TRUE Price of a German Shepherd puppy: full breakdown (2024)

In this article, we’ll break down the typical price range for buying (or adopting) a German Shepherd puppy, as well as what they’ll cost you over their lifetime.

You can expect a German Shepherd price to be about $1,000 to $3,500 when you purchase from a quality breeder

However, all German Shepherds cost about the same amount when you consider all of the other expenses that you can expect to incur.

At Shepherd Kingdom, we are a German Shepherd breeder who cares about happy and healthy dogs. All of our puppies are raised by us at our own home place unlike aggregator websites that list dogs from puppy mills. 

We want to elevate the standards of German Shepherd breeding.

That’s why we created this helpful, point-by-point guide to save you time and headaches so you know EXACTLY what goes into the German Shepherd price range required for your dog to live a long and healthy life.

Let’s get started!

The Typical Typical Price Of Buying A German Shepherd Puppy

Like we mentioned, you can expect the INITIAL price of a German Shepherd price range to be around $1,000 to $3,500. 

Sure, it can seem like a large ballpark to shop for, but it’s very important to understand that a cheaper “upfront” German Shepherd price doesn’t necessarily mean it will be cheaper overall.

It is also important to understand there are different types of German shepherds which may affect pricing.

The price of your German Shepherd puppy will depend on the credentials of the parents and the number of puppies available at the time. For example, our pricing for German Shepherd puppies is as follows:

  • $1295 – $1,795
    Puppies come with a 2-year genetic health Guarantee, *may* have ENS training, are family-raised, are up-to-date on deworming and vaccinations, and have a vet check prior to being adopted.
  • $1,795 to $2,495
    Everything listed above as well as one or both of the parents having OFA certifications AND/OR genetic clearances

For example, if you choose to buy a low priced German Shepherd puppy, your new puppy will almost never have the necessary 3rd-party assurances or veterinarian procedures like dewormings, vaccinations, or a thorough health checkup. 

These missing costs and services will be your responsibility, making the total cost ultimately the same as buying a more expensive puppy. Plus, if the breeder hasn’t taken care of this already, you may wind up spending MORE money on vet bills because your new furry family member didn’t get the best possible care from the beginning.

Plus, cheaper German Shepherd puppies often have a higher chance of experiencing health or behavior problems since they usually come from “puppy mills”  where they were raised in cruel conditions or by inexperienced breeders. Over their lifetime, this could lead to massive added expenses due to chronic health problems.

Over their lifetime, this could lead to your “cheap” German Shepherd costing you much more than an “expensive” puppy. Not to mention the added stress on you these extra expenses and issues create!

Adopting vs. Buying A German Shepherd: Making the Right Choice

Adoption is typically cheaper than buying a German Shepherd since starting adoption fees tend to be around $250 to $500. 

Depending on the shelter, you may have to pay additional costs for your Shepherd’s certain shots and procedures. Depending on if the German Shepherd is a boy or a girl may affect the price as well. 

Also, boy and girl German Shepherds tend to behave a little differently, so make sure to choose wisely when deciding on your new best friend.

Unfortunately, at shelters and rescues, you may not have a wide selection of dogs to choose from — especially if you’re looking for a specific gender, breed, age, or health level.

It’s also important to remember that, sometimes, adopted German Shepherds have behavior or health issues, which could make things harder (and more expensive) for you in the future. 

You simply don’t know as much about your new dog’s history as you would if you purchased directly from a trusted breeder.

On the other hand, when you buy from a reputable breeder, you’ll have a higher chance of bringing home a happy and healthy German Shepherd Puppy that will cost you less in the long run.

German Shepherd Cost Breakdown: 

Now that you know the price range to buy a German Shepherd, we need to examine the additional costs that you can expect when you bring your new puppy home, such as: 

  • Veterinary care
  • Food 
  • Toys
  • Training, and more

It’s important to remember that when you buy a puppy from a reputable breeder, you are more likely to encounter lower german shepherd costs over the lifetime of your pet.

German Shepherd Veterinarian Costs

It’s important to know your German Shepherd’s vaccine schedule and health checks in order for them to stay strong and healthy. 

According to the American Kennel Club, there are some essential steps and vet bills you’ll need to take care of before your german shepherd’s first birthday:

  • Full physical exam: $50 – $100
  • Recommended vaccines (Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Canine Influenza, and Lyme Disease): $100 – $200
  • Rabies vaccine: $10 – $20
  • DAPPV vaccine (Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, and Parainfluenza): $60 – $100
  • AKC registration: $35+
  • Dewormings: $10 each
  • Heartworm preventatives: $70 – $200 (1-year supply)
  • Total price of veterinary expenses: $335 – $665 (does not include service fees, charges, and taxes)

To ensure you get a healthy dog, it’s generally better to buy a german shepherd puppy that has already had its first round of health checks, vaccines, and paperwork

This will ultimately save you time and money on your new puppy because breeders often pay lower veterinary rates than individuals do.

