How Much Does a German Shepherd Cost? 23 Examples!


If you have a soft spot for the German Shepherd, owning one may be a dream come true. While German Shepherds are a common breed, affording one can be a little challenging. Having a clear picture of how much a German Shepherds cost will speed up your journey to owning this gorgeous breed. So, how much does a German Shepherd cost?

The cost of a German Shepherd varies from the lower range (less than $2,000), average range ($2,000-$4,000), or higher range (more than $4,000). Costs are determined by pedigree, breeding cost, registration status, breeder’s qualification, dog’s age, and location.

In this article, I’ll give you 23 examples of how much German Shepherds cost and discuss the factors that breeders consider when pricing their dogs.

By grouping the cost into three different categories, I’ll help you choose what you can afford and give you names of breeders where to find your perfect price-range dog. I also include a few examples of how much a German Shepherd will cost in the UK.

But first, a quick overview of how to search for reliable breeders and why a breeder website has authority.

Searching for Reliable Breeders: The Authority of a Breeder Website

There are different ways anyone seeking to buy a German Shepherd can find a reputable breeder. My complete buyer’s guide on How to Buy a German Shepherd will give you comprehensive information about all these different ways. Here, I give you a quick list of ways to find a breeder:

  • Consult trainers, groomers, or vets, for reliable breeder references.
  • Ask persons who already own a German Shepherd to refer you to their breeder.
  • Seek information from national or local kennel clubs or search their websites for registered breeders. See, for example, the AKC Marketplace or the UK Kennel Club’s Find a Puppy.
  • Consult national and local German Shepherd clubs for reliable references or search their websites for registered breeders. See as an example, the German Shepherd Dog Club of America’s Classified Ads.

You can also find breeder search websites such as these:

USUK
pedigreedatabase.comchampdogs.co.uk
K9 Classifiedspets4homes.com
puppyfind.comUK Pets

Some ways of finding a reputable and ethical breeder are more reliable than others. For example, if you search on puppyfind.com, you can find a German Shepherd puppy that only costs $600, but all you have is the phone contact of the person selling the puppy and no more information about them. Instead, others like gooddog.com give a link to the breeder’s website or Facebook page.

I suggest that one of the ways of ensuring the breeder is reliable is having a decent website. So, when searching for breeders on sites, following up the information on their website gives authority to the breeder. Here’s why:

  • Breeder websites give you information about the origins/history of the breeder, which tells you how much experience they have as a breeder.
  • Breeder websites always have an address, social media pages, and phone contacts through which you can contact the breeder, which is one way of finding out if they are authentic. 
  • Every breeder website has a collection of photos about their dogs and available puppies, or those that have already been sold. These give you a first idea of the quality of their dogs, how much their German Shepherds cost, and the waiting time among other details.
  • Websites show breeder achievements such as German Shepherd Dogs who have won sporting or other awards – an indication of the quality of their breeding.
  • Many breeder websites have a copy of their purchase contract, a questionnaire for gauging your suitability for their pets, and/or an application form. All these are key in creating a first idea of what you should expect from the breeder you are going to buy from.
  • Some breeder websites indicate the cost of their German Shepherd puppies/dogs. This gives you a more updated idea of how much the pet will cost when compared to breeder search sites. For example, most of the German Shepherd breeders listed on gooddog.com have a different price from the one indicated on the breeder’s website.

Below are 23 examples of how much a German Shepherd cost. They are with breeders who have an active website and those who have indicated the cost of their German Shepherds on their website.

The examples are categorized according to those with the cost in the lower range (below $2,000), those that cost in the average range ($2,000-$4,000), and those German Shepherds that cost in the higher range (more than $4,000).

German Shepherd Costs in the Lower Range (Below $2000)

German Shepherd Puppies Playing

Many breeders sell their German Shepherd puppies for a price below $2000. The cost can be as low as $750, as seen in some examples. Let’s look at the nine examples that fit into this category:

Austerlitz German Shepherd Dogs

This breeder in Sand Springs, OK, has more than 25 years of experience in breeding German Shepherds. The breeder is an AKC Breeder of Merit for German Shepherds and works with two other breeders, all with several years of experience. 

