At Canines for Change it costs more than $25,000 to train a service dog from start to finish and to support the dog and team throughout the dog’s life. You will find this cost to be similar with all assistance dog programs. The cost of our service dogs is paid for by private donations and public contributions. Families are asked to raise a portion of the expenses before the training begins through our fundraising suggestions and are supported by our current and past clients who have successfully raised funds for their dogs.
In an effort to meet the needs of our families, it is our goal to start the training process by involving them as soon as possible. We begin working with the family as soon as they complete our simple application process and are approved for a dog. Canines for Change also offers family support groups and has licensed therapists to help families make the transition to life with the service dog. We have many consultants that assist in the training process with families such as physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, behavior specialists, social workers and a psychologist. After the puppies have completed 90% of their puppy training, families are encouraged to come and watch the dogs participate in obedience class and to interact with the group of dogs we have available. We use this time to train the families in the general principles of dog training and dog ownership so that when the dog is ready for individualized family training, the family already has some knowledge of dog training. Once the dog is paired with the family but before training is complete, families take the dog back to their home on various short home visits and the dog goes on outings with the family.
Canines for Change is dedicated to providing you with a balanced, well-trained dog that is ready to serve your family’s needs. We work closely with each individual and family to select a dog whose temperament and skill set is suited to your daily life. Our training process includes the family at every level to ensure that both canine and human are ready to begin their lives together successfully. Once the family has taken the dog home there will be regular follow-ups and additional training provided as needed. We maintain contact with you throughout the life of the dog. Dogs are required to pass the re-certification test yearly, so it is imperative that you continue training and practicing your dog’s skills once you and your dog have graduated as a team. Owning a service dog is an incredible opportunity but it is also a huge responsibility and lots of work to keep the dog’s skills at the level they are when the dog graduates. Dogs are not robots andpeople must be willing to take on this commitment of continuing to train the dog throughout its life.