How Much Does an Australian Shepherd Cost? Prices and Expenses

How Much Does an Australian Shepherd Cost? Puppy Prices and Expenses

So you’re planning to get an Australian Shepherd puppy, right? Congratulations! Australian Shepherds are lovely dogs and will bring a lot of happiness into your life.

But before starting anything, you need to know their prices and expenses and be prepared to cover your furry friend’s expenses. The price of an Australian Shepherd depends on a lot of variables such as breeder reputation, location, and coat color.

How much does an Australian Shepherd puppy cost? The average price of an Australian Shepherd puppy from a reputable breeder is between $600 and $900. However, it can cost anywhere between $400 to $1,800 depending on many factors such as breeder reputation, location, coat color, bloodline and etc. Adopting an Australian Shepherd will cost you somewhere between $425 and $880 which covers the rescue and primary care cost.

There are many other expenses you have to cover besides the cost of the Australian Shepherd puppy. Unfortunately, there isn’t a formula to calculate all your dog’s expenses in a minute.

However, we can estimate the value based on the fundamental and most common necessities among all the dogs.

How much does it cost to own an Australian Shepherd? The initial cost to get started is between $975 and $1,575. This cost includes all the necessary items and tools for your Aussie. Some examples are dog toys, treats, crate, bed, and bowls. Besides the initial one-time expenses, you also need to pay for the monthly expenses of $225 on average.

The above values are only approximations and may vary significantly from person to person depending on how much you’re willing to spend on your dog. Continue reading to get more information about Australian Shepherd’s prices and expenses!

The Average Cost of an Australian Shepherd Puppy

The most obvious factor to consider when getting an Australian Shepherd puppy is the average retail price. If you opt for buying the dog, you must be ready for a significant initial payment. However, this cost doesn’t differ too much from other familiar dog breeds.

The average cost of an Australian Shepherd puppy ranges from $600 to $900. However, it can cost anywhere between $400 to $1,800 depending on many factors such as breeder reputation, location, coat color, bloodline and etc.

Avoid at all cost Australian Shepherd puppies offered for less than $400 or equivalent in your region. There’s a high chance they are from puppy mills.

These are establishments that breed dogs in awful conditions. If you buy from puppy mills, you not only get a poor dog but also motivate them to keep on with their business.

Highly renowned breeders may offer you increased prices, but also quality. Those are the ones you should prioritize. However, values higher than $1,000 or equivalent are excessive. You can, but don’t need to pay that much to guarantee a high-quality puppy.

When buying, give preference to certified sellers. In the US, for example, search for puppies registered by the American Kennel Club or in the proper AKC Marketplace. This institution is a widely known registry of purebred pedigrees in the country.

The main factors that affect the prices for Australian Shepherd puppy:

  • AKC Papers: The puppy will cost more if it is certified as purebred by a kennel club in your country. American Kennel Club (AKC) is an example of the United States. Uncertified and unregistered puppies will probably cost less. However, an AKC certified and registered dog doesn’t guarantee the dog you get is good quality. For the puppy to qualify the AKC registration, both parents of the puppy must be AKC registered. An AKC certified puppy will less likely to be poor quality since its parents are registered and recognized by AKC.
  • Breeder Reputation: Reputable breeders are well known for producing strong, healthy and provide well care for their puppies. Puppies from these breeders are usually good quality but also cost more. However, a non-certified breeder isn’t necessarily a bad one. To make sure they’re reliable, ask some questions. If they show you a good knowledge of the dog, they’re probably reputable. In addition to it, analyze the conditions of the physical breeding place itself and their rating history.
  • Bloodline: Bloodline is an important factor for dog breeders to search for the perfect mate for their dog. The bloodline history can tell you if there are any genetic disorders, health problems or medical history. It will generally cost you more if it comes from a bloodline of an Australian Shepherd that has won a competition like agility, show or herding competition. The more champions the puppy has on its bloodline, the higher the price.
  • Color: Due to the supply and demand, some coat colors usually cost higher than others. Tri-colored or merle Australian Shepherds are generally higher in demand therefore the breeders may charge you more. Black Australian Shepherds may slightly cheaper due to its less desirable coat color.
  • Health: Healthier puppies will cost you more. Some puppies have fewer health issues while some tend to have more health problems such as hip dysplasia, eye conditions and other genetic disorders that are inherited from their parents.
  • Location: The price of an Australian Shepherd puppy can vary all over the world. Some countries or regions where Australian Shepherds are higher in demand could result in a higher price for the same quality.