Their German Shepherds cost between $500 and $1,000 if you buy an adult dog depending on the dog’s age, among other factors. German Shepherd puppies, however, cost $2,000, which accounts for socialization, training, insurance, and registration.

EshelmanSchwitz German Shepherds

EshelmanSchwitz is a small home-based breeder in Struthers, OH. The breeder focuses on breeding healthy show and working German Shepherds with sound temperament.

The German Shepherd Dogs from this breeder are released on limited AKC registration and cost between $1,000 and $2,000. You also pay a $200 non-refundable deposit to reserve a puppy when it is two weeks old. 

Lost Creek German Shepherds

This breeder in Klayton, KS, is situated on a small ranch in Northwest Kansas. The breeders are keen about puppy socialization and ensure they introduce them to children and other animals. Also, the puppies have already had their basic obedience training by the time you take them home at eight weeks or later.

Based on their website prices, their German Shepherds cost as low as $750. Most puppies are, however, will cost between $1,600 and $2,000. You’ll also be required to pay a $300 – $500 deposit depending on the litter.

Maska Honi Working German Shepherd

Based in Newfane, NY, Maska Honi breeds working German Shepherds in a family environment. They are keen to ensure the health of their dogs before breeding. They have a preference for working homes, and buyers get a 24-month health guarantee. 

German Shepherd puppies at Maska Honi cost between $1,200 and $1,500. However, you have to pay a $300 deposit to book a place on their reservation list.

Vom Eisenraben German Shepherds

This small hobby breeder is situated in Western New York and strives to produce healthy working German Shepherds with sound temperament and structure. The breeding dogs are all OFA certified.

The cost of a GSD puppy is between $1,800 and $2,000 and an additional non-refundable $500 to be placed on the reservation list.

Rheinhardt Kennels

Athletic German Shepherd jumping over a hurdle in a field trials competition
Athletic German Shepherd dog jumping over a hurdle in a field trials competition

This farm breeder in Southeastern Kentucky breeds German Shepherds for temperament and other qualities like loyalty, intelligence, and boldness. This explains why puppies have been bred for police protection, search and rescue, therapy, and personal protection, among others. 

You have a health guarantee for hip and elbow dysplasia, deworming and all other vaccinations when you buy from this breeder. Even with the guarantee for quality, the breeder keeps prices relatively low. Their German Shepherds cost $1,500 for a puppy with limited AKC registration and cost $1,800 for one with full registration.

Kesyra German Shepherd Dogs, UK

Kesyra German Shepherds are situated in Wiltshire, England. The kennel breeds a maximum of 3 litters each year, focusing on the dog’s temperament rather than fashion. 

By indicating that £1,000-£1,200 ($1,250-$1,500) is the acceptable average cost for a German Shepherd from a reputable breeder, the breeder implies that your puppy from them will cost in that same price range. 

Gentlebears German Shepherds, UK

This family breeder in Barnsley, England produces mostly long-coat German Shepherds. The breeder aims at breeding healthy dogs with sound temperament and large in size. The dogs are DNA tested, hip/elbow scored, and also tested for Degenerative Myelopathy.

A German Shepherd puppy at Gentlebears will cost £1,500 ($1,850).

Glebe Von Wood, UK

Glebe Von Wood breeds quality German Shepherds and is situated in Whitwick, Leicestershire, England. Their secure and safe family environment has allowed German Shepherds of diverse sound temperaments to thrive on the 15-acre grazing land.

German Shepherd puppies at Glebe Von Wood are priced at £1,500 ($1,850).

German Shepherd Costs in the Average Range ($2000-$4000)

Most German Shepherds will cost within this range, with most breeders trending towards the lower ($2,000) cost rather than the higher option ($4,000). Here are the 11 German Shepherd breeders whose costs fit within this price range:

Haus Morrisson German Shepherds

This breeder from Ijamsville, MD, has German Shepherds bred for family pets, search and rescue, competitive obedience, detection, protection, IPO/Schutzhund titles, and other sports. The parents of litters are primarily Czech or Czech crosslines, and the dogs are bred to manifest sound working ability, outstanding temperament, structure, and longevity. 

