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How Much Does an Australian Shepherd Cost? (2021 Price Guide)

With their inexhaustible energy, friendly and social personalities, and unbreakable loyalty, the Australian Shepherd is a joy to own. They are highly intelligent working dogs with a ton of stamina, making them ideal exercise partners and wonderful family pets.

If you’re looking at bringing one of these energetic pooches home, it will help to get a good idea of what costs to expect, aside from the initial purchase price. In this article, we look at all the expenses that you’ll need to budget for when bringing home an Australian Shepherd in 2021. Let’s dive in!

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Bringing Home a New Australian Shepherd: One-Time Costs

While we highly recommend purchasing an Australian Shepherd from a reputable breeder because it will ensure the best health for your pooch, there are a few other options too. A breeder can also answer any questions that you may have about the breed, and you’ll be able to meet the parents and get a good idea of their temperament.

smiling australian shepherd waling in the field
Image Credit: Daniel Albany, Pixabay

Free

If you’re lucky, there may be an Australian Shepherd close by in need of a home. Many people decide to purchase one of these dogs due to their friendly nature and beautiful appearance but don’t realize how much energy they have, and they are unable to meet their exercise requirements. In these cases, they will often give the dog away free to a good home, and you may even score a few accessories, like beds and toys, too!

Adoption

  • $0-$300

While getting your pup from a breeder is great, adoption is a wonderful way of giving a dog in need a loving home. Adoption shelters may have purebred Australian Shepherds available, or you can ask them to keep an eye out for one, but this will most likely be a hybrid. This is the only issue with adoption; you will not know the exact linage of your pooch or whether they are a purebred dog. Some agencies may have some history on the dog, but in most cases,  you won’t know.

Adoption costs are to cover the rescue and primary care costs and are usually not that much. However, they may include spaying and neutering, vaccinations, and microchipping, which can drive the cost up a bit. Even so, it will be cheaper than buying from a breeder, and you’ll be saving a dog in the process!

Breeder

  • $800-$1800

Depending on the breeder and availability in your area, an Australian Shepherd puppy can cost between $800-$1,800 and even be higher in some cases. On average, you can expect to pay around $1,000. If you’ve seen any puppies advertised for $500 or less, this should raise red flags because there is a good chance that they come from a puppy mill of some kind — an industry that you do not want to support.

Initial Setup and Supplies

  • $50-$500

Besides the cost of purchasing your Australian Shepherd, there are other vital setup costs involved, especially if you’re a first-time dog owner. If you already own dogs or have in the past, you may already have a few of these items and can thus save money. Additionally, some of these initial costs may have been taken care of by the adoption agency.

australian shepherd lying in the forest
Image Credit: torstensimon, Pixabay

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List of Australian Shepherd Care Supplies and Costs

ID Tag and Collar $15-$30
Spay/Neuter $150-$300
X-ray Cost $100-$250
Ultrasound Cost $250-$500
Microchip $45-$55
Teeth Cleaning $150-$500
Bed $15-$100
Nail Clipper (optional) $5-$20
Brush (optional) $5-$45
Leash $10-$40
Crate (optional) $20-$100
Toys $10-$100
Carrier $20-$80
Food and Water Bowls $10-$50
Initial vaccines $100
Food $50-$100

How Much Does an Australian Shepherd Cost Per Month?

  • $80-$150 per month

As with any pooch, your biggest monthly expense will be food and treats. The cost will depend on the quality of food that you choose to feed your Shepherd, but you can expect to pay anywhere between $50 and $100 for a month’s supply of quality dog food and a few healthy treats.

Beyond this cost, there are vet visits, health insurance, training, and exercise costs (if needed) and possible grooming costs to consider.

Australian Shepherd
Image Credit: Torstensimon, Pixabay

Health Care

  • $50-$100 per month

The first year of ownership of your Shepherd will be the most expensive in health care due to vaccinations, checkups, microchipping, and spaying and neutering, but the costs will decrease substantially after this. The exact cost will depend on your dog’s age and health, but you can generally budget around $100 per month, just to be safe.

