The German Shepherd, or GSD (German Shepherd Dog), is the second most popular breed of dog in the United States after the Labrador Retriever.
It’s considered the third most intelligent breed behind Border Collies and Poodles, and thus has made a name for itself as a champion in Search-and-Rescue, police and military work, and assisting PWDs.
At the end of the First World War, due to anti-German sentiment prevalent in the United States and most European countries, the dog was officially renamed to “Alsatian” – a name which stuck for the next 4 decades.
It was only until 1977 that it finally got its original name back: “German Shepherd Dog”. In some parts of Europe, German Shepherds are still referred to as Alsatians.
GSD’s Immediate Expenses
German Shepherd puppies are highly available at breeder kennels and sold for about $2,500 on the average.
A study was conducted in 2015 which compiled data on dogs and cats in shelters nationwide. The results of the study were that the German Shepherd is the fourth most common breed found in shelters and there are currently more than 1,300 of them waiting to be rescued.
If you wish to help a puppy find a new home, adoption is a more than a viable and charitable option. There may be an adoption fee involved which helps the shelter offset its expenses. GSD Rescue’s fee is $300 and it includes up-to-date shots, microchips, and any other costs associated with the dog’s health.
If you would like your dog to compete in events at state or national level, you’ll need to enroll it in a registry. The two most prestigious in the United States are the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the parent breed club for German Shepherds, known as the German Shepherd Dog Club of America (GSDCA).
AKC’s silver package costs $50.99, and it includes an official AKC Registration Certificate and a three-generation AKC-Certified Pedigree. The GSDCA offers single membership with a printed review for $75, with the only discernible member benefit being a subscription to The GSD Review which is an exclusive magazine printed for GSDCA members.
Dog licenses are mandatory nationwide. Owning one allows your dog to be easily identified if lost and also provides proof that it already had its rabies shots. The license fee varies from state to state, but it ranges from $8.50 in New York to $30 in Florida.
Other pertinent one-time costs that you may incur when purchasing a German Shepherd are neutering costs ($100 to $145), microchips ($8 to $10), and a crate for it to rest and travel in ($45.99 and up). The best-sized crate for German Shepherds is the X-Large size, 42”L x 28”W x 30”H.
Maintaining a German Shepherd Dog
Buying a new dog is like having a baby – you’ve got to be prepared or things will go downhill. Lack of preparation and incorrect handling are the number one reasons why animal shelters are so heavily populated.
Factor in these additional expenses apart from the German Shepherd price and other upfront costs to keep yourself one step ahead of misfortune:
- Shots – Rabies vaccinations are mandated by law in most states and other vaccines are highly recommended. It’ll cost you about $20 for each shot – Rabies, DA2PPV, Bordetella, and Leptospirosis. Keep in mind as well that immunization is an on-going process and your dog will need to take shots more than once.
- Routine Health Care – Veterinary visits are inevitable. Wellness exams may be taken multiple times annually and cost about $20 to $60 for each visit.
- Nutriment – Good quality dog food is essential for good health. A 30-lb bag costs $60.
- Shipping / Transportation – The total amount to relocate your pup is about $900 to $2,000.
Step 1: Identify legitimate registered breeders.
Step 2: Establish an open line of communication with them and ask to visit their kennels.
Step 3: Observe the puppy and the surroundings. Take note of anything suspicious.
Step 4: Discuss price inclusions. Some include health certificates and pedigree information.
Step 5: Keep in contact with the breeder for the next few weeks after the sale.