications than purebred ones.

Breeder’s reputation and their costs on vaccinations and medical screenings

A good breed is one that is certified and can provide the pedigree of the parent-breeds and their puppies. That means registering the parent-dogs and their puppies with a recognized club that maintains a register for dogs such as the American Kennel. So, for this registering process, it costs quite a bit.

But another thing a legitimate breeder has is the healthiness they provide for their puppies. Rather than focusing on just the looks, if a breeder can secure the health of the puppies they breed, then, that definitely is an excellent breeder.

To provide the proof of the puppies’ health, the breeder usually has to provide the documentations of the medical tests, genetic screening and vaccinations. All these medical checkups and reports are also costly but although, you pay a higher price, you can get yourself a puppy or an adult dog that is healthy, happy and good looking.

Therefore, after considering all these costs, the final price of a puppy is also different from one Germen Shepherd to another based on the breeder. Most of the time, if it is a good breeder, then the puppy will also simply, be high priced.


Where you buy your German Shepherd from, has quite the role in influencing the price. You see, if you buy a puppy from a location where there is low living standards, then the price will probably be lower but if it is vice versa or in the particular area, there are more regulations and policies on breeding, then, the cost to breed puppies will also be increased and therefore, the price of a puppy will also be higher.

Plus, the demand for certain types of dogs in a single area is different from another. For example, in one city, there will be more demand for dogs that are compatible with cold weather but in another, dogs that are trained to go hunting are the ones that may be demanded more. So, depending on the location, the price surely can differ.

However, just because the price is low, do not buy a dog from a location where you can not drive to, due to the long distance because then, you will have to fly the puppy to your place without firstly, meeting the breeder and their location in person. If that happens, you will not be able to tell exactly whether the breeder is legitimate or not.

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What are the costs to raise a German Shepherds?

Once you bought or adopted a German Shepherds, providing care and maintenance for the dog’s wellbeing with foods, equipment and medical treatments also cost a decent amount of money.

The cost to feed to a German Shepherd

German Shepherds are large-sized dogs that weigh between 50 and 90 pounds. With being large, what comes next is also a big appetite. One of the most essential things is to ensure that your dog get to eat high quality foods for better health, growth and longevity.

So let me give you a clear idea on how much it would cost you to buy good foods

Based on the weight, age, activity level and gender, the amount of foods a GSD eats vary but on average, an adult GSD can eat 3 to 5 cups of dog-foods.

So, approximately, you will spend $1.5 to $3.5 per day for quality foods. Let’s say you bought a 50 lb. dog-food bag for $91 (A typical price for a 50-pound bag). It has roughly 200 cups of dog foods.

And if we take a mature German Shepherd that eats 4 cups of foods per day, then that means, the 50-pound bag will last you for about 50 days.

So for a whole year, it would be amounted to $664.3 approx. Not only that, when it comes to feeding a German Shepherd, treats are also a must. Generally, it costs about $10 to $15 to get a bag of treats for a month.

Therefore, for both treats and dog foods, the total yearly-cost would be $820.

But let me give you a price range too

With the prices of best-selling dog foods for German Shepherds such as Holistic Precise Pet, Purina, Blue Buffalo and Royal Canin, I was able to estimate the price ranges for a month and a year of a German Shepherd adult as well as a puppy.

Dog sizeNo. of cups per bag 30 lb.Price range  of a 30 lb. BagNo of cups per month for the dog approx.Cost for the monthNo of cups per year for the dog approx.Cost for the year
Adult GS, Eats 4 cups a day120 cups$54.6-$75120$54.6-$751460$648-$900
Puppy GS, Eats 2 to 2.5 cups a day120 cups$54.6-$7570$31.85-$43.75  840$372.82-$517.80
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The cost to provide vet care to a German Shepherd

When you get a German Shepherd or any dog for that matter, it is best to know what diseases they are prone to. Luckily German Shepherds are not prone to many health conditions that other dog breeds have.

Some of the common diseases, a German Shepherd could have are Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Heart Diseases, Bloat, Arthritis and Degenerative Myelopathy.

Here are the costs for treatments:

Elbow Dysplasia – $1,500-$4500

Hip Dysplasia – $1500-$5500

Aortic Stenosis – $500-$1800

Osteochondritis Dissecans – $2000-$4000

Cardiomyopathy – $500-$2000

Bloat (Gastric Dilatation Volvulus) – $1500-$7000

Here are the costs for fundamental vet care that your German Shepherd needs to stay healthy.

Regular vet visits – $100-$500

Core vaccinations – $75-$100

Pet insurance for accidents and illnesses – $70 per month and $820 per year

Flea and tick prevention – $100-$350

Heartworm prevention – $150 – 250

Rabies vaccination – $20-$50

Final Thoughts

German Shepherds are a bit expensive pets. That is to both buy/adopt and raise them. However, there are factors that change the price of buying or adopting a dog such as age, coat color and location. Depending on your decision, you can get either an adult German Shepherd or a puppy. Both has different price ranges. Nevertheless, German Shepherds are great all-purpose dogs.

Featured image credit: Photo by Daniel Bendig from Pexels

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