Are you eyeing a Shetland Sheepdog in the market? You’re probably asking, “How much does a Sheltie cost?” If there’s one thing to expect, they are on the pricier side due to high demand.
The upfront cost is just the first of many factors to consider before getting yourself a Sheltie puppy. You also need to be prepared for potential expenses in the long run.
This article will guide you not only in the initial process and expenses of acquiring a Shetland Sheepdog puppy but also in the long-term ownership costs.
The Average Cost of a Shetland Sheepdog Puppy
The average price of a Shetland Sheepdog puppy from a reputable breeder is between $1,000 and $2,000, depending on the location, gender, and pedigree of the Sheltie pup. For a top-quality Sheltie puppy, expect to spend around $2,500 to $5,000.
You should anticipate a higher price when buying show-quality or pet-quality Shetland Sheepdogs from reputable breeders. On the other hand, you may take the route of adoption, which is notably at a lower cost.
Be on the lookout for puppy mills and backyard breeders when searching for Shelties.
While they offer enticingly low prices for purebred dogs, these pups are often neglected because these kinds of breeders value profit over animal welfare.
Now that you have a general idea of the average Shetland Sheepdog price, let’s break down the factors affecting the cost and upkeep of owning one.
Before you proceed, take a moment to watch this short but fact-filled video about Shetland Sheepdogs:
Factors Affecting the Cost of a Shetland Sheepdog
Compared to other dog breeds, the Shetland Sheepdog may not be that expensive, but a little less or more than a thousand dollars is nowhere cheap.
To determine how Shetland Sheepdog pricing works, it’s important to understand the following factors:
- Age: As with any other dog breed, the younger they are, the pricier they get. A Shetland Sheepdog puppy usually costs more than an older or adult Sheltie. If you want to save up on your budget, an adult Shetland Sheepdog is a better option.
- Appearance: The Shetland Sheepdog’s appearance alone plays a huge role in their cost. Generally, a Shetland Sheepdog has a long face, stands between 13 and 16 inches in height, and has a long straight coat. Shelties have five common colors: blue merle, tri-color, bi-blue, bi-black, and sable. If a Sheltie doesn’t conform to these standards, you are sure to get them at a lower cost.
- Bloodline: One of the strongest determinants of the Sheltie puppy cost is its bloodline. Sheltie puppies from famous parents and prize-winning lineage tend to be more expensive. Unless you want to participate in dog shows, you might want to consider a pet-quality puppy which usually costs less than show-quality dogs.
- Breeder’s Reputation: Prepare yourself for extra costs if you plan to buy from a reputable breeder. Even though a Shetland Sheepdog from an established breeder is pricier, you can be sure to get a healthy pooch. Therefore, you receive your money’s worth when you buy from a reputable breeder.
- Registration Papers: A price increase is inevitable if you want your Sheltie puppy to come with registered papers. Kennel club certifications not only validate your dog’s purebred status but also make them eligible to join these organizations’ future events.
- Health Screenings: Before selling them, breeders screen their puppies for health issues, which adds to their selling price. It is best to find a Sheltie with a health guarantee or health insurance coverage to secure a healthy puppy.
- Training and Socialization: Some breeders have their puppies trained by an expert in order to promote early socialization and neurological stimulation. Expert training is not free, hence adding up to the overall Sheltie puppy cost.
Along with the major factors listed above, other considerations for the Shetland Sheepdog puppy costs are gender, size, breeder’s location, and breed popularity.
How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Shetland Sheepdog From a Rescue?
Acquiring a Shetland Sheepdog from a shelter or rescue typically costs between $150 and $600. In terms of budget, adopting a Sheltie is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
The cost of adopting a Shetland Sheepdog puppy from rescues and shelters may vary by age.
Again, puppies cost higher than older Shelties as rescues and shelters often cover spaying, neutering, vaccination, and other fees that may arise under their care.
