Buying A Puppy Vs Adopting A Mature Dog
In most cases, mature dogs will tend to cost less, whether you are adopting or buying. For example, Austerlitz German Shepherd Dogs, an AKC breeder of merit, prices adult dogs for $500-$1,000 while puppies are sold for $2,500.
Buying price differences between adult German Shepherds and puppies are often informed by thinking that it is easier to train a puppy than a grown dog. This can be true, especially if the dog has picked up bad habits; however, with a lot of patience and discipline, its never too late to train a German Shepherd, as I explain in this post.
Nonetheless, you will also find breeders such as Shield Kennels with older German Shepherds that list for a higher price than a puppy.
Degenerative Disc Disease And Lumbosacral Instability
This is another condition for which you have several treatment options, making the cost vary greatly.
On the lower end of the price range, you have a somewhat conservative method that includes pain medication, physical therapy, and, on some occasions, a dog wheelchair.
However, you may also opt to take your pup in for surgery, which is very expensive, but it might help your dog live a normal and long life without pain.
Why Are German Shepherds So Expensive
Like with many other dogs breeds, an exact price of a German Shepherd depends on where you get him/her, the breeding, and if the dog is trained to do some kind of work such as a police dog, service dog, etc. German Shepherds saved from animal shelters ;are relatively inexpensive because these organizations charge only enough to cover their costs.
You must be aware that reputable breeder always calculate the factor of the expenses involved in breeding, raising, training, health testing, and showing the dogs when calculating the German Shepherd cost.
If you choose a German Shepherd puppy whose parents are proven show or hunting champions will cost a lot more than another German Shepherd puppy that came from a liter of average parents since they have the potential to excel in these areas as well.
In case you want to skip the early puppyhood, you can always buy an adult German Shepherd from a proven show or hunting line. This purchase will cost you a lot because of all the additional costs of raising a puppy to adulthood. Also, they will be expensive since the breeder will be able to determine the overall quality of an adult dog by then.
The most expensive German Shepherds are those already as show dogs, K9, or breeding dogs. Lets see how much money you will need to put on a side to get yourself a German Shepherd dog.
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Why Does The Cost Of German Shepherds Vary So Much
The cost of a German Shepherd depends on a number of factors. Dogs from first-time breeders, for instance, are cheaper than dogs from a renowned breeder. The renowned breeder is more expensive because they have injected the resources required to ensure that the German Shepherd you are buying is not only healthy but also of the right temperament. Some breeders can demand tens of thousands of dollars for their German Shepherds.
In that same vein, dogs from rescues and shelters can be acquired inexpensively. The type of;German Shepherd also matters. Mix breeds, for instance, cost less than pure breeds. German Shepherds with rare bloodlines also tend to;attract ridiculously high price tags.
Blue Buffalo Wet Dog Food
This wet diet uses only deboned chicken, together with whole grain rice and barley*. It aims to provide your puppy with the high-quality protein, carbohydrates, and fiber he needs for energy and growth.
This good dog food for German Shepherd puppy also includes sweet potatoes, carrots, blueberries, and cranberries. No meat meal, corn, soy, wheat, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives are used in this all-natural diet.
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Changes To Your Lifestyle
As shown in the table above, one potential cost associated with German Shepherd puppy ownership is boarding the puppy if you were to go on vacation.
Vacationing is a highly individual thing some people do it often and others not so much. However, if you fall into the category of those who need a few extended vacations per year, then perhaps you should look at how this may affect your GSD puppy.
Most German Shepherds do not do very well at all when separated from their owner. Separation may cause separation anxiety, which can be a very traumatic experience for a German Shepherd.
For a complete exploration of this topic, take a look at this article we have written for you all about German Shepherd separation anxiety.
We urge you to take your vacationing habits into consideration before deciding to purchase a GSD puppy. The odd vacation here and there will likely present few issues, but if you vacation frequently, then perhaps you should take a closer look at whether or not your lifestyle aligns with German Shepherd puppy ownership.
Personally, I have never taken a vacation during which I did not bring my GSD or GSDs along with me. Thus, I do not fly, and I drive wherever I go. I do not board my dogs, as I prefer them to enjoy the same experiences that I do.
However, everyone is different, and it is important that you take your particular lifestyle into account when considering owning a German Shepherd puppy.
Why You Should Notbuy From Household Breeders
Another question iget asked a lot whenever the price of a GSD puppy comes up is someone that hasfound a puppy on craigslist for $500.Why shouldn’t I just buy one of those?Puppies sold at this price come from home breeders, people who dont normallybreed GSD’s but thought it was a good way to make some extra money. The problem with these puppies is that they have not been bred to the samestandard as from a reputable breeder. The parents have not had health checks, have not been cleared of commonbone problems , do not receive an optimal diet throughpregnancy and while suckling the puppies and they do not have an expert eyelooking for problems as they develop. All of these factors can contribute to apuppy that is more likely to show genetic or health defects later in life.The cost of surgeries and unexpected trips to the veterinarian can add up veryquickly. If by choosing a reputable breeder you avoid just one or 2 healthconditions prevalent in poorly bred German Shepherds then in the long run youwill save a lot of money. As we stated earlier the upfront cost of a GSG islittle compared to the cost of owning and raising one for 10+ years. Pay theextra upfront and it will likely save you thousands down the line.
