How Much Do Purebred German Shepherds Cost?

It isn’t surprising that people are often taken aback by the price of a purebred dog. There are a lot of factors that regular dog owners don’t consider when they are purchasing a purebred pet. 

German Shepherds are one of the most popular dogs out there. Their popularity means that even mixed breed German Shepherds are expensive. A purebred German Shepherd is even more expensive. 

Purebred German Shepherd Prices vary based on many things. However, in general, they can cost anywhere from $500 to $4,000. Puppies are often more expensive than older dogs because there is more demand. However, an older dog with specialized training may cost even more, depending on the training.

How Much Does a Purebred German Shepherd Cost?

An Adult Purebred German Shepherd will likely cost less than a puppy. There is one exception to this rule if the adult has specialized training as a guard, police, search and rescue, or service dog. 

Purebred German Shepherds cost anywhere from $150 at an animal shelter or rescue to $4,000 from a high-end, reputable breeder. With specialized training, a Work or Show Dog costs about $6,500. 

A German Shepherd with Specialized Training as a guard, police, search and rescue, or service dog can cost as much as $55,000. This high price tag is due to the years of training and cost of training.

How Much Do Purebred German Shepherd Puppies cost?

A Purebred German Shepherd Puppy will cost about $500 from a shelter or rescue organization. A Purebred German Shepherd Puppy from a breeder can cost anywhere from $1,000-$3,000. 

The price has such a big range based on a number of factors. The factors that contribute to the cost are:

  • How much money was spent on the breeding and raising of the puppies.
  • How old the puppies are.
  • How much training the puppies have had.
  • How big the puppies are.
  • How “Famous” the Dam or Sire are in the Show or Breeding World.
  • What Health Guarantees the Breeder is offering. 
German Shepherds

Why do Purebred German Shepherds Cost A Lot?

There are a lot of things that go into the cost of a German Shepherd. The costs listed below do not include the cost of raising and caring for the Dam (or mother dog). Caring for a mother dog can cost about $1,500 a year. If she is actively going to shows, the cost goes up to about $3,500 a year.

Breeding Costs

There are a couple of costs related to breeding. The most obvious is the stud fee. A breeder will pay up to and beyond the $1,000 stud fee. About 40% of matings are successful. This means the breeder may have to try more than once.

There are also medical costs related to breeding. These costs include health screenings and any medical costs related to injury during mating. Health screenings cost about $500. Medical costs due to injury can vary. 

Whelping Supplies are another cost. They are around $100+ for the whelping box, blankets, and other supplies needed to provide a safe and comfortable place for the Dam to have her puppies.

Costs of Raising the Puppies

Breeders also spend a lot of money on puppies when they are young. Puppies stay with their mom and breeder until they are seven to nine weeks old. 

Breeders have to pay to have the puppies registered. Registration fees are about $25 plus an additional $2 for each puppy. Puppy litters can be anywhere from one to twelve puppies. Meaning a breeder can pay up to and, possibly beyond, $50 just to register the birth.

Puppies need food, which can cost anywhere from $100 (for one puppy) to over $1,000 if there is a litter of twelve. In addition, once training begins, pet treats will be needed.

Puppies need toys. The cost of toys can be high, especially if there are twelve puppies. Once the puppies are up and about, they will want to play. Some puppies may be more destructive than others and go through more toys. Toys can cost $100 or more. 

Puppies will also need their own crates once they are big enough. A Puppy crate can cost $50-$100.

Medical Costs

Beyond the Medical Costs for the Dam pre-breeding, there are medical costs for the puppies. If a breeder is lucky, the puppies are healthy, and they will only need shots and an initial vet checkup. Those initial Vet costs are about $150-$200.

However, if the puppies are not healthy or if a few of them need extra care, the price goes up. Vet bills can go up hundreds of dollars. If a puppy or puppies get injured, there will be vet bills. If a puppy or puppies get sick, there will be vet bills. These costs can quickly skyrocket into the thousands if there are multiple problems.

Training Costs

Training costs for puppies vary based on the goals or future for the puppy. Breeders may only pay for basic obedience training. They may also do the training themselves.

Some breeders though breed dogs specifically for certain jobs. Such as Search and Rescue or Bomb Sniffing Dogs. These dogs need specialized training. Sometimes this training is paid for by the soon-to-be or new owner. Other times it is paid for by the breeder.

Simple Obedience Training costs about $80 for an eight-week session. If the dog is being trained to be a show dog, they may need five sessions. That makes a grand total of $400 for obedience training. If the puppy is going to a family, the number of sessions will depend on how quickly the puppy learns. 

