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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Shannon and the team are fantastic! Highly recommend for every dog owner.

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We did Puppy Kindergarten and Grade 1 with Shannon at Zen Dog Training. Kindergarten was really fun and informative. It is more focused on training skills than socialization. We learned some key skills like sit, middle, heel, down, on your mat and touch. We also learned more important life skills such as practicing holds for when we go to the vet, learning back foot awarness, and leaving food alone if its on the floor. Overall it was a really great way to bond with our lab puppy and learn together.Grade 1 was outside at PW Mini School. There was about 7 other dogs in the class. We worked on recalls, loose leash walking, and built on some of the skills we learned in Kindergarten. It was so fun being outside and continuing to learn with some of the dogs from Kindergarten. All us dog parents connected and are in a group chat sharing the highs and lows of puppyhood.Overall, Shannon is incredibly knowledgable. She has a really great approach to training that is focused on connection with your puppy over discipline. She shows how practice, dedication and repetitive training can lead to a calm well behaved pet.Our puppy is almost 7 months old now and he is happy to come with us to park hangs, walks well on his leash, plays well with other dogs and is very bonded with us! Overall 10/10 would recommend Shannon and Zen Dog Training, you need to be ready to work hard!

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Excellent, highly knowledgeable trainer that constantly stays on top of current research in dog training. Highly recommend

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I have worked with Shannon at Zen Dog Training for many years with my dogs. Shannon has been and continues to be an incredible support for dog training as well as anything else doggy related! Shannon's classes are so much fun and my dog enjoys them just as much as I do. Shannon is always willing to answer questions and provide resources. I would highly recommend Shannon and Zen Dog Canine Training for any of your dog training needs.

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We have been working with Shannon and Jen at Zen dogs for over 7 years. It started with our highly dog reactive female GSD, Ebony. With private sessions, group classes, nosework class , and sessions of growl class we have a handle on this tough girl ( who is a sweetheart with people, children, bunnies, cats, coyotes! just not dogs). The packs walks worked amazing with Ebony. Four years ago I wanted to get another dog to be able to work with in competitive obedience. With Shannon's help I was able to add an 8 1/2 week old GSD puppy who has now just turned 4. The fear was we would duplicate the issues Ebony had but with careful work and attending classes with Moody this has not happened. Moody is a graduate of Zen Dog kindergarden, level one, nuts and bolts, circuit class, tracking class. Of course we still attend the pack walks. We know how to manage Ebony keeping her comfortable and Moody is a balanced happy boy who loves to work. Highly recomend Zen dogs, it will work for you as long as you listen to the trainers and put in the work.

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I have worked with Shannon for 13 years! From help with my reactive rescue GSD, to my baby GSD boy ( now 10 years old!) and my rehomed to me at 5 months old Belgian Malinios girl. Currently taking Rally-O classes with my 10 year old GSD. He is loving it! Lots of incredible feedback. Highly recommend Zen Dogs Canine Training

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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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I had the good fortune of attending Shannon's classes and also had multiple private sessions. Shannon is extremely knowledgable and passionate about dogs/dog training. She is first class!

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Shannon is the most knowledgeable dog trainer I know. She combines a common sense approach gained from years of experience with a thoughtful and detailed insight into dog behaviour. Plus, she makes training fun!

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Absolutely cannot say enough great things about Shannon! She’ll work magic with your dog and teach you how to do the same.

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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..

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I highly recommend Shannon for dog training. She is knowledgeable and makes training logical and easy to understand. My rescue dog has made big improvements in dealing with her new city environment and big dog anxieties. Thanks for all your invaluable help with the dog AND ME!