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How Much Should A German Shepherd Weigh
According to the breed standard set forth by the American Kennel Club, the weight of a German Shepherd should range between 50 and 70 pounds for a female German Shepherd and 65 to 90 pounds for a male German Shepherd.
There is a relatively broad range of weights that are acceptable in the AKC breed standard for German Shepherds because there are many varieties of this breed.
However, there are several different standards for a German Shepherds weight, depending on the kennel club. Heres a breakdown of how the weight standards stand for German Shepherds in a few of the major kennel clubs.
|Kennel Club Standard|
|No Weight Requirement||No Weight Requirement|
Because the German Shepherd has been bred for a wide range of human activities from herding to law enforcement, some bloodlines of German Shepherd have been bred for larger weight and height than others.
For example, larger German Shepherds are preferred in working lines where the dogs will be expected to work with a human handler in law enforcement, while smaller dogs may be found in herding or show dog lines.
Dogs that have been bred to be house pets are also usually bred to be smaller than average to make them easier to keep.
Get Ready To Become A Dog Parent With A Free Audiobook
It is primordial to be ready to raise a dog and develop an harmonious relationship between your furry friend and family members. I would not wait until I have the dog to start this process. See it as a parenting class.
The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with LoveZak George is a fantastic dog trainer and has the most popular training channel on YouTube. I have listened to this audiobook and could not recommend it enough. The great thing is you can listen to it at no cost with a 30-day Amazon Audible free trial. If you already have an account, make it your next pick.
You will learn everything you need to know to raise, train, and care for your dog: from choosing the right puppy, training techniques, picking supplies, finding a vet, selecting the right food, handling behavioral issues, and much more. You can listen and learn so much about raising a dog while going to work, running errands, exercising, etc. This audiobook can definitely make a difference.
If you want to know whether to train your dog yourself or hire a professional and learn about the cost of training classes and supplies, check our article written with a certified dog trainer.
German Shepherds are sensitive and sweet dogs. They can be a good family dog but can also form a strong bond with one person. They need a lot of exercise, mental stimulation and human interaction.
Alexa Diaz, Ph. D. Animal Behaviorist
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German Shepherd Veterinary Expenses For The Following Years
Leslie Brooks expects dog owners to bring their adult German Shepherd to the clinic for an annual checkup. Yearly visits are usually priced between $125-$265 which includes the exam, vaccines, and a heartworm test .
Additionally, Dr Brooks suggests continuing flea and heartworm prevention medication, which usually fall in the $100-$200 and $200-$300 ranges respectively for a dog this big.
Annual booster shots for the optional lifestyle vaccines presented above will add $15-$45 each to the medical bill. Finally, some dogs may require a fecal examination costing an extra $40-$50. This is mainly if the pet is exposed to wildlife and/or other dogs or shows inconsistent stool quality.
Table: First Year Of German Shepherd Puppy Ownership Costs
Now that we have gone over the basic essential expenses of GSD puppy ownership during the first year, we can get more specific as to the expenses that you may incur, depending on your own personal preferences.
The table below provides a reasonable estimate of all costs associated with the first year of German Shepherd puppy ownership. Keep in mind that, while this is a reasonable estimate, it is still an estimate.
How much an owner will spend on a GSD will vary in accordance to the owners preferences, lifestyle, and financial situation.
There are certain services and items within the table below that are elective, such as boarding the puppy while on vacation or obedience classes. However, as discussed above, there are certain mandatory, nonnegotiable expenses such as food and veterinary care that you must take into consideration.
|Item / Service|
As you can see from the above table, the costs associated with the first year of German Shepherd puppy ownership can be rather expensive. On the other hand, if expenses are responsibly planned for ahead of time, they can also be rather manageable.
Remember that you will not be spending most of this money at one time. Items such as food, treats, and toys will be spread out through the year. On the other hand, keep in mind that your initial expenses may be relatively significant.
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What Happens If A German Shepherd Does Not Exercise Enough
The German Shepherd originally looked after livestock and enjoyed working, so this is a lively, energetic breed that should receive regular exercise.
When a dog this active and intelligent is left to its own devices, the outcome is undesirable behavior.
A German Shepherd that doesnt get enough exercise will often:
- Become bored and irritable.
- Be irritating to its owners in efforts to gain their attention.