  • The full cost for a Show Dog also includes training for shows, being handled, learning tricks, and travel. These costs can quickly reach $1,000-$3,000 or more.
  • The cost for Police Dog Training is $12,000-$15,000. Luckily, most breeders do not have to pay these fees as the dogs training will be covered by the K-9 unit that purchases the puppy.
  • The cost for Guard Dog Training can cost as much as $22,000-$24,000 and takes two years. 
  • The cost for Search and Rescue Training can be about $10,000. 
  • The cost for Service Dog Training can be $17,000-$40,000.

If you are looking for an already trained dog, the cost will be exponentially higher than if you purchase a mixed breed or shelter dog and pay for the training yourself. 

Other Miscellaneous Costs

In addition to the obvious costs, above are some less obvious costs. Breeders need to pay for utilities such as water, electricity, and any housing fees. These are things they would pay anyway, but the usage will go up when there are puppies to care for. Utilities can cost about $300 or more. 

Breeders also have to keep a watch on the puppies, especially when they are little. The mother dog may reject a puppy that is too small or appears weak. The breeder may then have to care for the puppy themselves.

A mother dog may accidentally roll on top of or sit on a puppy. Breeders have to constantly be watching to prevent this. It is similar to having a baby in the house. Breeders don’t get a lot of sleep. They may also have to take time from work if they have another job. This means they are making less or no money while raising the puppies.

In addition, emergencies do happen, and they can be costly. Typically, they will be medical emergencies. However, they can be household emergencies or natural disasters that force the breeder to move or relocate the puppies.

Other miscellaneous costs include:

  • Microchips for puppies: $100 per puppy
  • Home Destruction and Fixing (chewed furniture, cords, rugs, etc): $100-$1,000+
  • Puppy Field trips to new home and socializing: $40-$240+
  • Advertising: $100-$300+

How Much Does Owning a German Shepherd Cost?

The Average Annual Cost of owning a German Shepherd is between about $300 to $1,500. The lower cost is for a healthy German Shepherd with no medical issues who gets shots and eats dry food. The higher cost is for a German Shepherd with higher medical expenses.

Senior Dogs will have more health problems which will lead to more vet expenses. They may also have special dietary restrictions or needs. This increases the cost of food. They may need medications.

Another thing to consider is the cost of specialty problems. For instance, if your dog develops a chronic problem or a food allergy. These dogs will need specialized food and medications, which will increase the yearly cost.

If you own a German Shepherd and are planning to compete in shows, the cost goes up significantly. It can cost up to $3,500+ a year to compete in shows, keep your dog show-worthy, and travel to and from shows.

Other Costs may include:

  • Toys: $50-$100+ a year
  • Treats: $50-$100+ a year
  • Dog Walker: $20+ per walk
  • Dog Day Care: $12-$38+ a day
  • Dog Kennel: $25+ per day, $40+ Per day for overnight care, $150+ per week
  • Grooming: $100+ a visit

What Factors Determine The Price of A German Shepherd Dog?

The key factors that contribute to the price of a German Shepherd are the breeding and raising costs, their age and training, their size and “beauty”, their bloodlines, and the breeder’s reputation and guarantees. 

How Much Money Was Spent on the Breeding and Raising of the Puppies

The amount of money the breeder spends on the breeding and raising of the puppies will influence how much they will charge when selling the puppies. Costs include:

  • Stud Fees: $1,000+
  • Health Screenings: $500+
  • Whelping Supplies: $100+
  • Toys for the Puppies: $100+
  • Food for Dam and Puppies: $100+
  • Shots and Checkups: $150+
  • Miscellaneous Costs: $100+

How Old The Puppies Are

Puppies that are around eight weeks old will not have been trained yet. These puppies may be cheaper since you will be footing the bill for their training. 

Older puppies who have received training will cost more as the breeder will want to recoup however much they spent on the puppy training.

How Much Training The Puppies Have Had

Training costs vary, and the more training a German Shepherd puppy has, the more it will cost. If the training is specialized, it will cost even more. Specialized training includes training as a police dog, drug dog, bomb dog, search & rescue dog, guard dog, show dog, or service dog.

Prices per training:

  • Standard Training: $80+ for an 8-week session
  • Show Dog Training: $1,000-$3,000+
  • Search & Rescue Training: $10,000+
  • Bomb Sniffing Dog Training: $15,000+
  • Drug Sniffing Dog Training: $5,000+
  • Police Dog General Training: $10,000+
  • Guard Dog Training: $22,000+
  • Service Dog Training $17,000+

How Big The Puppies Are

This one might surprise most people, but the size of a puppy affects the cost. The size of the puppy or dog affects the purchase price because bigger dogs need more food. Therefore, the breeder or care organization will have spent more money feeding a larger dog than a smaller one.

