Why Are German Shepherds So Expensive
Its well known that the price of all breeds has gone up exponentially since the start of the pandemic in line with demand. Nonetheless, many factors impact how breeders price their dogs. But what makes purebred German Shepherds so expensive?
German Shepherds are expensive as they are such a popular breed and breeding costs are not cheap. Health screening, vet visits, vaccinations, and equipment all need to be paid for. Other factors that influence price are lineage, color, type, litter size, breeder qualifications, and registration.
The list of breeding expenses could be endless and can easily push the total cost of a litter up by at least $3,000. And this is without counting additional costs if you are using a top German Shepherd sire and need to make trips abroad.
Ive mentioned that German Shepherd puppies are often priced on their color, coat length, working line vs. show line, and whether they have partial or full AKC registration. But dont forget that after the buying cost will come the owning cost. You can read my article, Costs of Owning a German Shepherd, to get a clear picture of what awaits you after buying!
Owners Of German Shepherds Have A Lot To Say
Most owners characterize their German Shepherd Dog by saying they purchased it because the dog was vibrant, irrepressible, high-energy, and strong. Alertness and attentiveness are often offered as some of the most popular reasons to own one.
Lets hear what GSD owners have to say:
Early history of the breed also helped shape the image and desire to own one. It began with the German army in WWI when the country saw the need for a German military dog. Because the German Shepherd Dog showed no fear on the battlefield, it was used to carry medical supplies and bullets and serve as a sentry. This made it especially effective during day and night time battles.
It wasnt long before the German army and others came to appreciate the value of this war dog. Other countries also noticed its value which successfully helped to promote the breed and its value worldwide. Unfortunately, sentiment about the Germans in the United States and elsewhere turned, and in 1918, the German Shepherd Dog was renamed the Shepherd Dog in the U.S. The British responded in kind, renaming the breed the Alsatian.
Things changed again, and after the war, the breeds reputation as a war dog spread. The entertainment industry joined in and created canine film stars such as Rin-Tin-Tin and Strong Heart. The breed suddenly enjoyed skyrocketing popularity.
What You Can Expect When Meeting A Reputable Breeder
When meeting a reputable breeder there are a few things you should expect.
The first thing is that they may require you to visit more than once. There are a few reasons for this.
Firstly, they will want to get a feel’ for you and watch you interact with the pups.
Secondly, if you pick a puppy, they will want the pup to interact with you more than once before joining you in their new home.
And lastly, they will want to make sure that you are the right fit for their pups. So they’ll have their own set of questions for you.
Here’s a list of some of the questions you can expect to be asked
A breeder that asks questions is a very good sign, so share as much information with them as you can.
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How To Find An Ethical Breeder
Now you know the signs and what to avoid, but where do you begin to look for the right seller?
- Start with whom you know: Reaching out to trusted members of your own network is one of the best places to begin. Talk to dog-owning members of your circle to learn how they found their pups and ask if they have any advice. Even if they themselves are not German Shepherd owners, they might have helpful tips or know someone who does.
- Ask a vet: If youre already a pet-owner, pick your vets brain. If you dont yet have a veterinarian, reach out to family and friends for recommendations. Cold-calling a veterinarian who has not been recommended is not a good idea, but a vet trusted by someone close to you is more likely to be reputable and may know ethical breeders.
- Visit a dog show: Many conscientious breeders raise German Shepherds who become show dogs. If a dog is a show dog, odds are, its owner takes good care of it. After all, these dogs are being judged as the best-of-the-best.
Attending a dog show as an audience member will give you the opportunity to see for yourself how the breeder interacts with their dog. You can get a feel for how they treat their animals before making contact.
Ddr/east German Working Line
Developed after World War II from the war dogs, the DDR/East German Working Line is maintained strictly by the ex-government of East Germany. Rigid control of the original DDR breed prevents the gene poll from diluting.
They must be free from any history of hip dysplasia, among other health conditions, to be able to reproduce. This resulted in a very distinct look with large heads, large bones, and a shinny dark coat.
The DDR/East German Working Line can endure hostile weather conditions for extended periods of time due to their breeding history, and were initially bred as guards in between the borders of East and West Germany.
Price range: A DDR/East German Working Line puppies are prized from $1500 to $3000.
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Food Requirements Of German Shepherd Puppies
Puppies have the ability to store energy in a seemingly endless way. This means that they need a constant supply of calories the right types of calories to keep their energy levels high and help them become happy and healthy adult dogs.If this is the first time you have a German shepherd puppy, you are probably going to ask yourself some questions about your diet. Feeding a puppy is very different from feeding an adult dog . Younger children need to maintain a regular feeding schedule and their growing bodies require more nutrients from their food than adult dogs.
