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Dog Academy of NC - 12 Reviews - 1215 Stone Rd, Durham, NC - Specialty Animal Services Reviews - Phone (919) 645-7853

Dog Academy of NC

1215 Stone Rd
Durham, NC 27703
(919) 645-7853
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Dog Academy of NC - Durham, NC
Dog Academy of NC - Durham, NC
Dog Academy of NC - Durham, NC
Dog Academy of NC - Durham, NC
Dog Academy of NC - Durham, NC
Dog Academy of NC - Durham, NC
Dog Academy of NC - Durham, NC


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My dog is a border collie/springer/other mix and a Katrina rescue puppy who my husband and I got when he was probably 6 weeks old. He started to become aggressive at about 1 year...


which is probably all you need to know that your dog is in danger with him. At the very least, never leave your pets unattended with him. Leaving my dog in his care was the most h...

Editorial review from Citysearch 6/6/2013

Absolutely terrible! I did plenty of research on Micheal, but I only found a couple of people with complaints. I brought my dog for the initial consult, and I must admit that he sounded very confident he could train her with no issues. After the first week I was finally allowed to visit and was astonished with how badly it appeared he had treated her! She had wounds all over her body, her neck was scabbed over with some wounds and there were fresh ones as well. When asked why her neck was so bad his response was ""Your dog is a psyco!"" Are you joking?! He still insisted he could train her, even though it was clear he couldn't. I brought her home and she hid under the couch for weeks. She needed to be on medication for the infection of her wounds, and is worse off than she was before. Unacceptable!!! more

Editorial review from Citysearch 5/24/2013

If you love your dog, do not take it to this dog hell! I took my dog for boarding/training. He said that my dog needed 3 weeks of training because is hard for her to get used to new people (he needed a week to bond) He doesn't let you see your dog for the first week. After 5 days we went to see our dog and the poor thing looked like she had been trough hell and back! Her neck was RAW actual wounds that had gotten infected from him using the pinch collar! She had sores all over her body and was petrified! She also had horrible diarrhea and had loose 2 lb( she is an 11 lb dog!) She was so scared that She wouldn't even let me touch her! It was the worst mistake to take my dog to this ""trainer"" He does not adjust his methods to suit the size and need of your dog! So unless you want your dog to be horribly mistreated, STAY AWAY from this hellhole. ( I have uploaded pictures to the photo section, take a look for yourself what he did to my dog) more

Editorial review from Citysearch 10/2/2012

Michael is an excellent dog trainer, as well as people trainer! The truth is dogs are pretty smart and it's usually the owners who really need to learn how to get the best out of their dog. Michael is very good at teaching you how to best handle your dog. We have had many dogs and our last one was particularly quirky with so many fears. Michael transformed him. Even our vet and neighbors couldn't believe the change. Michael taught our dog things that we didn't know were so wonderful to teach! Our dog boarded with Michael and came home knowing how to stay on his bed until we told him he could get up, how to stop barking, and how to come with just a blow of a whistle (even if the evil UPS truck was in the driveway). Yes, our dog was a bit stressed staying at Michael's, but he would have been if we had left him in a kennel anyway. He lost a little weight, which he needed to anyway, because he didn't eat much the first couple of days. In the end, it was very worth it because the dog was more confident and happy and we had a dog we could enjoy more. Don't hesitate to train with Michael. He's very affordable and will deliver amazing results. more