Size also affects the long-term costs of owning a dog. The larger the German Shepherd, the more food it will need. Larger dogs may also have more health problems in later years.

How “Famous” the Dam or Sire are in the Show or Breeding World

Another factor is the bloodlines of your purebred German Shepherd. If your dog comes from a famous bloodline, it will cost more. This effect can be seen with dogs who have Heroic Ancestors as well as dogs with famous Show Dog ancestors.

What Health Guarantees the Breeder can offer

Reputable breeders will often have various tests run to determine a puppy’s health. This allows them to guarantee a healthy puppy to purchase. The costs of the extra tests can raise the price of the puppy. 

Litter Size

The size of the puppy litter will also determine the price. If there are more puppies, the price can be a little less as the cost per dog will be less. While the overall cost for more puppies is more, the cost for toys, for instance, will be less since the puppies can share.

Want To Train Your Dog With Peace Of Mind?

If you haven’t trained your dog properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.

The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.

With Brain Training For Dogs, you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.

So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!

And in most cases, it’s still going to be:

  • Cheaper than hiring a professional.
  • Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
  • And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.

Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your dog completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT.

And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!

So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!

(You can also check out a full review here to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)


Here are some frequently asked questions regarding German Shepherds.

How Many Different German Shepherd Coloring Combos Are There?

There are at least 15 different Colorings for German Shepherds.

  • Black and Tan: Most Common and Most Recognized. Popular Show Dog
  • Pure Black: Rare. Accepted Show Dog
  • Pure White: Rare. Not Accepted by most shows
  • Liver: Rare Red-Brown coloring. Pure Liver is Accepted by some shows. Liver Bicolor are not accepted. 
  • Blue: Rare. Sometimes accepted by shows.

  • Isabella (Liver & Blue): Rare. Not accepted by most shows.
  • Grey: Uncommon color. Accepted Show Dog.
  • Silver: Uncommon Color. Accepted, though not preferred, Show Dog.
  • Black and Red: Common. Popular Show Dog.
  • Sable: Common Color. Accepted Show Dog.
  • Black and Silver. Uncommon color. Accepted, though not preferred, Show Dog.
  • Bicolor: Uncommon color. Accepted, though not preferred, Show Dog.
  • Black and Cream: Common color. Accepted, though not preferred, Show Dog.
  • Panda: Uncommon to rare color. They can be black, white, and brown/tan/red. Not accepted by the American Kennel Club and most shows.
  • Albino: Rare. Not accepted by dog shows.

Are Black German Shepherds Purebred?

Yes, Black German Shepherds can be purebred. While the most common German Shepherd coloring is a mix of black and tan, you can find purebred solid color German Shepherds.

A rare recessive gene is responsible for the Black coat of Black German Shepherds. Solid Black German Shepherds are rarer, so they will cost more.

How Much Does a Black Purebred German Shepherd Cost?

In general, a Black German Shepherd will cost between $1,000-$3,000. Purebred Black German Shepherds will be on the higher end of the price range. If you find one at the shelter, you may be able to get it for as little as $500.

Are White German Shepherds Purebred?

Yes, White German Shepherds can be purebred. Their white coloring comes from a recessive gene, so they are rare. This can inflate the cost of purchasing one.

How Much Does a White Purebred German Shepherd Cost?

The cost for a Purebred White German Shepherd is at a minimum of about $1,400. The average cost is $1,700. They can cost as much as $2,000.

Are Blue German Shepherds Purebred?

Blue German Shepherds can be purebred. As with any German Shepherd, some will be, and some won’t be. The gene that causes the blue coloring is recessive, which makes these dogs rare.

How Much Does a Purebred Blue German Shepherd Cost?

Purebred Blue German Shepherds typically cost between $1,200 and $1,600. Occasionally you will find ones that are cheaper, such as rescues, or ones that are more expensive, such as one with a long lineage. 

How Much Does a German Shepherd From Germany Cost?

All Purebred German Shepherds have German ancestors. The cost of a Purebred German Shepherd that was bred and raised in Germany is between $2,000 and $4,000. That cost does not include the cost of transport from the breeder to you.


German Shepherds may seem like expensive dogs, but there are ways to lower the cost. Don’t try and bargain with a breeder. Their price is based on what they need to break even or make money. 

If you need a discounted German Shepherd, either look for a mix or purebred German Shepherd at a shelter or rescue organization. They will sometimes have German Shepherds for as little as $150.