Getting a dog is a big step for any family. Things like breed, size, and past history must be considered carefully before purchasing or adopting a new dog. Different dogs have different needs. One dog may work great for one family yet may not be the right fit for another. Personality and temperament also play a big role in how well a dog adapts to life with their new family. German Shepherds are a friendly, outgoing, and easily trained breed that may work well for many families. However, there are a few things that should be considered before getting a German Shepherd.

Prices Vary

Ideally, any family who wants a German Shepherd would be able to go to a shelter and rescue one. While these dogs do show up as rescues from time to time, most often they are bought from breeders like those at Misty Rivers Kennel. The price of these dogs varies greatly, however those who plan to buy a German Shepherd should be prepared to spend at least a few hundred dollars. A puppy from a breeder will usually cost between $300 and $900, while a highly trained adult dog can fetch between $6,000 to $7,000 and sometimes more. Usually the more training a German Shepherd has, the higher of a price it fetches. 

They Can Get Big

While there are plenty of dogs larger than German Shepherds, these dogs can still be sizable. The average male is 24 to 26 inches tall and weighs 75 to 95 pounds, while the average female is 22 to 24 inches tall and weighs 75 to 95 pounds. Because of this and their greater need for exercise, it's often best to either have a large yard or to exercise them regularly. These dogs can be apartment dogs, but a large outdoor space is preferred.

Annual Costs

Many people do not think about the total cost of owning a dog. However, things like food, vet bills, and medicine can add up. Anyone who is considering bringing a German Shepherd into their home should be aware of the annual costs of owning these dogs. The average annual cost of owning a German Shepherd is estimated to be around $1,580. With an average life span of 10 to 14 years, lifetime costs of these dogs can easily exceed $10,000. These dogs are usually healthy, but hip and elbow dysplasia are fairly common and can increase vet bills.

German Shepherds can make a great addition to a family. However, they may not be the best choice for every family. These dogs can be expensive if purchased from a breeder, and finding one at a shelter may take some time since they are a popular breed. They are also fairly large dogs that require ample exercise and do well with big yards to roam in. Annual costs can also be high, totaling over $1,000 per year.