You should basically use your general knowledge when buying your Aussie. The better appearance and more certifications the breeder has, the more reliability is involved. On the other hand, websites or other places that are too sketchy may be a scam.

How About Adopting an Australian Shepherd? Is It Completely Free?

The second obvious way of getting an Australian Shepherd is by adopting one. Many future owners think that the adoption of a new furry friend is free, but in most cases, that’s not true.

Adopting an Australian Shepherd is not completely free. You will still need to pay an adoption fee which covers the rescue and primary care costs. However, adopting an Aussie can still save you a lot of money because of the coverage many shelters provide to you!

The vast majority of pounds, rescue organizations and shelters charge you with an adoption fee. Its value varies depending on each organization. Since their main goal isn’t to make money with pets, the cost generally is only to cover the rescue and primary care costs.

The average adoption fee for Australian Shepherds varies according to the dog’s age. If you want a puppy, expect paying something around $380 and an additional tax for neutered or spayed dogs.

At first, this price may not seem to be a great advantage in comparison to buying an Australian Shepherd. However, there’s a good catch. Initial veterinary expenses are usually included in the price. That way, you will pay cheap for a bundle that combines the dog and basic care expenses.

To be more specific, these are what adoption fees generally include:

Service Cost
Spaying or Neutering$150 – $300
Distemper Vaccination$20 – $30 (x2)
Veterinary Wellness Visit and Exam$50 – $100
Rabies Vaccination$15 – $25
Heartworm Test$15 – $35
Flea/Tick treatment$50 – $200
Deworming$20 – $50
Total$425 – $880

If you were to buy your Aussie and provide him with medical care separately, you would need, at least, approximately $1,025. However, this value can hit highs up to $1,800. 

On the other hand, if you choose to adopt your furry friend, you may save at least $625 on average. What a massive difference!

Aside from being a more economical option, if you adopt an Australian Shepherd, you will make an amazingly good impact on your community. Dogs from shelters are desperate for a new family. By adopting one, you’re not only saving money but also generating a smile on his face.

Initial Costs of Australian Shepherd Ownership

I know it’s excited to welcome a new Aussie into your home. But besides the puppy price or adoption fee, there are some considerable initial expenses to cover if you’re a first-time owner.

I’ve compiled a list of necessary items you’ll need for a new Australian Shepherd puppy. This should give you a general idea of the initial costs to be prepared when you just pick up your cute puppy.

Type of Expense Cost
1st Bag of Puppy Food$80
1st Veterinarian Visit$70
1st Vaccines$120
Variety of Treats
(Cookies, Large Rawhide, etc.)
Variety of Toys
(Ball, Chew Toy, Puzzle Toy, etc.)
Variety of Tools
(Leash, Food and Water Bowls, Collar, etc.)
Grooming Supplies
(Nail Clippers, Shampoo, and Conditioner)
Dog Crate$80
Dog Bed$35
Dog License$20
Carpet Cleaner, Waste Bags, and Other Supplies$50
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medicines$50
Spaying or Neutering$200 – $800
First Aid Handy Kit$25
Average Initial Costs$975 – $1,575

All values are just approximations to give you a rough idea of the additional costs involved to own a new Australian Shepherd puppy.

You can easily find the items mentioned above from pet stores near you or online pet stores such as Petco and PetSmart.

Some owners choose to sign up dog insurance for their new puppy to cover medical costs. You may consider the Puppy Wellness Plans offered by Banfield Pet Hospital (a nationwide veterinarian mostly located in PetSmart stores).