German Shepherd puppies from this breeder will cost you between $2,000 and $2,500.

Grothaus K9 Working German Shepherds

German Shepherd guarding a herd of sheep
German Shepherd guarding a herd of sheep

Grothaus, in Prineville, OR, specializes in breeding working line German Shepherd dogs that can work homes, fields, or streets. Their dogs are bred to have outstanding health, sound temperament, and a balanced drive.   

You will part with $2,000 for a puppy from Grothaus and an additional holding fee of $300, which is non-refundable. 

Vom Geliebten Haus

This breeder in Menomonie, WI, will give you purebred German Shepherds of imported German lines. You can choose a red, standard black, or solid black puppy. The puppies are submitted to rigorous health checks and are also micro-chipped. You can also have the puppy shipped to you. 

An 8-week old puppy from this breeder costs between $2,500 and $3,000 depending on the litter, among other factors. Working and show homes seeking German Shepherds with full AKC registration will have to make direct contact with the breeder and get a quote for such puppies.

Vom Haus Schutz German Shepherd K9 Dogs

This small breeder puts a personal touch to breeding working German Shepherds that trace back to the Pohranicni Straze Kennels of the Czech Republic. The litters are socialized with the pack at four weeks and are social with guests and clients.

You have two price options with this breeder. If you buy a German Shepherd puppy with limited registration, it will cost you $2,800. If instead, you go for a full registration puppy, you’ll pay $3,500. A 25% non-refundable deposit reserves you a puppy for up to 10 weeks. 

Diamond Peak German Shepherds

Diamond Peak is a reservation breeder in La Pine, OR, producing purpose-bred German Shepherd dogs. Their GSDs are OFA/SV tested and certified for a wide range of diseases and conditions, including hip dysplasia, Degenerative Myelopathy, and other genetic conditions. The breeder is a recognized AKC Breeder of Merit and a signer of the GSDCA breeder’s code of ethics.

GSDs at Diamond Peak cost $2,000, and you can reserve a puppy by paying part of the buying cost as a deposit.

Barick German Shepherds

These breeders in Macdonough, GA, have bred, trained, and showed GSDs for decades. They are committed to producing dogs of sound mind and body who can be loyal and loving companions to their owners for the longest time.

German Shepherd prices vary at Barick. A companion puppy with a “Base welcome kit” costs $2,000 while one with a “Breeders pick welcome kit” costs between $2,230 or $2,350 if food and a DVD on puppy culture are included.

The companion puppy with “Deluxe welcome kit” and food costs $2,650, while the same sells for $2,720 if the puppy culture DVD is included. Prospective show dogs are priced on a case-to-case basis while everyone pays a deposit of 25% on the total cost.

Ark

This breeder in Uvalde, TX, breeds quality German Shepherds alongside Cane Corso. With a veterinarian breeder, the kennel takes serious attention to the health of the GSDs and focuses mainly on family dogs.

A puppy will cost $2,000 from this breeder with a $500 deposit fee.

Shield Kennels

Breeders at Shield Kennels in Peyton, CO, seek to provide superior German Shepherd Dogs by breeding within true German lines to improve breed quality. The working dogs are fit for any job or family role.

Puppies at the Kennel are listed for $2,000. However, you also pay for the Colorado/Elbert County sales tax of 5.13%. An older puppy from this breeder that requires rehoming costs $2,500. A unique feature of the kennel is that it gives a $200 discount to buyers working as teachers, military, and first responders.

Semper Fi K-9

This is a small family breeder based in Kaufman, TX. Their breeding dogs are selected from the best VA rated European bloodlines, are OFA certified, and have excellent temperaments.  

Puppies are sold for $2,000, and you’ll be required to pay $500 beforehand as a deposit.

