The German Shepherd is a well-rounded dog breed and an excellent companion for the right homestead. These dogs excel in almost everything they are trained to do, such as obedience, police and military services, herding, search and rescue, assistance for the disabled, etc. Undoubtedly, the German Shepherd can do many things due to his intelligence, courage, and loyalty. Still, he is an ideal companion for anybody, not to mention this breed is protective and nurturing to the family children.
Taking the German Shepherd's many great qualities into account, it's easy to understand why they have ranked in the top 2 of the most popular breeds by the AKC for over a decade. Naturally, most people want to know the initial cost of owning a German Shepherd. There are two main ways of acquiring a German Shepherd, you can get a purebred puppy from a breeder, or you can adopt a rescue dog from a shelter.
Both ways of acquiring a German Shepherd come with their unique price tag. Each does come with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It would be best if you decided which way of getting a German Shepherd is suited for you and your family.
The Initial Cost Of A German Shepherd From A Breeder
Many show quality breeders charge a high price for a German Shepherd puppy. The average cost is anywhere in the range of $1,500 to $5,000.
Smaller, local German Shepherd breeders charge anywhere between $500 to $2,000.
Trustworthy breeders dedicate themselves to caring for a breeding dog and their puppies. It costs a lot of money to care for them adequately.
These breeders can spend between $8,000 and $24,000 on caring for a litter in their first eight weeks. A show quality litter is likely to cost more in price because they require more care. Overall, the money covers many aspects of a litter's care, such as veterinary expenses for the expectant mother, genetic/medical testing, food, and other essentials.
Note that one way to save on your pet health care costs long term is to get pet health insurance. It's not as expensive as you may think and it could save you a fortune. Read our article here on the 4 highest rated pet health insurance companies that you should consider.
The Pros And Cons Of Getting A Puppy From A Breeder
The pros of getting a puppy from a dog breeder are that you can visit the breeder's home and see the puppy's parents, or at least one of them. You will get acquainted with the parent/parents' temperament, which will give you a sense of the potential personality of your puppy. You will also get to see what the premise is like and discern if the dogs receive proper care from their breeder.
You can build a rapport with the breeder, and they can provide resources and support for you in caring for your dog, and they can mentor you throughout your puppy's life. A reputable breeder will encourage you to call if you have any questions or problems with your dog at any stage of their life.
A reputable breeder should provide a lifetime warranty on their puppies; this ensures that their pups end up in good homes. Do not be impressed by certifications; a lifetime warranty is what you need to look out for most.
A hip / elbow / health guarantee will put you at ease. A breeder must be able to prove that their puppies are at least eight weeks old before people bring them home.
The cons of getting a puppy from a dog breeder are that it takes time to find a reputable breeder, not all are ethical and care for their animals. Some only care for profit, while others may mean well, but lack the experience and knowledge of a reputable breeder.
Be aware of "backyard breeders". Such dog breeders don't make suitable genetic matches. Their dogs are often not registered with a breed club or kennel club. They don't take the time to look into genetic health issues from the parents. They won't build a rapport with you, and if there are any problems, they won't take the puppy back. See the American Kennel Club's (AKC) Marketplace with only certified national breeders.
It's undoubtedly always best to go with a reputable dog breeder than a backyard breeder. However, you won't fully get to know your puppy's temperament until he's older in both cases. There is no guarantee that your German Shepherd pup will inherit his parent's temperament. Remember that socializing your puppy to a variety of situations, people and animals is also crucial for his/her developing temperment and future.
The Initial Cost Of a German Shepherd From A Shelter
Adopting a German shepherd from a shelter generally costs between $50 to $300. Understandably, adopting an adult German Shepherd would cost a lot less than buying a purebred puppy.
The Pros And Cons Of Getting A Dog From A Shelter
The pros of adopting a rescue adult German Shepherd is that you get to see the dog's temperament firsthand. Adult German Shepherds are often spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and some shelters microchip their dogs, so that is an expense you needn't worry about.
The shelter workers can accurately answer any queries you may have on the dog's personality because they have had him for a while. An adult German Shepherd is also likely to be house trained, which is time you can invest in just bonding with your dog.
The cons of adopting a rescue adult German Shepherd is primarily that you miss out on the cute puppy stage, which can be a pro for some people as that stage is quite involved and hectic. If your German Shepherd is an older dog, you may not have as many years with him to enjoy.
Be aware that if you're set on a German Shepherd puppy, that a purebred can be hard to come by in a shelter.
The shelter may not be able to provide you with a dog's medical history, and they might ask you very personal and unexpected questions. If an adult German Shepherd has behavioral issues, whether aggression or separation anxiety, it can be much harder to train. It's worth noting that a dog from a shelter might be crossed with another breed and not be a purebred German Shepherd (if that matters to you).
Reasons Why German Shepherds Vary In Price
The variance in the cost of a German Shepherd can be a little problematic for many people, but there are reasons why some dogs cost more than others. The price of getting a German Shepherd depends on their age, genetics, and what they are trained to do. The most expensive German Shepherds are adults who have proven themselves as breeding dogs, K9, or show dogs. It's often inquired if gender factors into the cost of getting a German Shepherd, the answer is no, one gender isn't typically priced higher than the other, however it is at the discretion of the seller. See our article here on whether a male or female German Shepherd best suits your family.
The cost of getting a German Shepherd can range anywhere from $50 - $2,000. Remember that there are breeders out there who only want profit and will set their own prices, but don't provide the same level of care and don't have the experience of a reputable breeder. Such backyard breeders tend to charge less than a breeder with a sound reputation, but you must avoid them as they won't help you should you have any issues with your puppy. Be sure to do your research on all breeders you're speaking with. Ask questions about the family genetics, hip / elbow / health guarantees, and vet records. It's not rude to ask these things. Quality breeders will expect it. If a breeder seems annoyed or anything other than happy to share info with you, be cautious.
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