I’ve been a proud owner of a Shetland Sheepdog for almost a year, and I can proudly say it is one of the best breeds of dogs you can find on the market. People admire and compliment, Aubrey, my Shetland Sheepdog whenever I take him out.
This has ignited interest in a lot of people who stop me to converse about Aubrey. Most of their questions are centered on the cost of owning a Shetland Sheepdog, just like Aubrey.
To be honest, it has been difficult providing these enthusiastic inquirers with an accurate price as I have not been attentive to the amount I have spent since purchasing my adorable Aubrey. It became imperative to do an audit and discover the cost I had incurred so far.
After productive discussions with other Shetland Sheepdog owners, I was able to compare notes with my expenses, and I have arrived at an estimated range of cost of owning a Shetland Sheepdog.
How much does a Shetland Sheepdog puppy cost? A Shetland Sheepdog puppy will cost anything between $850 and $2,000. This is the average price for a Shetland Sheepdog purchased from a reputable breeder. An exotic breed with show quality will cost anywhere between $1,800 and $6,000.
It is not strange to see the Shetland Sheepdog breed come in varying colors. Ranging from Black and White, White and Sable, and occasionally Merle, the Shetland Sheepdog is a colorful breed.
Purchasing a Shetland Sheepdog is not where the expense stops. A lot goes into taking care of a Shetland Sheepdog, and I have included some expenses you might incur in this article.
The Average Cost of a Shetland Sheepdog Puppy
Getting a good Shetland Sheepdog could burn a hole in your pocket if your budget is not good enough. Top-quality Shetland Sheepdogs can go for as high as $6,000 in cases of breeders with excellent reputations.
You can equally find cheaper and affordable Shetland Sheepdogs, but the risk of getting a Shetland Sheepdog that is not purebred is high. You can find cheap Shetland Sheepdogs for as low as $500.
The cost of acquiring a Shetland Sheepdog is affected by several factors. I have outlined these factors below.
- Disease Testing: Disease testing is expensive. Shetland Sheepdogs that have undergone testing to check for certain diseases are usually more expensive. Diseases frequently tested for include Multidrug Resistance 1 (MDR1), von Willebrand disease 3 (vWD3), Gallbladder Mucoceles, Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA/CH), Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), Leucodystrophy, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (CNGA1 variant).
- Tail Docking and Dew Claw Removal: It is quite a common practice amongst breeders to tail dock puppies as they believe it enhances appearance. Puppies that have been tail docked are more likely to cost more as they have a better appearance than puppies whose tails are yet to be docked.
- Kennel Club Papers: A certification from the American Kennel Club or any other accredited kennel club in your area often places a puppy in standard ratings. This directly leads to an increase in price. But an uncertified puppy is unlikely to cost as much as a certified puppy.
- Breeder Reputation: Shetland Sheepdogs gotten from breeders registered under the American Shetland Sheepdog Association (ASSA) are more expensive as they are certified and recognized by the association. Popular breeders with proven breeding techniques also command a hefty price for their puppies compared to a breeder with no reputation and an unproven track record.
- Bloodline: Shetland Sheepdogs were originally used for herding live stocks. Puppies that come from a lineage of good herders come at a higher price than puppies that don’t belong to a prestigious line of Shetland Sheepdogs.
- Vaccines: Reputable breeders only put their Shetland puppies on sale after a vaccination. These vaccinations are usually against infections like parvo, rabies, and distemper. And since they will be less likely to get infected, they cost more than puppies without vaccinations.
Types of Shetland Sheepdog Breeders: What Are Their Prices?
I have made so much reference to breeders without providing an understandable explanation of who they are and what they do. Breeders are responsible for the grooming and care of dogs with extensive knowledge of the breeds’ health and physical requirements in their care.
There are primarily three types of breeders and I’ll be exploring this with you. I will also guide you in making the right choice of breeder suitable for you.
Puppy mills are purely commercial breeders, large in size, and housing several breeds of dogs at any particular instance. They breed large numbers at a time, and their breeding process is often likened to livestock breeding.
This type of breeder is not interested in making improvements to the breeds in their care but is mostly concerned with making a profit by supplying to pet stores and selling to brokers.
Although some puppy mills may pretend just to make a sale, most puppy mills do not have considerable knowledge of breeds and treat each breed the same way despite housing a variety of them.
Puppy mills keep dogs in kennels that have been created to cater for mass production. These kennels are not always kept in healthy conditions and can become quickly overcrowded as they bred over and over again with little care and space.
It is not uncommon to see puppies in these mills come out dehydrated and malnourished. Puppy mill breeders are not known to be accredited members of local breed clubs and they do not partake in dog-related activities. As a result of the lack of care shown by puppy mills, these dogs come out socially deficient.
Getting a Shetland Sheepdog from a puppy mill is probably the cheapest option available. But I would never approach one even if my budget were tight. And I would also advise you to do the same. On health grounds, getting a Shetland Sheepdog from a puppy mill isn’t advisable.
