German Shepherd Price: How Much Will You Pay for a Purebred GSD?

Last Updated on April 2, 2023

German Shepherd Price Guide

Wondering how much it costs to buy a German Shepherd puppy? This lovable herding dog has an average price of 1,500 to $2,500 from a reputable breeder.

But if you prefer to purchase a GSD with a “Champion” blood like the West German Show Line, West German Working Line, and Czech Working Line, then that will be more expensive as it could reach an amount of $4,000 or more.

Other factors, such as the breeder’s location and popularity, age, gender, and certification, like AKC papers (American Kennel Club), also influence the pricing of the GSD puppies.

How about if you want to adopt an adult or senior German Shepherd dog? Adoption fees for GSDs are usually around $300 to $550. Is it possible to get them for free when you rescue this dog breed?

If you really want to add this purebred into your household, keep reading to learn more.

How Much is a German Shepherd?

Dog owners can expect to spend anywhere between $1,500 and $2,500 when buying German Shepherd puppies from reputable local breeders. You can get this puppy elsewhere for a lesser price, but you want to ensure you receive a healthy dog with great genes.

If you’d like to get a GSD, you’ll first want to budget your expenses. Owning and caring for a dog doesn’t come cheap, so let’s dig deeper into owning a German Shepherd.

Should you buy a German Shepherd puppy or an older dog?

GSD Puppy vs Adult GSD Price

The answer to this will be based on your preference and lifestyle. But there are also pros and cons to buying a puppy or an adult dog.

Adopt whichever feels right to you. Older dogs may already be housetrained, but you’ll have a longer time with a puppy.

If you intend to buy a German Shepherd, know that the breeding of dogs is more involved than just putting a sire and dam together.

Reputable breeders look into the health and genetics of the parents. When the puppies are born, they get them health-tested, too.

For example, the puppies get hip x-rays, elbow x-rays, thyroid tests, cardiac tests, and a canine ophthalmologist exam.

A good breeder also socializes, trains, and stimulates the puppies once they’re born. And they bring the parents to dog shows and get approved by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

In most cases, the breeder will ensure that the puppies are up-to-date on their vaccinations before going to their new owners.

Are large GSD dogs more expensive than small ones?

No, because a purebred German Shepherd is a large dog and only comes in one size.

Male GSDs can grow to be 24 to 26 inches (61 to 66 cm), with female GSDs being slightly smaller at 22 to 24 inches (59 to 61 cm). There is NO such thing as a Miniature German Shepherd.

However, some breeders will advertise Miniature German Shepherds and sell them higher than large GSDs at $2,000 because it’s uncommon to have smaller GSD puppies.

If you find a Mini German Shepherd, it’s most likely a mixed breed between a GSD and a Miniature Poodle or some other smaller dog breed.

Do German Shepherds that train as service dogs cost more?

Yes, German Shepherds that are trained as service dogs are more expensive. These pups go for $10,000 to $20,000. This is because they are selectively bred and go through special training.

How Much Do German Shepherds Cost from a Breeder?

German Shepherd Bloodlines

A German Shepherd from a breeder may range anywhere between $1,500 and $2,500. Bloodline affects the purchase fee. Like how German Shepherds were initially bred as working dogs, but they’re divided into working lines and show lines.

  • The American/Canadian Show Line was bred for their appearance, but they’re still obedient, playful, and friendly. These pups can range between $1,500 and $2,500.
  • The West German Show Line is bred based on the breed standard. They make great house protectors, are social, and need a high amount of physical activity. They’re also good family dogs. You can expect to pay them between $5,000 to $8,000.
  • Working line German Shepherds are fully trained with various skills and excel in obedience. These include West German Working Line, DDR/East German Working Line, and the Czech Working Line which are about $1,500 to $3,500.

Some of the most expensive German Shepherds are the ones that look different. For example, this pooch can come in a few rare coat colors.

The colors may include Panda, Isabella, or Black. In addition, some German Shepherds might have one or two blue eyes.

In addition, the Albino German Shepherd could scale up to $5,000.

Take into account whether you want your German Shepherd as a family dog or a working protection dog. A companion will be less expensive.

