If you’re curious about the price of training a service dog. To find out more, continue reading.
A service dog is a dog that has been specially trained to work for or complete tasks for a person with a disability, as per the Americans with Disabilities Act. This covers a wide range of tasks that these dogs are capable of carrying out, such as emotional support, mobility assistance, medical alerts, guide dog services, and more.
Because these service dogs must go through a rigorous selection process and extensive training in order to perform their duties, the cost of training them can be quite high. How much does it actually cost to train a service dog? Professional dog trainers’ hourly rates can range from $150 to $250 depending on where you are in the world.
Continue reading as we break down the most typical service dog training costs!
How Much Does It Cost to Train a Service Dog?
Because there are so many different services that these dogs can perform and because each requires a different level and type of training, it is impossible to determine the exact cost of service dog training.
Due to the extensive training, they must undergo, dogs that need more intensive training, like guide dogs and hearing dogs, will inevitably cost more. Businesses and organizations frequently choose, train, and place service animals, even though professional dog training typically costs between $150 and $250 per hour.
The following action is to start training your dog after it has been determined that it is a strong candidate for service. You can choose from three options for training. To train your dog, you have three options: hire a trainer, do it yourself, or enroll in classes. Which of these options you select will determine the cost of the training.
Hire a Trainer
The quickest and best way to teach your dog to be a service animal is to hire a qualified trainer. It is, however, also the most expensive choice. An hourly rate of $150 to $250 is charged for hiring a one-on-one trainer.
Depending on how long it takes to train your dog, the exact cost of the training will vary. This is dependent upon how well your dog adapts to training, the skills you want it to learn, and whether or not it has had any prior training.
By adding to the professional training in some ways, you can make it easier for your dog to learn and lower the cost of training. For instance, before hiring a professional for more intensive training, you can teach your dog some fundamental obedience training on your own.
Train on Your Own
The least expensive method of training a dog to serve as a service dog is to do it yourself. Of course, in order to train a service dog, you must earn your certification as a trainer. This implies that learning the skills requires an initial investment. The training can be practiced with your dog once you have mastered it.
Thankfully, you can start with service training with the aid of books, guidelines, online communities, and free courses that you can take. Online trainers with experience can also provide you with information and assistance.
Obedience, manners, and public access are all things that service dogs need to learn. Additionally, if you require your dog to assist a person with a physical disability, it must go through task training.
When your dog is still a puppy, it is always best to begin service dog training. You can avoid wasting valuable training time on correcting undesirable behavior by doing this.
How Much Will It Cost to Receive a Service Dog?
Applying for a dog that has already been trained for service will cost even more if you choose the alternative route.
Most often, breeders who produce only dogs for the service industry are used to select service dogs. This indicates that both the parents and offspring of these dogs have exhibited the traits desired in a trainable/service dog.
But not all service dogs come from service stock; some can be chosen from other breeds if they exhibit the necessary traits (such as temperament, intelligence, openness to learning, etc.).) needed to be a service dog.
The majority of service dogs undergo fundamental obedience and socialization training while still being puppies to prepare them for their work as assistance animals. The puppy will then be placed in the care of a trainer who can advance the dog’s training when it is about 6 months old.
Task and public access skills fall under this category. The dog will be ready to assist a person in need of a service dog once it has mastered all the skills required.
As you might expect, raising a puppy to be a service dog requires a significant financial investment. In fact, depending on where you live, specialized service dogs can cost as much as $25,000. Included in this are the price of the puppy, any associated medical costs, the cost of training, and any associated fees for requesting a service dog.
Given that these canines do not undergo the same rigorous training that a dog would for a person with a physical disability, the costs may be significantly lower if you only need a service dog for alerting or emotional support.
Areas of Training
Training for service dogs is more extensive than for a typical family pet. Here’s a quick breakdown of what service dogs are trained in besides their specific duty, which varies depending on the service:
Each dog should learn some fundamental obedience. Dogs will pick up instructions like sit, stay, come, heel, down, and other basic obedience commands during this training. Basic obedience will go a long way in terms of communication, manners, general behavior, and expectations for service dogs.
Public access training involves exposing a service dog in training to public settings to establish their behavior and gradually asking them to carry out tasks, starting with simple obedience and progressing to more complex, specific service dog tasks.
Service Dog Price Range by Type
|Service Dog Type
|$45,000 – $60,000
|$20,000 – $50,000
|Mobility Assistance Dog
|$15,000 – $30,000
|Seizure Alert Dog
|$15,000 – $30,000
|Diabetic Alert Dog
|$8,000 – $20,000
|Psychiatric Service Dog
|$10,000 – $20,000
|Autism Service Dog
|$30,000 – $50,000
|Allergy Detection Dog
|$10,000 – $20,000
Additional Expenses Regardless of How You Train Your Service Dog
Just having a dog can run you several thousand dollars a year (without additional training).
- Regular veterinary care can range in price from $200 to $1,000 per year, depending on the age, particular medical requirements, and available payment or insurance options for your dog. Flea, tick, and heartworm monthly preventatives can raise the cost per year by about $300.
- Depending on where you live and the brand you select, feeding your service dog species-appropriate food may cost anywhere from a few hundred to a thousand dollars.
- To perform at their peak, some long-haired service dog breeds may need regular grooming. This may set you back $500 a year.
- The accessories you use for your dog, such as harnesses, collars, leashes, vests, and so forth, will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. It’s a good idea to set aside $100 to $300 a year for this.
Conclusion: How Much Does It Cost to Train a Service Dog?
Depending on the service a dog is trained to perform, the cost varies greatly. The price of a service dog ranges from $8,000 to $30,000 on average, but for those who need more intensive training, it may cost up to $60,000 or more.
People with physical or mental disabilities may find their quality of life is improved by service dogs. You really can’t put a value on how valuable these cherished dogs can be in aiding a person to regain their independence, even though training a service dog can be expensive.
How Long Does It Take to Train a Service Dog?
A service dog’s training time can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Depending on their specific task and the person training them, this may occur. For a service dog to be deemed fully trained and prepared for duty, it can typically take anywhere from 4 months to 2.5 years.
How Much is Military Dog Training?
The military spends between $20,000 to $40,000 to prepare military service dogs for battle. Even more expensive are specially trained service animals that are adept at finding explosives. Training for these dogs could cost as much as $150,000.
How Much Does a Service Dog Cost in Canada?
You might be curious to know how much a service dog costs in Canada. The answer will vary, with estimates of anywhere between $3,000 to $50,000. The breed of dog you choose, the amount of training it receives, and the adoption agency you work with will all affect the final price.