Australian Shepherds are intelligent, hardworking, and high-spirited. They are some of the best herders in the world, and they also make brilliant family pets for active families. They are popular dogs in America, consistently ranking in the top 15 dog breeds. And with so many families looking to invite an Aussie Shep into their family, it’s essential to consider how much Australian Shepherds cost.
Australian Shepherds are medium-sized purebred dogs typically weighing between 40 and 65 pounds. The good news is that they aren’t usually as expensive as large or giant breeds. But they are very active dogs with fluffy coats, so they need top-rate exercise and grooming. So if you can’t manage this yourself, you need to pay someone else to help you. And there are many more things to consider.
This comprehensive Australian Shepherd price guide breaks down the costs of adopting one of these canines and other scenarios you might need to consider. We explore everything, from puppy prices, feeding, medical supplies, training, grooming, and more. We have researched and calculated everything to provide you with a realistic expectation about your financial responsibilities of raising your Aussie Shep. Let’s get exploring.
What Does An Australian Puppy Cost?
Other factors, such as the time of year, location, demand, and coat and eye color, can affect the cost of a puppy.
The price of a healthy purebred Australian Shepherd puppy from a responsible breeder can start at $800 and range to $2,000 or more. If you are looking for a puppy from a champion herding bloodline or a popular breeder, you can expect to pay even more.
An Australian Shepherd puppy from a high-quality breeder is more expensive than non-pedigree Aussie Sheps or older dogs from shelters. Australian Shepherd mixed breeds can vary in price, depending on the breed they are mixed with and their popularity. But usually, they are less expensive than a purebred Australian Shepherd.
How To Calculate Australian Shepherd Costs
It’s important to remember that all Aussie Sheps and families are different, meaning prices vary from pup to pup. The prices here are to give you an average minimum realistic figure rather than a definite price. Not every family needs an Aussie from a champion herding breeder, and some might not need help exercising or grooming their pooch. There are likely to be unexpected costs you cannot plan for, such as emergency medical care or change in family circumstances.
A huge part of the doggy owning responsibility comes down to finances, and you must be ready for additional and unexpected costs. The initial puppy price is just the cost of the pup itself, and there are many more expenses you need to be ready for in their first year. Your Shep puppy needs beds, crates, treats, toys, and more. You can expect to pay between $500 and $1,000 for supplies in their first year.
Medical expenses can be pretty high in their first year, considering that they need several checkups, initial vaccinations, worming, and spaying or neutering. A typical first-year medical care bill can cost about $1,000. Add this to the puppy price and a general yearly cost, and you can expect to pay around $6,570 in their first year.
Aussie Sheps typically cost a minimum of $3,420 to care for annually. The lifespan of Australian puppies is between 12 and 15 years. If you multiply the yearly cost by their average lifespan plus the initial first-year cost, you can expect their lifetime cost to be a minimum of $49,320. As we go through the factors determining their price, you’ll see that it can be much more than this if you need additional services such as walking, boarding, training, or anything more than an essential expense.
|Average Cost Of An Australian Shepherd
|Initial Puppy Costs and Supplies
|Minimun Lifetime Costs
Factors That Affect Puppy Price
A wide range of factors affect puppy price, which is why the average cost of a puppy is so vast.
These include age, location, appearance, health, etc. Let’s take a look at some of the most influential factors.
How old the puppy is when you buy them can affect the price tag significantly. Younger pups between 8 and 12 weeks are the most expensive. Most families want to enjoy the young puppy phase, so younger pups are more desirable and in demand. The longer it takes for puppies to be rehomed usually means a price drop. Breeders need the space for future litters and are keen to sell them at a lower price. Adult Australian Shepherds and those from shelters tend to be much cheaper than pups.
Ethical breeders screen their dogs for predisposed health conditions, which takes additional effort, time, and money. This is reflected in the puppy price. These breeders provide the relevant documentation of the screenings and health, so you can be sure you are buying a pup with a high chance of being healthy. Responsible breeders socialize puppies to be well-rounded and ready for the outside world. This is important for you and your family but comes with an extra cost.
This is why pups from responsible breeders are more expensive than ones without certificates and papers. Don’t be tempted to save money by buying a cheap puppy or one from a backyard breeder or puppy mill. Not only are you risking buying an ill pup, but you also risk one that hasn’t been socialized or raised well. Not only does this cause problems for families, but it also means you’ll likely spend much more on vet bills and training down the line.
