It is with great pleasure that I’m writing this testimonial for Shannon Malmberg.   

I’d had many family dogs growing up but with getting a more powerful breed of dog I just wanted to make sure I got things right from the start.  I took out Shannon’s lifetime package when my puppy was about 4 months old. The in-home consultations and training sessions were just what we needed  after things didn’t work out at a local group class.  Nearly six months on we still continue to learn at the weekly group classes and participate in the monthly pack walks.  Through Shannon’s encouragement  we now also enjoy tracking and we are furthering our skills in obedience with a view to one day competing at local trials.


Shannon is more than generous with her time and has never failed to reply to my constant emails, providing me with words of support and encouragement when I needed it.  She really has raised the bar on my expectations on what an obedient dog ‘I’ can have and has taught me the difference between a companionship and a fulfilling partnership with my dog.  

She has developed her gift and has an outstanding talent for listening to the problem then focusing on a solution to help both the dog and the client. Her methods are very positive and very rewarding, yet she has a no nonsense approach to aggressive dogs without being abusive  – she is truly  phenomenal to watch in this area.

Being a ‘Zen Dog’ is much more than going to a dog class, it’s about a whole different journey and way of being with your best friend. I would urge anyone who is getting a puppy or welcoming a new dog into their home to contact Shannon, like me you’ll get to focus on the good times instead of trying to fix the bad times.

Faye & Bao, North Vancouver, BC

"Shannon is so much more than a highly qualified and experienced dog trainer and we should know. When we adopted Alfie a year ago, we took responsibility for a dog that had experienced daily physical and psychological abuse and neglect his entire life. He exhibited fear aggression to humans and other dogs, barked hysterically (and endlessly), lunged and attempted to bite defensively for imagined wrong-doings and if off-leash for even a second, raced uncontrollably and dangerously through the house banging into and knocking over everything and everyone in his way. We knew we were his last chance and that we would need a miracle to save him. That’s where Shannon came in. Thanks to a heaven-sent referral, we met Shannon and she agreed to come on-board to help Alfie from day one. Shannon has a gift for understanding what lies in the heart of a dog and she knew exactly what we needed to learn to do, to help Alfie on his journey to ‘family dog’. Every step of the way Shannon has been there to diagnose the problem, identify the right solution for Alfie and then teach ‘the humans’ how to help him through to the next stage. She taught us to be patient and to stay positive and focused even on the bad days, but most of all she gave us the confidence to deal with whatever Alfie threw our way. As I write this, exactly one year later, Alfie is curled beside my chair waiting for the signal that it is time to get ready for an off-leash run in the Park. He is quiet (reasonably), well socialized (very), well behaved (most of the time) and so gentle that even my non-dog friends comfortably allow their children to play with him. Alfie is a living testament to Shannon’s amazing talent and abilities; without her, we are certain he would never have overcome his terrible past. Bless you Shannon."

Carrie & Ted Jackson, Bella & Alfie | Vancouver BC

Her willingness to think outside the box in her training philosophy and to embrace what other trainers fear is what makes her one of the only trainers capable of handling the really tough cases. Shannon has rescued countless dogs who would otherwise have met an untimely fate because of bad training or lack of control. I have trained, bred, titled and imported many working dogs and know and personally recommend Shannon to dog handlers who need assistance in work with their dogs. She has done countless hours of police dog training for no compensation. Anyone who has lost all faith in a training method and who desperately needs to gain control of their dog should call and book Shannon to change their lives."

Suzanne P. Eviston Washington State Police K9 Officer and State Certified K9 Trainer Von Grunheide Shepherds www.vongrunheideshepherds.com

I first started training with Shannon when I decided we needed help getting a handle on our young female Leonberger Holly’s occasional (and unnerving, given her great size) on-leash aggression. My best training efforts had met with little success, and I was determined to find a way to turn my big unruly girl into a model canine citizen.

I could not have made a better decision in contacting Shannon at Zen Dog! Her wealth of canine expertise, kind, confident, and enthusiastic instruction, and willingness to think outside the box in terms of training methods have been a true blessing to me and to Holly. After completing several private sessions, we have happily integrated into the ongoing weekly training classes and pack walks. Holly’s eyes sparkle when I tell her we’re going to “dog school”, and she enjoys herself tremendously. Most importantly, I now have a well-behaved Leo that I can be proud of, and Holly and I will gladly continue to be a part of Shannon’s training pack for many years to come! Thank you Shannon!!

