The Overall Australian Shepherd Price is Revealed: How Much Will You Pay?

Last Updated on February 19, 2023

Australian Shepherd Price Guide

Australian Shepherds, affectionately known as Aussies, make great family pets, companion dogs, and herding dogs. But how expensive is an Australian Shepherd?

The average price may range from $600 to $3,000. Still, this will depend on various factors, such as gender, coat color, the breeder’s location and popularity, the lineage, and many more.

On top of that, you also have to consider additional fees, including shipping, vaccinations, and medications. How about if you want to adopt?

Adoption fees are usually around $300. Is it possible to get them for free when you rescue an Aussie?

Keep reading to learn more about the Australian Shepherd price.

How Much Does an Australian Shepherd Cost?

If you’re looking for an Australian Shepherd to raise purely as a family dog, then the average price may range between $600 and $1,000.

On the other hand, if you want an Aussie that has its complete registration to breed later, then you can expect to spend between $1,000 and $1,800.

Of course, that cost may vary, as well. If the puppies come from an excellent bloodline or a family of champions, the price may be $1,800 and $4,000.

Should you buy an Aussie puppy or an older dog?

Two adorable Australian Shepherd puppies
Two adorable Australian Shepherd puppies kissing

When it comes to buying an Aussie puppy versus an older dog, it’s up to preference. If you won’t have the time to housetrain a puppy, an adult dog would be better.

They’re also already mature and would require less exercise compared to growing pups. On the other hand, you’ll have a longer time with a puppy and be able to train them to fit your lifestyle.

The average price can tell you a lot about where the pup came from. For instance, the more expensive it is, the more likely the dog came from a good bloodline and was bred under good conditions.

Given that it has supporting documents like health testing for its parents and vaccinations before the Aussie puppy was given to you.

So, what is the average cost of an Australian Shepherd puppy? About $800. However, the price ranges between $400 and $1,800.

If you find a puppy that costs less than $400 from a breeder, chances are the litter was bred under poor conditions, like in puppy mills.

Stay away from these as they’re more interested in making a buck than finding good homes for the dogs.

Going through a reputable breeder is a better idea, though it will be more costly.

Are small Australian Shepherd dogs more expensive than large dogs?

Yes. Based on the AKC survey back in 2015 with over 1,000 dog owners, giant breed owners spend more (about $3,300) annually than those who own small-sized ($1,831) and medium-sized ($2,628) dogs.

With Australian Shepherds, smaller dogs are more expensive than large dogs, especially since they come in three sizes.

Mini Australian Shepherds are pricier than standard-sized Aussies. A puppy costs anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000, and can go as high as $5,000.

But why are they so expensive? A lot factors into the price, such as their bloodline and coat color. For example, merle Aussies are typically more costly.

Full-grown male Miniature Australian Shepherds can reach 14 to 18 inches (35.5 to 45.7 cm) in height, and females will be a tad smaller at 13 to 17 inches (33 to 43.1 cm) tall.

Regardless of gender, they’ll weigh between 20 and 40 pounds (9 and 18.1 kg).

Teacup or Toy Australian Shepherds go for about $1,800 to $2,500.

The average Toy Aussie is about 10 to 14 inches (25.4 to 35.5 cm) tall and weighs between 12 and 17 pounds (5.4 and 7.7 kg). Anything smaller and those can be considered designer dogs, and not purebred Australian Shepherds.

What Does an Australian Shepherd Cost Through Reputable Breeders?

Australian shepherd portrait

When going through a reputable breeder for an Australian Shepherd, expect to pay between $600 and $1,000. Dogs cost more when you get them through dog breeders because of a few reasons.

First, the breeder needs to purchase and care for the breeding stock. To breed puppies, they need two parents that are healthy and well-bred. This can certainly cost a good penny.

Housing is another factor. Most small breeders will keep the dogs in their own homes. However, bigger breeders need to build kennels for their dogs, which costs a lot for heating, lighting, cleaning, and more.

Finally, stud services can add to the cost. If a breeder has a female dog but uses someone else’s male for breeding, they usually have to pay a fee to use the stud for breeding.

Where to find reputable Australian Shepherd breeders?

Litter of Australian Shepherd puppies
Blue Merle and Red Tricolor Aussie puppies sleeping together

You can look through websites online. Do your research, and you’ll indeed find some reputable breeders. A good place to start is the American Kennel Club (AKC) Marketplace.

On the other hand, you can do the research yourself. Just because they might not be part of the AKC doesn’t mean they’re not a good breeder. So, you’ll need to ask questions.

For example, ask about the parents, the pregnancy process, and how it was for the mother. You can also get to know the breeder by asking why they became a breeder in the first place.

In addition, ask for official documents. For instance, ask about the health of the parents and how to care for the puppy.

Finally, run a background check on the internet. Most breeders have reviews on their website or Google, so you can see what other people or previous clients had to say about their experience.

When it comes to finding good dog breeders, there are a few red flags to consider.