- How much food should I give my puppy?
- How many times a day should I feed my puppy?
- How much should a puppy eat?
If you do not follow the proper guidelines one can simply be supercharged to your puppy or have it lacking nutrients and minerals vital for its growth.
As a general rule, it can be said that you are feeding your puppy excessively if he can not see or feel his rib cage.
While, for humans, this is considered a sign of malnutrition, it is actually a guide you can use to help find out if your puppy is getting enough calories from his diet.
How To Know It Is The Right Time To Bring Your Gsd Puppy Home
The German Shepherd Dog Club of America highlights the importance of choosing a responsible, reputable GSD breeder to work with.
Sadly, the Puppy Mill Project states there are more than 10,000 puppy mills operating just in the United States alone.
Puppy mills keep breeding pairs of dogs in often horrific conditions and take the puppies away from their moms much too soon so they can breed another litter of puppies.
This not only deprives the puppy of all the benefits of the mothers milk but also of important socialization needs that can make your German Shepherd puppy grow up to be a much better pet dog.
The Humane Society states that there are some warning signs you can watch for to indicate you may be getting your puppy from an unethical breeder or even from a puppy mill:
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How Can I Tell If My Dog Is The Correct Weight
Your dog should have a natural waist when viewed from above. For very long-haired dogs you may have to feel this with your hands. You should also be able to feel the shape of the individual ribs with just a little pressure when running your hands over your dogs chest. If his ribs are nowhere to be found he is overweight but if they are very noticeable he probably needs more food.
How Much Does A German Shepherd Service Dog Cost
The cost of these dogs differs and depends on how they were trained and what they were trained for. The more specialized the service, the costlier the dog. Specialized service means that more professional training went into the dog.
These dogs can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $65,000.
Some people may consider getting a dog on their own and training it themselves. Make sure you go through a professional training program with your German Shepherd to make sure hes properly trained.
Something else that goes into the cost of a dog is bloodlines. German Shepherd breeders that specialize in service dogs strive to produce outstanding dogs that will excel in that field.
A quality bloodline is a foundation for training, so its important to ask questions of the breeder about how many of their dogs have successfully become service dogs.
Buying a German Shepherd puppy from such a breeder to train yourself will cost around $2,000 $7,000.
Another thing that you need to consider before getting a service dog is the ongoing cost of dog ownership.
For starters, youll want to feed your service dog a high-quality food for GSD that will allow them to live a long, healthy life.
You also need to cover vet bills, whether its just yearly check-ups or for injuries or illnesses that could come up along the way. So, dont forget to factor this into your budget.
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How Much Does It Cost A Month To Own A German Shepherd
You should budget at least $90-110 every month for your dog. This will cover the basics: high-quality food and regular vet checks. Some German Shepherd owners spend considerably more money. Professional grooming is necessary for many German Shepherd owners, as these dogs shed heavily. Depending on your location and the type of groomer you choose, a single visit can be as much as $120.
This breeds tends to exhibit several behavioral issues that can be difficult to fix for first-time dog owners, including:
If your dog is struggling with behavioral problems such as separation anxiety or aggression, weekly training is a must.
What’s In Your Purchase Contract
If there’s no purchase contract then move on to another breeder. Most reputable breeders will have a spay or neuter clause. They will also have a guarantee clause.
A guarantee clause means the breeder will replace a puppy that has disqualifying faults according to the breed standard.
So yes, it means you’ll have to give your pup back to get a replacement. This is why it’s so important to take your time when picking a pup.
I mean, who wants to part with a pup they have already bonded with?
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Which Shots Has The Puppy Been Given
You will want to know for certain which vaccinations the puppy has had, and if its been de-wormed. A puppy will need a few rounds of shots, but it should have had its first round before it goes home with you.
A German Shepherd puppy should have specific vaccinations by a certain age. The table below will provide you will a full list of age appropriate vaccinations from puppy to adult:
|Age of Puppy / Adult|
|Rabies||No further optional vaccinations|
How Much Does A German Shepherd Cost
German Shepherds are a very popular breed, and so they tend to cost more than some other breeds. The prices may vary depending on the breeder or shelter, the exact type of Shepherd, and their age.
The cost ranges from about $500-$1500, with $800 being a typical price, although some may be cheaper, and others more expensive. If its a show dog, the price can go as high as $6000 or more.
