Breed Tips

How Much Does a German Shepherd Cost in 2023?

February 14, 2023

Intelligent, energetic, and among the most popular dog breeds, German Shepherds/Alsatians can cost around $16,000 in their lifetime with annual costs of around $1200 in 2023.

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 especially the police departments, the German Shepherd or the Alsatian is a working dog from the country of the Nazis. Originally bred for herding sheep, it is now being used for a variety of work across the globe like disability assistance, rescue and search operations, warfare, police work, and a beautiful home companion as well.

These are medium-large sized dogs with a thick-double coat which comes usually in either tan-black or red-black combinations. But there are some other rare colors available as well like sable, pure black, pure white, silver, blue, and panda.

Alsatian is an intelligent breed but they can be aggressive. Some studies show that these shepherds were responsible for the most number of bites from 1971 to 2018 in the US. This can be due to their high population. 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 would all depend on the type of German Shepherd you buy and from what kind of breeder you buy from. But then the lifetime costs for them can be influenced by the quality of life you provide for them. Let’s break it down the price by categorizing it by initial buying/adoption costs, vaccinations, diets, healthcare, and grooming.

Buying: $2000 – $3500 

The German Shepherd’s cost is around $2500 on average. This price for an Alsatian dog can vary on many factors including the dogs age, breeder reputation, and coat color to name a few. The cost of a German shepherd puppy can be a bit higher around $3500 in some cases. 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 ones are usually the show-quality ones 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 several rescue shelters and adoption centers in the U.S. that can help you adopt a German Shepherd in need of a home. The cost for adoption can be as low as $100-$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 vet-recommended raw dog food to fulfill their energy needs. For the first 12 months, their food requirement will gradually increase from 250 gms per day to 400 gms. The costs for the same could be around $50-$125. Along with the treats, you can expect food costs to be about $800 a year.

Grooming: $50-$75

These shepherds are a high-shedding dog breed that needs daily brushing. An occasional bath, regular nail trimming, and teeth and ear cleaning would suffice the grooming requirements. 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: $700-$1200

During the first years, it is recommended you take your pet to the vet about 3-4 times annually. Vet fees can range from $100 to $300 and could include things like annual wellness exams and blood tests, among other recommended preventive care treatments. Other examinations and tests could cost you another $300-$400.

Like all breeds, German Shepherds are at risk of developing health conditions in their lifetime. The most common health condition for this breed is hip dysplasia. The treatment cost can be around $2000-$2500.

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 before bringing your dog home. The total cost could be around $400-$450.

Microchipping: $50-$70

Statistics say that 90% of lost pets are not found, but 70% of microchipped pets find a way home. The average cost of microchipping is around $50, but may vary from state to state. Along with a dog license, it could cost an additional 10-20 bucks. Spot pet insurance highly recommends every pet parent get their pets microchipped as it can help increase the chances of finding a lost pet.

Vaccinations: $250-$300

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

There are certain non-core vaccinations as well that are recommended by most vets for a German Shepherd. These include parainfluenza, Lyme disease, and leptospirosis. The cost of these vaccines can be around $130-$150.

Miscellaneous $200-$250

There could be other miscellaneous costs over the course of your dogs life like 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 in its lifetime. The annual costs for the initial years may be a little higher, but they should gradually reduce.

How can Spot Pet Insurance help?

Spot accident & illness pet insurance plans offer a wide variety of coverages, from microchip implantation to surgeries and prescription food and supplements prescribed to treat your pet’s unexpected accidents and illnesses. (Prescription food and supplements used for general health or weight maintenance are not covered). For an extra cost, Spot dog insurance plans offer preventive care coverage add-ons to help cover the costs of certain routine vaccinations, annual wellness exams, and other preventive care treatments. You can view the add-on preventive care coverage options. Get in touch with us to know more!


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!


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