The basic cost of an Autism Anchoring Dog is between $14,000-$15,000. The variable is the cost associated with procuring the young dog from a reputable breeder for entry into our training program. Dogs that are donated are less expensive because the breeder has waived the puppy’s cost as a kind and generous gesture of support for the work we do here at AAD. Not all expenses are passed on to AAD’s clients. Service dogs cost over $25,000. The expenses we incur at AAD include purchasing, feeding, training, providing veterinary care, transportation, and Team Training. Additionally, care is provided after graduation that includes renewal training (follow-up), and retirement placement. Administrative overhead is another expense that is kept to a minimum in order to place more service dogs with families who need them. Please keep in mind that not all dogs brought into the program will graduate. Some dogs are more capable than others to perform this type of work, and we work hard to ensure that only the dogs most suited (both from a temperament and structure standpoint) are paired with a family. We determine each dog’s aptitude for service work over time, but our investment and costs remain fixed regardless of the final decision.
The client’s financial obligation is three payments due in conjunction with the training schedule: one-third at the beginning of the process to purchase and start the training cycle, one-third at the end of Foundation Training (at approximately 2 months), and the final third at the end when all behaviors are being finished and proofed (at approximately 4 months) or before Team Training starts. Please keep in mind that clients will incur additional expenses over time due to the regular upkeep of any service dog which includes food, grooming, veterinary care, equipment, and (of course), treats.