Originating in Germany in 1899, the German Shepherd Dog continues to be one of the most popular breeds today.
While the Atlantic cautions that breed isn’t everything, it does give us an idea of a dog’s general disposition and genetic inclination. This allows pet parents to provide the best care that their dog deserves.
Originally bred as herding dogs, German Shepherds have a lean build and tend to have strong guarding instincts that distinguish them from their fellow canines. Because of this, they’re at their happiest when provided a specific type of care — which can get costly.
Here’s an overview of the costs of raising your German Shepherd below.
Despite their activeness, German Shepherds have a slower metabolism than other breeds. This means that they thrive on a protein-rich diet that is low in fat but high in calories to maintain their muscular fit, shiny coats, and active lifestyle.
The National Academies lists the essential nutrients in a German Shepherds’ daily diet for their body’s vital functions, including the recommended allowances for vitamins to minerals, as well as calorie and protein intake. Caution is necessary to not over or under-feed.
40lbs of dried dog food will cost about $50 and can feed an average-sized German Shepherd for about 45 days.
However, dried dog food is merely the minimum standard. Wet and higher quality food costs more but can also be served in smaller amounts due to higher nutritional value.
This large dog breed is not exempted from illnesses or diseases. Our previous article on German Shepherd Allergies lists six common allergies that German Shepherds are prone to having, such as flea and grain allergies.
Proper treatment is important, as dogs continuously develop allergies as they age, compared to humans, who sometimes outgrow them.
While not known to be an unhealthy breed, German Shepherds are inclined to a variety of medical conditions from bloat to hip dysplasia. These issues may cost up to thousands in vet care, but otherwise, regular maintenance from annual vet check-ups would average $60 per year. An additional $60 per year may also be added for annual vaccinations.
Insurance helps pay for the diagnostics, treatment, or surgery of any pet illness or injury. With German Shepherds often developing hip and joint problems, a Sound Dollar overview of pet insurance emphasizes that insurance can greatly relieve any financial pressure on pet owners.
Depending on your premium, the guide notes that your pet insurance can cover accidents, illnesses, some tests, and some hereditary conditions like hip dysplasia.
The initial costs of insurance may seem heavy, but it’s worth preparing for, especially as your puppy gets older.
There are different types of insurance, with companies offering sample quotes for complete packages from $72.60 to $107.41 per month for German Shepherds below one year of age. Make sure to read your coverage carefully before purchasing.
The strong build of the German Shepherd coupled with their high energy can make for a bad combination if left untrained. Thankfully, research published in Frontiers in Vet Science notes the genetic inclination of German Shepherds toward obedience training, following their roots as herding and working dogs.
German Shepherd training ranges from $45 to $100 per basic obedience class. Most pet owners would be satisfied with this. If not, dog obedience training schools cost $250 to $700 per week, and specialty training as a service dog for therapy, support, or protection would average $120 per hour.
Some breeds are more expensive than others, such as German Shepherds, but as pet owners, it is our responsibility to provide our dogs with the best care they deserve.
For more tips and advice on taking care of German Shepherds, check out our other articles and books that collate our experiences as dog owners of over 25 years.