ARE SERVICE DOGS FREE?
Most service dog providers and facilities list their dogs as "free" or at no cost to the client. However most don’t know that no dog is free. Donations are raised by either the agency/facility itself, the client or both. Sponsors also help in paying these costs. There is no such thing as a free service dog, someone is paying for the training, raising, purchase of the dog and all other costs involved. Most other agencies require the funding for these dogs to be raised in full prior to starting, which in turn causes LONG wait lists that can be anywhere from 2-6 years. Fund raising is very time consuming and often takes a few years to raise the required amount.
On Average here is an estimate of the costs:
✔ Purchase of the dog : $2300.00- $2500.00 Depending on the dog
✔ Vet bill including shots, random sickness/injury, check ups, spay/neutering : $2000.00-$2500.00
✔ Dog food and other supplies such as leashes, crates, vests, toys, training equipment for the next 2 years only: $3000.00 – $4000.00 Training/Boarding/housing of the dog : Approx $1000.00-$2500.00 a month
✔ On going training, classes, family support after the initial 2 years : this cost can very, but can be around $1000.00 – $3000.00
✔ Refresher Training at the 3.5 year mark to ensure all is still well and ready to take the second government testing that happens 2 years following the first initial government testing: cost on this can very depending on the dog, and its tasks. Initial first Government Certification Test : $300.00 Plus all the other expenses such as travel, gas, child care, ect. ✔ Close with a total range amount: $10,000 - $20,000
How does Cedar Hill Dog Academy differ from other Service Dog Providers ? Most other facilities/agencies keep the dogs with them or volunteers until the training is complete, only then bringing in the client and working with the client on how to properly handle their now fully trained dog. This takes quite a bit of funding as this method is very costly. Boarding, training, supplies, food, gas, clerical help, etc…. Are just some of the expenses. We have decided instead to involve the client ! Helping them train their own dog together with us as a team effort. This eliminates boarding costs, and other expenses. We have been very successful using this method as we find the client learns more, the dog learns more, a bond between the owner and dog becomes very strong, and a stronger understanding is developed. Clients go home knowing how to help themselves and their dogs succeed. This lowers the cost of training as the owner themselves are working with a trainer and doing part of it themselves ! Using this method we have been able to cut the costs of providing a service dog by about half !