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It feels great to be back in Charlotte training dogs!charlotte NC Dog Trainer Turk Akbay

When I started my last dog training company in Charlotte, back in 2008 we made a positive impact on the entire Charlotte dog training scene.

And I’m going to do it again!

Read the story the Charlotte Business Journal wrote about me,

Back in those days, dog trainers were almost militaristic, and nearly exclusively focused on rigid obedience. It was great for dogs in a military or law enforcement role but not so much for everyday dogs and owners who just wanted to happily live together.

I (and my trainers) began teaching about the dog owners’ energy, explained dogs’ emotions, and the importance of the connection between the owners and their dogs as the cornerstone of my dog training system.

There were lots of doubts from the old timers who focused only on dog obedience, but the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. We got amazing results very fast, and most importantly dogs were happy AND they got to keep their individual personalities and goofiness!


The word got around quickly about “the guy who was successfully training dogs that could not be trained.”  and before I knew it, I was a regular guest on WCNBC TV as “Carolina’s Dog  Master.”  Spending 2 years on TV helped me share my message about my dog training philosophy.

Over time, some trainers I had trained in my methods left the company and opened their own dog training companies in Charlotte. They took the philosophy and techniques we had developed with them, and just like that the Charlotte dog training scene became gentler, more loving, and more balanced.

Funny enough I did not recognize nor took any credit for any of this. Maybe because I was too busy “working” and “growing the business” to appreciate all the good work we were doing.

I was thinking I had really done all I could with dog training.  I went and did other things.  I did a TED talk. Wrote a book. Traveled the world.

But during the C-19 lockdown, I began talking in ClubHouse rooms about dogs and my rooms got really popular. I’ve talked for hours with thousands of people from all walks of life around the world about dogs. What I kept hearing from those people who were not my customers was the same thing I heard from thousands of families in Charlotte when I was doing their lessons.  “The way you explain things makes so much sense.”

It took selling the business, getting away from dog training and a few years of “retirement” to truly acknowledge the real impact I & my trainers have had in the lives of thousands of dogs and their families.

When I decided to come back to dog training, especially back to Charlotte where the company I sold and at least 4 of my former employees have their own dog training companies, I wanted to create something special. Something that encompasses all the knowledge and wisdom I’ve gained from my experience training over 4000+ dogs,  and also the professional dog trainers I’ve trained and supported over the years.

Dog Owner’s Academy is that company.  

I decided to call the new dog training company Dog Owner’s Academy.  Because I wanted to make it obvious that we offer so much more than dog training.

You are guaranteed to get a smile and a nod whenever you use the cliche “It’s not the dogs need training, it’s the owners.” I’ve used that line thousands of times. But the truth of the matter is dogs need training and dog owners BOTH need training. It’s not one or the other.  That crowd-pleasing cliche points out the reality that without owners’ consistent follow-up, dog training usually does not stick. Why is that?

The short answer is that most people don’t understand their dogs.

Most dog owners assumptions of how dogs “should be” are based loosely on what they have seen on TV or online, or from a friend of a friend, or from a well-marketed Amazon book.

Rarely is this based on the dog’s needs.

If I’ve heard it once I have heard it a thousand times – an owner says ” I need to be the alpha. I am the leader and my dog needs to listen to my commands.”  But when I ask, “What does it mean to be an Alpha “(both for you and your dog) or “What does it mean for you to be the leader of your dog”, they usually have no answer.

I’ve spent over 35,000 hours working hands-on 1:1 with dogs and their families solving real-life problems in the real world. (Everything from typical puppy issues, to rehabilitating dogs that are over-aggressive or attacking other animals)

I have put everything I have learned in my career into the foundations of the Dog Owner’s Academy. The best way to describe what makes it different (and better) is, that most dog training is teaching dogs manners and commands. which can be described as “the human who is at the top decides the best behavior and tells the dog what to do, and the dog obeys the cues.”

But the reality is communication is a two-way street.  Just because I am telling you what to do, doesn’t mean we are communicating.

Dog Owner’s Academy teaches our humans what their dogs are saying to them. Helps them understand their dog’s needs, their emotions, and when/how they need support.  What I know without a shadow of a doubt is the second a dog understands, “this human gets me”, all confrontations go away, and dogs become willing participants in the relationship.

When that happens both humans and dogs take their bond, love, and affection for each other to a whole new level.


In Person Dog Training

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Put your dog training on auto-pilot. Let Dog Owner’s Academy trainers create a custom training program exclusively for your lifestyle and your dog.

Nothing for you to do other than to following the instructions your trainer gives you and enjoy your trained dog.

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There are literally millions of dog training videos online. This is NOT it.

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Whether you have a dog training  or broader question(s) about dog ownership these weekly Zoom Calls are just for you.