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How Much Does a German Shepherd Cost?

by David W.
German Shepherd Cost

You may get a great idea of having a reliable and loyal member of your family. It is a German Shepherd dog. The next question is how much a German Shepherd costs – either a puppy or an adult dog. Remember that a pure breed is never cheap, so prepare to spend about $1,500-$3,000 on a puppy from healthy and well-trained parents. 

It is possible, of course, to find a puppy without special tests and certificates at a much lower price – $800 or even $200. However, such dogs come from the lines which are not properly tested for genetic health issues or temperament drawbacks. So, you may come across the trouble of frequent visits to a vet or unmotivated aggression in your pet. That is why it is much better to spend more on a purebred puppy with great genes.

What Affects the Price of a German Shepherd Dog?

The first point you need to understand starts with breeding. It is not just a simple pairing of two adult dogs, raising their puppies, and then selling them. A responsible breeder deals with the careful selection of mates who are free from breed-specific problems with health and behavior. Such selection takes much time and effort. Moreover, raising puppies involves their early socialization and a lot of sensory stimulation achieved by training.

German Shepherds can suffer from health issues that are impossible to detect during a quick examination at a vet. They require more thorough diagnostics, for example, x-raying for hip dysplasia and specific genetic testing, which are not cheap at all. That is why the ultimate price of a puppy can reflect it. In addition, there are a number of tests required by the AKC for successful breeding. They include elbow x-rays, thyroid and cardiac tests as well as a canine ophthalmologist examination. 

If you don’t see certificates about all these tests, you cannot trust a breeder even if they insist that a puppy is entirely healthy because its parents have never had any health issues.

There is one more point that may influence the GSD cost. Good manners and obedience are products of training, and it also takes a lot of money and time. However, some behavioral features and temperament result from genetic disposition. These problems involve harsh reactions, stress, anxiousness, and aggression. That is why a reputable breeder considers these characteristics in both parents and pairs only those dogs that are a good match. It needs a lot of patience and effort. 

If you buy a very cheap puppy from an irresponsible breeder, you may face its unpredictable temperament. So, you will save yourself a lot of time, nerves, and costs if you purchase your fluffy friend from a responsible seller but at a higher price.

How Much Does a Purebred German Shepherd Cost?

Purebred German Shepherd Cost

A purebred German Shepherd puppy can cost a lot. However, it is one of the most reasonable solutions to get such a puppy. In this way, you will avoid many problems with health and behavior. The best idea is to purchase your puppy from reliable breeders. This is the strongest guarantee that the puppy will grow healthy. 

Purebred dogs have a number of phenotypic and genetic characteristics that come from their ancestors, making such shepherd dogs almost ideal. That is why you need to have an overall vision of what your dog should look like and what you expect of it. Responsible breeding results in a bit higher price but it is worth it. The average purebred German Shepherd cost can range from $500 to $2,000 depending on a number of factors. If the price is too attractive to be real, be cautious. You can see such offers from pet stores or backyard breeders. However, even if you save a good amount while buying, you may spend much more on veterinary help in the future.

How Much Does a German Shepherd Puppy Cost?

German Shepherd Puppies Cost

German Shepherd puppies are expensive. You may ask why. The answer is simple – breeding and raising these perfect puppies cost a lot. A single litter can cost a breeder about $8,000 which includes stud fees, vet bills, registration, health screening, food, whelping supplies, and other important expenses. Moreover, high-quality breeding takes a lot of time and effort. A breeder should have a lot of expertise and experience in raising the litter.

That is why, if you want to buy a healthy, obedient, and reliable dog to become a part of your family, be prepared to spend between $1,000 and $2,000 at least. In any case, all the money you will spend on a good-quality German Shepherd puppy from a reputable breeder is worth it. A dog with a stable temperament and behavior, healthy and socialized, is worth every cent spent on it.

How Does a Color of the Coat Influence the Price?

German Shepherds can be of different colors. Depending on how rare the color of the coat is, the price may vary. The rarer the color is, the higher the price is. 

How Much Does a Black German Shepherd Cost?

Black German Shepherd Cost

These dogs are very popular among military and police forces. German Shepherds can be born gray, white, or black, but it does not mean that they won’t change their color in adulthood. So, you need to be very cautious and do a lot of research on the puppy’s parents if you want a black dog. 

In general, if a puppy is born black, it is unlikely to change its color, but there may be exceptions. Occasionally, some fading can be observed. That is why you can buy an adult black shepherd instead of a puppy and be sure that it won’t change its color. On average, a black German Shepherd costs a bit more than any other color. You can rely on the budget of $700-$2,000. However, black dogs are more difficult to find, so you may have to wait in a line in search of the friend you would prefer to have.

How Much Does a White German Shepherd Puppy Cost?

White German Shepherd Cost

Even if you have found out that the average German Shepherd puppy cost is $1,000-$1,500, white pups can cost you more. They are rarer, so their cost will exceed $1,000 for sure. This specific bloodline is also newer than others, so if you have decided to have a purebred white dog, you should learn a lot about its characteristics and peculiarities.

The first thing to decide upon is where to buy such a puppy – from an enthusiastic lineage breeder or a traditional one who is mostly focused on the color you need.

Health problems are quite common in German Shepherd dogs, and there are those related to the color. That is why you had better choose a reputable breeder who can show you the parents of your potential puppy and offer health certificates.

If you want to buy your white puppy in the USA, there is a White Shepherd Association that can recommend to you the breeders listed by state, so you can ask them what to do if you want to find the puppy of your dreams.