If you purchase a German Shepherd that has not already had its initial veterinary care, then you will not only be responsible for all of these costs yourself, but you will also be risking your new best friend’s health. 

Until you take your new German Shepherd puppy to the vet for their first round of shots, you’ll be exposing their young immune system to all kinds of dangers and diseases.

Distemper, for example, is a highly contagious disease that attacks the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and nervous systems of dogs. Unfortunately, there is no cure — just a lot of expenses and stress which really adds to the overall cost of your German Shepherd puppy.

Spaying Or Neutering Your German Shepherd

It’s smart to spay or neuter your German Shepherd as a puppy, especially if you know that you don’t want to have any puppies.

Sometimes it’s better to wait if you do want to breed them, but that’s better left to professionals.

Talk with your vet about the procedure, when you should get it done, and how much it might cost. Typically the procedure costs about $50-500 but might change depending on your location.

Dental Care for Your German Shepherd

German Shepherds, like many dogs, can be prone to dental issues such as plaque buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay. 

On average, professional dental cleanings for German Shepherds can range from $300 to $800, depending on factors such as the location, the veterinarian’s fees, and the severity of the dental condition. 

These cleanings typically involve scaling, polishing, and potentially extractions if necessary. 

It’s recommended to have your German Shepherd’s teeth checked by a veterinarian at least once a year, although more frequent check-ups may be necessary if there are specific concerns or signs of dental problems.

It’s important to note that not all pet insurance plans cover dental care. Some insurance providers offer optional dental coverage as an add-on or as part of more comprehensive plans.

If dental coverage is included in the policy, it typically covers a portion of the costs associated with dental cleanings, extractions, and other necessary dental treatments.

Grooming Costs of German Shepherds

The approximate cost for grooming a German Shepherds can vary depending on factors such as the dog’s size, coat condition, location, and the specific services requested. 

On average, you can expect to spend between $50 to $100 per grooming session for your German Shepherd. 

This typically includes services such as bathing, brushing, trimming, nail clipping, ear cleaning, and sometimes additional services like de-shedding or dematting. 

Some groomers may offer package deals or discounts for regular appointments or bundled services. 

Keep in mind that the frequency of grooming sessions will depend on the individual dog’s coat and activity level, but most German Shepherds benefit from professional grooming every 4 to 6 weeks to maintain their coat’s health and appearance. 

Your German Shepherd should be brushed 3-4 times a week to remove any loose, dead hair.

Pet Insurance for German Shepherds

Pet insurance for German Shepherds typically ranges from $45 to $55 per month, depending on various factors such as the age of your dog, the chosen coverage limits, and the insurance provider. 

This monthly expense may seem like an additional cost, but it can be a worthwhile investment when considering the potential savings on veterinary bills for treatments, surgeries, and medications. 

By having pet insurance in place, you can ensure that your German Shepherd receives the necessary care without straining your finances in the event of unexpected health issues.

Puppy Training and Socialization Classes

Attending puppy training and socialization classes is highly recommended for the comprehensive development of your puppy. These classes provide structured learning environments, social interaction, and essential obedience training. 

The average cost ranges from $50 to $70 per session.

While some training can be done at home, the benefits of attending classes, such as socialization opportunities and tailored instruction, simply cannot be done at home. 

By enrolling your German Shepherd puppy in these classes, you ensure they receive the necessary foundation for good behavior, social skills, and overall well-being.

How Much Does It Cost to Buy Food for a German Shepherd?

German Shepherds are “large breed” dogs that require plenty of food and exercise.

Generally, basic dry German Shepherd food can cost about $500 – $900 per year for a 30-pound bag every 1 – 2 months. 

Wet dog food will cost a bit more and range between $600 – $1,000 per year for 1 – 3 cases of 13-ounce cans per month. The cost for food will depend on the size, age, and activity level of your companion.

When you buy the best food for  German Shepherds, always check the labels and make sure they meet the standards of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) — while they don’t regulate, test, or certify pet foods in any way, they do establish the nutritional standards for complete and balanced pet foods. 

Fortunately, the cheaper brands of dog food can be just as good as the more premium brands as long as they meet the standards of AAFCO and are made with minimal processing. 

When making your decision, make sure to avoid artificial ingredients and preservatives where you can, since they could cause health problems for your dog.

Here is a list of prices for some popular german shepherd food brands: 

Starting Equipment, Toys, and Accessories

If you want to give your new dog the best, happiest, and most-loving home possible, it’s important to have a few key essentials ready for your new family member! Here’s a quick list of things to get and their average expenses:

  • Dental Products: $10 – $30
  • Toys: $50 – $100
  • Crates: $20 – $80
  • Beds: $20 – $60
  • Brushes $20-$30
  • Collars and Leashes: $10 – $30
  • Bowls: $5 – $25
  • Total german shepherd price for equipment, toys and accessories: $415 – $825

Keep in mind, these prices can vary depending on how basic or luxurious you want them to be. 