Stormlake German Shepherds, UK

Stormlake is a breeder in Waltham Abbey, Essex in the UK that prides of breeding beautiful, large-size, and long-coat German Shepherds with excellent temperaments. 

Their German Shepherds cost £1,800 ($2,225), which includes a full vet check, microchip, and an initial vaccination. An unspecified deposit is required to reserve a puppy.

Eagleriver Dogs, UK

This small family breeder is based in East Anglia, UK. The breeder has a preference for long-coat German Shepherds and focuses on breeding healthy dogs with sound temperaments and good looks. The dogs are mainly bred for family pets.

Costs are between £1,500 ($1,850) and £2,500 ($3,100) for a German Shepherd puppy. Variation in price is decided based on the number of pups in a litter, parent bloodline, and health testing. 

German Shepherd Costs in the Higher Range (Above $4000)

A few German Shepherd breeders will ask for prices above $4,000 when selling their litter. The few who do are mostly motivated by the quality of their breeding dogs, the breeder’s professional qualification and knowledge of canine behavior, or breeding dogs for sporting purposes. Only 3 of my examples fit into this category.

RiverRock German Shepherds

GSD Show Dog

This small German Shepherd kennel in St. Cloud, MN, breeds top show quality dogs whose temperament is sound. All dogs are OFA certified.

The kennel is headed by a breeder with professional knowledge of canine learning and thinking. The breeder has also been recognized as an AKC breeder of merit and has worked in committees of the club. He is also a signatory of the GSDCA breeders’ code of ethics.

You will dig a bit deeper to get your dog from this breeder. If you go for a family/companion German Shepherd puppy, the cost is $3,500 with a $1,000 reserving deposit. A show-quality GSD puppy costs $5,000, and you also need to pay a $1,000 deposit to reserve.

North Mountain Kennels

This breeder in Strasburg, VA, breeds world-class German Shepherds from selected European working line dogs. The breeder has two degrees in Zoological studies, specializing in canine behavior. 

To purchase a German Shepherd from this breeder, be prepared to pay an amount of $10,000 for a family protection dog, as indicated on the breeder’s website.

K9 Guardians

This breeder in Cardiff, UK, breeds old fashioned straight back working German Shepherds. The breeding dogs are purebred European/Czech GSDs that have undergone genetic screening and comprehensive testing for canine health conditions.   

You can buy a German Shepherd from K9 Guardians for a price starting at £1,000 ($1,250). Purchasing a puppy will, however, cost you £3,500 ($4,325) for a partly trained puppy, and you’ll expect to pay more for one that is fully trained. You also have to pay £500 ($620) to reserve a puppy. 

From the 23 examples above, most German Shepherd Dogs will sell for a cost in the average range between $2,000 and $4,000. Whether the cost fits in this range, a higher or lower range depends on several factors. I’ll tell you what these hidden factors are in the next section.

Buying a German Shepherd: The Hidden Factors in a Cost

Purebred German Shepherd. German Shepherd Cost

Many factors impact how breeders price their dogs. Here are the five among the most significant: 

Breeding Cost

Breeding is not an easy task. It entails days and nights of care for a dam and a litter of puppies once they are born. For both mother and litter, there are several costs involved. They include: 

  • Full health screening for the dam 
  • The cost of feeding the dam
  • Vet visits during the gestation period
  • The cost of pupping 
  • Full health screening and vaccinations for the puppies
  • Puppy registration
  • Puppy vaccinations
  • Food, bedding, bowls, crate, collars, leads, toys, etc.

The list of these expenses could be endless, and can easily push the total cost of a litter up by at least $3,000. This without counting additional costs if you are using a top German sire and have to make trips abroad. Additional costs could also come if you attend dog shows and displays.

Pedigree

The proof that your dog is a “purebred,” “pure bloodline,” or of “German heritage” has a lot of weight in German Shepherd breeding. It doesn’t just refer to a title but to expert breeding practices that avoid inbreeding, but also generations of titled, shown, and health-tested dogs with V/VA and other titles. 