Michael Ward can train any dog, at any age. 1/6/2012

My dog is a border collie/springer/other mix and a Katrina rescue puppy who my husband and I got when he was probably 6 weeks old. He started to become aggressive at about 1 year old. By the time he was 6 years old, he had been through a good puppy school and a well regarded dog trainer without improvement, had been ""asked to leave"" one kennel where dogs were not confined in crates during the day, had become foaming at the mouth teeth gnashing aggressive toward other dogs, lunged to chase joggers, bike riders, and motorcycles, and had to wear a shock collar on walks. He had also pulled me down on a walk and broken my nose. In spite of all this, he was a very intelligent, sweet and devoted dog most of the time, but we finally had decided that he might be untrainable and were considering sending him to go live on a farm instead of in our suburban neighborhood. As a last resort, in August 2011 I went on line and found Michael Ward. Michael took my dog and did intensive training with him for two weeks at his Dog Academy. The second week I spent an hour or two a day there so that Michael could teach me his methods. When I brought my dog home, Michael gave me a program to follow for three weeks to transfer the training from him to me. This dog is a tough case with a long history of behavior issues, so the results were modest in the beginning but we stuck with it. Today, for the first time in 5 years, I can walk my dog without fear. He does not lunge at joggers or bicycles. He does not react to most other dogs, and if he does start to react, I can control him quickly. He is no longer in danger of being sent to a farm. Michael is a gifted dog trainer. For any dog with serious issues, I would highly recommend Michael. For any dog without serious issues, I would equally recommend him, as I can only imagine what he could do with an easy dog given what he was able to do with our hard case. Thanks, Michael! more

Best Trainer in the Triangle 3/30/2011

Simply put, Michael Ward is the best trainer in the Triangle area. There were many options to choose from - some more pricey than others - but I was unsure where to send my pup for obedience training. He had some serious behavioral problems that had to be corrected before he could be part of the family. Thankfully, Michael Ward was able to correct his behaviors and more importantly teach me the correct way to positively and negatively reinforce dog actions. When I got there I had a lot of misconceptions about how you handle dogs, teach them tricks, etc. Michael taught me that ""less is more"" in the dog world, meaning that yelling commands and expecting different results just doesn't work. Much better is his method of corrections. If you have a dog who needs to be trained in the triangle area I would highly, highly recommend Michael. He will take the time to teach you the proper way to handle your dog and his professionalism, candor, and experience are impeccable. Send your dog to Michael! more

Michael Ward is the ""dog whisper"" of NC 2/16/2011

I am a new dog owner and had no clue about how to train a dog (other than reading some books). Thankfully I found the Dog Academy of NC. Michael not only trains the dog, but trains the owner to continue the techniques from home. Sandra was so helpful too during ""boot camp"" (two weeks at Dog Academy of NC). I can't recommend the Dog Academy of NC enough-one of the BEST decisions I have ever made. more

Michael Ward lost my dog 1/24/2011

which is probably all you need to know that your dog is in danger with him. At the very least, never leave your pets unattended with him. Leaving my dog in his care was the most heartbreaking mistake I've ever made. more


All we can say is....THANK YOU MICHEAL WARD! This man truly saved our German Shepherds life, all other trainers and boarders advised us that our dog was not a domesticated pet and needed to be put down. As a matter of fact, one trainer/borderer stated that he was like turning a toddler losing in our neighborhood with a loaded gun! Bear as we call him, is an AKC registered Black German Shepherd, who as a puppy at 6 weeks, was attacked viciously by our 15 lb. male cat, which resolved in a costly vet bill. \r Our dog (Bear) was so traumatized by this attack he became what appeared to be vicious and aggressive toward other animals and people, other than the pack (immediate family). So much so, that our close friends and family were petrified to visit us. We were afraid to walk him, socialize him or even take him for his vet visits. \r To that point we had to consider, what choices we had,,,One to get rid of him (but who wants a biting dog) or Two, to put him down! And in a state of desperation, we looked on the internet for German Shepherd Rescue Sites and found Michael Wards (DOG ACADEMY OF NC) website. Michael responded back with a realistic and positive response of what he was capable of doing for our pet. HE STATED THAT ALL DOGS WERE TRAINABLE!!!!\r We made our appointment for an evaluation, to introduce Bear to Michael, we were worried that our dog would try to attack him, within minutes after being with Michael; he was walking Bear by leash. Which we have never been able to do...shock but true. After 3 weeks with Michael and he became a true family pet, that we can control when friends and family are over and even take on a pleasurable walk with no worries or problems. \r This man is truly the DOG WHISPER OF NORTH CAROLINA and our new friend.\r more