Jennifer, Grant and Holly, Vancouver

"Our Golden Retriever, Ripley, used to be an off-leash dog and had to become leashed for three years when we moved away from Vancouver to an area that had no off-leash parks. Upon our return, Ripley became dog-aggressive, both on and off-leash. It got to the point where I was terrified to walk him, even on-leash, and began to search for areas where I wouldn’t run into any other dogs. Every time we ran into another dog, I am certain that my fear was felt by Ripley, which made him even more aggressive. I was, literally, at the end of my rope. Fortunately, Shannon was recommended to me as someone who had had great success with dogs like Ripley. Her training methods worked almost immediately, and within three days, Ripley was walking by my side, leash dragging, and completely ignoring other dogs. Now, six weeks later, Ripley is very happily off-leash and will sniff noses with other dogs without any aggressive behaviour whatsoever. I am much calmer, and Ripley and I are once again enjoying walks. Thank you so much, Shannon. You have performed a small miracle for us."

Kathy & Ripley | North Vancouver BC

"Before meeting Shannon, our golden retriever poodle cross, Rupert, was a disaster waiting to happen. As a puppy we did all the right things by enrolling him in various obedience classes and socializing him but we were still left with a dog who refused to heel, refused to down, and was vicious towards young women and children. When he started snapping at the children next door and people at our front door, we knew we needed to take action. Shannon diagnosed him as noise sensitive and unfocused.  Finally, we were able to communicate with our dog in a positive, controlled way. Our daily walks have become a joy and, with Shannon's guidance, we have been able to take control of his aggressive behavior. We have found a method of training that actually works, and has given us the results we were looking for. Rupert is a loving, obedient dog that we are proud to have as a member of our family."

Mary, Gordon, Simon, Sharon & Rupert Kersey | Vancouver BC

"Shannon, Thank you for being such a great teacher! We can't believe we were able to learn so much in just three sessions! It is a testament to your ability and the value of your approach to see the progress we made even after our first meeting. Now, a few months later we can say that what you taught us is not a 'gimmick' and because it is based on love, respect and understanding of our dog, it will last us a lifetime! Of all the things we could ever get for Iso, your help in understanding him was the best thing ever. With your help, his sport dog work is coming along great, but even more importantly Iso is a fantastic pet and family member and despite being such a big boy, he is a great 'city dog'. We wholeheartedly recommend your approach for anyone who is having trouble 'talking' to their dog! We can't wait to take part in your classes!"

Andrea, Rob & Iso the German Shepherd Dog | Vancouver BC

"Dear Shannon, Thank you for sharing with us the knowledge we need to train our puppy Markus. Our lack of previous experience was costing us many lost opportunities.I was concerned about our training ability. We had an enthusiastic puppy with great eye contact and attention on us, but we lacked a consistent way of applying this to our advantage. Consequently, we had an unruly pup. He pulled on the leash at whatever, whenever he wanted, mouthed at our hands and the lead,turned a deaf ear. In short, his obedience was poor, to say the least. The first thing Shannon did was identify our concerns, and establish a framework for success. I am so pleased to share, that day, with Shannon’s guidance,I became a better handler. She showed us where we had been completely out of order. We had been attempting to wish, and negotiate with our pup, which was confusing to the dog, and wasting our time. Through Shannon’s training, we now better understand our dog, the timing involved in the training process and what compels Markus’s decisions. Additionally, you provided us with several important bonuses. Your classes reinforce weekly everything he has learned, and push just the right amount in increasing his obedience. His confidence and attention on us has increased dramatically.Plus, you provided us with inspiration to train even more behaviors AND got us thinking about competition obedience. These bonuses are a result of Shannon taking a sincere interest in Markus and our success.. Her passion, expert knowledge, and incredible ability to train “people” to train their dogs is outstanding. We recommend Shannon at ZEN DOG to everyone who see Markus and say “WOW your dog is so well trained!!”

Lisa, Brendan & Markus | Vancouver BC

 Freckle goes to boot camp

"I just wanted to share that I had the BEST walk ever with Paco through my neighborhood!!!!!!! We were able to walk calmly past all the houses with barking dogs. We were able to walk through the street where his best doggy friend lives. Normally he gets so excited that he pulls with all his might and barks the entire way down that street to get to that house. I can't believe I was actually looking forward to distractions that I usually avoid. Leash was loose the entire time. I'm making a list of all the goals I want to achieve and I was already able to achieve the impossible just this morning. Anyway this is a very good start. I'm very excited. Thank you! I wish I knew about this 2 years ago!

Nadine & Paco | Abbotsford BC

"We are writing to tell you how happy and pleased we are. Thanks to your instruction and help we are now able to walk our two Leonbergers off leash with confidence and peace of mind. We have seen a dramatic change in their willingness to pay attention and follow our instructions. This has empowered us both to expand our activities and overall enjoyment of our wonderful but strong willed canine companions. We certainly understand now the benefits of professional training. We have both greatly benefited from your experience and knowledge and would strongly recommend Zen Dog Training to anyone. Thank you again for your help, understanding, patience and professionalism."