In addition, the litter size of German Shepherds is about 6 to 10 puppies. Therefore, the more puppies in a litter, the less the puppies will cost.

When searching for a German Shepherd puppy, your best bet is to go through a reputable breeder rather than a search aid site. This is because you can get to know the breeder during the process.

In addition, take a look at the breeder and see if they’re professional or hobby. There is nothing wrong with being a hobby breeder, but they may have less experience than a professional one.

How to make sure you’re buying from a reputable breeder?

There are some questions you can ask to ensure you’re buying from a reputable breeder.

For example, test their knowledge of the German Shepherd breed as a whole. Ask them about the family tree and the health history of the parents and the puppies.

In addition, discuss the temperament and traits of the dogs as well. Finally, ask if the puppies have been crate trained and gone to the vet.

The breeder should be able to answer these questions flawlessly. If they can’t, or if it’s too cheap, you may have found a backyard breeder or puppy mill that you want to avoid.

What Does It Cost to Rescue a German Shepherd?

Alternatively, you can find a German Shepherd rescue. There are many breed-specific rescue organizations, and these pups can be as low as $300.

You’ll be able to find purebred German Shepherds or mixed breed of this doggo. In addition, you might find puppies as well as adults. These pups can also fetch as low as $300.

The GSD Price Factors Explained

Factors that affect the pricing of a German Shepherd

When it comes to deciding on the price range of the German Shepherd, there are a few factors involved. These factors include traits of the dog, but it also depends on where you adopt the dog as well.

1. Age

Age is one of the biggest factors in pricing a German Shepherd. A puppy is more costly than an adult dog.

German Shepherd puppies aged 8 to 12 weeks will be the most expensive. This is because owners want to train the puppy to their lifestyle. Therefore, puppies older than 12 weeks will be more affordable.

Adopting an adult GSD dog is less desirable, but these pups need loving, forever homes, too.

2. Size

German Shepherds are a large dog breed, growing up to 22 to 26 inches (56 to 66 cm) tall.

If a breeder advertises Miniature German Shepherds, they may cost more, but there is no such thing. That pooch is most likely a mixed breed, or the purebred has dwarfism. 

3. Purebred or Mixed

It’s easy to have your heart set on a purebred German Shepherd, but mixed breeds are often less expensive. Since purebreds are more desirable, they cost more. However, hybrids are often healthier than purebreds. 

4. Lineage and bloodlines

If your puppy comes from a champion bloodline and is a show-quality German Shepherd dog, then you can expect to pay more. For example, dogs with excellent lineage and bloodlines may range anywhere between $6,000 and $7,000.

5. Breeder certifications, registration, and pedigree

When it comes to looking for a reputable breeder, be sure to do your research. A responsible breeder will care about finding the puppies a loving, forever home rather than making a profit.

For example, a responsible breeder will have a lifetime warranty on the puppy and will allow you to bring the puppy back if you can’t care for it. They’ll also let you meet the dogs in person and won’t allow the puppies leave their mother until at least eight weeks of age.

A qualified breeder will charge their puppies higher but at a reasonable fee.

In addition, puppies without pedigree papers will be about $800, and puppies with their papers will scale up to $1,500.

6. Gender

Believe it or not, male and female German Shepherd dogs cost about the same price. Male GSDs are stronger and have more energy. Therefore they’re great for active families.

On the other hand, female German Shepherds are gentler, so they’re great for families with young children.

7. Coat Colors and Markings

German Shepherds with different colored coats and markings will be more pricey. This is because they are more difficult to breed since they rely on recessive genes.

For example, solid Black German Shepherds may range up to $2,000. White German Shepherds can fetch up to $1,500, and a Blue German Shepherd may cost $1,500 and up.

Did you know this doggo can also be long-haired? If you find one with this coat, expect to pay up to $1,500. You can learn more about long-haired German Shepherds here.

8. Health screenings and medical expenses

Most reputable breeders will get the puppies health screened and take care of certain medical expenses, such as their first vaccinations. If they do, then you can expect to pay more.

9. Breeders’ Location

The purchase fee also factors in the location of where you buy the dog. For instance, if the breed is in high demand where the breeder is, you can expect to pay more.

