How Much Does a German Shepherd Cost?

How much does a German shepherd cost?

A German shepherd is a hardworking and gorgeous canine that has built its reputation as a loyal and the bravest dog breed in the world.

They are confident, agile and highly intelligent, making them one of the dog breeds on high demand. They are used as search and rescue dogs, guard dogs, and police dogs.

And the truth is, German Shepherds are generally more expensive than the average dog breed. You should expect to pay more for pedigree dogs with superior features.

Before buying a dog, it is important to understand how much a puppy costs and any associated ownership costs that dog owners can expect to incur. Plus, German shepherd ownership is a commitment that spans 9 to 13 years, and you should be prepared to incur certain costs to ensure your puppy is always in good health.


How Much Do German Shepherd Puppies Cost?

German shepherd pups are always in high demand, and therefore, reputable breeders charge a high price for these pups.

Generally, an 8-weeks old German shepherd puppy can cost anywhere from $500 to $1500. The cost of a family puppy is approximately $1000. You can expect to pay higher for German shepherds with unique colors or with an exceptional lineage. Breeders charge anywhere from $2000 to $10,000 for these pups.

If you want to buy a healthy GSD puppy, look for a nearby breeder with a good reputation. Breeders incur huge costs and time to ensure that the pup comes from good parents. The mother and father are first screened for any health and genetic issues, and only parents who pass the test are considered for breeding.

On average, breeders incur around $8000 to take care of a litter for their first 8 weeks of life, and this cost can go up to $24000 for show litters. This cost covers vet costs, food expenses, medical testing, and caring for the pregnant mother.

Sometimes, potential dog owners may be tempted to go for low-cost puppies from backyard breeders and low-cost pet stores. However, these breeders are more concerned with making a profit, and the puppies are bred in poor conditions and often suffer from health and genetic conditions.

How much does a Purebred German Shepherd Cost? 

Purebred GSDS have similar genetic appearances and characteristics to their parents or other GDS in their lineage. This means that the purebred puppy is in the same breed as the parent.

If you are interested in getting specific physical appearances and behavioral characteristics, you can expect to pay $500 to $2000 for a purebred German shepherd puppy from a reputable breeder.

You can also consider buying a German shepherd adult dog from an animal shelter at $50 to $300. You can also adopt instead of buying a puppy, and you will be rescuing a dog from a shelter and giving them a second chance. Dogs adopted or purchased from an animal shelter are often vaccinated and spayed/neutered, therefore reducing certain expenses.

How Much Does a German Shepherd Service Dog Cost?

German Shepherd Service dogs require a lot of work to bring up since they are used for K9 police and military work. They are intelligent and have high amounts of energy to perform the job they are trained to perform.

When breeding German shepherd for service work, breeders must carefully select breeding parents for the required temperament, and the puppies must start training from an early age. Breeders incur money in training puppies to be service dogs, and this makes them more expensive than a family pet.

The average cost of a German shepherd service dog ranges anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000.

Factors that Determine the Price of a German Shepherd Dog

The price of a German shepherd will depend on the following factors:


The primary factor that determines the price of a German shepherd is the age. First-time dog owners prefer young puppies since they can be easily trained from an early age.

As a result, puppies between 8 weeks to 12 weeks old tend to be the most expensive, and the price decreases as they age. Young puppies can be trained to perform specific roles or even to behave in a certain way.

Adult dogs are cheaper compared to puppies. Although owning adult dogs means less work, it also means that the owner will spend a few years with them before they reach senior years.


Dog owners are likely to pay more to own a puppy with certain features that they desire in a breed.

Some dog owners who are interested in entering into dog shows and competitions may pay up to $7000 to own a puppy from show winning parents. Breeders charge a high cost for such puppies due to their high demand.

Similarly, a purebred German shepherd puppy will cost more than mixed breed puppies, since they retain certain characteristics of the breed that the dog owner is interested in.

Coat color

The coat color of a German shepherd puppy will influence its cost.

All German Shepherds are born either black, grey, or white, and the coat color may change as they grow. GSDs with white color are rare and are always in high demand. Potential dog owners will pay more for a white German shepherd, which is difficult to breed.

Breeder Reputation

Is the breeder credible and properly licensed?

Always verify that the breeder you are buying from has a good reputation of breeding healthy pups. Although certain breeders will claim multiple certifications to justify their high prices, it is important to ensure their credibility.

You can ask for referrals from friends and vets, and even attend professional dog shows to check the breeders present. You can also visit the breeder’s facilities to see the hygiene conditions, certifications, complete records of puppies, and even meet the mother of the puppy you want to buy. Confirm that there is proper documentation for health screenings, vaccinations, and lineage.

Reputable breeders offer a lifetime warranty on their puppies so that, if the new owner has any issues, they can bring back the puppy to the breeder.

German Shepherd Ownership Costs 

Apart from the initial cost of purchasing a German shepherd, there are other costs that add up to the full price of caring for your dog. These costs include:


If you want your GSD puppy to be sociable and well-behaved, you will need to enroll them in professional training. GSDs are easy to train, and 4 to 8 weeks of training is enough to make your dog acquire some essential skills. For such training, you can expect to pay about $50 to $100 for a 4 to 8 weeks training, running one hour per day.


A German shepherd is a shedding breed, and it requires brushing and regular baths every few days. You do not have to incur professional grooming costs, but you will need to buy a handy brush to brush the fur every few days. You also need to trim her nails regularly, and you can do it yourself or have a professional do it at about $10 per session.

Veterinary costs

German shepherds are likely to have certain health conditions such as bloating, allergies, epilepsy, and hip dysplasia, and it is the owner’s responsibility to meet the veterinary costs of their pups.

A dog owner should expect to incur $500 to $1500 in veterinary bills every year. They will also incur about $100 for annual examinations and vaccinations every year. If your dog is not spayed/neutered, you have to pay $50 to $200 for the surgery.

Therefore, a dog owner should have enough funds to cater for emergencies and medical expenses. Alternatively, the owner can purchase an insurance cover for such medical emergencies.


Dog insurance is as important as it is in humans. Insurance helps cover medical emergencies that could occur when least expected. The cost of insuring a German shepherd can range anywhere from $50 to $100.

Food expenses

GSDs are high appetite dogs, and they must be fed a premium diet that provides sufficient energy for their body. GSD puppies required a high-energy diet, and they require regular meals in small portions, usually 3 to 4 times every day.

German shepherd owners can expect to pay about $65 for a bag of premium dog food, and approximately $1000 every year. You can also treat your dog to small portions of treats for good behavior, and this can cost about $10 every month for a bag of treats.

Other costs

A dog owner is likely to incur additional costs to buy essential accessories for their canines such as dog leash, indestructible dog crate, automatic food dispensers, toys, and supplements.

Is it worth spending a High Cost to Buy a German Shepherd? 

German shepherds are unique dogs, with superior traits and characteristics. These dogs are intelligent, loyal, hard-working, and the most trusted companions that humans can have. This explains why they are preferred as guard and police dogs and are ranked the second most popular dog in the United States.

I have owned my German Shepherd for the last 8 years now, and he had been the most loyal and closest friend I have had in years. Spending $500 to $2000 to acquire a German shepherd is worth it, and you will not regret it. Make sure to get a puppy from a reputable breeder so that you get the most desirable characteristics in your future friend.

Related Post: Are German Shepherds Good With Kids


I am an animal behaviorist, and I am happy to share my knowledge with GSD owners on everything German Shepherd.

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