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How Much Does A Sheltie Puppy Cost? [Average Price Guide]

If you are looking at getting a Sheltie puppy then you are going to want to know how much they typically cost. This information is essential; ensuring that you get a fair price for your dog and ensuring that nothing is too good to be true or out of the ordinary. I decided to spend some time researching the breed and all that goes with purchasing one. Below, you will find a tidy summary of all the data you need.

So, how much does a Sheltie puppy cost? The average Sheltie puppy costs between $600 and $6000. Factors that influence the price include the reputation of the breeder, location, the lineage of each dog, the demand in your area, the supply and number of puppies in the litter, and any additional efforts by the breeder to take care of the puppy, i.e. vaccinations.

It is so difficult to choose a breed when you are looking to get a new dog and bring home a puppy.

There is plenty that can draw you to the Shetland Sheepdog, however, and thankfully they do not appear to cost much more on average than other pure-breeds.

And if you do decide to get a Sheltie, you’ll soon discover that they are a pleasure to own. They make fantastic companions due to their gentle, sweet, and intelligent natures.

In fact, Shelties are believed to have a level of intelligence that is almost as complex as that of a human.

With these traits, it comes as no surprise to learn they are dogs in demand.

Let us now take a closer look at the upfront costs involved with getting a Sheltie before turning to the ongoing costs that owners will need to consider to take the best care of them.

What Is The Average Price For A Sheltie?

You can expect to pay anywhere between $600 and $6000 for a Sheltie puppy. The average median price is said to be $900, but you could pay either more or less, depending on where you purchase the puppy.

Typically, the more you pay for a Sheltie puppy, the more likely it that you are getting healthier and well-taken care of the dog.

A Sheltie puppy that has no papers could be sold for well under the $900 mark. The average price should get you a Sheltie that has its papers, but your pup will not be of show quality or have any breeding rights.

These little charmers sure do not come cheap. However, there are several reasons for that.

Prices are also likely to be higher in larger cities than they would be out in the more rural areas.

It is also usually cheaper to buy an older dog or one that comes from a shelter or rescue.

For example, shelters usually charge the cost to have the dog spayed or neutered, give them their shots, including rabies, microchip them and include a license.

While this could run to several hundred dollars, it is still much cheaper than a breeder’s puppy.

Why Are Shelties So Expensive?

There is plenty of time, medical requirements, and general care expenditures that go into producing puppies from a superior stud and bitch, and these costs get passed on to the purchasers of the pups.

Breeders get into this adventure knowing that they will have to lay out huge sums of money. The more they need to spend, the more expensive the pup will be.

Most reputable breeders will have one litter per year for six years. Here are some of the starting costs for a breeder:

  • Buying a stud (male) and a bitch (female): $2000 each
  • Microchipping and registration: $120
  • Thyroid tests every second year: $970
  • PennHip X-rays: $1080
  • Yearly eye exams: $645
  • DNA tests: $610
  • Vet wellness exams and rabies vaccines: $350
  • General care and food: $7 per day for 7 years – $35,770
  • Vet checks for the litter at 6 weeks old – for 6 years: $900
  • Total care amount for 7 years: $44,445

Assuming that the average female Sheltie will have 4 pups per litter, simple math says that she will have 24 puppies over her lifetime.

So, if we divide the cost of care by 24, each puppy will have a net worth of $1852!

As we can see, breeding puppies do not come cheap and there is a lot of work involved too. This is not even considering the dedicated space required for housing the dogs.

What Factors Influence The Price For A Sheltie?

There are many different factors that determine what the final cost will be to purchase a Shetland Sheepdog.

As you can see above, first and foremost, the breeder’s costs will be taken into account. But from there, other factors include:

  • How good the reputation of the breeder is?
  • Where the breeder is located
  • The size of the litter (a litter of 3 pups will likely sell for much more than a litter of 5)
  • What the lineage of the puppy is – do they have champion bloodlines?
  • How popular the Sheltie breed is in your area
  • Whether or not any efforts at socialization have been attempted (Shelties can be extremely protective of both their environment and their humans so socialization at the earliest age possible is critical)
  • Whether or not any training has been started (Shelties love to bark and herd so it is vital that you have a well-trained dog)
  • If you are looking to purchase a pup that has superior bloodlines, or comes with breeding rights, the cost will skyrocket for your new pet.

This is why we get a range and are able to provide an average buying price.

If you can imagine a spectrum where one end is a dog that is from a well, respected and reputable breeder, in a premium location, where the Sheltie breed is in demand, that have been well socialized and taken care of – you are looking more in the $3000+ range.

Whereas, at the other end of the spectrum, and a Sheltie that has been raised with the minimal amount of care, you may be able to find one in the $1500 and under range.

Generally, the more you pay the better. But this is not always the case.

It’s imperative that you do your research into all of the breeders in your area ahead of time. Ask them questions relating to the health and lineage of their dogs.

Be sure to contact local agencies, take your time, and do all that you can to get the best dog that you can afford.

Dogs that are from a superior lineage generally do not encounter the same types or kinds of health conditions or issues later down the line than those bred from less-than-desirable practices.

However, it does and can still happen.

Like anything in life, you just want to ensure you are purchasing from a respectable, humane and ethical breeder.

