German Shepherd Dog insurance

  • 98% claims paid *
  • Claims paid directly to vets
  • 24/7 vet video consultations
  • Interest free payments
Trustpilot Logo Defaqto Logo

German Shepherd insurance

German Shepherds are a popular breed of dog in the UK. Loyal, intelligent and energetic, they love having a job to do and are always eager to please their human companions.

German Shepherds – also known as Alsatians – were originally bred to herd sheep and protect flocks from danger. Today, they are often found working as police or army dogs, forming strong bonds with their handlers. They thrive on plenty of exercise and can easily get bored and arguably a little clingy but make incredibly loyal companions. To ensure boredom doesn’t turn into frustration or aggression, keep your German Shepherd pet occupied and socialise them from a young age.

Thinking about giving one of these smart, athletic dogs a home? This guide is full of useful information about how to look after your new pet. Whether you want to learn about common health problems or find out how to care for your pet, we’ve got it covered.

We’ll also answer the questions you’re most likely to Google, such as: How much is pet insurance for a German Shepherd?  What types of pet insurance are available? And how to compare insurance quotes.

Facts about German Shepherds

Learn more about this loyal breed with our facts and stats.

Vital stats

Size: German Shepherds are large dogs standing at 58cm to 63cm

Weight: 35kg to 43kg

Coat: Medium length coat, minimal grooming needs

Colours: Black, Brown and Tan/Gold - all with black muzzles

Exercise: 40+ minutes per day

Lifespan: 10 years or more

Temperament: Curious, alert, confident and obedient

Social/attention needs: Average

Bred for: Originally bred for herding, specifically sheep. They helped their owners herd sheep during the day and guard the flock at night.

Price: £700 - £1,400

Interesting facts about German Shepherds

  • Max von Stephanitz, a dog breeder from Germany, named the breed Deutscher Schäferhund, which translates to ‘German Shepherd Dog’.
  • When German Shepherd puppies are teething, their ears can become floppy. This usually lasts between 16 and 20 weeks. Once the cartilage becomes firm enough, the ears will stand upright.
  • German Shepherds are easy to train. They can learn something new after just five repetitions.
  • They are fast runners – 48km/hr. To put that into perspective, Usain Bolt can run 44km/hr and a Greyhound (the fastest dog breed) can run up to 72km/hr.
  • They tilt their heads (a signature quirk) in order to see and hear better.

4 things to consider before getting a German Shepherd dog

As well as being fantastic working dogs, German Shepherds also make great family pets. However, responsible dog owners have a role to play in making sure their pet grows up feeling happy and healthy.

Owning any breed of dog is a big responsibility and should be taken seriously. It can be a challenge and takes time and commitment. However, get the right balance and the rewards are well worth it.

Here are a few things to think about before welcoming a German Shepherd into your home.

They need space

The German Shepherd dog breed likes to stay active. They need space to move, run and play – both inside and out. If they are unable to get rid of their energy, they can become destructive and will happily chew whatever they come across. Ideally, they suit a house with a large garden.

They love challenges and new experiences

German Shepherds love to be busy. It doesn’t matter what they are doing – as long as they’re doing something. That means they are great for people who live active lives. If you’re going off on a new adventure, you can be sure your German Shepherd will want to join you. Anything you enjoy doing, your German Shepherd will probably enjoy doing it with you.

They’re highly intelligent

German Shepherds are super smart and able to learn complicated procedures that go far beyond ‘stay’ or ‘fetch’. They can pick new skills up really quickly and are more than happy to undertake intense training regimes. Check out our intelligence test for dogs.

They’re not ideal for first-time dog owners

German Shepherds can be a handful. They require a lot of training – and to a level a first-time owner may not be used to. If you’re new to dog ownership, you should work with an experienced dog trainer.

They will be able to bring out the best in your pup – and prevent any dangerous or destructive habits forming. You might also want to check out our tips for getting your first dog.

Personality traits


One of the smartest dog breeds in the world, behind the Poodle and Border Collie. This breed makes an excellent guard dog, police dog military dog, guide dog, this breed can do it all! German Shepherds truly shine learning commands and tasks with ease.

Great Companions

German Shepherds are known for their courage, loyalty, and guarding instincts. A popular breed, for many families the German Shepherd is a treasured family pet, providing lifelong friendship to a loving family.

Eager to please

This breed have a legendary desire to cooperate and work with us, a trait many see as a wish to please their humans. If you are looking for a breed that is a quick learner, this may be the one for you.

German Shepherds at home

A very energetic and active dog, this breed would suit a home that can provide long walks and playing. Daily mental stimulation is key to prevent them from getting up to no good.

With a thick, double coat these dogs shed all year round, with particularly intense shedding during the spring and autumn. Its practically impossible to live with this breed and not find hair lying around, grooming is very important with this breed.