Michael & Nicole De Wilde

Thank you so much for the lesson in the park today. We can't begin to thank you enough for changing the life we have with our dog...you've made the biggest difference in our life and we'll forever be grateful!!

Shauna, Meena and Tanner Vancouver, BC

I have known Shannon Malmberg for some time now. Without a doubt, she is one of the finest people that I have met and trained with. Her compassion, dedication, and devotion to all breed of dogs is well know amongst those who have had the privilege of working with her. I have been training and competing successfully with my dogs in obedience, tracking and protection for over 10 years now and have been able to attain multiple Schutzhund 3 titles. In addition, my German shepherd dog received an advanced tracking title (FH) with a perfect score. There is a reason why serious trainers go to Shannon … to better their own training skills.

Vesna Puharich, Vancouver BC

I thought you might like to see how far Justice has come, with your help. If you remember, her off-leash recall was...virtually non-existent when we started working with her, it would take me upwards of half an hour (if not longer) to cajole her into letting me near enough to put her leash back on after an off-leash run. Video This is pretty normal for us these days. This is even without having to use the collar! (She's wearing it, but with my hands full of the camera, I wasn't using it at the time.) I am SO pleased, there are no words. While she's still got some issues left (which are improving all the time! Even if I don't always notice it, friends & family are mentioning how much better she is every time they see her) she's just come so far, and it's thanks to you! So... thanks! :)

Donna & Justice, Vancouver BC

"Chad was a 6month-old adorable Bijon Cavalier cross. We saw him and fell in love,but we had been cat-people for twenty years ,and really didn't know much about this little creature. Meeting Shannon was a blessing for us.She taught us everything from walks with our dog,sits and downs and most importantly for us,having Chad down from the couch and bed and obedient to us as his new alpha people. Shannon has a deep and dedicated knowledge of dogs which she willingly shares with her clients.I admire her firm but compassionate way of relating to dogs. We learned alot about our dog through our private sessions with Shannon,and both Chad and his parents are progressing in group classes. I highly recommend Shannon to anyone wanting to better understand their dog's nature,and create a harmonious flow in the home between people and dogs...she is great!"

Judy & Chad | Vancouver BC

"Taz and I learned an incredible amount - both about basic commands and about how to communicate and interact with each other. Shannon is a very clear, patient and enthusiatic trainer of dogs and humans. Her email and phone support was (and is) a fantastic resource for a first time puppy owner."

Alison & Taz | Vancouver BC

"Lucie and I started working with Shannon when Lucie was just 13 weeks old – and many months later, we still continue to attend and benefit from the weekly group classes. I’m truly grateful to have worked with Shannon from the start. Going far beyond just teaching basic obedience, she taught me how to play with my puppy and make training fun, provided advice on housetraining, and shared tips and resources about a variety of issues I had questions about. She also helped us address problems early on – from Lucie’s fierce possessiveness of her bones to jumping on people. Today, though Lucie is still every bit the playful puppy, she walks at heel on command, has great recall, and is well socialized to love people and other dogs – more than I would have hoped for at this age!"

Suji & Lucie | Vancouver BC

"Working with Shannon was the best thing we could have done for Archie and for us. She went WAY above and beyond, and really dealt with us on a personal level: investigating specific concerns, and providing tailored techniques and invaluable advice."

Alex, Karen & Archie | Vancouver BC

"Shannon is the best dog trainer we have worked with since we began taking our puppy (now grown) for obedience training. She is infinitely patient with Sparky, our yellow Lab, yet firm when need be. Shannon's schedule is very flexible, so she was able to meet us when we neede her. For example, we had a specific training issue on a busy downtown street. Shannon was able to meet us there and show us exactly how to solve Sparky's little problem. As well, we attend Shannon's group classes almost without fail - it's an excellent opportunity for dogs to socialize, for obedience training to be reinforced, and for new lessons to be learned. And the small donation we give at each group class goes to finding homes for dogs in the Pound - an amazingly generous activity on Shannon's part."

Mark, Johnathan & Sparky | Vancouver BC

"I am immensely happy with Zen Dog. Shannon has given me the ability to give my puppy an extremely good start. With amazing guidance, Charlie and I are now able to "communicate" with each other."

Tracy & Charlie | Vancouver BC

"Shannon has an excellent understanding of dogs as well as the human psyche. Both are required to train successfully. It is an excellent course to take if you want a well-behaved dog."