For example, if the cost of an Australian Shepherd dog is low (under $400), doesn’t require interviews, and simply asks for payment in exchange for the pup, then you might be dealing with a backyard breeder or puppy mill.

Puppy mills are breeders who keep the dogs in filthy conditions. They’re more concerned about making money and meeting the demand of a popular dog breed rather than keeping the dogs healthy.

Pet stores can get their stock from puppy mills, too. This is one of the reasons why dog owners should beware of puppy mills and pet stores.

If you do buy your puppy from a pet store, you could spend between $950 and $1,800. But the pricing in every pet store varies.

Backyard breeders aren’t unethical like puppy mills. However, it’s best that you avoid them. Generally, some of them may have little-to-no experience and knowledge and don’t consider genetic testing.

In addition, these puppies may have health issues as they get older.

Is Adopting or Rescuing an Australian Shepherd Completely Free?

Australian Shepherd selfie in the garden
Red tricolor Australian Shepherd taking selfie in the garden – Image source

Adopting or rescuing an Aussie is not free, but it’s less expensive. For example, if you go through an animal shelter or rescue organization, you’ll pay an adoption fee.

This amount varies, depending on where you go, but it might cost around $380.

It’s rare to find a purebred Australian Shepherd at an animal shelter, but you can probably find mixed breeds. On the other hand, you can find purebreds through a rescue organization.

Similar to an animal shelter, there will most likely be an adoption fee. Adoption fees often include vaccinations for the dog as a bundled price.

For example, the adoption fee may include costs for:

  • Deworming
  • Microchipping
  • heartworm test
  • wellness exams
  • spaying/neutering
  • flea/tick treatment
  • distemper vaccine
  • rabies vaccination

You can do all of that yourself, but chances are you’ll end up spending more money in the long run. So, it may seem expensive, but most of these organizations are non-profit.

So, the adoption fees help keep the organization running to help other dogs in the future.

High Australian Shepherd Prices VS. Low Australian Shepherd Prices

Young Australian Shepherd playing in the meadow
Young merle Australian Shepherd playing with toy in autumn

If you see an Aussie with a higher price at one place over another, chances are the dog was bred in good conditions and is healthy.

You can also tell that they’re high-quality dogs, given that you were able to do your research, observed good things, and kept an eye on red flags.

The lower the price, the more of a chance it’s being sold by a puppy mill or backyard breeder.

The Australian Shepherd Price Factors Explained

Black tricolor Australian Shepherd playing a ball
Meet Indigo, a black-tricolor Australian Shepherd picking her pink tennis ball – Image source

So, why do Aussies cost so much? A few factors can affect the price of an Australian Shepherd. First is age. Puppies tend to cost more than older dogs.

For example, an 8-week-old puppy will be more expensive than a 1-year-old dog. The puppy price is often higher because puppies are more in demand. In addition, there are a lot of vaccinations they need to get at that young age.

Gender is also a factor. Like how males are more expensive than females.

Similarly, purebred versus crossbreeds is taken into account. Purebreds are often more expensive than designer dogs.

Coat colors and markings should also be considered. Blue Merle and Red Merle Australian Shepherds are among the accepted colors for show-quality Aussies.

In addition, popular coat colors can be more expensive because they’re higher in demand.

Speaking of dog shows, if the parents have a show-quality bloodline, then the price will increase. The breeder’s reputation is also factored in.

Some pay more to take the best care of the parents and the litter. These breeders are also more knowledgeable about the dog breed as a whole.

The dog’s pedigree is taken into account. This is the family history of the litter that all reputable breeders should have.

These breeders are registered with the American Kennel Club and register the dogs, as well. This registration comes with a fee.

The pedigree will tell you many things, such as a certain skill the dog excels at. One or both of the parents might be a champion dog. Thanks to their herding instinct, Aussies are usually in herding competitions.

The more titles the dog has in its bloodline, the higher the price will be.

In addition, the pedigree may also list the overall health. Some health problems they may face are hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and epilepsy.

Generally, healthier dogs will cost more. Also, the price may be higher if the breeder gets health screenings from the vet. Medical expenses are also included.

Some breeders bring the puppies to the vet to get certain vaccinations, get a physical exam, get microchipped and do deworming.

They’ll also check for leptospirosis, influenza, and Lyme disease. Even though it drives the price higher, you can rest assured that you’re getting a healthy puppy.

Location is also essential. You can search for an Aussie on the internet and find a reputable breeder on the other side of the world.

However, if Australian Shepherds are in high demand in that area, the price will be higher. It’s also best to find a breeder near you so you can physically meet the puppies and the breeder before you buy.

Finally, training and socialization are essential. Some breeders will train and socialize the puppies before letting them get adopted. While this increases the cost, you have a better chance of having a well-behaved pup.

Ownership Cost: Are Australian Shepherds Low Maintenance?

Senior Aussie lying on his bed
A senior Aussie dog lying on his bed waiting for the meal – Image source

Australian Shepherds require moderate maintenance when it comes to grooming and vet visits. When budgeting for an Aussie, factor in medical expenses.