A breed known for its loyalty, while they can come across as aloof to strangers, if you are looking for a dog to become a firm family member, a German Shepherd may be the dog for you.

Top care tips

  • A full grooming kit will be your best friend with this breed.
  • This breed is not suited to long periods of time alone as may become destructive.
  • This breed is intelligent so mental as well as physical stimulation is important.
  • To prevent over guarding and aggressive behaviour, German shepherd dogs should be carefully socialised from a young age and be obedience trained.

Common health problems in German Shepherd pets

As with many breeds of dog, German Shepherds are prone to certain health conditions. To help them stay healthy, it’s important you stay on top of things like routine vaccinations, worming and dental checks.

Be aware of the most common health issues – and the symptoms that come with them. Vet’s bills can quickly add up, so having UK pet insurance in place can help you cover those costs. However, quick action is vital. The sooner a vet is able to diagnose a condition, the sooner treatment can start and your dog can get better.

Here are some of the most common health conditions affecting this breed.

Anal furunculosis

Dogs can experience all sorts of bum problems, this one is a painful disease that can affect older German Shepherd dogs. Essentially an infection which can cause ulcers and swelling around the anus and the base of the tail. You might notice your dog licking their bottom more than usual or showing signs of pain when passing faeces.

Other signs include matted fur around the bottom, discharge and sore-looking skin. Treatment includes medication and surgery to remove the lesions.


In German Shepherds, bloat causes more than just discomfort – it can be a life-threatening condition. It happens when a dog’s stomach becomes full of gas, fluid and food that they are unable to get rid of. This build-up causes the stomach to twist and requires immediate medical attention. It can happen if a dog eats too quickly, eats too soon after exercise, or vigorously exercises too soon after eating. Be careful about when you feed your dog to reduce the chances of this occurring.

Degenerative myelopathy

A condition affecting the spinal cord that causes weakness to the hind legs, eventually leading to paralysis. The causes are unknown – although it is likely to be genetic– and unfortunately, there is no cure.


German Shepherds are at high risk of skin allergies such as dermatitis. If left untreated, the inflammation can get worse. However, there are various treatments that can help soothe the itch. Speak to your vet for advice.

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) is a condition that prevents the body from absorbing essential nutrients from food. It can be hard to diagnose. Symptoms include weight loss (despite a big appetite), frequent pooing and/or diarrhoea, and increased flatulence. If left untreated, dogs will essentially starve to death.


This is a bleeding disorder that prevents blood from clotting, meaning wounds bleed more than they should. In German Shepherds it is an inherited disorder and can lead to bruising or lameness.

Joint problems

Joint issues that can affect German Shepherds include hip and elbow dysplasia, arthritis and degenerative joint disease. Symptoms can be painful and include a decreased range of motion, limping, and lameness. Treatment can help reduce the pain, and surgery is also an option for severe cases.

The average cost of a claim in 2020 was £817, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI). With the rising cost of veterinary treatment, having cover is the best way you can protect your pet if they require treatment for an injury or for one of the health issues listed above.

Elbow and hip dysplasia

These are conditions that affect the elbow and hip joints. Both conditions can be very painful for your dog, and as your dog gets older, there’s also a chance that they might develop arthritis. The condition can be managed with anti-inflammatory medication, and surgery is possible in some cases.


Dogs with epilepsy will suffer from fits or convulsions caused by abnormal brain activity. This condition usually appears in dogs when they’re between 1 and 5 years old. With regular epilepsy treatment, your dog will likely be able to continue to live a normal and happy life.

Spondylosis deformans

This is a degenerative condition of the spine where bone develops on the spinal discs. In bad cases, the spinal cord can be squashed, which causes pain and can stop the dog’s legs from working properly. It also limits the flexibility of the spine. Spinal surgery is possible in some cases, but your vet will be able to advise what’s best for your dog.


German shepherd dogs are, as their name implies, a breed that originated in Germany. They were developed beginning in the late 1800s by crossing various herding breeds. The breed was subjected to stringent selection, and it progressed quickly.

German shepherd dogs were introduced in the United States by soldiers returning home from World War I. The breed caught the public eye because of movie stars Strongheart and later, Rin Tin Tin. By World War II German shepherd dogs were the military breed of choice. The first guide dogs were German shepherd dogs.

German Shepherds have also been known as Alsatians for many years. The name comes from the Alsace region on the border between France and Germany. In some parts of Europe, they’re still called Alsatians, but in the UK, they’re usually called German Shepherds.

Want to find out more about our German Shepherd Dog Insurance Product? 

We’ve listed our key benefits below and you can also take a look at our cover levels, customer reviews and awards.

Ready to get started? Click here to get a quote.

