How Much Do German Shepherds Cost?

How Much is a GSD? 

How much do German Shepherds cost? The typical cost of this adorable herding dog is approximately $800 to $1,500. These costs cover adoption fees and other things your dog needs, like food, toys, a crate, a bed, etc.

However, if you want to buy a German Shepherd with “Champion” blood from Germany, it will be expensive and could cost around $4,000 or more, not including shipping costs.

A German Shepherd Price Chart

TypePrice in USD
Adoption50 to 750
Puppy with no papers250 to 1,500
Puppy with papers1,500 to 5,000
Show line puppy3,000 to 11,500
Working puppy5,000 to 7,000
Trained young adult12,000 to 20,000

Why are GDSs so Expensive?

How much do full-breed German Shepherds cost? It isn’t easy to breed a healthy, well-mannered German Shepherd puppy. It is more complicated than just breeding two German Shepherds. This is something that many breeders do, which is why you may purchase many for as little as $250.

However, there are additional expenses related to breeding and nurturing a puppy if you want one with a good disposition and sound genetics. This is crucial for a German Shepherd in particular. You don’t want a young puppy that develops aggression or mobility problems from hip and elbow dysplasia.

German Shepherd on a grassy field


The cheapest puppy will be a German Shepherd without papers. This is due to breeders not genetically screening the parents’ health.

Due to the breeders’ inability to offer documentation of kennel club registration, parent pedigrees, or health documents, these puppies are paperless. Breeders mostly make minimal investments in these puppies.

Without knowing the puppy’s lineage or history, you get it in its current state. The average price of a German Shepherd puppy with no papers is around $250 to $1,500.

You will spend more money on a puppy with registration papers, temperament test results, and health certifications. Those documents, though, will be useful to you and the puppy.

Kennel Club Membership

Puppy registration with the American Kennel Club (AKC) signifies a good breeder. This indicates that your puppy is pure and fits the breed standard. The last thing you want is to purchase a German Shepherd/wolf hybrid believing it is a purebred.

Puppy registration costs around $33 for a single animal, but breeders sometimes register the entire litter.

Visits to Veterinarians

Reputable breeders will take the puppy to the doctor before eight weeks for a basic health check and genetically test the parents. Breeders will also have the puppies dewormed, immunized, and given preventative medications during these appointments.

The puppy’s price will include the expense of the expensive vet checkups. A good breeder will provide you with a health guarantee when you purchase a German Shepherd puppy from them. Most breeders can also show documentation showing the puppy passed a temperament evaluation.

Socialization and Training 

Some breeders spend time socializing and training their puppies. Many seasoned breeders have a customized training regimen that starts with basic obedience and potty training. Although you may have to pay for their efforts, it will make housebreaking your puppy easier.

Spending around $2,500 on a German Shepherd puppy who has begun training, registered with the kennel club, and has all the necessary documentation is worthwhile. They all indicate that the puppy you are purchasing is of a high caliber.

By doing this, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding temperamental problems and having to pay for veterinary appointments to identify and treat hip and elbow dysplasia.


Puppies from breeders who concentrate on producing champion bloodlines will cost extra. A family may not require a German Shepherd of this caliber. All they require is a wholesome, obedient dog who will bring them years of joy. But many folks need a working dog or show dog.

Depending on what they are for, these puppies can cost around $3,000. Dogs bred to be champions or guardians and workers are the priciest. Puppies from working lines start at about $5,000, but depending on their training; they can sell for over $20,000.

Some breeders invest thousands of dollars merely in top-notch service dog training. It can be challenging to continuously breed a guard dog that is protective but also nice to families.

Breeders must take into account temperament and training in addition to genetics. For this reason, reputable breeders will want more than $12,000 for trained puppies.


The German Shepherd breeds that come straight from Germany are the priciest. It costs money for breeders to import and pay for breeding these dogs.

Due to the German Shepherd breed’s origins, breeders in the US import German dogs to produce puppies with a purebred pedigree.

The lineages are more protected because breeding is more restricted in Europe. These slightly distinct puppies are popular as European German Shepherds. They are more colorful, have straighter backs, and have smaller sizes. Some individuals believe they resemble a Belgian Malinois.

While American dogs are mostly for companionship, most European dogs are mostly working dogs. The distinction between American and German Rottweilers and American and European Dobermans is the same. Don’t worry if you end up spending more than $5,000 on a European dog.