Be aware of puppy mills and any red flags that could suggest puppies have not been raised or treated with the care and attention they need at this important phase of life.

While paying more is not always possible or even desirable, it is often an indication of the level of dog that you will be ultimately taking home.

Where Can I Buy A Sheltie?

You can buy a Sheltie from breeders that specialize in this breed. Some may be found locally, but they may be located around the country and you may need to travel to get them. Nonetheless, Shelties are a popular breed, with breeders found all around the world.

Since they are so in demand, thankfully, it is easy to find a quality Sheltie breeder.

Before you settle on one in your area, take the time to research all of your available options.

Always check their reviews, testimonials, and feedback as well. Unhappy clients will want to save others some heartache so they will be vocal with their criticisms.

There is no need to look just locally. Some of the best breeders in the world may be in another country.

Just consider that if you do so it will cost you more, they will need to go through a potentially stressful transportation process and you may not be able to even see your puppy before you get them.

The good news is that getting a dog far from the breeder’s location is becoming easier and better due to the progression of technology and transportation.

Sometimes you can also purchase a Sheltie from a local pet store, although this practice is discouraged.

Many times, animals in pet stores are from backyard breeders. In this instance they may not be purebred, they may not have seen a vet, or they could even be seriously ill.

How To Adopt A Sheltie

You can adopt a Sheltie through shelters or even rescues that specialize in this particular breed. Most dog breeds have rescues that specialize in only them, and the Sheltie is no exception.

If you choose to go to a Sheltie rescue, expect to answer a lot of questions about your situation, your family, and your home.

Rescues exist because dogs have been abandoned, abused, or just given away and there is a good chance that these dogs have some unhappy history.

No rescue will let you just adopt a dog. There is a process that must be followed.

The workers at the rescue will watch how you interact with the dogs and watch how they react to you.

They will search for any signs that the dog is uncomfortable in any way with you.

If you make it through the introductions and find the dog you just have to take home, expect to fill out a long questionnaire.

Most rescues will not let you leave with the dog the same day. They will often brush up on their training and socialization first. Then there is usually a home visit.

One of the rescue workers will bring the dog to your home and assess how suitable it is.

Is there a fenced yard? Are their poisonous plants growing within reach? Do you have everything the dog will need, and have it set up properly?

Only once they are assured that the Sheltie is getting a wonderful home will they become yours.

Shelters tend to be slightly more relaxed when it comes to adoptions. However, you will be asked plenty of questions and they will watch to see the interaction between you and your chosen dog.

You will also be signing a legally binding contract before you and your dog walk out the door. The adoption fee should cover spaying or neutering, micro-chipping, vaccinations, and a dog license at the bare minimum.

What Is The Cost Of Owning A Sheltie?

When it comes to cost, there is more to consider for your Sheltie than just food and treats.

Let’s face it – dogs can be really expensive with the upkeep, so let us look at some of the annual costs that not everyone considers!

The cost of your pup is just the beginning.

Good quality food is pricey but necessary if you want your puppy to grow up healthy, strong, and happy. Treats will also need to be made from premium ingredients.

When it comes to medical costs, you will need to be ready for vet bills, whether they are expected or not.

Your dog will need to have its shots. Then there is deworming, heartworm medication, fees for spaying and neutering, dental care, and flea control products.

If you do not feel comfortable doing it yourself, you will need to take your dog for general obedience training.

Shelties are amazingly intelligent so that may end up being something you wish to continue as a bonding experience.

Lastly, dogs need STUFF. And they need lots of it!

You will need to go shopping for a collar, leash, food and water bowls, tons of different toys, various bones, a comfortable bed, and a crate for starters.

Expect that shopping trip to cost you around the $300 to $500 mark.

You will also need to remember that your pup will outgrow almost every one of these things so they will need to be purchased again down the road.

A good annual estimate for dog costs would be somewhere around $1000.

Another thing to consider is that the coat on a Sheltie needs constant upkeep. Unless you plan to run to the groomer every couple of weeks, you will need to invest in some good grooming products.

Although the cost of a Sheltie puppy may seem high, this is what you can expect for most pure-breeds.

There are high expenses that go into breeding puppies that are going to be passed on to you.


Shelties, are quite expensive to purchase as a pup and then take care of. There are several costs that you do need to take into consideration. But, this is true of almost any dog you can purchase from a young age.

The costs outlined here are estimations and averages; do not let them put you off. You will need to do your own research and you’ll get a better understanding when you begin talking to breeders.

It will vary among them, but purchasing your puppy from a reputable breeder comes strongly recommended. This will ensure they have been given the best start in life possible.

That being said, be realistic with what you can afford and remember that the cost of a dog does not stop at the breeder.

Shelties do make excellent companions; they have a wonderful temperament and live to around 12-14 years of age.

They are known for their intelligence, obedience, and their desire to please. They respond well to training and are also affectionate with all members of the family.

Although, prospective owners will need to consider that they do not do well alone, nor should they be left for too long without anything to do.

They require frequent psychical and mental stimulation to remain truly happy and satisfied.

Ultimately, it is essential to be well prepared before you take in one of these active dogs into your family.

But, if you do decide to get one, they are very much worth the cost – whatever that may be.

Interested in learning more about the Sheltie breed? My guides below are for you: