Owning a German Shepard

Hear a German Shepard Bark

German Shepherd Dogs are wonderful animals and can make wonderful pets for the right owner. They also have some characteristics that make them unsuitable for some potential dog owners. The following questions will help you determine if a German Shepherd Dog is the right dog for you.

Do you have the financial ability to care for a GSD?

Typical costs associated with owning a GSD

  • Annual exam and vaccinations $100.00/year
  • Heartworm and flea preventative (50 - 100 lb. dog) $240.00/year
  • Quality dog food - 20lb. bag per week (large dogs require more food!) $1,040.00/year
  • Supplies - food and water bowls, collar, leash, id tag, shampoo, brush,
  • chew toys $250.00/year
  • Crate (size X large) $100.00
  • Local licensing requirements $25.00/year
  • Estimated Annual Cost of Owning a GSD (without an emergency/unexpected illness) $1755.00
  • Unexpected illness (Ex. a trip to the ER for bloat) $2500.00
  • Other factors to consider: the cost to board your dog while you are on vacation, as dogs age they may require more veterinary attention, ie more frequent trips to the vet, regular medication, etc

    Do you have the time necessary to devote to a GSD?

    Dogs are dependent creatures and rely totally upon you for their care and well being. There are many elements necessary for your GSD to be a happy and healthy pet, all requiring YOUR time and effort.

    General care - much like any dog, GSDs require regular grooming including bathing, brushing (coat and teeth), administering monthly heartworm and flea preventative and annual trips to the vet.

    Exercise- do not expect that your GSD will give himself enough exercise wandering around in the backyard by himself. GSDs require regular daily exercise or they may become bored and destructive, jumping fences and digging holes, etc.

    Training- do not expect a GSD to learn how to properly behave in a home without training. GSD's are BIG dogs with high energy and prey drive. Training, along with proper socialization is absolutely essential to ensure a well behaved GSD.

    Family Time - it's important to take the time to make your GSD part of your family. Snuggle with him, include him on family outings, give him the attention he deserves.