Why choose Purely Pets

Free 24 hour Vet Helpline for all customers

Free 24 hour Vet Helpline for all customers

There’s no upper age limit

There’s no upper age limit

Easy online claims process

Easy online claims process

Payments made direct to vet

Payments made direct to vet

15 levels of Lifetime cover

15 levels of Lifetime cover

Lifetime Cover up to £15,000

Lifetime Cover up to £15,000

Flexible Excess Options

Flexible Excess Options

Manage your policy online

Manage your policy online

Award winning Pet Insurance

Award winning Pet Insurance

How to care for your German Shepherd

Owning a pet is a big responsibility. It’s important that you take good care of your dog so they stay happy and healthy.

Feeding your dog

With all that energy, a German Shepherd needs a protein-rich diet. Whether you feed them wet food, dry food, or a combination of both, be sure each meal is packed full of nutrients. You may want to consider splitting your pet’s daily food allowance into smaller portions that they eat during the day. This will help avoid indigestion and keep them healthy.

Exercising your dog

German Shepherds are active dogs and happiest when they’re getting plenty of exercise. Lack of stimulation can lead to behavioural problems (such as barking because they’re bored or chewing chunks out of the furniture).

They will need at least two hours of exercise every day, including walking, off-lead activities, playtime, and training sessions.

It’s better to spread exercise over the course of the day rather than doing two hours in one go. This breed loves to spend time outside exploring. If you are unable to walk them as much as you’d like, you can enlist the help of a friend or professional dog walker.

Check out our ultimate guide to dog walking.

Training your dog

German Shepherds are extremely loyal and will go out of their way to protect their family. It is important to ensure this guarding instinct doesn’t lead to aggressive behaviour. A strict training routine and early socialisation (with people and other dogs) are good ways to ensure this doesn’t happen.

When it comes to training, it’s important to be consistent. Everyone in your household needs to be on the same page and follow the same rules. And never leave your dog on its own for more than four hours.

Grooming your dog

German Shepherds have thick coats and can shed a lot of fur. Brush their coat a few times a week to prevent matting and keep it looking shiny and healthy. They don’t need regular bathing (only when it’s absolutely necessary).

Finally, it’s worth taking them to a professional dog groomer when it’s bath time – the sheer size of a German Shepherd can make things a bit tricky.

The Purely Pet Promise

At Purely, we’re here to support you. That’s why we offer a 24 Hour Vet Helpline free of charge to all of our customers. Our easy to use online portal ‘Manage My Policy’, enables you to access to your policy 24hrs a day. This provides greater flexibility, allowing you to manage your policy at a time that suits you, so that you can spend more time with your furry friends, and less time managing your insurance. Get a quote

Our Dog insurance cover levels

As award winning pet insurance specialists we’ve designed 15 cover levels to give you the freedom to choose the right level of cover for you and your dog. Just click the options below to find out more.

Types of insurance for German Shepherds

Depending on the level of cover you require, there are different types of insurance to compare. When looking for German Shepherd dog insurance, there are four main policies on offer:

Lifetime pet insurance:

Lifetime insurance is the most comprehensive policy available and covers injuries (resulting from accidents), illnesses, and health conditions over a 12-month period. Insurance companies usually place a limit on how much you can spend on treatment for a particular condition each year.

However, if you renew the policy every year and keep up to date with payments, the amount will reset every 12 months.

Maximum benefit pet insurance:

With maximum benefit insurance, you have a fixed amount of money to spend on treatment for a specific condition. However, do bear in mind that once you have reached the set limit, you will not be able to make any more claims for the condition – even if you renew the same policy.

Time limited pet insurance:

As the name suggests, a time-limited insurance policy covers your pet for a certain period of time – generally one year. If you reach the limit sooner, your pet will no longer be covered. And if your pooch requires treatment for more than 12 months, the policy will not cover the costs.

Accident only pet insurance:

Accident-only pet insurance is the most cost-effective – and basic – option. It covers your pet if they have been injured in an accident, but not for any other medical situation. For instance, if they develop an illness or health condition, they will not be covered.

If they start to show symptoms or receive a medical diagnosis for a health condition, you will have to pay for the treatment out of your own pocket.

How much does German Shepherd insurance cost?

Owning a dog is both an emotional and financial commitment. There are all sorts of costs to consider – from buying a pup to finding the right pet insurance. Here’s a breakdown of the main costs.

Buying a dog: Buying a German Shepherd puppy can cost between £600 and £2,500. However, you might find that adopting a rescue dog is a more cost-effective solution.

Preventative health costs: Pet insurance doesn’t tend to cover things like routine vaccinations, neutering and worming treatments. You will have to pay for these yourself.

Equipment: This includes everything from lead, collar, harness, bed, and food bowl to things like pet-safe toothbrushes and toothpaste, toys, grooming brushes and poo bags.

Vets bills: Vets costs can soon add up, so it’s important to consider whether you would like to take out pet insurance when collecting your new pup.

