The German Shepherd is the most popular service dog breed, both in its home country and around the world. There is hardly any other breed of dog that is used in so many different ways as the German Shepherd.
Originally used as a herding dog, today the German Shepherd is a service and protection dog in the police, army, and customs authorities, as well as a mountain rescue and therapy dog, avalanche search, and guide dog for the blind.
How Much Does a German Shepherd Cost?
The cost of a German Shepherd puppy starts at around $370 and goes up to $4,700 for an American Kennel Club puppy. These prices will be affected by factors such as the history of the parents, the quality, the place where you are living, the age of the dog, and the breeder.
For instance, rescue dogs will come at a lower price, which would be anywhere between $85 and $550. If you are lucky enough you can adopt a German Shepherd puppy from a rescue center, but most of the dogs will be rehabilitated and older. For example, the rescue group BrightStar German Shepard charges a fee of $450 for all dogs, both puppies and old.
A German Shepherd from a breeder, that comes with no paperwork would be anywhere between $320 and $950. This cost includes, at the very least, deworming, vaccinations, and others.
If the dog has a great bloodline and is considered a working line, it would cost $1,100 to more than a few thousand dollars. The German Shepherd puppy price can easily surpass the $11,000 tag if the dog is already fully trained.
The most expensive will tend to be the show dogs because they will adhere to the breed standard and will be AKC certified. Depending on the bloodline, pedigree, parents, and history, a dog like this would cost $2,600 to more than $5,200. The price of a German Shepherd adult that has hip certification and has been trained would be around $11,000 or more.
If you want to purchase an Alsatian dog, which is a white German shepherd, you should be prepared to pay anywhere between $800 and $1,100. But you should know that you cannot register a white-colored German shepherd with the AKC.
The panda German shepherd is another type often searched by people. It would cost around $1,100, but similar to the white/albino dog it can not be considered a true German shepherd. This variation appeared due to a gene mutation and is 35% white.
What is included in the cost of a puppy?
If you purchase a purebred German shepherd from any reputable breeder, it will come with a travel crate if shipped, registration papers, up-to-date vaccinations, a health guarantee, and a health checkup via a vet. Also, at some breeders, the dog may be neutered or spayed and come with a microchip and a starter kit which includes sample dog food.
Types of German shepherd dog
The two main groups into which dogs of this breed can be divided are German Working Shepherd and German Shepherd Show line.
Finally, these two important categories are divided into five subdivisions: Working German Shepherd from West Germany, Working German Shepherd from East German, Czech Working German Shepherd, Shepherd German Show Line from America, and German Shepherd European Show Line.
The Working German Shepherd from West Germany or, simply, the West German Shepherd, is the type of dog where the emphasis falls on temperament. An impressive specimen even from the point of view of appearance, the West German Shepherd is ready to help you in all the activities you do. Working German Shepherds are generally smaller than Show Lines, but have a higher pain tolerance, which makes them very valuable when it comes to various jobs.
In terms of appearance, they have a uniform color, usually black. Some black German Shepherd specimens have a combination of black with some inserts of sable color (sand color).
East German Shepherds have high levels of tolerance and concentration, which is why they will adapt easily to different conditions and will be able to learn different behaviors. On the other hand, considering that, in general, they are hunting dogs, they must be supervised in the company of other animals.
Like their West German brethren, these dogs are generally black or have a coat that combines black with sand color inserts.
The Czech Working Shepherd is, in general, weaker than a classic German Shepherd and, precisely for this reason, it is more agile. It also has the slowest development of all German Shepherds. In terms of appearance, Czech Working Dogs have a dark coat that is a combination of black with different shades of brown.
Naturally, the American German Shepherd is the most popular breed of Shepherd dog in America and Canada. A combination of several types, in order to have the perfect appearance, dogs of this breed have a more solid construction, with a smaller head and shorter muzzle.
The American German Shepherd has many colors, even if, in general, its fur is a combination of black and brown. They walk more inclined and have longer lower limb joints than European German Shepherds.
The European show line of German Shepherds is one of the most popular. They have the perfect German Shepherd look, with rusty fur, as well as a straighter back, which can reduce the chances of common problems in the breed, such as hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia.
Additional expenses related to owning a German Shepherd
It is highly recommended that German Shepherd owners neuter or spay the dog when it is around six months old. This would cost less than $260 most of the time.
In case the dog must be shipped via an airline, you will have to pay another $220 to $450, depending on the airline you choose and the distance.
Owning a German Shepherd also means dealing with monthly expenses and recurring costs such as vet visits, food, shelter, and others. Expect to spend anywhere between $850 and $1,400 per year on a dog. Obviously, these costs may be much higher if an urgent hospital visit is needed.
It is quite easy to train a German shepherd, but most choose to enroll them in obedience classes. Depending on where the dog is trained, you will have to pay anywhere between $60 and $140 for a typical class.
Important things about German Shepherd puppies
With a height of between 60 and 65 cm for males and between 55 and 60 cm for females, the German Shepherd belongs to the medium to large-sized dog breeds. The well-proportioned body reflects his life as a utility dog. The adult German Shepherd is strong and muscular but always has an athletic and agile appearance.
The female gives birth to about 8-12 puppies. It is very important to remember that after buying such a puppy, you must take it to training classes and socialization from the age of 7-8 weeks. However, do not stress him with a lot of physical effort when he is a puppy, because you can slow his proper development.
It is not a suitable dog for those who leave home and want to leave it alone for long periods of time. When left alone, they will become anxious and bored.
Reputable German Shepherd breeders will tell you that these dogs shed a lot and very often. Brush them several times a week and buy a good vacuum cleaner. You will need it.
Tips for saving money
In order to save money, you should take into consideration checking out rescue groups or local adoption centers. Usually, these dogs would cost only a few hundred dollars and will be younger than two years old.