The Cost of Buying a German Shepherd Puppy vs. an Older Dog

Age is certainly a factor in your decision. With adult dogs, you don’t have to do the work of raising them. 

The downside is that it can be harder for them to overcome previous habits and learn new ones. Older dogs tend to be more “set in their ways” in terms of behavior and personality.

With puppies, it does take more responsibility and effort to raise them correctly, but the rewards are like nothing else. 

Because you and your family are in complete control of shaping their behavior and personality, you can raise your german shepherd puppy to be the perfect companion

There are also other things you can teach your new puppy like the boundaries of your home (which is helpful if you have a smaller living space). That way, as they grow up, your puppy will truly become a member of your family.

The Problem with Buying a German Shepherd from a Puppy Mill

Nowadays, with so many options to buy your new dog, there’s a growing problem you need to be wary of: the rise of puppy mills.

Puppy mills are dark and depressing warehouses where dogs are “grown” without love, exercise, and health care. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), here’s a summary of what you can expect from these awful places:

  • Tiny Cages – These cruel breeders maximize space by keeping everyone in tight conditions, often kept in outdoor pens that are unprotected from the elements or in tiny, filthy cages for their entire lives. 
    • They can even develop lesions and sores from having to stand on uncomfortable wire flooring. Sadly, it’s the only world they’ll know as they’re forced to eat, sleep, relieve themselves, and give birth in these cages.
  • Poor Healthcare – These awful breeding facilities don’t have veterinarian care — instead they’re left to suffer through injuries and horrible health problems all on their own. Worse, because of their cramped, filthy conditions, diseases spread like wildfire, especially among puppies with weak immune systems.
  • Constant Breeding – It’s unhealthy to force female dogs to breed often, but because these places are so focused on profit, these dogs are bred at every chance. 
    • This harms the health of the parents (who are sometimes abandoned or killed when they can’t produce more) and can predispose their litters to more health and genetic defects.

For more information on the horrific secrets behind puppy mills and how you can avoid them, visit the ASPCA website.

Please don’t support animal cruelty.

Breeder Checklist: 5 Things to Look For in a German Shepherd Breeder

Before you buy a german shepherd online, you should do some background research to make sure you’re getting your new pet from a reputable breeder that cares about their puppies.

Here are some critical points to watch for:


When searching the web, look for breeders who have lots of photos AND VIDEOS about each dog.


Always look for rigorous paperwork that shows all the health checks performed (signed by a veterinarian) and registration with reputable organizations like the American Kennel Club.


Look for breeders who welcome you to visit their facilities so you can meet and play with their pups. Generally, they should have at least one of their parents available to see as well.


Look for breeders who are small families and who also play and socialize with the pups daily so they grow up happy.


Look for assurances and health guarantees. A good breeder will take responsibility for something like a genetic problem, rather than passing the german shepherd cost and liability to you.

Buying a German Shepherd Puppy from Us

At Shepherd Kingdom, all of our dogs come with a 2-year genetic health guarantee, a certified vet check, dewormings, and AKC paperwork. And because our puppies find their new homes by 8 – 10 weeks old, they’ve already had their first round of important vaccines done.

Why our Puppies are the best: 

  • Genetic screened: parent(s) are screened for common genetic flaws common to German Shepherds
  • OFA heart: parent(s) heart has been certified for health by the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals.
  • Hip/Elbows: parent(s) hips and/or elbows have been certified by the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals or Pennhip
  • ENS: The puppy has received Early Neurological Stimulation

We even go as far as protecting our german shepherds with a two-year genetic health guarantee! Not only do we take every step to provide the best care for your german shepherd puppy, but we also socialize with each one daily so they grow up happy and well socialized. You can come by anytime to see and play with our puppies, meet their parents, and talk to our breeders!

To read what our happy customers have to say (and see real pictures of their german shepherds) check out our testimonial gallery.

How Do I Get a Puppy from Shepherd Kingdom?

Here’s a great way to do so:

  1. Find a puppy that you’re interested in on the website and call us with any questions you might have.
  2. If you would like to have the puppy held for you, make a deposit online.
  3. If you come and see the puppy, make your purchase and take the puppy home if the puppy is 8 weeks old or older.
  4. Connect with us and we will get the right information to deliver the puppy to you and set up the exact date and time.
  5. Enjoy the new puppy that you have adopted into your family. If you have any questions, please reach out to the breeder for help!

Ready to find your next family member? You can browse all of our available puppies here!

At Shepherd Kingdom, we make it easy for you to find your PERFECT dog. Check out some of the adorable german shepherd puppies for sale that you can bring home today!

James has been raising and working with dogs since 2017, and has been a dog lover his entire life. He and his wife have a young son and love spending time together, traveling, enjoying the outdoors and connecting their quality German Shepherd pups with great families.