How Much Does A German Shepherd Cost? (Solved & Explained!)

The German Shepherd is an extremely popular breed of dog that many people are familiar with. But what do you know about the cost of a German shepherd? The average price for a GSD ranges from $500 to $4000, depending on the breeder and whether or not it’s registered. A GSD trained as a protection dog can cost up to $55,000. A GSD from a rescue shelter costs $150-$200.

In this article, we’ll go into depth on those costs and include initial dog owner supplies, ongoing medical and other costs, and more.

How Much Are German Shepherd Puppies?

Purebred GSD puppies can be found from breeders anywhere from $500 to $1500. The average price of a German Shepherd puppy is $1,000. This can vary depending on size, age, and breeder. Some breeders will charge more because they know the puppy is popular or in high demand.

On average, a GSD puppy from a pet store (not a specialized breeder) costs about $500 to $1600 with localized prices and popularity varying within that range. German Shepherd puppies found through a rescue group cost $150 – $200.

How Much Does A Purebred German Shepherd Cost?

A purebred German shepherd can cost anywhere from $500 to $4,000 depending upon the dog’s quality and breed. For instance, a reputable breeder may have extremely high standards for breeding their dogs–qualified homes, extensive health guarantees including surgical procedures like Lasik eye surgery or orthopedic repair for animals with hip dysplasia–and this may lead to an increased price point of around $4,000.

How Much Does A Blue German Shepherd Cost?

Blue German Shepherds are a sub-breed of GSDs. They have blue/black hair and blue eyes. The average cost of a blue german shepherd breed ranges from $1200 to over $1600+. There are many breeders of blue German Shepherds throughout the US though they are rarer than the common GSD. Therefore, the cost to pick up the dog raises the total price.

German Shepherd From Germany Cost

A purebred GSD born in Germany can cost from $2,000 to $4,000, not including the costs to get them over to you.

Many breeders in the US will import GSDs from Germany and breed them here lowering overall costs to get them to you.

Purebred German Shepherds by definition come from ancestors from Germany.

How Much Does A Trained German Shepherd Cost?

German Shepherds that have gone through obedience school cost $5,000 – $10,000. The GSD puppy cost ranges from $500 to $1500 and the training ranges from $500 – $2,500 per week. A German Shepherd trained as a protection dog (law enforcement, military) costs $30,000 to $65,000.

How Much Does A German Shepherd Cost Per Year?

The average annual expenses for a German Shepherd range from $270 to $1,500 per year. The lower end assumes basic annual vaccinations and no medical issues and dry food only. The higher-end involves higher medical expenses, wet food, and additional travel expenses for bringing your dog with you on trips.

How Much Does A Black German Shepherd Cost?

Black German Shepherds have a rare, recessive gene giving them their black coat. This doubles the standard GSD price. Black German Shepherd puppies cost $1,000 – $3,000.

How Much Does It Cost To Feed A German Shepherd?

An average male GSD weights 70 lbs and a female GSD weights 55 lbs. Each would require 2.5 to 3.5 cups of food a day. There are about 150 cups of dry dog food in a 50 lb bag. That would feed your dog for about 50 days.

That 50 lb bag will cost about $50 on average. That’s about $1 a day. So it costs about $30 a month to feed a full-grown German Shepherd.

How Much Does It Cost To Breed German Shepherds?

According to Cryslen, a professional humane breeder, the average cost to raise a responsibly bred litter of puppies is just over $7,000. If you want to breed a show-quality litter it can cost up to $24,000. See their specific line-by-line breakdown at their site.

German Shepherd (GSD) Cost Table

German Shepherd Type or Breed Average Cost (middle of the range)
Rescue German Shepherd from a Shelter $150
German Shepherd Puppy from a breeder $500
Trained German Shepherd Work or Show Dog $6500
Trained German Shepherd Protection Dog $55,000

Other German Shepherd Costs

Other Miscellaneous Expenses Average Cost (middle of the range)
Basic Gear (collar, leash, dog bed, etc.) $200 (one-time)
Spay/Neuter $80 (one-time)
Misc. One Time Major Vet Care near the end of life $4000 (one-time)
Total One-Time Costs $4,280
Annual Vet Checkup $60 per year
Annual Vaccinations $60 per year
Food $150/year
Total Annual Costs $270

Total Lifetime Costs of a German Shepherd (GSD)

German Shepherds live an average of 9 to 14 years. Assuming a 12-year life span here’s the cost breakdown:

Purchase German Shepherd Puppy from Breeder – $500

Total One-Time Costs – $4,280 (includes major vet costs near end of life)

Total Annual Costs for 12 years – $270 * 12 = $3,240

The total lifetime cost for GSD bought as a puppy from a breeder – $8,020

The total lifetime cost for GSD bought as a trained work dog – $14,020

The total lifetime cost for GSD bought as a protection dog – $62,520

Are German Shepherds (GSD) Expensive To Own?

Are GSDs expensive? It depends on what you consider expensive. Here are the average costs for various types of german shepherds. Skim and we’ll let you decide…

Based on our calculations of average expensive a GSD costs $8,020 over their entire lifetime. This includes the cost to purchase them from a breeder, get initial gear, and provide annual food and vet care.

For a trained work dog the total lifetime cost goes up to $14,020.

For protection trained GSD (cops, military) the total lifetime cost is at least $62,520.

Detailed breakdowns of these calculations can be found above.

Why Are German Shepherds Expensive?

German Shepherds are no more expensive than other dogs of their size. They can get extremely expensive if you purchase a trained GSD. Protection dogs alone (those trained for police or military action) can cost up to $55,000 and up to $62,520 over the course of their lifetime. An average GSD purebred that’s untrained typically costs only about $8,000 over the course of their lifetime.

GSDs often have hip and joint problems which can add thousands in vet care bills later in their life.

Is A German Shepherd A Good Family Dog?

GSDs are a wonderful choice for a family for the following reasons:

  • Loyalty
  • Intelligent
  • Easy to train
  • Huggable – a very subjective bullet point here but it’s one we agree with. GSDs are fluffy hug creatures that stand at the height of young children. Trained properly they won’t cause issues like other smaller, untrained breeds.
  • Protection DogsGerman shepherds when properly trained will care for and protect you. They are one of the most common breeds to train as a protection dog for use by the police and military
  • Energy and Fitness – As a medium to large size breed, GSDs are ideal for long hikes and lots of playtime with the family. In fact, they need it. Trained and socialized properly they will keep your kids busy for hours every day.