Bear in mind, though, that the chances of getting older or adult dogs are higher. Some rescues and shelters also don’t reveal their medical history. As a result, there may be underlying health conditions you might be unaware of.
Initial Cost of Shetland Sheepdog Ownership
We have covered the average price of a Shetland Sheepdog puppy in the past sections. However, more than just the buying part, owning a Sheltie incurs a significant adjustment on your budget.
You might be wondering what to put on your list of initial dog items. Fortunately, we have made one to make sure you do not get anything missed:
- Food and Treats: The food and treats you give to your pup need to be high-quality to ensure they get the best nourishment as they grow. An initial supply of food and treats will cost between $50 and $80.
- Food and Water Bowls: Stainless steel food and water bowls are highly recommended over plastic ones because they are more durable and easier to clean. Food and water bowls made of stainless steel are around $10 to $25.
- Bed: Like in several breeds, hip dysplasia is a common skeletal condition in Shelties. A comfortable bed alongside regular exercise may help prevent this issue. Providing your pooch with a comfy, high-quality bed could range from $30 to $150.
- Crate: Crate training is recommended for dogs starting from a young age. Given this, a crate is a necessary inclusion to your dog’s essentials. It serves as a safe place for your pup where they can relax and rest. The price for crates starts from $30 to $200.
- Leashes and Collars: Even before getting your Shetland Sheepdog pup, you should already be prepared with a leash and a collar. Pick a collar that is durable, adjustable, and rust-proof. Investing in a quality leash and collar costs $15 to $50.
- Toys: Toys are not simply something a puppy can chew on. Some benefits of chew toys include reducing stress and anxiety, relieving teething pain, providing mental stimulation, and promoting dental health. Save your furniture and garments by providing them with the best quality toys for only $20 to $30.
- Grooming Essentials: The Shetland Sheepdog has a double coat that needs frequent grooming and extra care. It helps to invest in high-quality grooming essentials to help maintain their long, straight, and harsh coat. For grooming essentials, expect to spend around $30 to $150.
- Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications: When you get your puppy, the breeder must have completed their deworming, flea, and tick medication. These often result in additional charges. However, if by any chance your pup is not treated yet, this would add up to your initial costs. The cost for these ranges from $50 to $200.
- Initial Vet Visits: Puppies, in general, are more susceptible to diseases and are required to visit the vet more often than dogs at any stage of life. Even if you got your pooch from a breeder with its first round of vaccine shots, you still need to visit your vet immediately. Initial vet visits range from $100 to $300.
- Initial Vaccine Shots: As part of ensuring their health, Shelties get a series of vaccines until they reach their 18th week. Breeders and shelters would have had the puppies get their first round of vaccines before handing them out to you, but the succeeding rounds would be added to your costs. You will need to spend between $75 and $200 for initial vaccine shots.
- Neutering or Spaying: Shetland Sheepdog puppies are more likely unspayed or unneutered. On the other hand, if you choose an adult Sheltie, there’s a higher chance that they already went through the procedure. If you don’t plan on breeding your pooch, consider the reasons why you should. Neutering or spaying values from $50 to $500.
- Dog License: Licensing your new pet is an important move as a responsible owner. The law requires you to have your pup licensed so you can easily find them in case they get lost. This also gives you easy access to vet records and serves as proof of your dog’s identity. For a small fee of $10 to $20, you can get a license for your Sheltie.
- Microchip: Apart from licensing your Shetland Sheepdog, microchipping them is an essential step. A microchip is a device implanted into your pooch which contains your contact details and other relevant information about you and your dog. You can get your Sheltie microchipped for around $40 to $60.
- Miscellaneous Supplies: The items listed above are just most of the things you would need for initial costs. Other necessary supplies such as poop bags, poop scooper, potty pads, vitamins and joint supplements, and other tools might come in handy. You can usually find these supplies at pet stores priced between $15 and $30.
