Get to know more about Shannon Malmberg

Shannon Malmberg has been working with dogs for more than 30 years and is one of the most experienced professional dog trainers in the Vancouver area.

As an avid runner, Shannon began her dog training journey in 1988 by volunteering with Project Safe Run, a personal protection-dog organization for women athletes, while she completed degrees in journalism and political science at the University of Oregon.

Upon graduation Shannon moved to Vancouver and worked as a civilian decoy with the Vancouver Police Dog Squad from 1991 until 2003: a “hired bad-guy” to assist in the training of young patrol dogs in tracking and criminal apprehension. Hiding in dumpsters, running down dark alleyways, and getting bitten by German Shepherds gave her an insight into working with high drive dogs and dog aggression.
It was here Shannon truly got the dog training bug.

She founded her company Zen Dog Canine Training Ltd. in 2002, teaching dogs and their people across Vancouver and the lower mainland. To date she has worked with close to 10,000 clients on a broad range of issues from puppy raising to behavioural cases, and all things in between.

As a professional dog coach, Shannon is enthusiastic and creative, committed to teaching in a way that is positive for both humans and dogs. She has a gift for bringing dogs and their people closer together while meeting the needs of each client she works with. Shannon stays current with science-based methods and is a lifelong student in all things dog.

My Great Dog Story

Shannon's vocation and avocation align. In her spare time she trains for and competes in dog sports with her personal dogs. She has obtained close to 30 competition titles on three of her dogs, with national and regional placements in agility, numerous high-in-trials in competitive obedience as well as a national ranking, two competitive sport championships, tracking and rally-o titles and, for fun, has dabbled in sheep herding and nosework. It is this passion for competitive sport that has pushed Shannon to evolve as a better trainer for her clients' dogs as well as her own dogs.

She tirelessly attends multiple seminars and on-line coursework a year, getting the opportunity to work with some of the world's leading dog trainers in developing her own craft. Shannon is driven by her passion to learn more and do better by the dogs she lives and works with. She also has a keen interest in building relationships through toy/tug play, and understanding canine nutrition, fitness and body conditioning, rounding out her understanding of dogs' needs.

 Shannon is recommended by breeders, veterinarians, rescue organizations and related industry peers for the work she does. She currently shares her life with two amazing border collies and can be found in the agility ring or out in nature.
Our Zen Dogs

About the company

Zen Dog Canine Training Ltd was founded in 2002 and has been a constant mainstay in the Vancouver dog training community for more than two decades. Zen Dog goes beyond the standard "sit-down-stay-come" approach seen in traditional obedience classes, and recognizes the different needs dogs have. This is reflected in the broad range of services offered to clients and the approach taken with each individual team.

 The company targets specific classes and personal coaching for rescue dogs, as well as reactive dogs, puppies, adolescent and adult dogs, honouring their unique stages and transitions in life. Zen Dog is committed to positive reinforcement-based strategies when working with clients and their dogs and seeks to engage the learner with effective game-based methods so that learning is fun for all.
Our Zen Dogs

What do Dog Owners think?

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I started train my high energy mixed breed puppy with Zen Dog Canine and love their approach...Both Shannon and Christine are very knowledgeable and equip you with several tools how to deal with your dog's behaviour.. and I can't wait till the next course..

Game Changer

Shannon is amazing and has been KEY in the behavioural success of my rescue dog Freya (GSD/Rottie/Presa mix). With the help of her growl program and numerous behavioural consultations, Freya’s reactivity levels have become completely manageable. I am now more than confident handling anything my teenage tyrant pup throws my way. Thank you Shannon!!!

Chloe Brumwell
Chloe Brumwell
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I have been taking my feisty young terrier mix dog to Shannon's Saturday morning Skills & Drills Power Hour for the past few months and it has been a game changer for us. He went from being unable to be close to the other dogs and having to do the exercises 20 feet away from the group, to being able to walk past dogs, in between dogs, towards dogs, all a couple of feet away from him with no issues. This class was exactly what we needed for him to feel more comfortable around other dogs and I am so grateful for Shannon's knowledge and encouragement. Shannon has years and years of dog training experience and it shows!! Sylvie Fefer

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Shannon is the best! We have worked with her and our 2 dogs on and off for over 10 years. Our dogs are super content and always have so much fun in class. Highly recommended!

