Everyone loves the German Shepherd for their intelligence, obedience and loyalty.
This courageous dog is more than just a hard worker out in the field. They are also an excellent family pet that will protect their loved ones.
It seems nowadays that everyone wants one! So how much does a German Shepherd cost?
The truth is that not all German Shepherds will cost the same. Their price depends on a number of factors. One of the most important is the purpose they are bred for.
Keep on reading to learn about German Shepherd prices. We also share factors that impact their price, how much you should pay, and adoption costs.
Table of Contents
How Much Is A German Shepherd?
A family typically spends anywhere between $1,500 and $5,000 for a German Shepherd, with the average puppy price being $2,500. Most puppies in this price range will come with papers and from reputable breeders.
The type of German Shepherd you buy and from which breeder play the biggest role in determining the price of a German Shepherd.
It is possible to find puppies for less than $1,500, but they are usually paperless.
Breeders that sell German Shepherd puppies for a very cheap price are commonly backyard breeders or puppy mills. While not all breeders that sell their dogs at an affordable price are untrustworthy, buyers should be wary of puppies under $1,500.
Puppies bred by backyard breeders are usually sold for profit.
Many of these puppies come without papers so you know nothing about the puppy’s background or health.
Parents of these puppies don’t go through the same genetic health checks which could mean they will be unhealthy or have temperament issues.
If you are looking to save money, a better cheap option would be to adopt one from a shelter.
|Puppy with no papers||$250-$1,500|
|Puppy with papers||$1,500-$5,000|
|Show line puppy||$3,000-$11,500|
|Trained young adult||$12,000-$20,000|
German Shepherd Puppy Price
A typical German Shepherd puppy will cost from $1,500 to $5,000 when bought from a reputable breeder. If you are looking to buy a German Shepherd puppy, then you should find one from a reputable breeder.
While these puppies are more expensive, a reputable breeder can guarantee the health and behavior of the puppy.
These dogs are prone to genetic diseases such as hip and elbow dysplasia. These health issues can be avoided by genetically testing the parents, which is something reputable breeders usually do.
A puppy that isn’t properly socialized can also become aggressive.
When improperly raised puppies might have behavioral issues and can cause a lot of damage if they bite someone. A good breeder will have their dogs pass a temperament test.
German Shepherd Dog Price
While most dogs in shelters are adults, adopting a German Shepherd is a great way to find a dog without supporting unethical breeding. Sometimes these hardworking shepherd dogs are given up because they are very energetic.
Not everyone is able to take care of a dog that needs a lot of attention and exercise.
Some people buy a German Shepherd puppy without understanding the work involved in caring for this breed.
Adoption fees vary by shelter, but the price can start at $50 for an older dog and go up to $750 for a puppy.
Why Are They So Expensive?
Breeding a healthy and well-behaved German Shepherd puppy is not easy!
It is not as simple as crossing German Shepherds together. Many breeders do this, which is why you can find many at a price as cheap as $250.
However, if you want a puppy of good temperament that is genetically healthy, there are other costs involved in the breeding and raising.
This is especially important for a German Shepherd. You do not want a puppy that grows up to be aggressive or that suffers from mobility issues due to hip and elbow dysplasia.
A paperless German Shepherd puppy will be the cheapest.
This is because breeders don’t genetically health test the parents.
These puppies are paperless because the breeders cannot provide proof of kennel club registration, parents’ pedigree or health records. Typically breeders invest as little as possible in these pups.
You get a puppy just how it is, without knowing its pedigree or background.
This type of paperless puppy will be $250-$1,500.
A puppy with health certifications, temperament test results, and registration papers costs more than this. However, those papers will be beneficial not just for you, but also the puppy.
Kennel Club Registration
Good breeders register their puppies with the American Kennel Club.
This means your puppy meets the breed standard and is a purebred dog. The last thing you want is to buy a German Shepherd wolf-mix thinking it is purebred.
Registering a single puppy begins at $33, but breeders often register whole litters.
Reputable breeders not only genetically health test the parents, but they will also take the puppy to see a vet before 8 weeks for a basic health check. During these visits breeders will also have the puppies vaccinated, dewormed and placed on preventatives.
Vet visits are not cheap, so they will be reflected in the puppy’s cost.
When you buy a German Shepherd puppy from a reputable breeder, they will offer you a health guarantee. Most will also be able to provide you proof that the puppy has passed a temperament test.
Some breeders also take the time to socialize and train their puppies.