The Best Dog Academy in NC 12/7/2009

We took our 8 week old Boxer puppy Brutus for training at the Dog Academy. Michael was fantastic not only with the dog, but with training us. It is amazing what our dog can do. We take him everywhere with us and most people cannot believe he is as young as he is because he is so calm. People are always stopping us and asking us what we did to get him this way and we tell them about the Dog Academy. If you need training - no matter how young or old I would highly recommend you go to the Dog Academy\r more

Fantastic Training! 8/23/2009

Our six month old pitt mix puppy just finished training with Michael at Dog Academy of NC. Before beginning training, our dog displayed some dog on dog aggression and dominance. We were actually kicked out of puppy school at another local facility. Knowing we had a stubborn puppy on our hands, a friend referred us to Michael, who invited my husband and I for a free evaluation. Within minutes of meeting our dog, it was clear that Michael would be an effective trainer. There was an almost instant respect and affection formed between the two. During our three weeks of day training, Michael trained our puppy in obedience skills and problem solved for issues such as socializiation with other dogs. Most importantly, Michael spent hours training my husband and I, teaching us how to take back control from our puppy, asserting ourselves in a ""pack leader"" role. He taught us the appropriate mix of correction and praise to acheive the behaviors we desired from our dog. \r \r When our training was complete, Michael made certain we understood that our work was not done. Our dog was given the obedience skills, but it was our responsibility to maintain his training at home. We are very thankful to Michael for giving us the skills to do so. One week post training, we could not be happier! We have been able to take our dog out in public - to restaurants and concerts with many people and other dogs. We have actually had a number of people approach us in the past few days, just to compliment us on how well trained our puppy is. This speaks volumns for Michael's skill! We HIGHLY recommend Michael Ward and the Dog Academy of NC! \r \r Pros: effective training, affordable price, caring owners more

Would never go anywhere else for training in Durham! 8/8/2009

I adopted a beautiful Boxer from them as they not only train dogs, but will from time to time rescue them. Mike told me of some bad habits that he once had, but it was obvious that through his training at the Dog Academy, he was rehabilitated into the loving and sweet dog that I have today. Mike is an outstanding dog trainer and you can really tell this is his passion. He connects really well with the dogs and gains their respect instantly. I still bring Boomer back to make sure we are still keeping in with his training and for boarding. Sandra and Mike are absolutely wonderful, and I wish I could take all of their rescue dogs! If you have a stay at home job, and want the most adorable miniature pitbull -- Thrax is your man! They really care for these dogs and I would not go anywhere else for training in the Triangle. Pros: training, location, friendliness of Mike and Sandra more

Best dog trainer in Durham 7/1/2009

Your dog is treated as if he is home but with a set of rules that will help him to become a better pet and you a better owner. Mr.Ward is always on call and very accomidating to his customers. Its a nice place to have your dog trained. Pros: good training and heavy interaction with other dogs. more

One Stop Shop! 6/16/2009

We adopted an adult dog who over time became overly protective of our home. He had become hard to control, aggressively barking at the fence if a person or dog passed by. Being that he weighed 60+ pounds this became a situation where we could not physically control the dog. We also had trouble controlling him on walks when other dogs passed by even after using a variety of harnesses and collars. We tried a few trainers who came to our home for training. These training sessions did not yield any real results. \r \r We were pointed to Michael by a friend at the dog rescue where we adopted our dog. We very happy with what transpired. We first signed up for a 2 week in-facility boot camp. The difference between this program and any other is that the owners are intimately involved in the rehabilitation process. Michael realizes that the dog's behaviors cannot be changed in isolation from the owners. It may be hard to leave your dog but don't worry- Michael is VERY dedicated to helping you and your dog become a pack again- A pack where you are the pack leader. \r \r The second program we took advantage of was the doggy day camp. After the 2 week bootcamp our dog was at least not being aggressive towards other dogs. We agreed with Michael that there was still progress to be made and that day camp offered the opportunity to 'get there'. The day camp offers a chance for dogs to play under the supervision of Michael which basically gives your dog more training while they burn energy. Michael's pack is there each day providing a constant source of dogs both large and small to play with your dog. \r \r You will undoubtably become friends with Michael and Sandra as they are both committed dog lovers. They are there to give you all the advice and support you need as you work together to give you and your dog a healthy relationship. Pros: owners, hours, location more