The plan will cover all the initial medical costs such as neutering, deworming and vaccines after you first bring your new Australian Shepherd puppy home.

First-Year Expenses of Owning an Australian Shepherd Puppy

These are the expenses you may expect during the first year of Australian Shepherd ownership. These prices are just approximations and may differ significantly from person to person since some owners love to spend more on their dogs while some spend less.

These are the first-year expenses of owning an Australian Shepherd puppy:

Type of ExpenseCost
Australian Shepherd Puppy$600 – $900
Good Quality Dog Food$1,200
Tools and Equipment$400
Grooming Supplies$200
Puppy Wellness Plan$700
Spaying or Neutering, Vaccines, and Deworming
(Covered by Puppy Wellness Plan)
Flea and Tick Medication $220
Veterinarian Visits$200
Dog License$20
Pet First Aid Kit$25
Average First Year Expenses$4,015 – $4,315

Monthly Cost of Owning an Adult Australian Shepherd (1-Year-Old)

You’ll definitely spend more on your Australian Shepherd puppy during the first year. But after your puppy turns into an adult Australian Shepherd (1-year-old), the cost of ownership will be much cheaper. This is because there are a lot of one-time expenses when you just pick up your new puppy.

These are the monthly expenses of owning an adult Australian Shepherd:

Type of ExpenseCost
Dog Food$120
Pet Insurance$40
Dog Supplies$15
Heartworm, Flea, and Tick Medications$30
Training Classes (Optional)$200
Average Monthly Expenses$445

This is the typical monthly costs of raising an adult Australian Shepherd. However, you should be prepared for unexpected costs such as medical costs when your dog gets sick.

Other Potential Expenses

There are other expenses that you may spend on your dog depending on your situation. These expenses do not apply to all dog owners and may vary from dog to dog. These are a few examples:

  • Ear Cropping: This can be done by a veterinarian who has a lot of experience cropping Australian Shepherd’s ears. The cost of ear cropping ranges from $300 to $700 depending on the veterinarian.
  • Training Classes: You can choose to train your Aussie at home yourself or signing up some training classes to get your dog trained by professional trainers. Group dog training will cost around $30 to $50 per class while private dog training will cost around $50 to $120 per hour on average.
  • Shipping: You may need to pay for shipping if you buy your Australian Shepherd puppy from a breeder far from your home. The shipping cost generally depends on the distance to be shipped and the needs of the dog. The average cost to ship your dog home within 300 miles is around $130 to $250. It gets more expensive for longer distance shipments.
  • Kennel Club Registration: If your puppy didn’t come with kennel club paper, you might need to pay for a registration fee of around $35 to get your dog registered. You can register your puppy with AKC if you’re in the United States.
  • Pet Insurance: Pet insurance will cover both accidents and illness expenses for your dog to protect you from paying expensive medical fees. It will cost you around $25 to $70 depending on the insurer you choose.
  • Pet Sitter: If you’re a busy dog owner and you don’t have enough time to take care of your Australian Shepherd, hire a professional pet sitter to help you out. It can cost around $200 for 24-hour pet care.

Congratulations, you made it this far. I know it’s a long article. But keep reading as I will be discussing more on the feeding cost, supplies and accessories cost, and training cost of an Australian Shepherd.

Australian Shepherds’ Feeding Cost

To maintain your Aussie in fair health conditions, you need to pay attention to his nutrition. This is one of the most weighing factors to consider in calculating a dog’s lifetime cost.

These are the factors that determine your furry friend’s food expenses:

Your Aussie’s diet requirements

Each dog has different nutritional demands. However, there are some excellent nutrition rules applicable to all Australian Shepherds. What you must always have in mind is that Aussies are highly active and, therefore, need to be well-fed.

Ensure your dog eats food that has protein as its primary or secondary ingredient. In their origins, dogs used to eat meat as their primary food. Quality chicken, beef, or pork are fantastic to keep your Aussie happy and maintain proper nourishment.

