Prescott K9 Academy

Prescott, AZ

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About this pro

How does your service stand out?

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.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

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


Prescott, AZ 86301

Years in business


Number of employees


Times hired on Thumbtack



12 Reviews
  • Jody D. Jun 28, 2016
    Dog Training - Private Lessons
    Verified Review
    He called me right back very friendly very informative
  • Shawn E. Jan 10, 2016
    Dog Training - Group Lessons
    Verified Review
    They were very clear what they could or couldn't do with this Stafford terrier I found. There suggestions were useful for me.
    Replied to Shawn E. - Jan 13, 2016

    We're very happy to help. Thank you for your feedback.

  • Robbin R. Dec 9, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Cheryl B. Jul 12, 2015
    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
    Replied to Cheryl B. - Oct 5, 2015

    Thank you, Cheryl! Your hard work with Molly is really paying off. It's a joy to watch your success together in increasingly challenging environments!

  • Ilene S. Apr 20, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Deborah has been a pleasure to work with. She is understanding, pleasant and professional as well as very knowledgeable.
    Replied to Ilene S. - May 12, 2015

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

  • Lilith J. Apr 13, 2015
    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!
    Replied to Lilith J. - May 12, 2015

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

  • Debra J. Apr 3, 2015
    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!
    Replied to Debra J. - Apr 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!

  • Stephan W. Mar 24, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Great people. Very experienced and knowledgeable.
    Replied to Stephan W. - Apr 1, 2015

    Thank you, Steve ~ we appreciate your review!

  • Joe Z. Jan 3, 2015
    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.
    Replied to Joe Z. - Jan 3, 2015

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

  • Stephanie R. Jul 24, 2014
    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
    Replied to Stephanie R. - Aug 7, 2014

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

  • Lori M. Jun 26, 2014
    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.
    Replied to Lori M. - Aug 7, 2014

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

  • Eric M. Jan 29, 2013
    Replied to Eric M. - Aug 7, 2014

    Thank you, Eric! We really appreciate the feedback.


What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
We start with an extra long session; often up to an hour and a half. We use this time to listen carefully to the client, evaluate the dog's temperament and learning style and begin a few exercies. We write up the evaluation and training plan. This serves as a guide to training for the client and as our promise to produce the results we outline.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
Michael founded Prescott K9 Academy in 1991 with a psychology degree in Animal Learning and Motivation, and a Master Trainer Certificate from one of the few schools offering accredited master-level programs for professionals. Deborah began her apprenticeship with Michael in 1997 and worked exclusively as a support trainer for more than a decade before achieving the level of experience and skill required to accurately evaluate dogs and design training programs herself. We enjoy reading the latest research on canine behavior and learning and spending time with other accomplished trainers.
What types of customers have you worked with?
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.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
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
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
Companion dogs, as opposed to working dogs (competition, service, herding, etc.) have less objective 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.