Zen Dog is owned and operated by Chelsea Johnson, a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) and certified behavior adjustment training instructor (CBATI). She has been training dogs professionally since 2007.
Chelsea’s passion for training dogs began as a young teenager when she would visit her father in Michigan, who was fostering dogs that had been rescued from puppy mills. It was during this time that she started to learn how train and rehabilitate dogs.
During the long process of working with puppy mill rescue dogs, Chelsea developed a special interest in shy, fearful dogs, and she firmly believes in the benefit of using positive methods to help these dogs overcome their behavioral issues.
At the age of 18, Chelsea began working at PetSmart as an accredited Dog Obedience Trainer. She worked as the Lead Trainer at PetSmart for nearly 5 years. Unlike many trainers who began their careers using aversive, punishment-based training, Chelsea has been committed to using positive, dog-friendly training from the start.
Chelsea took some time away from teaching group obedience classes at PetSmart to pursue another dream – working as a veterinary nurse at a local hospital. After several months in this position, she made the decision to return to her calling as a trainer.
Chelsea attained her CPDT Certification in October, 2011, from the Certification Council for Pet Dog Trainers. Chelsea is also the only Full member of the Animal Building Blocks Academy (ABBA) in Bellingham. ABBA promotes positive, force-free training methods, and continuing education.
In 2012, Chelsea was among the first group of trainers to become a Certified Behavior Adjustment Training Instructor (CBATI). She is the only trainer in Bellingham that has this certification, which allows her to use the innovative, dog-friendly BAT training to help dogs that exhibit fear, aggression, and/or frustration. Despite obtaining the certification in 2012, she has been using BAT training since 2010, when she was first introduced to the technique at a seminar in Seattle by Grisha Stewart.
In addition to her dog training certifications, Chelsea is also the only certified Doga (dog yoga) instructor in Bellingham, WA. Chelsea earned her Doga certification in August of 2011 from Brenda Bryan of Barking Buddha Doga in Seattle, WA.
Chelsea takes continuing education very seriously, and she attends several training and behavior workshops every year. These seminar topics have included: specialty workshops on clicker training, adolescence, aggression, and fear, T-Touch training, puppyhood, and obedience.
Chelsea lives in Bellingham with her Miniature Dachshund, Apple. For more information about Chelsea’s classes, please visit the Dog Training web page. To contact Chelsea directly, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 360-739-7810.