Breed Tips

How Much Does a German Shepherd Cost? A Comprehensive Guide for 2024

German Shepherd Characteristics

  • Life expectancy: 9 – 12 years 

  • Adult weight: 80 – 100 lbs. 

  • Adult height: 24 – 28 in. 

  • Origin – Germany

One of the most popular dogs in the world and an especially popular choice for work as police dogs, the German Shepherd (or Alsatian) is a working dog that originated, as you can likely guess, in Germany. Originally bred for herding sheep, these dogs are now used for a variety of work across the globe. Examples include disability assistance, rescue and search operations, and warfare, but these dogs also make incredible companions as well.

German Shepherds are medium-large sized dogs with thick-double coats that generally come in either tan-black or red-black combinations. There are other more rare colors available as well like sable, pure black, pure white, silver, blue, and panda.

The Alsatian is an intelligent breed but can have a tendency to become aggressive without proper training and socialization. There have been several varieties of this breed depending on the geographies. For e.g., East European Shepherd, White Swiss Shepherd, White Shepherd, and Shiloh Shepherd to name a few.

What is the price of a German Shepherd? 

The price of a German Shepherd depends on where you choose to get your new pet. Whether you choose to purchase them from a breeder, and the kind of breeder you purchase them from, or whether you choose to adopt has a large influence on cost. Before you make the commitment and bring your German Shepherd home, you may be interested in an estimate of what you can expect to spend on your pup throughout their lifetime. Below, we break down these costs in the following categories: initial buying/adoption costs, vaccinations, diets, healthcare, and grooming.

According to Rover and the OVMA, here are the average costs of puppy ownership in Canada.

Buying: $2000 – $3500 

The average cost of a German Shepherd is around $2500. This price can vary due to multiple factors including the dogs age, breeder reputation, and coat color, just to name a few. In some cases the cost of a German shepherd puppy can be as high as $3500. Blue German Shepherd’s can cost around $1500-$2000. Black and red German Shepherd’s can cost around $1800-$2000. The rarest color is the Panda which can cost around $3500. The most expensive German Shepherd overall are usually puppies with championship bloodlines which can cost around $6000.

If your search looks like ‘$200 German Shepherd puppies near me’, adoption is a good option for you. There are a large variety of rescue shelters and adoption centers that can help you adopt a German Shepherd in need of a home. The cost for adoption can be as low as $50-$300. It can be a little higher for a small pup, but usually not as high as the ones bought from breeders.

Monthly costs for a German Shepherd

Diets: $50-$125

These highly energetic working dogs need a good amount of high-quality raw dog food to fulfill their energy needs. If ever you are unsure what food your German Shepherd needs, contact your vet for a recommendation. For the first 12 months, their food requirement will gradually increase from 250 gms per day to 400 gms. The costs can range at around $50-$125 per month.

Grooming: $50-$75

German Shepherd are a high-shedding dog breed that need daily brushing. An occasional bath, regular nail trimming, and teeth and ear cleaning would suffice for grooming. The average cost can be about $100 per month for a professional grooming service or around $50-$75 for grooming supplies if you decide to groom your dog at home.

Medical Costs: $600-$1200

During the first few years of your pet's life, it is recommended you take your them to the vet about 3-4 times annually. Vet fees can range from $100 to $300 and typically include services like annual wellness exams and blood tests, as well as other preventive care treatments your vet may recommend. Other examinations and tests if necessary, could cost you another $300-$400.

One-time costs for an Alsatian

Initial Costs: $400-$450

A couple of large collars, leashes, food and water bowls, an XL crate, a pet bed, and toys are among some of the initial set-up costs you may want to have ready before bringing your dog home. The total cost could be around $400-$450.

Microchipping: $50-$70

While microchipping is not a necessary expense, it is highly recommended, and can help provide pet parents with additional peace of mind. The average cost of microchipping is around $60, but the fee can vary based on location. If you also need to purchase a dog license, you can expect to pay an additional $10-$20.

Vaccinations: $250-$300

There are certain core vaccinations that your German Shepherd would need. These vaccinations include distemper, parvovirus, Adenovirus type 1, Adenovirus type 2, and rabies. All of these could cost you around $150-$200 total.

There are also non-core vaccinations that your veterinarian may recommend for your pet based on their lifestyle. These include parainfluenza, Lyme disease, and leptospirosis. The cost of these vaccines can be around $130-$150.

Miscellaneous $200-$250

As you and your new fur baby settle in to life together there could be other miscellaneous costs that come up. Common examples include; park passes, dog sitters, training classes, clothes, and trips. These additional expenses could cost around $200-$250 annually.

Lifetime German Shepherd Cost

Taking initial adoption and set-up costs into consideration and adding the annual costs of owning and maintaining a German Shepherd, you can expect to pay in the range of $15,000-$17,000 throughout their lifetime. The annual costs for the initial years may be a little higher, but they should gradually reduce.


Smart, intelligent, loyal, affectionate, protective, energetic, and playful, GSDs are an entire package. And for this package, the cost may seem a little high, but with its beautiful and lively presence in the house, it will feel worth it. Anyways, Spot plans are here to help cover your eligible expenses for covered conditions! So worry less about cost, and get the Alsatian home!

Happy Parenting to you, and Lots of Love to your Pup!

  1. “How Much Does it Cost to be a Dog Parent?” Rover,, n.d.

  2. “Annual Cost of Owning a Puppy,” OVMA,, n.d.

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