Service dogs can be add value to a persons life that goes far beyond money. Still, it’s important to know the worth of a trained dog, and how to find a good one. Where to find a trained dog, and how much one will end up costing you is going to depend largely on what you need them for.
Finding a House Trained Dog
Where you may find a trained dog is largely going to depend on what kind of training you are looking for. While it would be great to find a dog that can fetch the paper and bring you your slippers, house training is a good place to start.
You’ll need to check out the description of the dog to see if they have this important skill. In fact, this is going to be the only skill worthy of inclusion in Petfinders search. It’s a good start.
There’s almost no such thing as a house trained puppy. It is a process that takes patience and time. If you are looking for a puppy, you may as well brace yourself for some accidents.
Another way to do find a potty trained dog it is to just google “dog adoption event” and the name of your town and meet the dogs yourself. You can ask the rescue volunteers if the dog is potty trained and if they’ve experienced any accidents.
Finding a Obedience Trained Dog
This is going to take a lot more hustle than finding a dog that is potty trained. Typically people who invest the combination of time and/or money that it takes to really obedience train a dog are not going to often give these dogs up.
But, that doesn’t mean that it never happens. The best place to start is to get ahold of any dog trainers in your area and ask them if they have any clients who have asked them about rehoming a dog. Call enough of them and it’s more than likely that they’ll know of a dog that might be up for adoption.
It’s really important to know exactly what you are wanting to use the dog for before you get on the phone with anyone.
You can try calling around to places like the Humane Society to see if they have any dogs around that they have noticed are highly obedient and seem to respond to a lot of commands. You may have pretty good luck. People get rid of great dogs all the time.
If you aren’t in any sort of a hurry, you could just put out a feeler with a few animal shelters and wait for the to find you a trained dog. Just be aware that they may try and contact you for any dog that is going to be even sort of close to what you are looking for.
Pursue a Retired Service/Police/Military Dog
There’s plenty of life left in a dog when they are retired from police service. Police dogs are usually retired within 7 or 8 years of life (source). That leaves plenty of time for them to be a faithful home pet. If this appeals to you, try checking out SaveAVet.org.
Alternatively, you can contact local organizations that train service dogs and see if they have any dogs that they couldn’t quite place. The requirements to be a service do are rigorous. Just because the dog didn’t quite cut it does not mean that they wouldn’t be an excellent pet. Even a dog who failed at becoming a service dog will be way better trained than almost any other dog.
Be aware that there is quite the process to adopt one of these dogs, but it can be worth the work. After you get through it, you’ll have a trained dog, but also a responsibility to make sure that the dog has the best life possible in their remaining years.
Finding a Service Dog
If you are specifically looking for a service dog, you’ll likely find a few organizations in your area that train them. Just be aware that they are very expensive (thousands of dollars usually). Most service dog training organizations are not for profits that want to better peoples lives. The cost of training the dog has to be passed to someone. If money is tight you can go to http://www.assistancedogunitedcampaign.org for help.
Even a highly trained dog is not going to live up to your perfect ideal of the dog that you would like. They are animals, and need love and attention. If what they have been taught is not utilized often enough it will be forgotten.