Affordable quality dog training 6/16/2009

We have two mix breed dogs-- one began exhibiting aggressive behavior on walks and was starting to be aggressive at home with our other dog. Michael was willing to work with us immediately, and we boarded our aggressive dog with Michael for intensive training over a three week period. During that time Michael worked with us one-on-one and taught us to train our other dog at home. Because of our tight student budget, his flexibility allowed us to be able to afford high quality training that we needed. Michael has a simple and effective training regimen that he teaches you to utilize on a daily basis at home. While at first it may seem really strict, it proved effective, and we were able to mold it to fit our lives. When our aggressive dog came back home, Michael provided lessons at our house to smooth the transition. He was also available for questions on his cell phone, even months after the training. Now we are able to take our dogs on walks in the neighborhood, and have peace at home again between the two dogs. We continue to board our dogs with Michael, and highly recommend his services. Pros: Flexible, effective, on-call, affordable Cons: muddy dog yard more

Excellent hands-on dog training! 6/15/2009

I adopted a Shar-Pei mix many years ago and I admit that I did not socialize him as well as I should have. He grew up to be a very aggressive dog who terrorized my friends and was making a good headway in destroying my house. I fenced my yard in order to avoid having to do the midnight walks with him--and yes, midnight walks became the norm because he would growl and lunge at any other dog (and sometimes people!) that he sees in the walk. Needless to say, we spent our first seven years together in relative isolation from other dogs and other people. Michael first impressed me during the free evaluation he offered for me and my dog. Within the first thirty minutes, he was able to bond with my dog--the same dog that other private and group trainers have told me to either medicate or even put down due to his people-aggressive and dog-aggressive-nature. In the next four weeks of intense training in his boarding program, I was at the Dog Academy of NC almost every other day as Michael trained both me and my dog how to properly interact with one another. What I loved about the program: a) Michael Ward--the trainer. He has a very hands-on training approach. I can't believe I previously paid other trainers to help me with my dog and some of them wouldn't even get within three feet of him! Furthermore, Michael has an intuitive grasp of my dog's (and I would say all dogs') psychology. b) The emphasis on owner-responsibility. Michael was adamant that if I wanted to rehabilitate my dog, I would have to have some major changes in the way I interacted with my canine companion. He worked almost as much with me as he did with my dog. He spent hours with me and my dog on each lesson, making sure that I grasp the correct tone or body language to give my dog. c) the use of other methods besides the ""treat"" method. I know that it is more PC to use treats and positive reinforcements to train dogs these days. However, due to the high level of aggression displayed by my dog, Michael had recommended that I learn how to correctly use a prong collar and an e-collar. Properly using these tools was one of the most difficult things I've had to learn, but in the end, I believe it to be most appropriate. After all the hard work by me, Michael and my dog, I got back a dog who I am now able to take to various Dog Parks or Dog Events in the Triangle. In fact, he has been rehabilitated to the extent that I have been able to adopt another dog to be a part of our ""pack."" And yes, we both signed up for Michael's Puppy Kindergarten :) more
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Owner Message

  • Dog Academy of NC, LLC was founded in 2008 by Manager Sandra Losa. Michael Ward, the head trainer, is a certified professional dog trainer. We're located close to RTP and Brier Creek and have clients from as far as Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Charlotte. Services include dog training, using a combination of traditional and motivational training, a boarding school program, day school program and private lessons.

    We offer pet boarding and doggie daycare for any dog that was trained with us, and we guarantee that we can take your dog in, no matter how short the notice or what holiday. Despite all the dogs that are on the property, we're able to offer a calm environment without constant barking or whining. We have no dog breed restrictions and actually love working with bully breeds.

    Dog Academy of NC can provide a list of references upon request.