Check out the summary of the initial costs of owning a Shetland Sheepdog below:
|Type of Expense
|Food and Treats
|$50 – $80
|Food and Water Bowls
|$10 – $25
|$30 – $150
|$30 – $200
|Leashes and Collars
|$15 – $50
|$20 – $30
|$30 – $150
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications
|$50 – $200
|Initial Vet Visits
|$100 – $300
|Initial Vaccine Shots
|$75 – $200
|Neutering or Spaying
|$50 – $500
|$10 – $20
|$40 – $60
|$15 – $30
|Total Initial Cost
|$525 – $1,995
Based on the table above, you will need to cover the initial cost of around $525 to $1,995. Keep in mind this is just an estimate, and you can spend more or less depending on your chosen products.
For instance, choosing high-quality products may be costly at first but remarkably cuts back on your budget in the long run because they last longer than average or poor-quality products.
Another way of reducing expenses is checking out for breeders selling puppies that come with toys, food, treats, accessories, and many other freebies.
Annual Cost of Owning a Shetland Sheepdog
While the initial cost alone is an important financial consideration, the annual cost of owning a Shetland Sheepdog is also essential, if not the most important factor to calculate.
This ongoing expense includes food, toys, veterinary care, pet insurance, and more.
Here’s a summary of the annual cost of owning a Shetland Sheepdog:
|Type of Expense
|Food and Treats
|$240 – $720
|$25 – $100
|Bed and Crate
|$60 – $360
|Leashes and Collars
|$20 – $30
|$100 – $250
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications
|$150 – $250
|Routine Veterinary Care
|$200 – $400
|$500 – $600
|$80 – $250
|$30 – $50
|$1,405 – $3,010
|Average Monthly Cost
|$117 – $251
After reviewing the expenses above, it is evident that pet insurance takes up quite a large amount of your annual costs.
Understandably so, because pet insurance covers a portion of your Sheltie’s vet bills in case of a medical emergency, illness, or injury.
Pet insurance for Sheltie, depending on the coverage, costs between $500 and $600 annually.
Relatively, a chunk of your annual expenses goes to veterinary care, which values around $200 to $400.
This cost covers routine veterinary check-ups every two months to monitor your pooch for possible health conditions and diseases.
Consider the table above as just the approximates of your actual annual costs. Expect your first-year expenses to be higher, especially when you get a puppy. Depending on many different factors, these values may increase or decrease.
Other Potential Expenses
Now that you have learned the initial and annual costs of owning a Shetland Sheepdog, you may think that you’re set on setting your finances.
However, when you least expect it, other potential expenses arise. In this section of the guide, we will cover some of them.
Below are some of the potential expenses you might have to face at some point:
- Pet Daycare: Whether you are going on a business trip or simply want to travel and spend some time alone, a pet daycare is your best choice. Pet daycares have well-trained individuals to take care of your Sheltie so you don’t have to worry while you are away. This potential expense costs around $20 to $30 per day.
- Pet Sitter Fee: A pet sitter would be a good alternative to a pet daycare. They care for your pooch in the comfort of your own home. Moreover, you can find one almost anywhere. Pet sitter fees usually cost $20 to $30 per day.
- Grooming Services: Compared to other dog breeds, Shetland Sheepdogs need a lot of grooming, and they must get it regularly. Get your pup professional grooming services every once in a while for around $30 to $60.
- Kennel Club Registration: If you want your Shetland Sheepdog signed up for dog shows and competitions, you should register them with the American Kennel Club. This way, you could also trace your pup’s bloodline. The kennel club registration fee is between $80 and $200.
- Emergency Medical Costs: Emergency medical costs are unexpected, and most of the time, a heavy blow on your budget. This is the main reason why this is included on the list. Emergency medical costs are from $1,000 to $5,000.
Except for the emergency medical costs, it is important to note that these expenses are not compulsory. However, you are encouraged to save up for any emergency medical treatment that may occur in the future.
