The Cost of Our Puppies


What it cost us to breed a dog

by Lee Hanrahan


You can buy a cute German Shepherd puppy off many websites and free local classifieds. You can Google GSD Breeders and find all different types of German Shepherds in all sizes and colours and at all different prices.

Unfortunately there are very few good GSD breeders - those that work & health test their breeding stock with the goal of producing puppies that are within the standard are few and far between.

It costs next to nothing to do nothing and breed - but what does it cost a good breeder to produce quality puppies from worthy parents?


Our puppies are priced at $2000.00 - for every puppy in the litter. No "pick" puppy, no "show quality", no extra for females, no extra for males. No extra for anything (except shipping), no bunch of bullsh*t that I see on other websites.


Why do our puppies cost $2000.00? They don't.

This is the selling price, not the cost. It's not my cost (but I would be happy to sell you one at cost if you want!) and it's not your cost either.

Here is a breakdown of what it "cost" me to breed my dog at 4.5 years of age:


  • Club Memberships (GSSCC, CKC, UScA, OAGSDC) 1,546.54
  • Club Dues (SchH Club Annual Dues) 960.00
  • CKC Classes 705.00
  • Private Lessons (SchH & CKC) 1,735.00
  • Show Handling Classes 120.00
  • Rental of Training Center 3,920.00
  • Equipment 548.00
  • Seminars 600.00
  • Entries  1,514.00


  • Hip/Elbow Cert (PennHip & a-Stamp) 947.00
  • Other (CERF, DM, Cardio) 218.78


  • Heat Cycle Tracking 350.00
  • Progesterone Tests 600.00
  • Brucellosis Test 150.00
  • Breed Survey 350.00


Total 14,264.32


So, let's take that $14K and divide it by a litter of 8 puppies - that's $1,783.04 per puppy at cost. How about 6 puppies - $2,377.39  - but wait - you're thinking "but this dog can have more than 1 litter of puppies!" - Yes, you're right she can, so for argument's sake lets say she can have 5 litters of 7 puppies. So lets redo the math!


Oh, wait - wait - I forgot to add on a few things....

Original purchase price plus shipping / registration / microchip /scorebook of my dog 3,119.52

Gas to accomplish all of the above (very conservative estimate!)  9,000.00

My time to do all of the above (calculated at $15.00 per hour) 65,024.00

Grand Total 91,407.84


Ok, so now lets divide that total by 35 puppies - (IF she has 35 puppies in her lifetime which is EXTREMELY doubtful!) That is still $2,611.65 per puppy and I haven't added on the costs associated to actually HAVE the litter or the costs of any previous failed breeding attempts.


So, the price of our puppies is $2000.00 - the cost is so much more.


Good breeders DO NOT make money breeding dogs - we do this because we love and want to preserve the breed.

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