After years of admiring these beautiful dogs, you are considering getting a purebred German Shepherd of your own. How much can you expect to pay? What should you keep in mind? Where do you start? We will discuss what you need to know below:
What can I expect to pay for a purebred German Shepherd?
Where you want to obtain your German Shepherd and the age you desire, will dictate the initial cost of acquisition:
- If you want a purebred puppy from a breeder who shows their German Shepherds, you can expect to pay somewhere between $1,500 to $5,000 or more, depending on the showing accomplishments of the parents. You should also consider travel costs to go get the puppy or have the puppy travel to you if the breeder is not local.
- If you look for a local breeder who breeds pet-quality purebred German shepherds, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $2,000.
- There are many purebred German Shepherds who are in need of homes in animal shelters or German Shepherd rescues as well. If you want to rescue a puppy or an adult, you can expect to pay anywhere from “free to good home” to less than $1,000. The emotional and mental benefits of giving a good home to a puppy or dog in need are priceless, for both the German Shepherd and the rescuer.
Is a German Shepherd Right for Me?
Before bringing home a German Shepherd Dog, consider the following:
- Is anyone living in your house allergic to dogs?
- If you are renting, does your rental property allow dogs? Can you afford the pet fee?
- Can you provide daily exercise such as walks or runs for about an hour?
- How long will your dog be alone every day? Dogs are very social, and it is cruel for them to spend their lives alone or in a cage for excessive amounts of time. Dogs left alone can become bored, which can lead to destructive behaviors.
- If you cannot come home from work to take your dog outside to relieve himself mid-day, can you afford a dog walker?
- Do you have the time and ability to socialize your puppy to make him comfortable in different situations?
- Can you afford to take your puppy to training classes?
- Do you have a fenced yard or access to a fenced yard to play fetch with your puppy?
- Do you have the time and patience to brush your puppy, bathe your puppy, and trim your puppy’s nails? If not, can you afford to take your puppy to the groomer? A brush, bath, and nail trim for a large dog can range from $50 to $100.
- Can you forgive your puppy for chewing your favorite shoes or pillow?
- Can you afford your puppy? On average, owners will spend approximately $10,000 on a large dog who lives to be 10 years old.
According to ASPCA, A dog is a commitment of approximately 8 to 15 years; sometimes more, sometimes less. The most important thing to do before purchasing a puppy or adopting a puppy or dog is to ensure that you are ready and able to give them the best home possible.
According to The Telegraph, Dogs have the intelligence of 2-year-old human children. They are smart and will quickly become valued members of your family. Please ensure that a German Shepherd is right for you before bringing one home.
According to VetStreet, You will spare yourself and the dog mental and emotional heartbreak if you are honest with yourself before bringing one home.
Show Quality v. Pet Quality v. Rescue
When you begin your search, you need to determine what type of German Shepherd that you want. While these dogs possess different physical qualities, none are superior and all can make great pets. There are 3 options:
A Show Quality Purebred German Shepherd is bred to match the American Kennel Club’s breed standard. If you are interested in showing, this is the type of dog that you would want to purchase.
Due to the careful breeding and extra efforts that show quality breeders must adhere to, these dogs are the most expensive. For a description of the AKC’s breed standard for German Shepherds, Click here.
A Pet Quality Purebred German Shepherd will not adhere perfectly to the breed standard. This does not make them any less purebred, this just means they would not qualify to be shown because their anatomy is not what the breed standard requires.
Pet quality breeders should breed their dogs with the same care as show quality breeders but may do so for the love of the breed rather than specifically to show. Pet quality dogs are generally a little less expensive than show quality dogs.
For further discussion about show quality dogs v. pet quality dogs, click here to watch a video on the topic.
A Rescue German Shepherd may be purebred or mixed with other breeds. Dogs of both types, show quality, and pet quality, are available for adoption. All rescue dogs have one thing in common; they do not have a home and they need one.
Dogs are in need of homes for a variety of reasons, such as their owner died, their owner was no longer able to afford them, their owner decided they were too much work, their owner got bored with them, their owner did not want an elderly dog, etc. Whatever the reason, it does not mean that they will not make a good addition to your family.
Where should I look for my next Purebred German Shepherd?
The sources available to you to find a German Shepherd are nearly endless, thanks to the internet:
- The American Kennel Club Market Place is an excellent place to find purebred German Shepherd puppies bred by reputable breeders.