While buyers should be able to verify pedigree titles by looking them up on-line for mention on shows or pedigree databases, opting for top pedigree German Shepherds will usually cost you a lot more than buying from an ordinary breeder. 

Breeder Qualifications

Most potential buyers may not consider this factor, but my examples have shown that buying from a professional breeder will cost you more than buying from other breeders. 

From my examples, the RiverRock German Shepherds, where the breeder is a professional with knowledge on canine learning and thinking, and the North Mountain Kennels, where the breeder has two degrees in Zoological studies, their German Shepherd puppies cost $5,000 and $10,000 respectively.

Place/Country

The cost of a German Shepherd varies from country to country. The few examples in my list from the UK indicate that German Shepherd dogs will cost a lot less in the UK than in the US.

This could be explained by the fact that the breed has consistent popularity in the US (2nd most popular according to the AKC) while the same breed ranks 8th in the UK and has recorded a decline in popularity in the past years.

Age

Adult German Shepherds cost less when compared to puppies. In my first example, Austerlitz German Shepherd Dogs, adult dogs cost between $500-$1,000 depending on the dog’s age while puppies cost $2,000. 

There are factors associated with this trend, among which the fact that it is easier to train a young puppy than to change the behavior of an adult dog. However, due to the GSD being such an intelligent dog who loves to please, with a bit of patience and discipline, it’s never too late to train a German Shepherd.

Other factors that determine how German Shepherd Dogs are priced include color, coat length, straight vs. sloping back, partial or full registration, and the breeder’s motives (for money or for the love of the breed). 

A common question often asked is whether the White German Shepherd is purebred. To find this answer and loads more on this stunning dog, check out this article here.

From my 23 examples and the foregoing factors, it is clear that the cost to buy a German Shepherd can be expensive. Don’t forget too that after the buying cost will come the owning cost, which will be even higher depending on other factors. You can read my article on the Costs of Owning a German Shepherd to get a clear picture of what awaits you after buying!

If after completing your research you decide the cost of a German Shepherd is out of your reach, you can opt for other ways of owning this fantastic breed. This could mean adopting or inheriting one from family.

Adopting a German Shepherd

While this article is exclusive on buying German Shepherds direct from breeders, adopting may be another option. Rescues and shelters are your best bet when it comes to adopting. But some breeders also double as rescuers and have dogs for adoption.

Unfortunately, some buyers will take the dog back to the breeder after some time if they cannot take care of them. This is a sad situation as these dogs will need rehoming.

To ensure this doesn’t happen to you make sure you have done extensive research about German Shepherds in general before purchasing. You can go to my ultimate guide, German Shepherds as Pets for more in-depth information.

Opting to adopt rather than buy will save you plenty of money, at times even 3/4 times less. For example, the earlier mentioned UK breeder, K9 Guardians, prices GSDs for adoption at £1,000 ($1,250) while the cost of partly trained puppies is £3,500 ($4,325). The adoption cost, in this case, is 3.5 times less than the buying cost.

Similarly, the Shepherds Hope Rescue in New York asks for $250 for adoption fees. This is three times less the lowest buying price mentioned in the examples in this article.

My step-by-step guide on How to Adopt a German Shepherd gives you a complete picture of the adoption process. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can always adopt a miniature German Shepherd.

Final Thoughts

We have learned that the average cost of buying a German Shepherd ranges from $2,000 – $4,000. The cost may be lower or higher depending on the breeding cost, pedigree, registration status, breeder’s qualification, age of the dog, and the place or country.

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to German Shepherd breeders. However, when searching for a professional and ethical breeder, choose one with a website where you can read their history, see pictures of their dogs and puppies, find their selling or reserving cost, and have full contact details. 

Buying a German Shepherd can be costly, but you can always opt for cheaper ways of owning one such as adopting. In the end, what counts is not how much you pay for your dog, but the quality of companionship that you experience together. 

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Sharon Waddington

I am the owner of World of Dogz. I have a 5-year-old female German Shepherd named "Willow" and I've worked with dogs for almost 30 years. I love spending time with my dog and I enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise of all things dogs on this site!

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