So, if German Shepherds are in high demand locally, you can find a responsible breeder elsewhere the dog isn’t as popular for a lower fee.

However, you’ll have to factor in the cost of driving or flying to the breeder to meet the dogs and bring them home.

10. Other factors

The litter size is another factor. For instance, if there are more puppies in a litter, the cost will decrease because the breeder has more puppies available for adoption.

In addition, if the parents have a proven record of being show dogs or breeding dogs, that will increase the puppy prices. 

German Shepherd Long-Term Costs

The expenses don’t stop there for German Shepherd owners. Once you adopt the dog, there are plenty of long-term ownership expenses that you’ll need to budget for. Luckily, the overall costs aren’t as much as you would think.

A friendly German Shepherd dog being examined by a veterinarian
A friendly German Shepherd dog with a veterinarian

Health care and veterinary bills: how much are vet expenses for GSDs?

For the first year, expect to spend an average of $630 and spend an average of $675 every year after that.

During your puppy’s first year, though, they’ll visit the vet often to ensure they’re developing and growing properly. Plus, they’ll get their vaccinations. Fortunately, German Shepherds are generally healthy.

The typical cost of a vet checkup is about $65 to $170. This includes general physical exams, vaccinations (such as rabies), and heartworm and flea prevention.

Heartworm and flea prevention medication may range anywhere between $75 and $125.

GSDs also need additional vaccinations. For example, Leptospirosis if they are exposed to wildlife. The fee for the treatment is about $15 to $25.

Other vaccinations may include Influenza if they go to doggy daycare or the kennel, which may range from $70 to $90. Also, there’s Lyme if your pooch is exposed to ticks. This may range about $60 to $80.

Medical Expenses for German Shepherds Range Average Cost
First-Year Vet Bill $425 – $830 $630
Spay/Neuter (optional) $50 – $450 $250
Gastropexy (optional) $200 – $400 $300
Adult Year Vet Bill $425 – $925 $675

While German Shepherds are relatively healthy, there are some health issues to be aware of.

For example, Hip dysplasia may range from $500 to $13,000 to treat. Treatment for allergies may be anywhere between $100 and $2,000 per year.

Degenerative Myelopathy has a fee of about $500 to $3,000 to treat, and Lumbosacral Instability & Degenerative Disc Disease costs $500 to $3,500 to treat.

Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV), also known as Bloat, costs about $1,500 to $3,000 to treat.

Other health problems may include Elbow dysplasia, which costs $1,500 to $4,000. Aortic Stenosis & Cardiomyopathy costs $500 to $1,500, and Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD) costs $2,000 to $4,000 to treat.

No matter how healthy your doggo is, health conditions arise. You should always bring them to the vet at least once per year for a checkup.

Annual checkups may set you back anywhere between $125 to $265. These include physical exams, vaccinations, and other tests as needed.

Dog Food Expenses

German Shepherd Feeding Cost

When it comes to feeding this large dog breed, you can expect to spend an average of $260 per year when they’re a puppy and $290 per year as an adult.

The amount of food your German Shepherd consumes will depend on their gender, size, and activity level.

For instance, a GSD may consume about 3.5 to 5 cups of high-quality dog food each day. However, talk to your veterinarian about what the right amount for your dog should be.

A pound of dog food typically costs between $2 to $3, so you can calculate the amount of dog food your pooch will consume within a month or a year.

Don’t forget about treats, either. Typically, Doggy snacks can be from $5 to $10, depending on the brand, and should last about a month. 

Yearly Food Expenses for
German Shepherds
Range Average Cost
Puppy $180 – $355 $260
Adult Dog $160 – $495 $290

If you’re unsure about what dog food to get for your furry friend, check out some of the best dog food for German Shepherds.

How much does a GSD with all the supplies?

Dogs need a lot of supplies, ranging from care to fun. So, upon bringing home your new furry friend, be sure to stop by the pet store and buy all the essentials.