Litter size also plays a part in the puppy price. Smaller litter size usually means a higher price per pup because there is more demand, and breeders still need to cover their costs. If the mother is healthy and produces regular litters, this can also reduce the cost of puppies. Ethical breeders give their dogs rest and do not breed them tirelessly. Mothers need a rest period between litters to remain strong and healthy.
A dog’s pedigree and bloodline are among the most critical and influential cost factors. Purebred dogs are most in demand, and purebred breeders are usually more responsible for keeping their litters happy and healthy. Pedigree dogs are more expensive to raise, and the breeder reflects these extra costs and effort in the price. Breeding mixed pups requires fewer resources and is less in demand, so they are usually cheaper.
Aussie Sheps bred for family companionship are typically less expensive than those for working and herding purposes. Working dogs, especially those from highly successful or championship lines, require specialized training, and therefore the costs are higher. If you want to show your Aussie in the conformation ring, you can expect the price tag to be higher.
The appearance of an Aussie bred for companionship can affect their price. Australian Shepherds are beautiful canines with attractive coats. Their stunning appearance is one of the reasons why they are so popular with families. The Americal Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes four colors: black, red, red merle, and blue merle. Merle coats are the most desirable in companion pets, particularly blue merles. Additionally, dogs with different colored eyes, called heterochromia, are more sought after.
The location of a breeder is another highly influential price factor. Every state has different price points. For example, a breeder’s costs in New York are much higher than those in a lower-cost area. Depending on where you live, you might need to factor in the cost of traveling to meet the breeder and puppy and bring them back home. Australian Shepherds were developed in the Western states, so breeders are common in states such as California, Colorado, Wyoming, and Idaho.
Cost For Australian Shepherds
Every dog also needs primary care, such as feeding and vet visits.
Australian Shepherds are medium-sized dogs that typically weigh between 40 and 65 pounds. This means they usually need medium size equipment, which commands medium prices. Some equipment can last a lifetime if you buy high-quality, such as dog beds and crates. And other supplies need to be replaced regularly, such as toys, poop bags, etc.
We have researched the costs of owning an Australian Shepherd, which we explore below. Please remember that these figures are estimates, and exact prices depend on factors such as location and family circumstances.
|Average Cost Per Month
|Medical Care & Medications
All dogs need food daily, which can be one of the highest expenses. To keep your dog happy and healthy, nourish them with a high-quality diet. Sure, a high-quality diet is more expensive than a poor-quality diet. But usually, the better quality diet you provide them, the healthier they are, and the less you spend on vet bills. You can find high-quality food in various diet types, such as kibble, convenient fresh subscriptions, and raw nutrition. The diet type you choose for your Aussie determines the food bill, too, with fresh and raw diets being the more costly option.
Aussie pups need age-appropriate food that compliments their development stage. It can significantly decrease orthopedic problems such as elbow and hip dysplasia that affect this breed. If your Aussie is a working dog, they need higher energy and protein, which can heighten the price even more. On average, a 30-pound bag of dog food costs around $50. So, you can expect to spend about $45 on monthly food for your Aussie. You can expect to pay more than this if you choose a higher-than-average quality diet or working, fresh, or raw food.
Basic Medical Care & Medications
It’s essential to visit the vet for regular health checks. Regular visits can help to identify medical problems early before they become real problems. All dogs should be wormed regularly too. Other Aussies need regular medication and supplements, depending on their health status. Owners should factor in $35 every month for medical care. Your pooch might not need this every month, but you should be prepared.
Emergency Medical Care
Emergency medical care is one of the most costly dog expenses which you need to consider. Your Aussie might be super healthy now, but you do not know what is around the corner. Unexpected health problems might arise, and accidents happen. Most dogs experience accidents in their lifetime, such as getting injured while herding livestock or broken bones after being run over. In many emergencies, costs often exceed £1,000. It would be best to consider setting money aside each month or investing in a pet insurance policy.
Although Australian Shepherds are healthy dogs, they are curious and active dogs that often find themselves in tricky situations. Every dog owner should consider pet insurance as it might help them to cover these high costs. But it isn’t a requirement, and not every family needs it. There is a wide selection of insurance plans and companies, and some offer emergency care, add-on wellness plans, and more.
The monthly insurance price depends on many factors, such as the breed, age, location, and type of plan you require. According to NAPHIA (North American Pet Health Insurance Association), the average monthly premium for an accident and illness insurance policy in the U.S. in 2022 was $53.34 for dogs. Of course, this varies for every dog and situation, including yours, so be sure to get multiple quotes from top-rated companies. Most plans have a deductible that you need to have available. There are many considerations you need to know about to find the best insurance for your Australian Shepherd.