The guarantee that a Shetland puppy will be in perfect condition at the point of purchase onwards is very low. Purchasing a Shetland Sheepdog from a puppy mill should be a no-brainer. You should never do it.
The average price of a Shetland Sheepdog from a puppy mill: $400 – $600
Another type of breeder is those known as backyard breeders. This type of breeder is mostly ignorant when it comes to the best breeding practices available.
This is because they are private owners who may have ventured into breeding to make a quick profit or crossbreed with a friend or a neighbor to birth another family pet.
They are not known members of any breeding club and do not partake in activities geared towards improving and ensuring a sound structure of puppies. Their breeding work is largely independent of professional guidance or advice from experienced hands.
However, there are backyard breeders who seek professional assistance in matters concerning their Shetland Sheepdog.
This type of breeder is open to selling to just about anybody without care of background checks and does not care what happens to the puppy after it’s sold.
It is difficult to present a one-fits-all description for backyard breeders as they are not really guided by any set of rules and are more reliant on their preferences.
Dogs gotten from backyard breeders are more guaranteed to have received a lot of love, attention, and socialization compared to puppy mills. The state of their puppies’ health might be questionable as backyard breeders do not always do health checks on their dogs.
Getting your puppy from a backyard breeder is not advisable. While there are breeders who do take absolute care of their dogs, it’s better just to avoid them.
The average price of a Shetland Sheepdog from a backyard breeder: $700 – $1,500
Reputable Shetland Sheepdog Breeders
Selective and very careful about whom they sell their dogs to, reputable Shetland Sheepdog breeders care deeply about the dogs in their care. They are actively known in local breed clubs. Their membership in these clubs leads to good collaborations with other Shetland Sheepdog owners.
They pay attention to their dogs and their breeding plans are always well-thought-out, with input and mentorship from more experienced Shetland Sheepdog club members. They are continually learning about breeds and researching breeding.
Reputable Shetland Sheepdog breeders seldom repeat the same breeding processes; instead, they break grounds while still maintaining standards. They choose pairings that would maintain good health, structure, and breed type.
Reputable Shetland Sheepdog breeders are not only concerned with the health of the dogs in their care but also ensure regular and frequent testing to ensure their concern is taken care of.
Reputable Shetland Sheepdog breeders ensure dogs take part in a lot of activities that help build them and maintain their physical shape. Most reputable breeders insist on including buy-back clauses in every sale to ensure dogs don’t end up in shelter homes when the owner becomes unable to cater to the dog properly.
With all these attention to detail and care, it is definitely going to be expensive getting a Shetland Sheepdog from a reputable breeder.
But with quality assured, I would advise you to contact a reputable breeder if you can afford it. Reputable breeders are always willing to render assistance even after the sale. You will be getting a healthy Shetland Sheepdog pup.
The average price of a Shetland Sheepdog from a reputable breeder: $1,500 – $2,500
Initial Costs of Shetland Sheepdog Ownership
When you purchase your Shetland Sheepdog, a lot of money will go into setting up the home to create a comfortable environment. You will need to get a crate, a pen, dog food, a leash, and collar. All these come at a varying price.
For a start, crates could cost as much as $50 depending on the type you want. Crates come with either double-doors or single doors. I recommend double-doors as it provides your Shetland Sheepdog with more walking space.
The next thing on your list should be a pen if your Shetland is a puppy. A whelping pen could cost as much as $125. Make sure you purchase beddings for the crate.
Dog food is also a huge necessity. Feeding your Shetland with the right food is highly recommended. Being a proud owner of a Shetland Sheepdog for almost a year, I can tell you this will cost you an estimated $65 per month.
Vaccinations are also necessary for the first few months of purchase. This could cost about $100 working with an experienced veterinary doctor.
Away from the initial costs, there are additional costs you will accrue after setting up camp for your beloved Shetland Sheepdog. Drawing from my experience and feedback I received from other Shetland owners, I have been able to make a list of what these things are and the price.
I got a dog leash and collar for my Shetland Sheepdog at the cost of $23. Dogs love good treats. Homemade treats are a preferable option and shouldn’t cost more than $20.
Food and water bowls are necessary, and they will cost you about $23. They are to be kept in the crate or any designated location of your choice. Pee pads and carpet cleaners can be gotten for $14.
Depending on the city you live, registering your dog might be compulsory and could attract a fee of not more than $20. Once again, it could vary with location across the country. Toys keep dogs busy and active. Having a crate full of these toys would be a wise decision that can be executed at $80.
My First-Year Expenses Owning a Shetland Sheepdog Puppy
When I first got Aubrey, my Sheltie, I had nowhere to keep him. Safe to say I was ill-prepared. Over the next few days, I spent about $450 on getting supplies for Aubrey. Looking back now, I realized I purchased some things that were not necessary.