You should bring your pooch to the veterinarian for a check-up at least once per year. In addition, as a puppy, they’ll need vaccinations.

What are the medical costs for an Aussie dog?

As a puppy, each vet trip may cost between $65 and $170. Flea and tick prevention may cost anywhere between $10 and $15 monthly. Finally, you can get a DNA test for your Australian Shepherd that could cost about $55 to $65.

As an adult dog, your Aussie’s annual check-up could cost between $125 and $265. This includes heartworm, flea, and tick prevention, plus booster shots and other vaccinations.

Common health issues may include eye abnormalities, which can cost between $150 and $200. Joint abnormalities may cost $350 to $3,900. Treating cancer can range from $5,000 to $10,000.

If your doggo has allergies from food or the environment, costs for that could be between $100 and $2,000 per year.

Preventative care for the first year of a puppy might cost about $870. This expense includes exams, vaccinations, fecal tests, heartworm prevention, and flea and tick prevention.

You may also choose to spay or neuter your pup, which can add another $250 to $350.

As an adult, you expect each year to cost about $681. This includes annual exams, vaccinations, and heartworm tests. Heartworm, flea, and tick prevention are also included as monthly costs.

In addition, you might pay for dental cleanings, bloodwork, genetic testing, health screenings, and more. Combined, these may cost another $1,325 to $2,575.

Another health problem may be hip dysplasia, costing $1,200 annually or $6,000 for a hip replacement.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and Colobomas cost $400 each for diagnosis. Cataract surgery may cost about $4,500 per eye.

Pet insurance is another cost, although it’s optional. The insurance will help pay for unexpected medical bills, but there’s a yearly cost.

Accident and illness pet insurance could cost up to $565 per year, while accident-only insurance may cost about $190.

Food is another lifetime cost. However, it will vary based on your dog’s diet requirements, activity level, size, and weight.

The type of food you get is also factored in. For example, there’s dry food, wet food, and raw food. Some of these are more expensive than others, especially depending on which brand you buy.

Overall, you can budget about $50 to $100 per month for dog food and treats for your Aussie.

If you’re unsure about which dog food to get your pooch, check out some of the best dog food for Australian Shepherds here.

What are the additional costs that come with owning an Australian Shepherd?

Expect to bring your doggo to a professional groomer once in a while. If you get your pooch to the grooming salon about six times per year, you may spend an average of $255 per year.

The price may vary depending on your dog’s coat condition, health, age, size, and behavior.

Going to group obedience classes with a professional dog trainer is recommended. Private lessons aren’t needed with Aussies, most of the time, but you can hire a trainer to come to your home.

Training sessions may average about $175.

Of course, your doggo is going to need plenty of other supplies. For the first year, you may spend up to $790 and up to $330 each year after that.

Supplies needed will include food & water bowls, collar, leash, harness, dog bed, dog crate, ID tag, poop bags, grooming supplies, cleaning supplies, and toys.

There are also additional costs such as services and traveling with your dog.

For example, you’ll have to pay for a professional groomer, dog trainer, dog walker, doggy daycare or pet sitter, licensing microchipping, traveling, shipping, supplements, or ear cropping.

In addition, your house bills will increase. For instance, during the winter, you’re most likely going to leave the heat on for your pooch while you’re at work all day. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Australian Shepherd eating peanut butter
An Australian Shepherd dog eating peanut butter – Image source

What are the yearly and monthly costs of owning an Australian Shepherd?

First-year expenses for an Australian Shepherd include the puppy, dog food, treats, toys, equipment, grooming supplies, wellness plans, medical bills, and licensing.

Together, that may come from $4,015 to $4,315. The monthly cost of owning an adult Aussie may be about $445. This includes food, treats, toys, insurance, supplies, medications, and training classes.

Are Aussies more or less expensive than other dog breeds?

Every dog breed is different. While Australian Shepherds can be pricey, some breeds are more expensive or less. For example, an English Bulldog may cost up to $10,000, but a Chihuahua can cost $650.

The price will always vary, depending on where you get the dog.

Don’t miss: Border Collie vs Australian Shepherd: Are they the same type of dog?

What are great names for an Australian Shepherd?

You can have a lot of fun naming your furry friend. You can pick a name based on your Aussie’s physical qualities, like the coat color or breed size. Check out these Australian Shepherd names.

Is an Aussie the Right Dog Breed for You?

If you can keep up with their energy needs and the cost, then an Australian Shepherd will be a great addition to the family.

Australian Shepherds are working dogs that are part of the herding group. This purebred pup has a lifespan of 12 to 15 years and will make an excellent watchdog for your home.

Did you know Aussies didn’t originate in Australia? It’s believed they were brought over by Basque farmers to Australia. There’s a lot to love about this beloved pooch.

At the end of the day, this doggo is friendly, intelligent, and affectionate. They make awesome family pets and will fit right in with children and other dogs.

Do you have an Aussie at home? Let us know in the comments below.

Further Reading: Take a Look at Other Dog Breeds

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