Breed Origins

With the help of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America, you may locate trustworthy breeders. These breeders will all be able to offer the following:

  • Registration with the kennel club and pedigree.
  • Documents attesting that the puppy has been to a veterinarian and is free of diseases.
  • A guarantee of health.
  • Health records proving the parents’ genetic health and are not hereditary carriers of elbow or hip dysplasia.

These breeders charge an average of $2,500 for purebred German Shepherds. These German Shepherd breeders produce their offspring per the breed’s genetic requirements. None of them will provide puppies that are not AKC-registered for sale.

The American Kennel Club marketplace is an excellent location to start looking for breeders. Puppies start at roughly $1,500 on the market, but the average cost is between $2,000 and $2,500. Many of these puppies have papers, and they are to be household dogs.

The cost of a German Shepherd starts to rise when you look into more well-known breeders or those that produce dogs with working or championship genetics.

Most families do not require puppies of this caliber, starting at around $3,000 and coming from championship bloodlines.

German shepherd in the grass

Fun GSD Price Facts

Business Insider reports that the highest-priced German Shepherd sold was around $230,000. German Shepherd Julia lived at the Harrison K-9 facility and has enough extensive protective training.

Its chief trainer said that Julia was so intelligent that “it was almost like a person.” Additionally, it could comprehend instructions in three distinct languages. It was expensive because of its intelligence and capacity for protection. A wealthy businessman from Minneapolis, Minnesota, purchased Julia.

A German Shepard Price Chart by Color

Coat ColorCost
Black and TanHow much do black German Shepherds cost? A black and tan puppy’s face, tail, and rear are all covered in black. The legs, tummy, and chest are all tan in tone. An average black and tan puppy costs about $1,500 and is the most popular color.
WhiteHow much do white German Shepherds cost? A white puppy may blend in with the snow because of its all-white fuzzy coat. It has a nose and eyes as dark as coal. Because the white coat is so uncommon, costs range from $1,500 to $2,500.
BlackThe entire coat of a black German Shepherd is black. They’d be a bi-color if they were any other color. Less than 7% of German Shepherds are black, another unique color. The cost of a full-blooded German shepherd might reach over $2000.
BlueA blue German Shepherd has a gray color with a bluish tint rather than being true blue. You should be ready to spend over $2,500 for one of these because it is more pricey.
SableOne of the most distinctive colors is sable, slightly more intriguing than black and tan. These canines have particularly distinctive coloring because of the bands of tan and black in their hair. A sable will cost between $1,500 and $2,000, making it slightly more pricey

Is it Expensive to Maintain a GSD?

You’ve decided that you wish to adopt a German Shepherd Dog (GSD). Perhaps it comes from watching Rin Tin Tin as a little child or from seeing a police dog react. 

With their appeal across the globe as the preferred breed for many types of jobs, including handicap assistance, search-and-rescue, police and military tasks, and even acting, they are unquestionably a picture of strength, intelligence, trainability, and obedience.

What may it take for one of these medium-sized or giant dogs to go home with you? You must first locate one and weigh the various charges. Finding a German Shepherd to live in your home can be done in various ways. These are a few of them:

Shelters for animals – Shelters are the guardians of stray animals brought to them or discovered somewhere in your neighborhood. The types of animals they are taking care of can change from day to day. German Shepherds of any variety may fall under this category, whether purebred or mixed. Adoption costs could differ.

Rescue Organizations – Like shelters, rescue organizations take care of stray animals from the streets or the shelters themselves. Many rescue organizations are breed-specific, unlike shelters. Although adoption costs vary from rescue to rescue, you can typically anticipate paying between $300 and $400 for larger canines like German Shepherds.

Breeders – Unlike animal shelters and rescue organizations, breeders rear animals for a living. Make sure the breeder is respectable by researching in advance if you plan to use them. 

A puppy purchased from a reputable breeder will typically cost between $300 and $900 (or more), depending on whether the animal is a typical German Shepherd, a show dog, or a working dog. The average price of a German Shepherd that has a track record as a working or show dog ranges from $6,000 to $7,000.

After you bring your German Shepherd home, you’ll need to take care of his needs, including food, medical care, grooming, playthings, potentially a pet sitter, pet insurance, and other unforeseen expenses. Any expenses shown in this picture are simply estimates because they may change owing to a variety of factors, such as

  • Age or Size
  • Healthcare and wellness
  • Food, toy, bedding, and accessory quality (leash, collar, etc.)
  • Location (some locations are more expensive to live in than others for goods and services) (some areas are more expensive to live in than others for goods and services)

How much do baby German Shepherds Cost?

