How Much Does A German Shepherd Cost?

How Much Does A German Shepherd (GSD) Cost in the USA?

German Shepherd Type or Breed Average Cost (middle of 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 range)
Basic Gear (collar, leash, dog bed, etc.) $200 (one-time)
Spay/Neuter $80 (one-time)
Misc. One Time Major Vet Care near 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

Total lifetime cost for GSD bought as puppy from breeder – $8,020

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

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 a 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
  • Intelligen
  • 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.

How Much Are German Shepherd Puppies Worth Without Papers?

Purebred GSD puppies can be found from breeders anywhere from $300 to $900. Without papers you could sell them for whatever a buyer is willing to pay. There is no “blue book” value for GSDs without papers.

If your dog just needs a home you can give them away for free to an appropriate dog parent. You will more likely sell a GSD without papers when they are more fully grown (to show they are more likely purebred instead of a mix).

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 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 break down at their site.

How Much Does It Cost To Feed A German Shepherd

An average male GSD weights 70 lbs and a femal 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 A Blue German Shepherd Cost

Blue German Sheperds 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+. Like GSDs from Germany these costs don’t cover getting the dog to you.