Dental hygiene is crucial for all dogs, and it is something that you should begin as soon as you bring your pup home. Poor dental care can lower a dog’s life expectancy. Dental care can be expensive, especially if you don’t make time for a dental regime. Professional dental cleaning costs between $100 and $700 on average. There are extra fees for examination and further treatment. Some insurance policies do not cover dental care, but others do at an additional cost.
Not all Aussies need professional grooming, but if you can’t bathe and groom them yourself, or you haven’t got the time currently, you need to invest in the services of a professional groomer. Professional groomers usually charge between $10 to $100 for one grooming session. You can expect the cost of grooming your fluffy Shep to be somewhere in the middle or towards the higher end. If they are difficult to handle during grooming, your groomer might charge you extra, considering the additional work.
Lastly, there are other supplies that your pup needs on top of the other things listed. Some might be suitable from their first year if they are the right size and high quality. But if not, you must buy beds, harnesses, leashes, toys, treats, cleaning and grooming supplies, and more. Other supplies, such as food and poop bags, continuously need replenishing and replacing.
Not every dog needs professional training, but you might consider it in your budget.
There are additional costs, but they do not apply to every dog or family. Some Aussie Sheps need specialist training, extra exercise, and doggy daycare. Some families might also treat their pups to doggy spa days, or they might invest in the latest technology, such as in-home monitors or a GPS fencing system like Halo. You might not need it, and these costs aren’t factored into the overall costs, but let’s take a quick look.
Some Aussie owners might have previous training experience regarding herding or show-ring purposes. Others might need a helping hand with this. Plus, some dogs unexpectedly develop behavior problems that need correcting by a professional. A reasonable rate for general-purpose dog trainers is $50 an hour. For a one-to-one, specialist, or show training service, the cost rises to $80 and $100 an hour, sometimes more. Some dog trainers, like Doggy Dan, provide a convenient online service for an affordable solution that fits into your schedule.
Australian Shepherds are high-energy dogs that need relentless activity. They become bored, restless, unhappy, and problematic without proper exercise. Aussies need between 60 and 90 minutes as a minimum, and some are more active. Many families take the Aussie on for their pretty coats and fun personalities, but they are much more than this. Some families take on the Aussie with the time to exercise them, but a change in circumstance now makes this problematic.
You might need to consider hiring a dog walker to ensure they get the exercise they need. The fee ranges depending on your location and your dog’s size and exercise needs. Some walkers offer a one-to-one service, but this comes with an extra cost, and some offer discounts for regular customers. National companies like Rover or Wag provide various services, from individual walks to monthly packages. Fees range from $10 to $20 an hour.
Boarding, Dog Sitting & Daycare
Boarding, dog sitting, and doggy daycare are optional costs for families who need to work long hours or travel. Even if you don’t need this regularly, there might come a time when you need to board your Aussie in an emergency. There are many different services and options, and the fees depend on various factors. Boarding can cost around $50 for a basic day option, and daycare can cost between $10 and $100 daily.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Australian Shepherds Expensive?
Australian Shepherds are middle-of-the-road when it comes to expense. They are medium-sized dog breeds, and although they are relatively healthy, they are prone to accidents considering how active they are. Plus, they are relatively long-lived too. But remember, all dogs are a financial commitment, and you cannot predict what they need in the future.
What Is The Price For An Australian Shepherd Without Papers?
The price for an Aussie Shepherd without papers is much lower than one with papers. Papers are documents such as health certificates and/or proof of registration with a kennel club like the AKC. Getting a dog without papers might work for some families. But remember, if a breeder hasn’t screened for health issues, there’s a higher chance they might become ill in the future. And this is a future cost to consider.
Can I Adopt An Australian Sheperd From A Shelter?
You can adopt an Australian Shepherd from a shelter. However, they are very popular dog breeds that find homes very quickly. Plus, many responsible breeders have a contract where owners must return dogs to them instead of a shelter if they need rehoming. This makes finding purebred Aussies in shelters less likely than other breeds. An alternative to shelters is online rescue organizations or the Aussie Rescue and Placement Helpline.
The cost of welcoming an Australian Shepherd into your family depends on your needs and the dog. We estimate that a purebred Aussie can cost a minimum of $49,320 over their lifetime. It’s crucial to remember that the prices in this guide are average estimates. It doesn’t include any special requirements or extras beyond basic care. Owning an Aussie is an exciting privilege, but it’s also a responsibility that you need to be prepared for.
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