The second element you should look for is fatty acids. They are healthier than regular animal fats. Omega 3 is an excellent example that can be found in flaxseed, canola, and fish oils.

To complete a healthy diet for your furry friend, don’t forget about complex carbohydrates. They are key to provide him with energy to exercise and crucial vitamins. Foods with vegetables, fruits, and grains are outstanding sources of carbs for your pet.

Activity level

Another aspect of determining your expenses with your dog’s food is his activity level. Although Aussies are agitated, they have a distinct exercise spectrum. Lazier and more indoorsy dogs obviously use less energy than highly active ones, therefore needing less food.

Outdoorsy and playful Australian Shepherds will demand more from you. Expect to feed an active Aussie up to five cans of food per day.

Size & weight

The amount of food also depends a lot on the size and weight of your Australian Shepherd. Each product has its specifications, which are usually indicated in the package. Thirty calories per pound a day is the general recommendation.

Type of food

After you determine what exactly are your dog’s requirements, it’s finally time to find the kind of food that better fits his style. There isn’t a universally good or bad choice. Each one adequates better for different dogs.

The food expenses of your Aussie highly depend on the type and brand of the food you buy. Higher quality dog food such as Royal Canin Puppy food is more expensive and will increase your expenses.

There are three principal types available on the market:

  • Kibble
  • Wet food
  • Raw food

As you might have imagined, kibble (or dry food) is the most common and cheapest option for you. However, some products may contain preservatives that aren’t good for your Aussie. If you’re opting for kibble, read the ingredients and prioritize products with wholesome components.

Although being a bit more expensive, wet food is the tastiest. Your dog will thrill if you include this kind of food in his meals. 

Most canned food is composed of over 75% percent of water, which reduces their nutritional value. Due to that, look for products that state they’re “nutritionally complete.”

Raw food is the most natural option, even though being controversial. Some brands are specialized in making products that provide raw meat to your dog. If you choose a reliable brand, there isn’t any problem.

However, high-quality raw food is the most expensive option. This is due to their caution in providing meat without bacteria or any other harmful microorganisms. In addition to it, special ingredients, like raw vegetables, complete your dog’s nutrition.

Items to Purchase for Your Australian Shepherd

It’s also vital to plan to buy your Aussie’s new items before he arrives at your home. Even though you don’t see it at first, the cost for all the essential items is quite high, and you need to be ready for it.

Collar and lead

Australian Shepherds need a lot of outdoorsy time. Initially, I don’t recommend you to go out with him at an insane rate, because he still needs to be trained. However, he will be able to go outside after a few months, and you should be prepared for this moment.

A lead will prevent accidents from occurring. It is the most crucial item to bring when leaving home. Leads allow you to control your Australian Shepherd in stressful moments.

A collar also can’t be underestimated. This item holds your pet’s license and identification tag. This last feature contains your personal information. In case you lose your dog, that’s the only way people can contact you.

Lead prices can range from $10 to $40, depending on the type you choose. Retractable ones are usually the more expensive, due to their complex mechanism.

Dog crate

These devices confine your Aussie, allowing you to housetrain and monitor him. Many people argue that this is a cruel practice, but it isn’t. He won’t get upset if you train him correctly.

Crates are multifunctional. They can be used not only to carry your pet in the outside world but also to keep him quiet inside the home. However, depending on the kind of crate, you might want to buy a specific dog carrier for more comfort during trips.

Stainless steel crates are the most durable ones. They resist even the most aggressive bites. On the other hand, there are different materials available that provide your Australian Shepherd with more safety on trips. They also give a better feeling of comfort for him.

When choosing a crate for him, ensure it is large enough for him to stand up, lie, turn and stretch comfortably. Aussies, especially, need a bit more space than other breeds due to their agitated mindset.