Robert, Judith & Zoe | Vancouver BC

"I can't say enough about Shannon and her training techniques. She really understands dogs and gets to the root of behavioral problems. Before we started working with Shannon we had so much difficulty just walking our 3 year old lab. Our biggest complaint with our dog Abby was that she would pull us in all directions no matter what collar we used (pinch, choke, and haltie). Not only did Shannon stop that (within 3 classes) she worked with us so that we could have Abby off leash and now she recalls like a champ."

Matt, Margret, Grace & Abby | Los Angeles CA

"Our family just completed the "puppy training course" with Shannon Malmberg at  Zen Dog and found it to be a wonderful experience. Shannon's training techniques are positive and easy to follow and it was an added benefit having her come to our home to train one on one with our family.

Our puppy Sonoma loves her and responded so wonderfully to her style. I think if Sonoma could talk she would describe Shannon as the "really nice lady with the yummy dog treats". Through her we have learned the importance of discipline, structure and that everything you do with your dog gives you the opportunity to train and improve them.

We consider our puppy a true member of the family and thanks to the positive start Shannon has given us we know that it will be a lasting enjoyment for years to come."

Shayne, Shannon, Malia & Sonoma | Vancouver BC

"Zen Dog Training was great! We have a Saint Bernard and training her is extremely important to us since she is going to be such a big dog. Shannon's training methods are positive and very proactive. Emma, our baby, is doing great! At only 5 months old she sits, lies down, heals, stays, and even comes most of the time. We can not expect too much at her age but she is getting better everyday. Even though our training with Shannon is over she continues to provide support through email which we feel is a priceless resource. Thanks Shannon!"

Jason, Naomi & Emma | Vancouver BC

"My name is Licorice and the two-legged dog who owns me was having trouble communicating with me. We spent some time with Shannon and things got a lot better. My owner is now much better at dogspeak so finally I know what he wants. I recommend that all two-legged dogs take her course."

Victor & Licorice | Vancouver BC

"We were first time dog owners, with an adorable yet stubborn puppy. We loved our little Riley, but were at a loss when it came to handling her - she really needed some help (and so did we). That's when we called Shannon... it was really amazing to watch her with Riley, she really knew how to communicate with our dog. Within a few short sessions with Shannon our puppy was a new girl. Riley was much better behaved, yet she hadn't lost any of her own unique personality. Shannon also taught my husband and I many of the skills we would need to continue training Riley on our own. The fact that we can join any of the ongoing group sessions whenever we like, is a truly special perk. We can't thank Shannon enough!"

Chantal, Chris & Riley Dog | Vancouver BC

"One of the things we appreciated the most about Shannon's input was how very personalized it was. She provided solutions that were specifically suited to our dog. We had a pound dog who totally ignored us, especially when outdoors. With Shannon's help, we have been able to get our dog to pay attention to us at the park. He now has a pretty good recall and a heel command. She gave us the tools to train him to do other things if we choose. Shannon also did a very useful test which established exactly what kind of pupil our dog is, and that helped us understand how to go about training him. Shannon's lifelong complimentary follow-up services are excellent."

Trevor, Miryam & Gaston | Vancouver BC

"Shannon at Zen Dog was not only an excellent resource person to my Aussie Ginger and me at our initial 3 day personalized training session, but she also made herself available to us every weekend and then even by email or phone if something urgent came up. It's nice to know that I have a professional at the other end of the phone or email when I just don't know what to do next with my dog. Her advice, suggestions, and training techniques have served our whole family very well!"

Annie & Ginger | Vancouver BC

"We have a very strong-minded (stubborn) dog, so it was very difficult to train Taro before we had classes with Shannon. After taking the course, training Taro became a lot easier and he responds very well to different types of commands now. Shannon is a great trainer."

Scott & Taro | Burnaby BC

"It is with great pleasure that I am writing this testimonial for Shannon Malmberg of Zen Dog Training.  Two months ago, I adopted Bella, a three-year-old lab/boxer cross with a troubled history and not much training.  She pulled on the leash, knew only 1 or 2 commands and was very aggressive towards other dogs.  Immediately after the first session with Shannon, I noticed a difference and since then it seems like I have a new dog.  I can now walk Bella without injuring my shoulder and having her try to attack every other dog in sight.  She also knows 3 or 4 more commands and is just much easier to handle. Shannon has a gentle, friendly and structured approach to training that dogs seem to love and gets great results.  This leads to fun and productive sessions for both the dog and owner.  In addition to each individually structured session, Shannon also provided plenty of references to read for each problem on which Bella needed work.  This is what impressed me the most about Shannon and Zen Dog Training, her dedication to the dogs she trains.  Even though the paid sessions are now completed, Shannon continues to be in contact with me to ask about Bella's progression on a regular basis.  She has even met with us on her own time to help Bella get over a few humps in her training."

Michael & Bella | Vancouver BC

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