How Much Does a Blue German Shepherd Puppy Cost?

Blue German Shepherd Cost

Blue German Shepherds are not traditional at all. So, their cost varies between $1,200 and $1,500. This German Shepherd cost can also differ between breeders. A puppy bought from a reputable breeder is sure to cost you more. 

However, the blue color of the coat is not actually blue. In fact, it is dark gray, and such dogs may come in varied color patterns. Though the color is a bit unusual, such puppies are still considered purebred. Nevertheless, some experts believe that this color is just a gene mutation and over time, it will be bred out.

Make sure that you have received your blue puppy from the parents who are either black or blue. They need to have two copies of the diluted recessive gene because a puppy needs to receive it from both parents. A responsible breeder will show you the puppy’s parents and their certificates to make sure that your dog will not change its color while growing.

Sometimes, blue shepherd dogs can look a bit dusty as if someone has dropped a bowl of flour on their back. Or, in some cases, they can look darker, like gunmetal or something like this. In any event, blue German Shepherd dogs make up perfect family pets because they are highly loyal and trainable.

Is It Cheaper to Purchase a Retired Adult Dog?

Adult GSD Cost

Yes, this is one of the variants to save your costs. Breeders sometimes sell retired show or breeding dogs at a lower price. Such dogs can be 2-8 years old. The reasons why these dogs are on sale vary. That may be the end of their show career. Or, for a certain purpose, they can be spayed after producing several litters. Usually, the number of breeding dogs is limited because a responsible breeder needs to pay more attention and give optimal care to their breeding dog.

Purchasing a retired German Shepherd dog has several indisputable advantages. 

  1. These dogs have a perfect pedigree, and their parents were carefully tested.
  2. They have got substantial socialization to take part in shows, so they can live together with other dogs and get accustomed easily to different people and conditions.
  3. The canines are fit and strong because they have received high-quality food, appropriate veterinary care, and all needed shots.
  4. Such dogs are sure to be far cheaper than purebred puppies with the same characteristics.

You can consider the German Shepherd cost about $400 for a retired dog or even the same $200 as for a yard-bred GS puppy with uncertain qualities. Though, finding such a dog for sale is a great luck. You will need to make inquiries from several breeders because most of them sell their precious dogs only once in a few years. In addition, they love their pets so placing them in a perfect home is their priority. So, you should become a good match with both a dog and its owner.


How rare are white German Shepherds?

They are really rare. You can purchase them only from breeders who specialize in this color. Your puppy will keep its white coat without changes while growing if you get a guarantee that both of its parents are white-coated.

How can you save while buying a GS puppy?

In fact, you can never be sure that your puppy is healthy and good-tempered if you purchase it for little money. That is why our strong recommendation is not to buy a cheap puppy. 
Unregulated breeding can result in severe hip dysplasia which is passed from parents to their offspring. This health condition can display at the very young age of a dog – often under 4. This is a result of a loose position of the hips in their sockets. The looser the sockets are, the more profound severity you will observe. Some dogs may display a limp even at the age of 2 or under. 
Therefore, find a responsible and reputable breeder, and you will be sure that your puppy is really healthy. You will get a loyal friend and beloved companion for a long time then. So, don’t try to save on the puppy. It is always a bad idea.

Where can I find a responsible breeder?

Reputable and responsible breeders have a waiting list of potential puppy buyers. They usually don’t place ads on social media or in newspapers. Of course, they do not have signs informing about sales in their front yards. 
So, what can you do? You can ask your friends or acquaintances who have already purchased a German Shepherd puppy. Word of mouth is a great recommendation. Or, if you are a member of a canine club or community, you can make inquiries there. Look for well-known canine associations online and contact them. They can recommend responsible breeders to you.

Can my breeder guarantee that my GS puppy will not have hip problems?

dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is polygenic, though, in some cases, it can be caused by environmental factors. If a breeder is careful and responsible enough, your puppy will undergo x-raying, and it will have a certificate. However, no breeder in the world can guarantee that your dog will never have dysplasia at an older age because of certain factors including feeding and treating it.

How much does it cost to feed a German Shepherd?

Monthly food for a puppy will cost you approximately $45. When the dog grows, the average cost is over $100 per month. However, veterinary care, disease prevention, and dog utilities may cost you twice as much per month.

Final Thoughts

All in all, German Shepherds are not dogs that you can acquire for cheap. You need to consider spending a lot to buy your new family member from a responsible breeder.

The German Shepherd cost for a puppy starts from $1,000-$1,500, and they may depend on whether a puppy is from a working or show line. Some dogs can even cost up to $5,000-$7,000 if you buy them from a well-known and highly successful breeder, especially if this is a ‘started dog’. It means that your future puppy has already received some training in obedience, tracking, and protection.

The price can also depend on the color of the coat. Rare colors usually cost more. If your pup comes from a champion bloodline, the price will also be higher.

Nevertheless, it is never a good idea to start looking at the ads that offer to sell German Shepherd puppies for some hundred dollars. Such puppies are not properly tested, so you may face tier health and temperament problems. The most widely experienced issues here are hip dysplasia and aggression. They are always a result of irresponsible breeding.

That is why you need to spend some time on research to find a reputable breeder, and you will get an ideal dog for you and your family at an average price of $1,500-$3,000. Or, if you want to save some costs, think about adopting a retired dog for about $400. Your well-trained and socialized friend will be a pleasure to deal with.

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