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I met Shannon when I was in desperate need of a trainer to help my reactive GSD get over himself. Shannon helped him and, more importantly, helped me to deal with him. She has taught me so much about the many roads you can take to develop a mutually fabulous relationship with your dog. I can't say enough good things about her and Zen Dog.

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We had a great experience training our nearly 1.5 year old golden retriever with Shannon. She was super informative and we saw immediate progress using the tips she shared, right from our very first session.

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When my partner and I adopted an energetic, bouncy and sassy husky-mix last year, we knew we needed help and Shannon has been our super-hero! We first signed up for Shannon's leash walking super set; the classes were fun and gave us the tools we needed to work on Zendi's leash skills, which were non-existent. We went back to Shannon again recently for private classes to focus more on Zendi's unique needs (mainly managing her enthusiasm in a healthy way). While there's no quick or easy solution, the tips and tricks Shannon has shared are enabling us to engage more with Zendi and provide the physical and mental stimulation she needs. Shannon's guidance has been nothing short of invaluable! In addition to her extensive knowledge and experience, she is personable, thoughtful and just everything you would want from a dog trainer. We honestly can't recommend Shannon enough!! :)

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We have learned so much with Zen Dog, so happily. The classes are effective, with an outstanding trainer (Shannon) guiding our dogs to learn very happily. Everything is based on positive reinforcement and it all works so well. You will enjoy the training and your dog will thrive.Our Aussie Mountain Doodle puppy came home at 5 months. She is our first dog so we were a bit anxious about how to get it right. We quickly gained confidence with the Zen Dog JumpStart programme. It was astonishing on the first day to find that Indy could do so much already... when Shannon worked with her. Then we took over and things fell apart. It dawned on us that Shannon was actually training us, not the puppy! We applied ourselves, began guiding Indy better, and saw really rewarding results. Grade 1 was a great experience, too. We have made notable progress and, most importantly, now have considerable confidence as to how to proceed. We'll be back for Grade 2 with Zen dogs!

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Zen Dog Canine Training is one of the best I experienced with my reactive dog. Shannon is a great trainer, knowledgeable, patient, and very supportive. Her classes are always fun for dogs and their people. I learned a lot from the training sessions as well as from the private classes. . I can always count on the constructive feedback from Shannon, and support in sometimes hard reality owning a reactive dog. I am very happy that I found the Zen Dog Canine Training and will continue to work with Shannon.

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We have a rare breed, a Thai Ridgeback, which is known to be a challenging breed. But our Cooper is just like any pup, friendly interactive and now well trained. Shannon and Jen that we have worked in private and in classwork are extremely knowledgeable and use most current and best practice in their training methods. Highly recommend.

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Superb advice, delivered in a patient and easy to understand way! We gained a great deal from the classes and the advice and our relationship with our puppy is many times better for Shannon’s expertise. And we and the puppy know stuff now!

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I have never ever found another trainer to be of the caliber of Zen Dog. It changed my life and my dog Evies life forever. We have done group classes, private, dropin weekend group classes and packwalks and we love them all. I have had the fortunate opportunity to work with both Shannon and Jen, they are both such incredible women. They are the most experienced, dog savvy, enthusiastic, patient and caring trainers ever. They truly excel in their knowledge of dog behavior, communication and training, as well as nutrition, treats, gear, the list is endless! They are magnificent teachers both for people and the dogs. I was recommended to call zen dog from various dog owners around the city who raved about their skills and knowledge and experience. I have a challenging female dog that has reactivity and resource guarding issues, I'm not sure where either of us would be today without the help of ZenDog. They have helped me so much and with all they have taught me I continue to learn and grow and challenge myself to become the eperienced dog handler Evie needs and deserves. I have moved from Vancouver for now and one of the things I miss the most is to not be able to continue to work with Zendog. They have so many interesting, stimulating and challenging classes there is something for everyone!!!! I would be happy to ever talk in person or email for a personal referall. Zendog is the best!!!!!