Places to Find Shetland Sheepdog Puppies for Sale and Adoption
Searching for places to find your soon-to-be Sheltie puppy can get a little tough. Since you’re about to disburse a hefty amount of money on a Sheltie, you need to be very thorough with your search.
One thing to remember is to stay away from puppy mills and backyard breeders due to the inhumane treatment of pets.
Here are some reputable breeders where you can find Shetland Sheepdog puppies for sale:
- Maplecove Shelties – Maplecove Shelties is a recognized member of the American Shetland Sheepdog Association, having proven its integrity in producing specialty winner Shetland Sheepdogs. They take pride in breeding high-quality Shelties, carefully planning each litter, and performing proper health tests on the parents before breeding them. Maplecove has been an active participant in dog shows since 1999.
- Massek Kennels – With 17 years of experience raising Shelties under their belt, Massek Kennels is a small, privately owned kennel located 20 miles south of Downtown Dallas. Their Shelties have been raised in a rural environment with their other pets and three sons.
- Royal Hill Shelties – Royal Hill Shelties is an AKC Breeder of Merit awardee and a member of the American Shetland Sheepdog Association since 1993. They keep their puppies and adult Shelties in their home and have an average of one to two litters a year.
If you consider adopting a Sheltie over buying one, we have a list for that as well:
- Minnesota Sheltie Rescue – Since 2003, Minnesota Sheltie Rescue has been helping Shelties find their forever home. Shelties under their care are properly socialized because they live in foster homes.
- South Carolina Sheltie Rescue – This rescue is a non-profit organization with volunteers finding homes for Shelties in their care. One of their goals is to prevent poor breeding practices.
- Houston Sheltie Sanctuary – Established in 1998, Houston Sheltie Sanctuary has already rehomed 1,400 Shelties. To adopt a Sheltie from this rescue center, visit their site, fill out an adoption form, and wait for their response.
If you’re having second thoughts about adoption, check out our ultimate adoption guide to help you learn and understand the process.
Money-Saving Tips for Shetland Sheepdog Owners
Owning a Shetland Sheepdog, or any dog for that matter, is enough reason to spoil them. However, this means that owners are splurging mindlessly for them.
Here are some money-saving tips to help you manage your spending:
- Invest in high-quality essentials. Buying high-quality items for your pup is quite pricey but makes room for long-term savings. High-quality goods last longer, probably as long as your Sheltie lives so it’s always wise to invest in them.
- Make homemade dog food. Store-bought food and treats can be heavy on the budget, especially when you have a picky eater. You can get creative by making food and treats on your own. There are a lot of DIY recipes you can find online which are healthier and cheaper than store-bought ones.
- Visit the vet regularly. Shetland Sheepdogs are prone to many health problems such as hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and Collie eye anomaly. Keeping your Sheltie’s health in check will help cut back on emergency costs which often turn out to be overly expensive. Regular vet visits ensure your pooch is always in good shape and also help in the early detection of any disease or health issues.
- Groom your dog at home. Taking your Shetland Sheepdog to the groomers every now and then is okay, but Shelties need frequent grooming. Luckily, you can do that at home with the help of tutorials you can find online.
- Have your Sheltie spayed or neutered. Spaying or neutering does not only fix potential behavioral issues of your pup, but it also prevents risks of diseases they might encounter in their lifetime. Furthermore, it saves you from potential future expenses. Seek a licensed veterinarian for pet medical advice should you choose to have your Sheltie spayed or neutered.
Saving up does not equate to cheap out. It only means caring enough for your Shetland Sheepdog but being smart about the costs.
From vet bills and other medical expenses to registration fees and miscellaneous supplies, raising a Shetland Sheepdog is no cheap venture.
However, there is more to pet ownership than just money. Sheltie ownership is a huge commitment. It’s not just about buying a puppy and enjoying their prime years. It’s also about being with them for their entire lifetime.
Shelties make great family dogs and excellent companions. Despite their cost, they deserve a chance at a good life with a loving family, just like what any dog deserves.