Another good option for inside the home is dog pens or fences. If you want to confine your furry friend for a long time in a specific area, definitely buy one of these. They offer your dog plenty of space for him to do his normal activities. Regular crates are too small for him to stay inside for long periods.

Dog crates have a giant spectrum of price possibilities. Simpler crates may demand as low as $35 from you. However, if you need a more spacious and higher quality crate, the cost rises. The market has options that can even reach up to $500!

Dog bed

To provide comfort for your furry friend at night, dog beds are essential. Initially, prioritize beds that can be fit inside his crate. That’s because when you housetrain him, he will need to sleep in this place.

After you fully train your Aussie, something more comfortable will be welcomed. At this moment, you will have a lot of choices available. Each bed has its own unique characteristics. You must evaluate your friend’s needs and choose what you think is better for him.

In the market, you will find anything ranging from waterproof and washable beds to dog-sized couches. Or you can simply opt for a simple foam mattress.

Fortunately, dog beds aren’t expensive. The starting price is commonly only $10, but larger beds are more expensive. However, you don’t need to spend more than $50 to buy a high-quality cushion for your Aussie to sleep.

Water and food containers

Thankfully, there isn’t too much mystery involved in buying containers for your Australian Shepherd. The most considerable difference between them is their material.

I recommend you to opt for stainless steel bowls. Even though they’re the most expensive option, they’re strong, easy to clean and resistant to rust. In addition to it, your pet is less likely to pick it up with his mouth and make a mess.

Ceramic and glass bowls also don’t allow him to transform them into a toy. However, they have significant negative sides. They still are a bit costly and definitely aren’t worth the price in comparison to metal containers. Also, they are easy to be broken.

Plastic bowls are satisfactory if you’re on a budget. They’re also pretty simple to clean. On the other hand, plastic pots can easily be transformed into toys in your Aussies’ mouth. In addition to it, even if he doesn’t have bad intentions, the material is less resistant to eventual bites when he eats.

Dog bowls are also very affordable. Regular prices range from $5 up to $20. However, you also have some more sophisticated devices. Automatic feeders with portion control and water fountains can cost $70 or even higher.

Grooming items

Grooming your dog helps maintain his physical health and appearance. If you opt for a professional groomer, the costs of each session generally range from $50 to $60. However, you can also take care of your furry friend’s coat by yourself! Grooming a dog at home isn’t a big deal.

Before starting anything, you ought to know the necessary tools you will need for this process. The list is a bit long, and you must search for each item price individually. Here are some of the things you can’t forget:

  • Comb
  • Blow dryer
  • Ear cleaning solution
  • Towels
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste (appropriate for dogs)
  • Shampoo (appropriate for dogs)
  • Scissors
  • Nail clipper


 I know you are a good owner and will give your best not to let any accidents happen. However, even a slight lack of attention might be enough for your Australian Shepherd to flee from you and get lost.

That’s why you need to identify him. If anyone sees your lost dog, they will search for any contact method to get in touch with you. There are two main options to identify a dog: microchips and ID tags. I advise you to use both of them for an extra security layer.

Microchips, as the name suggests, are tiny devices inserted by a veterinarian inside your furry friend. It contains a code linked to a database that can be scanned with a specific electronic device. It provides rescuers with all the information they need to contact you.

Unfortunately, these chips don’t track your furry friend’s realtime location. They are only useful if someone finds him and manages to communicate with you.

ID tags work pretty much the same way. They are also used to store your details in case of an accident. The only noticeable difference is that they’re a physical tag installed on your dog’s collar.

ID tags are awesome because they only cost a few bucks and work basically the same way as a microchip. The most technological devices, as I previously mentioned, can cost you around $50.

Most dogs nowadays are chipped while still in possession of the shelter or original breeder. However, if your Australian Shepherd still doesn’t feature this device, definitely add it to your to-do list.

Dolls & other toys

I bet you’ve been waiting for this part. Toys are crucial to keeping your pet happy. Besides that, they’re also essential for good mouth and jaw health. They can be divided into some categories that you need to know before starting to buy them. 

