German Shepherd lying down.

How Much Are German Shepherds?

Written By Vedrana Nikolic | Canine Coach, B.A Ethnology & Anthropology, M.A Semiotics.
Edited & Fact Checked By Renae Soppe | B.A Journalism & Science. 
Last Updated: 7th January 2024

German Shepherds are amazing. They’re athletic, loyal, patient, and always willing to learn. They are outstanding working dogs, but also great around the family…. It’s no wonder you are considering getting one.

But how much is a German Shepherd? Well, that’s not an easy answer to give, since there are a lot of factors that influence it.

Today, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about German Shepherd prices and, hopefully, that should help you when buying your new pet.

How Much Do German Shepherds Cost In Australia

Every aspiring German Shepherd owner has tons of questions in preparation for getting a new pup, including their price. So, how much do German Shepherds cost in Australia?

Related: The Best German Shepherd Harnesses.

Well, the price for this breed ranges from as little as $800 up to $4000. As you can see, the range between these numbers is large as the price depends on several factors. The breeder’s reputation and location are important, but so are the dog’s pedigree, the number of puppies in the litter and all the other hidden costs of caring for pups. All these things add up to formulate the price of a German Shepherd in Australia.

Related: The Best German Shepherd Food.

And it’s worth noting that there’s definitely a significant difference between an $800 and a $4000 German Shepherd puppy. In fact, a more realistic price for a puppy of this breed should be at least above $1500.

You see, German Shepherds can have different breed-specific health issues (1), including:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Pancreatic acinar atrophy
  • Megaesophagus
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Hemophilia A
  • Multifocal renal cystadenocarcinoma

And the only way for a breeder to know for sure that puppies are 100% healthy is to screen them, which can increase the standard price of the breed. Even if the parents are completely healthy, they can pass down the genes for any of these diseases to their pups. So if you see a German Shepherd pup selling for a fairly low price, you can definitely expect there was no screening for hereditary diseases.

On the other hand, you may also notice some rather overpriced German Shepherd puppies. This is usually the case with German Shepherd Dogs (GSD) that have different colouring compared to the typical black and tan fur we’re used to seeing.

In fact, there are as many as 13 different German Shepherd colour combinations. And while some colours, like black or sable, are approved by the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC), other colour combinations aren’t approved and can’t compete with other GSDs. With that being said, certain fur colours are still rather popular due to being rare, such as white or grey. And for that reason, German Shepherds with such unique appearances are sold at a much higher price, going even above $4000. And while the difference in fur colour is caused by gene mutation, that’s about the only difference between them and GSDs with standard colours.

Young German Shepherd.

Where To Buy A German Shepherd In Australia

Since German Shepherds are still one of the most popular breeds in Australia, finding a puppy isn’t too hard. However, not every puppy is the same. And sometimes, not even the price is an indicator of how well-bred a puppy might be.

Unfortunately, puppy scammers are a real problem. Given that online ads are unregulated, many fake ads aimed at frauding Australians searching for a new pet go unnoticed (2). And given that they look rather realistic, telling fake stories from real ones can be really tough. Many scam victims are trying to raise awareness in order to stop this criminal activity, although that’s a tough battle to win. For now, at least one can implement their advice on how to distinguish scam ads. 

"I would copy [a testimonial], pop it into Google and search it word for word. And you'll see five different pages come up with the exact same testimonials. That's how I find even more scam pages because you can see the real one and all the other pages that have copied it." - Sandy Trujillo, Puppy Scam Awareness Australia.

Your best source for finding your German Shepherd puppy is the German Shepherd Council of Australia (GSDCA). Founded back in 1960, the Council is directly affiliated with the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) and comprises all the GSD clubs and associations in Australia (3).

Basically, every reputable German Shepherd breeder is also a member of that local State GSD Club. To find a healthy puppy, contact your local GSDCA Affiliate Club Puppy Listings service, and ask for a list of Club Breeders who comply with strict breed standards.

How To Choose A Trustworthy Breeder

Regardless of where you’re searching for a German Shepherd puppy, you’ll probably find a ton of ads. Ultimately, your pick will depend on the breeder. When choosing one, there are a few things to keep an eye on.

First and foremost, you want a breeder that doesn’t undercut the price of the pups. When you’re buying a dog, there’s no such thing as a “bargain.” The price for the puppy is not randomly generated, but determined by many factors. Trustworthy breeders take the health of every litter very seriously. From screening to a proper diet and a tidy kennel, they'll ensure that puppies have all that’s necessary for healthy growth. As you know, how much is a German Shepherd puppy depends on how much was spent on the kennel.

The breeders should have all the vaccination and documentation ready, which also costs money. So, if they’ve spent, let’s say, $1000 on a puppy, rest assured that the selling price will be much more than that. And in this case, you should aim for more expensive pups.

A reliable breeder should encourage you to meet your future dog’s parents. After all, the best way to see your canine companion’s temperament is to see their mom and dad. It also shows you how and where the puppies are raised.

Consider Adoption

If you don’t care much about winning shows, you may want to consider adopting a German Shepherd from a shelter. You can find amazing German Shepherds in shelters all around Australia, waiting to be adopted.

True, most dogs in shelters are adults, although there are always exceptions. But getting an older pooch can also be very rewarding. Older dogs are already trained, have grown into their personalities and usually have shorter adjustment periods compared to puppies.

If you decide on adopting one, your best bet is rescue groups, like Pet Rescue and RSPCA Adopt a Pet. These groups have huge directories with dogs from all over the country. If you prefer a face-to-face meeting, you can also visit a local shelter and search for a German Shepherd there.

Final Thoughts

If you’re set on adding a German Shepherd to your family, make sure to do a background check of the breeder first. German Shepherds are prone to several hereditary issues, and the key to finding a healthy, happy puppy is to find a reliable breeder.

Alternatively, you can consider adopting a German Shepherd from the shelter. Although older, these dogs are just as ready to give their love and devotion to a new pet parent.

Check out our breed cost breakdowns below:


  1. Wahl, J. M., et al. November 2008. "A review of hereditary diseases of the German shepherd dog." Journal of Veterinary Behavior 3.6 (2008): 255-265. Retrieved April 02, 2023.
  2. Kennedy, L. 04 July 2022. “How to avoid getting caught up in the pet scam boom” Choice. Retrieved April 02, 2023.
  3. “History of National Council. ” German Shepherd Dog Council of Australia Inc.  Retrieved April 02, 2023. ”

Vedrana Nikolic

Vedrana Nikolić is Gentle Dog Trainers Canine Coach, Professional Writer, Anthropologist & dog lover.

With a Masters Degree in Semiotics & Bachelors Degree in Anthropology, studying the communication between animals and humans, Vedrana is able to use her expertise to analyse and review dog products and write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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