Mirkka Koivusalo

Mirkka Koivusalo's picture


About Me
First Name: 
Last Name: 


Mindful Behaviours dog training in the Helsinki area of Finland is based on force-free, positive reinforcement training that is backed by science and by an understanding of how behaviour works. Whether your goal is to have a well-behaved family dog, have a happy companion for different dog sports, or eliminate unwanted behaviours in your dog, you are in the right place!

You will be in the hands of a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP); rest assured that the training is based on the latest knowledge of animal behaviour.

Mindful Behaviours has relocated recently from Canada to Finland. Currently, we offer private, in-home, basic training and behaviour modification in the Helsinki area.


I founded Mindful Behaviours in 2011, in Toronto, Canada, where I ran the company until July 2017. In August 2017, I moved back to my home country, Finland. Mindful Behaviours has a history of offering a wide range of training services ranging from different group classes to private behaviour consultations.

I have a science education that includes MSc and PhD degrees in biochemistry and a professional background as a research scientist. When my second post-doctoral research period in cell biology was coming to an end in 2010, I decided to make a bold professional leap and pursue a passion I had had for a long time: animal training and behaviour.

I have been training dogs since 2002. I started with dog sports as soon as I had a working-dog puppy; I discovered clicker training through Clicker Trainers Club Finland. This method was my way right from the beginning—everything is based on scientific data about how animals learn. I applied these principles to my training, and received competition titles in obedience, rally obedience, search-and-rescue trials, and tracking—both in Finland and in Canada. To pursue my goal of becoming a professional in the field, in 2010 I completed an official program certifying me as a dog trainer through Karen Pryor Academy (KPA). I graduated with distinction from the KPA Dog Trainer Professional program and am now a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP).

Training as a scientist has helped me develop an analytical and systematic approach to animal training. I keep up to date with my education, and have trained not only dogs, but chickens and horses as well. The essence of positive training is that it doesn’t only apply to the dogs; my focus is to make the training rewarding for the owners as well!

In recent years I have combined my two interests: science and animal training. I developed a research project in biomedical scent together with North York General Hospital in Toronto. My project has been featured on CBC Radio 1 and published in Journal of Hospital Infection.

In Toronto, I helped found The Toronto Centre for Canine Education. In Finland, I have been teaching courses and workshops at Turun Murre.

Services Offered: 

I have re-entered the world of science and my primary job is scientific writing. However, I offer select private training packages in the Helsinki, Espoo, and Vantaa areas in Finland.

Behaviour modification

We can help with:

  • Fear, reactivity, and aggression toward other dogs or people
  • Resource-guarding: protectiveness toward food, objects, places
  • Territorial issues: barking at the fence, door, doorbell
  • Sensitivity to handling: touching, grooming, and veterinary procedures
  • Hyperactivity and low threshold for frustration
  • Sound and environmental sensitivities

Basic training

Services Offered Summary: 
In-home training: behaviour modification and basic training packages
Contact Information
Phone Number: 
02940 Espoo


Member for
7 years 6 months