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Common questions are easily answered.

Frequently Asked Questions


    Payment for classes and private lessons can be made through etransfer to our business email:  k9@zendogtraining.com  No password required.

    Payment must be received before the first class starts. 

    If you don’t do etransfer, contact us for other payment options. 

    Payment for our Zen Puppy Kindergarten course is the only exception: all payments must be made to Simply Natural Raw Pet Foods. 
    They accept a variety of payment options.


    For training equipment we keep it simple and gentle!

    A basic collar and/or front clip harness (with a back clip option) and a standard leash. Depending on the training we are doing, leash length can be 6-8 feet for loose leash walking, and 20-30 feet for recall and distance training. 

    Another must-have is a treat pouch (or easily accessible way to get treats out) and a clicker. 

    Please no aversive collars, flexi or bungee leashes.


    We are committed to reinforcement-based training and follow protocols backed by the latest science on dog education and welfare.  That means we won’t use anything that causes fear or pain to your dog. 

    We use markers (verbal or clicker) to provide clarity and accelerated learning; and food, toy play and verbal/physical praise from the human to create and build desirable behaviours.

    We will show you how to move from a fixed to a variable reinforcement schedule as your training progresses but most importantly, we teach you HOW to be a reinforcement-minded person for the lifetime of your dog. Reinforcement builds and maintains behaviour for all learners!


    Most of our private packages and some of our group classes start with a zoom session because this is our opportunity to train you! Here we get to “teach the teacher.”

    The Zoom is to help you understand how to set up a training session; how to use a marker (and why markers are important); how reinforcement works for your dog; how diet, management, exercise, and enrichment all affect behaviour and learning.

    Learning all this theory tends to go best in the quiet of the learner’s home!


    Our private lessons run anywhere from 60 – 75 minutes, depending on the session(s) you have purchased.  In that time, you have us all to yourself!

    We focus on the specific issues and goals before you, and together we come up with creative strategies and exercises to reach those goals and resolve those issues.  Each lesson is followed with an email covering the exercises and topics we covered in the form of videos, written material, relevant podcasts, diagrams and lesson plans – all designed to keep you on track and to refer back to at your leisure.

    You are encouraged to call and email with your questions as you start your training journey with us.  Your one hour lesson with us is packed with weeks of practice ahead!

    For your private lesson, we either come to you or have you meet us at a location appropriate for what we are focusing on in that lesson. 
    There is a $25 travel charge per lesson for private clients outside of Vancouver. 


    A group class environment is an affordable way to better understand dog training and the exercises that are applicable to today’s urban dog or puppy.  Each class runs for one hour and follows a set curriculum of topics, supplemented with a lesson plan emailed to each student before that week’s class.

    Except for our Skills and Drills Power Hour class and Sunday Morning Walking Club (which are biggies!), we keep our class size small: 5-6 handler/dog teams per class.  This ensures you get quality individual attention from your instructor!

    Our classes typically run 5-6 weeks in length and there is opportunity to progress to the next level for students keen to move up.  Our group classes feature a number of weekly exercises that are game-based, practical and fun so that you have homework for the week ahead.


    We respect that life is full of twists and turns and we will do our best to accommodate a change to your plans. If you need to move a private lesson to another day, we simply ask for 24 hour notice, otherwise the fees for that lesson are lost. 

    There are no refunds for partial private packages once a lesson has been taken.

    For group class refunds, because we keep our courses small, with a wait list, we require five days’ notice so we have the opportunity to fill your spot.  Once a class has started, there is no refund. 

    There is a $10 administration fee for all refunds.

    We are open to transferring payment to other training services if you feel the course you have signed up for is not suitable for your dog.  Get a hold of us and we can talk!

What do Dog Owners think?


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


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


Shannon is a professional, understanding and extremely knowledgeable trainer! I’ve had dogs my whole life but didn’t realize that there was so much more to learn about bringing up a well behaved and happy dog. My dog has learnt many useful habits from her class and he loved every second of it. Highly highly recommend!


Shannon is the BEST dog trainer! She has worked with us for years - with our older pup and now our new little guy. She is thorough, thoughtful, clear and kind. I recommend her without hesitation.


My dog Leela and I had so much fun at Shannon’s Rally-O classes. We started with no previous experience and within 4 classes we were able to complete an advanced course off leash! Shannon is a phenomenal positive trainer, very knowledgable and patient with doggies and humans alike. Highly recommend!


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!


The "kindergarten" is an excellent course: thoughtfully designed, thoroughly prepared, and effectively delivered. Our puppy learned a lot while enjoying herself beyond belief. We did too, because Shannon teaches the owners how to work with their dogs. We will absolutely take our puppy to other courses offered by Shannon.


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!


Puppies are so cute but also so challenging at times. Shannon’s courses provided both me and my puppy with the necessary foundation and skills required to develop a happy, confident and well behaved adult dog. Each of the courses offered are very informative while being fun at the same time. Shannon’s extensive knowledge and kind approach brings the most out of any owner/dog combo.


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!


Zen dog classes are amazing! They really challenged our dog and taught him practical and fun skills to take out into the world. Would highly recommend the classes, especially if you have an active dog!


Shannon is a master. Her alternative methods make her training very special and unique. She empowers the dog and the owner to have a healthy relationship based on respect for one another, and choices, versus fear-based training. I highly recommend Shannon if you are getting a new puppy or trying to integrate a second dog into your home. The education she provides will last a lifetime.