Below is a list of all my first-year expenses:
From the table above, you can see that I spend quite a lot on medical expenses such as vaccines, vet visits, and medication. This is because I didn’t get a pet insurance plan for my Sheltie. I strongly advise you to sign up for a pet insurance plan which covers accidents, illnesses, injuries, and vet bills.
Monthly Cost of Owning an Adult Shetland Sheepdog
While we have explored the initial and additional costs of owning a Shetland Sheepdog, it’s appropriate I give you the monthly costs based on my experience and feedback I got.
A Shetland puppy will cost more to maintain than an adult Shetland. A lot of these expenses are one-off, while others may not occur monthly.
Most of the recurring monthly expenses include food, treats, and possibly monthly club fee. From the table below, your monthly expenses should total about $175.
This amount will eventually go up in a month that involves your Shetland dog being vaccinated or having to replace the crate or any other gear/equipment. Please do note that the estimate below is not fixed.
Lifetime Cost of Owning a Shetland Sheepdog
For a Shetland Sheepdog, the average lifespan is 12 years. It is improbable you will own a Shetland Sheepdog for all 12 years as you may have bought either an adult Sheltie or a puppy that has lived for months.
With a monthly expense of $175, it will cost $2,100 for 12 months and $23,100 for 11 years. Plus the $4,410 expenses for the first year, the total estimate amounts to $27,510.
With this, you can have a rough idea of how much it will cost you for 12 years Shetland Sheepdog ownership. Note that this estimate does not include emergency expenses you might need to make in your dog’s lifetime.
Other Potential Expenses
These expenses are not compulsory and totally based on your choice and if you have the budget to cater for it. Paying for activities like training, daycare, and kennel club insurance is not compulsory. I have listed them below.
- Training: Especially for first years, training is extremely important. Puppy classes are available for about $65, and you can also hire a private trainer at a higher price.
- Day Care or Pet Walking Services: Your dog is going to need care while you are gone especially if you work long hours. You might need a professional caregiver while you are gone or better still, get a friend or trusted family member to watch and care for it. Luckily for me, my sister was always available to watch over Aubrey while I was gone. I hope you have the same luck too.
- Kennel Club Registration: Belonging to a club has its benefits. Registering with a kennel club could cost you about $20 to $35 depending on your location. I am still wrestling with the urge to register Aubrey at our local kennel club, but till the urge wins, I will keep fighting.
- Tail Docking: Tail docking should only be done in puppies. Do not attempt it on adult Shetland dogs as you could cause them untold pains and probably traumatize them. If you have a puppy and you choose to go ahead with docking its tail, please do it with a professional. However, that is if you have an extra $10 to $25 to spend.
- Dew Claw Removal: Preferably, dewclaws removals should only be carried out on puppies, especially when they are a few days old. But in special cases, an adult can undergo the process. This could cost about a couple of dollars and safer when done with a professional. Be prepared to shell out about $20 on a puppy dewclaw removal session and $400 for an adult removal session.
Finding a Cheaper Shetland Sheepdog
I understand that not everyone reading this article will have enough money to purchase a Shetland Sheepdog and spend all that money catering to it monthly.
You can find Shetland Sheepdogs in rescue centers for a low price. Some of these rescue centers are government-owned. There are adoption centers that allow you to adopt a dog and take it home.
Looking for cheaper options to satisfy your desire to own a Shetland Sheepdog could lead you into buying unhealthy dogs. This could increase your monthly cost as you cannot guarantee what you may be medicating against and could land a barrage of unexpected expenses on your laps.
How to Find Products That Work for Shetland Sheepdog
When it came to finding products that could work with my Shetland Sheepdog, I quickly realized each dog has its preferences and rules. When it comes to purchasing food, stick to a diet that is made majorly of protein. Shetland Sheepdogs expend a lot of energy and need protein to make up for that.
Shetland Sheepdogs respond obediently to tugs. This means collars that would cause injury should be avoided. A 30-inch crate is recommended for Shetland Sheepdogs.
If possible, purchase a foldable crate to ease transport and also provide your Shetland Sheepdog with a home even when you’re far from home.
Doing research will give you a variety of knowledge on how to find the most suitable product. You can also visit your local breed clubs to seek advice from more experienced breeders.
My Final Thoughts
As I have often been asked, you may want to know how long a Shetland Sheepdog can live. Its average lifespan is 12 years, and it can live for up to 16 years if well taken care of.
As they grow older, they develop “old people” problems. The need for constant medical care increases and they may need more emotional care.
Shetland Sheepdogs are pets and deserve a loving owner. Purchasing a dog should be backed by an accompanying resolution to love and care for the dog.
It is utterly cruel to purchase a dog and abandon it to its fate. If you find it increasingly hard to care and nurture your dog, please locate any reputable breeder, and I am sure they will be willing to make a purchase.
You can also give it up for adoption and present another dog-loving human the opportunity to love and cater to this beauty. They deserve all the love in the world.