Service dogs are an essential part of many individuals' lives. These dogs are specially trained to provide support and assistance with particular tasks that a disabled individual may be unable to accomplish themselves. Most people acquire a dog that has already been trained to provide the assistance they require. However, some individuals who already have a dog may choose to have that dog trained as a service dog. If you're in this situation, you're likely wondering what such training can cost. Keep reading to learn more.
The Cost of Training
Unfortunately, it's impossible to put a specific sticker price on what it will cost you to take your dog from a pet to a service animal. There are so many different factors that will influence your dog's training and impact the total cost. A professional dog trainer may charge $150 or even $250 per hour for a private training session, so it will largely depend on how much time it takes for your dog to be fully trained. You may also be able to find service dog training for free in some places to help offset these costs. However, you can expect to spend several thousand dollars on properly training your dog to provide the service you need.
What Tasks Do You Need Done?
One of the major factors that will impact the total cost of your dog's training is the exact task or tasks your dog needs to perform to assist you with your disability. For example, it will take a dog a lot more time to learn how to properly guide a blind person on the street than it will take them to learn to alert a hearing-impaired owner to someone at the door. The more complex the task, the longer it will take for the dog to learn, and the higher the cost of training will be.
How Obedient Is Your Dog?
Another major factor impacting how long it will take to train your dog-and therefore, how much it will cost to train them-is how obedient your dog is. If your dog is largely untrained in any way, they'll need to learn basic obedience before they even begin their service training. On the other hand, a dog that is well trained and very obedient already is going to be able to learn the tasks they need to perform much more quickly.
Additionally, some dogs will simply pick up on training much more quickly than others. On average, a dog with previous obedience training can take between four and six months to be trained for just one service task. However, it can take up to two years for your dog to be fully trained to perform their necessary tasks in public, where there are bound to be things to distract them from their job.
How Much Training Can You Provide?
The final major factor impacting the cost of training your dog will be your ability to spend time working with your dog on their training. If you're unable to help your dog work on learning their task on a daily basis, the entirety of your dog's training will fall on the trainer and it will take much longer for your dog to learn the task. However, if you or someone else in your household can devote some time every day to practice and work with your dog, they will be able to learn their service task much more quickly.
Training your current canine companion to be a service dog allows you to receive the assistance you need from a service animal without needing to purchase another dog. If you're hoping to train your dog as a service dog, look for service dog training in your area and begin your dog's training as soon as possible. Once your dog is trained, National Service Animal Registry can help you register them and purchase a service dog vest for them.