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Welcome to Killian's K9 Academy

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About Us

It's our passion

My name is Rudy Montalvo. Along with my wife Sheri, we have opened Killian's K9 Academy, LLC to help teach your pet how to be part of the family. I have trained dogs for over 30 years. Originally from upstate New York, my family and I moved to North Carolina in 2011. We have 3 dogs of our own. We rescued our oldest, American Staffordshire Terrier -Levi, American Pitbull Terrier - Brenneke, and our newest addition, Amstaff/American Pit/Boxer - Fritz, from Johnston County Animal Protection League, to whom we are very supportive of! We love the feeling of adopting instead of shopping as there are so many wonderful dogs/puppies in need of a forever home. You can see it in their eyes! After adopting Levi, that had some pretty bad resource guarding issues along with various other problems, we had a moment of regret. Bringing him into our then well-balanced pack was not working out to be the best choice. But there was something special about this dog. Besides the fact that he wasn't that “cute little puppy”, he was a 2.5 year old, male American Staffordshire Terrier, and nobody wanted him. Sheri was concerned that we could never make this work. I said to her, "Honey, I have trained many dogs with many personalities, I KNOW I can do this!!" So, it was then that we made a 100% commitment to do whatever we could and put in the required hours it took to get this sweet boy to come around. We took him everywhere we went, and took one day at a time to closely monitor what triggered him or made him uncomfortable and worked with him on his triggers. We worked on slowly introducing him to be able to understand that our other dogs did not see him as a threat and he did not have to see them as one. This was a very slow and long process. 12 months later, he was an absolute gem! And now that we have got past the long time it took of building that loving and trusting bond, training continues. He loves everyone, he loves all dogs, big and small; people can't wait to see him when we go places that we visit regularly. As he started to transform people observed the change in him and suggested that we reopen a dog training business down here therefore, Killian's K9 Academy was born. My wife and I saw the need and want of private lessons for dog owners with lessons that can be adjusted to the needs of the clients and their dogs. We both have other full-time jobs outside of the dog world, but we wanted owners to be able to get the most out of bringing a dog into the family and to help avoid the possibility of the pup being sent to the shelter when the owner is completely frustrated and gives up. Dogs give unconditional love, they also want love and affection in return. First, as a responsible dog owner you must teach them how to be part of the family and we are here to help do just that!

Why We Don’t Recommend Shock/Static Collar

Unfortunately, we have had to go fix many side issues stemming from the use of shock/static collars. We are strong advocates against their use for the following reasons:

  • They cause pain

  • They cause stress

  • They can cause aggression

  • They can cause side issues such as marking/soiling, fearfulness, etc.

  • There are alternative humane methods so why not use them?

  • They can cause burns

  • They are often misused

Shock collars are banned in many countries so why would we find it acceptable ourselves?
Yes, I’ve been told many times “but I tried it and it was just a tap.” However, what level will be used on your dog? In order to have the dog perform the wanted behavior, the electric shock must be high enough, thus painful enough, to get the wanted result.

As world-known veterinary behaviorist Dr. Karen Overall says: “To understand people’s willingness to shock their dogs and cats (and sometimes horses), one important association needs to be acknowledged: people reach for tools such as shock when they feel helpless to address their pet’s behavioral concerns and when they feel that this is the only way that they can keep their pet safe and alive. Unfortunately, companies that make and market shock collars prey on these concerns, claiming that their products keep pets safe and save lives. There is no published evidence to support these claims, but there is now considerable evidence published in the peer-reviewed literature that refutes them.”

For more details, here is a great article with scientific back up on why using a shock/static collar is a very bad idea and not necessary:
Choose kindness, choose education, choose positive reinforcement and methods that make sense to your dog’s nature.

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U n c o n d i t i o n a l  l o v e !

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Thank you for teaching me how to be part of the family!

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Satisfied Owners. Happier Pets.

Here’s What They’re Saying - also see our reviews on Google!

I’ve been working in the animal training community for over 30 years. There are few things as rewarding as the relationship between a dog and their family, the health and development of which is the focus of our work. Read on to see how previous clients have found our methods educational, fun and successful.


"I just finished 6 weeks of lessons with owners Rudy & Sheri of Killian's K9 Academy.
It has been a life changing experience for my hyper 1 year old Labrador Retriever Rusty
and myself. Rudy is the most calm, patient, assertive dog trainer I've ever met and has expertly trained my Lab to walk (heel), wait, come, not to jump up on people and made
Rusty a pleasant pup to be around. I was desperate to find a trainer that would come to
your home and be reasonably priced, Rudy and Sheri were that perfect fit. I am so
delighted how my dog behaves and listens to me and impressed with the time they take to train the dog's owner to be able to help and understand your dog. If this method will
help you, do not hesitate. Thank you Rudy and Sheri!!!"



"Rudy trained my dads dog Jaxx (german shepherd EXTREMELY HARD HEADED) he is an amazing trainer and person. Highly recommend him & will tag him when I see anyone looking/needing a trainer."



"Finished up our first series of training sessions Sunday with Rudy and Sheri. Sully has changed for the better, more disciplined and controlled member of our family. We continue to reinforce what Rudy and Sheri taught us, Sully will just get better and better. No more jumping up on us and visitors as much. With an hour each day of reinforcement he no longer is the wild man he once was. We are very glad we made the call and look forward to signing up for the next level of training soon. I encourage you to make the call if your furry friend needs a little discipline in his/her life! Thanks Rudy and Sheri!



Put my shoes on to leave the house this morning, went to kitchen to make sure I had everything, went back to living room to crate Arizona and this is what I found......
We went for walk Tuesday night and ran into some neighbors,  she barked, I corrected. We stopped to chat and she laid down beside me. Both neighbors reached in to give me a hug.....I was chill, Arizona sat up, barked once but did not go after either of them. I'm so proud of us. She has come so far. 
Yesterday I took Arizona to a local playground park when I knew it would be busy. Rudy and I had only just introduced us to correcting behavior around other dogs. That is why we are training, Arizona has been very aggressive with people and animals she doesn't know. There were parents and kids everywhere so we picked a bench to just sit and watch. She was doing great. Then two families showed up with dogs. I stayed relaxed and the dogs didn't come too close to us so decided to sit a little longer. She started growling when one of the families rushed towards the swings. One "NO" and correction. The growling stopped and she didn't rush the dog. They were three swings from where we were and while Arizona was not relaxed, ears back, head reaching forward, she did not show her teeth or attack.  Progress! 


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Our Students

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Price List

Our Offers:
Private lessons

Basics/Manners $547


4 private lessons for manners/basic obedience. Need additional sessions? $135 per lesson.

Mild Reactivity/Manners $647

Behavioral adjustment

Together, we can come up with a tailored plan based on your family's individual needs. This is a 4 private lesson program.

Severe Reactivity/Aggression $847

Behavior modification

Together, we will work on leadership and management.

$145 per hour

Single sessions

Single sessions can be offered if we feel it is the best fit for you and your pup's needs.

*Other services*

If you are looking for group lessons, stay and train or overnight stays/pet sitting.

Please contact us and we can let you know how we can help!

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Get in Touch Today

Get in touch with Killian's K9 Academy, LLC to learn more about our dog training services.

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