Prescott K9 Academy

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About Prescott K9 Academy

hired 27 times on Thumbtack

We provide only the highest value services to our dog-parenting clientele. Whether it's an affordable phone consultation to solve a behavior problem, private obedience training lessons or a stay at our training ranch, we will not allow you to spend money on services that don't deliver value and result in positive change.

We can make this commitment because we have the knowledge and experience to anticipate the results that can be achieved by individual dogs. Call us to discuss how your goals, large or small, can be met without the risk of wasted time, effort and money. We guarantee our full-service training.


Prescott, AZ 86301


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  • 5/5 stars Dog Training Verified Review

    I am so grateful to be working with Debra. She is great. She is very patient and working with and Molly. I appreciate the hands on training and watching me do the training and tell me what I am doing right or wrong. Wonderful training

  • 5/5 stars Dog Training Verified Review

    Deborah has been a pleasure to work with. She is understanding, pleasant and professional as well as very knowledgeable.

    Deborah C. from Prescott K9 Academy replied to this review on May 12, 2015:

    Thank you, Ilene ~ I appreciate your feedback very much!

  • 5/5 stars Dog Training Verified Review

    Deb is the best! In one session my dog went from screaming at me at every turn to being quiet and submissive! I can pet him and hold him now without fear of screaming or nipping. I've only been to two private sessions and I am already so satisfied it's crazy! Deb is the best!

    Deborah C. from Prescott K9 Academy replied to this review on May 12, 2015:

    Thank you, Lilith! Grizzle is a gem and you are both just great to train with!

  • 5/5 stars

    I highly recommend K9 Academy. Zena, my Pitbull, who is a tripod has done amazing well with Deborah's training.Zena was severely abused when I adopted her, and she is doing so well in the care of Deborah as well as I am. When I watch Zena while Deborah is training her, I am so pleased and proud at how well Zena does in her caring classroom. Deborah's assessment skills are spot on, and she is patient, adheres to Zena's disability, while teaching her useful training and obedience skills. In addition, I am learning to be a better human for Zena, meaning how to use positive reinforcement, display positive energy and calmness, how to handle a leash, and how to incorporate trust with Zena. So my deepest gratitude and thanks to K9 Academy for helping out Zena and myself. Also, I am a Disabled American Veteran with PTSD, and Deborah has shown me great compassion and taught me new strategies to deal with my disability too. Bravo K9 Academy!

    Deborah C. from Prescott K9 Academy replied to this review on April 3, 2015:

    Thank you, Debra. I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again - it is an honor to train with you and Zena!

  • 5/5 stars Dog Training Verified Review

    Great people. Very experienced and knowledgeable.

    Deborah C. from Prescott K9 Academy replied to this review on April 1, 2015:

    Thank you, Steve ~ we appreciate your review!

  • 5/5 stars Dog Training Verified Review

    Very competent trainer(s), Michael and Deb Charlap. Our dog stayed with them for 3 weeks and came back very much well trained.

    Deborah C. from Prescott K9 Academy replied to this review on January 3, 2015:

    Thank you, Joe! Riley is a great dog and you and Trish were a pleasure to train with!

  • 5/5 stars

    my dog Maggie a 21/2 yr old german shepherd that had become aggressive to other dogs when walking on a leash was leaving me really frustrated she was very strong and hard to control although she loved people I was recommended to deb and Michael through a friend and working with him who was training me to relate to the dog in all we are much better and I am not afraid to take her out on a walk now Michael was very patient and I would recommend deb and Michael very highly

    Deborah C. from Prescott K9 Academy replied to this review on August 7, 2014:

    Thank you, Stevie! We loved training with you and Maggie.

  • 5/5 stars Dog Training Verified Review

    Deborah is very knowledgeable and awesome to work with. Titus started responding better immediately and I'm learning too! Would definitely recommend her! She was always on time and more than willing to answer my questions and help me, help my dog.

    Deborah C. from Prescott K9 Academy replied to this review on August 7, 2014:

    Lori, thank you again. It was a pleasure to train with you and Titus!

  • 5/5 stars

    Deborah C. from Prescott K9 Academy replied to this review on August 7, 2014:

    Thank you, Eric! We really appreciate the feedback.

Question and answer

Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.

A. We really don't have a "common type" of job. At any given time we have trainers counseling puppy owners on housebreaking, socialization and character development, while others teach basic obedience or develop working dogs for service work, therapy-dog work or family protection. Like any trainer, each of our associates has particular strengths that we match with our clients needs. We do get excited about puppy work and feel that it's often the key to success. This may be why we have a reputation for producing happy, easy to live with companion dogs.

Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

A. Look for meaningful credentials: certifications that go beyond a weekend workshop. Ask for references. Listen carefully to find out if the trainer has an agenda of their own for every dog or if they are hearing you and your dog speak about your individual needs. Ask to observe the trainer at private lesson or to see a current or recent Board & Train dog perform obedience.

For services that extend beyond a single lesson/consult the following should be obtained:
1. a written evaluation clearly describing your goals, your dogs temperament and the general approach to training.
2. a written training plan that takes your dog from evaluation to completion

Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?

A. There are two types of evaluations. The first is nothing more than a sales opportunity for the trainer. It is usually offered for free and is worth no more than what's given. The second is an attempt to get an in-depth view of your lifestyle and training goals along with a clear understanding of your dogs temperament. This evaluation should lead to a written training plan and an accurate assessment of the quality of results you can expect from training.

Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?

A. I think we ask more of our client, ourselves and the dogs. We're not satisfied with results that aren't meaningful to our clients. Often, this means patiently coaching our clients through challenges and changes in point-of-view.

Q. What do you like most about your job?

A. The surprises, the challenges; and witnessing the deep connection that develops between a person and a dog. Sometimes it's just seeing the huge benefits that can come from small, easy changes a client makes. Also, I can't wait to meet the next student!

Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?

A. Companion dogs, as opposed to working dogs (competition, service, herding, etc.) have no object performance criteria. They don't "fail" in the same way a working dog might. As a result many companion dog trainers are not focused on reaching goals or predicting results for their clients. They tend to promise everything and let the chips fall where they may. There's no reason this should be. The trainer should help the owner frame their goals with a clear road map to success and reassessments of progress along the way. In addition, It should be understood that trainers are not licensed professionals; they do not have to adhere to minimal standards of achievement, ethics or performance and no continuing education is required. It is up to the client to be diligent in researching the trainers credentials and demanding professional service.

Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?

A. There is more than one avenue to becoming an effective and successful trainer; but there are some essentials that must be achieved. First, a basic understanding of learning theory and a course or two on counseling. This can usually be accomplished at a community college or any four year school. Then, read everything you can find from reliable and disciplined sources on the ethology and training of the domestic dog. This excludes most of the popular literature. You can then choose to apprentice with one or several accomplished professional trainers or attend one of the state accredited vocational schools before apprenticing. The experience gained with an apprenticeship is necessary so that you aren't learning at your clients expense. Workshops can also provide some practical knowledge.

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