Many experienced breeders have a specialized training program that begins the process of potty training and basic obedience. This will mean you have an easier time housetraining your puppy, but you will have to pay for their efforts!
Paying $2,500 for a German Shepherd puppy who has kennel club registration, all the papers you need, and has started training is worth the investment.
These are all good signs that the puppy you are buying is of good quality.
This will mean you are more likely to avoid any temperament issues or having to pay for vet visits to diagnose and treat hip and elbow dysplasia.
Breeders who focus on breeding championship bloodlines will charge more for their puppies. A family might not need such a high-quality German Shepherd. All they need is a healthy and well-behaved puppy that will bring them years of happiness.
However, there are many people who need a working dog or show dog.
These puppies can cost upwards of $3,000, depending on their purpose.
The most expensive dogs are those that are bred to be champions or protective and hard-working. The cheapest working line puppies start at $5,000, but they can sell for over $20,000 depending on their training.
Some breeders spend thousands of dollars just training a world class service dog.
A family friendly guard dog with a protective temperament is not easy to breed consistently.
Breeders have to factor in not just the genetics, but also the temperament and training. This is why well-known breeders will ask for over $12,000 for trained puppies.
The most expensive types of German Shepherds are those that are imported directly from Germany. Breeders must pay to stud and import these dogs which is not cheap.
Since the German Shepherd breed originated in Germany, breeders in the US import dogs from Germany to breed puppies with a purebred lineage.
Breeding in Europe is more regulated so the bloodlines are better protected.
These puppies are known as European German Shepherds and are slightly different. They are smaller, have straighter backs and brighter coat colors. Some people think they look similar to a belgian malinois.
Most European dogs are bred to be working dogs, while American dogs are more frequently bred for companionship. This is the same for American and German Rottweilers and American vs. European Dobermans.
Don’t be surprised if you have to pay more than $5,000 for a European puppy.
Finding A Breeder
You can find reputable breeders from the German Shepherd Dog Club of America.
All of these breeder will be able to provide:
- Pedigree and kennel club registration.
- Documents that certify the puppy is free of any disease and has been checked by a veterinarian.
- A health warranty.
- Health records that guarantee the parents are genetically healthy and will not pass on elbow or hip dysplasia.
The average purebred German Shepherd price from these breeders is $2,500.
These German Shepherd breeders all breed their puppies in accordance with the breed standard. None of them will sell puppies that are not registered with the American Kennel Club.
Another good place to start looking for breeders is the American Kennel Club marketplace.
Puppy prices on the marketplace begin at about $1,500, but the typical prices are around $2,000 to $2,500.
Many of these puppies are bred to be family dogs and come with their papers.
As you start looking into more well-known breeders or those that produce dogs of championship or working bloodlines, then the price of a German Shepherd starts to increase.
Puppies of the highest quality from championship bloodlines can begin at $3,000, but most families do not need this type of puppy.
Fun Price Facts
What Was The Most Expensive German Shepherd Sold?
The most expensive German Shepherd ever sold was priced at $230,000, according to Business Insider. Julia was a German Shepherd bred by the Harrison K-9 facility, highly trained in protection.
According to Julia’s head trainer, she was so smart that “she was almost like a person”. She could also understand commands in three different languages.
Her intelligence, as well as her ability to protect, were why she was priced so highly.
Julia was bought by a billionaire businessman in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Is There A Color That Is More Expensive?
The rarest coat color is panda, which is why it is also the most expensive.
Panda puppies sell for around $3,000.
These German Shepherds are black and white. It is a piebald pattern where the black coat is splotched with large patches of white. This color pattern occurred because of a mutation, so some don’t always look like pandas. Some puppies can have other colors like tan, instead of white.
Panda dogs are purebred, but the rarity of this mutation makes them very hard to find.
There are very few breeders that sell the panda color.
What Was The Cost Of The Most Famous German Shepherd?
The most famous German Shepherd was a dog named Rin Tin Tin.
And he actually cost nothing!
Rin Tin Tin was adopted by a soldier named Duncan Lee from the remains of a headquarters blown up during WWI. Duncan Lee trained Rin Tin Tin to do many tricks, and Lee got him to star in many films.
By the end of his life, Rin Tin Tin had appeared in 27 Hollywood films.
Rin Tin Tin most notably helped Warner Bros. grow into the film company it is today, as well as improved the popularity of the breed with his incredible acting skills and intelligence.
German Shepherd Price By Color
The most common German Shepherd color is tan and black. But these dogs come in more than just this classic color! There are 11 colors that are recognized by the breed standard.