- Become destructive by chewing things it shouldnt.
- Start barking excessively.
- Pick up weight that impacts its health negatively.
- Get lethargic and depressed.
When dog breeds like the GSD are left alone for too long without the exercise it needs, it can lose respect for you.
You may find that your pet no longer listens to you, disobeys you, and develops destructive habits.
A disobedient dog this size places everyone at risk. An overweight dog is also at risk of becoming diabetic. Its health will decline as vets bills increase. The result is a relationship that no longer works.
People who allow their dogs wellbeing to decline will typically end up putting the dog down, trying to find a new home, or leaving their dog at a shelter. None of these options is acceptable.
If you do not invest the time or energy to exercise your German Shepherd enough to maintain its wellbeing on all levels, rather try and find a dog walker and encourage socialization in dog parks.
The best option is not to allow circumstances to decline to where any of these options are okay.
When Do German Shepherds Stop Growing
Like many large breeds, a German Shepherd dog is not considered fully grown until they are about 18 months old. Female German Shepherds continue to fill out until they are around two years old, while the male German Shepherd growth rate continues until they reach two and a half years of age. Males are larger are require more time to fill out their chest and abdomen.
As you can see by the German Shepherd weight chart, these dogs can continue to grow until they are three years old, but the majority of growth occurs within 24 months. If your GSD is older than 36 months and continues to put on weight, contact your veterinarian to ensure weight gain does not lead to obesity.
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What Is The Size Of A Full
An adult male German Shepherd is typically 24 to 26 inches tall, while adult female German Shepherds are 22 to 24 inches tall, according to the American Kennel Club German Shepherd Standard.
The estimated full-size varies significantly between sexes. In terms of weight, an adult male German Shepherd weighs anywhere from 75 to 90 pounds. A female German Shepherd weighs notably less at 55 to 70 pounds.
Please keep in mind that these numbers are only estimates to give you an idea of how much bigger a German Shepherd puppy may get. Some dogs will be both smaller and larger than these weight ranges when fully grown due to a variety of genetic and environmental factors.
Bathe Your German Shepherd
Since German Shepherds have such a dense coat, they actually dont need to be bathed very frequently every six to ten weeks is plenty unless they get exceptionally dirty.
Even though most German Shepherds enjoy a splash in the water, As we mentioned, bathing your German Shepherd too often can be counterproductive since it dries out their skin and can actually cause more shedding.;
However, strategic bathing can be super helpful for quickly removing the bulk of your dogs undercoat. Just be sure to use mild shampoos that wont irritate their skin. You can also opt to use a deshedding shampoo to help lubricate the hairs, which makes it easier to remove the undercoat. One of the best options is this shampoo from FURminator who are the same folks that make the awesome brush I recommended above. Brush your German Shepherd with your undercoat rake while hes still damp.;
Its easiest to perform this whole bathing/brushing operation outside, unless you want to spend an hour cleaning wet wads of fur out of your bathtub or shower after the fact.
You can take the spa day one step further with a professional blow-out after bathtime .;This will not only cut down the drying time, but it will also help remove the undercoat quickly.;
However, keep in mind that blow-drying your shedding German Shepherd will get hair absolutelyeverywhere, so it may be worth paying a professional to handle this entire bathing, brushing, and blow-drying task. Or, again, set aside some time for cleanup.
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Temperaments Suited For Tasks
Because of the strength, intelligence, and loyalty shown by German Shepherds, they are used frequently for special jobs.
You probably have seen a German Shepherd as a police dog, service animal, or part of a search-and-rescue team. They have been used and are still used in the military.
They really have an extraordinary range of skills.
Here are all the things that they are used for:
Other General Considerations For Choosing Dog Food For A German Shepherd
Other general considerations other than the ones listed in the above linked guide might include:
Aim for a balanced diet of proteins, fats/oils, minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates and water
Look for real meats listed first on the food label
Foods with a wide range of natural organic base ingredients are generally good stay away from low quality fillers like grains and flours
Foods high in grains or flours can cause weight issues, poor energy levels and general bad health
Gluten in grain can cause allergies and inflammation in some dogs
Foods with lots of artificial colors and preservatives might not be as good
Foods with a range of vitamins and plant based vitamins might generally be good
Highly digestible foods are generally good
Look for food that is nutritionally adequate and balanced
In terms of proteins, whole quality meats might be better than meat by products
In terms of fats, omega fatty acids might be good compared to saturated fats.
Puppies have different feeding guidelines to full grown dogs be wary of solid foods early on.
Puppies also need specific nutrients for energy and to help their bodies grow
Wean your dog between different types of foods when you are changing them transition gradually follow food label instructions and instructions of your vet
Senior dogs may need foods with less calories to keep weight off , and more supplements for bone and hip health
Specialised diets might include raw diets, organic diets, home made food diets, and so on