In Europe, the price of German Shepherd puppies is basically uniform, this because all of these puppies in Europe are Authentic German Shepherd dogs, and they are being re-produced for the right reasons. As discussed elsewhere on this website, there is no Governing body for the reproduction of dogs in America, there are no qualifications to be a breeder, and no qualifications to even be a German Shepherd Dog. This is why 99.9999999 % of so called German Shepherds in the U.S. Are NOT authentic. This is also why prices range from free, to $100, all the way up to $4500.00 for so called German Shepherd puppies in America. So now we are going to break all of this down for you, and you will know specifically what all of this means.
The only reason a person should breed and re-produce these dogs is to improve the Breed and take it forward. This is NEVER to be done for monetary gain, and for several reasons including there are thousands of homeless dogs euthanized every day in America. Reproducing these dogs should be the result of a passion for this breed and NOT for money. Also money can easily equate to greed, which has destroyed many good breeding programs. So the good responsible German Shepherd Breeders, know to simply be Non-profit !!
So regarding the reproduction of Authentic German Shepherd dogs, here is the overhead / cost to do this. First- it was established decades ago in Germany, ( the old German breeding standard ) that 30-35 puppies annually will cover the reasoning of improving the breed, and cover the Breeders overhead. The good Breeders are well aware of 30-35 puppy limit. Keep in mind also that Authentic German Shepherds are difficult to reproduce, these females only cycle every 8-18 months ( on average once per year ) and 4-6 puppies is the average size of a litter after surviving the whelping process. So it takes approximately 6 litters to accomplish this goal of 30-35 puppies.
Quality breeding programs with Authentic German Shepherds will have at least 15 dogs. This will include 5-8 breeding dogs, so as not to over-breed their dogs and to provide genetic diversity within their program. There will be 3-4 young dogs that are being trained, and will be a part of the breeding program later. Then there are the older retired dogs, the 8+ year olds that need lots of love and care. This is one of the red flags, tell all indicators, that quickly reveal the heart and mission of a breeders. Where are the older retired dogs?……. There should be at least 5 of these in any breeding program.
So here are the cost- The cost to feed the above number of dogs with a quality grain free food is at least $7200.00 annually. Much more if raw meat is also used, and some should be. Flea / tick treatment will be at least $1650.00 annually. If heart worm preventive is used, and even if only during the summer months, this will cost at least $ 300.00 annually. Clerical supplies, ink cartilages, litter registration fees at least $500.00 annually. Any quality breeding program has to have a part time or full time employee for maintenance, various assistance, puppy care, training assistance etc. This is at least $15000.00 annually. Breeding programs have to purchase at least one new dog each year, because even though some puppies are being retained by the breeder, new dogs / different genetics have to be brought in. These dogs will be imported from Europe.
While the lower quality dogs can be purchased for less than $10,000 in Europe, the good dogs that are breed quality are in the $15,000 – $100,000 range EACH. So even if a younger dog still needing training work is acquired, with import / shipping / U.S. Custom fees /, such a dog will cost at least $18000.00. Training equipment wears out and must be replaced, this is at least $500.00 / year. If a full bite suit has to be replaced, ( and all good breeders have these ) these alone are approximately $3000.00 +. Bedding for kennels and houses should be cedar shavings and changed every few weeks. This is at least $1200.00 annually. Various medications for illness or injury, ear solutions, intestinal parasite medicines, and good shampoos for the occasional bath, this is all at least $1000.00 annually. Puppy vaccines will be approximately $300.00 annually, and much more $ if done by an American Veterinarian. Website hosting and maintenance is approximately $1000.00 annually, if other marketing / advertising is being done then such cost are in the $ Thousands of dollars annually. So are you doing the math ? Overhead cost to operate a quality breeding program with Authentic German Shepherd dogs is at least $46,650 annually, and this is a minimum. Most quality breeding programs will have annual overhead of $50,0000-$60,000. The annual over-head for Vom Zeder Haus German Shepherds is always in the $55,000-$60,000 range. If a breeder is breeding under the Old German breeding Standard ( and they should be ), thus producing 30-35 puppies annually, they would need to charge $1300.00-$1800.00 per puppy just to break even and cover their overhead !! So ANYTIME and I repeat ANYTIME puppies are less than this amount, these are NOT Authentic German Shepherd puppies.
So called breeders can make all sorts of excuses ( we’ve heard them all ) as to why and how they can charge less, but it can NOT be done without losing money. When you see prices over this amount, the breeder is using your money to make the house payment, car payment, purchase lottery tickets or cigarettes, and this shouldn’t be happening with the reproduction of dogs. ANY and we repeat ANY so called breeding program that is producing more than 35 puppies annually is a PUPPY MILL !! Puppy mills do not have or re-produce Authentic German Shepherd puppies, you can read about puppy mills elsewhere on this website.
So now you know the truth about German Shepherd pricing.