An adoption shelter will often be cheaper, with prices from $300-$500, but with adoption, you may not know everything about your dogs past or medical history.
As far as regular expenses go, it may cost from $650-$1500 for the puppys first year. This cost accounts for food, veterinary care and tests, spaying or neutering, and other items, such as collars, leashes, crates, grooming supplies, and possibly obedience training.
After the first year, it can get a little cheaper because they will need fewer health check-ups unless something happens. Food costs will go up, however. German Shepherds need a diet thats rich in protein and healthy fats, which can be expensive. An adult German Shepherd may cost about $500-$1500 a year.
These numbers dont include emergencies such as illness or injury, or other things that may pop up. A show dog will incur more costs as well, because of all their grooming, specialized diet, and training.
A German Shepherd that lives for 12 to 14 years could cost a total of anywhere from $7,000 to $15,000.
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At The End Of The Day Is A German Shepherd Dog Right For You
History and 100 years of experience proved that the German Shepherd Dog is a hard worker that also makes it a loyal family pet and guardian.
German Shepherd Dog owners should be prepared for an energetic dog that needs a job. Even if your GSD will be a pet, they were bred to work and will need an outlet for their energy and drive. Keep in mind that you will need to provide your dog with extensive physical and mental exercise every day. Do you have the time and energy to properly socialize and train your GSD? Do you have a steady income if any health issues arise? Do you have enough space for this large breed to flourish? Ask yourself these questions before getting a German Shepherd Dog.
The German Shepherd Dogs high profile in law enforcement, dog sports, media, and service work has shaped the love and attitude that has developed about this versatile breed. If you are ready to own a GSD, first find a responsible breeder. Your breeder should ask you questions about your lifestyle and answer your questions about the breed. If both you and the breeder are sure the German Shepherd Dog is right for you, enjoy an action-packed life with your new best friend!
What To Look For In A Puppy
Its a very good idea to visit the puppy in person before you make the purchase if youre able to do so.
While a reputable breeder will be able to describe the puppys temperament to you, theres nothing like having a look for yourself.
The kinds of characteristics that you want to see in a German Shepherd puppy include:
These are all signs that a pup is being properly socialized and has not been mistreated.
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How To Select A German Shepherd Puppy
With all the incredible breeds of dog out there, it can be hard to just choose onewhy cant we just have them all? However, if youre reading this article then chances are that the lovable German Shepherd puppy made your shortlist of furry friend candidates. This guide will help you learn how to select the best German Shepherd puppy to add to your family.
Before you go to your nearest dog rescue or breeder and pick up your new German Shepherd, lets run through the finer points of German Shepherd ownership.
The Puppy Needs To Learn Social Skills
Another common reason why many breeders feel that puppies should stay with their litters and mothers at least until they turn eight weeks old is that the puppy will learn important social skills.
The best trainer for any German Shepherd puppy is typically going to be the mother dog. GSD moms are masters at teaching their puppies some manners and teaching them what behaviors they will and wont tolerate.
As well, GSD puppies will have the chance to play and learn from their littermates and get comfortable with having people around by watching their mother interact with the breeder.
Some theories suggest that this initial period of dog-to-dog socialization needs to happen before the dog-to-people socialization so the puppy can learn to be a dog first and then to be a companion to humans next.
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Avoiding Underfeeding & Overfeeding
A German Shepherd is a large breed dog and should never be skinny. Although the GSD breed is not necessarily prone to being overweight, this is always a danger if you feed your dog too much, or if he doesnt get enough exercise.
Always ensure that you measure your dogs food, stick to the appropriate amounts, and be careful if you give additional treats and extra food. If you give your dog treats, be sure to remove these calories and fat from their daily food intake. Even though the GSD is a large breed dog, they are still smaller than humans, so it can be difficult to comprehend exactly how much extra food you are giving.
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Work Ethic Unique To The German Shepherd Dog
From the very beginning, a keen emphasis was placed on the unique character, trainability, and protective instincts found in these herding dogs. Their dependability and their special herding traits became legendary. Over time the breed began to be used for many other services. When blind Morris Frank returned from Switzerland in 1929 with his German Shepherd Dog Buddy, he opened the door for German Shepherd Dogs to be used as guide dogs for the blind. In a very short period of time, the breed would be associated with programs for the blind and for services involving many other disabilities. Their intelligence, trainability, and desire to work put German Shepherd Dog at the top of all lists. Some breeders began their own lines for temperament as opposed to conformation and physical appearance. It was not long before breeding programs throughout America began to selectively breed for service dog programs as their ultimate goal.
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