- The German Shepherd Dog Club of America Classified Advertisements is another place to find quality breeders who care about breeding healthy dogs.
- Social media can also be a great resource for finding your next German Shepherd. Many breeders post pictures of their litters, or you can find a puppy or adult who needs a home from a German Shepherd Rescue or a private individual.
- If the German Shepherd’s military heritage appeals to you, one of the most wonderful ways to obtain a purebred German Shepherd is to adopt a former military dog from Mission K9. To thank these four-legged heroes for their service, they help retired working military dogs find homes to live out the rest of their lives happily in peace.
- If you are looking to rescue a German Shepherd, Shenandoah Shepherd Rescue has many wonderful dogs waiting for loving homes.
- Mid-Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue has many German Shepherds waiting to be adopted and loved.
- If you live in Virginia and want to rescue a German Shepherd, browse the adoptable shepherds waiting for loving homes with the Virginia German Shepherd Rescue.
- Pet Quality breeders often list their puppies on Craiglist. Private individuals also list their puppies or dogs on Craigslist in an attempt to re-home them.
Tips for Recognizing a Good Breeder
How can you know that you are getting a puppy from a good breeder? Compare them to the following standards:
- A good breeder breeds for the love of the breed, not just to make money. The amount of care the puppies receive will be indicative of their love for the breed. The puppies should have been taken to a veterinarian, and they should have clean and safe living quarters.
- The puppies should not be available for sale before they are 8 weeks of age. Breeders who just want to make money sell puppies while they still need their mother in an attempt to make money faster.
- The puppy’s mother should be living with the puppies.
- A good breeder cares where their puppies go and will communicate with you. They won’t demand cash, shove a puppy into your arms, and rush the process. They will want to talk to you about the puppy, make sure that you will provide the puppy with a good home, and ask if you have any questions about the breed. They may ask to connect on social media to keep in contact with the puppy. Most importantly, they will ask you to bring the puppy back to them should you ever no longer want the puppy.
- One of the most telling traits of a good breeder is what they do when the puppy has health issues. A good breeder will not ignore you if you call, text, or email about your puppy’s health. They will want to provide you with whatever information you need and should state that the puppy is returned to them if you do not want to keep it. If your puppy dies due to health issues, they should want to provide you want another puppy for free or for a reduced rate.
Considerations and Cautions in the search for a purebred German Shepherd
Keep the following in mind as you search for your German Shepherd:
- When you go to meet your puppy or pick up your puppy from the breeder, you should be able to meet the puppy’s parents. If their mother is not on-site, this is a red flag, as it means they may have been separated from her sooner than they should have been. Puppies need their mother for health reasons for approximately the first 8 weeks of their lives.
- The puppy’s living area should be clean, safe, and not exposed to harsh temperatures such as heat in the summer and freezing cold in the winter. While you should expect to see the puppies go to the bathroom, the urine and droppings should be promptly cleaned up; the puppies should not be sitting in old excrement.
- Always use caution when a breeder does not communicate well with you. If they are breeding puppies just for the money, they won’t want to spend time communicating with you.
- When you hold the puppies, look for the following: Are their ears clean or dirty? Do they have fleas? Are their noses runny? Are their eyes watery? Is their bottom clean or dirty? Is their nose wet or dry and cracked?
While breeders may advertise puppies on Craiglist, that does not make it the best place to sell puppies.
Craiglist is a very dangerous place to list dogs who need homes; sadly, individuals involved in dogfighting often use craigslist to find cheap or free bait dogs to train their fighting dogs.
If you are looking to rescue a dog and give them a loving home, finding a dog advertised as “free to good home” on Craiglist would be rescuing a dog from a potentially terrible life.
If you decide to purchase a puppy from Craiglist, always use caution, as many scammers utilize the website. Never wire money to someone in exchange for a puppy, as scammers often use this method to steal money.
Potential owners of purebred German Shepherds may expect to pay anywhere from “free to good home” to over $5,000.
Adding a German Shepherd Puppy to your family is exciting; they are so cute!
While they make wonderful additions to families with or without children, German Shepherds are an active and intelligent breed of dogs, making owning them a significant responsibility.
They need a family who enjoys playing with them, exercising them and training them. Before adding a German Shepherd to your family, be sure that you can afford a dog, that you can fulfill their exercise needs, and that you can provide the dog with a good home.