The Care and Cost of German Shepherd Puppies

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Section II: Going to the Dogs
(Or Cats)

14. Are German Shepherd puppies easy to take care of? How much do they cost?

Part a) of your question: No.

Part b): A lot. And the cost of the puppy is just the start.

My dog of choice has been the German shepherd, all of my adult life. Until popularity led to overbreeding, the German shepherd was one of the finest dogs you could own. But you have to know dogs and you need some training and skill in handling large, high-drive animals.

A healthy German shepherd defines high drive. You will need to work with the dog every day: training it, playing with it, walking it, running it, socializing it: do not even think you will get away without several hours of concentrated interaction every day. If you aren’t experienced in training large, powerful, intelligent dogs, you’ll probably have to hire a trainer to help you with the job and to train you in how to teach and handle your dog.

Your veterinarian will be pleased when you bring your pup in for its first check-up. The vet’s investment advisor and also her Porsche salesman will be even more pleased! Before you bring the pup home, set up a savings account at your bank and have a monthly deposit automatically transferred from checking to this account. You will need it to cover the vet bills. True, a Ger-shep may not be a walking vet bill in the sense that a Doberman pinscher is, but either one can rack up some pretty breathtaking tabs at the vet’s office.

And finally, be aware that there are a surprising number of unethical breeders turning out German shepherds, and probably just as many who are not shady but who don’t know what they’re doing. Take plenty of time to look into the breed and to get references to quality kennels.

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