German Shepherd Supplies Prices Range Average Cost
Food & Water Bowls $10 – $40 $20
Leash $10 – $30 $15
Dog Collars (x2) $10 – $40 $20
First-Aid Kit $15 – $50 $30
Dog Bed (36″ or 42″) $20 – $85 $50
Dog Crate (36″ or 42″) $30 – $120 $55
Toys $50 – $155 $90
ID Tag with Phone Number $5 – $20 $10
Stains and Odors Removal Spray $5 – $20 $10
Plastic Poop Bags (900-1080) $15 – $110 $55
Pooper Scooper $10 – $30 $20
House Training Pads (75-100) $15 – $45 $25
Brush $5 – $45 $15
Tooth-brushing Kit $5 – $15 $10
Shampoo $5 – $20 $10
Toenail Clippers $5 – $30 $15
Total German Shepherd Supplies Cost Range Average Cost
First Year $215 – $855 $450
Subsequent Years $95 – $385 $215

What are the additional expenses to consider when owning this breed?

1. Professional Grooming

Thankfully, grooming a German Shepherd is low-maintenance. You’ll only need to buy a $20 brush to keep their loose fur under control and to keep their coat looking shiny and healthy.

You can bring them to a professional groomer once in a while if you can’t bathe your pooch at home, but that service fee isn’t too expensive, and it’s not often.

2. Training and Socialization

Since they were bred to be working dogs, German Shepherds are relatively easy to train. They enjoy working and learning new things. However, that doesn’t mean you can skip training and socialization.

Training classes, especially in obedience, will be ideal whether you want your pup to be a guard dog or a family pet. 

You can expect to pay about $50 to $100 for training classes. They’ll do well in private classes, or group training will also socialize them with other dogs and people.

3. Others

Other costs include licensing for about $15 and microchipping for about $40. Then for dog walkers, which is about $20 per day, and boarding for about $40 per day, deworming for up to $50. And for pet insurance, expect an annual average of $565.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQ about German Shepherd Cost

Where can you find cheap German Shepherd dogs?

You can find cheap German Shepherd dogs anywhere, like online through breeders who had an accidental litter.

The litter might have been on purpose in some cases, but the dogs weren’t health tested. These pups can be as low as $200. Just be prepared to pay for medical bills in the long run.

Is spending the money to get a high-quality German Shepherd pup worthwhile?

The short answer is yes, spending the money is worthwhile. The high fee ensures the breeder did all they could to produce a healthy pup through vet checkups, health testing, and DNA testing.

It also ensures you have a happy, healthy pup who is well-trained and lives a long life with you.

How can you save when purchasing a German Shepherd puppy?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to save money on adopting a German Shepherd puppy. If you want a healthy dog, you’re going to need to spend a little extra.

What should you keep in mind when buying a retired German Shepherd adult?

Some breeders will have adult German Shepherds available for adoption. These dogs are typically between two and eight years old and are retired breeding pups or show dogs.

Retired dogs are cheaper, ranging between $200 and $400. In addition, these dogs typically have a great pedigree, are in great shape, have plenty of socialization, and are trained well. 

What are the yearly and monthly costs of a German Shepherd?

Among medical costs, dog food, supplies, grooming, and everything in between, owning a German Shepherd doesn’t come cheap.

With all that in mind, the annual average cost of owning a German Shepherd is about $1,765. This means the monthly average cost is roughly $147.

What are tips to save from owning a German Shepherd?

You can feed your doggo a healthy diet, groom your pooch at home instead of taking them to a professional, and bring your German Shepherd to the vet regularly.

In addition, you can get your puppy vaccinated at a rescue center or opt-in for pet insurance. Pet insurance will add a monthly cost, but it will save you on medical bills in the long run.

What are great names for a German Shepherd?

You can have fun naming your furry friend, but if you’re feeling stuck, take a look at these awesome German Shepherd names.

Should You Get a German Shepherd?

German Shepherds are intelligent, confident, and friendly. They’re always eager to help their owner as a working dog or a companion. This pooch will get along well with anyone in the family.

With a lifespan of ten to twelve years, you can be sure you’ll live an amazing life with your German Shepherd by your side.

If you’re looking for an active pup to be by your side and you can handle the first-year costs and beyond of adopting this pooch, then certainly consider getting a German Shepherd.

Do you have a GSD at home? Let us know in the comments below. 

Further reading: Consider these other Dog Breeds

Leave a Comment