Not only are dogs mans best friend but they can also use their senses to be trained for life-changing purposes. Medical alert dogs, guide dogs, and mountain rescue dogs all go through rigorous training to become the insanely talented aids that we see saving lives.
The process can take many years and many hours of one-to-one training with specialist dog handlers to hone the skills of a service dog. One this is for sure this training doesn’t come cheap! Just how much does it cost to train a service dog?
Dog training costs
Depending on what purpose you are training your dog for, a professional dog trainer can cost between $150 and $250 per hour!
These trainers are usually assisting owners with complex behavioral issues or raising skilled retrievers so it is no surprise that they cost a lot to hire.
However, this cost can drastically increase when we are using a trainer specifically educated to train a particular kind of service dog.
Guide dogs, for example, need to know certain skills that can be very unique to their future owners and homes whereas medical alert dogs may need to detect a minuscule amount of something in their owner’s body and act appropriately to this change.
The time it takes to train a regular family pet can seem pretty overwhelming but it can take up to two years to train a guide dog for the blind and a further eight months to get them working well with their owners. Guide dogs can change lives so it is well worth the investment for the people who use them!
How much does it cost to train a service dog?
Many organizations and funds for service dog training get donations and grants from the general public and the government to train these life-changing animals.
The National Service Animal Registry estimates that training a service dog to completely fulfill its duties can cost around $17,000.
This number is much higher without any of the grants or donations and can reach $40,000 or sometimes even higher.
If the dog is enrolled in military training then it can cost between $20,000 and $40,000 to train one dog for its duties.
Does it cost a different amount for different kinds of service dog training?
The cost of training a service dog can change depending on what the dog is being trained for.
Guide dogs for the blind need to learn a variety of skills to assist their owner in everyday life while maintaining the safety of everybody involved.
Whereas a medical alert dog may only need to be trained to alert for one thing or an allergy alert dog may only need to detect one specific ingredient for their owner.
Are their grants for those who need service dogs?
There are many different forms of financial aid that can be used by a person needing a service dog.
First of all, there is a home equity loan. This can be where you use the equity in your home to cover the cost of purchasing a service dog.
This will allow a potential service dog owner to spread out the cost over many years. There are also plans you can find with reasonably low interest or fixed interest rates.
You could also go down the fundraising route. Websites like GoFundMe are often used to fundraise medical assistance dogs for people in need who could not otherwise afford them.
Finally, there are grants that can be used to purchase or train a service dog. Donations from various governmental organizations and non-profits can provide service dogs to those who need them most meaning the owner will often need to pay very little or even nothing for their new companion.
There are even specific groups that help to fund service dogs for certain people like veterans or children.