Food

  • $50-$100 per month

Depending on the food that you choose to feed your Shepherd, the monthly costs can vary widely. Good-quality dog food can cost anywhere between $50-$100 a month, and the amount that your pooch eats will depend on their age and activity levels. We highly recommend feeding your dog the best quality food that you can afford, as this will benefit their overall health long into the future.

Grooming

  • $0-$50 per month

Grooming can cost you nothing if you decide to take care of it yourself, beyond the initial cost of buying supplies. While professional grooming is convenient, it can be expensive and can cost you $40-$60, depending on the groomer and what’s being done. One thing is for sure, Australian Shepherds have a long coat that needs regular grooming to prevent knotting, no matter the route you choose.

Medications and Vet Visits

  • $50-$10 per month

Puppies need many vaccinations in their first year, which means multiple vet visits. A vet appointment can cost anywhere between $50-$120, along with the added cost of the vaccinations. It’s difficult to give an exact figure because it can depend on the vet and vaccines that your pooch needs, but around $1,000 for the year is a good estimate to start from.

Australian Shepherd
Image Credit By: Marrisu, Pixabay

Pet Insurance

  • $10-$100 per month

Pet insurance is a great idea for any dog, but especially for purebred dogs like Australian Shepherds. There are various options available that have different levels of coverage, depending on how much you’re willing to pay, but basic cover can start for as little as $10 a month.

Environment Maintenance

  • $0-$15 per month

Environmental maintenance does not cost much when it comes to dogs. If you live in the city, you’ll need to clean up after your pooch, though, and a poop scoop and plastic poop bags will come in handy! Other than that, you may need to replace a few chewed household goods!

Poop scoop (one-time purchase) $10-$30
Plastic poop bags $15-$30

Entertainment

  • $0-$50 per month

All you need to entertain an Australian Shepherd is a large lawn and a ball! Dogs are happiest when playing with their owners and typically don’t need much in the way of entertainment other than regular interaction. There are, of course, various toys and dog games that can add entertainment for your pooch, and these can be as expensive or as cheap as you want.

australian shepherd
Image Credit: JitkaP, Shutterstock

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Total Monthly Cost of Owning an Australian Shepherd

  • $80-$200 per month

Other than the first year of ownership, the monthly cost of owning an Australian Shepherd is reasonable and certainly not much more than most other breeds. The average monthly cost will largely depend on the food that you choose to feed your pooch, the price of pet insurance, and whether you rely on professional grooming or do it yourself.

Additional Costs to Factor In

As with owning any pet, there are additional costs that you should factor into your budget. While these will mostly be occasional expenses, saving for a rainy day is a good idea.

You may need a dog sitter when you go on vacation or decide that your Shepherd needs professional training. Additionally, there may be a time where you cannot exercise them as much as you’d like, and you’ll need to hire a dog walker to help out. Lastly, emergencies can come out of nowhere, and if you don’t have insurance, you’ll be happy to have savings put away just in case.

Owning an Australian Shepherd on a Budget

Certain aspects of owning an Australian Shepherd are largely out of your control. Your dog needs to eat — ideally, the best food that you can afford — and insurance and vet bills are usually set in stone, making owning one of these dogs on a budget fairly difficult. The best that you can do to mitigate a few of these expenses is to feed them on a healthy diet because this will hopefully reduce illness and therefore, vet visits later. Also, spending more interactive time with your pooch and less on toys can save a bit of money.

blue eyed australian shepherd
Image Credit: eather Skau, Shutterstock

Saving Money on Australian Shepherd Care

The best way to save money caring for your Australian Shepherd is taking care of their grooming needs and exercise needs yourself. This will save you hundreds of dollars per year, and your relationship with your pooch will be all the better for it too!

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Conclusion

Owning any dog is not without costs, and it’s a great idea to have a basic understanding of the expenses involved before making the long-term commitment to bringing home an Australian Shepherd. After all, these dogs can live for well over a decade and cost you thousands of dollars over that time, so the more that you can budget for, the less stressful the experience will be.

No matter the costs involved, owning a purebred dog like an Australian Shepherd is certainly worth every penny because they’ll give you a ton of love and joy in return!

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Featured Image Credit: Petra Heike Laicher, Pixabay