Stuffed dolls, for example, are designed to provide your Aussie with comfort. You shouldn’t allow him to chew on them, because they may be dangerous. For that, use hard-rubber objects. They are specifically planned for him to use his mouth on.

Ropes can also be used for chewing, but not in excess. They are more suitable to help with teeth flossing.

Balls and frisbees are considered fetching toys. You’re most likely going to use them outdoors. Again, their functionality is very specific, and they are not designed to be frequently chewed.

It’s also hard to estimate the expenses you will have with your furry friend’s toys. It all depends on the quantity you want to buy him. I recommend you to get one or two toys from each different type possible. Expect to spend around $80 in total.

Training Expenses of Your Australian Shepherd

I need to tell you a good and a bad piece of information about training your dog. The good one is that Australian Shepherds are one of the most intelligent and easiest breeds to be trained. The bad one is that they need to be trained for a lot of abilities.

If you want to hire a professional dog trainer to work with your dog, prepare for a really hard pain in your pocket. Dog training sessions are incredibly expensive. Prices can range from $30 to $100 per hour! 

In addition to it, there are also obedience training schools, which can charge you around $200 to $600 per week. Expenses can be even higher if you order a bundle with medical care or other aids. 

Some factors determine the final price of a dog training session. Apart from your location and the trainer’s charge, your Aussie’s temperament and the type of class (group or private classes) are the ones that most influence the cost.

Particular classes will always be the most expensive option. However, they offer your dog and you more privacy and comfort. If you’re in a budget, consider group classes. They can also be a good way of socializing your dog. 

The most agitated he is, the more pricey the classes will be. Dog trainers can also work with dogs with mental issues. However, the charges for them may easily surpass the 100-dollar mark.

I highly suggest you train your dog by yourself. I guarantee you it’s not going to be complicated. Even if you have some difficulties in the beginning, be patient, and your Aussie will soon grasp your message.

Increased Home Bills

With the arrival of your Australian Shepherd, your bills are going to change. And, unfortunately, they’re going to become more expensive.

In my opinion, the hydro bill is the one that will increase the most. If your Aussie is home, you need to keep the heating system on, even if you’re not benefiting from it. This basically means you will need to maintain your house warm at all times!

The same applies if you live in a very hot area. In the summer, you should always maintain your home cold enough for your dog’s comfort.

In addition to it, your lights will work more. Many owners like to leave the house’s electronic devices on for their dogs. This helps them to stay calm, giving a sense of company and assistance on seeing at night. A small portion of dogs may also be afraid of the dark.

Well, if you intend to leave the appliances on for your Australian Shepherd, expect a real increase in your bills.

Water expenses might also augment, but it won’t be a drastic change. Aussies should be bathed only once every two or three months. Therefore, you aren’t going to use too much water in this regard.

Obviously, you also need to give him water to drink. However, this is only a small amount. It will only make a slightly significant difference in the long term.

My Final Thoughts

So, at the end of the day, what’s the cost of owning an Australian Shepherd over his lifetime?

The truth is that there are so many variables that it’s impossible to calculate your expenses precisely. They all depend on your Aussie’s requirements for food, medical care, your availability with him, among many other factors.

Just to brighten your mind a bit, we can, however, estimate the cost based on the average Australian Shepherd dog.

In the first year, prepare at least $2,000 to the initial price of your furry friend. All the essentials, like veterinary costs, objects, food, license, pet insurance, and other supplies, are included in this estimation.

The subsequent years will be a bit less expensive. That’s because you will need to take your Australian Shepherd to the vet with less frequency, and all the basic items will be already bought. However, you should expect to pay around $225 every month to cover his costs.

If you search on other sources, the answers to this question will be completely different. And they aren’t wrong! They’re just based on a different point of view.

You will only be able to know the real cost when you get your dog in practice. So my final advice is to estimate the expenses after the first three months with your Aussie. At this point, you will have a broad idea of what to expect for the ownership.

John Carter

My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I've got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.

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