Training your own service dog – Rewarding and Affordable!
In the media today, it’s not hard to find information about service animals. Newspaper and magazine articles, documentary films or TV news spots are popping up everywhere with stories of how people are living better lives with their own service dog. It can be confusing reading about all the different types of service animals; emotional support pets, therapy dogs, facility dogs, and more. They are all important and useful and play a very significant role in many people’s lives!
Hearing all the stories of how beneficial service animals can be to our health and well-being, is exciting and gives us hope! Until we hear the next statement – that a service dog is only available at a very high cost, somewhere between $10,000 to 30,000!
These numbers are accurate for some “full-service” professional organizations, often operating under a non-profit status. These types of organizations utilize a staff of volunteer or paid puppy raisers, have a breeding program of their preferred breed in addition to the hard work of many certified trainers. The organizations also cover extensive health checks and veterinary costs; as well as all food, housing and equipment necessary as they grow to an adult dog.
This process may take up to 24 months. No wonder they are so expensive!
Here is the good news for you if you want to train your own service dog:
If you have the patience to go through the selection process to find the dog with the right temperament for service, the time and nominal training budget to spend on your dog training; then this process can be extremely interesting and enjoyable for you!
You will start by taking individual and/or group lessons with a qualified service dog trainer, at the pace and budget you can afford. This will allow you to bond with your dog in a way you cannot imagine. Dogs thrive when they are successful in connecting and serving you. You will see results from the very first day!
Service Dog Regulations
There is ample information available about the laws and regulations that govern the different types of working dogs. There are many qualified positive trainers that can take your dog from puppy training to Canine Good Citizen (CGC), through tasks work and even into public access class work. The amount of effort and cost needed from you, depends on your individual requirements and time allocation.
You might need an emotional support animal to help ease anxiety and/or stress. These animals can be more beneficial if they have the proper public skills (or training) to be able to go to pet friendly places.
You might be a person that likes to travel with your dog everywhere. With your dog as a companion for activities like hiking, snow shoeing, surfing, swimming or paddle boarding, it is easier to agree on a schedule, right? Canine companions tend to be amiable and flexible about any last-minute changes!
Definition of a Service Dog
As defined by the ADA title 1 and title 2, the legal definition of a service dog is “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.” This can include physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.
We are here to show you that training costs can be manageable for you!
Even if you need your dog to achieve specific training to serve your medical needs, we can work out a plan specific to your needs.
Remember, love, patience, consistency, and science-based methods are what you want to aspire to for you and your dog as a team.
Check out local resources, as well as various foundations, churches, special community-based programs and of course, private funding. Your own schedule and budget will allow you this opportunity to bond and work with a canine companion to provide a great life for both of you!
What are you waiting for?
Join us on Friday December 6th from 5:30-7:30pm to hear more about what options are available to you!
Click here for information on how to sign up.