  • Veterinary treatment (normal, non-emergency care), which includes general care and laboratory tests, costs between $100 and $200.
  • Vaccines: $50 to $100
  • $50 to $200 for a spay or neuter
  • Treatment and management of internal and external parasites: $100 to $150
  • Food: $150 to $250
  • Various costs, like as collar, leash, bowls, toys, grooming equipment, and obedience instruction: $200 to $225

Depending on the kind of foods utilized, food expenses may vary significantly. Foods purchased in a grocery or box store atmosphere are probably less expensive, and even if higher quality foods are more expensive, you will feed fewer people because the food is more nutrient-dense.

Yearly expenses to take into account for an adult German Shepherd:

  • Veterinary care (regular care, not an emergency), including general care and laboratory tests, costs between $60 and $140; immunizations between $35 and $80; internal and external parasite treatment and control between $125 and $200; food between $225 and $500; and other costs between $75 and $200.
  • If you’re considering getting pet insurance, the cost may differ from company to business based on your chosen plan. For many pet parents who want to ensure their four-legged child will receive the best care possible throughout their lifespan, purchasing pet insurance has transitioned from being a novelty investment to becoming a common practice.

There are four different varieties of pet insurance, which include the following:

  • Traditional – Common pet insurance policies cover illness, accidents, and frequent preventive treatment. Predetermined plan design possibilities. Depending on the plan type you select, your insurance provider will cover all or a portion of your veterinary expenses up to a specified level;
  • Similar to regular pet insurance, but with additional freedom to “mix and match” plan design elements, including deductibles, copays, coinsurance percentages, and annual maximum coverage amounts; Customizable;
  • Accident Only– These insurance policies solely cover accidents. Health conditions or preventive care are not covered; and
  • Discount – You will enjoy a discount on the services rendered when you bring your GSD to a vet or hospital that is a part of the insurance provider’s network. Other than the requirement to see a vet in the network, these plans often have few, if any, restrictions (i.e., “fine print”).

Remember that different coverage items may increase the cost according to the plan’s particulars. The kind of pet insurance that is best for you will depend on various variables, including

  • Your financial situation with pet insurance; as with other things in life, you get what you pay for. With Accident Only and Discount plans, pet parents usually pay a reduced monthly premium, but a veterinary visit will cost more. When your pet is ill or due for a preventive checkup, the plans provide far more thorough coverage.
  • The age of your animal and any existing medical issues. After a certain age, Traditional and Customizable plans will no longer accept new pets, and neither will they cover treatment for an underlying medical issue. When it comes to Accident Only or Discount plans, this is typically not the case.
  • Pet breed. Some plans exclude specific conditions that may be problematic for breeds pre-disposed to them. Accident Only and Discount policies typically do not fall under this category, although Traditional and Customizable plans do. Some Traditional and Customizable policies also completely prohibit coverage for certain breeds.

Your veterinary office Discount plans are typically the only kind of insurance that demand that your veterinarian be a member of their network (for the discounts to apply). Check to see if your veterinarian is a member and if you like this type of coverage.

If they don’t, you can convince them to sign up if the requisite insurance company reductions are reasonable in relation to your veterinarian’s fee schedule.

Pet insurance firms use different plans at various pricing points to describe their coverage. For instance, one firm quoted $72.60 per month for Whole Pet with Wellness coverage and $29.58 per month for major medical for a GSD aged 0 to 11 months. 

For a GSD under the age of one year, another provider offered monthly premiums for Premier coverage of $107.41, Recommended coverage of $58.03, and Basic coverage of $26.68.

Before making a purchase, carefully and thoroughly read your coverage. Make sure you know the services your GSD will receive, dependent on the type of plan and the cost. Pet insurance is an additional expense to consider when adopting a pet, but one that is frequently necessary for obvious reasons, not the least of which is peace of mind.

Being a pet parent for your German Shepherd or any other dog will undoubtedly be one of your life’s best experiences, but it comes with a financial burden. Naturally, the first year will have particular expenses related to the adoption or sale and other factors based on the dog’s age and health. 

Costs may level out after the first year, barring any changes in the dog’s or the pet parent’s health or other circumstances.