Check out the table below for some German Shepherd prices based on coat color.
|Black and Tan||A black and tan puppy has black over its back, tail and face. The tan color covers the chest, belly and legs. As the most common color, a black and tan puppy costs around $1,500.|
|White||A white puppy has a furry coat that is entirely white, allowing it to blend in with the snow. Its eyes and nose are black as coal. The white coat is rare which is why prices are from $1,500 to $2,500.|
|Black||A black German Shepherd has a coat that is entirely black. Any other color would classify them as a bi-color. Black is another rare color that is only present in less than 7% of all German Shepherds. You will find black german shepherd prices run to around $2000.|
|Blue||A blue German Shepherd is not literally blue, but has a gray color with a bluish hue. This color is more expensive and you can expect to pay over $2,500 for one.|
|Sable||The sable color is one of the most common colors, but is a bit more interesting than the black and tan. The hairs of these dogs have bands of tan and black, giving them a very unique coloring. A sable will be slightly more expensive at between $1,500 and $2,000.|
Is It Expensive To Own A German Shepherd?
People can spend at least $12,000 on this dog during its lifetime of 7 to 10 years. This means the yearly cost for a German Shepherd can be from $1,200 to $1,750.
Owners can expect to spend about $100 to $150 per month. Some of the factors that contribute to this cost are:
- Vet care
- Health insurance
- Miscellaneous gear
Many factors such as grooming, training, and dog sitting contribute to the final monthly cost of a German Shepherd.
It can also vary from month to month, especially when you have a young puppy.
|Food and Treats||$40-$100|
Bringing a German Shepherd puppy into your home for the first time is exciting, but it is also one of the most expensive times.
After buying a German Shepherd puppy, you will also need to invest in all of the items that are necessary for bringing one home. Your puppy will need a bed, crate, food, toys, pads, a harness and leash, ID tag, brush, shampoo, nail clippers and bowls.
All of these things can add up and you can end-up spending $350.
Once you bring your puppy home, you will need to vaccinate, deworm, and give it its flea and heartworm preventatives.
Most reputable breeders will have given your puppy their initial round, but it is up to you to keep up with the vaccine schedule and preventatives.
Depending on the vet this can be between $100 and $200 on each visit.
As your dog gets older, it is likely that you will only need to visit the vet once a year for an annual checkup and vaccines. These visits can cost $75-$300.
The most common diseases these dogs are prone to are elbow and hip dysplasia. They can also get bloating from a twisted stomach. Health insurance will vary by state, but it can cost between $30 and $120 per month.
Feeding your German Shepherd is an important monthly cost that you cannot skip.
As a large dog, they need a lot of food.
How much they eat depends on age, gender and activity levels.
The brand of kibble you buy affects the cost too. Whatever kibble you buy, make sure that it is designed for large dog breeds and that it is high quality and can support their bone and joint health.
It can cost anywhere from $40 to $100 to feed a German Shepherd each month.
Other miscellaneous costs that you might need to consider are:
- Pet sitting
A German Shepherd is a very intelligent and energetic breed that needs its brain and body worked.
Training and socializing is a must for any puppy. Group training is the least expensive option at about $100 for 6-8 sessions. This can help with socialization, basic obedience and bonding.
These dogs shed a lot of hair, especially long-haired German Shepherds. They will require lots of brushing throughout the year. If you do take your dog to the groomer, a single session can cost $60-$100.
Finally, you might need to hire a sitter or dog walker, especially for high energy pups.
These dogs cannot handle being alone for too long so it is important that someone be with them or take them out regularly so that they can exercise themselves and have company.
A German Shepherd is a wonderful family pet. They are loved for their loyalty, intelligence and protectiveness.
This incredibly popular dog can be bought for as cheap as $50 when adopted from a shelter. Puppies from working bloodlines can sell for over $20,000 depending on their training.
Factors that affect German Shepherd price are breeder, pedigree, color and age.
Typical German Shepherd puppies cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000.
Families will usually pay $2,500 for a German Shepherd puppy with papers from a reputable breeder. A reputable breeder can guarantee the health and behavior of the puppy.
Paying $2,500 for a puppy who has kennel club registration, all the papers you need, and has started training is worth the investment.
Monthly German Shepherd costs are variable too, but on average owners spend about $100-$150 each month. These costs include food, treats, toys, and flea and heartworm preventatives. Some owners may spend more on other expenses such as grooming, training, and dog sitting.
You should now know how much this intelligent and beautiful breed is going to cost you!
Let us know how much you paid for your German Shepherd in the comments below.