What makes one specific breed better than another for Service work?
Briards are a part of the herding group. There are many groups of dogs – sport, working, toy, etc. Herders tend to stick close to what they perceive as their flock. Our Briards do not chase cars, squirrels or tend to run off unexpectedly. If left outside accidently, they will be waiting on the porch when you open the door. This makes them great candidates for children with Autism who need their companion to stay close by.
How many dogs do you train per year?
We train about twelve dogs per calendar year. We are looking at introducing more dogs to the program provided they can all be raised in a family home. This is entirely dependent upon the families we encounter and the ‘fit’ for the child and dog.
What age group do you serve?
We tend to prefer children between the ages of 5 and 12. This is not limited however. We look to this age because of the life of the dog. A Briard’s lifespan is 9-12 years, which falls in line with the child transitioning from teenager to adult.
What age is the dog when it comes into the home?
Our program at Ry-Con believes in an integrated approach to Service Dog Training. We value the relationship and bond between the child and the dog as much as the skillset of the dog to perform tasks. Therefore, we introduce the dog early in its life to our program. The pup will join us from 9-12 weeks old. We look to integrate the trained dog into their forever family home from 11months-16months old.
What are the costs involved for the dog?
Briard pups range from $1800-$2400 depending on the line and parents. Veterinary expense, food, general care can be $1000 for the first year and around $400 for subsequent years. Cost of Service Dog vest, leads, other materials can run around $350. Total budget for dog related expenses first year (after they come home to you) is ~$1500.00
What are Ry-Con’s Fees?
This is always a case-by-case basis as every situation is different when dealing with spectrum disorders. Once the specific needs are defined a basic training protocol and schedule is developed We do provide support for the life of your dog. Fees may be set up on a payment plan and meant to cover training, board, food, basic training supplies and labor. Veterinary expenses are passed through at cost. Should you choose to take your dog out of our program, you may do so at any time with no cancellation charge. A good baseline budget for the training fees starts at $11,000.00.
How does this rate plan compare with other Service Dog Companies?
Our plan is designed to be low cost in comparison with traditional agencies. Average cost for an Autism Service Dog can be between $18K and $24K depending on the company. Ry-Con is significantly less and focuses on the integration of the dog into the family as soon as possible to establish a strong bond..
Do families need to pay all fees up front?
No. A small deposit is made in good faith to reserve a spot in one of our training seasons. We do understand that most families will engage some type of grant or fundraising organization to help supplement their dog’s expenses. This is encouraged, and we will support your efforts in any way possible. However, entering into a contract for your Service Dog, you must represent that you have a primary means of paying your invoices with fundraising efforts as a backup. That way, you can maintain your balance regardless of whether project funds come in. We cannot enter a family in our program that has the potential of not meeting their financial obligation.
Can Ry-Con train my new purebred puppy of a different breed, my current family dog or my adopted shelter dog?
No. This runs counter to our belief that breed specific behaviors, notably in the Briard, are what makes the dog work for the child. The unpredictable nature of mixed breed dogs combined with the wiring of other breeds both temperament and abilities place the success rate at too high a risk. While there are other breeds suitable for Service roles, we do not train dogs that are not Briards.
Do you serve families nationwide?
Yes. Our dogs are trained in our home from the time they are puppies until 6 months of age. You own the dog, we train and care for the dog. When the dog is picked up and brought home, the balance of training which will focus on your child’s specific needs is conducted by you the parent through our guidance. Additional boilerplate training may be recommended and can be conducted by qualified trainers in your area. This does not add any additional expense to the fees you pay Ry-Con. We support our dogs for their lifespan.
What health problems are known for Briards?
Specifics and statistics for Briards can be researched in more detail online but in general, we look out for bloat or GDV. Each of our dogs are screened annually for hips, elbows and eyes. In addition, we have detailed records of their entire genetic line going back several generations. Since we breed purely for Service, our focus is on temperament and Service Dog suitability.