So how much is insurance for a German Shepherd in the UK? When you consider the average UK pet insurance premium is £271, according to the ABI, you can expect to pay around that for a German Shepherd.

Other costs: It’s worth paying for professional training if you take on a German Shepherd dog. Other costs include boarding kennels and dog walking services.

How can I lower my pet insurance?

If you’re worried about the cost of looking after a dog, there are ways you can lower your pet insurance UK premiums. To lower your German Shepherd insurance cost, check out these tips:

- Increasing your excess: The higher the excess you pay, the lower your premiums could be.

- Choosing multi-pet insurance: If you have more than one pet, consider a multi-pet discount. It could help you save money compared to getting insurance for each animal individually.

- Getting your pet microchipped: A microchipped pet could be cheaper to insure. Speak to your vet to find out more.

Finding the right insurance

You want to protect your pet and give them a great quality of life – which includes finding pet insurance to suit their needs. At Purely Pets, we offer a range of lifetime policies designed to give you and your dog the support you need when you need it the most.

Added benefits to your policy could include third party liability cover and cover for overseas travel.

Get in touch with our specialist team to compare pet insurance tailored to you and your dog’s needs. Apply for your free quote today and see which of our dog insurance offers is right for you.

Customer reviews

We’re committed to improving our Pet Insurance products wherever possible, which is why feedback from our customers is so important to us. We’re incredibly proud of our Excellent Trustpilot rating and you can read the latest reviews from our fantastic customers below.

Pet advice & news

puppy licking mother dog

Understanding the art of licking: How mother dogs teach their pups


Dogs share a fascinating language with their offspring that we, as humans, often overlook. One such unique aspect of this language is the act of licking. When puppies start imitating their mother's behaviour as they grow older, one of the things they learn is self-grooming through licking.

cat sticking out their tongue

What is my cat thinking?


Curiosity piqued? Ever wonder what's going on in your feline friend's head? 'What is my cat thinking' dives into decoding the enigmatic world of your cat's thoughts.

a small disabled dog

What you should know about caring for a disabled pet


Caring for a disabled pet is a unique and rewarding journey, filled with challenges and triumphs. This guide covers what you need to know about caring for a disabled pet in the UK and at home, offering you practical tips, advice and insights to support your pet in the best possible way.

Our Pet Insurance awards

British Claims
Insurance Choice Awards
Moneyfacts Consumer
Uk Brooker Awards
British Claims
Insurance Choice Awards
Moneyfacts Consumer
Uk Brooker Awards
British Claims
Insurance Choice Awards
Moneyfacts Consumer
Uk Brooker Awards
British Claims
Insurance Choice Awards
Moneyfacts Consumer
Uk Brooker Awards

Find out more

You can find out more about our Dog Insurance product below and there’s more help available on our FAQs page.

According to the Association of British Insurers report, the average cost of Pet Insurance in 2019 has gone down £8 to £271 annually whilst the average claim has gone up by £29 to £822.

Depending on the type of pet cover you choose, you can be covered for vets bills for accidents, illness, or both up to a fixed monetary amount. Many policies will give you added benefits such as cover for dentistry, loss of pet, third party liability and overseas travel.

We provide dog insurance & cat insurance - at a variety of different levels to suit yours & your pets needs. 

Pet insurance doesn’t normally cover you for any conditions that already exist before you purchase, so always check this if are looking to move to a new provider or if you are taking out insurance for the first time but your pet has pre-existing medical conditions.

There will also generally be an excess (a fixed amount that you contribute to any claim) or a co-payment excess (normally a percentage of the total claimed amount that you will contribute to any claim) on your policy that you will have to pay.

Other common exclusions for pet insurance are breeds listed under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, cover for elective, routine or cosmetic treatment and cover for illness or accidents within a specified waiting period

So you have decided to get your pet insured, but now you are faced with a number of policies to choose from! Here at Purely Pets we offer 15 levels of Lifetime Cover - allowing you to choose the policy that suits your budget and requirements.

These policies offer cover for accidents and illnesses for the pet’s lifetime. This is dependent upon you renewing the policy each year and keeping up to date with premiums. These are usually the most expensive policies, because they provide the most comprehensive cover.

All of our Lifetime policies offer you a pot of money per year that will cover all accidents and illnesses. We only offer Lifetime cover to our customers as we believe it is the most comprehensive cover available.

Like humans, our pets are more likely to be affected by illness as they get older. This means that every year your insurance premium will increase even if you haven’t made a claim. This increase will be significant if you have claimed.

Purely Pets can provide you with an online quote for your pet in minutes.

With a range of lifetime options available offering vets fees cover from £1,000-£15,000 and the option to choose your excess we can help you find the right cover for you and your pet at a price that suits you.

We also have a specialist Pet Insurance team that you can call to get a quote or discuss your options in more detail.