In truth, it is impossible to say with certainty how much a German Shepherd Dog will cost annually or throughout its life. To estimate expenditures as your particular scenario requires, there are too many factors to consider, such as the changes each stage of a dog’s life brings. 

Try to keep a yearly record of the costs associated with your dogs from the time of adoption or purchase onward and use that to create an annual budget for your four-legged child’s requirements.

Enjoy your bond with your German Shepherd Dog at those priceless rare times, no matter what.

The Average Monthly Cost to own a German Shepherd

For your dog, you should set aside at least $90 to 110 every month. The fundamentals, high-quality food, and routine veterinary exams will be part of the package. Some owners of German Shepherds spend a lot more money. Many German Shepherd owners find professional grooming important because of how much hair these dogs shed.

A single visit may cost as much as $120, depending on your area and the kind of groomer you select.

For novice dog owners, this breed frequently displays several behavioral difficulties that can be challenging to address, such as

  • Separation anxiety
  • Reactivity
  • Strong prey drive
  • Continual barking
  • Pulling the leash

Many German Shepherd owners eventually commit to weekly training sessions, either in a class setting or in a trainer-client relationship. For continuous instruction, you can budget anywhere from $80 (for group classes) and $500 (for private lessons) each month.

Some German Shepherds are very destructive and need many bones and chew toys to keep them from destroying their owners’ furniture. You can spend $30 to 100 a month on these new chews and toys, which can soon get pricey.

  • $50 to $80 for good food. You should feed your German shepherd premium food. Your puppy will eat a lot because of their high energy requirements and need for movement, especially throughout their first three years of life.
  • Toys and chewables – $30 to $100. German Shepherds tend to chew things up, so give them chew toys to play with instead.
  • $50 to 120 for professional grooming. Some owners choose to hire a professional groomer to control the excessive shedding.
  • Training is $80 to $500. Weekly training is essential if your dog exhibits behavioral issues like aggression or separation anxiety.

The Most Rare and Expensive GSD Color

Panda is the most expensive coat color since it is the rarest. Panda babies cost about $3,000 to purchase.

These black and white German Shepherds are adorable. It has a piebald pattern, with huge white spots scattered across its black coat. Some do not always resemble pandas because of the coloration that resulted from a mutation. Instead of being all white, some puppies can be tan or another color.

Despite being purebred, panda dogs are extremely difficult to locate due to the rarity of this mutation. A relatively small number of breeders offer the panda color.

Show Lines vs. Working Lines – The Difference

A working dog was the initial purpose of the German Shepherd breed. However, after its first service as a shepherd dog, it has served in various capacities, from guarding properties to competing in Schutzhund and IPO trials.

Prices might vary greatly depending on which lineage your German Shepherd Dog comes from.

German Shepherds dogs are for conformation shows. You should choose one of these breeds if you want a shepherd puppy as a pet and a companion animal.

You should choose a German Shepherd from working lines if you want to use it as a guard dog and compete in IPO trials. Working line breeders in North America and Europe are very common and successful. Some market “starting dogs,” which are canines with prior obedience, protection, and tracking training. Started dogs can cost between $5,000 and $7,000.

Thoroughly trained German Shepherds for work might cost up to $20,000 each. For this fee, you receive an almost perfect dog with broad skills and impeccable obedience.

Some Schutzhund enthusiasts in the United States import a puppy from historic European working lines. A 2 to 3-month-old puppy’s flight across the Atlantic can cost up to $2,000 on top of the puppy’s purchasing price. 

A puppy from accomplished parents may already cost $2,000, putting your total cost by the time the dog flies to the US at $4,000. While a pet dog owner may find this absurdly expensive, Schutzhund enthusiasts consider it a fair purchase for a pedigreed German Shepherd pup.

German shepherd portrait


German Shepherds cost a lot of money. Pay about $1,500 for a puppy if you purchase a dog from a reputable breeder (whether from a working or show line). If your pup has an unusual color or comes from champion bloodlines, this price may increase noticeably.

You can purchase a GSD through classified advertisements for as little as a few hundred dollars, but it is not a smart idea to go for the cheapest puppy available. These dogs have not undergone health and temperament screening and will not become the wonderful companion you seek.

Genetics plays a role in physical conditions like hip dysplasia and behavioral difficulties like reactivity and hostility. (This is a problem with several working and herding breeds, including the less popular English Shepherd, in addition to the GSD.)

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